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Flavors of the Spanish Coast

Delve deep into the diverse flavors and myriad historic treasures during this leisurely exploration of the Spanish Coast. Visit artisan shops, delight in tours and tastings at award-winning wineries, and discover local fishing, farming, and culinary techniques that have been used over generations. Embrace the region's unique charm as you learn about the history and culture that have shaped its Mediterranean seaside villages and friendly locals.


NOTE: Tour information is current as of 7/24/2024.

Program Highlights

– With your small group (maximum 26 guests), enjoy seven nights accommodations at an enchanting boutique hotel located in the village of Madremanya.

– Visit charming medieval towns and villages, where history comes to life at every turn.

– Glimpse into the surreal world of Salvador Dalí as you visit his renowned Gala's Castle and Dalí Museum.

– Meet the owner of Masia Serra winery, an esteemed enologist, before a dinner and wine pairing.

– Amble through vibrant local street markets for an authentic look into daily Catalan life.

– Dive into local maritime culture during a fishing museum visit followed by a live fish auction experience.

– Discover La Vinyeta winery for a tour and tasting with the owner and vintner, then gather for dinner in the wine cellar or al fresco in the vineyard (weather depending).

– Explore the Greco-Roman ruins of Empúries, a testament to Catalonia's rich history.

What's Included

  • 7 nights luxury accommodations
  • 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 7 dinners served with wine
  • Full guiding services of an Orbridge Travel Director and expert local guides
  • All lessons, private tours and tastings, and unique small-group excursions noted on the 9-day itinerary
  • Private motor coach transportation
  • Luggage porterage
  • Gratuities to Orbridge Travel Director, local guides, drivers, porters and wait staff for included meals
  • Airport transfers for guests arriving and departing during the suggested times

Itinerary

Day 1: En Route from U.S.

Day 2: Arrive in Barcelona, Spain | Madremanya
Upon arrival to Josep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat Airport an Orbridge representative will be waiting to assist with your transfer to the property.

The enchanting boutique accommodations of El Racó de Madremanya epitomize rustic elegance and contemporary style. Meticulously restored medieval buildings made entirely of stone sit among a magnificent garden and welcoming common spaces. Each guest room features a thoughtfully selected color theme paired with optional aromatherapy fragrances. Authentic furnishings throughout create an ambiance that reflects the rich history of the Costa Brava region.

Take time to unpack and settle in before meeting fellow travel companions for a welcome dinner.
Overnight: El Racó de Madremanya (D)

Day 3: Girona
Your Catalonian adventure begins with a comprehensive guided walking tour of Girona, northern Catalonia’s largest city. Gothic spires, Romanesque towers and cultural highlights encompass more than 2,000 years of history. Aged cobblestone streets and medieval walls cascade around a collection of contemporary museums, galleries, churches, bars and restaurants. Your guide takes you through the old Jewish Quarter, or the Call—one of the best preserved in the world—with its narrow streets and fascinating squares. This Jewish Quarter was home to 1,000 Jews prior to their expulsion in 1492.

After lunch on your own gather together at colorful Rocambolesc Gelateria to taste confections guaranteed to satisfy the strongest sweet tooth. The shop owners (Roca brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi) are also the culinary talent behind El Celler de Can Roca—a three-Michelin-starred bistro, which has been twice voted “World’s Best Restaurant” by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list sponsored by prestigious San Pellegrino.

Late afternoon return to El Racó de Madremanya for a hands-on cooking class to learn the art of making paella—one of the region’s most famous dishes.
Overnight: El Racó de Madremanya (B,D)

Day 4: Púbol | Figueres | Palau Salor
Today immerse yourself in the surreal world of Salvador Dalí during a discovery of his life and works. Dalí's technical yet highly unusual, paintings, sculptures and visionary explorations of subconscious imagery began a new generation of imaginative expression.

After breakfast set out for Púbol to tour Gala's Castle—a serene and secluded refuge Dalí gave to his beloved wife and muse, Gala. This gift included a unique agreement—that Dalí would not visit the property without Gala's expressed consent. The castle’s antique exterior contrasts with the masterful photographs and art exhibits inside. Gala spent her final days here, and is buried in a crypt in the courtyard. After her death in 1982, Dalí took up residence at the castle for two years before moving to his final residence—and your next stop—the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Dali’s birthplace, Figueres.

