Catalonia’s best kept secrets.
Catalonia boasts a huge wealth of cultural and natural treasures, many well off the tourist trail, waiting to be discovered.
We’ll take you to discover Catalonia’s best kept secrets and lovely countryside. Iberian, Greek and Roman ruins, Romanesque monasteries, medieval cathedrals and Templar castles are just some of the things waiting to be explored on your own tailor-made itinerary through the provinces, along with hidden turquoise coves and beaches, waterfalls with swimming holes, forests to walk in and family-run vineyards to visit.
On the way you relax and enjoy the surroundings of our charming hotels in serene mediaeval villages or tucked away in the Catalan countryside and of course there is excellent local food and wine to savour at the best restaurants along the way.
Explore Catalonia’s heartland.
See our example tour below.
Explore Catalonia’s heartland
This tour takes in some of Catalonia’s most attractive corners and is ideal if you want to get away from it all. It takes you to remote medieval villages, some of the best walking and cycling country in Catalonia and a trio of enticing towns which are rich in history and culture. You also stay at some fabulous hotels on the way.
Remember this is just an example tour, which can be adapted in different ways to better suit your needs. To find out more please contact us.
After checking in to your chic, super-central small hotel on Barcelona’s most elegant avenue, we’ll provide you with entrance tickets to Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, the famous architect’s most beautiful private house. Then you’ll enjoy a wonderful lunch out on the courtyard of one of our favourite restaurants, before heading off for a guided tour of the labrinthine Gothic Quarter, Barcelona’s enticing medieval heart.
After drinks at a stylish, waterfront bar, dinner is under the palm trees of the freshest fish and seafood.
Vic and Les Guilleries
Just 90 minutes away by car, but a world away from the bustling Catalan capital, your next stop is a romantic country getaway set in breathtaking hills near the historic city of Vic. Comfortable rooms, furnished with a stylish mixture of antiques and contemporary design, are paired with excellent amenities, including an indoor heated pool and Jacuzzi, and a beautiful garden where you can relax and soak up the peace and tranquility.
This is perfect walking country, and your hosts will provide detailed information on the finest hikes, where to find natural swimming pools and waterfalls, the birds and animals you are likely to spot, and can arrange all kinds of activities from horse-riding to massages and beauty treatments.
Exclusively for our guests, the charming host will show you around the private house, which dates back to the 16th century and was once home to the powerful bishop of Vic. Two of Catalunya’s prettiest stone villages, Rupit and Tavertet, are just a 20-minute stroll away, both packed with charming restaurants serving tasty local dishes (if you prefer, you can be dropped off and picked up), and tours of these enchanting and historic villages can be arranged.
Olot, Besalú and Banyoles
It’s an early start on Day 4, as you’ll be heading up, up, up and away in a hot air balloon. From the basket you’ll gaze down, champagne glass in hand, over the rippling, volcanic hills and beech forests of the Garrotxa region, all the way to the Pyrenees and the turquoise Mediterranean.
After a hearty lunch, it’s on to another of our hand-picked small hotels. Set in a handsome 18th-century country house, with the Pyrenean foothills providing a theatrical backdrop, the rooms here look out over extensive grounds and a large outdoor swimming pool. The wisteria-shaded patios provide plenty of shady nooks for reading and relaxing.
The afternoon will be spent enjoying a hike along the river close to the hotel, and then your host, an accomplished chef, will prepare a sumptuous dinner, which can be enjoyed under the stars in the garden.
Breakfast includes huge, home made chocolate muffins and other delicious treats.
Then you’ll head to the nearby town of Besalú, a dreamy little medieval town of cobbled streets and arcaded squares accessed by a thousand-year-old stone bridge, which still contains the remnants of its synagogue and the mikveh (baths). After lunch, you’ll visit Banyoles, where you can take a stroll around the enormous lake, dotted with pretty Modernista fishing huts, or go for a dip in the refreshing waters.
The Dali tour: Figueres and Púbol
You’ll drive up to Figueres, birthplace of celebrated Catalan surrealist, Salvador Dalí, and now home to his truly eye-popping ‘Theatre Museum’.
After a morning experiencing this extraordinary museum, which also contains the painter’s crypt, a pleasant 45-minute drive will bring you to the tiny and picturesque village of Púbol, where you can tuck into a delicious lunch at a traditional local restaurant.
After lunch, you’ll visit the home of Dalí’s wife, Gala: unlike Dalí himself, who was required to request permission before gaining an audience, you’ll have your tickets in hand for a tour of her castle, which she and Dalí restored with typical unconventionality and imagination. Highlights include Dalí’s studio, superb artworks and an exhibition of Gala’s exquisite dresses.
Your hotel for the next three nights is another idyllic country retreat: a 14th-century farmhouse set in charming gardens, with inviting, rustically decorated guest rooms, an outdoor pool, and wonderful views.
The Empordà Region and Girona
The Empordà region is considered one of the most beautiful in all Catalonia, home to medieval villages, wooded hills, and some of the most beautiful beaches of the Costa Brava. Hop on a bike (provided by the hotel) to meander through meadows and olive groves, or we can arrange a guided cycle tour to local sights of interest.
You could also visit the romantic ruins of the Greco-Roman settlement of Empúries on the coast or simply spend the day working on your tan on a perfect cove.
The following day, we will arrange for a guided tour of Girona, a beautiful city crowned by a huge cathedral. You can explore the ancient stone warren of the old Jewish Quarter, take your pick of a clutch of excellent museums, and stroll along the banks of the Onyar River, overhung with houses painted in ice-cream colours. We’ll book a table at one of our favourite restaurants, which serves what we consider to be one of the best paellas in the city.
Return to Barcelona
Take your time driving back to Barcelona: explore the pretty villages of Peratallada and Pals, before stopping for an excellent lunch at a country restaurant, which serves superb French-Mediterranean cuisine in a stylishly restored 17th-century farmhouse.
Then it’s back to your Barcelona hotel. We can arrange concert tickets and dinner reservations to make sure your last night is truly memorable.
You’ll travel in style to the airport to take your flight home. We hope you’ll have some fantastic memories and that we’ll see you again soon!
Guide price: € 2140 per person (based on two people sharing)
Please see What’s included, on our About Us page
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