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Spain: Barcelona and the Costa Brava


You can choose the cultural, the painting or the cooking tour to Spain:


Cultural Tour: Enchanted Spain


Discover hidden gems of Spanish history, art and culture in Barcelona and Catalonia. From Gaudi's masterpieces to the colorful La Boqueria market in Barcelona, from olive groves and archaeological sites to fishing villages and vineyards on the Costa Brava, from tapas and paella to the colorful and vibrant flamenco, let Spain seduce you!

 

Day 1: Welcome Reception



We will pick you up at a specific hotel downtown Barcelona and drive you to our hotel located in one of the most exclusive beaches on the Costa Brava, Calella de Palafrugel. Upon your arrival at our hotel by the sea, take time to settle in or start enjoying the wonderful white-washed and preserved fisherman village on the beach.

Enjoy the beach in front of the hotel, walk along the pristine seashore, take in the sun from the terrace or have a drink in the Mediterranean breeze.

Before dinner, we will take an easy walk along the shore that offers breathtaking vistas along the way.

In the evening, you will enjoy a welcome reception followed by a delicious dinner.






Day 2: Rice, Paella and Medieval Village



Morning: Rice paddies of Pals
The expertise of local farmers for rice cultivation combined with unique climate, sun and water have given Pals rice its well-deserved acclaim. It is used in excellent rice dishes like paella.

After the guided visit in the rice paddles, you will be treated a lunch in Pals, one of the best-preserved medieval villages in all of Spain. You will indulge in a pica pica lunch followed by the paella from Pals, made with organic local rice.


Afternoon: Back in time in Pals!

As you walk through the narrow village streets of Pals, next to the city walls, towers and churches, you will feel as though you have walked into a different time altogether.

The stone archways, cobblestone streets and wrought-iron balconies adorned with flowers create a welcoming feel in this Romanesque village. After your stroll and shopping, we will drive back to our hotel so you will have time to enjoy the prestine beach and blue water right in front of our hotel before dinner.




Day 2: From the Sea to our Plate



Morning: The pristine seashore of the Costa Brava This morning, your guide will take you walk along the most exclusive beach on the Costa Brava, our village Calella de Palafrugell. If you prefer, you can take in the sun from the patio of the hotel or have a drink in the Mediterranean breeze.

All about fish
In the afternoon, we will head off to Palamós, a cute small fishing town on the Costa Brava, a place to enjoy with all the senses.

Fishing is still an important business in Palamos. We will start with a guided visit at the fishing museum, a public tribute to old-fashioned fishermen and the Mediterranean lifestyle.

Then we will watch the arrival of the boats coming back from their fishing day.

The visit will continue with a unique experience: we will attend the fish auction -where chefs go and buy their fish (not open to the public but we have our way in!!!!).


Cooking demonstration

The best is to come: eating the fish!

We will then attend a cooking demonstration by a fisherman chef. He will teach you typical recipes, like the aioli, the figueoa (catalan version of the paella) and much more. You are free to help the chef or relax with a glass of Catalan wine.


Day 4: Jewish Heritage and Surrealistic Experience!



Morning: Mikvah or Jewish ritual bathhouse
We will visit the medieval town of Besalú, a magnificent historic artistic site, renowned for its beauty and its 11th century Roman bridge.

A guided visit will let us discover the 9th century Jewish quarter of Besalú and the 12th century mikvah or Jewish ritual bathhouse, the only one of its kind discovered in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the few known in Europe.

  

Surrealistic Dali experience
Dali created the largest surrealistic object in the world, his own museum, the Dalí Theatre-Museu in the town of Figueres, his birthplace.

His museum is like no other. Dalí wanted visitors to see his massive collection as a ‘whole’ work and therefore refused to have his works placed in chronological or subject order.

Inside is a world of fantasy mixed with architecture, paintings and sculptures. It's a completely surrealistic experience.

  

Day 5: Surreal Dali by the sea and Boat Ride



We'll head to the beautiful coastal village of Cadaqués. Famous for its white-washed Mediterranean houses and sandy bay, this is one of the most picturesque villages on the Costa Brava. The dramatic drive there offers some of the best views in Catalonia. This is the perfect place for lunch.

We will visit Dali's house, the place where he sought peace and quiet; another surrealistic experience.






Afternoon: On board!

Cadaques is a cute small fishing town on the Costa Brava, a place to enjoy with all the senses.

We will spend the afternoon sailing the Costa Brava in old-fashioned style on a classic gullet.

The captain and his crew will sail us along the wonderful coast while we can enjoy a sunbath on the flat or a swim in the deep blue water.



