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Taste & Walk Catalonia (Grade 2)

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Overview

Holiday Overview:

This walking holiday gives you the chance to really scratch below the surface, all within a short distance of the beautiful and historic city of Barcelona, you'll visit famous Cistercian Monasteries, you'll discover a land rich in culture, heritage, nature, wine and cava, celebrations and traditions, crafts and the rugged Catalan coast.

This self-guided walking will gives you everything::

  • Walk through the stunning Catalan countryside, through olives groves, oak forests and grape vines
  • Visit the Poblet Monastery, one of the largest in Spain and a UNESCO world heritage site
  • Visit the Vallbona Monastery, for eight centuries the Monastery has been cared for by Cistercian nuns
  • Visit the Santes Creus Monastery which came into being in 1166
  • Take a guided and tasting visit to the Simó de Palau Winery for Cava production
  • Take a guided and tasting visit to the l’Olivera Winery
  • Take a guided and tasting visit to the Cal Joan Winery
  • Discover medieval villages
  • Discover Romanesque and Gothic buildings and the region’s acclaimed gastronomy
  • Visit Tarragona, a beautiful coastal city, rich in history and culture

Itinerary

Itinerary:

Taste & Walk Catalonia (7 Nights)

Nights: 7

Grade: 2 (click here to see our walking grades)

Terrain: inland rural tracks & trails

Day 1: Arrive at Barcelona El Prat or Barcelona Reus Airport or Barcelona Centre where you will be transferred Montblancto your accommodation in Montblanc, once there you will have a welcome meeting with an local English speaking guide.

Montblanc is one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Catalonia, its ancient architecture, rich cultural and natural heritage make it the perfect place to start your Catalan Adventure.

Accommodation: 3* Hotel, Montblanc. This wonderfully charming hotel has rustic features thanks to its careful renovation from a 19th-century home constructed of wood and stone. Escape to the Catalonian countryside in traditional style. Located in the centre of Montblanc, you will experience an authentic feel for this lovely village in the Catalonian countryside.

DEST+ì ROCAFORT DE QUERALT Adria Borras. GR175Day 2: Today you start with a visit to the Winery Celler Mas Foraster (if you didn’t have time to do it on the first day), then you’ll head off along some lovely trails and onto the famous Poblet Monastery (a UNESCO world heritage site), the richest working Monastery of the three Monastery’s you’ll visit on this holiday. Then onward your route takes you up into the hills along some more beautiful trails, you will past the cave hermitage of Sant Joan before descending gently through deciduous woods and past the vines tended by the monks of Poblet and finally you will arrive at Espluga de Francolì. (13Km)

Espluga de Francolì irrigated by the waters of the Rivers Milans and Francolí is a very popular tourist town in thePoblet_Monastery interior of this province. The incredible beauty of its natural surroundings and its closeness to the Poblet Monastery of have made this town a firm favourite with many tourists returning again and again.

The Poblet Monastery is one of the largest in Spain. At its centre is a 12th-century church. This austere, majestic Monastery, which has a fortified royal residence and contains the pantheon of the kings of Catalonia and Aragon, is an impressive sight.

Accommodation: 3* Farmhouse, Espluga de Francolí. This charming 14th-century farmhouse has a beautiful location just 1 km from the Poblet Monastery. It features an award-winning restaurant, air-conditioned rooms, and free internet. The rooms at the Masia del Cadet all have heating, a TV and a bathroom with hairdryer. The Masia’s restaurant serves regional and national dishes and has an excellent wine list. There is a separate bar and a lovely terrace-garden, for outdoor dining.

P1020037Day 3: Today you are going to complete the first part of the trail by 4×4 , traversing the low escarpment to the north of Poblet, until the El Tallat Monastery. You will then, drop gently into another world on wide tracks through terraced wheat fields and into the interior of the Tarragona countryside. You’ll have the chance to take the tasting visit in l’Olivera. After this, you can visit the Monastery of Vallbona before continuing onward to your hotel in Rocallaura. (15Km)

Rocallaura is a small medieval village close to the beautiful Vallbona Monastery, for eight centuries the Monastery has been cared for by cistercian nuns, they have never left it since it was founded in the twelfth century. The tomb of Queen Violant of Hungary, the choir of the  church where the nuns hold their prayers, its spectacular fine dome, the cloister,1024px-Vallbona_Monges-Claustre which blends romanic and gothic styles, the chapter-house with a statue of the Virgin of Mercy and the chapel where you can admire the Virgine of the cloister will not fail to impress you.

