Incentive Travel – Barcelona
DAY 1: ARRIVAL TO BARCELONA & WELCOME DINNER WITH LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT
Arrival to Barcelona and Meet & Greet services at the airport and Transfer to the Hotel Arts 5*GL (or similar).
Orientation tour in the surroundings of the hotel.
Welcome dinner in the hotel with local entertainment.
DAY 2: INTRODUCTION TO BARCELONA: FROM THE ROMANS TO THE XXTH CENTURY
On this tour guests will discover the origins of Barcelona.
The visit to the Gothic Quarter is on foot and starts at the Cathedral and Plaza del Rei (King’s Sq). The Cathedral is a good example of the upright feature of Catalan Gothic Architecture. Well worth visits are the cloister, the chapter House and the Holy ‘Cristo de Lepanto’.
Plaza del Rei: the geographical centre of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. The main buildings of this architectural style are next to each other, around the square: the Grand Royal Palace, former residence of the Counts of Barcelona; Torre del Rey Sant Martin; the Chapel of Santa Agata.
The tour continues to Plaça Sant Jaume –St.James’ Square site of the Catalan autonomous Government Palace and the City Hall.
Next to the Gothic Quarter we find Les Rambles, undoubtedly the most lively and colourful part of Barcelona, a spectacular promenade with news stands, flowers stalls, pet shops… on both sides of the central walkway which always attract crowds. We will pay a visit to the Boqueria market.
Also, the guests can experience the old town in a different way: they will hear the stories and will be told about the history by a guide but at certain points there are actors dressed like in former times to emphasize the explanations of the guides and the actors explain as well bits and pieces of which historical character they are and as well stories about their life, that’s undoubtedly the most unique, lively and colourful way of getting to know the historical part of Barcelona.
The tour ends with a Mediterranean lunch on a terrace overlooking the sea (La Barceloneta Restaurant).
After a relaxed afternoon on own and a light yet exquisite cocktail at the hotel, a dinner-around at some most traditional and/or trendy and elegant restaurants of the city is proposed: Can Travi Nou, Can Cortada, Maritim Restaurant, Torre Alta Mar Restaurant, One Ocean Club (among others).
DAY 3: FULL-DAY TOUR
OPTION 1: Experience the World of Cava at Codorniu Unesco Heritage site (lunch included in Codorniu)
The Codorniu family started making wine in the 16th century and today the company proudly remains one hundred per cent family owned. The earliest historical record of the company dates back 1551, a testament written by Jaime Codorniu bequeathing wine cellars, presses, barrels and vats to his heirs. Twelve generations later Josep Raventós i Fatjó revolutionised the family business and the Spanish wine industry. His passion for research, investigation and innovation led him to study the history and production techniques of the Methode Traditionelle and in 1872 after a careful selection of local Penedès grapes he produced Spain’s first Cava (Spanish quality sparkling wine).
Known locally as “La Casa Grande”, the cellars of Codorniu are the largest underground cellars in the world: 30 kilometres (16 miles) of man-made caves on five levels, containing around 100 million bottles of wine.
Located in the most dramatic setting, with the Montserrat mountain as a backdrop, Codorniu has been the official supplier to the Royal Palace since the end of the last century.
The oldest buildings of the estate were declared National Historical Artistic Monuments by King Juan Carlos I in 1976
OPTION 2: Visit and Tasting at Codorniu and afternoon in Sitges with lunch at Restaurant Cal Pinxo (Sitges)
First stop is the caves at Codorniu, one of the biggest wine cellars in the world, covering 30 km and set out in 5 levels.
Built in a genius of the modernist style, they were declared a monument of historical and artistic interest, solely involved in the production of sparkling wines.
After the interesting visit of the cellars, the next stop will be to the coast of Sitges. A walk through the medieval-walled city, with impressive views of the Mediterranean from high points of the wall, Sitges is an active, dynamic and very attractive seaside resort where a totally cosmopolitan way of life coexists with the kind of peaceful atmosphere we all value so much. There are seventeen beaches that stretch along four kilometers, known as the Golden Beach.
For over a century, Sitges has been chosen by writers, painters, intellectuals and artists as a home and inspiration for their work. Its alluring landscape and cultural tradition make it appealing to artists from around the world.
The tour is followed by lunch at the Cal Pinxo Restaurant (Sitges), offering a traditional, sea front setting where the group can enjoy exquisite seafood in a warm, family atmosphere.
