For nature lovers, the obvious choices within Barcelona’s perimetral lockdown are Collserola i la Serralada de la Marina. Its popularity means that there are often crowds of walkers and cyclists. But there is more nature, outside those mountains! Parks, gardens and hills are a versatile alternative to relax for a while, discovering unique places and do outdoor activities. Here you have 3 hidden gems to breathe fresh air within Barcelona!
Historic Garden of Can Solei-Ca l’Arnús
The Parc de Can Solei i Ca l’Arnús in Badalona is a must. Its natural richness and romantic design give it great charm, with winding paths, sculptures, roundabouts, caves, waterfalls, water features and a large navigable lake. It covers up to 11 hectares and can be easily reached by metro, getting off at the Badalona Pompeu Fabra stop. Amidst large trees, some of them centuries old, stands the lake castle, the water tower and the clock tower. It owes its splendor to the banker Evarist Arnús (1820-1890). He was one of the architects of the Universal Exhibition of Barcelona in 1888 that transformed the Ciutadella. He built a summer house in the neighboring town with all luxuries.
During the Civil War the whole site was confiscated and opened to the public, but after the Republican defeat it returned to the hands of the Arnús family. In the 1970s a small part of the land was expropriated to make it a park and in 1994 it was remodeled. The entire park was not opened until 2003, after several improvement works.
Iberian Puig Castellar
Santa Coloma de Gramenet has a prominent Iberian village in the Serralada de Marina. It is located on a hill 303 meters above the sea. It enjoys panoramic views from the Vallès to the coast: the whole plan of Barcelona skyline and seafront are visible from here.
The original iberian inhabitants of the village were called laietans. The village was occupied from VIth to IInd BC. An excellent family plan for the whole family that exceptionally combines nature and history.
Parc de Can Buxeres
Can Buxeres Park, located in Hospitalet de Llobregat, will surprise you. It is located between Avinguda de Josep Tarradellas, Carretera d’Esplugues and Camí de la Fonteta. It has almost 70,000 square meters and was created in the 70s, after being used for years as a summer mansion of the Buxeres family. The building had been a large manor house surrounded by fields. Today, the space is públic and often used for weddings. It is listed as Local Heritage.
The old garden is the current park: it has a children’s play area, a dog area, gymnasium elements, various sculptures and social gardens. It contains about a thousand trees, corresponding to 48 different species. The most abundant are shade bananas (22%), followed by cypress (10%), tree of life (9%) and Scots pine (8%). The element that immediately catches the eye of the visitor is the circular modernist temple, with six columns and a glazed ceramic mosaic.