Summer is now over – Are you looking for some inspiration? Barcelona is one of the most beautiful cities to visit during this time. Let me share why I love Autumn even more!
Start Autumn with La Mercè
Barcelona always promises many festivals throughout the year. This is one of my favourite ways to end Summer with a bang and welcome in Autumn.
Barcelona La Mercè officially first took place in 1902 and lasts for around 4-5 days. It honours Mare de Deu de la Mercè, the Patron Saint of Barcelona. The city comes alive with lights and parades of fire breathing dragons, devils, human towers and giants of kings and queens. Not to be missed!
Enjoy Catalan food
Catalans know exactly how to make the most of each season. This extends to every part of daily life – especially with food.
Catalan food has its own differences from the rest of Spain – By getting to know traditional Catalan dishes, you can tap into the Autumn flavours. One of the best ways to do this is to seek out a traditional Catalan restaurant and explore the menus.
Here are some ideas of foods to look out for:
Bolets, (wild mushrooms) – This is a great time to find local mushrooms in your markets. Simply fry with garlis and olive oil for a tasty treat.
Castanyes (roasted chestnuts) and Moniatos (sweet Potatoes) – Buy a dozen chestnuts (una dotzena) from the local street vendors at a great price. Join in on the traditional day known as castanyada (31st october) where you will see local families buying these to munch together.
Panellets (small sweet cakes) and Moscatell (Catalan sweet wine) – A nice combination to try and a delicious treat for anyone who has a sweet tooth.
Calçot (green onions) – November is the season where large thin onions are grilled in an open fire. You will find it all over Catalonia – Calçotada is a festival in Tarragona, Cataloni, where the harvest is celebrated. Dip them one by one in romesco sauce(made of tomatoes, almonds, hazelnuts and olive oil), accompanied by red wine and bread.
Autumn food festivals around town
There are food festivals all year around – but I prefer to go during this season to enjoy and support local food businesses. There is something for everyone’s taste.
Let me share the places I like to visit:
Mostra de Vins i Caves CAT – This is a festival that celebrates Catalan wine, showcasing the very best that local products from all over the region.
Mercat de Mercats – This is a joint celebration of various markets around Barcelona coming together. Come and enjoy tastings, lectures and demonstrations with leading chefs from around the country and from stallholders from different markets of the city.
Greenmood Bazaar – The meeting point of brands, projects and people who share the same vision: Sustainability , ethics, fair trade and proximity , ecology, upcycling … A market that promotes positive initiatives in a relaxed family atmosphere.
The weather is still warm
While the rest of northern Europe is starting to cool off, Barcelona (and many other mediterranean cities) remains sunny and warm, even until the end of October sometimes. This is the perfect time to head off to the beach to top off your tan while everyone else is dishing out their big coats in other parts of the world.
The colours of Autumn are truly magical. Even though the sun can sometimes feel hot, the trees still turn the beautiful deep shades of Autumn… a rainbow of reds, greens, yellows, oranges and more. There’s something magical about having the sunshine float through the trees and seeing the streets light up with these natural colours.
I am reminded at this time how nature gears us towards our own natural cycles, as we all slowly transition to working with the lower Chakras more – a great time to get creative, start Self care routines, nurture our Self through hearty root foods and embrace our inner light.
Outdoor fitness becomes a joyful challenge
As a yoga teacher, I adore doing outdoor yoga classes and any fitness training outside. The beautiful thing about this is that you really get in touch with the seasons during your regular practice. As the weather is not so hot, I also feel more freedom to do my workouts throughout the day, instead of avoiding the hot sun during the Summer months.
On many of my free days, I will head outside and take my yoga mat with me – The city offers so many spaces to practice in beautiful settings.
Less tourists packing up the streets
Barcelona is a city to walk, bike and get active through the streets to travel. There;s nothing more enjoyable than just taking my time and enjoying the city and people around me.
The thing is I personally don’t like crowded spaces and enjoy room while I walk, instead of having to rush or dodge areas. Luckily, the amount of people on the streets seem to half in size as the tourists head back home after their Summer holidays. The main tourists that come throughout the off-peak seasons usually come during the weekend break trips or during special festivals.
Speaking to many locals and foreigners who now live here, it seems to be an agreed point – Every Autumn, they breathe a sigh of relief as they get back to their usual routines without having to dodge the huge numbers of crowds.
Travel becomes cheaper
As the peak season ends in Summer, it’s a good time to buy travel tickets for the Autumn period where offers are available. Things like flight tickets, hotels and some tourist packages come down drastically in price – yet you can still have all the benefits (and more) of the Summer period.
If you decide to explore more of the local region, this is also a wonderful experience to get out into the mountains or the coast by train, car or by other cheaper methods.
Travel by car around Catalonia:
Travel cheap with Bla Bla Cars – I recently found out about a wonderful car sharing service that operates like AirBnb. A few people I know have tried it around Spain and love the ease of booking really good. >> Check out Bla Bla Cars