Barcelona: City of the Sea
September 19-27, 2017
Barcelona oozes with cultural and historical heritage and is surrounded by other fascinating places to visit. Highlights of the tour include a guided tour of Barcelona with special attention to its Old Town, with its narrow winding streets of Roman and Medieval times. You will be able to admire the genius of the architect Gaudi at three of his UNESCO World Heritage sites: Park Guell, Casa Mila and La Sagrada Familia, Spain’s most visited landmark. At the Museum of Picasso, Barcelona’s native son, we will learn the source of his artistic achievements. An optional experience is the opportunity to visit the local market, select fresh ingredients, and cook up a meal. Any trip to Spain should, so we include a flemenco dinner show where passion, percussion, song and dance combine to reflect a unique cultural tradition.
On day trips we will explore the Roman city of Terragona, founded in the third century BC, and admire its amphitheater, which overlooks the Mediterranean and is a model of Roman construction. Other days will bring us to the cava wine area and the medieval abbey of Montserrat perched atop some truly unusual rock formations.
Weds. Sept. 19, 2017: Depart USA – Barcelona
We depart JFK on Delta Airlines, departing at 7:57 pm and arriving the next day at 9:55 am. The flight includes dinner and breakfast.
Thurs. Sept. 20, 2017: Arrival in Barcelona
Upon our arrival our tour escort will meet us and provide a panoramic tour en-route to our hotel, the four-star Tryp Apolo. Our tour escort will also lead us on a walking tour to see major sights such as the famous Ramblas area. In the evening we will meet for a welcome dinner.
Meals: Breakfast and Welcome Dinner
Fri. Sept 21, 2017 Tour of Barcelona
After breakfast we will meet our guide and begin our visit to Barcelona by becoming familiar with two of its stars—the architect Gaudi and the artist Picasso. Barcelona has a signature architectural style, which for simplicity’s sake can be grouped into the wider Art Nouveau movement that was taking place in the late 19th century/early 20th century and has been made manifest throughout the city by its architectural godfather: Antoni Gaudi. Throughout our visit we will see the fruit of his labor and genius. Today we begin with a guided tour of La Pedrera (also known as Casa Mila), one of Gaudi’s greatest works and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gaudi reimagined how the most common elements of a home should look. The façade is reminiscent of waves, and the wrought iron balconies suggest seaweed bracing against the waves. The chimneys of the rooftop are famous for inspiring the storm troopers’ costumes of Star Wars. At the conclusion of our visit, we will have lunch in a restaurant designed by this architectural star.
After lunch we will visit the Picasso Museum, a key reference for understanding the formative years of Pablo Picasso. The genius of the young artist is revealed through the works that make up the permanent collection, which is very rich in work from the formative years in the life of the artist.
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Fri. Sept. 22: Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia
Today we continue our visit to neighborhoods of the city with stops at two additional UNESC O sites: Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia. The location of Park Guell provides a panoramic view of the city and our tour will guide us through the creative masterpieces of Gaudi, from mosaic-covered dragons to a covered market hall of crooked pillars. It’s a wonderland of fantasy buildings and ingenious city planning.
After lunch, we visit the famous La Sagrada Familia, Spain’s most visited landmark where Gaudi reimagined church architecture, with nature taking a central role in the decorative elements. Where else will you see beetles, butterflies and spiders as the main actors on the huge brass doors of a church?
Sat. Sept. 23, 2017: Optional Cooking Class or Free Day
There is no better way to understand a culture than to learn about its food – from the selection of produce, its preparation to maximize flavors and enjoyment, and finally eating it. We start with a walking tour of Boqueria Market, a famous and traditional food market located in the heart of the city and then move to a cooking school where a professional chef will lead a hands-on cooking class of a 4-course seasonal, Catalan and Spanish meal accompanied with wine. You will leave with a booklet of recipes that you can try at home. The cost is $109 per person.
Because the class size is limited to 14 people, the cooking class will be offered twice: today and Tuesday, September 26. If you are not in today’s cooking class, please see the itinerary for Tuesday, Sept. 26 for ideas to explore the city on your own.
