Embark on a 10-day mountaineering adventure and conquer two of Europe's most famous ranges: the Pyrenees and Dolomites. Besides the rewarding hiking trails, you'll enjoy city and food tours in Barcelona, plus visit medieval villages and monasteries. The same goes for Italy, where you'll experience the best of romantic Venice and relax your hiking muscles in natural hot springs around Lake Garda.


  • Sample tapas and cicchetti on tours of Venice and Barcelona
  • Embark on epic hikes in the Pyrenees and the Dolomites
  • Enjoy a romantic gondola ride on Venice's Grand Canal
  • Relax in the hot springs of Lake Garda and take wine tours

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Barcelona (Spain), Tapas Tour Barcelona
Day 2 Barcelona Bike Tour, Visit Sagrada Familia Barcelona
Day 3 Day Trip to Rupit, Group Hike Barcelona
Day 4 Day Trip to Montserrat & Cava Wine Tasting Barcelona
Day 5 Fly to Venice (Italy), Food Tour Venice
Day 6 Transfer to the Dolomites, Trekking Day 1 Dolomites
Day 7 Dolomites Trekking Day 2 Dolomites
Day 8 Dolomites Trekking Day 3, Transfer to Lake Garda Dolomites
Day 9 Desenzano & Sirmione Tour, Optional Hot Springs Lake Garda
Day 10 Optional Wine Tasting, Transfer to Milan, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Barcelona, Tapas Tour

Get an introduction to Catalan culture and cuisine on a tapas walking tour

Welcome to Spain! This beguiling country on the Iberian Peninsula is famous for many things: storied history, rich culture, passionate music, and some of the best cuisine in Europe. Your grand adventure begins in one of the most romantic regions of all, Catalonia, located in the northeast of Spain. Specifically, you'll arrive in its thriving capital of Barcelona.

Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will pick you up for the transfer to your hotel in the city. After settling in, you'll meet a guide for a walking tapas tour. The word "tapas" literally translates to "tops," and you can find these small plates (designed to be shared) at bars, bodegas, and tabernas (taverns) throughout the country.

During this three-hour culinary experience, you'll walk around Barcelona's favorite neighborhoods, like the Gothic Quarter, ducking into alleys and popping in at local tapas spots to taste various dishes. As you go, your expert guide will share tips and insider knowledge regarding which dishes to try. At each stop, you'll pair your bites with sips of local wine, beer, or nonalcoholic drinks. Even better, with each plate and glass, your guide will reveal fascinating insights into Barcelona's history and culture.

Day 2: Barcelona Bike Tour, Visit Sagrada Família

See the finest examples of Catalan Modernist architecture, like the Sagrada Família

Get ready for a bike tour around Barcelona! At the designated time, meet your guide at the hotel and embark on a whirlwind city tour. It's a fun way to get some exercise while learning about Barcelona's history and enjoying its myriad historical landmarks. 

During the tour, you'll ride along the narrow streets of Old Town (including Raval, El Born, and the Gothic Quarter). Highlights include the Gothic Barcelona Cathedral, which was built in the 13th century and took over 150 years to complete. Next, you'll arrive at Ciutadella Park—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, the colorful promenade along golden Barceloneta Beach.

Then, leave the bike and head back into the city for a tour of one of Barcelona's most iconic landmarks: La Sagrada Família. Renowned architect Antoni Gaudí designed this Roman Catholic basilica which is the pinnacle of the Catalan Modernist architectural movement that took Barcelona by storm in the 19th century. It's characterized by its unique blend of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles and has earned UNESCO World Heritage Status. During a tour of the interior, you'll learn all about Gaudí and his jaw-dropping masterpiece, which was built in 1882 yet is still technically under construction.

Day 3: Day Trip to Rupit, Group Hike

Explore the town of Rupit and hike the surrounding mountains

Leave in the morning on a small-group tour for a day hike—a great warmup for the extended trekking to come. Everyone will gather in a vehicle in Barcelona for the 1.5-hour drive north out of the city into the pre-Pyrenees (the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains), enjoying the rural Catalan scenery as you go. Eventually, you'll arrive in Rupit, a rustic medieval town perched on a hilly lookout point. The architecture dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries, with houses and streets made from stone and complemented by pretty gardens.

