Barcelona is Spain’s second city and also the capital of Catalonia, its people fiercely proud of their culture. Since the 1992 Olympic Games the city has been transformed into a modern and cosmopolitan city with many dramatic buildings, particularly in the port area, and a selection of fine restaurants.
Catalan Modernism architecture (often known as Art Nouveau in the rest of Europe) developed between 1885 and 1982 and left an important legacy in Barcelona. A great number of these buildings are World Heritage Sites. A day will be spent focussing on the works of Antoni Gaudí to whom the city is inextricably linked, including a visit to the unfinished La Sagrada Family church.
We will also explore the Gothic Quarter, where many buildings date back to medieval times, with the magnificent Cathedral dominating its maze of narrow streets as well as dipping into the city’s art collections with visits to the Picasso Museum and the Miró Foundation.
A highlight will also include a trip out of the city to visit the 10th century Monserrat Monastery as well as Gaudí’s Crypt at the Church of Colònia Güell.
London / Barcelona
Depart London Heathrow on a British Airways morning flight to Barcelona. Transfer to the 5-star 1898 Hotel, situated on Barcelona’s famous La Rambla, where four nights are spent. Afternoon orientation walk. Welcome drinks followed by dinner at the hotel.
Morning transfer to visit Gaudí’s architectural gem, Casa Milà, locally known to all as La Pedrera (The Quarry) due to its spectacular fortress-like appearance, and admire its incredible undulating rooftop and chimneys. On the top floor at the ‘Espai Gaudí’ or Gaudí Space see an exhibition of Gaudí’s works throughout Spain. Also visit the rooftop with its incredible chimneys and staircases and a furnished apartment.
Continue on foot down Paseo de Garcia Boulevard to see Casa Batllò by Gaudí, Casa Amatller by architect Puig i Cadalfach and Casa Lleò Morera by Domènech i Montaner which together form what is now known as the “Block of Discord”.
Lunch at a local restaurant. Afternoon visit to Gaudí’s garden complex, Park Güell as well as Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia. Return to the hotel. Dinner under own arrangements.
Possible optional evening opera performance at The Gran Teatre del Liceu which is a short walk from the hotel (schedule TBA).
Barcelona & Montserrat
Morning transfer enjoying spectacular scenery to Montserrat Monastery, a Benedictine abbey located on the mountain of Montserrat and famous for its Black Madonna statue. The monastery was founded in the 10th century and still functions to this day, with over 150 monks. Visit the museum which showcases a selection of the most outstanding artistic and archaeological heritage at the monastery. Continue to La Colònia Güell.
Lunch at a local restaurant. Afternoon visit to the Church of Colònia Güell, an unfinished work by Antoni Gaudí. Commissioned by Count Eusebi de Güell in 1898 it was to be built as a place of worship for the people in Santa Coloma de Cervelló. Unfortunately with Güell losing profits from his business, the money was depleted and only the crypt was completed. Transfer back to the hotel. Dinner at a local restaurant.
Morning walking tour of the Gothic Quarter, one of the most interesting and best preserved in the Mediterranean. Visit the Picasso Museum, followed by the church of Santa Maria del Mar, and the Cathedral, a fine example of Mediterranean Gothic architecture.
Lunch at local restaurant famous for its roast suckling lamb. Return to the hotel and remainder of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner under own arrangements.
Barcelona / London
Morning transfer (with luggage) to the Miró Foundation, located in a wonderful building by architect Jose Luis Sert. Visit the permanent collection and the temporary exhibitions together with Space 13 for young artists. Transfer to Barcelona Airport for an afternoon British Airways flight to London Heathrow.