Flavors of Catalonia

Flavors of Catalonia

Join fellow alumni and friends on an intimate journey to Catalonia—on Spain’s colorful coast—where natural beauty and distinctive art and architecture abound, historical ruins dot the countryside, and gracious Catalans employ traditional ingredients fresh from farm and sea to create exceptional cuisine.

Enjoy your stay at a beautiful, boutique property outside of Girona, ideally located for exploring the region. You’ll find modern comforts and old world charm blended together in a medieval village setting nestled among lush gardens. The spacious common areas are a wonderful place to relax after an exciting day of exploration.

Each day is highlighted by exclusive and authentic experiences with chefs, winemakers, artisan producers and extraordinary historic sights. Learn about and savor the great food and wine Spain is famous for in cooking classes, tastings and guided tours. Revel in Spain’s celebrated art, architecture, and history with visits to world-famous sites and cultural monuments.

Trip Itinerary:

May 25 En Route from the U.S.

May 26 Arrive in Barcelona, Spain / Madremanya

Bienvenido a España! After arriving at the property, take time to unpack and enjoy the light lunch provided in your room. Later, meet your travel companions for a welcome cocktail before dinner and learn about the exciting adventures planned for the week.
Overnight: El Racó de Madremanya (D)

May 27 Girona

After breakfast, set out for a walking tour of the charming town of Girona. The town boasts Gothic spires, Romanesque towers, and cultural highlights that encompass more than two thousand years of history. Amble through the old Jewish Quarter, or the Call, one of the best preserved in the world, with its beautiful narrow streets and squares surrounded by arcades. After free time for lunch on your own, indulge in a delectable ice cream treat at Rocambolesc Gelateria. The owners, the Roca brothers, are also the chefs of 3-Michelin star El Celler de Can Roca, twice voted the #1 restaurant in the world. Later this afternoon, return to El Racó de Madremanya where you will learn the art of creating paella.
Overnight: El Racó de Madremanya (B,D)

May 28 El Port de la Selva / Cadaqués / Cantallops

Begin your day with a visit to the 10th century Benedictine monastery, Sant Pere de Rodes. Perched on the highest point of El Port de la Selva—with commanding panoramic views of the Pyrenees, the Empordà plain, Cap de Creus Natural Park and the Bay of Roses— the building's style and its medieval edifice are fine examples of Romanesque architecture. Legends through the years shroud the monastery's origin and have given the place an air of mystery.

Your day is highlighted with a drive to the tranquil seaside village of Cadaqués, a town Salvador Dalí once called home. Fondly described as bohemian-chic, Cadaqués is brimming with azure coastlines, picturesque beaches, winding cobblestone streets, and an inspirational atmosphere that impresses all who visit.

Afterward, visit a local butcher to learn about the making of traditional Catalan sausage, followed by a tasting and light lunch featuring his specialties.

This afternoon, drive to Masia Serra vineyard—just 10 miles from the French border. Here, meet the owner, an esteemed enologist, who is carrying on the family tradition of wine making with vines that were planted by his grandfather. Treat your palate to Empordà wines in a tasting paired with typical Catalan delicacies for a memorable meal.
Overnight: El Racó de Madremanya (B,L,D)

May 29 Púbol / Figueres / Peratallada / Ullastret

Today is a celebration of Salvador Dalí. After breakfast, drive to Púbol to tour Dalí Castle. Dalí gave this estate to his beloved wife, Gala, promising that he would not visit the property without her expressed permission. After Gala's death in 1982, Dalí took up residence at the castle for two years before moving to his final residence—and your next stop—the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres.

Dalí oversaw the transformation of the Dalí Theatre-Museum, building it from the remains of the Municipal Theatre, which was destroyed by fire at the end of the Spanish Civil War. The museum, considered his last great work, features a broad spectrum of Dalí's art in paintings, sculptures, installations, and photography. A few feature pieces are Self-Portrait with "l'Humanité" (1923), The Basket of Bread (1945) and the Mae West Lips Sofa (1937).

Afterward, set out for Peratallada for a guided walking tour. Considered one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in Catalonia, Peratallada was built using the stone that remained after carving the moat that still encircles it. The name derives from pedra tallada, meaning 'carved stone'. Its narrow and winding alleys have been well preserved since feudal times.

This evening, attend a wine presentation and dinner at Restaurant Iberic in Ullastret.
Overnight: El Racó de Madremanya (B,L,D)

May 30 La Bisbal / Llafranc / Palamós

Begin the morning with a visit to La Bisbal, one of the most important pottery producing regions in Catalonia since the 18th century, and where the slender silhouettes of the old industrial chimneys still dot the skyline. Attend a pottery workshop to learn about the highly-rated "Ceràmica de la Bisbal" and its trademark of authenticity and quality.

Stroll by the sea between the towns of Llafranc and Calella de Palafrugell, a traditional fishing village and today, a popular holiday destination. After, take a short drive to the Sant Sebastià lighthouse and take in the magnificent views and enjoy a delightful lunch. Later, visit the ruins of Sant Sebastià de la Guarda, an Iberian town dating back to the 6th century B.C.

Your next stop is Palamós where you will visit the Museu de la Pesca and learn about the fishing industry's history and importance to the region. After, observe a live local fish auction. Explore the market and familiarize yourself with the wonderful variety of ingredients you will use later in your cooking class, and where you will also create dishes to sample at dinner together this evening.
Overnight: El Racó de Madremanya (B,L,D)

May 31 Empúries

Today, drive to the famous Greco-Roman site of Empúries, which served as an important trading center for more than eight centuries—and as the gateway to the romanization of the Iberian Peninsula. Abandoned and buried by years of sand blowing in from the coast, this archaeologically-rich area showcases ruins of excavated temples and sanctuaries, plus remnants of artifacts including pottery and mosaics. Visit the village of Sant Martí d'Empúries, a section of which dates back to the 9th century B.C.

This evening, relax and dine at Bo-Tic, a Michelin-rated restaurant serving creative cuisine rooted in the traditions of Empordà. Share a toast to the day's events with your fellow travelers.
Overnight: El Racó de Madremanya (B,D)

June 1 Empordà

After a relaxing morning at the property, enjoy a picnic lunch in the gardens.

Then discover La Vinyeta winery. Meet the owner and vintner, and take a leisurely walk around the grounds among verdant vineyards and olive trees. After, partake in a wine and olive oil tasting before dinner, followed by an intimate Flamenco dance performance to celebrate the memorable time spent in Catalonia.
Overnight: El Racó de Madremanya (B,L,D)

June 2 Madremanya / Barcelona / Depart for U.S.

After breakfast, guests departing at the suggested times take the complimentary transfer to Barcelona El Prat Airport for flights home. (B)


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