Granollers (Barcelona, Spain)

Granollers is a safe, friendly, affluent city of 60,000 people located about 25 kilometers inland from Barcelona.  It has an attractive historical centre focused around the 'Porxada', an unusual Renaissance building which looks something like a Roman temple. In fact, it was built as a grain store - hence the name of the town, Granollers. The 'Porxada' is set in a large square flanked by shops bars and restaurants. It is an ideal place if you like sitting at pavement cafés watching the world go by. Nearby is the extensive, modern pedestrianised shopping area. On Thursday mornings, the whole town centre is transformed into a huge market in which you can find a bewildering array of local products.
As well as an impressive selection of shops, bars and restaurants Granollers has a multiplex cinema, a bowling alley, a swimming pool and several gyms as well as many other facilities to be expected in a prosperous small city.  It has three public parks and a popular running and cycling track along the river that passes to the west of the city.
The highlight of the Granollers year is the annual week-long City Festival (Festa Major) which takes place in the last week of August and includes dozens of street parties, concerts, theatrical events and competitions.

The surrounding area

Granollers is very well situated as it is only half an hour by train to Barcelona but also within easy reach of the Mediterranean coast and the Pyrenees.  The public transport links to Barcelona are excellent with trains running approximately every quarter of an hour from 05:00 to 23:00 seven days a week.  Barcelona has innumerable cultural delights to see, many of which are famous the world over. Sadly, due to the endemic petty, opportunistic crime that is becoming synonymous with the city, visitors are advised to take extra care with their belongings and persons.
Also nearby is the Montseny National Park, a popular destination for climbers and hikers, which is a beautiful natural area at any time of the year, particularly in the winter when it can often be seen capped in snow.  Skiing weekends or days out are popular during the winter months, especially at nearby ski stations such as Vall de Núria or La Molina both of which are easily accessible by public transports.
During the summer, sun-worshippers based in Granollers often head to beaches on the Costa Brava - the area of coast to the north of Barcelona.  This beautiful coastline includes mass tourist towns such as Tossa del Mar and Lloret de Mar and the quieter charms of former fishing villages such as Sant Pol de Mar or Calella de Palafrugell.  Slightly further up the coast is Salvador Dalí’s enchanting home village of Cadaqués.