ETR // Stage 52 // Barcelona - Tarragona

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  • Barcelona - Tarragona
  • Radius 100 km
  • 182 km


  • The Market of Markets
  • Mount Tibidabo
  • Collserola Tower
  • Parc Metropolità de Collserola
  • Carretera de les Aigües
  • Church of Sagrat Cor
  • Villa Joana, Vallvidrera
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS

Gastronomic magnificence at The Market of Markets

It's always nice with a quiet morning in the place you're in, before you ride on to the next places you're going to! In this case, it was one of Barcelona’s key gastronomy events, the 3-day Market of Markets, an open-air organic market that both occupied the morning hours and provided organic breakfast, lunch and a great lunch pack for the road. I'll still be eating this stuff tonight!

The market is currently in it's 7th year, with over 36 stalls from municipal markets, 24 local producers, 12 wineries, 13 city restaurants and 26 chefs from all over Catalonia, all taking part in what has now become a major festival for Barcelona local produce and gastronomy.

Thousands of people gather to discover the different local products offered by the city’s markets where you can buy directly from stalls offering fresh tapas, olives, foods, wines, produce and pre-prepared products. With such a great vibe and a positive atmosphere, you will not want to leave!

© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS

Mount Tibidabo

On your way out of Barcelona, take a ride up to Tibidabo and spend the morning looking out over Barcelona's wild expanse. One of the most spectacular views can be had from the communications tower Collserola Tower designed by the British architect Norman Foster, which stands 560 metres above sea level. One side of the observation deck gives you spectacular views of Barcelona below, and on the other side, vistas over the Vallès plain. In the middle, there is a protected natural corridor which was named the Parc Metropolità de Collserola in 1987. This is an especially lush area of natural park, unknown to many, which can be explored on foot or by bike along the road known as the Carretera de les Aigües.

There are so many places where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city, and most are accessible by the blue tram, or Tramvia blau, a vintage means of transport that came into service in 1901 and runs as far as the lower funicular station, which was built to provide access to the Tibidabo Amusement Park at the top of Tibidabo, 512 metres above sea level.

Tibidabo is also home to the third-oldest and one of the most charming amusement parks in Europe., which combines vintage rides and amusements with more modern attractions. From this great vantage point, you'll be able to enjoy bird's eye views of the city and fly above the clouds. If you feel like a walk, you can visit the Sky Path, and climb to the top of the church of the Sagrat Cor for truly unique panoramic views. If you're hungry, there are lots of food options up here, also

In nearby Vallvidrera, you can visit the Villa Joana, which houses the Casa-Museu Verdaguer. This is where the Catalan writer spent the last few weeks of his life and is just one example of Collserola and Barcelona's rich and varied history.

© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS

Church of the Sagrat Cor, Tibidabo

The church of the Sagrat Cor, designed by Enric Sagnier and built between 1902 and 1961 can be seen silhouetted against the Barcelona skyline, or the surrounding Vallès plain. The monumental basilica is surmounted by an equally monumental statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus blessing the city from a height of 600 metres. A lift inside takes you to the rooftop and the highest tower, the ideal experience to raise the spirits. The basilica has a distinctive design consisting of double-height churches, one in the crypt and another above it. The combination of styles is also truly stimulating, where you'll find neo-Byzantine, neo-Gothic and modernista.

Following the visit of the Italian priest and scholar Saint John Bosco to Barcelona at the end of the 19th century, an area of land was allocated on the highest point in Barcelona, Mount Tibidabo. One of the great architects of the day, Enric Sagnier, was commissioned to design a basilica dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus that would stand on the top of the hill. The artists who worked on the project included the sculptor Frederic Marès, Alfons Juyol and the mosaicist Lluis Bru. The stained-glass windows in the upper church feature images of the Virgin Mary, which are widely known in the Catholic world, such as Our Lady of Guadelupe (Mexico) and Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre (Mexico).

© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS

Montserrat - the serrated mountain

On the road from Barcelona to Tarragona, we divert into the hills, to the spectacular Montserrat (Serrated Mountain) a multi-peaked mountain range near Barcelona, part of the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range. The Benedictine Abbey can be reached by road, by the Aeri de Montserrat cable car, or by the Montserrat Rack Railway. The choice is yours.

In the shadow of the Cavall Bernat rock formation and the Bestorre (remains of a watchtower), Monistrol de Montserrat guards the treasure of its past. At its centre you can find examples of its rich history, with buildings of a medieval and Gothic origin, inspired by Catalan Art Nouveau. Carrer Sant Joan is its oldest street and still contains some houses of the nobility. The monastery is Catalonia's most important religious retreat, where groups of young people from Barcelona and all over Catalonia make overnight hikes at least once in their lives, to watch the sunrise from the heights of Montserrat.

© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS

Parc Natural de la Muntanya de Montserrat

The Montserrat mountain range, whose name literally translates to the "toothed mountain", is distinguished by its steep terrain with many cliffs and walls. The unique silhouette of this complex rock formation - formed of cliffs with teeth-like shapes - stands steep and powerful in the heart of flatlands. Although the highest point reaches an altitude of 4,055 feet, the surrounding plains create a massif that emerges horizontally in the form of a striking mountain of rocky spires which come together to feed your imagination.

Montserrat from an ornithological perspective

The combination of vertical formations - holm oaks and pines in the canals and crop fields in the surrounding plain - means that an ornithologist can enjoy birds of prey and rupicolous birds, whilst also encountering species from Mediterranean scrubland and open spaces. Its ornithological significance stems from the combination of rupicolous species- some of which are scarce in Europe - and Mediterranean species in the forests and open areas of crop fields. Therefore, you will find such prized species as Bonelli's eagle, alpine accentor, blue rock thrush, wallcreeper and rock sparrow in the vicinity of Sardinian warbler, melodious warbler, great grey shrike, woodchat shrike and red-legged partridge. If you're that way inclined.

© ETR // European Touring Route AS


  • Dave O'Byrne

  • European Touring Route AS



  • Parc Natural de la Muntanya de Montserrat
  • Monistrol de Montserrat
  • Roman ruins of Tarraco
  • Fòrum Romà, Tàrraco
  • Muralles Romanes
  • Circ Romà
  • Necropolis
  • Teatre Romà
  • Anfiteatro de Tarragona
  • Tabacalera de Tarragona
  • Passeig Arqueològic
  • Museu del Port de Tarragona
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS


Tarragona is a beautiful city located in the south of Catalonia on the north-east of Spain, right by the Mediterranean. In Roman times, the city was named Tarraco and was capital of the province of Hispania Tarraconensis. These days, it is the capital of the Spanish province of the same name, and the capital of the Catalan comarca Tarragonés. In medieval and modern times it was the capital of the Vegueria of Tarragona.

The Roman ruins of Tarraco have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Nice town, and well worth a visit, and a great place to chill out after a long ride up (or down) the Iberian coastline.

Tarragona, located on the Costa Daurada and bathed in sunlight, is a city with a unique character that combines long golden sand beaches for relaxing on, a historic centre for getting lost in while strolling around and a cultural legacy of the Roman Empire that allows you to relive the history of the city of Tarraco.

© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS

Hotel H10 Imperial Tarraco

Located in the historic centre of Tarragona, right in front of the Roman amphitheatre, the H10 Imperial Tarraco is an iconic hotel in a privileged location offering incomparable and stunning sea views. After an extensive refurbishment, the hotel has reopened as a four-star 'superior establishment' with spacious, rider-friendly rooms, most of which offer front views of the sea, a full range of dining options, and four meeting rooms with natural light and capacity for carrying out large events, meetings and celebrations.

The Alta Mare Restaurant offers a tasty buffet breakfast prepared using fresh, high-quality products, and from there, you have access to the hotel gardens. On the top floor is the Caelum Rooftop Bar where you can relax after a hard night or a great day's riding, and take in the magnificent sea views as you sample one (or some) of their cocktails. Highly recommended!

Perfect location for exploring Tarragona on foot

H10 Imperial Tarraco is perfect as a motorbike hotel due to its central location on the main artery in and out of Tarragona, as well as the fact that it's shielded from the main city noise, and close to the coast. Just 20m from the Casino Tarragona if you're feeling wild and reckless, 50m from the Roman Circus, 250m from the Balcó del Mediterrani viewing area, 400m from the Roman amphitheatre, 500m from Tarragona Cathedral, 550m from the Archaeological Walk at the Roman walls, 650m from Tarragona train station if you want to give the motorcycle a rest, and 650m from Palau Firal i de Congressos de Tarragona conference centre if you plan to turn this into a business trip, or plan one in the future.

© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS
© ETR // European Touring Route AS

Many traces of The roman Empire

While you're in Tarragona, leave your motorcycle parked at the hotel and get walking - this ancient Roman city has to be experienced in slow-motion. Weave effortlessly through the alleys of the walled medieval Old Town and visit the Fòrum Romà (the Colonial forum of Tàrraco), Muralles Romanes de Tarragona (Roman Wall of Tarragona), Circ Romà (Roman Circus), the Necropolis containing Roman tombs, Teatre Romà de Tarragona (Roman theatre of Tàrraco), Anfiteatro de Tarragona, Antiguo Teatro Romano, Tabacalera de Tarragona and eventually, Museu del Port de Tarragona. Follow the Passeig Arqueològic, a walkway along the ramparts with sweeping views of the city, or maybe catch a Balaeric sunrise at Balcó del Mediterrani.

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