Sun. Sept. 24, 2017: Montserrat
After breakfast we will board the bus for an exciting excursion north to the mountain of Montserrat, which houses a medieval abbey set high up amongst some truly unusual rock formations. Montserrat is one of Europe’s most famous pilgrimage sites, and pilgrims have been traveling here since the Middle Ages. Even if you’re not particularly religious – if you’re interested in medieval history, or geology – a trip to this spiritual spot is not to be missed.
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
Mon. Sept.25, 2017: Terragona and Penedes Valley
After breakfast we will depart for a full-day sightseeing excursion. We will travel south along the Mediterranean Coast to the ancient Roman city of Terragona, whose impressive ruins (another UNESCO World Heritage Site) you will visit. You will see Terragona’s ancient walls, the Roman forum and the 2000 year-old amphitheater, whose backdrop is a dramatic blue blast of Mediterranean Sea.
In the afternoon we continue to the sheltered valleys and rolling hills of the picturesque Penedes region, one of Spain’s most famous wine regions and the world’s largest producer of Cava, the Spanish version of Champagne. We will tour one of the vineyards and participate in a wine tasting of Cava bubbly.
Tues. Sept. 26, 2017: Free Day
Your last full day in Barcelona is designed to allow free time to explore the city on your own. And your choices are many.
Barcelona is a very cosmopolitan city with wonderful boutiques and general shopping, which you can find by strolling through the narrow, winding streets of the Old Town and along Las Ramblas, a wide avenue that features historic buildings, the fresh market, and many, many stores.
The Joan Miro Foundation features not only the works of Miro, but also the work of other modern artists.
The National Palace was built in 1929 as part of an International Exhibition and today houses The National Museum of Catalonian Art. It includes an extraordinary collection of medieval frescoes, which served as an inspiration for Miro, as well as art into the 20th century.
A recent New York Times article encourages travelers to visit the Glories area of Barcelona for its new Barcelona Design Museum and historic flea market.
Close to La Pedrera, which we visited early on the tour, is the Egyptian Museum, with more than 1000 items from ancient Egypt.
Relax with drink at the seaside and enjoy the Mediterranean for one last time.
Meals: Breakfast and Farewell Dinner
Tues. May 30, 2017
Departure for home.
The land only trip price per person double room occupancy is $2790.
The single room supplement is $759.
The reservation deposit fee is $500
AIRFARE: Many of our travelers have requested booking their own air arrangements in order to use their airline mileage points or extend their trip. However, Edventures has reserved a number of airline seats. The schedule and price for these non-stop flights are below:
Sept. 19 Delta Flight 476 departs JFK at 7:15 pm and arrives Barcelona (BCN) at 9:55 am the next day
Sept. 27 Delta Flight 477 departs Barcelona (BCN) at 12:00 pm and arrives JFK at 2:58 pm
PRICE FOR AIRFARE: $673
The following elements are included in the price of the trip:
- $100 tax deductible contribution to Saratoga Arts, Soroptimist International of Saratoga County, Academy for Lifelong Learning or North Country Arts;
- Full time tour escorts and professional guides who will help make the histories and cultures of Barcelona and Catalonia come alive;
- Gratuities for guides and coach drivers;
- Four star lodging;
- Daily breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners;
- Luggage handling for one checked bag;
- Scenic boat rides, and ferry rides;
- Small group travel;
- Private motor coach transportation throughout the trip;
- Pre-departure documents and meeting; and
- Memories to last a lifetime!
SMALL GROUP FEE: A small group fee of $200 per person will be charged if the group number falls below 20
PAYMENT SCHEDULE: Reservations are due ASAP. The reservation deadline is June 1.
For reservations after this date, contact Edventures.
FINAL PAYMENT: Edventures will send an invoice approximately July 1.
TRIP INSURANCE is a personal choice, but is recommended. Some purchase it through their
AAA office, which sells Access America. To get the best rates, you can compare costs online through agents like Squaremouth.com, InsureMyTrip.com, or Totaltravelinsurance.com, which offer side-by-side comparisons. Please contact Edventures prior to purchasing trip insurance to assure that the trip is a “go.”
AVERAGE TEMPERATURES: The average high in Barcelona in September is in the low 70s.
Do you still have questions about the tour? If so, contact Mary at Edventures 1 (607) 387-3322
or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.