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Roses, Cadaqués and The Catalan Coast

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9 days From £1,895 per person
4.3 stars(67 reviews)
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Uncover the hidden gems, laid-back coastal charm and appetising flavours of one of Spain’s most beautiful regions

Mobility Rating 2

2024 Tour code: FCS24

About the tour

The gorgeous, unspoilt coastal town of Roses is our base as we explore the rugged Costa Brava, uncovering the region's cultural and gastronomic highlights.

Enjoy a cruise round the Cap de Creus peninsula to the picture-perfect fishing village of Cadaqués and savour the tastes of this wonderful region with lunch at a vineyard.

Explore buzzing Barcelona, the Catalan capital that showcases the eye-catching architecture of Antoni Gaudí, including the incredible Sagrada Família.

Visit the ancient inland town of Besalú and uncover the surreal world of famed artist Salvador Dalí as we visit his exuberant museum in his hometown of Figueres.

Embark on a delightful journey on the captivating Little Red Train from Rivesaltes to Axat in France's Pyrenean foothills.

Unforgettable experiences

Cruise round the coast to charming Cadaqués
Cruise round the coast to charming Cadaqués
Set sail on a boat ride round the Cap de Creus peninsula to the gorgeous coastal village of Cadaqués, a laid-back small port that has inspired artists including Salvador Dalí.
Ride the charming Little Red Train through the French Pyrenees
Ride the charming Little Red Train through the French Pyrenees
Passing châteaux, sloping vineyards and dense forests, this 100-year-old heritage railway takes us on a beautiful journey to the gorgeous Pyrenean foothills with the option of enjoying the landscapes from open-air carriages.
Uncover unique architecture in buzzing Barcelona
Uncover unique architecture in buzzing Barcelona
Experience spectacularly ornate buildings designed by renowned architect Antoni Gaudí, including his unfinished masterpiece La Sagrada Família, and the vibrancy of Las Ramblas on a tour of the Catalan capital.
Discover pretty Figueres and the Salvador Dalí Museum
Discover pretty Figueres and the Salvador Dalí Museum
The classic Catalan town of Figueres contains the world’s biggest surrealist object – the Dalí museum that hosts the largest collection of artworks by the town’s most revered son.
Visit the enchanting ancient town of Besalú
Visit the enchanting ancient town of Besalú
Spend time exploring beautiful Besalú, a magnificent, well-preserved example of a medieval town that is reached through a gatehouse that sits on an arched stone bridge.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – From London to the Catalan coast

We meet at London St Pancras International and board the Eurostar to Paris in Standard Premier Class. In the French capital, we take our seats in First Class carriages for a journey through the heart of France to the Spanish town of Figueres. Here, we transfer by coach to our hotel which overlooks Canyelles Petites beach in the delightful town of Roses.

Located in the north-eastern area of the Costa Brava, a wild and rocky stretch of the Spanish coastline, our hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service into the centre of Roses, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds - the peace and quiet of our secluded location and the freedom and flexibility to visit Roses when you choose.

On arrival this evening, we sit down for a three-course dinner and look ahead to exploring this beautiful region.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – Discovering delightful Roses

Enjoy a free day to relax by the pool or bask in the laid-back charm of the white-sand Canyelles Petites beach opposite our hotel. Alternatively, you could make use of the free shuttle bus from our hotel to travel to the centre of Roses.

Set within the beautiful Bay of Roses, the town of Roses is an authentic Spanish fishing port with typical Catalan charm and style - a huddle of white-washed buildings adding an extra shine to this appealing town. The centre contains the church of Santa María and an ornate Modernist house, Casa Mallol, while the bay has several blue flag beaches. These sandy beaches are less busy than the more touristy neighbours and arc southwards, set against a backdrop of distant Pyrenean peaks. Or perhaps you would prefer to take a walk out of the bay to discover rocky coves and secluded shingle beaches only accessible on foot or by boat.

As a working fishing port, the town has many excellent restaurants and bars where you could decide to have lunch, the best of which are to be found along the coast. Some of these have terraces so you could enjoy freshly caught fish or tasty tapas with a panoramic view.