Begin the hike on a cliff near Rupit, from where you'll enjoy breathtaking views of the town and the Collsacabra mountain range. The 5-mile (8 km) trail leads through montane forests and along cliffside viewpoints with views out to the Susqueda Reservoir and surrounding nature. On your way, you'll see the famous Salt de Sallent, the highest waterfall in Catalonia, which plunges about 377 feet (115 m) over a cliff. If you're lucky, you might spot golden eagles and other raptors.

After the hike, you'll return to Rupit and enjoy a leisurely lunch at a local restaurant. Once you've eaten, take some time to stroll the cobbled streets of this well-preserved town, which is like stepping back into the Middle Ages. You'll definitely want to walk over the hanging bridge that runs through Rupit. Later, meet your driver for the ride back to Barcelona.

Day 4: Day Trip to Montserrat & Cava Wine Tasting

Visit the jaw-dropping Monastery of Montserrat, which dates to the 11th century
Plan your trip to Spain
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Wake up early for another group tour and day hike. After breakfast, you'll hop in a passenger van for the one-hour drive north of Barcelona to Montserrat. This mountain area is home to the iconic Monastery of Montserrat. Founded in the 11th century and sitting at 4,000 feet (1,266 m), this glorious Benedictine monastery is more than a historical landmark—even today, it remains in operation, as more than 70 monks call it home.

You'll enjoy a tour of the monastery followed by a short hike around Montserrat to enjoy the memorable mountain views. Afterward, there will be free time to visit the farmers markets here. Also, if you're visiting on a weekday, you'll be treated to a performance from the Montserrat Boys Choir.

After lunch, get back in the vehicle for the drive through scenic back roads into the Penedès wine region. Here, you'll visit a renowned local winery for a tour of their vast cellars. See how cava, the famed Spanish sparkling wine, is produced, from the first pressing of the grapes to the second fermentation in the cellars. Of course, the tour ends with a tasting of fine Spanish bubbly. Afterward, transfer back to Barcelona with your group.

Day 5: Fly to Venice (Italy), Food Tour

Tour Venetian wonders in and around the famous Grand Canal

Your driver will pick you up early for the transfer to the airport, where you'll catch a two-hour flight to Venice. Welcome to Italy! This country has thousands of years of history, much of it visible on the historic streets of its cities and villages. A perfect example is Venice. It was officially founded in the fifth century in the marshy Venetian Lagoon on the Adriatic Sea. Aptly nicknamed the "City of Water," it draws over a million visitors annually, who come to see its palaces and ride its romantic canals.

Upon arrival, you'll transfer to your hotel. Then, it's time to head out and experience the Venetian wonders for yourself. Today's excursion focuses on food as you'll head off along the canals and narrow backstreets as your local expert guide reveals insight into the city's gastronomic history. Of course, there will be plenty of food along the way. Stop at a local eatery and indulge in cicchetti (the Venetian version of tapas) paired with a refreshing spritz—a classic aperitif born right in Venice.

Then, walk to the Rialto Bridge—one of the four scenic bridges that span the Grand Canal. A short stroll from here brings you to the bustling Rialto Market. Stroll around this lively epicenter of daily Venetian life and culture, tasting local products that help create the city's incomparable cuisine.

Day 6: Transfer to the Dolomites, Trekking Day 1

Dolomites, Italy
Embark on a multiday hike in Italy's most famous mountain range

Get an early start as you meet your driver for the four-hour transfer north to Italy's famous Dolomites Mountains for another mountain adventure. You'll meet your driver and transfer north from the city about two hours to the foot of the Ortler Alps and the Val di Rabbi. This valley is the picture of rural beauty, with livestock grazing on green meadows and pristine rivers flowing between snowcapped peaks. Here, you'll meet a guide and begin a half-day hike.

The 5-mile (8 km) route will take you through Stelvio National Park. This protected area is renowned for its unspoiled mountain scenery, including towering peaks, glaciers, and pine and spruce forests. You'll hike into these woods, crossing suspension bridges on your way up to the mountain hut where you'll overnight. On the way, be on the lookout for resident wildlife like deer and ibexes.

