Though the hustle and bustle of city life make Barcelona one of the best places for team building vacations in the world, the truth is that it can sometimes get a little tiring. Retreating to your hotel or a local spa can offer a welcome break after you’ve taken in the La Sagrada Familia, soaked up the sun in Park Güell, and shopped until you’ve dropped at Mercado de La Boqueria, but sometimes, getting out of the main city is a great way to let off some steam.
However long your team visit to Barcelona may be, looking further afield and driving an hour north-west to Catalonia can unlock new sights, sounds, and experiences that you’d struggle to find elsewhere. Below, we’ve rounded up our favourites to give you some food for thought.
Cava in Llopart
Nothing brings the team together like alcohol and what better place to sip away than in the traditional wine-making region of Catalonia? Treat your team to a half-day tour of one of Spain’s most spectacular wineries, Llopart, which recently featured on The Travel Channel’s ‘Guy Fieri’s Spain Adventure’. Once you’ve been welcomed with a glass or two of cava, you’ll hear from your tour guide, who will talk you through farming in the region, discussing the differences between artisanal cavas and wines, before heading off on an exclusive tour of Llopart’s private country house, where you’ll get to try some locally-produced olive oil.
Once you’re done, you’ll spend some time at one of the oldest vineyards in the region, La Vinya de Paulino, which has vines that are 75 years old, before another glass or two of Gran Reserva wine, served with an authentic brunch made up of breads with tomatoes, cold meats, and cheese. We can’t think of a more relaxing or enjoyable way to start to the day!
Chocolate may not be the first thing you think about when you’re basking in the Catalonian sun, but the (air-conditioned!) Simón Coll chocolate factory in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia is an adventure your team will want to tick off their bucket lists. From 1840, six family generations have helped build one of Spain’s most iconic chocolate brands, lovingly creating delicious treats for children and their sweet-toothed families alike. At their Espai Xocolata site, you’ll get to go behind the scenes of one of Spain’s oldest chocolatiers, and there are samples!
Their 180-degree audiovisual montage will transport you into a cocoa plantation where you’ll learn how the raw material is extracted, and the traditional workshop features genuine antique machines, where you’ll see how the process of making chocolate has transformed. You’ll then be whisked into the current Simón Coll production line and put your senses to the test with some free samples – still warm from the mixers – and then stock up on gifts for friends and family at the Espai Xocolata Store, with exclusive products not yet on the market.
Hiking in Montserrat
Montserrat is one of the most beautiful landmarks in Catalonia, where nature, culture, history, and religion come together. It’s another adventure that will bring your team together, pushing their fitness, patience, and coordination skills – great if you’re ready for some fresh air and want to see some breathtaking sights. The beautiful Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey is a stop-off point to consider, but other hiking trails include the short Saint Michael’s Cross, which will take around forty minutes, through to the gruelling eight-hour walk from the Monastery by the Abat Oliba square to Santa Cecilia – perfect for testing your endurance!
Whatever your fitness and energy levels, exploring Monsterrat with a personal tour guide is the most sensible option, as they’ll be able to point out the landmarks, offer support, and take you to the nearest cafe when you’re ready for a breather and a cappuccino or carajillo.
Take to the skies of Catalonia in one of the most thrilling team-building events in the country, designed to test your leadership and cooperation skills – with a bit of excitement mixed in!
You will be split into groups of eight and be given a balloon, a four-wheel-drive, a pilot, and a driver. The challenge is to distribute necessary tasks amongst your members and inflate your balloon as quickly as possible – once that’s done, you’ll enjoy a balloon flight and take part in other tasks which you must complete faster than your rivals, reading the GPS, before rounding off the experience with a Catalan brunch, a certificate, and a slideshow of your day.
Wine tasting in Sant Sadurní d´Anoia
Let’s get back to the bottle for our fifth and final team-building event in Catalonia: wine tasting in Sant Sadurní d´Anoia. Test your knowledge and take part in a one-of-a-kind tasting experience, where you’ll learn where cava bubbles come from, the meaning of “brut”, and the differences between cava and sparkling wine. You’ll hear from independent professionals from the sector, who will talk you through the origins and classifications of each wine before you’re taught how to taste properly, sampling different wines to decide on your favourite. Oh, and if you want to round out the afternoon in style, you can add cheese and jamón serrano to enjoy with your wines – it’s the perfect way to treat your team after a hard month’s work!
With so much to see and do in Barcelona, you might be wondering whether heading further afield is the right decision. Catalonia is ideal for those looking for a more relaxed vacation or team-building trip, but the good news is that, at Barcelonina, we offer a wide range of team building activities, designed to inspire and rejuvenate your mind. Let us know what you’re looking for, and we’ll put together a one-of-a-kind experience; from food tours to exploring Barcelona in a 1970s SEAT 600, we’ve confident we have something for everyone!