La Garrotxa: a rough but welcome land

July 19, 2013 12:20 PM | Guido Cengiarotti

The tourist slogan for the north-eastern Catalan county of La Garrotxa is “Rough land” because of the touch of the area’s volcanic clay. Aside from that unappealing logo, La Garrotxa is one of the most interesting tourist zones not only in Catalonia but also in Spain. This volcanic area, the widest in the Iberian Peninsula, has numerous natural, cultural and gastronomic interests. Its privileged location, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Pyrenees, makes the zone a perfect place for tourism in the heart of the countryside, allowing the visitor to forget about stress and discover unique landscapes, gastronomy, history and folklore.

Ski mountaineering world-champion Mireia Miró: “Technology has eliminated the feeling of wildness in nature”

July 17, 2013 07:27 PM | Júlia Manresa

Mireia Miró visits Barcelona a few times a year. Despite not feeling uncomfortable in an urban environment, where she grew up, she spends 90% of her time in the mountains. One of the reasons for being in Barcelona is to deal with media. She sometimes swaps mountain marathons for interview marathons. But it doesn’t bother her: “I think it is also important to tell the world what we do and what are our principles”.

Illes Medes, a Mediterranean diving paradise on the Costa Brava

June 6, 2013 12:37 AM | Océane Apffel / Marina Presas

Seven islets just one kilometre away from the town of L’Estartit on the Costa Brava form one of the most attracting diving areas in Europe. Twenty years of protection as a natural marine park have permitted a complete sea-bed recovery, which hosts hundreds of species such as groupers, lobsters or even red coral. Caves, sharper rocks and sand banks captivate thousands of scuba diving lovers each year. Thanks to Illes Medes, L’Estartit has evolved from a little fishing village to an international diving town where tourists from all around the world are regular visitors looking for its submarine views.

UNESCO adds the Ebro Delta, in Southern Catalonia, to its Biosphere Reserve network

May 28, 2013 10:25 PM | CNA

Terres de l’Ebre, which encompasses the delta and the catchment area of the Ebro River’s lowest stretch, displays a unique relationship between nature and traditional human activities. It has lovely landscapes, with hills, cliffs, fields and picturesque villages on both sides of the river, as well as coastal ecosystems, where the delta offers amazing and delicate environments. The new Man and the Biosphere reserve covers 367,729 hectares and has 190,000 inhabitants. The cultivation of rice, citrus fruits and olives, livestock breeding as well as aquaculture and fishing are the main human activities, “respecting biological conservation and landscape values”, stated UNESCO. The Montseny hills and forest are the other Catalan biosphere reserve.

Catalan Montsec mountain range declared one of the world’s six Starlight Destinations for its clear sky

March 14, 2013 11:39 PM | CNA

UNESCO has declared the Montsec mountain range, located in Western Catalonia, to be one of the world’s six Starlight Tourist Destinations for the excellent qualities of its night sky for astronomic observation. Only six spots in the world hold this distinction; three of them in Spain. The Starlight Foundation has plans for this distinction to be held by up to 15 spots at the most. The Montsec, located between the towns of Balaguer and Tremp, holds one of Southern Europe’s most important astronomic observatories: the Centre d'Observació de l'Univers, cooperating with the NASA. On the 21st of March, the diploma will be presented as well as some recommendations to keep the luminescent qualities and promote the area for astronomic tourism.

Hearing the sounds from inside a storm or from Antarctica’s change of season at CosmoCaixa

June 16, 2012 02:47 PM | CNA / Anna Corbatera

Sónar 2012 electronic music festival is underway and Barcelona’s CosmoCaixa has invited its visitors to hear the sounds of meteorology at the ‘METEOlab’ exhibition. It is a selection of works by some of the most prominent artists in the field of audible and multimedia contemporary creation, such as Thomas Köner, Chris Watson and Geir Jenssen, all inspired in meteorology and climatic phenomenology.

Magnetic field invisibility discovered by Barcelona-based researchers, a first step towards the invisibility of light

March 23, 2012 10:32 PM | CNA

Researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, in collaboration with a team from Slovakia’s Science Academy, have developed a cylinder that is invisible to magnetic fields and any object put inside cannot be detected. No one had ever achieved such results in such a simple manner, with much precision in the theoretical calculations and conclusive results in the laboratory. They believe this scientific discovery might be a first step towards light’s invisibility. Their research has been published in the prestigious journal ‘Science’.

Exploring dinosaur footprints and fossils in Catalonia

November 22, 2011 06:38 PM | CNA / Sara Gómez

The Fumanya palaeontological site, located in the northern Catalan County of Berguerà, has one of the most important collections of dinosaur fossils in Europe. The remains of more than 3,500 footprints, as well as bones, eggs, and other remains were discovered accidentally in 1985. Between the years 2000 and 2008, the palaeontological site was analysed and tourist visits have since been organised. Furthermore, in 2012, the site’s new information centre will open its doors to the public and will explain dinosaurs in great detail.

A 20-metre-long whale skeleton welcomes visitors at Barcelona’s new Blue Space

July 12, 2011 09:28 PM | CNA

The Museu Blau (Blue Museum) is part of Barcelona’s Natural History Museum, divided into four different locations. It is housed in a futurist blue triangular building by Herzog & De Meuron, at the Forum Park. Blue Space will have a permanent zoology exhibition called “Planet Life”, focusing on the Gaia theory and the link between the Earth and natural life. The 19th century buildings at the Ciutadella Park will be renovated and will host other parts of the Natural History Museum.