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Montseny Natural Park and Viladrau, Catalonia, Spain

Catalonia lies in the north east corner of Spain dominated by the port city of Barcelona. Montseny Natural Park is sandwiched between this city, the Pyrenees border with France and the Mediterranean coast. Montseny is a 72,000 acre mosaic of Mediterranean, Alpine and Central European landscapes and so is a synthesis of the main landscapes of Europe. It has an incredible variety of flora and fauna boasting over 1500 superior plant species (the whole of the UK has only 1200!). The range is so wide that in 1978 it was made a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve confirming its importance on a global scale.

With the highest mountains south of the Pyrenees, Montseny offers breathtaking beauty combining rocky slopes with waterfalls cascading into deep gorges, dense with forests of Holm Oak, Beech, Chestnut and Pine. The scenery can change from Mediterranean woods to those of Central Europe within a few kilometres.

In addition to the protected natural landscape, one can visit the famous Iberian wall at El Brull, or the Roman villa of Can Tarrés, the extraordinary castles of Montsoriu and Montclús from the middle ages, the Romanesque monuments of Sant Salvador de Breda and Santa Magdalena, and the beautiful Modernist architecture in the villages of La Garriga and Viladrau.

The extraordinary quality of its landscapes, the diversity of its plant life, and the spectacular seasonal colour changes, especially in the chestnut, oak and beech woods make Montseny an ideal place for walking and cycling routes. There is an extensive network of well sign-posted routes to suit all abilities and tastes.

Little known outside of Spain, Montseny has inspired artists, intellectuals and scientists. Even the Spanish royal family enjoy this special place at their summer home in Viladrau - a village located, on the northern face of the Montseny mountain range, famous for its tranquillity, spring water and healthy air. Full of surprises, Viladrau is surrounded by forests and mountains, yet can offer top quality golf at nearby Montanya Golf club and even Polo just outside the village.

The attractions of Montseny and its proximity to the cities of Barcelona and Girona mean that visitors to the region can feast on the best that Catalan cuisine can offer. Of Roman origin, Catalan cooking uses many of the same ingredients as other Mediterranean cuisines -- tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, beans, pasta, fruits and all kinds of meat and seafood - but it combines them in unexpected ways. Who would expect salt cod with honey, for example? Catalonia has both mountains and seashore. So one may find spiny lobster stew (Civet de Llogosta) on the one hand and Andorran-style trout (Truita de Riu Andorrana) on the other. Whilst a three course lunch with wine cad be had in Viladrau village square for 8 euros, try the wonderful ‘tasting menu’ (five courses including wine, 25 euros) at La Salvadore restaurant in Hotel Corominas, Viladrau or the top-notch Mas D’Orsor just outside the village (around 50 euros per head).

This welcoming area is an ideal place for enjoying the riches which nature and history have left to the friendly hospitable locals and lucky visitors!

Written by Lloyd Daniels - Owner of Property 400714 in Viladrau, Spain

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                                                                                                      Viladrau Holiday Villas & Cottages (300+)

                                                                                                       

                                                                                                      Recent Reviews

                                                                                                      Stunning house, great location, wonderful hosts

                                                                                                      5 of 5
                                                                                                      We have just stayed in the best holiday house we have ever visited! There is so much space, and it is all so beautiful. Lets start with the bedrooms - all well furnished, all with fans, which were adequate for a good night's sleep because of the thickness of the walls which keep them cool during the day. Bathrooms (3) all lovely. Two of the three were in a different part of the house from the bedrooms, but we shared out which bathrooms belonged to whom and it worked well. Then the rest of the house ... absolutely stunning. The 'inside/outside' part was a huge success, we ate there practically every meal, no flies, cool and yet you didn't feel like you were indoors. The kitchen is fantastic, completely open plan so very sociable, well equipped - I don't think I have ever seen such a selection of crockery and glassware! The pool was fabulous, some shade from the tropical umbrellas, lots of sunshine, beautifully clean. Oh, and here's a nice touch - you could put on a CD in the pool house, and there were speakers outside by the pool and in the covered play area! There was also so much else to do in case of a cloudy day - pool, table football, table tennis, basketball, petanque, bikes. Good location too. Walking distance to Sils station, regular trains to Barcelona, Girona, Figueras etc. Very close to a small supermarket, so no need to drive miles to go shopping, and if you run out of ice creams, send the kids! Sils village has a couple of restaurants, one of which we never managed to get to as it gets so booked up, but we thoroughly recommend the Pizzeria l'Angelo for a takeaway pizza. And finally, our hosts. Xavi and his family could not have been more welcoming or helpful. They were nearby but not intrusive, good to know that if there were any problems they would be sorted quickly. Next year we must learn some Spanish! I cannot recommend this house highly enough!
                                                                                                      • Review Submitted: Aug 14, 2017
                                                                                                      • Date of Stay: Jul 2017

                                                                                                      A fantastic stay - een fantastisch verlof

                                                                                                      5 of 5
                                                                                                      Met onze familie van 4 personen hadden we een fantastisch verblijf van 1 weekje in deze villa in Sant Cebria de Vallalta. Omdat we de reis van België tot Spanje voornamelijk 's nachts deden, arriveerden we al rond 10.30h aan de woning. Geen probleem echter, want de verantwoordelijke ter plaatse - en hierbij dus een hele dikke pluim aan Marcello - deed er alles aan om ons onmiddellijk in de woning te laten, daar waar dit in feite eerst rond 16.00h zou zijn. De ontvangst maar ook de verdere begeleiding door Marcello was omzeggens perfect - en dat is een hele geruststelling mocht er toch ergens iets fout lopen of een defect optreden. De woning is perfect voor groepen tot 6 a 8 personen met zijn 4 separate slaapkamers. We hebben al heel wat huizen gezien - maar van deze villa waren we onder de indruk. Misschien niet zozeer het formaat, maar vooral de netheid en het feit dat zowat alles voorhanden is. Niet te vergeten de garage om 1 wagen veilig en buiten de zon te kunnen parkeren - ook dat is een enorme troef vonden we. Het uitzicht dat deze woning te bieden heeft is adembenemend mooi - zicht over de bergen tot op zee. De bereikbaarheid van de woning is erg goed, de minder goede Spaanse binnenwegjes moet je erbij nemen. Alles wat je verder nodig hebt aan voorzieningen (supermakt / bakker / slager) is te vinden binnen handbereik - namelijk in het dorpje van Sant Cebria. Een wagen is daarbij natuurlijk wel een absolute must. Wij deden enkele bezoeken aan Barcelona per auto - en ook dat is perfect meegevallen. Je doet de afstand van de woning tot centrum Barcelona in iets minder dan een uurtje - de oprit van de snelweg ligt op ca. 7 km. Als uitvalsbasis is deze woning daarvoor dus perfect gelegen. Barcelona is zeer toegankelijk met de wagen - amper files en voldoende parkings te vinden ook. Anderzijds zit je vlakbij Calella, Blanes, Lloret De Mar en zelfs Tossa De Mar. Overdag heb je de rust van de bergen - 's avonds kan je perfect de drukte van het strand en de dijk opzoeken. Wij vonden Blanes heel leuk en heel levendig. Voor al degenen die naar deze regio willen reizen, en eventueel Barcelona willen bezoeken zou ik zeggen - niet twijfelen! Vandaar dan ook onze beoordeling met 5 sterren, in dit geval dubbel en dik verdiend!
                                                                                                      • Review Submitted: Aug 02, 2017
                                                                                                      • Date of Stay: Jul 2017