DAY 1 | THURSDAY FEBRUARY 11Depart Atlanta on an overnight flight bound for Barcelona, Spain. Select meals, snacks, and refreshments will be served on board the flight. Be sure to read through the great tips and travel information in your Music Contact International handbook!
DAY 2 | FRIDAY FEBRUARY 12
Arrive this morning in Barcelona, the vibrant capital of the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia.
Upon arrival, your Music Contact International tour manager will greet you at the airport.
Together, meet your waiting motor coach and embark on a panoramic sightseeing tour of Barcelona. Get your first glimpse of the dramatic works of modernist architect Antoni Gaudí including Sagrada Familia Cathedral, the icon of the city, and fabulous Casas Mila and Batllo. See Plaza Catalunya, at the top of the pedestrian zone of Las Ramblas and Montjuic, the hill that rises above Barcelona and is home to a multitude of sports complexes, museums and cultural centers. See the Columbus Monument, honoring Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to the Americas, peering out over the sea as the famous explorer would have done.
This afternoon, transfer to your hotel to check in, refresh, and get settled.
Stretch your legs and get an introduction to the hotel neighborhood on an orientation walk with your tour manager.
Tonight, a special welcome dinner of local specialties including tapas, a delicious assortment of tidbits, will be arranged for your group at an atmospheric restaurant.
DAY 3 | SATURDAY FEBRUARY 13
Enjoy breakfast in the hotel dining room.
Begin your first full day in Spain in the Sant Pere district, claimed to be one of the most beautiful areas in Barcelona. Join a local guide for a private tour of the Palau de la Música Catalana, built by architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner in 1905-1908. This architectural jewel of Catalan Art Nouveau is said to be a magical music box, with stunning incorporation of mosaics, stained glass, sculpture, and iron work.
When your tour concludes, enjoy lunch in chaperoned groups in the city center. Remember that Spaniards traditionally eat their main meal at lunch time!
The remainder of the afternoon is free for you to explore Barcelona in small groups. Perhaps visit the Picasso Museum or stroll the pedestrian Las Ramblas!
Tonight, enjoy dinner with your friends at a local restaurant. Afterward, tickets to a show at the fanciful Palau de la Música Catalana or perhaps the Gran Teatre del Liceu, which hosts classical and contemporary concerts in its popular auditorium, can be booked for the group upon request (additional pricing applies).
DAY 4 | SUNDAY FEBRUARY 14
Breakfast is served at the hotel.
Today, embark on an excursion to Montserrat. Although best known for its monastery and shrine, Monstserrat also offers some of the most spectacular mountain views and unusual rock formations in all of Catalonia; its natural beauty parallels its religious importance.
While in Montserrat, learn about the Holy Grotto, where visits by the Virgin Mary were reported. In 880, a small group of shepherd children saw a bright light descending from the sky in the Montserrat mountains and heard angels singing. For a month thereafter, adults witnessed the same heavenly experience and believed the visions to be a sign from God. When village elders explored a cave where the visions occurred,
they found an image of the Virgin Mary. The cave was then marked as a Holy Grotto; it is now a holy place that is frequently visited by pilgrims from all over the world.
In addition, the oldest boychoir in Europe resides at Montserrat and sings daily for midday mass (when the boys are not on tour). If your visit coincides with the boychoir’s singing, their chants are very special to hear. Your ensemble will have an opportunity to sing an informal choral offering before this midday mass.
Before departing Montserrat, enjoy free time for lunch in a delightful cafe.
Later, a friendship concert* has been arranged for your ensemble in a quaint town outside of Barcelona. Enjoy this unique opportunity to mix and mingle with this Catalan choir. This is sure to be a memorable evening of music-making, cultural immersion and getting to know your Spanish peers!
Dinner tonight is in chaperoned groups after the concert. Perhaps your new friends will offer their favorite restaurants as suggestions!
DAY 5 | MONDAY FEBRUARY 15
Wake up to breakfast served at your hotel.
This morning, visit Parc Guell and spend time exploring its fairytale-like buildings, stone structures, and beautiful tiles. The views overlooking Barcelona city from the park are fantastic and photo opportunities abound!
Enjoy lunch in chaperoned groups and then spend the afternoon exploring Barcelona at your leisure. From the ingenious Gaudí’s Basílica de la Sagrada Família to Casa Batlló, there is no shortage of architectural treasures to visit. There is also the Museu Picasso, showcasing the master’s work in a series of five medieval stone mansions. You may simply want to spend your afternoon strolling on the beach.
Tonight, your ensemble will perform a concert* in an impressive venue in Barcelona, possible following or during an evening Mass*.
After the performance, enjoy free time for dinner with chaperones. Barcelona is the epicenter of Catalan cuisine, and you will have no problem finding a multitude of restaurants serving food known for simple and flavorful ingredients.
DAY 6 | TUESDAY FEBRUARY 16
After breakfast at the hotel, check out and head north along the scenic Costa Brava en route to Girona.
Notice the Costa Brava’s mix of rugged coastline, sandy beaches, and views of sparkling blue waters and it is easy to see why this region has become a popular seaside holiday destination for Europeans.
Take time for lunch in one of the coastal cafes before continuing your drive inland to Girona, a picturesque city set at the confluence of four Spanish rivers.
Upon arrival in Girona, join an English-speaking local guide on a walking tour of this beautiful city. Walk along the walls of the Passeig de la Muralla and take in the incredible views of the historic city center. Discover Old Town and visit the Girona Cathedral at the top of many stairs. See Girona’s medieval Jewish Quarter, one of the best-preserved Jewish neighborhoods in the world. Learns about the rich history of this charming town and how multiple regions and cultures once flourished here.
When your tour concludes, transfer to your hotel to check-in and get settled.
This evening, your ensemble will perform a concert* in Girona at a local venue such as the Girona Cathedral* or the Hall of Congresses* auditorium. Following the performance, a traditional Spanish dinner awaits your ensemble at a local restaurant!
DAY 7 | WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 17
Following breakfast, embark on a guided excursion to Figueres, a town whose name translates in Catalan to “fig trees.” See the Sant Ferran Castle, an expansive fortress and one of the most impressive landmarks in all of Catalonia, and the Iglesia de San Pedro, a Gothic church with a large bell tower.
As part of your excursion, visit the Dalí Theatre-Museum, dedicated to the works of Figueres-born artist Salvador Dalí. The museum building itself is an attraction resembling Dalí’s eccentric style and the artist is buried in a crypt below the stage. The museum contains a huge collection of the prolific artist’s work.
After some time to explore Figueres’ historic Old Town, continue on to the Besalú, a well-preserved medieval village to the west.
Find a spot to enjoy lunch upon arrival. Besalú’s winding medieval streets offer an array of tasty cafes. Before departing, be sure to snap a photo at Pont de Besalúthe, the town’s iconic Romanesque bridge spanning El Fluvia River.
Continue on to the historic town of Puigcerda. Your choir will perform a concert* in a wonderful venue in this historic village late this afternoon!
Afterward, culminate your Spanish tour by heading to a restaurant for a festive farewell dinner of Catalan specialties. There will be ample time to recount the many highlights of your tour while you enjoy a delicious meal with live music in the background!
DAY 8 | THURSDAY FEBRUARY 18
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and depart for the Barcelona Airport and your return flight to Atlanta.
Select meals, snacks, and refreshments will be served on board the flight.
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