Cultural Tour: Spain – Barcelona/Costa Brava-May 6-13, 2023

We started French Escapade doing cultural tours some 20 twenty years ago, but we progressively shifted to specialize in painting vacations.
On popular demand, we have decided to organize one cultural tour in 2023. Seize this rare opportunity and join our exclusive tour of Catalonia.

Day 1: Welcome

 

We will pick you up at a specific hotel downtown Barcelona and drive you to our hotel located in one of the most exclusive beaches on the Costa Brava, Calella de Palafrugel.

Upon your arrival at our hotel by the sea, take time to settle in, enjoy the beach in front of the hotel, walk along the pristine seashore, take in the sun from the terrace or have a drink in the Mediterranean breeze.

We will then give you a tour of this wonderful white-washed and preserved fisherman village on the beach along the shore that offers breathtaking vistas along the way.

In the evening, you will enjoy a welcome reception followed by a delicious dinner.

Day 2: Rice, Paella and Medieval Village

Morning: The Pristine Seashore of the Costa Brava

This morning, your guide will take you walk along the most exclusive beach on the Costa Brava, our village Calella de Palafrugell.

If you prefer, you can take in the sun from the patio of the hotel or have a drink in the Mediterranean breeze.

Afternoon: Back in Time in Pals!

As you walk through the narrow village streets of Pals, next to the city walls, towers and churches, you will feel as though you have walked into a different time altogether.

The stone archways, cobblestone streets and wrought-iron balconies adorned with flowers create a welcoming feel in this Romanesque village.

Evening: Paella with local rice from Pals.

The surrounding plains were once marshland and make the perfect environment for growing rice.
Rice cultivation in the plains around Pals dates back to 1452. Pals is a slow food town, part of the “cittslow association” which seeks to preserve the landscape, local cooking and produce, customs and traditions.

You can eat the best local dish of L’arros a la cassola, similar to paella. This is a rice stew using the Bahia variety and the dish contains; cuttlefish, prawns, clams, chicken, rabbit, small sausages, peas, onion, tomato, garlic and parsley.

Day 3: Open Your Senses

The Most Photogenic Harbour of Girona

All About Fish

Today, we will head off to Palamos, a cute small fishing town on the Costa Brava, a place to enjoy with all the senses.

Fishing is still an important business in Palamos. We will start with a guided visit at the fishing museum, a public tribute to old-fashioned fishermen and the Mediterranean lifestyle.

Then we will watch the arrival of the boats coming back from their fishing day.

The visit will continue with a unique experience: we will attend the fish auction – where chefs go and buy their fish (not open to the public but we have our way in!!!!).

 

Cooking Demonstration

The best is to come: eating the fish!

We will then attend a cooking demonstration by a fisherman chef. He will teach you typical recipes, like the aioli, the figueoa (catalan version of the paella) and much more. You are free to help the chef or relax with a glass of Catalan wine.

Day 4: Jewish Heritage and Surrealistic Experience!

Morning: Medieval Village of Besalu

We will visit the medieval town of Besalú, a magnificent historic artistic site, renowned for its beauty and its 11th century Roman bridge.

As you walk through the narrow village streets of Besalu, next to the city walls, towers and churches, you will feel as though you have walked into a different time altogether.

The stone archways, cobblestone streets and wrought-iron balconies adorned with flowers create a welcoming feel in this Romanesque village. After your stroll and shopping, guided visit of the 9th century Jewish quarter of Besalú and the 12th century mikvah or Jewish ritual bathhouse, the only one of its kind discovered in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the few known in Europe.

Afternoon: Surrealistic Dali Experience

Dali created the largest surrealistic object in the world, his own museum, the Dalí Theatre-Museu in the town of Figueres, his birthplace.

His museum is like no other. Dalí wanted visitors to see his massive collection as a ‘whole’ work and therefore refused to have his works placed in chronological or subject order.

Inside is a world of fantasy mixed with architecture, paintings and sculptures. It’s a completely surrealistic experience.

We will have a guided tour of this incredible museum with a local very enthusiastic guide who will share his passion of Dali’s art with you.

Day 5: Pottery day

La Bisbal d’Emporda is now one of the leading pottery centre in Catalonia. The brand name “Ceramica de la Bisbal” a guarantee of authenticity is engraved or stamped by local producers on all types of ceramic products.

You will be able to find all shapes, all colors, all design and all sizes of ceramic.

We also have a guided tour through a traditional family workshop. A great opportunity to see a workshop in action: clay work, decoration , oven-baking.

Then, it will be your turn to produce your unique piece!!!!

Day 6: Barcelona: Gaudi's Art and Flamenco

Leaving the countryside for a more urban atmosphere, we will drive to Barcelona and settle into our new hotel in the center of town.

Lunch: Market of la Boqueria

Free time for lunch. Why not try the Market of la Boqueria with its incredible contrast between colours and activity, an ideal place to discover why Mediterranean cuisine is internationally known due to its ingredients.

All of the best products from Catalonia in one place: fruit, vegetables, fish, seafood and the world famous ham de Belota, the “pata negra”.