Accommodation: Modern 4* Hotel, Rocallaura. Surrounded by a natural landscape of green mountains, this magnificent new spa hotel takes advantage of the thermal waters of its own spring to create an atmosphere of peaceful relaxation. The hotel was opened in 2009 following the careful completion of an impressive building dating from 1908. Nowadays it blends a tranquil, historic feel with state-of-the-art design and facilities. In the hotel spa you can unwind with the help of the natural spring waters, known for their beneficial properties.  The on-site restaurant serves gourmet cuisine to enjoy during your stay. It specialises in delicious local Catalan dishes and offers amazing views of the surrounding scenery through its large windows.

P1020077Day 4: Today you head east, you will follow a beautiful trail through a shady oaks forest, after a while the views will open up over the Conca de Barberá, an area famed for its wines and tasty cheeses. After a gradual ridge ascent you will arrive at the highest point of the week with outstanding panoramic views. You will have the chance to stop at the Can Joan winery, the smallest in the region before arriving at your accommodation in Monbriò (16Km)

Monbriò is a small medieval village, the first historical reference dating back to 1186, there is a beautiful parish church dedicated to San Pedro and built in 1692.

Accommodation: Rural Hotel, Montbrió. Your accommodation is a renovated 16th-century country house set in beautiful countryside. This rustic stone-walled hotel offers heated rooms with a TV. The private bathroom comes with a bath or shower, a hairdryer and toiletries. A continental breakfast is available at the hotel. The restaurant offers children’s menus, and you can request packed lunches and vegetarian and special diet menus. Guests can relax in the hotel’s charming lounge, which has a fireplace, TV and DVD player, as well as board games and books.P1020034

Day 5: Today is a longer days walk but nevertheless still beautiful and enchanting. The descent towards the village of Pont d’Armentera on the river Gaia winds through Mediterranean scrub and aromatic vegetation. This is a pleasant walk through riverside vineyards and arable fields to the Santes Creus Monastery (you will visit the Monastery tomorrow).  (20Km)

The village of Santes Creus was formed around the grounds of the of the Santes Creus Monastery, a beautiful village to spend your last night inland before you head to the coast tomorrow.

Accommodation: 3* Hotel, Santes Creus. Set by the Santes Creus Monastery, historic Labadia de Santes Creus features an extensive garden with a swimming pool. Offering free Wi-Fi, the 18th century country house has impressive panoramic views. The restored house offers stylish rooms with beamed ceilings and traditionally-tiled floors. Each room has a balcony with views, and the bathroom comes with a bathtub and hairdryer. There is a variety of Catalan restaurants within a 5-minute walk.

santes creusDay 6: Today you stay local and visit the Santes Creus Monastery which came into being in 1160 under the patronage of the Montcada and Cervelló houses and Count Ramon Berenguer IV. On the banks of the River Gaià the monks, who came from the Occitan Abbaye de Grandselve, found the ideal site for building a monastery which, until 1835, would be the centre of one of the largest and most influential monastic domains of the Kingdom of Aragón. Its history and the Cistercian way of life are described in the audiovisual tour you can take “The Cistercian World”. At an agreed time you will then be transferred to Tarragona for a 2 nights stay in this beautiful historic city.

The eternally sunny port city of Tarragona is a fascinating mix of Mediterranean beach life, Roman history and medieval alleyways. Spain’s second-most important Roman site, Tarragona has a wealth of ruins, including a seaside amphitheatre. The town’s medieval heart is one of the most beautifully designed in Spain, its maze of narrow cobbled streets encircled by steep walls and crowned with a splendid cathedral. A lively eating and drinking scene makes for a perfect location for your last two nights.

