This exciting Catalonia tour begins in Barcelona where you'll experience tapas, architecture, and a nearby monastery in the mountains. Next, head to the sun-kissed coastline called Costa Brava—a 125-mile (200-km) stretch of pine trees, golden beaches, and crystal clear water. Here you'll spend five days enjoying the Mediterranean Sea while staying in a medieval town loaded with great restaurants.

Highlights

  • Sample Barcelona's best tapas bars and bustling food markets
  • Get your fill of Gaudí art and architecture with two UNESCO-listed sites
  • Attend private tastings at local vineyards in Montserrat and Costa Brava
  • Go hiking, biking, and kayaking during outdoor excursions led by local guides
  • Chill out at beaches near Begur—a fairytale town with an 11th-century castle

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Barcelona Barcelona
Day 2 Walking Tour of Barcelona & La Sagrada Familia Barcelona
Day 3 Tour of Gaudi's Architecture & Barcelona's Food Markets Barcelona
Day 4 Monserrat & Winery Day-Trip Barcelona
Day 5 Transfer from Barcelona to Begur, via Girona & Figueres Begur
Day 6 Explore the Costa Brava's Beaches & Hiking Paths Begur
Day 7 Kayaking Excursion in the Costa Brava Begur
Day 8 Biking Excursion in the Baix Empordá Begur
Day 9 Wine Tasting Excursion in the Costa Brava Begur
Day 10 Transfer to Barcelona - Depart Spain  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Barcelona

Observation deck at Park Guell
The 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: Walking Tour of Barcelona & La Sagrada Familia

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.

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: Tour of Gaudi's Architecture & Barcelona's Markets

Stone pillars in Park Guell
Stone pillars in Park Guell

After breakfast, you'll be picked up by your private guide for an exclusive tour of some of Antoni Gaudi's architectural masterpieces. You'll start by exploring Park Güell on foot—composed of pretty gardens and Gaudi's artistic elements located on Carmel Hill with fantastic views of Barcelona. This is also a great place to see local buskers performing in the park's nooks and crannies.

You’ll then make your way over to Casa Mila (1906-1912), one of Gaudi’s most iconic works of civil architecture due to both its constructional and functional innovations, as well as its ornamental and decorative solutions. Built for the wealthy and aristocratic Milà family, the result is a sensational work of art.

Later, you'll stop at a few of Barcelona's best local markets to taste a range of Spanish delights with the help and careful guidance of your guide.

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 Begur, via Girona & Figueres

Girona's intriguing riverfront
Girona's intriguing riverfront

After breakfast in Barcelona, a driver will pick you up at your hotel for the transfer to Begur in the Costa Brava with a few special detours along the way.

Your first stop will be Girona where a private guide will take you on a stroll through the old quarter. As a former home to Greeks, Romans, Visigoths & Franks, Girona has stood the test of time via countless attacks by armies from near and far, which you can discuss with your guide. The local Catalans who live here have tastefully respected their unique history in carrying out the traditions since its founding nearly 2000 years ago. Explore winding streets with their delightful houses, churches, and gardens, as well as the famous Gothic Cathedral and the Jewish heritage center of Bonastruc Sa Porta.

Next, you'll travel to nearby Figueres (with the same guide) to learn about the city's history and get an intimate look at Dali's Theatre-Museum. This is an easy and entertaining way to understand his art through small details and anecdotes that bring to life one of the most fascinating and eclectic museums in the world.

You'll have time for lunch in Figueres, with your guide's recommendations, before getting back on the road towards the Costa Brava where you'll check into your accommodation.

Day 6: Explore Beaches & Hiking Paths in the Costa Brava

Lloret de Mer near the town of Girona
Lloret de Mer near the town of Girona

Today, you'll have a free day to explore the Costa Brava's best beaches and hiking paths along the Mediterranean Sea. This stunning coastal is a favorite holiday spot with locals from Barcelona, as well as those from Southern France who come for the area's idyllic scenery and superb cultural and leisure activities.

A good way to start the day is to take a fabulous coastal hike where you can get a real feel for the area and its incredible scenery, especially along the rugged GR 92 route, which hugs the shoreline. Then cool off by visiting one of the many beaches, with everything from big stretches of golden sand to hidden rocky coves and isolated beaches you can only reach on foot.

Day 7: Kayaking Excursion in the Costa Brava

Kayaking adventure up the coast
Kayaking adventure up the coast

Today, you'll get to discover the stunning coastline of the Costa Brava through its hidden coves, caves, and headlands on a fun kayaking tour with a private guide!

During this half-day excursion, you'll visit idyllic corners of the coastline only accessible from the sea with your expert guide who will show you a trick or two in your kayak. The excursion can be adapted to your fitness level and preferred distance, and all equipment is included. 

At the end of the tour, you'll have the rest of the day to spend at leisure, perhaps heading to a pretty beach like Calella de Palafrugell.

Day 8: Biking Tour in the Baix Empordá

Discover the Catalan countryside with minimal effort on your e-bike!
Discover the Catalan countryside with minimal effort on your e-bike!

Today, after breakfast in Begur, your driver will pick you up for the short transfer to meet your guide in the heart of the Costa Brava. Upon arrival in Gualta—a small village in Baix Empordà—you'll get an introduction to your e-bike, and then begin an 'electric' ride through the region's breathtaking scenery while barely breaking a sweat.

The 18-mile (29 km) itinerary passes through several medieval villages, among the most representative of Baix Empordá. Most of the route passes along rural trails and farmlands and the terrain is mostly flat and undulating and, therefore, suitable for all levels. There will be plenty of time to stop for photographs and your guide will share local history along the way.

In the afternoon, you'll finish the trip with a ride back to Gualta through flower-filled fields and villages. Say farewell to your guide, and then transfer back to your accommodations in Begur to enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Day 9: Wine Tasting Excursion in the Costa Brava

Start the day with a swim at a nearby beach
Start the day with a swim at a nearby beach

After breakfast in Begur, you'll be picked up for a fun and in-depth visit to a small local wine producer in the Costa Brava's Empordà region, which stretches from the town of Figueres in Catalonia, all the way to the French border. Historians say that vineyards have been in this area since the 5th century BC. Though it's not as big as other wine regions in Spain, Empordà is known to produce delicious wines, like White Grenache, Tempranillo, Macabeu, and Syrah, at terrific prices.

During your visit, you'll learn all about this boutique winery's personal journey and discover high-quality, full-bodied, well-structured and harmonious reds as well as fresh and flavorsome whites, elaborated with native and single varieties. You'll also have time to walk through the vineyard and bodega, and, of course, sit down and try a few wines with the guidance of your host. 

This 5-hour excursion includes private transport and a stop for lunch in a nearby town before you return to your hotel in Begur in the afternoon where you'll have free time to relax and, if you so choose, head to the beach and go for a refreshing swim before dinner.

Day 10: 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 & the Costa Brava - 10 Days
Map of Barcelona & the Costa Brava - 10 Days