Photos courtesy of Akorn DMC
This custom itinerary was designed for an active Family of 2 Adults and 2 children ages 14 & 17 for their week long summer holiday. This itinerary combines half-day private tours and independent tour suggestions for self-exploration.
Balance of your day at leisure to relax and enjoy the lovely Hotel Espana and its roof top swimming pool or for self-exploration of the nearby neighborhoods for your afternoon lunch.
The Hotel España is conveniently located in the heart of Barcelona’s historic center, near to La Rambla and the Gothic Quarter. Opened in 1859, the four-star property was completely renovated in 2010, combining modern interior design with the classicism of a nineteenth century building. The 82 comfortable and quiet rooms are decorated in a contemporary, timeless style and are well-equipped. For dining, the hotel offers the Fonda España restaurant, serving traditional cuisine in a beautiful Modernist-period dining room. For a more informal dining experience, or simply for a cocktail, the rooftop Alaire Ramblas terrace bar is an impressive alternative. Also on the roof is an open-air swimming pool, complete with generously-proportioned sun terrace, where you can take in panoramic views of the Old Town, which is open from May to September.
Your Hotel España is located right in the old quarter of the city of Barcelona, next to the Gran Teatro del Liceo and only a short distance away from the Gothic Quarter. Only five minutes’ walk from Plaza de Cataluña, the nerve center of Barcelona. Next to the Hotel, Las Ramblas, which runs from Plaza Cataluña to the sea. Walking along this avenue full of color will be an unforgettable stroll past flower kiosks, press kiosks, street artists and a hive of activity, which goes on from the small hours of the morning to well into the night.
You may choose to enjoy your afternoon meal in one of the Tapas Restaurants located along this boulevard then continue your stroll through the Las Ramblas Street shops to Plaça de Catalunya, a large square in central Barcelona that is generally considered to be both its city centre and the place where the old city and the 19th century-built Eixample meet, it has a surface area of 30,000 square meters. It is one of the largest squares in Spain and one of the most iconic parts of Barcelona. The Plaça connects the city center with the neighborhood Eixample.
The square is one of the most important shopping areas in Barcelona, as it is surrounded by shopping malls, stores, hotels, banks, bars and restaurants. This Plaza also holds several concerts, exhibitions and other types of shows. Plaça Catalunya is extremely lively at every hour of the day, which makes it the perfect place to visit and sit on one of its benches while you watch people walk by. It is also a great place for shopping.
Alternatively, you may also choose to relax by the open-air swimming pool, take a stroll to the sea, or peruse through the famous Passeig de Gracia street, where you can find a lot of various shops, of which many are designer like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo and Rolex.
Barcelona has a thousand treasures waiting to be discovered but if we had to choose a single one, it would be Passeig de Gràcia, the city’s most glamorous avenue and a must for every visitor. Passeig de Gràcia is a street on a human scale: it’s just 1.5 km long from its beginning at Plaça de Catalunya to its end at the Jardinets de Gràcia. Even though it’s not long at all, however, Passeig de Gràcia is the site of some of the world’s most photographed buildings, which is one of the reasons why it has become an emblem of Barcelona.
There are few cities in the world that can compare to the beauty of Barcelona; the capital of Catalonia and Spain’s second-largest city. It has long rivaled Madrid in industrial might and business prowess, and considers itself equal to other great European cities. Barcelona enjoys a deep cultural life and long heritage as home of the architect Antonio Gaudi, known for his Modernism. The true heart of Barcelona lies in the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter), a twisting maze of mysterious streets representing the oldest part of the city. Among its wealth of medieval buildings are the Cathedral, the Picasso Museum and La Ramblas, Barcelona’s most famous street.
Europe’s most unconventional church, the Sagrada Familia, is considered Barcelona’s most eccentric landmark. Crammed with symbolism, it epitomizes Gaudi’s greatest work, having become his life’s endeavor for 16 years. The most complete part of the church is the Nativity facade, its doorways representing Faith, Hope and Charity.
The Placa del Rei, the city’s most historic square and a place where tradition lives, was where Columbus was greeted on his return from the New World.
At the end of the tour, your guide will provide you with the entrance tickets for Park Guell and Sagrada Familia to visit them on your own at your pre-booked timings.
Please make your own way by Taxi or Subway to Park Guell a 20 minute journey, then continue a 10 minute journey to Sagrada Famila.
Parc Guell, a beautiful municipal garden with a superb panoramic view over the city; the focal point is a colorful sea-serpent-shaped central terrace. Gaudi lived in the gatehouse during his later years, and this is now a museum dedicated to him. Hour’s spring-summer – 08:00 a.m – 9:30 p.m. Last access time: 8:30 p.m.
