Barcelona beckons, promising Roman ruins, culinary adventures, chic shopping, psychedelic Antoni Gaudí architecture, and the gentle lap of the Mediterranean Sea. Join our expert GG2P 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 as well as the lure of nature in coastal Costa Brava.
Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip.
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 set out for a walking tour with our local guide of central Barcelona followed by a welcome dinner at Plassohla Restaurant.
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 followed by a concert at El Palau de la Musica.
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 abbey. It’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 in wine country at the Codorníu vineyard including a tour and a bubbly wine tasting. The expert bilingual guides will explain the 450-year-old history of this brand and 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.
Tonight, we'll enjoy an exceptional meal at Hisop with its Michelin star. "Chef Oriol Ivern serves fresh, creative dishes that offer a different take on Catalan culinary tradition and are always based around locally sourced seasonal ingredients" according to the Michelin guide.
Sleep tight, as tomorrow we are off to the Costa Brava.
Cooking Class Lunch
Today, we will depart 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.
Today our lunch is at Calros situated in the old quarter in an old inn with stone walls and arches, a former meeting point for merchants and merchants in yesteryear.
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!
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.
We'll dine today for lunch together at the Restaurant Hotel Duran in Figueres.
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.
Wake up slowly 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 our lunch in the region at Begur at Diferent.
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 Pau Claris 190 near the hotel.
After breakfast at the hotel, it’s time to say our goodbyes. It’s “fins després” to all your GG2W amigas before hopping in a taxi to the Barcelona International Airport for your return flight home.
We are happy to help you set up your taxi to the airport with the hotel’s front desk.
Regina is from the Pacific Northwest in the United States (she calls Seattle home). She lived in Barcelona for 10 years and speaks fluent Spanish as well as some Catalan. Spain is one of her favorite places. Along with local guides, Regina will lead this trip and introduce you the best of Catalonia.
Barcelona is one of the best cities in the world
Barcelona is a buzzing and lively city on the Eastern coast of Spain in Europe. Home to delights such as Gaudi architecture, a fantastic foodie scene, and even several beaches, it’s no surprise that the capital of Catalonia regularly tops lists of the best places to visit in Europe.
Everything stated in itinerary above including meals (except otherwise noted) plus wine or beer with your evening meal
Lodging at unique hotels
An English-speaking facilitator accompanying you every step of the way
Local Catalan guides to show you the best of Catalonia
A planning and packing guide to get you ready for this adventure
All in-country transport
Roundtrip airfare to Spain (Barcelona)
Additional wine, beer, or spirits beyond what is offered at meals.
All personal souvenir purchases
Travel and Medical Insurance (required)
You are going to want to fly into the Barcelona International Airport (El Prat) and hop into a taxi. Your trip leader will meet you at the hotel.
The trip officially starts on November 2nd, but if you are traveling across an ocean to get to Spain, you may want to consider arriving a day early so you have time to relax and get acclimated to the local time zone. If you do decide to arrive early, please let us know and we will take care of booking your room for you and make sure that you are kept in the same room as you will be in when the trip starts.
We will have a zoom call about 6 weeks before the trip starts to discuss all that information and give you a packing list. Here is a great website that we love that will help you with packing and travel trips.
The average daytime temperatures generally hover around 13°C with highs of 18°C with average minimum temperatures of 8°C at night. Warmer clothes and some protection from the rain will be necessary.
Regina Winkle-Bryan will be your trip leader.Regina is from the Pacific Northwest in the United States (she calls Seattle home). She lived in Barcelona for 10 years and speaks fluent Spanish as well as some Catalan. Spain is one of her favorite places. Along with local guides, Regina will lead this trip and introduce you the best of Catalonia.