Want to give your sun tan a final blast before handing over your hire car and catching your plane in Barcelona…..and avoid sitting for too long in a stuffy airport full of winter germs? Why not wait on the beach? Check out a couple of seaside towns near Barcelona El Prat Airport worth a visit.

St Joan de les Abadesses is probably not a town one would choose for a holiday break. Quite unprepossessing, and other than the monastery at its centre, there isn’t much to detain the traveller here. But the monastery was what we’d come to see, so we parked up and walked over the gorgeous 15th century Pont Vall, the old bridge over the Ter into the town. It was a promising start — the sun was shining and the river was lined with allotments and willow trees.

Get out your walking boots and prepare to discover the hidden delights of Figueres. Come on a market day (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) and bring a stout basket. Forget Dalì for today, but plan to come again midweek in midwinter and spend a day taking in all five museums.