Enjoy the unspoilt rugged beauty of the Costa Brava
9 daysFrom $2,455 per person
2020 Tour code: FCS20
About the tour
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.
Relax on the Costa Brava, soaking up the sun and unique culture of Spain’s ‘rugged coast’
Stay at the 4-Star Almadraba Park Hotel, overlooking the beautiful Bay of Roses
Experience typical Catalan dishes, including lunch at a popular restaurant and a wine tasting at a local vineyard
Embark on a guided tour of Barcelona, seeing Sagrada Familia, the Casa Milá and Las Ramblas
Our journey begins on the morning Eurostar from St Pancras
International to Paris, traveling 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 center of Roses. The hotel offer a complimentary shuttle
service into the center 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 center 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.
Day 2 - At leisure in Roses
Enjoy a day at leisure on the Costa Brava. You could spend time
relaxing by the hotel pool, or wander into the center 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.
Days 3-4 - Coastal cruise to Cadaques
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 color 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.
Day 3 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Breakfast, Dinner
Days 5-6 - Barcelona and at leisure in Roses
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 center 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
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.
Day 5 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Figueres
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 Theater-Museum - the largest surrealist object in the world,
which was built on the ruins of a former Municipal Theater,
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.
Day 8 - Wine-tasting at a bodega
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
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 - First Class to Paris and London
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
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
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.
Everything about the Hotel was first class. The other people on the tour were friendly and mixed well
Submitted Oct 18, 2019
Some private medical problems
Submitted Oct 18, 2019
The overall experience was good, and the hotel (Almadrava Park) excellent. Travel arrangements were smooth - notwithstanding horrendous traffic in Paris on the return - we got caught up in protests, with several streets closed and others clogged with traffic. (Imaginative driving - four cheers for the driver got us to the station with time to spare.)
Although the hotel was probably 3* rather than 4*, the location is spectacular. Splendid views of the bay on three sides. Well-maintained gardens, with ample seating space - plenty of sun loungers. There was a seawater pool. A pleasant beach - with a few bars/cafes was a few hundred yards away. The coastal path - fairly steep and uneven in places - made for a pleasant walk into Roses in about 70 minutes. Rooms were a shade dated, yet were spotlessly clean, as were the public areas. The restaurant served first class meals: great breakfasts and carefully prepared and served evening meals - the menu was extensive, specializing in regional and international dishes. Staff were pleasant, friendly and professional - without exception. The hotel 'made' the trip. Cannot recommend it too highly.
The rail journeys were good - good service on Eurostar: meal portions may have been skimp, but extras were offered at breakfast. The last two hours of the journey through France into Spain offered wonderful views - not that the rest of the journey was anything other than interesting and pleasant.
A couple of gripes: (a) Great Rail Journeys should have made it clearer that a considerable amount of carrying luggage was involved - we were OK, others were not, and little help was available; (b) the lift in Figueres was out of order - hardly down to GRJ, but this caused much difficulty and delay.
Mr D Stewart
Submitted Oct 09, 2019
The hotel was good and the food some of the best we have had with Great Rail, the only point I would make is that although we paid extra for our room we did not think it rated the extra we paid as all rooms seemed to be the same and the only difference was we had a balcony but it was very limited. Although the vacation was offered to people with limited mobility it made it very difficult for those people to access the tour buses, and also the walking required at the different stations, SNCF did provide wheelchairs as did Eurostar. We ourselves do not have a problem with walking but we did feel that those who did drew the short straw.!!!!
Submitted Oct 02, 2019
The vacation met most of my expectations and the accommodation was first class. The journey through Paris needs a complete rethink. Why not bypass Paris by changing trains at lille or elsewhere?