This 8-day Catalonia tour kicks off in cosmopolitan Barcelona where you'll experience top-notch cuisine and modern architecture via foot and bicycle. Next, drive to the sun-kissed Costa Brava—a 125-mile (200-km) stretch of pine trees, golden beaches, and crystal clear water. Here you'll spend four blissful days exploring trails, medieval villages, and artwork thanks to its famous native, Salvador Dalí.

Highlights

  • Rub shoulders with locals at Barcelona's best tapas bars and markets
  • Get a half-day tour of La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece
  • Enjoy hiking, biking, and kayaking during excursions led by local guides
  • See up to 1,500 works at Dali's Theatre-Museum in Figueres
  • Relax at beautiful beaches near the fairy-tale town of Begur

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Barcelona - Evening Tapas & Wine Tour Barcelona
Day 2 Tour of La Sagrada Familia & Barcelona's Food Markets Barcelona
Day 3 Bike Tour of Barcelona Barcelona
Day 4 Hiking Excursion in the Costa Brava - Transfer to Begur Begur
Day 5 Dalí-Themed Excursion in the Costa Brava Begur
Day 6 Kayaking Excursion in the Costa Brava Begur
Day 7 Day-Trip to Girona - Return to Begur Begur
Day 8 Transfer to Barcelona - Depart Spain  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Barcelona - Evening Tapas & Wine Tour

Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona
Plaza Catalunya in Barcelona

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 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 great place to start is Las Ramblas, a charming sequence of promenades that runs all the way from Plaça de Catalunya to the waterfront drawing a mix of locals and tourists. This famous tree-lined street stays cool and shady during hot summer days with statues, street performers, food carts, and flower stands. Stroll to your heart's content and stop for a bite at one of the many restaurants and cafes that have lasted through decades—just make sure to save room for what comes next.

Early in the evening, a private guide will meet you at your hotel to take you on a stroll around some of Barcelona's most interesting and exciting districts. As you learn more about the city, you'll sample a range of classic and modern tapas while rubbing shoulders with locals. In fact, you'll stop in several tiny bars having a drink and bite to eat in each one while learning to 'tapear' like a true Catalan!

Day 2: Tour of La Sagrada Familia & Barcelona's Food 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: Bike Tour of Barcelona

Biking is a great way to get your bearings in Barcelona
Biking is a great way to get your bearings in Barcelona

Today, after breakfast, get ready for a bike tour around Barcelona! At the designated time, your private guide will meet you at your hotel and take you on a whirlwind panoramic tour of this wonderful city. Riding a bike is a great way to get some exercise and learn your way around this expansive city in a fun and dynamic way.

During the tour, you will ride along the narrow streets of the Old Town (including Raval, El Born, and Barri Gòtic) before arriving at Park de la Ciutadella—a beautiful respite for relaxing strolls and also the site of the 1888 Universal Expo.

With fun anecdotes and great views to be had along the way, you'll also visit Olympic Village, the city's redeveloped port, and of course Barceloneta Beach.

At the end of the tour, you'll have free time to explore on your own!

Day 4: Hiking Excursion in the Costa Brava - Transfer to Begur

A coastal path in the Costa Brava
A coastal path in the Costa Brava

After breakfast in Barcelona, you'll be picked up by your private guide for the drive north towards the Costa Brava—roughly a 90-minute drive from the city. This beautiful coastal area stretches between Barcelona and the French border and offers stunning coastal hikes situated between quaint coastal villages and hidden coves for ideal swimming and snorkeling opportunities.

Your guide will pick a suitable trail for your fitness level. Then, enjoy some exercise surrounded by olive orchards, cork oak forests, and rocky cliffs draped in wildflowers and cactus. At the end of the hike, you'll be rewarded with a fantastic three-course meal featuring local Catalan specialties. At the end of the excursion, you will be transferred to your hotel in the charming town of Begur where you'll have the rest of the evening to explore on your own.

Day 5: Dalí-Themed Excursion in the Costa Brava

Dalí Theatre in Figueres
Dalí Theatre in Figueres

Today is an excursion dedicated to Salvador Dalí! At the designated time, your guide will meet you at your hotel for the trip to the northern border of Catalonia where you'll experience where Dalí was born and raised and later worked. You'll also discover the area's scenery, culture, and politic landscape, which helped shape and inspire this world-renowned artist.  

The day-trip tour includes the quintessential Dalí House Museum in Port Lligat, the town of Cadaques, and the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, with many stops (including lunch) and attractions in between. This is your chance to get to the heart of Catalan's Mediterranean culture, architecture, traditions, and delicious cuisine. 

Day 6: Kayaking Tour

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 7: Tour of Girona - Return to Begur

Tower of San Pere de Galligants with the Girona Cathedral
Tower of San Pere de Galligants with the Girona Cathedral

Today, you'll meet your guide for the journey to Girona where you'll explore the colorful history and medieval architecture by taking a stroll through the town's walkable old quarter filled with winding, cobbled streets, medieval architecture, and pretty gardens.  Along the way, you'll visit Girona's stunning Gothic cathedral and the Jewish heritage center of Bonastruc Sa Porta.

As a former home to Greeks, Romans, Visigoths, and 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 the town's unique history in carrying out the artistic, architectural and cultural traditions since its founding nearly 2000 years ago.

Day 8: 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 Best of Barcelona & the Costa Brava - 8 Days
Map of Best of Barcelona & the Costa Brava - 8 Days