DAY 4: OPTIONAL TOURS & GALA EVENT
A great variety of optional tours are to be offered to the guests in order to suite all the interest and motivations:
Full day visit to Girona and Dali Museum (inc luding lunch)
Girona, located 99 km north from Barcelona, is the capital of the ‘Costa Brava’. This historic town has more than 70,000 inhabitants and it is thought to have been founded by Greek colonists. The old quarter is one of the most beautiful in Catalonia and has one of the most interesting Jewish quarters.
Figueras is the place where the Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) museum is located. Inaugurated in 1974, the Museum-Theater Dalí was built on the ancient ruins of the old theater of the city and holds the largest collection of Dali’s masterpieces, showing his development as a surrealist artist, from his first paintings, through those at the end of his life.
This tour starts with a panoramic tour of Paseo de Gracia, one of Barcelona’s main avenues with delightful Modernist houses. Modernism, a variation of art-deco, is prominent in many of Barcelona’s buildings. Its innovations are found in the daring stylistic solutions for façades and in building structures of houses designed by Antonio Gaudi. The participants will see the famous La Pedrera and Batllo House among a few others.
The tour of Barcelona continues on to Gaudi’s unfinished church La Sagrada Familia (intended to be a symbolic building with three façades dedicated to Christ’s Nativity, Passion and Glory), and to the Guell Park , also designed by Gaudi at the beginning of the century.
Picasso Museum & Born quarter
Departure towards the Born district also known as Ribera located in the original heart of the city.
Many artists have set up their studios in La Ribera neighbourhood, inheriting the past of the neighbourhood where Barcelona city’s artisans used to live. Many street names remind us of the ancient trades and skills: Mirallers (mirror makers), Sombrerers (hatters), Argenters (silversmiths), etc. Streets that grew up around the church of Santa Maria del Mar, which is, without a shadow of a doubt, the masterpiece of Catalan Gothic architecture.
The walk ends with a visit (entrance included) to the Picasso Museum.
Miro & Montjuic
The Miró Foundation was a gift from the artist Joan Miró to his native city and is one of Barcelona’s most exciting showcases of contemporary art.
The mountain’s name Montjuïc (Jewish’s mountain) comes from the middle ages, when the hill was the site of the Jewish Cemetery. Nowadays is one of the biggest green areas of Barcelona, the mountain has become a symbol of the city and it houses many attractions to be seen. Montjuich also was the main attraction during the 1992´s Olympic Games held in Barcelona and during this tour we will discover the venues where those historical Games happened: the Stadium, the Sant Jordi’s Palace, The Spanish Village was built for the International Exhibition of 1929 as a showcase of Spanish architecture.
Visit of the Food Market and Cooking class (including lunch)
Start the day with a walking tour around one of our famous markets, where our chefs will give you plenty of tips on picking local, seasonal products. Back at the school, you’ll continue your cooking experience and you’ll end your day adventure enjoying the food you have prepared in a friendly and casual atmosphere!!
Join cooking classes in an exclusive venue in Barcelona and discover the secrets of our local traditional cuisine. Learn how to cook the typical dishes of the region (paella, gazpacho, tortilla de patatas…) and taste the menu prepared in a friendly atmosphere.
And finally, the Gala night at a spectacular venue such as La Llotja or Palacete Albeniz.
DAY 5: DEPARTURE TO SEVILLE BY SPEED TRAIN & GETTING TO KNOW THE CITY
A speed train AVE is reserved to take the whole group from Barcelona to Seville in 5 hours 30 minutes.
Check-in at Hotel Alfonso XIII 5* GL (or similar) and free time
For dinner we suggest:
Option 1) Private visit of Reales Alcazares and drinks in the Gardens and dinner in the Hotel
The Alcazar: Muslim palace the history of which dates back to XIV century. It was the Arabian fortification which kinds used as a residence. It has unbelievable gardens.
Exclusive” visit to the group (the application must be made and authorisation received from the director of the monument before the arrival of the group).
The visit is to be made with an official English guide and possibility to offer a cold cocktail in the Gardens.
Option 2) Organ Concert in the Cathedral and dinner in Placentines
The Cathedral of Seville was built on the location of the high mosque of Seville, demolished in the 15C, and for many centuries was the biggest religious monument in all of Christendom. It contains five massive naves of Gothic style with a large transept, site of the Main Chapel, a construction which boasts a magnificent altarpiece and a Plateresque Grill. Christopher Columbus’ tomb also lies in the south transept. Outside, we will admire the magnificent Giralda Tower, the belfry of the Cathedral and former minaret, as well as the Patio de los Naranjos (orange tree court), previously used as ablutions area of the mosque.
