Travel to Spain
Depart for Barcelona, where you will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Your guide will provide lots of tips and information to help get your great holiday under way.
Montserrat & Cava Tasting
Today’s full day guided excursion includes visits to Montserrat, 1,200 metres above sea level and home to one of Spain’s most important religious sites, and the winery of the region's famous Cava producers.
The beautiful Benedictine Abbey of Santa Maria de Montserrat was founded in the 10th century. It acted as a sanctuary for many scholars, artists and politicians during Franco’s rule and from the 1940’s was seen as a symbol of Catalan nationalism. To begin the visit, you’ll walk towards the basilica and enjoy a commentary from your guide. There will then be free time to visit the Abbey, the on-site museum, or take a funicular to the highest part of the mountain range to admire spectacular views towards Barcelona and the coast.
After a morning of discovery at Montserrat, continue your journey to the wine region of Penedès and take a tour of the winery and cellars of Codorníu or Freixanet, followed by a tasting of their sparkling wines.
Panoramic Tour of Barcelona
You will start your holiday with a panoramic tour of Barcelona to get your bearings in this stunning city. As you drive through the streets your guide will point out incredible pieces of art & architecture in the style of Antoni Gaudi and other Catalan Modernist Artists.
Your first stop is Montjuïc Viewing Point so you can see the entire city laid out before you. Next you move on to visit two of Gaudi’s most famous works, La Sagrada Família Church and Park Güell.
After lunch you will embark on a walking tour of Barcelona’s iconic Gothic Quarter. The Gothic Quarter or Barri Gòtic is the centre of the old city of Barcelona and many of the buildings date from medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement. The area is made up of a labyrinth of small streets running off the famous Las Ramblas, many of which open up to squares, which contain churches and basilicas. You will have free time for some Christmas shopping before returning to your hotel.
After breakfast, your guide will take you to the small city of Girona. You will take a walking tour through the beautifully preserved Jewish Quarter to the Santa Maria Cathedral. The cathedral is built on the site of a mosque, which was built by the Moors and was rebuilt after their expulsion. The present edifice is one of the most important monuments of the Majorcan architect Jaume Fabre and is an excellent example of Gothic Catalan architecture. You will finish the tour in the town’s main Plaza where you can take lunch at your leisure in one of the many tapas bars.
This afternoon you will travel to the town of Figueres to visit the Dalí Museum, widely regarded as the home of surrealism. Salvador Dalí was born in Figueres and has an eccentric artistic repertoire including film, sculpture and photography. The heart of the museum is the building that housed the Figueres town theatre when Dalí was a child and is where the young Dalí’s first exhibitions were showcased. The museum now displays the largest and most diverse collection of his works.
You will have Christmas Eve to spend at your leisure. Take a short walk to the centre of Calella and watch the last minute preparations for Christmas. Friends and neighbours stroll through the streets wishing each other Merry Christmas before they settle in for their traditional Christmas Dinner.
It is customary in Spain to hold the main holiday festivities on Christmas Eve. This evening you will celebrate with a gala dinner and drinks. There will be a midnight mass in a local church for anyone who is interested in attending.
Christmas Day is free to enjoy at your own pace. Enjoy Christmas lunch and drinks, followed by entertainment at your hotel.
Today you can avail of a transfer to Barcelona, for independent sightseeing there. Revisit the Gothic Quarter and explore its atmospheric streets, stroll along Las Ramblas and have fun watching the street vendors and performers, try some delicious tapas!
Time to head for home, with some wonderful holiday memories. Transfer from your hotel to Barcelona airport for your flight home, with guide assistance.