The beautiful, unspoilt town of Roses is our base for 9 nights on the rugged Costa Brava. Our relaxed itinerary introduces the cultural highlights of the region; the picturesque fishing village of Cadaqués, vibrant Barcelona, and Figueres' 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.
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.
Enjoy a day at leisure on the Costa Brava. You could spend time relaxing by the hotel pool, or wander into the centre of Roses to soak up the atmosphere or enjoy some shopping.
Set within the beautiful Bay of Roses, the town of Roses is an authentic Spanish fishing port which oozes charm and style. Running south is an almost endless stretch of fine sandy beach, set invitingly against a backdrop of distant Pyrenean mountain peaks. Spend your day enjoying the local climate and sunshine on the beach or with a drink in one of the cafés along the promenade, overlooking the Mediterranean. Alternatively, enjoy a walk out of the bay to discover rocky coves and secluded shingle beaches 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.
We then visit the historic town of Besalú - a town dominated by its magnificent 11th century fortified bridge.
We sample one of Catalonia's finest exports today with a visit to a local bodega. We enjoy a delicious brunch of local Catalan specialties in the sun-drenched surroundings of the vineyard ahead of a stroll through the lush vineyards and olive trees. We also visit the winery for an insight into the process of local winemaking, followed by a tasting. Back at the hotel, we are treated to an aperitif on the terrace ahead of a farewell dinner this evening.
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.
All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.
The high speed Eurostar trains link St Pancras International in London with Paris and Lille in France as well as Brussels in Belgium.
Eurostar's Standard Class coaches feature two seats on either side of the central aisle, most of which is arranged in an 'airline' seating configuration with drop down tray tables. There are two tables for four per carriage. Passengers travelling in Eurostar Standard Class coaches can take advantage of the Bar-Buffet which sells a range of snacks, meals, hot and cold drinks - including Champagne!
The highest class of Eurostar travel available for leisure customers is Standard Premier Class. In your dedicated Standard Premier carriage you'll find a less dense seat configuration, meaning the seats are larger and you have ample space to relax and stretch out. As part of the service you'll enjoy complimentary drinks and refreshments, served at your seat by friendly, helpful waiting staff.
For the class of travel used on your chosen tour, please refer to the 'What's Included' section of the tour page.
Introduced in 1981, France's TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) was the original European high-speed train. Linking Paris with Lyon, the new service revolutionised train travel and meant that travelling by air over medium and short distances was no longer seen as the best option, even for business travel.
The network has expanded rapidly and today these sleek, stylish trains offer links to over 60 destinations throughout France. Operated by SNCF, the French national rail operator, TGV trains travel over specially-constructed high speed lines. The trains can achieve speeds of up to 186mph (300km/h) on most long distance routes and 200mph (320km/h) on the new TGV Est line, which links Paris with Strasbourg, Luxembourg and Basel. With the exception of shorter journeys, TGVs almost always have an on-board buffet car, serving a selection of drinks and light refreshments.
The superb 4-Star Almadraba Park Hotel is only a few steps above the white sands of Almadraba Beach and set within its own gardens overlooking the sea.
This is the perfect base from which to explore this beautiful Spanish town and its golden stretches of sandy beaches. Enjoy views of sailing boats from the hotel's gardens as they drift by in the Bay of Roses.
The hotel's excellent facilities include an outdoor swimming pool and a separate whirlpool, as well as a bar and a restaurant delivering a menu of traditional Mediterranean flavours.
Our stay includes breakfast every morning, usually served on the panoramic terrace, and dinner every night - including on your free days. Rooms come with air conditioning, heating, a television, a radio, a safe, minibar, a hairdryer and complimentary Wi-Fi.
We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!