Accommodation: 3* Hotel, Tarragona. With a privileged position enjoying sea views and just 10 minutes’ walk from the historic centre, this modern hotel has a fabulous breakfast and an outdoor swimming pool. Start the day with a great choice of food at the breakfast sitting facing the swimming pool. You can emails friends and keep up-to-date on the free, wireless internet connection. Take the short and pleasant walk down to Tarragona’s beach where you can enjoy beautiful Mediterranean views and golden sands.

Day 7: A chance to explore the Roman remains of Tarragona as well as exploring the maze of boutiques in the old town. There are several beaches within walking distance of the town, should you want to dip your toes in the Mediterranean.

Accommodation. As above

Day 8: Departure

What your holiday includes:

  • Welcome meeting by a local English speaking guide
  • Transfer from Barcelona Centre, Barcelona El Prat Airport or Barcelona Reus Airport
  • 24/ local support
  • 7 nights accommodation (breakfast included)
  • GPS with the routes pre-programmed in
  • Route Maps
  • Information pack including information about local history, culture, traditions, restaurants, shops and local attractions etc
  • Entrance and possible guided visit to the three monasteries, Poblet, Vallbona de les Monges and Santes Creus
  • A guided and tasting visit to the Simó de Palau Winery for Cava production
  • A guided and tasting visit to  the l’Olivera Winery
  • A guided and tasting visit to the Cal Joan Winery
  • The Cister Route card
  • 4×4 transfer on day 3
  • Moving of luggage between accommodations
  • Transfer to Tarragona on day 6

Optional Extras:

  • 5 x evening meals
  • Transfer from Tarragona to Barcelona, Barcelona El Prat Airport or Barcelona Reus Airport on departure day

Other Info

Other information (what to bring etc):

What to bring:
With regards to equipment to bring, your most important item is of course a pair of comfortable walking boots with ankle supports if possible and soles that grip, as some of the terrain can be rugged at times. And, just in case . . . a waterproof, we hope you won't need it, mostly you will be walking in dry warm weather, so casual, comfortable walking clothes will generally suffice. A hat and sun protection cream is essential and a small rucksack for carrying lunch and water is also recommended, and you might consider a walking stick, as some of the ground is a little rough.

Our walking grades:

Grade 1
Walks: 3-6 hours
Ascent: 50-600m
Paths: Good paths, not too steep.

Walks have a relaxed pace with time to take in the views and surroundings. If you’re a fit and active person these walks will be perfect for you.

Grade 2
Walks: 5-8 hours
Ascent: 450-750m
Paths: Good with some steeper sections

Slightly longer walks than grade 1 with routes still on good paths and at a relaxed pace although there are a couple of steeper sections.

Grade 3
Walks: 5-10 hours
Ascent: 700-1200m
Paths: Rockier, steeper paths

For those that like longer days in the higher mountains. Routes are steep in places and a good standard of fitness is required.

Grade 4
Walks: 6-10hours
Ascent: 700-1400m
Paths: Steep!

High mountain paths that may require the use of crampons during certain months of the year. Previous hiking experience in the mountains and a very good level of fitness essential.

Travel Options

Travel Options:

Arrival (arrival transfer and welcome meeting included):
We provide the arrival transfer on "day 1" from Barcelona El Prat Airport (the main Barcelona Airport), Barcelona Reus Airport or Barcelona City Centre.

Departure:
There are trains every hour from Tarragona back to Barcelona, they take between 35 mins and 1 hr (depending on the train) and cost between €13 and €24 per person.

If you are going to Barcelona El Prat Airport (the main Barcelona Airport), once at Barcelona (Barcelona Sants Train Station) you need to take the shuttle train to the airport, they leave every 30 mins, take approx 25 mins and cost approx. €4 per person.

If you are going to Barcelona Reus Airport the best option is to take the optional taxi for €60 (travel time approx. 20 minutes)

See train times here: http://www.renfe.com/EN/viajeros/

Availability and Prices

Prices and Availability:

Availability

Everyday, recommended from March to November

Price 2017

€825 per person (based on 2 people sharing a twin/double room)

Optional Extras

5 x evening meals: €125 per person

Single room supplement if there are 2 or more people: €220

Single room supplement if travelling alone: €399

Transfer to Reus Airport on “day 8”: €90 (maximum 4 people)

Transfer to Barcelona El Prat Airport on “day 8”: €210 (maximum 4 people)

