Day 1 | In Transit
Depart for Barcelona, Spain.
Day 2 | Barcelona, Spain
Transfer to the Renaissance Barcelona Hotel. Enrichment: The History of Catalonia and Barcelona. Gain insights about Catalonia, one of Spain’s most independent-minded regions. Tonight, meet and socialize with your fellow travelers at a Welcome Reception and Dinner.
Day 3 | Barcelona
Discovery: Walking Tour of Gothic Quarter. Stroll through the atmospheric Barri Gòtic, where medieval Barcelona flourished. Visit Plaça St. aume, where civic leaders have run the city since Roman times. Continue to the Plaça del Rei, the historic powerhouse of medieval Catalonia. See the Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona and the Roman walls that defined the perimeter of their colony, Barcino. Discovery: Barcelona Cook and Taste. Roll up your sleeves and learn how to make Catalán cuisine, including classic appetizers and delicious paella. Then enjoy the wonderful food you’ve prepared! Free Time: Venture off to see more of Barcelona.
Day 4 | Barcelona
Enrichment: Modernism and the Architecture of Gaudí. Antoni Gaudí is one of the most famous figures of Catalán culture and world architecture. A local expert discusses how Gaudí’s love of God and nature inspired his creations. Discovery: Gaudí’s Barcelona. Seven Gaudí buildings in and around Barcelona, recognized together as a UNESCO World Heritage site, attest to his architectural contributions. Visit Parc Güell, a captivating public park with colorful, undulating mosaic benches, shady trees and Mediterranean views. Then head to La Sagrada Família, and appreciate his bold use of light, color and form to create a sense of spirituality and grandeur. Free Time: Your afternoon is at leisure. This evening, savor a delectable dinner at an elegant restaurant in the Eixample district.
Day 5 | Barcelona
Free Time: Spend your day at leisure. You can also choose to join today’s Elective Activity. ELECTIVE | Girona and Dalí’s Figueres. Journey to the town of Girona, built by the Romans 2,000 years ago. It became an important Catalonian town during the Middle Ages. On a walking tour, discover the Call, the medieval maze of narrow streets that was home to the town’s Jewish community. Travel to Figueres, the hometown of surrealist artist Salvador Dalí. Visit the Dalí Theater-Museum, designed by the artist himself. The colorful building topped with giant eggs is as whimsical and dramatic as the artwork inside.
Day 6 | Barcelona
Discovery: Barcelona — Through the Eyes of Picasso. Pablo Picasso drew creative inspiration from the city and embraced its progressive attitudes about art. Visit the Picasso Museum to see one of the largest collections of his early works. Follow in his footsteps as you explore the neighborhood where he and other artists congregated. Then tour El Born, Barcelona’s medieval jousting grounds. See Santa Maria del Mar, a 14th-century church built in the Gothic style of Catalonia. Free Time: Craft your own plans this afternoon.
Day 7 | Montserrat | Penedès Wine Region
Discovery: The Monastery of Montserrat and Penedès Wine Region. Visit the ninth-century Benedictine monastery of Montserrat, built along a sandstone mountain and surrounded by towering pillar formations. Explore the monastery grounds and basilica, and see the statue of the Virgin of Montserrat, the patroness of Catalonia. Later, admire the pretty scenery of the Penedès wine region, known for cava, a sparkling wine. Discovery: Cava in the Countryside. At a family owned winery, relax over a country-style lunch, complemented by a tasting of their refreshing ava.
Day 8 | Barcelona
Enrichment: Contemporary Catalonia. Many Catalonians think of their region as a separate nation from Spain. Learn about their continued efforts for greater independence. Free Time: Spend your final day exploring on your own. In the seaside neighborhood of Barceloneta, take a leisurely stroll along the lively waterfront, or hop aboard the port cable car for a pleasant ride up the Montjuic hillside. The Montjuic area is known for its acclaimed museums. Tonight, celebrate your time together in this alluring city at a Farewell Reception and Dinner.
Day 9 | In Transit
Transfer to the airport for the return flight to your gateway city