Barcelona/Empordà, Penedès, Spain - 6 nights
Available year round
Designed exclusively for Active Gourmet Holidays' clients, this Wine & Chocolate Lovers tour is for those who wish to indulge in all the delicious delights of what Spain has to offer. Your six night adventure includes a stay at luxury accommodations, private guided visits to wineries, walking tours of cultural places of interest, a relaxing gourmet picnic in the vineyards, and divine chocolate tastings that will leave your palate feeling very happy it found its way to this treasured part of Spain!
Your vacation starts with airport pickup and chauffeured transfer in a luxury vehicle to your charming and elegant, 4-star luxury hotel at a former Duque palace within the Gothic District of downtown Barcelona, but at the same time on the seafront.
Today you will be able to relax and unwind after your long journey, and surely after freshening up you will feel ready to venture out to have a preliminary view of some of the many marvelous places offered by this cosmopolitan city! We will provide you with plenty of suggestions on where to go and what to do.
Depending on your arrival time, and preferences, you may like to take one of your Private Guided Barcelona tours this afternoon.
Today you will experience Barcelona to the fullest! After breakfast your private officially licensed tour guide will meet you at nine o´clock at your hotel and from there you will head to La Boqueria, Spain’s most important market which will surely fascinate you with the wide and colorful variety of produce, fish, meats and more it offers! It is definitely one of the most representative places in the city.
Next you will walk next door for a delicious snack at a lovely and picturesque artisan chocolate shop. The building – once home to a Catalan family - was remodeled in the early 1900´s by a famous scenographer, who certainly did a marvelous job, as you will see for yourself!
Your journey will pass by a few architectural feats as well, including the beautiful Gothic cathedral, the Santa Maria del Mar church, la Plaza del Real etc. Your expert guide will show you the remnants of the city’s Roman and medieval past. You will wind through the narrow streets lined by beautiful Romanesque walls, while the guide explains to you the fascinating history of Barcelona and the region in general.
Afterwards, you will visit a charming local cheese shop to enjoy some home made Spanish cheeses, which are manufactured with carefully selected ingredients. The shop owner personally makes sure that both cheeses and wines are a perfect match, so you are sure to enjoy her suggestions!
For lunch you will probably be ready to try one of Spain’s most popular dishes: Tapas! We are confident that you will enjoy tasting them in an authentic tapas restaurant, where you will be able to choose from a wide variety. Your expert guide will gladly share with you each tapa’s ingredients and their origins, which could range from stuffed piquillo peppers, cod omelet, Iberian ham pincho or even white anchovies. A delightful local wine will accompany your informal gourmand meal.
To add to your indulgent day, we will take you on a visit to Barcelona’s sweetest spot, The Chocolate Museum, where you will learn about the origins of chocolate and how it was brought to Europe. After learning about the methods used by the Aztecs to make this precious sweet, you will have a few tastings of your own!
You will be provided with many suggestions or you are free to venture out to the cosmopolitan Barcelona this evening!
This morning you will meet your private officially licensed guide at nine at your hotel and together you will head to the spectacular and world renowned La Sagrada Familia, where you will enjoy a private guided visit, followed by a walking tour of the Passeig de Gracia where you will appreciate the fanciful works of Spanish architect Gaudi, such as his famous Casa Batllo, created in a mosaic with bright colors and unique shapes. The tour will lead you to a visit and remarkable rooftop view from La Pedrera, Gaudi's renowned architectural accomplishment, which is in the most chic area of the city.
Once you have finished exploring the world of Gaudi and worked up an appetite, we will stop at a sophisticated and fashionable gourmet chocolate boutique for a private tasting of the city’s most sophisticated chocolates married with the best sweet Spanish and French wines. Many of these chocolate recipes were created by Albert Adria, the dessert chef of famous restaurant "El Bulli", and the brother of the most famous chef in Spain, Ferran Adria.
This afternoon you will be free to venture out and discover the many amenities Barcelona offers or perhaps enjoy again the secret corners of La Rambla and the fashionable Born District shown to you previously by our guide. As always, we can provide many suggestions!
