Spain – Spectacular Gardens and Gaudí Tour 2019

Spain – Spectacular Gardens and Gaudí Tour 2019

October 14th – 23rd, 2019

When I visited Spain to check out what I would like to include in future tours my first question was ‘why did I wait so long to come here’. I felt so at home, so comfortable. So many people spoke English which made it a lot nicer too. Each city I visited was so unique and had such visual interest and beauty, from the architectural details to the gardens I was in love with it all and could not wait to come home to design a tour that I knew would appeal to those who travel with me on a regular basis and inspire those new to my tours. I am so pleased to present this tour to you, my second, and hope you will join me to discover what makes it so special and to create your own memories.

‘A marvelous tour, beautiful gardens, cities and seaside, I am so grateful for all the travel experiences we have shared’ Mary Jane

‘Fabulous food, days fully packed with glorious sights and gardens, great guides, well located hotels, more than I expected’ Anita

‘As in all my trips with you (13) I enjoyed the whole thing’ Lynda

‘Best guides I’ve ever had, Great care was taken in the selection of places and regional dishes, highly enjoyable and loved the mix of various elements – garden, tiles, architecture’ Joan

‘I recommend your tours to people I meet on other garden tours. I like that you pick the best gardens and accompany all the tours so we know things will be perfect. I also like that you include the best non garden sights too’ Susan

We visit Granada, Cordoba, Sevilla and Barcelona on this small-group tour and take a day trip to Costa Brava to see two very special gardens and spend some time in Tossa de Mar. National Geographic Traveler magazine included the Costa Brava in its list of the world’s twenty best tourist destinations for 2012.

I leave the evenings free so that you may walk around these incredible places to discover and of course seek out the many cafes to grab a bite of dinner or take in a show, whatever your pleasure. You will find cafes on every street corner it seems. Serving tapas to full dinners, the choice is yours and you will find the prices very reasonable. So taste! Experience! And enjoy….and just to tempt you a bit more, they say a picture is worth a thousand words…Well I have hundreds of pictures for you to look at from my last tour…look at what we saw and then come with me to make your own memories just CLICK HERE.

NOTE:  We arrive into Granada and Depart Barcelona

Please click on each day to bring up the itinerary for that day

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Monday October 14th, 2019 Arrival Into Granada

Arrive into Granada and make your way to your hotel…and what a hotel! The historic Hotel Alhambra Palace.

We meet later on this evening to enjoy a Welcome Dinner.

Hotel Alhambra – Classic Exterior View – 2 Nights

Experience a revival of a grand tradition of European hospitality at Hotel Alhambra Palace. Inspired by the beauty of the Alhambra, our hotel conjures up a sense of culture, aristocracy and elegance. Relax on one of their terraces with a refreshing drink or outstanding gastronomy. Hotel Alhambra Palace has been offering stylish Granada hotel accommodation since 1910. Five minute walk to Alhambra and 10 minute walk to historic center.

https://www.h-alhambrapalace.es/en/

Tuesday October 15th Granada Alhambra and the Generalife Gardens and Carmen Rodriguez-Acosta Gardens

One of the most beautiful gems of architecture is the Alhambra, a series of palaces and gardens started as far back as the 13th Century by the Nasrites. The Alhambra became a Christian court in 1492 when the Catholic Monarchs (Ferdinand and Isabel) conquered the city of Granada. The summer palace is called Generalife. The Generalife is the most charming corner of the Alhambra, thanks to its gardens, ponds and fast-flowing water. In fact, the name of the main courtyard is the Patio de la Acequia – Courtyard of the Water Channel – in reference to the water which coursed through the villa before supplying the Alhambra below. It stands at the foot of Spain’s highest mountain range, the Sierra Nevada, and overlooks the city below and the fertile plain of Granada. The Alhambra (Arabic root meaning ‘red’ or ‘crimson’) and Generalife both became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984. A short walk from our hotel takes us there where we will enjoy a guided visit for there is much to see and we want time to soak it all in.

