Itinerary · Spain - Catalonia · May 27- June 4, 2017
One thing to note: this itinerary is the current plan, and, things may change. We will make every effort to provide the tours and experiences that are described below. However, the nature of the places we’ll be visiting — not typical tourist destinations — means that plans may change at the last minute. Also, you always have the option of skipping a particular excursion, but please note that we will be unable to make refunds for any missed meals or other events.
Day 1 / Barcelona
We will meet up on the first day in the early afternoon at our hotel, for introductions. (Some guests choose to fly in a day or two early to get adjusted to the time zone and visit some of the sites. Don't miss the Sagrada Familia.) We will start with a guided walking tour of the old quarter of the city and the incredible Boqueria market. The Boqueria is one of the more famous markets in Europe, where every type of food from the area is beautifully showcased. We will relax over our first dinner together at a local Barcelona restaurant. Fair warning – we will be adapting to the local culture. Mornings are a bit later to rise, lunch does not start until around 2pm, and evenings are late to eat dinner and later to bed!
Day 2 / Barcelona to San Sadurini De Noya to La Selva Del Camp
We will start the day leisurely with breakfast around 9 am at our hotel, and you'll have a little time to say goodbye to Barcelona before we board our bus at 11:30 for the town of San Sadurini De Noya, located in the epicenter of the land of Cava. There we will visit the winery Agustí Torelló Mata to see the Cava wine-making process and enjoy lunch in the winery. Once sated, we will proceed on up into the hills to the town of La Selva Del Camp and our hotel for the night. We'll stretch our legs with a guided walking tour of the town where Gaudi was born, and have some tapas and perhaps enjoy some vermouth.
Day 3 / La Selva Del Camp, Gratallops
Breakfast bright and early, at 10 am. We will be heading to Gratallops where we will settle in for 2 nights. But first we will stop to learn about the local agrarian cooperative and the tasty local hazelnuts. And we couldn't get too far into a food tour without spending some time learning about and tasting amazing olive oil. We will have lunch with the cooperative's president and then head to Gratallops, a small village in the heart of the beautiful Priorat wine region. Before dinner, we will take some time to learn about the process of making Vermouth. Dinner will be in the restaurant of the Clos de l'Obac winery.
Day 4 / Gratallops
Cooking day! We will learn about Spanish Catalonian cooking, alternating hands-on cooking with chef Alicia, and touring the Clos de l'Obac winery, and of course tasting the wines, with our friends Carles and Mariona. We'll divide up into two groups, one prepping lunch, the other dinner. No experience necessary! There will be free time in the afternoon for siesta.
Day 5 / Priorato and Delta Del Ebro
Today we'll say goodbye to the hills and work our way down to the water, where we'll stay on the Delta del Ebro for 3 nights. First, a sweet stop to visit the beehives of Guillem Pastrana and taste some honey. Then a visit to the ancient hill town of Siurana to learn some of the local history, and to enjoy a wonderful lunch - a tasting menu and wines from Priorat and Monsant, with Pau and Anaïs, owners of Els Tallers farm-to-table restaurant. Our friend Carles Pastrana will join us. Lunch will be followed by gin & tonics in the garden overlooking the gorgeous valleys and mountains of the Priorat. Then, ok, we'll say goodbye to the hills and head for Poble Nou. A light dinner of tapas.
Day 6 / Delta Del Ebro
We are on the delta of the Ebro river — this is one of the largest wetland areas in the Mediterranean and it's vibrant with life. Most of the area is a designated national park. This area is known for rice, salt, fish, and shellfish, and we're going to enjoy all of them! This first day we'll spend out on the water. We'll head out to the sandbanks at the mouth of the river to catch fish with our bare hands. Trust us, you'll love it! Lunch at the beautifully situated Musclarium restaurant for mussels and oysters. Dinner at a restaurant on terra firma – of the fish we caught that day.
Day 7 / Delta Del Ebro
Today we will learn about the all-important rice, critical to so many traditional local dishes. We will get some hands-on lessons on rice planting and cultivation, do some bird watching, and have a lunch of local dishes in the old rice workers' barracks. Later in the day we will visit the very special Molí de Rafalet, a family-run artisanal rice mill, producing hand-milled rice. Dinner at a local restaurant near our hotel.
Day 8 -Delta Del Ebro to Barcelona
It's our last day, so let's spend the morning out on a sailboat, in the calm local waters. It will provide us some great views of the mussel and oyster traps and the Delta de l'Ebro saltworks, as we savor our last day to the fullest. We'll have lunch at a local restaurant and then board our bus to head back to Barcelona to the hotel we started in. A final dinner together to say our farewells!
Some folks stay on a few extra days, now that they are more comfortable with the culture and language, to enjoy Spain on their own.