Dalí oversaw the transformation of the Dalí Theatre-Museum, building it from the remains of the Municipal Theatre that was destroyed by fire at the end of the Spanish Civil War. The museum, considered his last great work, opened in 1974 and features a broad spectrum of Dali's art in paintings, sculptures, installations and photography. A few feature pieces are Self-Portrait with "L'Humanité" (1923), The Basket of Bread (1945), and the Mae West Lips Sofa (1937). With unconventional rows of bread-like medallions, golden statues and giant eggs, this venue is unparalleled for creating equal measures of admiration and intrigue.

Continue to the medieval town of Palau Sator for a brief walking tour plus a visit to the museum Rural De Palau-Sator.

Gather together for a lovely dinner at Mas Pou Restaurant before returning to the property. 
Overnight: El Racó de Madremanya (B,L,D)

Day 5: El Port de la Selva | Cadaqués | Cantallops
Following breakfast depart for El Port de la Selva, a traditional fishing village and seaside resort. Situated in a bay sheltered by surrounding mountains it’s the location of perhaps the most important Roman-era monument in Catalonia—Sant Pere de Rodes, a 10th-century Benedictine monastery. Perched on the highest point of El Port de la Selva—with commanding panoramic views of the Pyrenees, the Empordà plain, Cap de Creus Natural Park and the Bay of Roses—the monastery’s architecture of space and height wows visitors with historical and artistic legacy. Legendary tales shroud the monastery's origin giving it an air of mystery.

Delight in a leisurely seaside stroll before arriving to El Balconet for lunch.

Later continue to Cadaqués, a sleepy seaside village Salvador Dalí once called home, for time to peruse its many boutques. This village has been fondly described as “bohemian-chic,” providing artists and visitors inspiration from the sparkling sea views and picturesque beaches, whitewashed façades, Mediterranean-style roofs, flower-lined streets and fragrant olive trees.

Venture to Cantallops in the wine region of Empordà to meet the owners of Masia Serra Winery. In an idyllic setting of olive trees and old oaks within the nature reserve of the Albera, this vineyard continues a family tradition of wine production dating back to 1961 when indigenous vines were planted by the grandfather. During a tour and tasting embrace the passion and pride exuded by your hospitable and knowledgeable hosts. Their generations-old traditions and hand-crafted Catalan dishes will treat your palate to a memorable meal and wine pairing.
Overnight: El Racó de Madremanya (B,L,D)

Day 6: Monells | Calella de Palafrugell | St. Sebastia (Llafranc) | Palamos
Today's exploration begins with a visit to the small (and less-frequented) medieval town of Monells with a population of around 200. During a guided walk notice the Gothic-influenced stone houses and arched walkways.

Drive to Palafrugell for a seaside walk between Calella de Palafrugell and Llafranc—two of three coastal areas belonging to the municipality of Palafrugell—before lunch at El Far.

This afternoon features an excursion to Museu de la Pesca to learn about the fishing industry's history and importance to the region and culture. Unique to the Mediterranean, the past, present and future of fishing comes to life with interesting and informative displays and exhibits, including a short film, fishing equipment, models, photos and paintings. Continue to a local market to see a fish auction in action. Peruse the fresh seafood, including selections you will use in a hands-on cooking class to create dishes for tonight's dinner.
Overnight: El Racó de Madremanya (B,L,D)

Day 7: La Bisbal | Empúries | L'Escala
After breakfast visit La Bisbal d’Emporda, one of the traditional centers of the Sardana—the Catalan folk dance—and the undisputed capital of Catalan pottery with numerous artisan studios. Potters have worked the local clay for centuries thanks to copious deposits in the hills along the northwestern Spanish coast. The fertile material has developed this renowned center for handicrafts, and slender silhouettes of old industrial chimneys still dot the skyline. Walk through the local market to admire the colorful goods on display.

Continue to the ruins of Empúries in the heart of Costa Brava to view part of the legacy left behind by Greek and Roman civilizations. This unique archaeological site, surrounded by beaches, coves and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean, served as an important trading center for more than eight centuries—and as the gateway to the romanization of the Iberian Peninsula. Abandoned and buried by years of sand blowing in from the coast, this area showcases ruins of excavated temples and sanctuaries, plus remnants of artifacts including pottery and mosaics. Digging began in 1908 and continues to this day.