The visually-arresting Sagrada Familia Basilica was started in 1882 and currently is two-thirds complete. Combining Gothic with Art Nouveau, this unique place of worship is a sight to behold. Work continues and with new construction techniques, the aim is to complete the building by the mid-2020s. Hour’s April – September: Monday – Sunday, 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
After your day of exploring, you will have plenty of time to relax before you embark on an evening of Gastronomic adventures strolling between several of Barcelona’s most interesting tapas bars to sample the savory snacks. Restaurant Recommendations & Reservations can be pre-arranged or booked on the spot through the Hotel Concierge. Keep in mind, Dinner in Spain may be late 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., but as with tapas, it’s definitely worth waiting for. Dinner is usually much lighter than it would be in the U.S.
The typical Spanish work day begins at 9am; after a two-hour lunch break between 2 and 4pm, employees return to work, ending their day around 8pm. The later working hours force Spaniards to save their social lives for the late hours. Prime-time television doesn’t start until 10:30pm. Thus, the late morning start to a long late evening before the day ends!
Some of the many wondrous sights to visit in Barcelona on your own by foot, Taxi or Subway:
If Museums are your desire this afternoon, you can stroll over to the Barri Gòtic area and start at the Picasso Museum.
Or head to Fuente De Montjuïc – The Font Màgica, or Magic Fountain, is the main feature of a complex of fountains, cascades and pools on Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina, the street running from the Palau Nacional to Plaça d’Espanya in Montjuïc.
The Montjuic Castle, located near the port of Barcelona, is the only major lift Barcelona, after Tibidabo. The work done for the Universal Exhibition of 1929 and 1992 Olympic Games have made Montjuic a very interesting area. Montjuic Castle, on top of the mountain is a former military fortress with a long history linked to the city, which now serves as a viewpoint from which great views of the city enjoy. You can climb on foot or by cable car.
You can have Lunch at the Restaurant Montjuic El Xalet with spectacular views over the city. The largest dining room boasts a huge rotating floor which allows everyone to enjoy the view from time to time.
The Olympic Ring is the area of Montjuïc that was redeveloped for the occasion of the Olympic Games in 1992. In it we find the Olympic Stadium, the Palau Sant Jordi, the Picornell swimming pools and the National Institute of Physical Education, plus a communications tower, a baseball field, an artificial lake and the garden of acclimatization, which was created for the Universal Exhibition of 1929.
The Museum Nacional d’Art de Catalunya is located in the Palau Nacional of Montjuïc, constructed for the International Exposition of 1929. In 1934 it opened its doors as the Museu d’Art de Catalunya, bringing together the medieval collection. Subsequently, in 1995, then as the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, the new rooms of Romanesque art were inaugurated, and in a successive way the public presentation of the collection was extended, a process that ended in 2004 with the integration of modern art.
Visiting the museum you can see the best collection of Romanesque mural painting in the world and the most representative artists of Catalan Modernism, such as Gaudí or Casas. Gothic art, great European Renaissance and Baroque painters, for example Tiziano or Velázquez, and the collection of photography, complete the collection. The major strength, quality and versatility of the collection allows you to have a 360º experience: Before, during and after your visit. The organization of temporary exhibitions and activities for a greater approach to art, turn the museum into a centre of dialogue and artistic debate.
Evening free to enjoy more Gastronomic adventures. Restaurant Reservations can be pre-arranged or booked on the spot through the Hotel Concierge.
On the way to Costa Bravas you will be driving inland where there are two National Parks along the way to stop. Consorci del Parc de la Serralada de Marina & Parcs de Catalunya Xarxa de Parcs Naturals.
Upon arrival at the hotel, balance of your day at leisure to start exploring the city on your own or relax poolside or on the sandy beach.
Catalunya’s only five-star Grand Luxe resort hotel, the Hostal de La Gavina sits at the heart of the Costa Brava, on a small peninsula between two secluded bays, each with a sandy beach. Classically Mediterranean, the Hostal de La Gavina blends gently into its surroundings, the aromas of pine and bougainvillea scenting the warm evening air, with the sounds of the sea drifting in from nearby. While away from home, enjoy the days luxuriating in the stunning seawater outdoor pool or heated indoor pool, taking lazy lunches or delectable dinners in a choice of restaurants, sleeping late and waking up refreshed for a game of tennis, an indulgent spa treatment, a little shopping or a day trip to sample Catalunya’s cultural highlights. Enjoy the authentic Costa Brava luxury hotel.
The rest of your day is at your leisure to linger in Girona to amble through the streets and enjoy lunch (own expense).
Girona is a city in Spain’s northeastern Catalonia region, beside the River Onyar. It’s known for its medieval architecture, walled Old Quarter (Barri Vell) and the Roman remains of the Força Vella fortress. Landscaped gardens line the Passeig Arqueològic, a walkway following the Old Quarter’s medieval walls, which include watchtowers with sweeping views.
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