Barcelona/Penedés, Spain - 6 nights
Available year round
What better place to indulge in a culinary vacation than Catalonia, Spain? This private tour exclusively designed for Active Gourmet Holidays, combines three lovely accommodations, inside "foodie" visits including cheese tastings and vineyard visits, fun cooking classes with talented chefs and of course, incredible meals and superb wine, all the while enjoying the architecture of Barcelona and the countryside of the Penedés region. For those looking for a true gourmand experience this tour is for you!
ARRIVAL TO BARCELONA - WALKING TOUR
Your vacation starts with pickup at Barcelona Airport and chauffeured transfer in a luxury vehicle to your boutique Spanish style hotel in the best quarter of Barcelona.
This afternoon you will meet your expert guide who will discuss your personalized tour itinerary with you. Our representative will also gladly introduce you to the Spanish history, traditions and cuisine. Then, together you will head to the spectacular and world renowned La Sagrada Familia, where you will enjoy a private guided visit.
Afterwards, you will have a walking tour of the Passeig de Gracia where you will appreciate from outside the fanciful works of Spanish architect Gaudi, such as his famous Casa Batllo, created in a mosaic with bright colors and unique shapes and the remarkable La Pedrera, Gaudi's renowned architectural accomplishment, which is in the most chic area of the city.
Dinner on your own this evening.
FOODIE DAY TOUR
If you want to taste the best of Barcelona this private foodie day tour is for you! Take a culinary journey into this magnificent city for a memorable day-long immersion that includes a guided visit to the city's most famous market, La Boqueria. Your officially licensed experienced guide will lead you through this food heaven taking you to the booths considered to be the very best. You will also be led through the famous Gothic Quarter, which is a must see if visiting this incredible city. Your day ends with a fabulous delicatessen lunch at one of Barcelona's best delis.
In the morning you will meet with your bi-lingual guide who will take you to La Boqueria market which is over 800 years old and the largest in Spain. Here you will find delectable foods including fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, baked goods and sweets. You will taste some of the best local seasonal produce at a famous bar in the market which has been frequented by celebrities. Your guide will make sure you have a glass of fine brut cava with a tapa of perhaps Chantrelle mushrooms, fresh cockles, squid or maybe even scrambled eggs with wild asparagus.
Afterwards, you will be led through the picturesque Gothic Quarter where you will see such places as the Plaza Real, the Sant Jaume Square and of course the Barcelona Cathedral.
Next you will taste some of the best Spanish cheeses paired with excellent local wine at a charming local cheese shop. You will find out why the locals are crazy about their cheeses.
Now you need a little something for your sweet tooth - so, you will stop at the oldest venue in Barcelona for a sampling of fruits and dried nuts such as hazelnuts from Lleida, almonds from Tarragona, homemade nougats and chocolates. This quaint and local store, specializing in roasting coffee beans and nuts for over 150 years, is still decorated with its original furniture and old wood-burning stove.
Your special day ends with a wonderful light lunch at one of the best delicatessens in Barcelona. Enjoy a delicious delicatessen lunch including Spain's famous Iberic “bellota” ham, Joselito, fine cold meats and sausages, the finest wild tuna, anchovies, clams from Galicia, a selection of the best Spanish olive oils and more. To make it even better, English speaking sommeliers will guide you through more than 6000 wines.
After leaving you in the capable hands of the delicatessen for you to settle into lunch, your guide will be on his way, but not before suggesting a charming nearby cafe where you can enjoy a delicious hot chocolate con churros.
Approximate Hours: 10.00am – 2.00pm (your guide leaves around 1:30pm and you will enjoy your lunch at your own pace)
FREE MORNING IN BARCELONA - PENEDES REGION - COOKING LESSON
This morning 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!
At around 4.00pm in the afternoon you will go to an Avis office to collect your Premium Rental car. The vehicle will have automatic transmission and be fitted with GPS for your assistance Please note: an International Driving License is not required by law for driving in Spain but we advice you to get it to avoid issues if you are stopped. You can get it in the Motor Vehicle department of AAA.com tel 8002224357
You will then drive to your hotel in the Penedes Region, which is an exceedingly pretty Masia which uses only produce from its "bio" garden to produce the freshest healthiest organic food. Once you are settled in you will have your first cooking class with our reputable chef, who will show you how to prepare various delicious local dishes, with the organic ingredients from surrounding farms.
Afterwards you will enjoy the dishes you have prepared in our dining room, sipping local wine.
PENEDES WINE REGION - VINEYARD TOUR
You will start your day with an unforgettable visit to an exceptional vineyard, owned by one family since 1790 and situated in the heart of the Penedés wine region. A local in-house expert will take you on a private tour of the vineyards, which have been ecologically cultivated for more than 300 years. It is no wonder their wines have been officially certified as "ecological-organic" since 2004. You will be amazed at how the "intervention" of bees, sheep, and lunar phases can help create outstanding wines. The grapes in this vineyard are all hand picked to ensure harvest at the ideal time for each vine. Back at the cellar, the in-house oenologist will show you the entire wine making process and finally guide you through your complete tasting of an array of ecological and organic varieties of wines and cavas. Additionally, the vineyard owners make their own olive oil, and they will gladly explain to you the process and properties of this "liquid gold" and will invite you for a tasting, accompanied by local sausages, bread and cheese.
For lunch you will be treated to delicious, local, home-made cooking at a cozy restaurant located in a typical Penedes village at the foot of the castle of Marti Sarroca. This small, family run place has a wine menu which is exceptionally wide, but no wonder for a restaurant frequented by the best local wine connoisseurs.
