Barcelona beckons, promising Roman ruins, culinary adventures, chic shopping, psychedelic Antoni Gaudí architecture, and the gentle lap of the Mediterranean Sea. Join our expert Girls Guide to the World guide on this eight-day, women-only, small-group adventure and fall in love with a part of Europe that has been stealing hearts for centuries. The northeastern area of Spain, called Catalonia, is a distinct region with its own language and culture. This area has always been at an intersection of cultures and influences, home to Muslims, Jews and Christians. It has established its own unique way of doing things that is Spanish but also Catalan, and proudly so. The area to the north of Barcelona is called the Costa Brava including the ancient environs of Girona and the playground of surrealist painter Salvador Dali as well as a craggy captivating coastline. Of course you’ll be spoiled for fresh fish, cool sand and a sea breeze. Leave the details to us and get ready to be impressed by bustling Barcelona, a haven for arts and culture together with the lure of nature in coastal Costa Brava.
Here's A Day by Day Itinerary
Arrive at the Barcelona International Airport (El Prat), grab a taxi from the long line of those waiting to arrive at the 5 star Ohla Barcelona.
Take some time to settle in and freshen up. The day is yours to relax by the pool, nap, and luxuriate in this wonderful hotel.
In the evening, we’ll meet up in the lobby and set out for an orientation walking tour with our local guide of central Barcelona. Our walk will build up your appetite for a welcome dinner at La Plassohla Tapas Restaurant in our hotel, specializing in tapas created by an award winning Michelin starred chef.
Grab your coffee and breakfast at the hotel restaurant and get ready for a morning of exploring Barcelona.
Today, we set out with a local guide to experience the whimsy and wonder that is Gaudí’s architecture. We’ll visit the inside of the still unfinished (after 150 years) Sagrada Família Basilica, a stunner with dozens of animals cavorting on the façade.
There’s time for a short stop to admire the curvy façades of Gaudí’s La Pedrera and Casa Batlló before heading up the hillside to Park Güell, an expansive area that blooms with gardens and buildings by Gaudí.
From the park, our private transport whisks us back to the hotel for a bit of downtime. Explore the city from our central base camp and go shopping at the many nearby boutiques. Lunch is on your own, either at the hotel or one of the many cafes and restaurants in the neighborhood.
In the evening, we’ll get together again for dinner at the modern gourmet restaurant Ten’s for a true Catalan culinary experience.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, then we’re off in our private van and heading south for the day. The first stop is at the sandcastle spires of Montserrat Mountain, where an eponymous abbey sits snugly between the peaks.
A Benedictine community has existed on Montserrat for almost 1,000 years and is still active today. The spectacularly beautiful landscape is popular with hikers and rock climbers and short hikes are available on paved pathways from the abbeyIt’s a quick jump to Penedès from Montserrat, Spain’s premier cava region. (Cava is like champagne but made in Spain). We’ll have lunch at Cal Blay followed by a bubbly wine tasting at an award-winning vineyard with expert bilingual guides to give you the scoop on how to best serve cava (spoiler: icy cold).In the afternoon we’ll head back to Barcelona.Enjoy the evening on your own or head out for dinner with some of your new amigas.
After breakfast, we’ll head to the famous, sprawling Boqueria Market. Wander between stalls and consider the fact that vendors have been selling their wares here since the 13th century.
We will stop at a few select spots to purchase the ingredients for our private cooking class. Then, it’s over to the kitchen where our chef will show us the ropes. This is a hands-on experience, so get ready to tie on an apron to slice and dice. The payoff is a three-course meal with wine enjoyed with the rest of your GG2P travelers.
Have a bit of “you time” after lunch. Hit the hotel for a siesta or stroll the Gothic Quarter for sightseeing and shopping.
Grab dinner or some tapas on your own — we are going out later tonight! We reconvene in the evening for a drink and a flamenco concert in the center of the city. We’ll be in Barcelona’s party center if you’re moved to continue celebrating at the many bars and clubs nearby.
But don’t stay out all night, because tomorrow we are off to the Costa Brava.
