“A fountain of courtesy, a shelter of strangers…a reciprocator of firm friendship, a city unique in its location and beauty.“
Cervantes’ sentiment is as true today as it was in 1605. You can choose to join Columbus, perched upon his column, and gaze out to sea, or climb to the top of the city to enjoy Gaudí’s retreat: the Park Guell. And that is before considering the Sagrada Familia, the Gaudí houses, the neighbourhoods of the Born and the Gótico or the fabulous street festivals which seem to be almost weekly. Barcelona, in the words of Freddie Mercury, really will take your breath away.
Day 1: Arrival
Upon arrival you will be whisked away to your hotel and have free time to settle in. This evening enjoy a welcome aperitivo before supper at a local restaurant. (D)
Day 2: Barcelona Neighbourhoods
This morning we have a guided walk through the Born neighbourhood, stopping off for a food tasting before making our way to Barceloneta, the neighbourhood by the sea. There we will have a typical aperitif of cava. Then a cable car ride across the harbour, up Montjuic, Barcelona’s iconic hill that overlooks the city. There we will toast the view with a glass or two of wine and enjoy a typical tapas lunch. In the afternoon we head out to the Torre Bellesguard, Gaudí’s forgotten masterpiece in Barcelona, later continuing our tour of the city with a visit to the Sagrada Familia. The evening is at leisure. (B, L)
Day 3: Montserrat & a Cava Vineyard Visit
Today we head out to Montserrat, the serrated mountain situated just outside Barcelona. Here there is the opportunity to listen to the celebrated boys’ choir, as well as either enjoying a walk through the national park, having taken the funicular up or, alternatively, visiting the wonderful art gallery with pieces by Caravaggio, Picasso, Miró and Dalí among many other notable names. In the afternoon we have a wine tasting at a Cava vineyard, with some nibbles to help absorb the alcohol. Then return to Barcelona and head out for dinner at a typical, local restaurant. (B, D)
Day 4: Barna at Your Own Pace
Barna is how the locals refer to Barcelona. Today is a free day, but fear not, we have a list of suggested activities and information on how to access them. Perhaps you might like to visit the Picasso museum, the building itself as captivating as any piece of art. There are the modernist masterpieces: Muntaner’s Sant Pau hospital (pictured above) or his Palau de la Musica, Barcelona’s music hall, open for guided visits. Maybe take the opportunity to dip your toes into the Mediterranean and then enjoy a leisurely lunch, Barcelona style, in a chiringuito on the beach. Barcelona is a chocolate box of things to sample. This evening we enjoy a meal in a local restaurant, sampling Catalonia’s typical produce, followed by a performance of Flamenco in one of Barcelona’s hidden gems. (B, D)
Day 5: Catalan Cookery Class
Today we can all dream of following in the footsteps of Ferran Addrià, the famous Catalan chef and former proprietor of the three-Michelin-starred Elbulli, as we don our chef’s hats and learn how to make some typically Spanish dishes. Our day begins with a visit to the famous Boqueríamarket to pick up our ingredients, before returning to the cooking school to prepare a late lunch.
The evening is at your leisure. (B, L)
Day 5: Departure
Time to say Adios, or, more appropriately, Hasta Luego, until the next time! (B)
Included in this trip:
Accommodation & Services:
- 5 nights in Barcelona.
- Centrally located, upmarket hotel.
- The services of an extremely highly qualified and experienced Tour Manager who will accompany you throughout your trip (dependent upon group size; please contact us for more information).
- Transfers to and from the airport.
- Private transport, unless otherwise stated.
- All tips. For instance, tips to tour managers, local guides, restaurants and porterage (where available) are all included in the total price; one less thing to think about.
- We will be visiting: Barcelona and Montserrat.
Food & Beverages:
- Breakfast and either lunch or dinner (unless otherwise stated).
- When lunch and/or dinner are included, alcohol in the form of wine and/or beer is provided, unless otherwise stated.
- Aperitivi, coffee and snacks where stated.
Entrances & Tickets:
- Torre Bellesguard
- Sagrada Familia
- either Funicular up to Saint Joan or entrance to the art gallery in Montserrat (there won’t be time to do both)
Guided Tours with a difference:
- cable car across old marina (Port Vell) of Barcelona (for those with vertigo/fear of heights, we will provide taxis instead)
- cookery lesson
- Cava tasting
- aperitivi tasting
- a surprise (we are all children at heart, after all)
NOT INCLUDED IN THIS TRIP:
- Flights not included. I would suggest flying in and out of Barcelona.
- Travel insurance.
- Visas, where applicable (Please note: US and Canadian nationals do not require Visas when traveling to Europe).
There are no ‘optionals’ for sale. Everything you have in the itinerary is included in the total cost.