This active weeklong adventure starts in cosmopolitan Barcelona where you'll explore the city's best landmarks, sail in the Mediterranean, and tour a stunning monastery tucked away in the mountains. From here, head north to Vic—a rural town surrounded by dreamy medieval architecture and hiking trails in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

Highlights

  • Sample delicious Catalan cuisine at Barcelona's tapas bars and public markets
  • Get a stress-free private tour of La Sagrada Familia with a local guide
  • Day-trip to a monastery and boutique winery in Monserrat
  • Go hiking near the medieval town of Rupit followed by a three-course lunch
  • Stay two nights in a vibrant town known for Roman ruins and multiculturalism

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Barcelona Barcelona
Day 2 Private Tour of La Sagrada Familia & Barcelona's Markets Barcelona
Day 3 Private Sailboat Cruise in Barcelona Barcelona
Day 4 Monserrat & Winery Day-Trip Barcelona
Day 5 Transfer from Barcelona to Vic - Afternoon Hike Vic
Day 6 Explore the Pre-Pyrenees Medieval Villages Vic
Day 7 Transfer to Barcelona - Depart Spain  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Barcelona

Observation deck at Park Guell
Observation deck at Park Guell

Welcome to Barcelona! Upon arrival at either the airport or train station, you'll be greeted by a private driver who will transfer you to your hotel in the city center. Take some time to settle in and get your bearings before heading out to explore this beautiful and inexhaustible city. 

You'll have many options on what to see and do on your first day—and plenty of company. The cosmopolitan and bustling heart of Spain's Catalonia region is popular with domestic and international travelers all year round. With fantastic art and architecture, rich medieval history, clean urban beaches, world-class nightlife, and great shopping you'll be spoiled for choice.

A good place to start is by taking a stroll down La Ramblas, a sequence of promenades that runs from Plaça de Catalunya down to the waterfront. Near the opera house is the vibrant public market called La Boquería, which dates back to 1217 for the ultimate foodie pilgrimage. Centuries later, this is still considered one of Europe's best food markets and provides a great introduction to Catalan cuisine.

Day 2: Private Tour of La Sagrada Familia & Barcelona's Markets

La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia

After breakfast, you'll start your day with a private guided walking tour of Barcelona, which includes its greatest monument La Sagrada Familia—a spectacular Roman Catholic church and UNESCO World Heritage Site designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. During this half-day excursion, you will see some of the city's most emblematic spots and hidden corners while learning about Gaudí and his jaw-dropping masterpiece, which is still under construction.

Later, you'll stop by some of Barcelona's most buzzing markets to taste local delights with the careful guidance of your guide to show you the best and freshest offerings. Your guide will be on hand to answer all your questions including where to go for lunch! In fact, he or she will take you to a recommended tapas bar or restaurant before parting ways leaving you to enjoy the afternoon exploring Barcelona at your own pace.

Day 3: Private Sailboat Cruise in Barcelona

Get some fresh air as you sail the Mediterranean
Get some fresh air as you sail the Mediterranean

Today is your chance to escape the city and get out on the water for a private sailboat cruise! At the designated time, you will jump aboard a chartered sailboat (with a captain to steer!) to sail along the Mediterranean coast near Barcelona for panoramic views of the city’s skyline and the stunning sea. After two hours on the water, you'll return to port to dine on a special lunch amidst boats bobbing in the harbor.

From here, the afternoon and evening are yours to continue exploring this cosmopolitan and bustling city on your own. If you haven't seen it yet, you might consider a trip to Montjuïc Castle at sunset, which sits on a prominent hill overlooking Barcelona. Walk around this former defensive site, first built during the Reapers’ War in 1640, that has survived to the present day. Perhaps the best part? Getting there. You'll travel to and from by cable car with fantastic views of the city.

Day 4: Monserrat & Winery Day-Trip

Montserrat Monastery
Montserrat Monastery

After breakfast in Barcelona, you'll meet your guide for a trip to the Catalan countryside starting with a visit to the impressive Monastery of Montserrat with its commanding views. The monastery is notable not only for its stunning mountainous setting but also for enshrining the image of the Virgin of Montserrat. Founded in the 11th century, it still functions to this day with over 70 monks in residence.

You'll also have the chance to listen to a boys choir, visit the Moreneta de Montserrat, and take a light walk to Santa Cova where the black Madonna is said to have originally been found and rescued.

From here, you'll depart Montserrat and enjoy a fantastic lunch of rural Catalan cuisine in a traditional restaurant followed by a guided tour of one of the region's premier boutique wineries. There will be a chance to taste some of their wines and cavas before returning to Barcelona in the late afternoon.

Day 5: Transfer from Barcelona to Vic - Afternoon Hike

This scenic area is ideal for hiking
This scenic area is ideal for hiking

Today, you'll transfer north of the city where, nestled in the Pyrenees Mountains, are numerous charming medieval mountain villages with their stone houses and cafés built directly into the rock of the mountainsides. These Pre-Pyrenees villages—such as Vic, where you'll stay the night—have been amazingly well-preserved and find themselves easily accessible to beautiful hiking and walking routes. 

After exploring a few of the villages, take a light hike through wooded trails while encountering rivers, streams, waterfalls and spectacular views of deep canyons and valleys while learning about the area's culture and history. During the excursion, you'll also enjoy a superb three-course restaurant lunch in a traditional Catalan country restaurant.

Day 6: Explore the Pre-Pyrenees Medieval Villages

Foothills of the Salt de Sallent
Foothills of the Salt de Sallent

Today is a free day to explore the charming and scenic Pre-Pyrenees route any way you'd like. This mountainous area not only offers a range of canyons, gorges, and rivers for outdoor activities, but also medieval towns, Romanesque churches, and towers to check out—in other words, you'll have plenty of options to choose from. 

A few notable attractions include the Natural Park of the Mountains and Canyons of Guara with more than seventy different river gorges, as well as the UNESCO-listed River Vero Cultural Park, which is famous for its rock art. 

Other ideas include:

  • Shopping for souvenirs in local markets
  • Sampling local delicacies and delights in various villages 
  • Hiking, biking, or canyoning in the mountains
  • Taking a tree-tops high ropes course

Day 7: Transfer to Barcelona - Depart Spain

Goodbye, Spain!
Goodbye, Spain!

It's time to say farewell to Spain! At the designated time, a driver will pick you up at your hotel for the transfer to Barcelona. Upon arrival in the city, you'll be dropped off at either Barcelona El Prat airport or Barcelona Sants train station to connect with your onward journey. Safe travels!

Map

Map of Barcelona & Rural Catalonia - 7 Days
Map of Barcelona & Rural Catalonia - 7 Days