Spain | Barcelona & Catalonia | Adult Only
Discover Catalonia, one of Spain’s most varied regions
7 days / 6 nights
Activity Level Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
Catalonia is one of Spain’s most varied regions, where you can explore countless charming Romanesque churches, medieval hamlets and villages, and marvel at great Gothic cathedrals. A stream of museums can fill you in on the rich history and artistic legacy. Three of the 20th century’s most important artists – Picasso, Miró and Dalí – began their careers here. And who can ignore the architectural fantasies of Gaudí? Catalonian food is among Spain’s best, from the hearty meat and game dishes of the Pyrenees to the mouthwatering seafood delights on the Costa Brava, the range of delicacies is surprising.
Experience one of Europe’s most welcoming places on this seven-day, all-inclusive Spain vacation package that takes you from the craggy peaks of the Pyrenees to the scintillating coastline of the Mediterranean. Hike, bike, kayak and snorkel your way through this week-long adventure in northeast Spain, a region renowned for its remarkable history, spectacular scenery and artistic legacy. Fresh-off-the-boat seafood and fruity sangria’s serve as the cherry-on-top of this best-in-class experience of Northeastern Spain.
- Kayak a reservoir in the Ter River basin, where the village of San Roman de Sau once stood
- Walk the foothills of Rupit for jaw-dropping panoramas of the Pyrenees Mountains
- Sip cava and take in a splendid bird’s eye view on an optional hot air balloon ride over Olot
- Paddle in the wake of 1992 Olympian rowers on Lake Banyoles
- Hike between lava cones and lush vegetation in a natural volcanic park
- Bike the secluded Via Verde to Anglas, the “city of a thousand sieges”
- Snorkel a marine life-rich archipelago on the Costa Brava
- Relax on a castle terrace before enjoying a traditional Catalan feast at the Hotel Castell d’Emporda
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
The history: The Iberians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Visigoths, Celts, Basques and the Moors have all made their mark on what is now Spain. Come discover the many contributions of these cultures!
The explorers: The first European men to see California, Antarctica, the Pacific Ocean and to circumnavigate the globe were all Spaniards. But did you know? Christopher Columbus was not only not the first European to land on the Americas (Leif Ericson), he also wasn't a Spaniard (Italian, though commissioned by the Queen of Spain)!
Botany galore: Spain boasts one of the most diverse plant populations in Europe. During the last ice age, most of Europe was covered in glaciers but Spain was far enough south to avoid the ice so many plant species that were wiped out elsewhere, survived.
Barcelona, Spain BCN
Barcelona, Spain BCN
We meet in the morning in Barcelona and are transferred to Pantà de Sau. The Sau Reservoir, belonging to the Ter River basin, is a perfect place to kayak. When the lake was established in 1962, the water covered the village of San Roman de Sau, while the bell tower continues to be exposed. After kayaking, we proceed on a hike during which the views across the wide gorge and the Pantà de Sau dam are breathtaking. For lunch we proceed to the pretty village of Tavertet, set amid rugged grazing mountains. This afternoon, we explore the town of Rupit, with narrow streets and tucked-away squares, affording some splendid views of the Pyrenees. Once in Olot, relax at our hotel before you feed your appetite with a delicious meal at the restaurant we hand-picked for you.
About Hotel Riu Olot
This modern hotel is within walking distance of the historic town center, with nice views of the surrounding mountains and volcanic hills.
Get up early if you wish to go on an optional hot-air balloon flight (not included in the trip price). Cava and ‘coca de llardons’ (a Catalan cake) are served during the flight, followed by a lunch consisting of roasted & cured sausage and beans. Those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground can join us on a walk through the protected volcanic natural park between Olot and the village of Santa Pau. With its 30-some volcanic cones, this is a landscape of unusual beauty and lush vegetation. When back in Olot, choose to visit the botanical gardens and its interesting Volcano Museum.
Today, bike along a traffic-free ‘Via Verde’ for the entirety of the route to Girona. Enjoy a picnic lunch near the former train station of Amer and continue via Anglès (by bike or van) to the ‘city of a thousand sieges’ Girona, whose ramparts still mark the old city limits. Tonight the group will gather together for a fine meal with traditional specialties before relaxing in our rooms for the rest of the night.
About Hotel Ciutat de Girona
Centrally located in the commercial part of town, Hotel Ciutat de Girona is perfect for exploring the medieval town center across the river.
You’ll feel right at home in the modern, comfortable rooms. The restaurant features interesting fusion cuisine.
