Barcelona is one of Spain's most beautiful and vibrant cities, and on this six-day tour you can really focus on what makes it so special. With a combination of time in the central city and surrounding areas, focusing on culture as well as natural attractions, you'll experience the best of Barcelona. Learn about its history and iconic architecture, get a taste of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea along the Costa Brava, and take your pick of nearby day trip destinations.

Highlights

  • Learn more about the master of Catalan Modernism, Antoni Gaudí
  • Sail along the Mediterranean coast, with great skyline views
  • Find hidden beaches and villages along the Costa Brava

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Barcelona Barcelona
Day 2 Stroll Around Modernist Barcelona Barcelona
Day 3 Sailboat Cruise - Free Time Barcelona
Day 4 Day Trip to the Costa Brava Barcelona
Day 5 Optional Day Trip  Barcelona
Day 6 Farewell Barcelona  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Barcelona

Leafy Trees lining Barcelona's La Rambla
Leafy Trees lining Barcelona's La Rambla

Welcome to Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia. It's a cosmopolitan city built upon Roman strata, with medieval quarters and the most beautiful examples of 20th century modernism and avant-garde architecture.

After arriving at El Prat Airport, a private driver will meet you and escort you to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival there may be some time for some preliminary exploring today, and a first meal out in Barcelona. A walk around the Parc de la Ciutadella or maybe a stroll along the famous Rambla, where there are many places to eat, are good attractions to start with.

Day 2: Stroll Around Modernist Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia  Cathedral outdoors
La Sagrada Familia Cathedral outdoors

No visit to Barcelona would be complete without learning more about the work of its most illustrious architect and most famous representative of Catalan Modernism: Antoni Gaudí. There are many Gaudí-associated sights in Barcelona, so the tour's itinerary can be adapted to your personal passions and preferences. Accompanied by a private expert guide, start at Park Güell, a wonderful expanse where nature and art meet. Continue to the Sagrada Familia, the iconic basilica that is still under construction, despite already being a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. Also visit some less known but equally outstanding Gaudí works: Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, Casa Vicens, and more. 

Day 3: Sailboat Cruise - Free Time

Return to port for lunch onboard
Sail along the coast

Escape the city today and get out on the water, on a small group sailboat cruise. Sail along the Mediterranean coast near Barcelona for panoramic views of the city’s skyline. The cruise lasts about two hours.

The afternoon and evening are yours to continue exploring this cosmopolitan and bustling city on your own. Don't miss Montjuïc Castle at sunset, which sits on a prominent hill overlooking Barcelona. It was built during the Reapers’ War in 1640. To get there you'll travel on a cable car with fantastic views of the city.

Day 4: Day Trip to the Costa Brava

Lloret de Mar, Costa Brava
Lloret de Mar, Costa Brava

Today you'll have a full day to explore the Costa Brava with a private car and driver. This Catalan area along the Mediterranean stretches from the French border down to the province of Barcelona, and is renowned for its stunning villages and rugged coastline. There are countless coves, ports, and beaches that offer a range of cultural and leisure activities, as well as attractive inland villages and attractions. 

Many places are worth your time: there's the medieval town of Besalú, the beautiful hilltop town of Begur with its castle, and the artsy white-washed town of Cadaqués. Also worth considering are the coastal villages of Calella de Palafrugell and Llafranc, where you can stop for lunch in a beach-side bar and take in the views of the quaint ports and quintessentially Spanish squares. 

The Costa Brava is also home to some of the country’s best (albeit smaller) beaches, often hidden by soaring clifftops and unusual rock formations. Many of these can only be reached on foot, making the journey part of the fun. You'll be rewarded by turquoise blue water and lapping waves.

Day 5: Optional Day Trip

The monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat.
The monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat

Today you can explore Barcelona on your own, or opt for one of several day trips from the city. We recommend a day trip, as it will reveal glimpses of Catalan life beyond the metropolis. Outside the city's borders lie a wonderland of rugged mountains, golden beaches, and pretty little towns, all just a short drive away. 

One option is to travel about an hour northeast from Barcelona to Girona. This historic city sits next to the Onyar River and is known for its cobbled streets, grand churches, and medieval Old Quarter hemmed in by stone walls. You can walk these ancient ramparts, which afford great elevated views of the city.

Girona is home to a well-preserved Jewish Quarter, which lasted for 500 years until the expulsion of the Jews in 1492. The fascinating Museu d’Història dels Jueus de Girona recounts this story. There's also the 12th-century Banys Àrabs, the remnants of Arab baths. Another landmark is the Sant Pere de Galligants, a 12th-century Romanesque Benedictine abbey, now home to the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia in Girona.

North of Girona is the town of Figueres, where there's some handsome modernist architecture and the 18th-century military fortress of Sant Ferran Castle. Figueres is best known, however, for being the birthplace of Salvador Dalí, and for its Teatre-Museu Dalí. A former theater, it was converted by Dalí himself into a labyrinth of surrealism. It displays a large collection of his works, including many from his personal collection. This is also Dali's final resting place, as he was buried in a crypt beneath the stage.
 
Alternatively, you can travel up the Montserrat Mountains to Catalonia's holiest site, the 16th-century Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat. Located 28 miles (45 km) northeast of Barcelona and at an altitude of 4055 feet (1266 m), the views from the church are spectacular. Inside, above the altar, is a statue of the Virgin of Montserrat, the patron saint of Barcelona. You can reach the monastery on a 90-minute hike from the town of Monistrol de Montserrat, or simply take a five-minute cable car.

The pretty coastal town of Sitges, located about 45 minutes southwest of Barcelona, is also another great day trip destination. The pace is more laidback here, and some of the best activities are the simplest, like strolling the long waterfront promenade or sunbathing on one of the many beaches in and around town. Ideal activities in town include dining in one of Sitges' world-class seafood restaurants, or visiting one of its fine museums and art galleries.

Day 6: Farewell Barcelona

Farewell Barcelona

Your driver will transfer you to the airport or train station in good time for your onward travel. Hasta la vista!

Map

Map of Discover Barcelona - 6 Days
Map of Discover Barcelona - 6 Days