To add more to today’s wonderful experiences, tonight you are booked into a very unique place for dinner where the dishes are entirely based on desserts! The cooking geniuses at this restaurant have converted typically salty dishes to sweet, and vice versa, creating a tasting revolution and a one of-a-kind experience. How would you like to try one of the most delicious and appetizing chocolate desserts this evening? The Chocolate Tasting Menu, including a Chocolate with vinegar, strawberry, mint and pepper dish will impress the sweet tooth of even the greatest chocolate connoisseur.
This morning a car rental representative will deliver your premium automatic vehicle with GPS to your hotel. Please note: an International Driving License is required for driving in Europe.
You will then drive north to the city of Girona where you will meet with your Officially Licensed Private Guide. Your guide will lead you around the city of Girona, where the influence of Arab, Christian and Jewish cultures is apparent. From the remains of the Arab baths, to the magnificent Catholic cathedral, to the curiosities of the Jewish Quarter, you will explore all three cultures and see where they resided within the walls of this city centuries ago. You will discover a magnificent cathedral with the widest Gothic nave in all of Europe, and also meander through the famed Jewish Quarter, where each winding narrow street brings quaint and specialized shops to discover the local foods and artisans. The perfect place to stop for a glass of wine and gourmet tastings in a beautifully charming bistro.
You will then head, with your guide, to Besalu. A fantastic medieval village famed for its majestic 12th century bridge over the river, once the only way to access the village. Besalu’s important Jewish community was located near the bridge and the river waters and here you will be able to visit the holy sites of the synagogue and the Mikveh at the Jewry’s heart. You will also have some tastings of local products such as the ratafia drink which is made from 40 different ingredients from handed down family recipes.
Onward now to your 5* luxury Spa Hotel in the heart of the Girona Countryside with exquisitely-decorated rooms and all the comfort you need to relax in the beautiful, tranquil setting. Take time to settle in and use the spa facilities this afternoon or you may like to book a relaxing massage.
This evening you may like to have a dinner reservation at 3-star Michelin restaurant El Celler de Can Roca, owned by three local Catalan brothers. The waiting list, which is well over a year long, far exceeds their capacity but we will get you high on the list. Local recipes are the inspiration for the exquisite dishes served here, from delectable parfaits to the most appreciated wild mushroom soufflé. The enthusiasm and creativity of Chef Joan in his cooking is only matched by sommelier Josep’s expertise at pairing the perfect wines with your dinner. Both are complemented by the third brother, Jordi, and his delightful desserts. From aperitif to dessert, you will remember this dining experience for years to come!
Today you will head to an area beneath the Pyrenees mountains where the air is crisp and the Mediterranean Tramontana wind can be sharp, but where the grapes are plentifully produced despite sometimes difficult weather conditions. You will be visiting a small family-run vineyard situated in the heart of the beautiful Empordà wine D.O region. The vineyard dates back to 2002. You will have a private visit of the vineyards and afterwards visit the facilities of this young, but very successful vineyard - understand the wine making process from harvest to barrel and then have an opportunity to taste their best wines. These wines are produced from the scarce fruit of a very lean soil, but with the care and attention to perfection of the owners of this special vineyard, they are fast becoming something very memorable indeed! You will have an opportunity too to sample some incredible sweet wine, Garnatxa, made from raisins, the dried fruit of the grapevine and additionally to sample their very own richly flavoured virgin extra olive oil.
Next you will take a leisurely short walk through the vineyards as you head to a shaded spot under the trees to enjoy a relaxing Gourmet picnic with your previously selected wine of choice.
In the afternoon you may wish to visit the Dali Museum only twenty minutes away. The great artist purchased the museum building and personally oversaw its reconstruction and renovation. Now restored in a style appealing to Dali, it is home to some of his greatest works of surrealism. You can easily visit the museum on your own, but if you prefer a guide, our guide is a great expert on Dali's work, so you can opt for a private visit where you can ask him all the unofficial and unconfessed secrets about the artist!
Surely after a day of cultural and culinary experiences you will welcome retreating to your beautiful hotel in Emporda, or maybe taking a scenic walk in the surrounding area.
Today you will check out of your Luxury Spa Hotel in the Girona countryside and drive to the Penedes Wine Region of Spain. Here you will check into your 5* Luxury Wine Hotel with its original design.
