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!
Your vacation starts with pickup at Barcelona Airport and chauffeured transfer in a luxury vehicle to your charming 4-star traditional Spanish style hotel in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. Formerly, your hotel was the palace residence of a wealthy Duke in the city and is deep-seated in history.
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. In addition, he/she will pass to you a free cell phone for the duration of your tour should you require and you will be given a 24-hour telephone number for emergencies and daytime consults/questions. Then, 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 and will view, from the outside, the remarkable La Pedrera, Gaudi's renowned architectural accomplishment, which is in the most chic area of the city.
Today you will experience Barcelona to the fullest! After breakfast your private tour guide will meet you at nine
o´clock at your hotel and from there you will head to La Boqueria. La Boqueria is like a museum of the brightest, most curious and delectable foods Europe has to offer. In any season you can lose yourself in a more than 800 year-old wonderland of fruit, vegetables, meats, seafood, bread and desserts. But be warned: It may take a long time before deciding exactly where to concentrate your taste buds. Because of Barcelona’s accessible ports and proximity to fertile farmlands, a market like La Boqueria is able to offer gourmands a wide variety of olive oils, mushrooms, and seafood from its vendors to you, the customer! Our expert culinary guide will lead you around the best booths and you will taste some of the best local seasonal produce at one famous La Boqueria bar, frequented by celebrities. A glass of a fine brut nature cava will surely feel good with a tapa of Chanterelle mushrooms, or fresh cockles, squid or maybe even scrambled eggs with wild asparagus.
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 Rei 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.
You will take the path of Picasso on the famous Avignon Street and taste fresh Spanish cheeses paired with quality wines at charming local specialized shops in the fashionable port district. We will stop into the oldest venue in Barcelona for dried freshly roasted nuts, fruits, sweet wine, toasted almonds.
Your light lunch of exquisite delicatessen produce will include Spain's best 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, etc., all enjoyed at one of the best delicatessens in the city. Winewise, you will be in very good hands, with English speaking sommeliers, to guide you through more than 6000 wines.
Your afternoon and evening are free to relax, enjoy Barcelona, do a little shopping. We have plenty of suggestions for you!
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 your Premium Rental car will be delivered to your hotel. The vehicle will have automatic transmission and be fitted with GPS for your assistance Please note: an International Driving License is required for driving in Europe.
You will then transfer 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, it will be nearly time for your cooking class to begin with the masia owner, who will show you how to prepare various delicious local dishes, with the organic ingredients from his garden and surrounding farms.
Afterwards you will enjoy the dishes you have prepared in the cozy dining room or maybe on the beautiful terrace, depending on the weather, sipping your wine and gazing at the surrounding vineyards.
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 bilingual 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. 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.
Your afternoon will be free to investigate Penedes or perhaps even to visit Montserrat. In the evening you may wish to avail yourself of a further cooking lesson, followed by dinner at your hotel.
Today you will transfer to your old authentic stone Masia hotel on the outskirts of Girona, surrounded by countryside. 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, you may choose as an option, to have a true Catalan dining experience at Celler de Can Roca, a famed restaurant owned by three Catalan brothers, which is Michelin 3 starred and considered the best restaurant in the world in 2013 and 2015. Local recipes are the inspiration for the exquisite dishes served here, from delectable parfaits to the most appreciated wild mushroom soufflé.
From the aperitif to the dessert, you will remember this dining experience in years to come! Celler de Can Roca is booked up for well over a year ahead, but we will be delighted to get you high on the waiting list, which far exceeds the capacity of this sublime Michelin 3* restaurant.
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, when two old Carignan and Grenache vineyards – aged between 50 and 75 years – were purchased. From that moment on, more and more vines were planted, up to the present 30 hectares. 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.
In the afternoon you may wish to visit the Dali Museum which is 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.
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.
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 for your departure, where you will be able to return your car. If you prefer, we can also arrange for you a chauffeured transfer.
We hope you will join us for this unforgettable experience!
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.
*This tour is being updated and amended for 2017. Please inquire.
*The winery visit on Day 4 is for a Monday through Thursday visit - a small surcharge will apply to Friday, Saturday or Sunday visits - please inquire
*An International Driving License is required to drive 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 45 days before your arrival date. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
*Private chauffeured transfer from Barcelona airport
*Accommodation for 2 nights in luxurious 4-star Spanish palace hotel in Barcelona Gothic Quarter (double occupancy)
*Accommodation for 2 nights in Penedes Region in a charming Bio-Hotel (double occupancy)
*Accommodation for 2 nights 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, delivered to your hotel by the most prestigious local rental company
*Private cooking class at your Penedes hotel; 3 course dinner, following the cooking class
*Private guided visit with bilingual 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 bilingual in house experts to a renowned Emporda winery, complete with tasting of their best cavas and wines
*Private cooking class with a local prestigious chef; lavish 4 course meal, paired with wines, following the cooking class
*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 4 is for a Monday through Thursday visit - a small surcharge will apply to Friday, Saturday or Sunday visits - please inquire
*If one of the cooking classes is not available, it will be substituted by 2 excellent dinners with wine at the hotel in question.
*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 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.