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Barcelona and Catalonia

The Spanish province of Catalonia boasts a unique history, a distinct culture and its very own language (Catalan), all of which has shaped the personality of  the region and the people over the centuries (to the extent that many Catalonians see themselves as belonging to a completely different country).
Stretching from the Pyrenees in the north to the Mediterranean in the east, Catalonia offers a diverse array of scenery and attractions including rocky coasts, sandy beaches, lush plains, historic cities, tiny fishing villages and mountain hamlets.

We begin with 4 nights in the vibrant city of Barcelona.  From Roman town to medieval trade hub, its old centre constitutes one of the greatest concentrations of Gothic architecture in Europe and is home to some of the world’s most bizarre buildings. We will tour the city and enjoy an excursion to the impressive jagged mountains of Monserrat before travelling to the historic city of Girona for a 4-night stay. Girona has a rich architectural heritage and is steeped in character, with the old Jewish Quarter among its major sights.  A city tour of Girona, a visit to Figueres to see Dali’s museum, and an excursion to the resort town of Cadaques shows us the best the area has to offer.

From Girona we travel to the charming seaside town and old fishing village of Tossa De Mar in popular Costa Brava for 2 nights, en route visiting a number of impressive medieval villages and enjoying the magnificent scenery which includes spectacular cliff views, azure-blue water, whitewashed houses and rich green coast. 

Our tour finishes with 2 nights in Tarragona, an important seaside city of the Roman Empire located on the enchanting Costa Dorada, with its well-preserved monuments: the aqueducts, an amphitheater and the Tomb of the Scipios.

* Those joining any of our tours to Europe must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.

Itinerary / Excursions

We depart for Barcelona, a direct non-stop flight from Toronto.
We arrive in Barcelona and transfer to our hotel. The rest of the day is free until our Welcome Dinner this evening.
Barcelona is known as the capital of Catalan Art Nouveau, and is where the famous architect Antonio Gaudi lived and worked. Our city tour will show us Gaudi’s most famous works, such as Casa Mila and Casa Batllo along the Paseo de Gracia. We will then visit the Parque Guell, which was declared an artistic monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next we see the Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family (Sagrada Familia), finishing our tour near the Picasso Museum which displays works from his blue and pink periods. Tonight we enjoy a typical Catalan dinner at a local restaurant.
We drive through picturesque villages to the impressive mountain of Monserrat, rising majestically to 1235 metres. We visit the Royal Basilica of Monserrat, holding the famous 12th century Romanesque carving of Virgen Moreneta (The Black Virgin). The Basilica has been one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Spain for centuries. Our dinner this evening will include a special Flamenco show at Cordobés, considered one of the best Flamenco shows in Spain.
At leisure in this exciting city. You will enjoy strolling on Les Ramblas - a lively and colourful tree-lined pedestrian street of unique boutiques, cafes and street entertainers.
We proceed to Girona and enjoy an afternoon tour of this medieval city. We will see the Cathedral - an excellent example of Spanish Gothic architecture, and the Old Fortifications (the city wall of the old town) erected in the 1st century BC. Our tour will also highlight Girona’s Jewish history including the Bonastruc ca Porta Centre - several restored 13th century buildings that house the Catalan Museum of Jewish Culture. We finish our tour with a visit to the 12th century Arab Baths.
We first visit Besalu - a medieval town with cobbled streets and unique facades. Most of the buildings date from the Middle Ages, so the town is designated a National Historical Site. We then continue to Cadaques, a symbolic place on the Gironese coast. Its rocky coast, fringed by beautiful beaches and quiet coves is the main attraction, as well as the incredible landscape of the Cap de Creus Natural Park. We tour the old town and other attractions.
Our first stop is Figueres, birthplace of artist Salvador Dali, where we visit the Theatre Museum - a large museum designed by Dali himself which attracts thousands of visitors monthly. Later we visit a winery for a tour and to see the historic Gran Claustro Cellar where wine has been produced since the Middle Ages.
A day at leisure to explore the city.
We depart Girona for the beach resort of Tossa de Mar in the popular coastal region of Costa Brava. En route we will visit the medieval villages of Pals, Pubol and Begur with their spectacular cliff views.
A day at leisure to explore, shop, swim and enjoy the beach.
We depart for Tarragona with a stop en route in Sitges, renowned for its film festival and Carnival. We will arrive in Tarragona in time for an afternoon at leisure.
Today’s tour highlights the Roman ruins of Tarraco, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. We visit the Scale Model of Roman Tarraco which shows the main monuments of this city that thrived in the 2nd century AD. We will have time to stroll along the Wall of Tarragona, (the most ancient Roman monument in the Iberian Peninsula) and visit the Provincial Forum, where the political, legal and religious life of the province developed. We finish our tour with a visit to the Praetorum Circus where chariot races took place, and the Amphitheatre that was used for the fights of gladiators and wild beasts. Tonight is our Farewell Dinner.
We transfer to the Barcelona airport for our flight home, direct, non-stop to Toronto.
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