Revel in the excitement of one of Europe's must-see cities, discover its Gaudí masterpieces and journey to Catalonia's spiritual home. Soak up the irrepressible magic of the enthralling, stylish Olympic city of Barcelona. Discover its vitality and heart-stopping sights, and journey to the sacred hill-top monastery of Montserrat, Catalonia's spiritual heart. A delightful scenic tour of the Catalan Pyrenees (including a brief crossing into France) and opportunities to enjoy a guided walk along the shore from Santa Susanna to Malgrat, and to discover historic walled Girona, complete a hugely enjoyable holiday to Spain.
A guided tour of wonderful Olympic city Barcelona
See Gaudi's monumental Sagrada Familia
Journey to the mountain-top shrine at Montserrat
Enjoy a scenic journey through the Catalan Pyrenees
Following your flight to Spain, you'll transfer by coach to Santa Susanna and your hotel. After checking in, you'll have rest of the day free to enjoy the hotel and its surroundings before dinner is served this evening.
The first of your excursions takes you to the great city of Barcelona. Lavishly refurbished for the spectacular 1992 Olympics, Barcelona has something for everyone. Begin your visit with a guided tour, during which the city will be brought to life by an expert local guide, then spend the rest of the day exploring. Discover the Modernista route, starting with the grand boulevards of the Eixample district, at the heart of the city’s so-called Golden Square. Take in the Passeig de Gràcia and modernista architect Antoni Gaudí’s unforgettable Casa Milà, or La Pedrera, which houses a museum devoted to his life and work. From here, head to his greatest achievement, the awesome, unfinished marvel of La Sagrada Familia, the stupendous church that occupied his last 12 years. Explore the beautiful, medieval Barri Gotic, with its narrow streets and imposing Cathedral, its palm-fringed cloisters and cool fountains. See the Royal Palace, to which Columbus returned from the New World, and the Museu Picasso. Head to the busy central square of Plaza Catalunya, at the northern end of famous La Rambla, the wide, tree-lined pedestrian avenue that is the beating heart of the city. Flower stalls, birds in cages, remarkable mime artists, newsstands, the huge Boqueria market, Gaudí's magnificent Palau Guell and the Liceu Opera House ensure that progress is fascinating and slow. At the foot of La Rambla, the towering statue of Columbus looks out over the busy harbour. Here, out on the wooden walkways, you’ll find several floating restaurants moored, vying for your lunchtime custom. After a day crammed full of highlights, however you decide to spend it, you’ll return to the hotel in time for dinner.
Today's included tour is a leisurely escorted drive through the rolling foothills - and some higher passes - of the Catalan Pyrenees. We will pass through the Cadi Tunnel, then cross the border into France and visit famously sunny Fort-Romeu-Odeillo-Via, the walled town of Villefranche-de-Conflent and Perpignan.
Make the most of the hotel’s amenities and surroundings, today, or join one or both of our optional excursions. This morning, join your tour manager for a leisurely stroll along the seafront to the neighbouring resort of Malgrat. This gentle, largely level, three-and-a-half-mile walk will include time for a drink in a beach-front café before you return to Santa Susanna by boat. This afternoon’s tour will take you to the historic walled city of Girona. With its historic old town beside the River Onyar, its immense cathedral and its tree-lined main street Rambla, Girona is one of the most typically Catalan of the region’s cities, and a strategic stronghold dating back to Roman times. You’ll enjoy a guided tour of the major landmarks, and then have the rest of the afternoon free to explore. Don’t miss the cool cloister of the cathedral, the wonderfully restored Arab baths – the finest example in Spain outside of Granada – or the labyrinth of narrow streets that makes up the best-preserved Jewish quarter in Europe. Alternatively, take a seat in a pavement café to watch the world go by.
Our last excursion takes you to the stunning mountainside monastery of Montserrat, potent symbol and spiritual centre of Catalonia. A centuries-old place of pilgrimage, the monastery is home to the Black Virgin, a small figure of the Madonna and Child stained dark by the candles lit by countless worshippers. The fortress-like nature of the building – it is only accessible by winding road, rack railway or cable-car – served it well during the Franco regime, when Montserrat became a refuge for Catalan nationalism, and the views from its lofty perch are outstanding.
Bid "Adéu" to Catalonia, as you transfer back to the airport to board your flight home, at the end of a marvellous few days.
Five nights' dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation at the four-star Caprici Verd Hotel, Santa Susanna
A guided tour of Barcelona
Return flights from your chosen airport to Barcelona or Girona
Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced Tour Manager
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
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With more than 35 years’ tour-operating experience, Newmarket Holidays can provide escorted tours, river cruises, cruise holidays and resort-based stays that combine superb value for money and the highest standards of customer care. Having won Best Escorted Tours Holiday Company six years running at the British Travels Awards, the company has become one of the largest and most respected independently owned tour operators in the UK.
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