This evening, we gather back at our hotel for a three-course dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 – Ancient Besalú, artistic Figueres and the Salvador Dalí Museum

This morning, we journey to the spectacular historic town of Besalú, an incredibly well-preserved medieval town at the foot of the volcanic Garrotxa Natural Park. Once a place of huge importance and the capital of an independent state, its cobbled streets and sand-coloured huddle of buildings still burst with charm and history. Accessed by the remarkable angular 12th-century bridge that features a gateway halfway across, we enter a labyrinth of ancient buildings, pretty squares and narrow and arcaded cobblestone alleys. We have a free morning to explore this enchanting town independently before boarding a coach to Figueres.

The first port of call in Figueres is the largest surrealistic object in the world - the Dalí Theatre-Museum. This joyous pink building, decorated with golden representations of bread rolls and topped by a series of giant eggs, contains the largest collection of Salvador Dalí's works in the world, as well as pieces by El Greco and Marcel Duchamp. Dalí was born in Figueres in 1904 and the renowned artist became one of the best-known figures of the Surrealism movement in the late 1920s. An iconic painter and sculptor, his most famous work, the 'Persistence of Memory', depicts melting clocks with a background inspired by the coastline around nearby Cadaqués.

After a visit to the museum, there is time to wander round Figueres, a classic Catalan town with an impressive 11th-century church at its heart. The sheltered lanes of the town centre are buzzing with cafés, tapas bars and gelaterias, and open on to picturesque squares.

We return to Roses in the early evening, ready for tonight's three-course dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – Cruising around the Cap de Creus to charming Cadaqués

This morning, we board a boat at the port of Roses for a cruise along a beautiful stretch of the Cap de Creus National Park. This is an arid peninsula of towering cliffs dotted with small shrubs and attractive bays accessible only by boat.

We disembark in Cadaqués, set in its own cobalt blue bay, where you have some time to look around. A picturesque fishing village of delightful, white-washed houses that inspired much of Salvador Dalí's work, you could visit the famous painter's former house and studio, once a bohemian retreat for other artists. Picasso was known to have been particularly inspired by the incredible light and colour on display in Cadaqués. This picture-perfect and popular village manages to retain the charm that has drawn visitors to its narrow streets and shining seafront for decades.

Afterwards, we sail back to Roses where you have an afternoon free to either relax or head out for lunch. Perhaps take a walk along the coastal path to Platja de l'Almadrava in the neighbouring bay, before gathering for dinner at our hotel this evening.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 – The unique architecture of bustling Barcelona

Today, we travel by coach to the fabulous city of Barcelona for a guided tour of the Catalan capital. The first location we visit is the spectacular Sagrada Família, Antoni Gaudí's incomplete masterpiece. The work of 19th-century architect Gaudí is synonymous with Barcelona, and this cathedral combines his signature style with piercing Gothic and curved Art Nouveau forms. Despite being unfinished, La Sagrada Família is a feast for the eyes, full of detail and ornate decorations.

Gaudí's work can be viewed throughout Barcelona, including on the Passeig de Gràcia, where we find the distinctive curved frontage of the colourful Casa Milà and the fantastical Casa Batlló. We make our way to bustling Las Ramblas, a tree-lined boulevard that runs through the centre of Barcelona from Plaça de Catalunya to the waterfront. Here, on the city's most famous street, we can look out for a colourful mosaic by local artist Joan Miró and the vibrant La Boqueria market.

Your afternoon is free to explore at your own pace, and you may wish to indulge in some quintessential local cuisine such as paella. Afterwards, you could walk through the city's impressive Gothic quarter to the paved Plaça Reial with its towering palm trees, or stop by the Picasso Museum which houses a collection of the artist's finest work. With an extensive port and seafront, you may want to take a stroll on the Rambla de Mar walkway towards the beach instead.

In the early evening, we return to Roses for our three-course dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – A day to explore Roses

Today is free for you to relax or explore at your own pace. You could ride the 'Roses Express' road train along the seafront, up into the hills overlooking the Mediterranean, or visit the mighty Castell de la Trinitat at the head of the bay, which offers exquisite views across the sea. History abounds in Roses and at the other end of the town is the Ciutadella de Roses, the site of a fortress used by Greeks, Romans and Visigoths.

If you'd like to explore further afield, the medieval city of Girona is just a short journey away by local bus. A well-preserved example of a Spanish medieval town, Girona's bustling streets are a treasure trove of winding alleys, colourful buildings and diverse galleries and museums. The Gothic cathedral is well worth seeing. The site was first a primitive Christian church then converted into a mosque by Moorish rulers before being re-purposed as a church. This impressive cathedral boasts the second-widest nave in the world - only St Peter's Basilica in Rome is larger.