Did you know? The word “Generalife” has been translated as “garden of paradise“, “orchard” or “garden of feasts“.

https://theculturetrip.com/europe/spain/articles/the-history-of-the-generalife-gardens-in-1-minute/

Then we will head back to our hotel for a break before walking to the Carmen Rodriguez-Acosta. Wait until you hear the history – romance and more – of this quite startling, eclectic and very cool villa and its gardens.  Designed by painter Jose Maria Rodriguez-Acosta in the early 20th Century, our guide will have you spell bound.  He traveled the world and loved so many styles… Built in 1914-1930, it is one of the most relevant architectural complexes of that period, a summary of the European style of the twenties and thirties, and declared a National Monument in 1982. Its creator used it as a studio where he developed an important body of work, midway between modernism and symbolism. The steep hill on which the carmen is perched gives rise to its magnificent gardens. They are full of monuments and stand out from the rest of the secluded gardens in Granada.  http://www.fundacionrodriguezacosta.com/

Then back to our hotel for the rest of the day and evening on your own.

Breakfast included, Lunch and Dinner on own

Pack up this evening, check safe and power adaptors you may have used

Wednesday October 16th Granada to Cordoba – Mezquita, The Alcazar and the Palacio de los Viana

Cordoba’s hour of greatest glory was when it became the capital of the Moorish kingdom of El-Andalus, and this was when work began on the Great Mosque, or “Mezquita” in 785, which – after several centuries of additions and enlargements – became one of the largest in all of Islam. When the city was reconquered by the Christians in 1236, the new rulers of the city were so awed by its beauty that they left it standing, building their cathedral in the midst of its rows of arches and columns, and creating the extraordinary church-mosque we see today. The Mezquita de Cordoba is most notable for its giant arches and its forest of over 856 (of an original 1,293) columns of jasper, onyx, marble, and granite. These were taken from the Roman temple which had previously occupied the site and other destroyed Roman buildings. The Mezquita also features richly gilded prayer niches. But the Mezquita’s most interesting feature is certainly the mihrab, a domed shrine of Byzantine mosaics built by Al Hakam II (961-76). It once housed the Koran and relics of Muhammad. In front of the Mihrab is the Maksoureh, a kind of anteroom for the caliph and his court; its mosaics and plasterwork make it a masterpiece of Islamic art.

As well as the unique mosque-cathedral, Cordoba’s treasures include the Alcazar, or Royal House, built by the Christians in 1328. The Alcazar served as one of the primary residences of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. From 1490 to 1821 the Inquisition operated from here. Today the castle’s gardens are among the most beautiful in Andalucía and also take time to enjoy the Roman mosaics…they are truly special. In a hall which housed the former chapel of the Inquisitions there are exhibited a magnificent collection of Roman mosaic art from the 2nd and 3rd century AD. The collection was discovered under Corredera Square in the city in 1959 and once belonged to a wealthy Roman Mansion. Outside the main castle walls the gardens occupy 55.000 square metres. It is certainly a very relaxing place to wander. There is a wide variety of plants, palm trees, cypresses, orange and lemon, trees to be seen which overlook stone fountains and large ponds. Originally the water was brought in by an aqueduct from the Sierra Morena and the great Albolafia waterwheel in the River Guadalquivir nearby helped with the supply. The large ponds were added in the 19th century.

Then we enjoy Lunch with a wine tasting.

and a floral feast for the eyes, the Palacio de los Viana.

We enjoy guided visits of the Alcazar and Mezquita and a quiet joyful time to wander on our own through the many gardens of Viana. This 17th-century palace is one of Córdoba’s most splendid aristocratic homes. Also known as the Museo de los Patios, it contains 12 interior patios, each one different; the patios and gardens are planted with cypresses, orange trees, and myrtles and more. I was so delighted to see this that I bought a book on the patio gardens here…well worth it!  http://www.palaciodeviana.com/en/

Hotel NH Amistad – Superior Room – 1 Night

History surrounds you the second you step inside the NH Collection Amistad Córdoba hotel. Made up of two 18th century palaces, its traditional courtyards are filled with flowers and shaded by orange trees, archways and woodwork have been restored to their 18th-century glory, with a few carefully-chosen modern touches. Plus it’s right in the historic heart of Córdoba, 5 minutes’ walk from the city’s shops. Our quiet, contemporary-style rooms all come with views of our pretty courtyards, Maimonides Square or the historic wall which once separated the Jewish and Christian sections of Cordoba. Our stylish courtyard café offers up delicious local dishes while our 2 open-air patios are a wonderful place to unwind with a drink.

https://www.nh-collection.com/hotel/nh-collection-amistad-cordoba

Breakfast and Lunch with wine tasting included, Dinner on own

Pack up this evening, check safe and power adaptors you may have used.

