The Pyrenees Foothills, Mediterranean Coast, and Spectacular Medieval Towns

Overview

From the wooded foothills of the eastern Pyrenees to the dramatic headlands along the blue Mediterranean, discover the natural beauty and ancient culture of Catalonia, one of Spain’s most engaging regions. In a wonderfully active week, you’ll explore vibrant Barcelona and the extraordinary medieval towns that dot inland Catalonia, pedal a bike through forests and farms, and hike a beautiful trail that meanders through the mountains between Spain and France. You’ll also walk coastal trails or sea kayak along the Costa Brava (“rugged coast”), enjoy cava-tasting at a historic vineyard, and visit settings that inspired Salvador Dali, including the classic fishing village of Cadaqués. Along the way, you’ll come to know the proud regional identity of the Catalan people, sip some of their delicious wines and savor the local delicacies, and enjoy accommodations that range from a rural country manor to a seaside hotel.

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1
Barcelona / Barri Gotic / Sagrada Familia

Join your guide for a half-day exploration of this lively Catalonian capital. You'll visit an array of settings, from the picture-perfect Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter), a remarkable concentration of medieval buildings, to the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's extraordinary masterpiece.

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Days 2-3
La Garrotxa / Santa Margarida Hike / Bike or Hike the Via Verde / Explore Medieval Besalu

In beautiful La Garrotxa, the rich volcanic landscape of inland Catalonia, hike up a forested volcano, ride a bike on the Vias Verdes, or visit medieval Besalu, one of Catalonia’s oldest and most enchanting towns. You'll also sample the culinary specialties of this region, with overnights at a restored 12th century farmhouse.

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Days 4-5
Girona / Catalan Coastal Range Hike / Caldas de Malavella /

Discover medieval Girona, “the city of a thousand sieges,” a walled town on the Rio Onyar, and hike in the heart of the Gavarres Mountains, part of the Catalan coastal range, with a visit to the old spa town of Caldas de Malavella.

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Days 6-9
Roman Road / Costa Brava Sea Kayaking or Hiking / Cadaqués

Hike an old Roman road that crisscrosses the Pyrenees foothills between France and Spain, then head to the blue Mediterranean for a day of coastal hiking or sea kayaking. You'll also have a day to appreciate not only the beauty of the Costa Brava but also the unique life and works of the Catalan artist and surrealist painter Salvador Dali, with visits to the seaside village of Cadaqués, the Dali Museum in Figueres, and Dali's house at Port Lligat. Depart on Day 9.

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Highlights

Highlights

Explore Barcelona's extraordinary Gaudi monuments and Gothic Quarter
Experience the rural beauty of La Garrotxa on foot and by bike
Discover the medieval treasures of Besalu and Girona
Hike or sea kayak along the clear blue waters of the Costa Brava
Visit Dali's house in Cadaqués and the incredible Dali Museum in Figueres

Details

Length: 9 days
Cost From: $5395  
Arrive: Barcelona, Spain
Depart: Barcelona, Spain
Lodging: 7 nights hotels
Meals: Breakfasts and 3 lunches included
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Walking, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

Cultural explorations and walking tours, hiking, optional biking and sea kayaking

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