Detailed Itinerary (or download a PDF copy here)
• Day 1 (Sunday, September 18)
We meet at our hotel in central Valencia and immediately begin to get acquainted with this lively Spanish town. Valencia, with 2,000 years of history, has been revitalized and today embraces its superb seaside position. We discover the city through its architecture, visiting neighborhoods unchanged from medieval times, flashy Modernist areas (from the end of the 19th century) and the ultra-modern zone designed by native son Santiago Calatrava. His amazing City of Arts and Sciences will dazzle you, as will our visit to Europe's largest science museum. Late in the day, come along for a stroll and a WELCOME APERITIF, followed by DINNER. OVERNIGHT – VALENCIA
• Day 2 (Monday, September 19)
On a day trip out of Valencia, we find the Moorish-Christian town of Xàtiva, whose immense castle (30 towers, four fortified gates) is a mix of Roman and Arab. In early afternoon, returning in the direction of Valencia, we pull into the rural restaurant La Matandeta, overlooking vast rice fields, for a memorable LUNCH – paella, a dish that originated in Valencia. OVERNIGHT – VALENCIA
• Day 3 (Tuesday, September 20)
An amazing seaside village, whitewashed Peñiscola, lies two hours north of Valencia. We arrive here in late morning and check into our seaside hotel. In the afternoon, let's discover Peñiscola's stairstep streets, whitewashed houses and the castillo, dating from the early 1300s. OVERNIGHT – PENISCOLA
• Day 4 (Wednesday, September 21)
West of Peñiscola lies the amazing town of Morella, which we visit on a day trip. Morella, surrounded by 14th century ramparts, huddles beneath its ruined castle crowning a 3,000-foot hill. It is one of the most remarkable sites in Spain. Returning to Peñiscola, we have DINNER. OVERNIGHT – PENISCOLA
• Day 5 (Thursday, September 22)
We make the journey north to Tarragona, boasting expansive Roman monuments and a tangle of medieval streets, as well as a sloping garden tumbling down to the Mediterranean. Here, we take in the Roman mosaics of the National Archaeological Museum. Then, backtracking a bit, we arrive in the pretty but unspoiled seaside resort of Cambrils. The pleasant seafront and old town are a delight to explore. OVERNIGHT – CAMBRILS
• Day 6 (Friday, September 23)
Today we get to know the charming medieval village of Montblanc, whose intact town walls shelter cobbled medieval streets and quiet squares. Then it's on to Poblet, one of Europe's largest and best-preserved Cistercian monasteries, dating from the 1100s. Our monastery visit takes place after a fine Catalan LUNCH. OVERNIGHT – CAMBRILS
• Day 7 (Saturday, May 7)
Leaving Cambrils, we first visit coastal Sitges, a swanky resort well worth a stroll along its beachfront. Later we travel far north to the venerable town of Girona, and settle into our comfortable hotel on the edge of the old town. Girona claims an exemplary medieval barrio as well as one of Spain's most atmospheric Jewish quarters – the town was a noted center of religious tolerance from the 10th century until Spain's Jews were expelled in 1492. Tonight we have DINNER in old Girona. OVERNIGHT – GIRONA
• Day 8 (Sunday, September 24)
On a day trip, we visit the very charming medieval village of Besalú, whose intact town walls shelter cobbled medieval streets and stone architecture. Images of a humpback bridge from the middle ages spanning the Fluviá River at Besalú's entrance can be found on the cover of many guidebooks. Then it's on to Banyoles, lying beside a pretty lake. Returning to Girona, we enjoy free time. OVERNIGHT – GIRONA
• Day 9 (Monday, September 25)
North out of Girona we come to Salvador Dalí country and the first of three sights associated with the artist: the Salvador Dalí Theater Museum in Figueres, a fanciful structure that once was the town theater. Today it holds a quirky collection of works by the artist and others of his choosing. From here it is less than an hour across the border into southern France and one of that country's most picturesque fishing villages, Collioure. Here we wander cobbled streets and have a Michelin-starred LUNCH. Finally we re-enter Spain and take a winding seaside highway to utterly charming Cadaqués, fronting the Mediterranean. OVERNIGHT – CADAQUES
• Day 10 (Tuesday, September 26)
In our second Dalí visit, we tour the Gala Castle House Museum in Púbol, where the artist's wife, Gala, lived from 1968 to 1982. Dalí and Gala certainly had a complex relationship – his purchase of the castle for her came with the stipulation that he could only visit with her prior written permission. Then it's on to the ancient Greek-Roman town of Empuriés, once a major trading outpost on Spain's coast. Back in Cadaqués, we have DINNER. OVERNIGHT – CADAQUES
• Day 11 (Wednesday, September 27)
In our final Dalí visit, we make the short drive north to tiny, whitewashed Port Lligat and tour the artist's surprisingly modest home overlooking the sea. Dalí spent most of his later life here, creating a cross between a comfortable home and a bizarre showcase for the flamboyant artist and his wife. Along the way, we have LUNCH. OVERNIGHT – CADAQUES
• Day 12 (Thursday, September 28)
From Cadaqués we loop back toward Barcelona. First we visit the exceptionally pretty village of Pals. By lunchtime we're at the amazing site of Montserrat, considered Catalunya's spiritual heart. Here we visit a museum explaining the importance of this mountaintop shrine, as well as the ornate Royal Basilica, containing the shrine of a Black Madonna. OVERNIGHT – BARCELONA AIRPORT
• Getaway day (Friday, September 29)
It's time to say adios to Spain with a flight home from Barcelona.
Please Note – Although this tour ends at Barcelona airport, it does not visit Barcelona. Plan to see the city on your own before or after the tour.
MEALS Tour includes breakfast every day, as well as nine other meals (lunches and dinners), as indicated in BOLD CAPS on the itinerary.
Hotel Vincci Palace, Valencia
Hotel Boutique la Mar, Peñiscola
Hotel Rovira, Cambrils
Hotel Ciutat de Girona, Girona
Hotel Playa Sol, Cadaqués
Hotel Ciutat del Prat, Barcelona Airport
HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS listed are subject to availability.
ITINERARY Details of this preliminary itinerary could change. A final itinerary will be issued closer to trip departure.
SIGHTSEEING All sightseeing listed in itinerary is included as part of the tour.
* TOUR PRICE of $3,995 per person is an estimate as any significant decline in the value of the U.S. dollar vs. the euro may result in imposition of a currency surcharge. Ask us for details.
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