Breakfast and Lunch with wine tasting included, Dinner on own

Pack up this evening, check safe and power adaptors you may have used.

Thursday October 17th Cordoba to Sevilla – Palacio Moratalla and Palacio de las Duenas

But first…on our way we make a very special stop to visit the private gardens of Palacio Moratalla and learn about is unique history dating back to the Romans from our guide.  It is currently owned by the Duke of Segovia. I wonder what will impress you more – the majestic 19th century gardens designed by JCN Forestier in the purest style of Versailles and eye popping pink palace nestled in green landscape or a wander behind this all to see acres and acres of orange trees, just hoping to find one on the ground that you can peel and enjoy. Palma is the capital of citrus county located on the border between Cordoba and Sevilla. Oranges from this area are considered in the citrus industry as one the best worldwide.

Did you know? A short history lesson on the Seville Orange!

Although the Seville orange smells like a true orange, it does not have many other obvious award winning virtues. Its rough, thick and bumpy deep orange colored peel clings tightly to its pale orange translucent flesh, making it hard to peel. It is sour, tart, sometimes bitter and laden with seeds. It has two primary attributes: the peel contains fragrant essential oils and its flesh, when ripe is extremely juicy. The most common usage for the Seville orange is for the production of marmalade where it can use its peel and juice to its advantage; any sour and bitter flavors can be developed and enriched into elements of depth. Sour oranges are native to China. Trade routes brought them to Africa and the Mediterranean in the 10th Century. Cultivation of sour orange varieties led to the Seville orange of Seville, Spain in the 12th Century, where it would accrue its name. The Seville orange was the only orange variety in Europe for the next 500 years. It was also one of the first citrus varieties brought to the New World where it was naturalized in the Caribbean, South, Central and North America. When sweet oranges were introduced to America, sour orange trees would begin to shift their role as edible fruit to rootstock. Cross pollination of the sour and sweet orange trees also proved to create bitter fruits in sweet orange varieties which forced farmers to reduce production of sour orange trees.

According to legend, Sevilla was founded by Hercules and its origins are linked with the Tartessian civilization. It was called Hispalis under the Romans and Isbiliya with the Moors. Sevilla lies on the banks of the Guadalquivir and is one of the largest historical centers in Europe, it has the Minaret of La Giralda, the Cathedral (one of the largest in Christendom), and the Alcázar Palace. Part of its treasure also includes Casa de Pilatos.

From the Palacio we head to Sevilla and our first stop is Lunch in Carmona

After our lunch we visit the Palacio de las Duenas, a very special place in time…

For the first time the Palacio de las Dueñas— built between the XV and XVI centuries and residence of the renowned Duchess of Alba— opens its doors to the public, thus offering a unique opportunity to discover this Andalusian gem and the pride of Spain. One of the oldest and most illustrious noble houses in Spain, the House of Alba, boasts a rich heritage, which dates back many centuries and encompasses several magnificent estates located all over the country as well as a great cultural and artistic legacy. (Audio guide here)

https://www.azureazure.com/travel/palacio-de-las-duenas-official-residence-house-alba-pride-seville

http://www.lasduenas.es/

Then on to our hotel where the rest of the day/evening is at your leisure.