This afternoon you are booked for a private visit to a traditional, family owned cellar, where they specialize in biodynamic wines. The winery is just 5km away so you may choose to leave your car parked at the hotel and have the hotel receptionist call you a taxi. At this fantastic Penedes winery you will be amazed how the "intervention" of bees, sheep, and lunar phases can help to create outstanding wines.
The grapes in this vineyard are all hand-picked to ensure harvest at the ideal time for each vine. Additionally, the owners of the vineyard make their own olive oil, and they will explain the process and properties of this "liquid gold" and invite you to an exclusive tasting of their best wines.
On return to your hotel (with your rental car or by taxi) you may like to take a relaxing massage before dining in the hotel’s restaurant.
You are booked for a delicious 3 course farewell dinner with wines this evening in the midst of the vineyards.
Your tour concludes with a lovely breakfast at your hotel where you will be able to return the cell phone at reception, followed by your last drive through the enchanting Catalan countryside to Barcelona airport (an approximate 45 minute drive) for your departure, where you will be able to return your car.
A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 6 participants. (Please inquire about larger groups)
(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your party. Please inquire.)
HOW TO ARRIVE
Closest Airport: Barcelona Airport, which is half an hour from the hotel and about 11 miles. The nearest main railway station is Barcelona Sants, which is 10 minutes from the hotel and 3 miles.
*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.
US$3375 per person, for a private group of 2 guests
US$2775 per person, for a private group of 4 guests
US$2650 per person, for a private group of 6 guests
Single Supplement/US$1075 (double room for single use)
The Winery visit on Day 6 is for a Monday through Thursday visit - a surcharge will apply to Friday, Saturday or Sunday visits - please inquire.
Please Note: An International Driving License is requird for driving in Europe.
*Please note this tour is available for PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY and is not a scheduled tour for mixed groups.
*Please inquire about special pricing for groups of 8 or more.
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation
After availability is confirmed, a 40% deposit and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due in full 75 days before your arrival date. Travel insurance is hightly recommended.
*Private chauffeured transfer from the airport
*Premium rental vehicle with GPS and automatic transmission delivered to your hotel
*Accommodation for 3 nights in luxurious 4-star Spanish palace hotel in Barcelona Gothic Quarter (double occupancy)
*Accommodation for 2 nights in a luxury 5* Spa Hotel in the Emporda countryside (double occupancy)
*Accommodation for 1 night in a luxury 5* Wine Hotel in the Penedes countryside (double occupancy)
*Six (6) buffet breakfasts
*Private guided tours with an Official Licensed Bi-Lingual Guide to Barcelona Gothic Quarter, Barcelona Gaudi Route including la Sagrada Familia and La Pedrera, Girona Gothic Quarter
*One (1) private guided visit with an in-house bi-lingual guide to a prestigious winery in the Penedes Region, complete with tastings of cavas and wines
*One private guided visit with an in-house bi-lingual guide to a prestigious winery in the Emporda Region, complete with tastings of cavas and wines
*One (1) 3 course dinner with wines at your Penedes 5* hotel
*A tasting menu at a unique restaurant where the dishes are entirely based on desserts
*Gourmet Picnic lunch in the vineyards served with your selection of wine
*Visit to the Chocolate Museum, to include a chocolate tasting
*Chocolate & wine pairings tasting at a specialized venue
*Cheese & Wine tasting at a specialized venue
*Tapas Lunch with wine
*24 hour assistance for emergencies, daytime assistance for consults, restaurant reservations etc.
*Free use of a local cellphone (if required, please advise) to contact the Spain office, the hotels, etc.
The Winery visit on Day 6 is for a Monday through Thursday visit - a surcharge will apply to Friday, Saturday or Sunday visits - please inquire.
Please Note: an International Driving License is required for driving in Europe.
*Meals and Drinks not Specified
*Personal Expenses such as Telephone, Minibar, etc
*Tips and Gratuities (Restaurants, etc.)
*OPTIONAL guided visit to Dali Museum on Day Five
*OPTIONAL High waiting list placement for lunch/dinner while you are in the Girona region at a Michelin 3-starred restaurant (Can Roca)
For further inquiries or to register, click here.
Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Furnished upon request.
This exciting region is depicted below. You can also access Google MapsTM by clicking HERE.
*In some cases mapping may give clients a general sense of location due to changes in venue. Please inquire about specific location.