What your holiday includes:

  • Welcome meeting by a local English speaking guide
  • Transfer from Barcelona Centre, Barcelona El Prat Airport or Barcelona Reus Airport
  • 24/ local support
  • 7 nights accommodation (breakfast included)
  • GPS with the routes pre-programmed in
  • Route Notes/Maps
  • Information pack including information about local history, culture, traditions, restaurants, shops and local attractions etc
  • Entrance and possible guided visit to the three monasteries, Poblet, Vallbona de les Monges and Santes Creus
  • A guided and tasting visit to the Simó de Palau Winery for Cava production
  • A guided and tasting visit to  the l’Olivera Winery
  • A guided and tasting visit to the Cal Joan winery
  • The Cister Route card
  • 4×4 transfer on day 3
  • Moving of luggage between accommodations
  • Transfer to Tarragona on day 6

Optional Extras:

  • 5 x evening meals
  • Transfer from Tarragona to Barcelona, Barcelona El Prat Airport or Barcelona Reus Airport on departure day

from €825 Book Now

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See what our customers say…

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    • Most memorable? The unexpected; walks, scenery, accommodation & food. Different & varied every day… Steve has thought of everything & is willing to help out in any way possible. He met us personally on arrival and his welcome meeting was really useful. The walking route instructions made it impossible to get lost.


      —Andrew Taylor

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    • Thanks again for making our first venture into self guided walking holidays a true success. Your attention to detail was very reassuring and we very much enjoyed the variety of both the walking & the accommodation, a surprise each day! This will be the first of many such holidays but a hard act to follow.


      —Ann Taylor

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    • Thank you for a really great “adventure” in Catalonia last week. Your conscientious planning and care made our holiday a challenge that was so rewarding. We have travelled throughout North West, Mid and Southern Spain but the areas of Catalonia we experienced last week were breathtaking and unforgettable. Thank you so much!


      —Alan & Joy Griffiths

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    • Your efforts in planning every aspect of our cycling tour really made it a perfect week. Our accommodations were great with wonderful rooms and delicious breakfasts. The full-suspension mountain bikes (equipped with a Garmin GPS) were perfect for the terrain that we covered and your attention to detail on the directions, along with pictures at […]


      —Debbie & Steve Woloschin

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    • This was a holiday to remember. A self guided walk offering better support and more value than the competition. The notes and directions left no room for argument and for a long standing couple in their sixties this was some achievement. The cliff top walks were stunningly beautiful to a degree that conquered vertigo but […]


      —Ian and Lesley Carleton

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    • Really wonderful! It exceeded my expectations. Steve could not have been more helpful in coordinating and supporting us in this holiday. We loved the places we stayed, enjoyed the people and small towns. The food was excellent. The hikes we great. I felt like we really got to see the country and small communities.


      —Charlotte Ballenger

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    • This was the first organised walking holiday we have done and we enjoyed it immensely. The detailed guidance provided to ensure we could not lose our way was great.


      —Ian Carleton

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    • Thanks again for a truly great holiday. We think its a wonderful format that you have created. It’s hard to believe that we did so much and saw so many places in just one week. It just wouldn’t be feasible, to try and do it yourselves.


      —Mark & Kate Payne

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    • Tremendous. We have many wonderful memories and photos.The walks began at an easy pace and became more challenging and always there were wonderful views.


      —Christine Wither

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    • A fantastic holiday, great break for us both as the time spend on the bikes meant the blackbery had to be packed away. The area is great for cycling, not too challenging for the more leisurely cyclist, but with enough lumps & bumps to get the heart rate going at times for those wanting a […]


      —Anna Ramsden

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    • We had the most enjoyable walking holiday from start to finish – our first abroad. We were a little apprehensive before we started but this soon disappeared. Your attention to detail was excellent, the accommodation and food wonderful, and the walks each day very interesting and varied.


      —Jean Warzeski

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    • Thanks for a brilliant week! The 6 day coast walk is an excellent choice for anyone who likes a mix of great walks (the coast to Cadaques & the last one over the ridge via castle & monastery were my favourites) in stunning scenery, with loads of interest en route- archaeology, charming medieval & seaside […]


      —Nicola Hall

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from €825 Book Now