Hotel Becquer – Standard Room – Two Nights

Hotel Bécquer is located in the old town of Seville, in a unique and privileged location in the city. From here, you can enjoy pleasant walks on the city streets, discover its emblematic spots, mix with the people, taste the exquisite cuisine (especially in the traditional Triana district) and admire its characteristic architectural beauty. Seville Cathedral, the Giralda or the Santa Cruz district are all less than a 10-minute walk away.

https://www.hotelbecquer.com/en/

Breakfast and Lunch included, Dinner on own

Friday October 18th Sevilla - Hospital Venerables Sacredotes, Real Alcazar de Sevilla, Panoramic Tour

After breakfast we start our day out with a visit to the Hospital Venerables Sacredotes. This building was founded by Justino de Neve in the 17th century as a hospital and retirement home for priests. It is in the Baroque style and comprises two sections. The first is the residence built by Leonardo de Figueroa and features original elements such as the tiled galleries arranged in a circle leading to the fountain, and the staircase beneath an elliptical vault decorated with Baroque plasterwork. The second part of the building is a church with a half-barrel vault with lunettes and rib arches. It now houses the Centro Velázquez, devoted to famous painter Diego Velázquez.…A beautiful 17th century baroque mansion, Seville’s most typical patio – embellished with plants and intimate in design and of course decorated in tiles, a church filled with rich murals and frescoes (now used for music), and a painting done by Diego Velazquez called ‘Santa Rufino’  the Patron Saint of Seville, painted between 1632 -1634 and what more you do need?  If you know your artists this is indeed a very special and very rare visit.

Then to visit the Alcazar and Gardens. Our guide will take us through this incredibly impressive monument of Sevilla. The site was initially a Roman settlement, later used by the Visigoths. In 712 Seville was conquered by the Arabs, who transformed the building in a palace-fortress. When Fernando III of Castile regained the city in 1248, the Alcázar became the Royal Palace. His son, Alfonso X, initiated the first works and ordered the construction of the Gothic Palace. The numerous rooms, patios and halls vary in architectural styles from the Islamic to Neoclassical. The beautiful gardens and fountains are all different in look, feel and decoration. The garden-orchards not only supplied food for the palace residents but had the aesthetic function of bringing pleasure. Water was ever present in the form of irrigation channels, runnels, jets, ponds and pools. The gardens adjoining the Alcázar of Seville have undergone many changes. In the 16th century during the reign of Philip III the Italian designer Vermondo Resta introduced the Italian Mannerist style. Resta was responsible for the Galeria de Grutesco (Grotto Gallery) transforming the old Muslim wall into a loggia from which to admire the view of the palace garden.

Then we will enjoy Lunch.

Followed by a panoramic tour by coach with stops to visit Parque Maria Luisa and the colourful Triana area. Plaza de España was built for the Ibero-American Exhibition of 1929 (Expo 29), along with many of the pavilions you can see in and around the Parque Maria Luisa which is across from this. The Maria Luisa Gardens were built by JCN Forestier. This building will take your breath away. I was simply stunned as I stood and looked at it. Seville’s most impressive and majestic after the cathedral, for its sheer scale and grandeur. All that tilework – from guardrails to finials on the roofs and everything in between – you must see this in person to truly appreciate that each tile piece is unique. The building is a semi circular brick building, Renaissance/neo-Moorish in style, with a huge tower at either end.  All along the wall in front of the building are 48 alcoves with benches – one for each province of Spain, each with a relevant tableau and map, all designed on colourful azulejos (painted ceramic tiles). In front of the building, following the curve of its façade, is a 500-metre canal crossed by four bridges. Lots of boats on this lake with people happily paddling as they made their way around. It was simply amazing to stand on one of these bridges and take it all in.

Then back to our hotel for the rest of the day/evening at your leisure.

Did you knowThe Giralda minaret is a masterpiece of Almohad architecture built in 1184 to 1197. It stands next to the Cathedral with its five naves; the largest Gothic building in Europe (and holds the tomb of Christopher Columbus). Make time to visit if you can as it is worth seeing and yes – do walk all the way up to the top of the minaret for an incredible memory. (I did) to discover that there are no steps, just a wide ramp because when the minaret was built the Imam used to ride a horse up to the top for the call to prayer! (or so the story goes)

Breakfast and Lunch included, Dinner on own

Pack up this evening, check safe and power adaptors you may have used. Keep passport in carry on.

Saturday October 19th Sevilla to Barcelona via AVE Train and Gaudi’s La Pedrera

Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is a Mediterranean and cosmopolitan city with Roman remains, medieval quarters and the most beautiful examples of 20th century Modernism and avant-garde. It is no surprise that emblematic constructions by the Catalan architects Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Doménech i Montaner have been declared World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO.