Transfer to nearby Banyoles, widely known for its figure-of-eight lake fed by underground streams, which was the venue for the rowing events during the 1992 Olympics. But first we’ll visit the bustling Wednesday market in the Plaça Major which has been taking place since the thirteenth century. At the lake, options include walking, segway, swimming, rowing, boat ride. There is so much to see and to do in Girona, you will want part of the afternoon off. You may opt to proceed to Figueres to visit the extraordinary Teatre- Museu Dalí in the town of his birth, and spend ample time in this gigantic surrealist object. An evening on your own will give you the opportunity to relax at your hotel after your exciting day, or go out exploring Girona some more.
A brief 15-minute transfer will get us out of town safely. Today’s ride will take you through Catalonia’s most authentic and best preserved villages, such as Madremanya, La Pera, Monells and Cruïlles. At Púbol, visit the mansion Salvador Dalí bought for his wife Gala, who lived here without him until her death in 1982, and was decorated by the artist himself in his inimitable style. In La Bisbal, explore its many ceramic stores and the ceramics museum. Retire to the grounds of our castle, where we will enjoy a tour by the owner before being seated for our tapas-style meal.
About Hotel Castell d’Emporda
This medieval castle with modern additions is surrounded by a park. The Castell d’Emporda is now a luxurious four-star hotel fully satisfying all the requirements of the 21st century.
The Castell features comfortable, tastefully decorated rooms, and amenities include a gourmet restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and terraces.
Transfer to L’Estartit on the Costa Brava to embark to Les Illes Medes archipelago, an off-shore marine wildlife reserve with a great variety of flora and fauna. You’ll have ample opportunity to snorkel in the rich waters surrounding the islets. Those who prefer to stay ashore can follow a pleasant bike loop from the hotel to the medieval villages of Peratallada, Pals and Ullastret. Once back at our castle, relax at the pool or on the terrace before retiring to our gourmet farewell feast at the hotel.
At the time of your preference, your guide will transfer you to the Barcelona train station or airport for your departure home. Or be transferred to your hotel in Barcelona if you decide to add another night in this great city.
** Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, trail, weather and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures.
|Start Date||End Date||Status|
|April 28, 2019||May 4, 2019||Limited Space Available|
|May 19, 2019||May 25, 2019||Limited Space Available|
|June 16, 2019||June 22, 2019||Closed Out|
|September 8, 2019||September 14, 2019||Closed Out|
|September 29, 2019||October 5, 2019||Confirmed|
Arrival & Departure
Prior to the trip, arrive at your own convenience in Barcelona. On Day 1, we will meet you in the lobby of Hotel Jazz in Barcelona at 8:30 a.m. After a transfer to Pantà de Sau, the fun begins with a kayak trip on the lake. After breakfast on Day 7, we take you to the airport, train station, or the hotel of your choice in Barcelona (two hour transfer).
Day 1: Kayaking, hiking
Day 2: Hot-air ballooning (optional), hiking
Day 3: Bicycle mileage options: 18 / 25 / 34
Day 4: Walking, Segway, rowing, swimming
Day 5: Bicycle mileage options: 25 / 32 / 40
Day 6: Boating, snorkeling, bicycle mileage options: 14 / 20
Austin Adventures guides are experienced facilitators and regional experts. They will take the time to fit you to your bikes, explain the details of each ride and answer any questions. Each day your guides will help you choose the distance and route that is right for you.
Living among volcanoes is part of everyday life for the locals in Olot, the city being located in the Natural Park of the Volcanic Area of La Garrotxa. There are four volcanoes within the town limits. Kiss the ‘Cul de la Lleona’ to guarantee your return to Girona. Explore the parade of ceramics stores lining the main road in La Bisbal. Nearby Ullastret is one of the best preserved Iberian settlements, where remains of the walls, gates, silos, and other elements, most dating to the 3rd century BC have been excavated. Try a Copa de Cava, Catalonia’s bubbly beverage.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions are included as indicated by itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in Trip Price
- Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
- All meals: breakfasts, lunches, dinners as indicated by itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
- Fully trained, first-aid certified professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
- Bikes, helmets and other necessary equipment – all safe and well maintained.
- Vehicle support and land transportation during the trip.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt, water bottle, luggage tags and luggage service.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
- Incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local partner and expert gratuities and national park entrance and permit fees.
Not Included in Trip Price
- Gratuities to Austin Adventures guides.
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- Meals as not indicated by detailed daily itinerary.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses.
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Want to know how to make fast friends in foreign places and how to get the most out of a destination by experiencing it like a local? Ask Adam, a longtime Austin Adventures guide who now serves as European Operations Manager in Holland. He caught the travel bug during a semester abroad in New Zealand and Australia and quickly discovered he never wanted to stop experiencing—and more importantly, sharing—the wonder of travel. He taught English in China, managed a resort in Mexico, and now lives with his wife and child in Amsterdam, ensuring guests have the best guides and experiences possible on their European adventures.