Enjoy the unspoilt rugged beauty of the Costa Brava
The beautiful, unspoilt town of Roses is our base for nine nights on the rugged Costa Brava. Our relaxed itinerary introduces the cultural highlights of the region, including the incredible Cap de Creus National Park, the picturesque fishing village of Cadaqués, Barcelona, Figueres and the Dalí Foundation.
Our journey begins on the morning Eurostar from St Pancras International to Paris, travelling in Standard Premier Class. We join the high-speed TGV from Paris directly to Figueres in Spain. From Figueres we make the short transfer by coach to the town of Roses, located at the north-eastern end of the Costa Brava, a wild and rocky stretch of the Spanish coastline. The exact translation of 'Costa Brava' will differ depending on which guidebook you read, but whether it is 'wild coast', 'fierce coast', 'rugged coast' or even 'savage coast', it is a coastline of outstanding natural beauty, where steep cliffs have been eroded by the sea, creating numerous hidden bays and tiny coves.
Set within the beautiful Bay of Roses, Roses is an authentic Spanish fishing port which oozes charm and style. Running south from Roses is an almost endless stretch of fine sandy beach, set invitingly against a backdrop of the distant Pyrenean mountain peaks.
We spend nine nights at the superb 4-star Almadraba Park Hotel, located on a small, sandy cove approximately three kilometres from the centre of Roses. The hotel offer a complimentary shuttle service into the centre of Roses, which allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds: the peace and quiet of the hotel's private, secluded location, together with the freedom and flexibility to visit the centre of Roses whenever you choose. The hotel's superb facilities are complemented by its excellent restaurant, which offers a wide choice of meals from its daily menu of local dishes. We enjoy dinner in the hotel every evening, served with an included glass of wine.
Your day is free for you to relax in Roses. Spend your day enjoying the local climate and sunshine on the beach or with a drink in one of the cafés on the promenade, overlooking the Mediterranean. Alternatively, enjoy a walk out of the bay to discover rocky coves and secluded shingle beaches that are only reachable on foot or by boat.
This morning we begin our exploration of the Costa Brava on an excursion by boat around the shoreline. We board the boat at Roses' small port, sailing along a stretch of the incredibly beautiful Cap de Creus National Park, past towering cliffs and countless mini bays, accessible only by boat and protected from overland access by thick, deep forests which cover the cliff tops and reach up high into the mountains.
Our boat takes us into the small port at the very heart of Cadaques. Set in its own crystal-clear bay, Cadaques is a picturesque fishing village of delightful whitewashed houses, which was the inspiration for much of Salvador Dalí's work. The famous painter visited Cadaques many times during his childhood and later kept a house and studio just outside the village, which became a popular bohemian retreat for many of the 20th century's most famous artists, who lived here alongside the local fishing community. Dalí and Picasso were known to have been particularly inspired by the incredible light and colour on display in Cadaques.
You have some time to explore the village at leisure, before returning to Roses in time to arrange lunch - you could enjoy mouth-watering tapas, savouring some of the delicious, incredibly fresh seafood on offer. On Day 4 you have another free day to enjoy in Roses, spending your time as you wish in this beautiful coastal town.
Today we travel by coach to the magnificent city of Barcelona. We begin at the fantastic Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudí's unfinished masterpiece, before enjoying a panoramic city tour which takes us past many of the main sights and along the bustling Las Ramblas, a wonderful tree-lined boulevard which is regarded as the beating heart of the city, running through the centre from the Plaza de Catalunya to the waterfront. Las Ramblas is packed with interesting shops and pavement cafés, while street performers keep the crowds entertained. This afternoon you are free to explore at your leisure. Perhaps take a walk through the Gothic quarter (Barri Gotic), or discover bustling Port Vell, literally 'Old Harbour'.
You could visit the Picasso Museum, housing a collection of the renowned artist's finest work, or wander down Las Ramblas soaking up the bustling atmosphere. Alternatively, explore Gaudí's distinctive architecture, dotted around the city, and visit Casa Batlló, one of the most unique houses in Barcelona.