Arriving into Barcelona on the AVE Train, we board our coach and go to our hotel for a brief stop before walking over to Casa Milà. We will have a box lunch while on the train as we pass by olive groves and orange orchards. It is a lovely ride.

Casa Milà, popularly known as ‘La Pedrera’, is probably one of the most famous buildings of the Catalan Modernisme or Catalan Art Nouveau period and one of the architect Antoni Gaudí’s most ambitious works. It is a structure that is a work of art in itself. Gaudí planned Casa Milà (1906–1912) at the age of fifty-three, when he was at the height of his powers and had found a style of his own independent of any established ones. It turned out to be his last civil work and one of the most innovative in its functional, constructive and ornamental aspects. Indeed, thanks to his artistic and technical ideas, it has always been considered a breakthrough work, outside the concepts of the time, a rara avis in Modernisme itself and, especially, a work that anticipated the architecture of the 20th century.

https://www.lapedrera.com/en/home

I have chosen what I think are the most representative of his works on this tour but there is much more that you can discover on your leisure day in Barcelona. Here are some more ideas….

http://www.globotreks.com/destinations/10-gaudi-buildings-barcelona/

http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/attractions/barcelona-architecture.html

http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/attractions/barcelona-tourist-attractions.html

Also worth walking to is the Block of Discord, noted for having buildings by four of Barcelona’s most important Modernista architects.  Their styles were very different and here you see them all up close and they seem to clash with each other creating this discord.

https://www.barcelonas.com/manzana-de-la-discordia.html

Hotel Astoria – Superior Rooms – Four Nights

The Astoria is a classic amongst Barcelona’s hotels, a boutique hotel located off the emblematic Avinguda Diagonal and steps from Passeig de Gràcia, the city’s trendiest shopping district. Elegant and modern, the hotel provides comfort and charm with every detail. Housed in an elegant building in Barcelona’s Eixample district, the hotel’s classic early-twentieth-century architecture is a striking contrast to its renovated interior. One of the hotel’s main features are the exquisite pieces of art—modernist posters, frescoes and busts alongside marble and delicate Lalique crystal—that decorate its walls. Be sure to also visit the in house museum dedicated to the Catalan illustrator Ricard Opisso.

Just outside the front door you will find cafes to sit and enjoy a latte at, wonderful walking streets that offer all kinds of shopping and we are close to the main shopping streets and sights as well.

http://www.hotelastoria-barcelona.com/en/the-hotel/

Breakfast and Box Lunch Included, Dinner on own

Sunday October 20th Day trip to Costa Brava

Sit back, enjoy the spectacular Mediterranean views from our coach as we make our way out of Barcelona to the Botanical Gardens of Marimurtra.

Located in Blanes, in Costa Brava, the Marimurtra Botanical Garden is one of the most beautiful gardens on the Mediterranean. At the top of steep cliffs running along the sea, you can enjoy one of the most spectacular panoramic views over the coastline and get to know more than four thousand plant species, most of them exotic ones, as well as several specimens that are extraordinary because of their age or size. Marimurtra is the work of a man with a passion for nature. Carl Faust was a businessman residing in Catalonia who devoted his hopes, his efforts and all his fortune to make his dream come true, the Botanical Garden Marimurtra.

Tossa de Mar – Some leisure stroll time in this Seaside Resort before our Lunch.

Before becoming a tourist resort, Tossa de Mar was a small fishing village, and before this, was involved in various other industries such as cork, food preservation, charcoal burning, wine making and olive oil production. At one time, Tossa even had a fleet of boats which traded with other Mediterranean ports and America. Another important part of Tossa’s history was the filming of Pandora and the Flying Dutchman in the 1950s, with Ava Gardner and James Mason in starring roles. At one of the most spectacularly astounding viewpoints of the Vila Vella, there is a magnificent bronze statue of the renowned American actress, Ava Gardner. A tranquil stroll around the old town reveals a multitude of intricately interwoven alley ways, each leading to it’s own spectacular pine framed view of the bay of Tossa, lapped by the sparkling topaz blue Mediterranean, sunlight drizzling through the branches. If you need ideas of what to do while here, please check out