Robles Placentines means surround yourself with an atmosphere of tradition inspired by a winery Seville. Try working your exquisite cuisine based on tapas, make live the authentic Andalusian gastronomic culture.
Located across the street Placentines, 20 meters from Casa Robles and in the same line quality and good service. It offers a rich varied menu filled with a little more informal, based tapas, but with all the flavor and quality of proposals Robles. You can taste both table and standing in the bar every dish. In decor, keep the essence of the bullfighting tradition that infers a very nice and unique atmosphere.
DAY 6: TOUR OF SEVILLE AND DINNER AT THE PALACE OF THE MARQUESS
Option 1) SEVILLE HISTORICAL SIGHTS: CATHEDRAL & SANTA CRUZ
Option 2) SEVILLE HISTORICAL SIGHTS: REALES ACLCAZARES & SANTA CRUZ
The tour ends up with a promenade on a horse chariot (4 pax per horse chariot and 45 minutes) through Maria Luisa’s Park, Spain’s Square and America’s Square, reminiscences of the last 1929 Latin‑American Exposition.
In the evening, the group is taken to Cortijo Palacio de los Montes for an exclusive dinner. Plalacio de los Montes is a gorgeous manor house belonging to the Marquess of Maqueda family which boasts an extensive territory with its own chapel and a bullring.
The guests are invited to share the table at the house of the Marquess, truly a unique and privileged experience.
DAY 7: HALF-DAY ACTIVITIES À LA CARTE & SPANISH DINNER AT CASA PILATOS WITH THE OPERA CARMEN
Optional activities to be offered to the guests are:
Flameco lessons in Flamenco Museum
The Museo del Baile Flamenco, financed and supported by Cristina Hoyos , was built in a building of the eighteenth century on the foundations of an ancient Roman temple and this in turn, used stones carved Tartars. Located on the highest part of Seville, at the confluence of the streets where the city was born, it has a vaulted cellar and a courtyard in Ecija, Sevilla unique style. The walls of the Museum were raised about an urn containing the Bible, the Koran, the Talmud and Indian writings as a symbol of peace and understanding. The unique architecture and the spirit of building envelop the visitor upon entering the museum.
Wine, olive & ham tasting at a unique “tapas bar”
(approx. 90 minutes and max 25 pax)
In a typical but modern tapas bar, situated at the Santa Cruz quarter, we offer you the possibility to taste some typical Iberian Ham, Spanish Wine and/or olive oil.
Introduction and presentation of the characteristics of some Spanish wines. You will finally taste 4 different kind of wine with the help and explanation of a sommelier
Introduction and explanation by a professional of 3 different type of Spanish olive oil and taste.
Technical knowledge on the Iberic ham cut and taste of 3 types of ham.
Tour to Jerez (90 kms far by highway)
Jerez de la Frontera became famous throughout the world for its sweet wines named after the town, which the British pronounced “sherry”. It is called “de la Frontera” because it once stood on the frontier between the Moorish and the Christian realms. Jerez is also famous, throughout the world, for its fine horses and brilliant singers and dancers of flamenco.
The distinctive wine in Jerez has been exported for centuries, it was even praised by Shakespeare. It is distinctive because the strong sun gives the grapes a high sugar content. British merchants have been involved in the wine trade here for centuries, producing and shipping a fortified wine known as sherry. Famous names of these dynasties can be seen here over the doors of the bodegas; Sandeman, John Harvey, Domecq, Gonzalez Byass.
The most famous sherry is produced by Gonzalez Byass Company and is called “Tio Pepe”.
The winery is visited with a guide using a small electric train and passing by the different bodegas ending up with a wine tasting.
But Jerez is also world famous for its magnificent dancing horses, which you can see at the Yeguada de la Cartuja, in the present days, the most important reserve of Carthusian horses in the world, with over 200 horses grazing in freedom in the grasslands of the Finca Fuente del Suero Estate.
Finally, as the farewell gift, a passionate Carmen-themed night at Casa Pilatos, an outstanding palace which was intended to be a copy of the Roman home of Pontius Pilate. The setting, inside and out, makes this stop favorite of many. When you first enter the courtyard (if it is springtime) you will notice a profusion of bougainvillea cascading down the walls. Inside it only gets better as the palace combines Renaissance and Classical architecture with Moorish motifs. Casa Pilatos must be seen to be understood.