Group Tour Operator for Holidays to Barcelona, Catalonia
Barcelona & the Jewels of Catalonia
Weave through the rocky hills and glimmering beaches of Catalonia on this group tour taking in the fascinating cities of Barcelona and Girona. This trip bases itself in the Aegean fishing town of Calella on its way to take in the breathtaking scenery of Montserrat and the Cava houses of Catalonia.
Barcelona would be a highlight of any trip it features on. Eclectic in cuisine and architecture, the Catalan capital remains at the forefront of culture as it has been for centuries. Experience it all, from the classic art of the Picasso Museum to the simple, honest food of the Mercado de la Boqueria.Read More
Barcelona’s architecture is so iconic it doesn’t even need to be finished to be fawned over. From remnants of the Roman era Barcino’s ancient city walls through the medieval Cathedrals of the Gothic Quarter to the eclectic Modernisme of Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, Barcelona is a city of true architectural variety.
Its most famous spot- and Spain’s most visited attraction – is La Sagrada Familia. Started in 1882, work promises to wrap up on the monument in 2026, a hundred years after the death of its architect.
The famous La Rambla street carves through the inner city, flanked by trees and seemingly endless shops, cafes and restaurants. Known to many as Las Ramblas due to its various sections, the expansive boulevard takes its name from a long-since dried up local stream.
Barcelona is undoubtedly a city of food. The molecular gastronomy movement keeps the tradition of Catalan cooking alive. Fresh, simple ingredients transform into culinary art among Barcelona’s eclectic array of restaurants and bars.
Poking over rooftops in the distance stand the impressive Collseda Hills, a dramatic reminder of the natural Catalan beauty on Barcelona’s doorstep. The hilltop Montjuïc meanwhile offers the chance to get lost among botanic gardens, castles and museums.
Calella & Girona
The whitewashed buildings of Palafrugell’s southernmost Catalan coastal gem cling to a sense of pleasant quiet. Aegean fishing boats pulled ashore on the sandy beaches give a sense reality co-existing upon the sparkling seas of Calella, adding an extra dimension to its charm.
To the north, the walled city of Girona stands on the shoulders of medieval greatness. Built on the site of the former Roman city of Gerunda, Girona was seized by the Franks from the Moors in the 8th century and went on to become one of the region’s most important cities.
The wealth of this era gave rise to Girona’s many Romanesque and Gothic churches, contrasting the Modernista mansions on the Riu Onyar’s edge. Towering 86 steps above the Plaça de la Cathedral, the Cathedral de Girona (Cathedral of St. Mary) features foundations dating back as far as the 5th century built upon with Gothic and Romanesque expansions.
Montserrat & Tossa de Mar
Lying just over half way up the impressive rocky limestone mountain of Montserrat, the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat is home of La Moreneta (The Little Brown One or Black Virgin). A revered piece of Spain religious iconography, the statue stands before the impressive brooks, rocky pillars and ravines of the Parc Natural de la Muntanya de Montserrat.
These hills are also home to another Spanish icon: Cava. Among the best known Cava houses, Freixenet is produced and bottled nowhere but here. The combination of rocky panoramas and fine wine are a real knockout combination.
To the coast, the blue paradise of Tossa de Mar sits in a sandy bay protected to the north by a headland of medieval defensive walls. No longer the hidden gem it was when it became the first spot of the Catalan Costa Brava to attract foreign tourists, the intertwining streets of its Vila Vella old town remain as charming as ever.
Dates throughout 2023
Suggested itinerary by coach
Travel to Catalonia
Depart from your local area and take a short sea crossing to Calais and travel through France for an overnight stop. The following morning we continue southwards into Spain and to the hotel in Calella.
Day at leisure
There’s free time today to relax in the hotel and then take a walk along the beach-side promenade to the charming yet bustling town of Calella.
Today we travel to Girona, a walled medieval town with narrow streets, cobbled lanes and some remarkable architecture. Of particular note are the brightly painted facades of the houses overlooking the River Onyar, as well as the Cathedral of St. Mary, which had the widest Gothic nave in the world.
Barcelona, the Cosmopolitan Capital
Today enjoy a day exploring the spectacular city of Barcelona. First, enjoy a guided tour by starting with a stroll along the tree-lined Las Ramblas, admire the unique, distinctive and often whimsical architecture of Antoni Gaudí, and explore the historic Gothic Quarter. Why not visit the unfinished yet remarkable and famous La Sagrada Família? Perhaps hop on board the Montjuïc cable car for breathtaking views of the city and the sea from the castle.
Montserrat and the Cava Houses
Today, take a trip up the winding mountain roads to the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat. Located near the top of the 4,000-foot mountain, it is home to about 80 monks. The Basilica and Monastery is Catalonia’s most important religious retreat and is home to the ‘Black Madonna’, one of only around 500 in Europe. The basilica also holds one of the monastery’s most noted attractions, the 50-member Escolanía, one of the oldest and most renowned boys’ choirs in Europe, dating from the 13th century.
Return via the Freixenet Cava House for a tour and tasting session. Produced only in the Catalonian hills, Freixenet is one of the best well known cava brands. Discover the history of the brand, the production and bottling process.
There’s more free time today to explore the sights of the seaside town of Calella.
Tossa De Mar
Considered a medieval masterpiece, Tossa de Mar sits majestically on Catalonia’s Girona coast. Dubbed the ‘Blue Paradise’ by painter Marc Chagall, Tossa De Mar was one of the first places on the Costa Brava to attract foreign visitors. The once ancient fishing village still retains its medieval beauty. The old town, Vila Vella, a well-preserved citadel overlooking the ocean is definitely the main attraction. Or why not bask on one of the sandy beaches as you enjoy Tossa’s beautiful Mediterranean climate.
Return to the UK
It’s time to leave Calella and return to the UK. Make an overnight stop en route back to Calais for the return crossing on Day 10.
Hotel Volga Calella****
Located just off La Playa Callela, this hotel offers amazing views of the Mediterranean Sea, and is a 2-minute walk from Calella train station and only 1 hour’s drive away from centre of Barcelona. The hotel has its own restaurant, but is centrally located close to bars and restaurants. As well as this, whether you’d like to relax by the pool and the poolside terrace, or on the hotel’s private area of the beach, this hotel is perfect for a relaxing trip. Coach parking available in the centre of Caella for a fee.
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|10 days by land and sea||Half Twin||Single Supplement|
|January – April and October – December 2023||From £379.00 per person||From £182.00 per person|