Today, we leave Barcelona to motor north to Girona. Perched on the Onyar River, the walled city of Girona is our first stop in the Costa Brava. With roots reaching back to Roman times, the city is a compact cluster of history and culture.
We’ll begin with a walking tour of Girona with our local Catalan guides. Visit the cathedral, the Jewish Quarter, and enjoy some free time in the old part of the city to browse the charming boutiques.
Lucky you – today our lunch is a true gourmet experience at Divinum in Girona, one of the finest restaurants on the Costa Brava.
After lunch, we’ll head to Púbol to explore Gala’s Castle. Gala was Salvador Dalí’s wife and the artist gave her the castle as a gift. It is a weird and wonderful place and we’ll learn much more about the castle, the couple, and their interesting visitation arrangement.
From Púbol we’ll make our way to our hotel, the 4-star Hostal Empuries and Spa resting directly on the Mediterranean Sea next to Greco-Roman ruins. Take some time to wander the grounds and have a drink, or a spa treatment (not included). This is your home for the next two nights.
Later in the evening, we will have dinner together at the hotel overlooking the Mediterranean. It’s been a full day—let’s toast to that!
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today is all about wine, history, and art – three things we love about Catalonia!
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll enjoy a guided tour of the Greek ruins of Empuries and learn more about the ancient people who called this coastline home. (The Iberians were also here). The Greeks loved their wine and we do, too! After our tour we’ll have a “secret” wine tasting, discovering both the reds and whites created along the rugged Costa Brava terrain.
Then it’s time for a walk along the seaside to SantMarti d’Empuries where we will have lunch together in a typical Catalan masia (and if you want, a little more of that local wine!).
Fortified and feeling fine, we’ll hop in the van for a quick trip to Figueres to get up close and personal with Salvador Dalí’s artwork at the Teatre-Museu Dalí. We’ll learn more about the artist’s fascinating life and see how his work evolved over the years. Dali’s museum is like none other you have ever been to. In fact, everything in it was conceived and designed by the artist himself. We’ll have a guided tour of the museum and then some free time to look around the grounds or shop and wander Figueres. Even if you now don’t consider yourself a Dali fan, after learning more about the man and the important nature of his work, you’ll walk away changed.
Later, we will head back to our fabulous hotel. Enjoy some downtime, sip some cava and marvel at how remarkable and lucky we are to be in this stunning place.
We’ll enjoy dinner together as a group in the evening at our lovely hotel.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Wake up slow and have a leisurely breakfast. We’ll make our way back to Barcelona today, but not before stopping at two villages that are guaranteed to steal your heart and fill your camera roll.
Our first stop is Peratallada, a stone village erected in the Middle Ages. Peratallada means “carved stone” and we’ll understand why as you tour this charming hamlet. We will also stop at Pals, another Medieval village that will captivate you with cobblestone pathways, bursting flower boxes, and snug plazas.
Together, we will enjoy lunch in Pals at the well-known restaurant, Es Portal de Pals. Rice is cultivated around Pals hence many of the dishes here feature rice and seafood.
It’s okay to snooze as we cruise south to Barcelona. You’ve had a full morning and a wonderful meal; let us take care of the driving while you relax in the van.
In the afternoon, we will arrive at our 5–star hotel, the Claris Hotel & Spa in Barcelona. After settling into the hotel, the rest of the afternoon is yours to catch anything you missed during the first few days of the trip. Maybe you want more Gaudí or feel like scoping out a few of Barcelona’s art museums, such as the Joan Miró Foundation, the Picasso Museum, or the MACBA.
We’ll conclude our adventure together with a farewell dinner at one of the city’s finest eateries, Oria, a Michelin-star restaurant by Martin Berasategui. He presents modern Italian with a Basque touch.
After breakfast at the hotel, it’s time to say our goodbyes. It’s “fins després” to all your GG2P amigas before hopping in a taxi to the Barcelona International Airport for your return flight home.
A 5-star art-filled hotel in the heart of Barcelona's gothic quarter with a rooftop pool and views of the city.
A welcoming 4-star hotel and spa sitting right on the Mediterranean Sea next to Greco-Roman ruins.
A luxury 5-star hotel with rooftop pool close to the Passeig de Gràcia.