Stepping Out in Spain
Arrival in Barcelona
After arriving in Barcelona you will be met and transferred to our hotel.
The rest of the day is at leisure until this evening. Tonight's dinner will be at the Taller de Tapas (Tapas Workshop). Surrounded by a pleasant decor of exposed brick and beams (or on the outside terrace), we sit back and enjoy this very traditional offering. The tapas are prepared in an open kitchen where there is not a microwave in sight. D
Accommodation: Hotel Granados 83 – 2 nights
The most urban and avant-garde hotel designed for gourmet bohemians and the most adventurous. The Granados 83 Hotel provides luxury, design and comfort to enjoy all that Barcelona has to offer.
Walk in Montserrat Mountain
About an hour’s drive from Barcelona, the impressive Montserrat Mountain comes into view. “Nowhere but in his own Montserrat will a man find happiness and peace,” wrote Goethe toward the end of his life. The name Montserrat means “serrated mountain” in Catalan. This is a good clue to what you can expect to see when visiting the mountain. The shape of the rocks might make one imagine that Montserrat had been carved or wrought by some prodigious hand. In addition to the natural beauty of Montserrat, the mountain took on religious significance at an early date. The famous image which presides over the Montserrat Monastery is a Romanesque sculpture, the Virgin of Montserrat, which has become the religious symbol of Catalonia. The basilica is also very impressive, with ancient as well as modern works of art.
We take a guided tour of the Monastery before heading out on a 2 hour trek in the Montserrat Mountains. Our walk with a expert nature guide will take us from the Monastery to the top of St.Jerome, the highest peak in Montserray at 1236 metres. Afterwards we stop for lunch at the Restaurant Abad Cisneros. This historic building was used as accommodation by pilgrims in medieval times. Situated within the park of Montserrat, it has stunning views of the landscape; the restaurant specializes in Catalan cuisine. Later we return to Barcelona, and enjoy dinner this evening at the hotel. BLD
Barcelona - Costa Brava - Emporda (Pals)
Catalonia is a region of six million inhabitants but it has more than a thousand years of history and a culture and language of its own which have forged a very distinct character.
Today Catalonia is an Autonomous Community within Spain and occupies an area of 31,930 square kilometers. In the province of Girona you will experience the coast and mountains together with a wealth of historical monuments dating from many different periods.
After breakfast we depart for the Costa Brava area and a half day hiking from Cap de Creus to Portlligat. We will walk by the sea, crossing creeks and seeing all kinds of rock formations and vegetation that has been shaped by erosion. Our lunch today will be in Cadaqués before we continue on to Pals and our hotel.
The historical centre of Pals hides fascinating stories with characters from medieval times that lived in the area. Pals was once the home to lords and ladies of yore, Sansa de Santa Eugenia, Elisenda de Montcada, Violant de Bar, Joana Enriquez and many other members of the feudal aristocracy. The town was once one of the most important sites for Catalan naval tradition (there is a story that those who accompanied Columbus came from the town- Pals being known as “Palos” in Spanish). BLD
Accommodation: Mas Salvi Hotel – 2 nights
Mas Salvi is a charmingly restored XVIIth century manor house located in Pals, a magnificent part of Empordà, right in the heart of the Costa Brava. The 22 luxury suites are set in an exclusive natural setting of private woods and Mediterranean grassland.
Baix Emporda & Calella De Palafrugel
After breakfast at the hotel, we depart on a half day hike from Begur to Calella de Palafrugel. We cross the old road of smugglers (Cami de Ronda). Alternatively, another option will have us walking by the Natural Park of Emporda Marshes (P.N. Aiguamolls de L’Emporda) and hills and beaches surrounding Pals. Lunch is in Calella at a local restaurant. This is followed by a visit of Calella de Palafrugell (do not confuse with Calella de Mar). Calella de Palafrugell is a picturesque fishing village on the coast. Our day includes seeing medieval villages (including Palau-Sator & Peretallada) in the afternoon. Dinner tonight is at Vicus Restaurant in Pals. Overnight at Mas Salvi hotel in Pals. BLD
Pals – La Cerdanya – Puigcerda
After breakfast we depart on our journey to Puigcerda. After lunch in the town there is a guided tour before we head back to our hotel where we will have dinner tonight.
Puigcerdà is located near the site of a Cerretani settlement, which was incorporated into Roman territory. The Roman town was named Julia Libyca. BLD
Accommodation: Villa Paulita Hotel – 1 night
The Villa Paulita is a former villa with awe-inspiring views over the Catalan Pyrenees, surrounded by a charming forested park and by the lake of Puigcerda.
Puigcerda - La Cerdanya
Today we climb to Puigmal the highest peak in Girona, there are several routes to Cerdanya. From the French side or the circular path of Gorgues de Carranca or Bullosa lakes, depending on levels of
difficulty required. Today’s lunch will be a picnic! This evening dinner is at a local restaurant, Torre Del Remei Restaurant in Bolvir de Cerdanya. BLD
Natural Park of Collserola
After breakfast we depart back to Barcelona. Enroute we will stop at Natural Park of Collserola for a hike with an expert guide. Afterwards lunch will be at ideal Reastauant in Collserola before we continue to Barcelona. Upon arrival we check in to our hotel and the rest of the day is free until tonight when we enjoy our farewell dinner. BLD
Today we transfer you to the airport for your onward flight (not included) B
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