Flamenco night, watercolor by Keiko Tanabe

Day 6: Barcelona: Gaudi's Art and Flamenco



Leaving the countryside for a more urban atmosphere, we will drive to Barcelona and settle into our new hotel in the center of town.

Lunch: Free time for lunch and eat at the Market of la Boqueria with its incredible contrast between colours and activity, an ideal place to discover why Mediterranean cuisine is internationally known due to its ingredients.

All of the best products from Catalonia in one place: fruit, vegetables, fish, seafood and the world famous ham de Belota, the "pata negra".

Afternoon: Barcelona is of course famous because of Gaudi's work. We will get up close to one of the best Gaudí's grand designs by visiting the most impressive house in the center, la Casa Batlló.

Casa Batlló is the most emblematic work of the brilliant Catalan architect with a facade that is original, fantastical and full of imagination. Gaudi redesigned the original facade to give it a wavy shape and covered it with a mosaic of coloured glass and ceramic discs. Just amazing!

Evening: Flamenco

In the evening, we will enjoy a wonderful and unforgettable Flamenco show. Flamenco singers, dancers and guitar players will be offering a powerful staging and musical event.


Day 7: Barcelona under the Stars



Morning: Guided visit of Barcelona

Barcelona is such a rich city: art, shops, museums, food, architecture,...

We will start the day with a guided visit (either
walking or biking): the visit will include the Sagrada Familia, the giant Basilica, one of Gaudi's most famous works in Barcelona. It has been under construction since 1882!

Afternoon: Free time in Barcelona
You will have plenty of choices for your free time:

- Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site, Park Guell, one of the most famous legacies Gaudi left to this world. Park Guell is one of the most beautiful and innovative parks in the world. The whole park
is sprinkled with twisting pathways and some private residences.

- Follow in the footsteps of the artistic genius Picasso by visiting the Museu Picasso, a gallery that records his formative years.

- Head to the Fundació Joan Miró, one of the greatest museums in the world about his art.

- Ramble down the colorful Ramblas, one of the most famous boulevards in the world. It bustles with artists, musicians, vibrant flower stalls, newspaper kiosks and cafés.

- Do some great shopping: Style comes with all
kinds of price tags in Barcelona. High street shoppers will easily recognise the Spanish labels Mango and Zara, but fashionistas should check out the colorful Desigual.

- Lay on the beach by the harbor in the center of town.


Guided tour in Barcelona





Evening: A night of fusion tapas under the Barcelona stars

In the evening, you will be treated a gourmet dinner at a chef's house. The chef and his wife will welcome you to their house for an exclusive evening.

You will first be welcomed with a glass of cava (Spanish Champagne), then the gourmet dinner will include dishes such as homemade gazpacho andaluz, Spanish Jamon, Truffle goats cheese with caramelized red onion, Catalan "Pa amb Tomaquet", escalivada, lamb chops and much more.



Day 8: Departure


It is time to say Hasta Luego! But don't worry - you'll be back. We just know it!

After our last breakfast together, you can decide to extend your stay in Barcelona for a few days or fly home if you have to.





Accommodations


For the hotel on the Costa Brava, we have chosen a friendly and peaceful hotel overlooking the coves of a hidden and preserved beach.

Come and let yourself be carried away by emotions!

The village's narrowing streets and picturesque fishermen's cottages form an idyllic backdrop to the stunning Mediterranean coast.

Enjoy exceptional views of the white-washed fishing village and the blue sea in a comfortable, intimate and relaxed atmosphere. All rooms have TV, satellite, air conditioning, heating, hairdryer and safety deposit box


Sea view bedroom's balcony


Bedroom with sea view
View from the terrace

Dates & Rates 2014:



Only a few rooms have a sea view, so sign up early to get one.

June 20-27, 2014: women-only tour US $3,290 (+ $550 for single suppl)

Sept 16-23, 2015: women-only tour US $3,290
+US$350 pp double room with sea view
+ US$350 single standard room
+ US$750 single room with sea view

Includes

  • Pick-up and drop off at a specific hotel downtown Barcelona
  • A welcome reception
  • 5 nights at the hotel by the beach and 2 nights at the hotel in Barcelona
  • All breakfasts
  • 5 dinners (incl drinks and wine)
  • A Flamenco show
  • 1 gourmet paella lunch
  • Transportation in a comfortable van with A/C
  • A personal chauffeur/guide throughout the week
  • Entrance fees to all sites on the tour

Excludes
  • Flights to and from Barcelona
  • 6 lunches
  • 2 dinners
  • Optional activities (those not described in the itinerary)
  • Personal expenses and tipping




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Local: 1-510-483-5713
contact@frenchescapade.com