Afternoon: Gaudí

Barcelona is of course famous because of Gaudi’s work. We will get up close to one of the best Gaudí’s grand designs by visiting the most impressive house in the center, la Casa Batlló.

Casa Batlló is one of the most emblematic work of the brilliant Catalan architect with a facade that is original, fantastical and full of imagination.

Gaudi redesigned the original facade to give it a wavy shape and covered it with a mosaic of coloured glass and ceramic discs. Just amazing!

Evening: Flamenco

In the evening, we will enjoy a wonderful and unforgettable Flamenco show. Flamenco singers, dancers and guitar players will be offering a powerful staging and musical event.

Day 7: Barcelona under the Stars

Morning: Guided Visit of Barcelona

Barcelona is such a rich city: art, shops, museums, food, architecture,…

We will start the day with a guided walk of Barcelona: the cathedral, the roman ruins, the gothic quarter, the rambles, plaza Reial, etc…

Afternoon: Free Time in Barcelona

You will have plenty of choices for your free time:

– Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site, Park Guell, one of the most famous legacies Gaudi left to this world. Park Guell is one of the most beautiful and innovative parks in the world. The whole park
is sprinkled with twisting pathways and some private residences.

– Follow in the footsteps of the artistic genius Picasso by visiting the Museu Picasso, a gallery that records his formative years.

– Head to the Fundació Joan Miró, one of the greatest museums in the world about his art.

– Ramble down the colorful Ramblas, one of the most famous boulevards in the world. It bustles with artists, musicians, vibrant flower stalls, newspaper kiosks and cafés.

– Do some great shopping: Style comes with all
kinds of price tags in Barcelona. High street shoppers will easily recognise the Spanish labels Mango and Zara, but fashionistas should check out the colorful Desigual.

Lay on the beach by the harbor in the center of town.

 

Evening: A Night of Fusion Tapas Under the Barcelona Stars

 

In the evening, you will be treated a gourmet dinner of tapas.

You will first be welcomed with a glass of cava (Spanish Champagne), then the gourmet dinner will include dishes such as homemade gazpacho andaluz, Spanish Jamon, Truffle goats cheese with caramelized red onion, Catalan “Pa amb Toma”.

Day 8: Departure

It is time to say Hasta Luego! But don’t worry – you’ll be back. We just know it!

After our last breakfast together, you can decide to extend your stay in Barcelona for a few days or fly home if you have to.

3-star hotel with breathtaking sea view

 

Come and let yourself be carried away by emotions!

For the hotel on the Costa Brava, we have chosen a completely renovated hotel with a breathtaking sea view, overlooking the coves of a hidden and preserved beach.

Enjoy exceptional views of the white-washed fishing village and the blue sea in a comfortable, intimate and relaxed atmosphere.

The village’s narrowing streets and picturesque fishermen’s cottages form an idyllic backdrop to the stunning Mediterranean coast.

 

You can choose either a standard room (no sea view) with balcony or a superior room with sea view and balcony (see picture to the right).

Rooms have either two single beds or one double bed. All rooms have an en-suite bathroom, TV, satellite, air conditioning, heating, hairdryer and safety deposit box..

Dates and Rates 2023

May 6-13, 2023: Open to everyone

Sign up before Nov 30th to save $200!

Before Nov 30th:US $3,390 (double occupancy standard  room)

After Nov 30th:US $3,590 (double occupancy standard  room)

+ US $450 per person for a double occupancy room with sea view
+ US $550  for a single standard room
+ US $900  for a single room with sea view

Includes

  • Pick-up and drop off at a specific hotel downtown Barcelona
  • A welcome reception
  • 5 nights at the hotel by the beach and 2 nights at the hotel in Barcelona
  • All breakfasts
  • 1 gourmet paella lunch
  • 5 dinners (includes drinks and wine)
  • A Flamenco show
  • Entrance fees to all sites on the tour
  • A personal chauffeur/guide throughout the week
  • Transportation in a comfortable van with A/C

Excludes

  • Flights to and from Barcelona
  • 6 lunches and 2 dinners
  • Optional activities (those not described in the itinerary)
  • Tour leader(s) tipping
How to book

1To hold your spot, please fill out the reservation form below and send us a $600 deposit.
Note that the deposit is not refundable but is transferrable. See our Cancelation Policy below.

2Once you have submitted your reservation, you will receive a confirmation email with the details on how to submit your deposit via one of these 3 methods:

– by check (if you live in Canada, it needs to be a money order)
– via ZELLE (free instant money transfer offered by all major US banks)
– by credit card
– by bank transfer

3The remaining balance will be due 3 months before departure.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel the trip:Cancellation Fee per Person
More than 90 days before departureThe $600 deposit is forfeited
(however $500 can be transferred to another trip with a departure date within 2 years of cancelation date)
61-90 days before departure50% of total cost forfeited
31-60 days before departure75% of total cost forfeited
0-30 days before departure100% of total cost forfeited
If French Escapade cancels You get a full refund

Thank you for traveling with us!

French Escapade LLC | 2389 Blackpool Place | San Leandro, CA 94577 | 510-483-5713 | contact@frenchescapade.com
California Seller of Travel Licence-CST #: 2091909-40
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