We finish off this exquisitely relaxed day with a guided visit to Santa Clotilde Gardens in Lloret de Mar

This wonderful garden was landscaped in a setting of great beauty on top of a cliff with breath taking views over the sea. It is a fine specimen of the spirit that animated the Noucentista movement in Calalonia – an early 20th century movement for intellectual and aesthetic renewal that found a distinguished spokesman in the writer Eugeni d’Ors.  The Santa Clotilde gardens were designed in the manner of the dainty yet austere gardens of the Italian Renaissance by Nicolau Rubió i Tuduri at the age of twenty-eight, when he was still brimming over with admiration for his master in the art of landscape gardening, JCN Forestier. In these gardens, Rubió ignored Forestier’s teachings with their Spanish-Arabic slant mixed up with images of the French garden, as he had seen when working with Forestier, and instead sought to recover the spirit of the Italian Renaissance as the essence of modernity. A new bourgeoisie was then emerging, looking back nostalgically on the prestige enjoyed by patrons of the arts during the Renaissance. The garden greets us with a blend of features from the Villa Medici, the Villa Borghese and perhaps the Boboli gardens as well – Florence was where one went for inspiration at the time. The spirit of romanticism underlies the garden, expressed in the marble bust glimpsed amid the vines, looking out to sea with its back to us – another delightful parody of that romantic sentiment of union with nature, closer to Leopardi than to his master C.D. Friedrich. These gardens, work on which began before the house, feature a collection of marble statues in the neo-classical style and the mermaids by the sculptress Maria Llimona. All the paths, avenues, squares and steps are set off by clipped hedges that form splendid green architectural shapes.

Then we make our way back to our hotel…renewed in spirit and basking in the memories. Evening at your leisure.

Breakfast and Lunch included with Dinner on own

Monday October 21st Barcelona Your Day of Leisure

Barcelona is very easy to walk around and enjoy and our hotel is very close to great shopping venues as well. Make your own memories today as you stroll, remember to look up as you walk too or you will miss some great architectural features. Cafes seem to be on every street corner and as I walked along the streets I had the distinct feeling I was here before for it is very European.

Breakfast included, Lunch and Dinner on own

Tuesday October 22nd Barcelona and Sagrada Familia and Palau de la Música Catalana

Today, our last day, I want to share two very special places we will visit…both so special and so utterly unique.

Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia

I did not know what to expect on the inside…I only knew that even with the scaffolding from continual building I was mesmerized by every inch of it on the outside.  It was so totally bizarre. The outside is busy, colourful in spots with the tiles yet so very grey, having so much symbolism and inside….well, I loved it for being so different from the outside! As with all of Gaudi’s work, you either like it or not but I don’t think you can make that presumption without seeing it in person. It is so different from our usual thinking and it just plain takes time for it all to sink in. I loved the peace that I felt inside, especially when the sun shone through the most beautiful and unique stained glass windows you will set your eyes on. When this happens you cannot help but look up and feel you are being transported on one of the beams of colour. At the time of Gaudi’s death in 1926 less than a quarter of this project was complete. They say it should be complete by 2026, the centenary of his death.

Paul Goldberger, an American architectural critic and educator, called it “The most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages.” The building’s design itself has been polarizing. Assessments by Gaudí’s fellow architects were generally positive; Louis Sullivan greatly admired it, describing Sagrada Família as the “greatest piece of creative architecture in the last twenty-five years. It is spirit symbolized in stone”. George Orwell called it “one of the most hideous buildings in the world” James A. Michener called it “one of the strangest-looking serious buildings in the world” and British historian Gerald Brenan stated about the building “Not even in the European architecture of the period can one discover anything so vulgar or pretentious.” The building’s distinctive silhouette has nevertheless become symbolic of Barcelona itself, drawing an estimated 2.5 million visitors annually.

