Barcelona off the beaten path: El Laberinto de Horta
Travelers to Barcelona mostly stay on the beaten path, and barely venture outside of the safety of the Barri Gotic and Eixample. Said travelers are missing a lot, because Barcelona has a lot more to offer in terms of activities and cuisine than just the obvious in the Centro.
Spain’s El Mundo newspaper has a feature today which explores Spain’s most beautiful gardens AND where to eat when visiting them. One of the picks, not surprisingly, is in good old BCN, but in an area that the average traveler never sees: Horta.
Horta is a neighborhood to the north of the Gracia district which, like Gracia, was once a town of its own. Horta means “small farm” in Catalan, and one can imagine that this was once a very green area.
The attraction suggested by El Mundo is El Laberinto de Horta:
It’s the oldest garden in Barcelona and a magnificent example of the neoclassical style of the 18th Century. In the middle of the 19th Century is was expanded and romantic touches were added, including a deep canal which allows one to tour this “oasis of life” by canoe.
The palace [located on the grounds] is also from the same period and its neoarabic and neogothic elements contrast with the Italian style of the florid spaces constructed in the years prior.
The most important part of this estate is the amazing labyrinth of vegetation, formed by cutting Cypress trees, which offers several different routes where one can admire statues, terracotta pottery, pergolas, numerous fountains and, most importantly, the exuberant vegetation that makes your visit one of constant enjoyment.
El Mundo recommends eating lunch in one of two nearby restaurants:
Can Travi Nou. Carrer Jorge Manrique (no address- located in Parc de la Vall D’Hebron). 93 428 03 01 | 36 E. Traditional Catalan cuisine in an 18th Century rural home.
El Jardí de L’Apat. Carrer de Albert Llanas, 2. 93 210 21 43 | Panoramic views, gardens and lunch for around 20 euros.