Day 1 – Arrival
Depart for Barcelona, Spain. Your exciting destination, dating back to 218 BC, is the capital of Catalunya and a traditional, popular, typically Mediterranean city. Barcelona is, above all, a place where there’s enjoyment simply in walking the streets, stopping in at shops and cafés, drinking in the atmosphere. A thriving port and the most prosperous commercial center in Spain, it has a sophistication and cultural dynamism way ahead of the rest of the country. Barcelona also has an individual and eclectic cultural identity, most perfectly and eccentrically expressed in the architecture of Antoni Gaudí.
Day 2 – Barcelona
¡Bienvenido a España! Your private bus and driver will take you on a Barcelona City Tour. Visit Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece, the surreal Church of La Sagrada Família, and view the winged Olympic Palace on Montjuïc Hill. Also see the Parque de la Ciudadela, Barceloneta and its beaches, Barrio Gotico with its old city walls, Plaza de España, the Palacio Nacional, the lively Ramblas, Gaudi’s architectural fantasies curving over Modernisme facades in the Eixample, including Casa Milá with its fanciful chimneys and cobweb window frames, and other highlights of this flamboyant and sophisticated Catalonian city by the sea. Continue on to the Picasso Museum in the Palau Aguilar, housing the most important collection of Picasso’s early works from his student years (1895-1904). Also exhibited are some of his works from 1917, including his pieces from the collaboration with Diaghilev’s Russian Ballet and the “Las Meninas” series inspired by the famous Velazquez painting.
Day 3 – Barcelona
Visit Pueblo Español, the Spanish village in which the houses, squares and streets are representative of all regions of Spain. See replicas of real houses, church towers, plazas and palaces built of stone and brick. There are theaters, street festivals, band concerts, artisans and museums to see in this fun and educational area. The rest of the day is free for discovery.
Day 4 – Barcelona
Today is free to explore Barcelona with your advisors. You may wish to stroll along the Ramblas, a succession of wide avenues lined with plane-trees. Barcelona has many fashion boutiques along Paseo de Garcia and Avinguda Diagonal. Option: Travel to Montserrat, the “jagged mountain,” one of Spain’s major tourist attractions by virtue both of its scenic magnificence and its famous monastery. You will ride through mountain landscapes of fantastically eroded crags and terraces before arriving at the principal religious and cultural center of Catalonia, its Marian shrine attracting thousands of pilgrims. Saint Peter is said to have deposited a carving of the Virgin by St. Luke in one of the mountain caves. Tour the monastery and the ruined hermitage caves, and stroll the various paths for panoramic views of the surrounding steep rock faces.
Day 5 – Depart
Fly home with excellent memories of your time in the capital of Catalonia.