This evening relax and dine at Michelin-starred Massana in Girona.
Overnight: El Racó de Madremanya (B,D)

Day 8: Empordà
Following a leisurely morning at the property delight in a picnic lunch surrounded by lush palms and cypress trees that grow among the gardens. 

This afternoon set out for La Vinyeta, a family-run winery with striking views of surrounding mountains. Meet the owner and vintner to explore the grounds of verdant vineyards and olive trees. Not only does La Vinyeta produce fantastic wines, olive oil and fresh eggs, but it has an uplifting story of beating the odds to succeed. In 2009 La Vinyeta became one of the first wineries to adopt Integrated Production, an environmentally friendly cultivation system, meaning they do not use pesticides or herbicides—relying instead on natural methods. Partake in an olive-oil and wine-tasting experience before dinner.

Tonight join fellow travel companions for a farewell dinner featuring an exciting Flamenco dance performance to celebrate your memorable time exploring the Spanish Coast. 
Overnight: El Racó de Madremanya (B,L,D)

Day 9: Madremanya | Barcelona | Depart for U.S.
After breakfast guests departing during the suggested times take the complimentary transfer to Barcelona El Prat Airport for flights home. (B)

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

(Itinerary subject to change.)

Activity Level

Moderate

Activities are generally not very strenuous, however, guests should be able to enjoy two hours or more of walking, be sure-footed on cobbled surfaces, and walk up and down stairs without assistance. Historic city centers are usually more accessible by foot than vehicle, and sometimes it is not possible for your motor coach to drop you off at the entrances of hotels and sites. Due to the structure of some buildings, facilities for people with disabilities may be limited. Also, dexterity to use kitchen tools and participate in cooking lessons is not necessary but adds to the enjoyment of this program. NOTE: El Racó de Madremanya does not have an elevator, so guests with limited mobility should request a ground floor room.

Your Guide(s)

Flavors of the Spanish Coast – Insider, Interpreter, Epicure, Host

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As you explore the region's culinary and cultural flavors, an Orbridge Travel Director will infuse your journey with an epicure’s appreciation of food and wine, a local’s knowledge and pride of place, and a travel aficionado’s ability to enrich the beauty of all senses to your discoveries. 

The contribution of your Travel Director is essential to the intimate and educational qualities that distinguish this program. Catch their enthusiasm and explore the flavors of this wonderful region with added confidence, understanding, and appreciation.

Accommodations

El Racó de Madremanya

Originally a 17th-century farmhouse set in a medieval stone village, El Racó de Madremanya is a gorgeously restored property that features an enchanting and embracing warmth and sophistication. The boutique hotel's on-site proprietor, Ivan, departed the corporate world to refocus his energy towards the hospitality industry—his true passion. Welcoming guests as he would close friends, Ivan's engaging personality sweetens the already congenial atmosphere.

Located in The Golden Triangle of Catalonia, you’ll be near a variety of local attractions, glorious beaches and quaint villages.

Property amenities include lush gardens, freshwater pool, saltwater pool, sitting room with library, complimentary Wi-Fi and fireplace.

Each room features a custom color theme and optional aromatherapy for a unique personality. 

Room Amenities: Individual climate control, TV with local channels, phone, bathrobes and slippers, minibar, and en suite bathroom with a shower, shampoo/conditioner, and hair dryer.

Standard I (172 sq. ft.): Charming and cozy room featuring stone floors and walls throughout and a European queen bed (59 inches x 78.5 inches).

Standard II (215 sq. ft.): Romantic room featuring stone walls throughout, a terrace with garden and pool views, and a European queen bed (59 inches x 78.5 inches).

Superior (301-355 sq. ft.): Larger rooms located in the farmhouse, featuring stone walls, lounge area with sofa, views of the garden or medieval village corridors, and either a European queen bed (59 inches x 78.5 inches) or European king bed (70.5 inches x 78.5 inches).

Junior Suite (333-645 sq. ft.): Bright, spacious rooms located in the contemporary buildings with outdoor garden terraces, a variety of distinct features, and either a European queen bed (59 inches x 78.5 inches) or European king bed (70.5 inches x 78.5 inches).

Suite (441-645 sq. ft.): Large, desirable rooms with numerous unique amenities, including a separate living room (some with a fireplace), full bathroom with hydro-massage tub and shower, terrace with easy pool and garden access, and a European king bed (70.5 inches x 78.5 inches).

