Geography and landscapes Catalonia
Catalonia, whose area is close to that of Normandy, is ... A land of sea, lakes, mountains and volcanoes, it's the Côte d'Azur, Savoy and Cantal in a pocket square!
The Catalan coast
The Catalan coast has two very distinct faces.
North of Barcelona, over some fifty kilometers largely sacrificed to mass tourism, the Maresme reveals a long series of beaches bordered by an almost unbroken hedge of hotels and buildings.
Beyond, of which Cadaqués is the highlight - owes its rugged terrain to having been partially preserved.
Towards the French border, the montagne affirms. Here we find grandiose landscapes of cliffs plunging into the sea, which give this somewhat austere region a wild beauty ...
South of Barcelona, the Costa del Garraf gives way to beaches a bit wilder. After Salou, its neighbor the Costa Daurada announces the closure of the coast by a large sandy cove.
The Catalan backcountry
The country does not cè like in the distant plain of Lleida (Lérida), also occupied by many pig farms ...
Looking north from the coast first appear small isolated massifs, first fruits of the Pyrenees, largely covered with forests (pines, holm oaks). There, less than an hour's drive from Barcelona, thousands of kilometers of marked trails lead, on foot or by mountain bike, through the sierra de Montseny (classified by Unesco "World Biosphere Reserve"), at the monastery of Montserrat, nestled in a sumptuous mountainous setting, or towards the Cistercian monasteries hidden in the soft reliefs of the serras undulating north of Tarragona. The magnificent Priorat region, which produces one of the best wines in Spain, is just a stone's throw away, protected by the impressive Serra de Montsant (natural park).
Further north, the Garrotxa region surprises, with its forty dormant volcanoes for only 11 years. Here we touch the Pyrenees, and already, the relief is rising in the background, with wide valleys with rivers flowing from the north.
The Catalan Pyrenees
Fruit of the meeting of European and African plates, the Pyrenees erect their natural barrier between France and Spain, from the approaches to the Atlantic to those of the Mediterranean. Straight, stretched over 430 km, the chain is not necessarily limited to a single mountain harrow: the saws stack on top of each other, drawing as many isolated valleys, who lived for a long time in autarky.
We lived there for a long time on breeding and meager harvests that the climate wanted to concede to men. It is the domain of the magnificent Romanesque churches (Val de Boí), sentries perched on their spurs for nearly a millennium.
From Puigmal (2 910 m), drawn upRomeu, the line of crê whereMoixeró who, l & rsquoBeret, and all those who gravitate in their orbit (BoíTaüll, Super Espot, Sant Joan, Masella ...).
The Ebro and its delta
The most powerful of the Spanish rivers, 928 km long, but essential kilometers. It is here, in fact, that it finds its outlet in the Mediterranean, along a vast delta (320 km²), cut into 2 branches by the bow of the island of Buda.
The region, classified as a natural park, benefits from the rich alluvium carried by the watercourse: the rice which is cultivated there is particularly famous. Tens of thousands ofbirds (300 species) nest there.
Still, the delta is in pain. The numerous reservoirs upstream now prevent alluvium from reaching it in sufficient quantity, and the land tends to recede. The construction of artificial dikes is also being considered to prevent that more or less soon (from 2050 for the most pessimistic hypotheses), they are completely swallowed up by the Mediterranean. The marine transgression can be particularly strong during storms and the salt water can rise up to Tortosa, 40 km upstream.