Did you know? Since he was convinced that nothing of value could be achieved without sacrifice, Gaudi dedicated himself to an austere life of prayer and detachment. On occasion Gaudi had expressed a desire to die in a hospital among the poor people. This came to pass when he was run down by a street car. The police didn’t recognize him and seeing him a poor man, they took him to the Holy Cross Hospital, where he died June 10th, 1926.

And Finally…

The Palau de la Música Catalana is one of the most representative monuments of Art Nouveau architecture. An emblematic building of the Catalan Modernism, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997. Built between 1905 and 1908 by the great architect Lluis Domènech i Montaner, the Palau de la Música Catalana is an architectural jewel of Barcelona. Our guided tours starts in the Rehearsal Hall of the Orfeó Catala, where the foundation stone of the building was laid in 1905 and where even today, as it has for more than 100 years, the choir of the Orfeó Català rehearses regularly. Sitting in this intimate space, you can find out the reason for its importance with an audiovisual tour. The tour continues along the grand staircase decorated with flowers, Catalan flags and a single rail: built in a clever combination of a range of materials including iron and glass to create a world of detail which never ceases to amaze. Next we’ll visit the Lluís Millet Hall, where you can glimpse the large balcony with columns symbolizing flowers of every kind, in a tribute to nature. Finally we’ll go into the Concert Hall where an explosion of colour, shapes and light will welcome you to this great masterpiece of decorative art which amazes and inspires visitors and artists day after day. You will also go up to the second floor, next to the great skylight a drop of water and honey, a source of both light and inspiration. And finally the organ of the Palau, overlooking the room, will accompany you on a little musical journey. What an ending to a magical tour!

We will head back to our hotel until our Farewell Dinner later on this evening.

Breakfast and Farewell Dinner Included with Lunch on your own

Wednesday October 23rd Barcelona Day of departure

Or you may choose to stay on. If you want to use the same hotel do let me know so I can confirm post tour nights for you.

Highlights

  • 9 Nights Hotels as noted
  • All breakfasts
  • Welcome Dinner & Farewell Dinner
  • 5 Lunches
  • Full Leisure Day in Barcelona
  • Visits to: Generalife Gardens & Alhambra Palaces, carmen gardens (Carmen de los Cipreses OR Carmen Aljibe del Rey AND Carmen de la Victoria,
  • Carmen Rodriguez-Acosta, Cordoba Alcazar & Mesquita, Palacio Moratalla, Sevilla Alcazar & Gardens, Palacio Dueñas, Hospital Venerables,
  • Plaza Espana,  Palau de la Musica,  Palacio de los Viana,  Casa Mila, and Sagrada Familia.
  • Some will have audio guides. Some you will visit on your own. Some will be guided.
  • Full day excursion to the botanical gardens of Marimurtra and Santa Clotilde on the Costa Brava and lovely walking tour in Tossa de Mar by the sea.
  • Local tour director throughout tour
  • AVE Train from Sevilla to Barcelona
  • Private coach travel on tour days
  • Tips for tour guide and drivers
  • Incredible Memories!

***Pre tour nights are also available. Let me know if you are interested and I can find out for you.

***Please Note that our tour starts in Granada and ends in Barcelona.

***Meals on tour do not include alcoholic beverages but do include water, soft drinks, tea and coffee (except one wine tasting Lunch)

***There is a good amount of walking on tour days, but the walks are not long. Check with me if you have questions on this.

Not Included:

International flights, insurance, meals and drinks not noted, items of a personal nature and extra hotel charges such as luggage porterage and daily maid servicing.

Spain – Spectacular Gardens and Gaudi Tour 2019

October 14th – October 23rd, 2019

LAND only 3835 Euros per person sharing
SINGLE Supplement ADD 981 Euros for those wanting their own room (very limited)

Tour is priced in Euros because that is the currency in Spain….please convert into your own currency.

Tour is priced in the currency we pay our suppliers at destination.  Due to exchange rate volatility, we only convert to Canadian dollars at time of final payment at the prevailing exchange rates at that time. Your final payment will be in Canadian Dollars.

See Highlights Box for all inclusions on this tour.

I will advise those who have booked when the tour is a go so please do not book air until you are advised.

***Minimum 10 for tour to go.

email donna@icangarden.com

Tour is subject to changes in itinerary but not dates.

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