Grand Suite (753 sq. ft.): Spectacular two-story suite, featuring a ground-floor bedroom, second-floor living room with fireplace and TV, roomy bathroom with hydro-massage tub, access to the terrace, private garden, private pool, and a European king bed (70.5 inches x 78.5 inches).

NOTE: This property exclusively serves an adult audience. Minimum age requirement is 18 years. El Racó de Madremanya does not have elevators.

(Accommodations subject to change.)

Optional Post-Tour

Barcelona


Discover one of the oldest cities in Europe, one which boasts a marriage of contrasts—historic streets and buildings that have survived more than 2,000 years alongside unique architecture designed by Gaudí as recently as the early 1900s.

Itinerary

Day 9: Madremanya | Barcelona
After arriving in Barcelona set out on a panoramic visit of the city, first passing by Paseo de Gracia and La Pedrera. As you absorb the lively atmosphere explore the interesting examples of magnificent architecture, from 14th-century Gothic style to early 20th-century Modernism. Enjoy views from Montjuïc before arriving at today's featured highlight, an inside visit to La Sagrada Familia—Barcelona's most visited attraction—where you'll have a guided tour inside the crown jewel of Antoni Gaudí’s works.
Overnight: Hotel 1898

Day 10: Barcelona | Gothic Walking Tour
Today enjoy a walking tour through the narrow streets of medieval Barcelona, the core of the city, to where it all started 2,000 years ago. Discover the elegant and inspiring Catalan Gothic architecture—its charming corners and squares hidden away down ancient narrow streets. From here travel back to the Middle Ages visiting the Jewish Quarter and the El Born district. See popular locales, such as Placa Reial (Royal Square) and its Fountain of the Three Graces, Carrer Ferran, Plaça del Pi, Carrer Petritxol, Plaça Sant Jaume, Plaça del Rei (King’s Square) and Plaça Sant Felip Neri.

Also visit inside the Gothic Cathedral, with its resident flock of geese, and make a stop at the Santa Caterina Market. Finish with a walk through Moncada Street, passing the Picasso Museum toward the magnificent Santa Maria del Mar Church, one of the most beautiful in Barcelona. It is a magnificent example of Catalan Gothic architecture with soaring arches and stunning glass windows.
Overnight: Hotel 1898 (B)

Day 11: Barcelona
The day is yours to enjoy Barcelona at your leisure. Perhaps visit the Picasso Museum to view some of the artist's early sketches and lesser-known works or take a pleasant stroll down Las Ramblas, Barcelona's most famous pedestrian boulevard. Venture to Parc Güell, an area originally designed by Count Eusebi Güell and Gaudi that was intended as a luxury residential community, but was instead turned into a public park and municipal garden. 
Overnight: Hotel 1898 (B)

Day 12: Barcelona | Depart for U.S.
After breakfast guests departing during the suggested times take the complimentary transfer to Barcelona–El Prat Airport for flights home. (B)

B = Breakfast

Post-tour space is limited. We recommend reserving early for best availability.

This post-tour is not escorted by an Orbridge Travel Director. Included sightseeing is accompanied by a local guide.

(Itinerary subject to change.)

Activity Level

Moderate

Activities are generally not very strenuous, however, we expect that guests are able to walk a mile at a moderate pace, are sure-footed on cobbled surfaces, and can walk up a flight of stairs without assistance. Due to the structure of some buildings, facilities for the disabled may be limited.

Accommodations

Hotel 1898

Encounter an oasis in the heart of Barcelona with Hotel 1898. With Colonial flair and modern comforts, its name pays tribute to the year that Cuba and the Philippines formally declared independence. 

Room Amenities: Individual climate control, LED TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, phone, tea service, minibar, safe, bathrobes and slippers, and en suite bathroom with sundries and hair dryer.

(Accommodations subject to change.)

What's Included

  • Private group transfer from Madremanya to Barcelona
  • 3 nights at Hotel 1898 (or similar) with breakfast each morning
  • A guided intimate visit of La Sagrada Familia
  • A guided panoramic tour of Barcelona's highlights
  • A guided walking tour of the Gothic Quarter
  • Luggage porterage
  • Gratuities to local guide, driver and porters
  • Airport transfers for guests departing during the suggested times

Terms and Conditions