- After landing in Barcelona you will be greeted by Claudio at the airport, with a shiny, air-conditioned small bus. IIt is a short drive to the first impressions of this nicest of cities, given its richness in culture and architecture, lifestyle, food style and beach right out front. Placa de Espania and up to Montjuic, for an overview, Avenida Parallel to the harbour with Columbus Square and the Barceloneta, lunch in the shade by the sea, with a swim for the sports minded – miraculously the waters are clear! After a visit to Sagrada Familia we leave the city and drive north, to our first hotel in Regencos, a small village in a grand area to discover. Dinner is an introduction to typical Catalan food, but also style of homes .
- We visit some food providers as well as a stunning wine store to buy ingredients in the company of a chef, with whom we’ll cook tonight. Then to Palafrugell for a tour of the town and a coffee on the main square, visit to a nearby lighthouse with splendid views. Down to the Oceanside, for a short hike along it, to the next village where we can swim and will have a tapas lunch, waves at our feet. Visit to a botanical garden also overlooking the sea. Back to the hotel, a little time to ourselves and then it’s off to the kitchen to cook the catch of this morning.
- After the excellent breakfast with homemade jams and cakes we drive to Pals, to wander around its pristine medieval roads and squares, no neon signs here! Just a half hour away is the harbor of L’Estartit, where we board a sailing ship that takes us to the protected Medes Islands and up the coast into a bay where we can swim and have an excellent lunch. With some luck, on the way back the wind has increased, so we get in a bit of sailing and a few tacks.
- Drive to Figueres and the Dali Museum, from there it’s over the rugged Sierra de Rodes with the Monastery of San Pere and on to Cadaques, for one of the best lunches ever! After lunch a short walk to Dali’s last house in Port Lligat. For dinner it’s off to Peretallada, where a charming guide will show us some hidden treasures and stories, while we have some wine tastings on the way. Dinner in a traditional restaurant with corresponding dishes.
- After packing we drive to Gerona, capital of this northern province of Catalonia. History, a cathedral with the world's second largest nave after St. Peter, Carolingian city walls to wander on. As contrast, a very modern light lunch, Catalan style. Then it’s a 90 minute drive back to Barcelona, and to another great hotel, right beside the gothic quarter, pool with a view on the roof. In the evening we can just stroll out of the hotel to be in the middle of the attractions of Barri Gotic. The Cathedral, Placa One of them being a very lively and genuine tapas bar, you pick your choices from the counters and at the end of the evening the little dishes are…counted for the bill.
- Breakfast this morning is in a great food-market just meters from our hotel, while just a few more paces away is the Picasso Museum, the pretty Basilica of Santa Maria de la Mar, Passeig de Born and another market, turned cultural center. Back to the hotel to collect our bags as Claudio pulls up out front, for some more sights: around the Placa Catalunya, up elegant Passeig de Gracia, where Gaudi’s Casa Battlo and Mira stand out beside all the Gucci and Chanel stores. Further up the hill there is also Parc Güell, another Gaudi marvel which is such an attraction that visits can be frustrating - we’ll just see how things are today. As a contrast, we’ll go to the quiet, classy Restaurant Dos Torres, for an excellent last Catalan lunch. And then, alas, it is time for the last short drive to the airport.
* The cost for this memorable six day holiday depends on the number of travelers:
2 to 4 travelers: $4100/person
5 to 6 travelers: $3500/person
7 to 8 travelers: $2900/person
Solo traveler fee $600
Our tour includes the following:
All airport transfers and in-country transportation by luxury van.
5 nights in luxury hotels and quaint inns.
All meals except two light lunches and two à-la-carte dinners.
Entrance fees to museums, boat turn and cooking class.
Not included are the flights to Barcelona, two lunches and two dinners, beverages, tips and gratuities.