Fiercely independent Catalonia, home of Miro, Dali and Gaudi. Enjoy great ‘tapas’ and cava, discover ancient monasteries and amazing Roman, Moorish and Aragonese legacies. It seems incredible that although Spain is one of the most visited countries on earth, vast swathes of it are hardly known at all. During the past few years, its more historic and scenic aspects have been brought to the attention of the discerning traveller.
These differences were ruthlessly suppressed during the Franco years but have since blossomed and today Catalonia retains a distinct regional identity borrowing little from the rest of Spain.
Set on a plain rising from the clear blue Mediterranean through a range of wooded hills then to a superb backdrop of high mountains, the scenery is astonishing. It is as diverse as any area can be, from tiny medieval villages to one of the world’s most vibrant cities –and from classical Renaissance art to Salvador Dali’s avant garde; the list is endless and on this tour we see the best it can offer.
Barcelona, the self-confident and progressive capital, is a tremendous place to visit. Spain’s most prosperous city, it oozes sophistication and a cultural dynamism which is so strong you can feel it just walking around. Barcelona has also evolved a highly individual cultural identity, most perfectly and eccentrically expressed by the architecture of Antoni Gaudí.
Escape the hustle and bustle of Barcelona city for a morning soaring peacefully in a hot air balloon* over the lush green hills of the Montseny National Park. We take in breath-taking vistas over the coast and the expanse of azure blue Mediterranean Sea, and of the stunning city itself. Lush vineyards blend seamlessly into vast plains, pockmarked by volcanic peaks - a truly rich and varied landscape unfurls below us as we sail gracefully where the wind takes us. On a really clear day you may see all the way to the peaks of Montserrat. What better way to conclude this hour long enchanting flight, than with a Cava toast, and brunch of local delicacies.
Catalonia also boasts the best food in Spain, but that is what the Catalans themselves tell you and to be fair they perhaps have a point, but the only real test is to come with us and see for yourself.