Barcelona & the Highlights of Catalonia
Fiercely independent Catalonia, home of Miro, Dali and Gaudi. Enjoy great ‘tapas’ and cava, discover ancient monasteries and amazing Roman, Moorish and Aragonese legacies. It seems incredible that although Spain is one of the most visited countries on earth, vast swathes of it are hardly known at all. During the past few years, its more historic and scenic aspects have been brought to the attention of the discerning traveller. For many centuries Spain did not really exist as a nation state, being more a collection of countries such as Aragon, Castille, Cantabria and of course, Catalonia. Often separated by high mountain ranges, they evolved independently, becoming strikingly different with even their own languages.
These differences were ruthlessly suppressed during the Franco years but have since blossomed and today Catalonia retains a distinct regional identity borrowing little from the rest of Spain.
Set on a plain rising from the clear blue Mediterranean through a range of wooded hills then to a superb backdrop of high mountains, the scenery is astonishing. It is as diverse as any area can be, from tiny medieval villages to one of the world’s most vibrant cities –and from classical Renaissance art to Salvador Dali’s avant garde; the list is endless and on this tour we see the best it can offer.
In Roman times Tarragona was one of the Empire’s largest cities with a population of 250,000 and a wealth of buildings to match, many of which are still in evidence today. The delightful city of Girona has been fought by Romans, Charlemagne, the Moors and the French all having left their mark, but is now famous as having Europe’s most outstanding Jewish Quarter. Ancient monasteries abound and include some of the most sophisticated ever constructed with many still in use.
Barcelona, the self-confident and progressive capital, is a tremendous place to visit. Spain’s most prosperous city, it oozes sophistication and a cultural dynamism which is so strong you can feel it just walking around. Barcelona has also evolved a highly individual cultural identity, most perfectly and eccentrically expressed by the architecture of AntoniGaudí.
Catalonia also boasts the best food in Spain, but that is what the Catalans themselves tell you and to be fair they perhaps have a point, but the only real test is to come with us and see for yourself.
- Guided tour of Barcelona, Catalonia’s capital and city of art, music and Gaudi
- Visit to Montserrat and its world famous Benedictine monastery, home to the Black Madonna and one of Spain’s most renowned pilgrimages
- Included timed entrance to and guided tour of Gaudi’s masterpiece, the basilica of Sagrada Familia, symbol of the city and one of the world’s greatest, original and most enthralling buildings
- Walking tour of Tarragona, ancient capital of Roman ‘Iberia’ with a host of monuments to match
- Visit to a Cava vineyard, discovering the ancient art of wine making with a tasting included
- Guided tour of Poblet, an amazingly preserved Cistercian monastery and the final resting place of the Aragonese Royals
- Visit to the beautiful medieval city of Girona and its undeniable Moorish centre
- Services of our experienced tour manager
- Return travel from a selection of regional airports and transfers to and from your hotel included
- Six nights in centrally located four-star accommodation, including all local taxes, with breakfast and three dinners including two at traditionally Catalonian local restaurants
- Selected departures from April to November 2019
- The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes six nights’ accommodation, daily breakfasts, three dinners, all tours as mentioned, airport departure taxes, return flights to Barcelona and the services of a Riviera tour manager.
- Included excursions are guided tours in Tarragona, timed and guided visit of Sagrada Familia with guided tour of Barcelona, guided tour of Poblet Monastery
- Not included: Entrance to Picasso museum €11 approximate cost, payable locally.
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