Day 7: Dolomites Trekking Day 2

Cross the Saent Valley and enjoy northern Italy's stunning scenery
Wake up at first light and marvel at a glorious sunrise over the mountaintops. Then, after breakfast, hit the trail again on a 5-mile (8 km) route out of Stelvio National Park. After about four hours of scenic trekking along grassy slopes, you'll arrive in Saent Valley, which equals the Val di Rabbi in terms of sheer beauty. After a while, you'll arrive at the foot of the Ortler Cevedale mountain group and the hut where you'll overnight. 

Day 8: Dolomites Trekking Day 3, Transfer to Lake Garda

Pass waterfalls and other natural wonders in the Saent Valley

In the morning, you'll begin hiking down the mountains on a route with no shortage of natural splendor. This relatively easy 3.7-mile (6 km) trail is lined with plenty of colorful flora, like rhododendrons, as well as native animals. It also leads to the Pra di Saent, a beautiful alpine meadow that's the gateway to the region's famous waterfalls.

After crossing some bridges, you'll arrive at the Saent Falls, the most majestic waterfall system of all. The impressive cascades here can reach heights of about 98 feet (30 m). After marveling at the falls and snapping photos, you'll continue hiking to the end of the trail and meet a car for the transfer to Italy's Lombardy region and Lake Garda, the country's largest lake. 

Day 9: Desenzano & Sirmione Tour, Optional Hot Springs

Take a boat tour in Sirmione, the most famous village on Lake Garda

The best way to experience the romantic villages around Lake Garda is on a walking/boat tour. And that's exactly what you'll do on today's full-day excursion. In the morning, you'll meet your guide in the town of Desenzano del Garda (known simply as Desenzano), located on the southwestern shore of the lake. Its origins date to Roman times, and you'll even get to visit a Roman Villa with well-preserved and intricate floor mosaics. Other highlights include stops at the colorful Venetian harbor and lakefront promenade. Don't miss the bustling outdoor market if you're here on a Tuesday.

Then, hop on a boat for a scenic ride to Sirmione. This unique town occupies a narrow peninsula that juts up from the south end of the lake. While here, you'll tour the well-preserved historic center, known for its medieval and Renaissance architecture, narrow cobblestone streets, and charming squares. The most famous of all is Scaliger Castle. This 13th-century fortress dominates the entrance to town, and from its ramparts, you'll be treated to incredible views of the lake and mountains.

After the boat tour, you can spend the rest of the day relaxing. There are world-class spas all around the lake that take advantage of the area's thermal springs, which have attracted visitors since Roman times. The most famous is right in Sirmione. The sulfurous baths here hover around 93°F-96°F (34°C-36°C) and offer various therapeutic benefits, from alleviating arthritis and respiratory conditions to soothing skin conditions and reducing stress. Another option is the Villa dei Cedri Spa, set amid a beautifully landscaped garden with centuries-old cedar trees, lush greenery, and scenic pathways. 

Day 10: Optional Wine Tasting, Transfer to Milan, Depart

Enjoy the fruits of Italy's vineyards on a tasting tour of Valpolicella

The adventure isn't quite over yet! Today, you'll have the option to enjoy another memorable wine tasting. Leave Lake Garda with your driver and visit the surrounding Valpolicella region, known as the "Land of Red Wines." On this tasty excursion, you'll visit two wine estates to taste a few of the region's celebrated reds, like Amarone and Valpolicella Classico. A real treat is a sampling of Recioto, a dessert wine made from dried grapes, not unlike raisins, resulting in a deeply rich and sweet flavor profile.

Afterward, you'll head back toward Lake Garda and continue west to Milan. Your driver will drop you off at the international airport there, where you'll catch your flight home. Arrivederci! 

More Great Spain Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Spain? Check out these other Spain itineraries, explore different ways to spend 10 days in Spain and Italy, or discover the best time to visit Spain.


Map of City Culture & Outdoor Adventure in Spain & Italy - 10 Days
Map of City Culture & Outdoor Adventure in Spain & Italy - 10 Days