Sea of pink: peach and nectarine trees blossom in western Catalonia
With only county residents able to visit, Aitona's Fruitourism initiative shares images online
Spring is in the air in Catalonia, nowhere more so than the town of Aitona, where the spectacular sight of hectares upon hectares of pink blossom fills the landscape.
This sea of pink is down to the flowers of peach and nectarine trees, normally a huge draw for visitors to west Catalonia in February and March as part of the Fruitourism initiative (Fruiturisme in Catalan), launched by the local council in 2012, and named Catalonia's best tourism experience in 2019.
While there are no guided tours this year, due to the current travel and social restrictions, organizers are determined not to let the coronavirus pandemic prevent them from sharing the beauty of this display with the rest of the world.
So, with flowers already blossoming one week earlier than last year - a possible symptom of climate change - the local council is turning social media pink, filling their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds with the latest images, as well as posting them on fruiturisme.info.
Those lucky enough to live in Segrià county can visit the fields for free, following marked routes and visiting an information point at Aitona's sports center, open from February 24 to March 14.
'Nature does not stop'
Speaking at the launch of Fruitourism 2021, Rosa Pujol, mayor of Aitona, said they were sharing the images online "so that everyone can enjoy them."
"Nature does not stop," she added, and explained that council workers will work to ensure that there is no overcrowding at the fields, and that other safety measures are adhered to.
In 2020, some 20,000 visitors came to witness the flowers in bloom, almost the same number as the previous year, despite the onset of the pandemic forcing an abrupt and early end to the season.