Tonight, we enjoy a three-course dinner at our hotel.

Please note: On some departures, we will be travelling on the Little Red Train today, with a free day to explore Roses on Day 7

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 – Journeying on the Little Red Train into the French Pyrenees

A highlight of our trip awaits today as we transfer by coach to Rivesaltes near Perpignan, France, where we board the fantastic Little Red Train. Known officially as the Train du Pays Cathare et des Fenouillèdes (TPCF), the line was constructed more than 100 years ago to connect Rivesaltes and Carcassonne.

Nowadays, tourists travel in cheery red carriages which stand out against the dense green of the majestic Pyrenees on the remaining 38-mile section between Rivesaltes to the small town of Axat. This scenic trip chugs past shining vineyards before verdant forests and rocky outcrops become more prevalent as the route climbs higher. Look out for historic Cathar strongholds blending into the mountaintops on which they are perched. Maybe head to the open-air carriages to fully immerse yourself in the passing scenery; breathe in the fresh mountain air and soak up the views on this charming railway as it clings to the cliffs and winds its way over valleys.

The train stops briefly in the rural valley town of Axat, before embarking on the enjoyable journey back to Rivesaltes, from where you return to Roses in time for dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 – A vineyard brunch and a beachfront dinner

We embrace Catalan flavours today as we travel into the countryside by coach for a visit to a vineyard in the Empordà wine region. Our hosts are highly regarded for their produce which, in addition to wine, also includes olives. We enjoy a brunch of cold meats and local cheese served with wine produced on the estate. Afterwards, we learn more about the wine-making process in this area during a walk through the vineyards and olive trees, before visiting the winery.

On returning to Roses, our afternoon is free to spend some time in the charming town or relaxing by the pool. In the evening, we take the short walk through a tunnel to a restaurant on the beach for tonight's dinner.

This family-run eatery is a fantastic place to spend our final evening in beautiful Roses. Located right on the beach, it integrates brilliantly with its blissful surroundings as we enjoy a selection of local delicacies while looking out to the sea as the sun sets on the white-washed buildings that cluster on the hill at the head of the bay.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 – Homeward bound

This morning, we say 'adios' to Roses as a coach takes us across the French border to Perpignan to catch a smooth train connection to Paris. As we travel through the Occitan region of France, we can recall the incredible contrasts of Catalonia. From its pristine Pyrenean wilderness and charming towns to the glistening coast around Roses and the playful and thought-provoking art of Salvador Dalí and Antoni Gaudí, Catalonia is an incredible feast for the senses.

As the route reaches the Rhône, we dash through the heart of France to its capital. In Paris, we board the Eurostar in Standard Premier Class back to London St Pancras International, where we bid a fond farewell to our travelling companions and new friends who have shared these unforgettable experiences with us.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

Departure times

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.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotel

Hotel Canyelles Platja, Roses

Hotel Canyelles Platja, Roses

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Trains

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Reviews

4.3 stars4.3 / 5 · 67 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (31)
  2. 4 stars
    (30)
  3. 3 stars
    (3)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (3)

P Simper

5 stars

Submitted 23 Oct 2023

We had our best holiday with you and have done this holiday twice. The hotel Albadraba is wonderfully situated, the food and staff exceptional. We can’t understand why you have dropped this hotel for next year. It was bad timing to do this while we were staying there. Very short-sighted of you.

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C Powell

4 stars

Submitted 19 Oct 2023

The hotel, food and tour manager were brilliant. I asked for the final documents to be posted out to me and they were not. As my printer is playing up I had to get someone to print everything off for me. Please note not everyone relies on technology and going on holiday is supposed to get you away from it.

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Steven

5 stars

Submitted 11 Oct 2023

Great hotel, superb location and very good food and service. Enjoyable excursions and efficient tour manager.

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Catherine Glover

5 stars

Submitted 11 Oct 2023

Great organisation. Fantastic hotel in a beautiful situation.

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Cleo

4 stars

Submitted 02 Oct 2023

A lovely area with perfect weather and an excellent hotel.

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J Mowbray

5 stars

Submitted 01 Oct 2023

Very well paced tour,just the right amount of leisure time. Loved the hotel although not the easiest to get around if infirm, lots of steps and very steep to get to and from beach.Particularly enjoyed the vineyard visit and the optional trip to Girona.

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