On Day 6 you are free to spend the day exploring the region surrounding Roses or enjoying the superb hotel facilities. You could take a trip to nearby Girona, a captivating city with Iberian, Roman, Moorish and Jewish influences in its culture and architecture.
We travel to Figueres today, visiting the fascinating Salvador Dalí Foundation (entrance included). The foundation manages various collections of Dalí's work, encompassing drawings, sculptures, jewellery, photography and paintings from all the different periods of Dalí's life. Much of the work is permanently exhibited in the Dalí Theatre-Museum - the largest surrealist object in the world, which was built on the ruins of a former Municipal Theatre, destroyed at the end of the civil war.
Dalí himself chose to build the museum on the ruins. After time to appreciate the incredible and diverse works of the famous surrealist at leisure and in your own time - Dalí intended for his work to be experienced in this way - you are free to continue exploring the city of Figueres. We then visit the historic town of Besalu - a rather grand old town dominated by its magnificent 11th century fortified bridge.
The final two days of the tour are free for you to spend at leisure on the Costa Brava, giving you the opportunity to relax and enjoy the warm weather and wonderful hotel facilities.
You could spend time relaxing by the pool, or wander into the centre of Roses to soak up the atmosphere or enjoy some shopping. We enjoy a farewell meal in the hotel later tonight.
Today we leave Roses, transferring by coach to Figueres for the high speed TGV service to Paris, where we board the Eurostar to St Pancras in London.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
For this tour, we recommend arriving to, and departing from, London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport (LGW or LHR). London Gatwick is approximately 30 miles from your start and end point, and London Heathrow is approximately 19 miles from your start and end point.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and travel during your tour
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 13 verified reviews
If you want a complete switch off tour, then this is the place to go. Please please Great Rail, can you find more venues like this! Breathtaking setting for a hotel, rooms have air con, but are in need of modernisation.
Excellent tour manager, great hotel, great local guide for Barcelona trip.
We had a good relaxing tour, hotel, food, excursions all very good, marred only by the rather exhausting and hectic journey home on the TGV train which ,presumably due to the heatwave?? involved unexpectedly having to change TGV twice at both Perpignon and Nimes thus putting our schedule back by about one hour in arriving at Paris- Gare du Lyon.Then due to an LGBT parade through the centre of Paris we were further delayed and only just managed to catch our Scheduled Eurostar train back from Gare du Nord to St. Pancras. All in all a tiring and disappointing end to the tour.
The Hotel was clean, friendly and efficient. The owner and his sons were at the hotel all the time, serving in the resteraunt and ensuring all guests were looked after. Not only that we had a very good tour guide. Kay who made sure we were attended to in every way. And always available to chat and discuss what we were going to do the next day! or time we were to meet.
The hotel was tops; Beautiful grounds, efficient pleasant staff, bar food and drink quite expensive but reflected in good quality and excellent terrace and lawns. Enjoyed moe than one day in and about the hotel. Excursions good, especially the 'Roses Express' road train trip up into the hills overlooking the sea. Barcelona and Gaudi Museum fascinating.
Very good location for hotel. Tour Manager excellent. Itinerary very good. Management of hotel poor. In particular, bar understaffed with inexperienced staff.
Roses made a lovely place to have a relaxing break. The hotel was beautifully placed next to the Med., the service was great as were the staff. The tour manager was the icing on the cake. She was friendly, accommodating, and always had ideas on how to spend our free days. Nothing fazed her - she always had a smile on her face.
Good hotel, wonderful tour manager. Hotel a bit isolated, being an hour’s walk away from Roses . Service in bar sometimes very slow. Think Girona should be an included tour, since arranging your own outings could be a bit difficult .
A very well organised tour in a beautiful hotel let down by some of the evening meals.
The trip to Barcelona was disappointing (as detailed in the post tour questionnaire) and the chance of a trip to Girona was missed. Otherwise, 5 stars.
Enjoy the unspoilt rugged beauty of the Costa Brava