Once you arrive to your hotel you will be free to investigate Penedes or perhaps even to visit Montserrat in your own car. In the evening you may wish to enjoy dinner in the hotel.
WALKING TOUR IN GIRONA & COOKING LESSON
Today you will transfer to your old authentic stone Masia hotel on the outskirts of Girona, surrounded by countryside in a medieval village. But first you will meet your Official Licensed Guide in the picturesque 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 the city centuries ago.
After working up an appetite in the city, the guide will take you to a local restaurant located in the old quarter. You will be able to sample traditional local gastronomy.
On returning to your masia hotel you will have time to relax and prepare for your evening cooking class, which will be held at your hotel. You will join our local Catalan chef for a wonderful cooking lesson, during which you will learn all of the most modern ways in which to cook some of the best of Spanish and Catalan foods. To follow, a delicious meal of that which you have prepared, served with a good local wine.
WINERY VISIT & TASTING
Today you will head to an area near the rugged coast dotted with unique pretty villages. You will be visiting a complex of a winery and farms situated near Palamós in the heart of the beautiful Baix Empordà wine D.O region.
This magnificent winery situated in a region of wine-cultivation where the native and much appreciated vines are grown, has been built, hidden underground, below the vineyard. These underground chambers take us into the mysteries of the winery, discovering aging of wine, and, at the same time, the play of light and shadow created by the architecture of RCR. The wines and sparkling wines under the direction of winemaker Josep Trallero, have been awarded various prizes and awards for quality, craftsmanship and the lack of additives.
You will have a private visit of this very successful vineyard - understand the wine making process from harvest to barrel and then have an opportunity to taste their best wines and additionally to sample their very own richly flavoured virgin extra olive oil. These wines and olive oils 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!
Following this unique visit you will treated with a wonderful tasting menu for lunch based on their own fresh produce from their vegetable garden and farmyard where they keep chickens, sheep, goats and Iberico pigs fed mainly on acorn. Fresh fish from the port of Palamós is one of our star products.
In the afternoon you may wish to visit the unique villages dotted along the coast: Tamariu, Llafranc, Calella or Begur which are 20 minutes away.
You may return to your interior stoned-hotel and have dinner there or decide to have an early light dinner in one of the various restaurants along the coast.
In any event, we hope you have enjoyed this unforgettable experience and will visit again one day!
Your tour concludes with a lovely breakfast at your hotel followed by your last drive through the enchanting Catalan countryside to Barcelona airport for your departure, where you will be able to return your car. If you prefer, we can also arrange a chauffeured transfer for you.
A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 8 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.
*Please inquire about lower pricing for groups of 4 or more
*Please inquire about supplement for 4 star hotel
*Supplement to have a private driver without having a rental car/US$975 (based on 2 persons - please inquire about supplement pricing for groups of 4 or more)
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation
After availability is confirmed, a non-refundable 30% 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 highly recommended.
Available year round based on availability. Please inquire.
*Private chauffeured transfer from Barcelona airport
*Two (2) nights accommodation in 3 star Spanish hotel in Barcelona center (double occupancy) - Supplement for a 4 star hotel - please inquire
*Two (2) nights accommodation for in Penedes Region in a charming private Masia next to the mountains (double occupancy)
*Two (2) nights accommodation for in historical stone built 17th Century Masia Hotel in Girona countryside (double occupancy)
*Six (6) buffet breakfasts
*Private cultural tour of Barcelona Gaudi Route with an Official Licensed Guide
*Private cultural and gourmet walking tour of Barcelona Gothic Quarter with an Official Licensed Guide, to include a seasonal aperitif with cava at a famous bar at la Boqueria; cheese & wine tasting at a specialized venue; delicatessen lunch with wine
*Premium rental vehicle with GPS and automatic transmission for the days when you are outside Barcelona by a prestigious Rental Company – Supplement for private chauffeured transfers instead of rental vehicle.
*Private cooking class at your Penedes hotel; 3 course dinner, following the cooking class
*Private guided visit with an in house expert to renowned Penedes winery, complete with tasting of their best cavas and wines, as well as olive oils
*Tasting menu lunch with wines in Penedes wine country
*Private guided visit of Girona Gothic Quarter with an official licensed guide
*Private guided visit with an in house experts to a renowned Emporda winery, complete with tasting of their best wines
*Private cooking class with a local prestigious chef; lavish 4 course meal, paired with wines, following the cooking class
*Meals and Drinks not Specified
*Personal Expenses such as Telephone, Minibar, etc
*Tips and Gratuities (Restaurants, etc.)
*OPTIONAL chauffeured transfer to airport at end of tour
*OPTIONAL lunch reservation at Celler de Can Roca or any Star Michelin restaurant on Day Five
For further inquiries or to register, click here.
Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Angelique O., Greenfield Center, New York"Once again, Jo-Ann, you've outdone yourself. We had a fabulous time- from the spacious Barcelona hotel in the gothic quarter and tour with our fun and knowledgeable guide, to the quaint masias with welcoming hosts; we had an incredible time! I won't even get started on El Cellar de Can Roca. Diners usually have to wait a year to get a reservation, yet you got us in! Fantastic meal "of a lifetime". I travel frequently and feel very comfortable making my own arrangements; that being said, there is no way that I could have arranged a specialized trip to this degree on my own. I certainly don't have the pull to have gotten myself into El Cellar with only 4 months notice! Yelp and Trip advisor only get you so far...Active Gourmet Holidays is the only way to go…."
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.