Follow The Costa Daurada’s ‘Genius Route’

Costa Daurada, Tarragona, Spain | © Patronat de la Costa Daurada/Wikimedia Commons
Costa Daurada, Tarragona, Spain | © Patronat de la Costa Daurada/Wikimedia Commons
The Costa Daurada sits along the coast of the province of Tarragona in Catalonia, and is known as ‘the landscape of geniuses’, being the inspiration for four ‘geniuses’ from the world of arts and culture – the musician Pau Casals, the architect Antoni Gaudí, the painter Joan Miró and the artist Pablo Picasso.

The Costa Daurada’s ‘Genius Route’ connects the towns that inspired these artists and also provides visitors with a pass (€11) that includes admission to many museums and cultural centers along the way, as well as discounts on guided tours.

Pau Casals’ El Vendrell

Begin your route in El Vendrell, around 70 kilometers south of Barcelona. Here, travelers can explore the birthplace of Pau Casals, one of the most celebrated Spanish musicians, and composer of the UN anthem. Visit the Church of El Vendrell, where Pau Casals first played the organ at the age of nine, and his house on Sant Salvador beach, which is now a museum. Travel here in July and August and you’ll also be able to hear some of his pieces at the Pau Casals International Music Festival.

El Vendrell ©Enfo / Wikimedia Commons

Antoni Gaudí’s Reus

The next stop is Reus, 40 kilometers south of El Vendrell, where the architect Antoni Gaudí was born. Famous for being the pioneer of Catalan Modernism, travelers can discover all about the architect at the Gaudí Center, before joining a walking route that visits his home on Calle Sant Vicenç and Sant Pere church, where he was christened. Although Gaudí never actually designed any buildings in Reus, visitors will be able to see many Modernista structures that were influenced by his work, including the Casa Navás building by one of his contemporaries, Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

Statue of a young Gaudí in Reus, Spain ©Fausto50 / Wikimedia Commons

Joan Miró’s Mont-roig del Camp

Next is the small village of Mont-roig del Camp, 20 kilometers south of Reus, where you’ll find Joan Miró’s Mas Miró estate. The artist first came here in 1911 to recover from an illness, and returned every summer for 65 years. The area is said to be the inspiration for much of his artwork, including a piece called The Farm. Explore Miró’s landscapes on a bike tour, visiting La Pixerota beach and the mountain of La Roca, then learn all about the artist and his relationship with Mont-roig at the Centro Miró.

Mare de Deu de la Roca, Mont-roig ©Ferran Llorens / Flikr

Pablo Picasso’s Horta de Sant Joan

The ‘Genius Route’ finishes up in Horta de Sant Joan, just over an hour’s drive southwest of Mont-roig. Although Pablo Picasso only actually visited this village twice, it and its sights can be seen in many of his paintings, including the Reservoir at Horta and The Factory at Horta de Ebro. Guests can also visit the Centro Picasso museum and take a walking tour of the places Picasso visited during his time here. There is also a hiking route to the cave where Picasso stayed in Els Ports National Park.

Horta de Sant Joan, Spain ©Hans Hillewaert / Wikimedia Commons