Mediterranean Discovery (9 days)

special Departure Year Round
Mediterranean Discovery (9)days with Samuele Colombo is a cultural culinary odyssey through the eyes of a true local. Beautiful scenery along with detailed history will help you feel a part of where yo are. From Barcelona to Vaencia and small villages to medieval towns, photo opportunities are at your finger tips. Learn about traditions, monastic and fishing. Visit the spot that used to be filled with bohemians and artists. See the house of the surreal painted Salvador Dali. You will never be bored with the views, the stories or the fine dinig. This trip will awaken all of your senses at one time!

All Photos courtesy of Samuele Colombo

Your Escort/Guide, Samuele Colombo  

Mediterranean Discovery (9 days) with Samuele Colombo

DAY 1: Arrive Barcelona
Arrival in Barcelona where you will be met and driven to your lovely accommodation.
Dinner meet and greet with your escort/guide, Samuele.

DAY 2: Barcelona, Priorat DOQ
We’ll leave Barcelona in the morning heading to the incredibly beautiful and rugged Priorat DOQ wine region. The drive will take us through mountainous areas peppered with 800 year-old monasteries, some of the best examples of Romanesque architecture (10th-12th century), shortly visiting one or two depending on the schedule.

Once there, we will visit Clos Figueres in Gratallops , the acclaimed winery-restaurant owned by Christopher Cannan,one of the pioneers of the Priorat wine “revolution” of the late ’80s and ’90s.A lovely organic lunch and wine tasting awaits us there. In the afternoon will drive shortly to the bottom of the valley to the village of Porrera to meet Paco and Dominic and tour their incredible old-vine vineyard on a pure slate soil super steep slope and savour the unique minerality of their wines.

After this triumph of potent reds we’ll finally head to our next hotel-winery. Once checked in, you can relax on the grounds for a while, until we sit down for a great dinner of deliciously prepared ecologic dishes in a quirky restaurant in Poboleda village and turn in for the evening.

DAY 3: Siurana village and drive to Valencia, stopping in Peñiscola for a seafood lunch and time to visit the castle.
After a nice country breakfast of bread, meats, cheeses and homemade marmalade we will drive to Siurana,an incredible small village of stone houses and cobblestone alleys built in medieval times right on top of a escarpment with truly stunning views and lots of history. We will stroll around and soak in the unique landscape offering superb photo opportunities, go for a delicious local olive oil tasting (Siurana village is a DO itself for olive oil production).

We will then start the drive to Valencia stopping by Peñiscola for a nice lunch at the sea side and a visit to its castle. By the early evening we will arrive in Valencia,check in,a bit of time to freshen up and off to some traditional and authentic Valencian paella.

DAY 4: Full day in Valencia
Today the day is dedicated to discover the beauty of Valencia, a Mediterranean city between classic and avant-garde. Perfect to discover on foot,it offers fascinating attractions as the Plaza de la Reina, with the Cathedral and the Miguelete tower, where you should climb the 207 steps for some beautiful views. In the city centre you can also find the Silk Exchange -one of Valencia’s most beautiful buildings, a World Heritage Site, with its idyllic Patio de los Naranjos courtyard full of orange trees- and the Modernist Central Market – Europe’s largest fresh produce market, so taking in its stalls is a true experience.

A little further from the centre you can see the striking modern side of Valencia: the stunning City of Arts and Sciences. Designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, it has fought to become a landmark with buildings such as the Oceanogràfic, Europe’s largest aquarium. Its original shapes make the ideal backdrop for incredible photo shooting. An official local guide will be with us to show us the secrets of the city and its gems.

DAY 5: Roman Tarragona, Sitges
A couple of hours driving after leaving Valencia we’ll stop at Tarragona,the Imperial Tarraco offering a well preserved array of Roman ruins unmatched in the Iberian Peninsula. Ramparts, walls, villas and other public structures built by master craftsman from Rome highlight Tarragona’s Old District. The Amphitheater, Tarragona’s jewel, was built at the end of the first-century and could host more than 20.000 spectators where gladiators were fighting and Christians were martyred. Just outside the city, a section of aqueduct known as “The Devil’s Bridge” stretches more than 500 feet across a ravine.

We’ll then move on to Sitges just in time to enjoy a late lunch on the beachfront. This once quiet fishing village today boasts a long and sandy beach, groovy boutiques, and a handful of interesting sights. Fashionable since the 1890s, when it became an avant-garde, art-world hang-out, Sitges provides a maze of shady side streets, where you can enjoy the Mediterranean atmosphere of its whitewashed houses. Overnight in a charming small boutique hotel.

DAY 6 Costa Brava, medieval villages and Girona
After an early breakfast we will drive for approx 2 hours to explore and enjoy the essence of the Mediterranean Sea, the Costa Brava.The northernmost of Spanish Costas, it is probably the prettiest of the lot. It’s made up of rugged cliffs,secluded coves and pristine beaches, which give way to enchanting fishing villages and seaside towns with outstanding restaurants.

After soaking in such marine landscape and savouring a great lunch we will be strolling around delightful Middle Age stone villages nestled in the hilly backcountry, such as Pals and Peretallada.
We’ll head to Girona by late evening to settle in and relax after a long day. A succulent dinner with the famous local beef and surprising wines will work as a balm.

Whole morning to explore on foot Girona moodily atmospheric, strikingly well-preserved medieval old town and the Jewish history and legacy this area still emanates. One of the most important Jewish community in Southern Europe during the Middle Age,it’s a jewel on its own. Large sections of the original city wall are still in place and can be walked, offering a stunning view of the Old Town and Jewish Quarter.

After lunch we’ll move on to Figueres to the Salvador Dalí Theatre Museum, an eccentric and fascinating collection of more than 1000 pieces from the genius of Surrealism. We’ll let fantasy and imagination free to flow admiring the intriguing art of Dalí and his very peculiar life and obsessions.

We’ll finish the day driving to Cadaques, one of the most emblematic locations of the landscape and of the fishing tradition of the Costa Brava. The town, white and plain, is located in the middle of the bay of the same name. Close to prominent spaces such as Portlligat or the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes, its profile is dotted with many coves where you can enjoy the unbeatable quality of the waters of the Costa Brava. During the second half of the 20t century, Cadaqués filled with artists and bohemians. The most well-known were the couple formed by the surrealist painter Salvador Dalí and his wife, Gala. But what can more clearly bring us closer to the spirit of Cadaqués is the pen of the great writer from Empordá, Josep Pla.Dinner and overnight.

DAY 8 Cadaques, Dalí house in Port Lligat and end in Barcelona.
Last day of this week-long tour, we’ll have a free morning to relax in Cadaques, followed by either an incursion into neighboring France for a oyster feast in Leucate or a lunch in Cadaques and a visit to the incredible Dalí house in Port Lligat. By mid-late afternoon. we will leisurely drive back to Barcelona to end this Mediterranean discovery.

DAY 9 Depart Barcelona
After breakfast, you will be driven to the airport for your departure flight.

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