While tiny homes have been featured on HGTV for years now, we’ve only just begun to witness their impact on tourism over the last couple of years. In 2015, we had a population of 1.2 billion international travelers, and this number is expected to rise to 1.8 billion by 2030. These projections have led the United Nations to focus on eco-tourism, and “glamping” could be part of the solution. Tiny homes not only decrease waste, but they also offer a one-of-a-kind vacation experience. When we came across this gorgeous tiny home, we knew we had to book a stay there immediately, and we are so glad we took the time to venture out of Barcelona to see the Penedes wine region. Between the convenience of the area, the wine tour, and the relaxing atmosphere, we couldn’t have asked for a better stay with Serena House.
how to get there & what to do
Driving. I would highly recommend driving to the tiny home if possible. Parking is available at ArtCava, and the winding roads are gorgeous to drive through on a sunny afternoon. You'll have more flexibility to visit other nearby wineries as well. We were already road tripping along the eastern coast of Spain, so we drove from Peniscola to the wineyard. You’ll only be ~an hour from Barcelona, and if you have the time, only 45 minutes from Montserrat. Driving allowed us to visit Montserrat mountain in the morning which is another adventure I would highly recommend.
Train or Bike. The Lavern-Subirats train station is also not far. For a fee, you can have someone from the ArtCava staff pick you up. Bike rentals are available near the station though, and it's only a 20 minute ride to the tiny home.
Bike Rentals & Wine Tours. The ArtCava staff played a large role in making this the most relaxing stay of our trip to Spain. Since we arrived earlier in the morning, they were extremely helpful with our request to explore other wineries before our final stop at ArtCava and even coordinated a cycling tour for us (from the Lavern-Subirats train station). After viewing the roads though, I knew I wasn’t experienced enough to bike that mileage AND make it to all the wineries in time. I had recently gotten into a bicycle accident, and the staff was understanding when I canceled our rental. I would highly recommend scheduling a cycling tour through them if you’re more experienced than me. We took the guide's suggestions on which wineries to visit and made the tour by car. Each place had its own style, and it was interesting to spend the day chatting with those that worked at the wineries in the area. Many of the people we met had families with rich history in the wine industry or had moved to Spain after their first job working for their family's winery in central or south America. The conversations made for a lovely afternoon with Albet i Noya being our favorite winery aside from ArtCava.
wine tour & check-in
If I thought the staff was helpful in scheduling the bike rentals, they were even better when it came to scheduling our ArtCava wine tour. We were able to arrive a few hours before our tiny home check-in, and they even scheduled it outside of their normal hours to accomodate us. The tour was the perfect combination of history and wine. The winery has been passed down for seven or eight generations since its beginning in 1730, and the original family dwelling remains an integral part of their wine-making process. Ramon enthusiastically walked our group through each room explaining the renovations that had been made to the home throughout the years. His candid tour made me feel as if I was stepping back in time to the origins of cava, the Spanish version of champagne. After explaining the layout of the home, we were able to tour the cellar as well as witness the bottling process. If you’re not familiar with cava or not very knowledgeable on wine, ArtCava is a perfect place to start. The wine tasting was laidback as is the culture. You won’t be following unfamiliar tasting rules but rather enjoy tossing back small glasses of cava. The drink's not only meant to help you relax after a long day, but it’s also for sharing and enjoying with others. We felt more like we were making friends more than going to a wine tasting.
After the tour wrapped up, we continued enjoying the delicious cava from our tiny home. Ignaci brought over our key and walked us through the rows of grape vines to our humble home. After he ensured we were comfortable, we were left to enjoy the scenery on our own which included a welcome bottle of cava.
an outdoor sunset & dinner
When I talk to people about tiny homes, most of the initial questions involve what accomodations are available. Tiny homes designed for tourism as opposed to everyday living can have a luxurious design, and in our case, we were greeted by a king bed, large couch and dining table, quaint kitchen, and a bathroom that included a full shower. On our first night, we headed to a local Mercadona to grab supplies for dinner. I made fresh salmon with potatoes and vegetables which is an excellent indication of how easy it was to cook in the kitchen as well as the location's close proximity to markets.
After cooking dinner, we enjoyed our complimentary bottle of cava on the small patio attached to the tiny home. Overlooking the rolling vineyards and Montserrat, I couldn’t have asked for a better sunset, and as it got darker, we played some board games (which were supplied in the tiny home) and watched a movie we downloaded in the incredibly comfortable bed as we dozed off to sleep.
an indoor sunrise & breakfast
As you can imagine, the large window gives you no choice but to wake up with the sun. While I didn’t snag any pictures because my hubby was still asleep, this was one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve seen, and I witnessed it from indoors! After spending a few days in Barcelona and then Valencia, waking up to the stillness of the morning was so relaxing, and we were both awake in time to see one of the ArtCava staff drop off a basket for breakfast. This had to be my favorite part of our entire experience here.
This medium-sized wicker basket fit perfectly with the overall motif and came fully stocked with delicious granola, milk, fresh fruit, and a baguette (in true European fashion). We took advantage of the patio one last time, and enjoyed our breakfast while admiring the mountain we were about to visit from afar. Dropping off the key was convenient as well, and we were able to head off for Montserrat right on time. I don’t have enough good things to say about the ArtCava staff as well as this experience, and like most places I visit, I wish we could’ve spent more time here.