Luxury Barcelona – Wine, Culture, Gastronomy, Golf or Beach – Tailor-Made Tours

If you’re heading to Barcelona and want a trip to remember having a tailor-made tour professionally planned by long-term locals who will help you with every step of your holiday is the key to an incredible experience.

Gran Reserva

Whether you want to visit a winery and sample some cava, enjoy a day playing golf or wander around visiting the best culture and monuments all combined with sampling the great gastronomy that Barcelona offers then Barcelona Inside and Out can help create your bespoke holiday.

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Wine is an essential element of many of their holidays and visitors love to discover the stories behind the wines and just how good Catalonia’s wines are getting these days.
As all their holidays are tailor-made they can include a wine tour  wherever guests are planning to go, although the DO’s they work with  mainly are in Catalonia are Penedes, Priorat and Bages.

Winery Tour Catalunya, Spain
Wine tours can be part of a holiday touring Catalonia or a day tour from Barcelona. The Penedes is a 45 minute drive from the city, while the Priorat is 1hr 40mins and is only really a day option for those who already know the regions’ wines and want to go for a particular reason.

Spanish Catalonia Winery

In the Penedes they work with the very well regarded Llopart winery. Llopart’s vineyards have a special position on the hills above San Sadurni with wonderful views of Montserrat. The effect of the extra altitude on the Maccabeu, Xarello, Parellada and Chardonay grapes is said to give Llopart’s cavas their especially well balanced and rounded character.

Visitors to Llopart are given a complete tour of the installations and vineyards. Followed, of course, by a comprehensive tasting of different varieties of their cavas.

Llopart Cava Winery

There is also the option of cycling through the vineyards on electric bikes provided by the winery and having a delicious homemade picnic lunch, full of good, traditional Catalan fayre and served in individual picnic baskets at the outdoor tables dotted around the vineyard. Alternatively guests are taken to a nearby Catalan masia for a more substantial, great local lunch – whatever you want, they will organise it for you.

Spanish Winery Picnic

If you prefer, you can visit a smaller winery, such as Cava Guillera or Albet i Noya, to provide a contrast. Here you will discover the processes on a more human scale and also some of the regions’ award winning reds and whites, which show how the Penedes is evolving and becoming well known for its wines as well as its cavas.

Hot Air Balloon Flights, Barcelona

Beach days, skiing, seeing Catalonia’s human castles or Barcelona from the air, whatevery you want to include in your holiday plans Barcelona Inside & Out will individually craft your holiday or your tour.

 

Where to stay in Barcelona?

Barcelona Food Market – La Boqueria

Barcelona has around forty food markets  but the most famous, probably because of its location is La Boqueria or Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria. It’s a thriving hub of shoppers and eaters and if you are going there to eat you’ll be lucky to find a bar stool at any of the eateries and there are many. Don’t you just love those light fittings?

La Boqueria market, Barcelona

The choice of stalls from Seafood Restaurants to Tapas take-outs is fun and makes for a difficult decision. If you’re going there to buy fresh food or cooked food for a takeaway picnic you’ll while away plenty of time oohing and ahhing over the incredible array on offer.

La Boqueria market, Barcelona

I found everything so enticing and even though it was too early to eat I came away with several tasty morsels such as  bite-sized chunks of fresh pineapple and my favourite snack – again mouth-sized coconut pieces.

La Boqueria market, Barcelona

La Boqueria has a long history with locals selling meat by the city gate in the 1200s, it was opened offcially as a market in 1840 and has since undergone many alterations to became the amusing, interesting and tasty place it is today. From dried spice stalls to sweet counters, meat, dairy, fresh vegetables the 200+ colourful and attractively arranged stalls  make it a great place to visit if only to look.

La Boqueria market, Barcelona

Just off La Rambla La Boqueria is quite mesmerizing, hold onto your wallet or handbag and enjoy the throng of people the shouts of the vendors and the atmosphere. It’s one of those great places to visit but do try to eat there if you can, the atmosphere is just amazing.

Have you been to Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria in Barcelona? Would you like to go? Share your experience or tell us why you’d like to go in the comment box below.

Best Spa Hotels of the World in Spain

The collection of Best Spa Hotels of the World has two fabulous hotels in Spain, let’s take a peek at behind their doors to see why they are part of this great portfolio.

Hacienda Zorita Wine Hotel & Spa

With forty  rooms and villas Hacienda Zorita on the edge of the famous university town of Salamanca and the impressive River Duero has lovely views. Once a Domincan monastery, its contemporary interior design compliments the solid 700 year-old structure and its long history of hospitality together with today’s modern amenities provides a graceful and elegant yet peaceful and comtemplative escape.

Hacienda Zorita Wine Hotel & Spa

Hacienda Zorita  was brought back to life, after a long slow decline, as the home of Marques de la Concordia family of wines and now restored to its former glory with modern installations it’s now owned by The Hacienda’s Company, and is part of Small Luxury Hotels collection.

See Hotel Zorita on Best Spa HotelsHotel Zorita on Best Spa Hotels

 

Hotel Peralada Wine Hotel & Golf

Fifteen minutes from the Costa  Brava coast and in the middle of a golf course the 56 rooms offer fabulous views in peaceful surroundings. The innovative spa offers a wide range of treatments many of which are grape/wine based. What about a grape oil massage or a four-hand massage?

Hotel Peralada Wine & Golf

An ideal away break for golf lover and spa lovers, sharing both experiences or each to their own.

See Hotel Peralada on Best Spa Hotels 

Barcelona Flamenco Show

I’m not a stranger to Flamenco, I live in Spain. I’ve seen the real spontaneous raw song and dance, also several not good ‘tourist shows’ so when I was invited to the new City Hall Flamenco Show  and as I was going to Barcelona for a Writers Retreat I took the plunge and two of my course mates along. We all loved it!

Flamenco Dancer, City Hall, Barcelona

This is what I wote on the retreat about the Show when given the prompt: A Time you Were Really Present…

Entering, a narrow front door, the street noise receded the further along the darkening corridor we went. Rounding a corner notes of piped music wafted upwards, which grew louder as we descended into a sensuous cavern, soft lighting, chairs and a stage set the scene, we wait. Expectant, hesitant, excited.

The music and lights fade, curtains open and the show begins. Four men, three women start clapping, not loud, not fast. The speed picks up, then builds with feet also tapping. One dancer rises, poised. The guitar joins in and the swirling, mesmerizing dancer in red-layered dress begins. Stamping. Clapping, whirling, swirling. Faster, slower, softer, louder. I’m being wooed, played with, absorbed, aroused, she has my attention, louder, faster, excited, she has me. The climax, the eruption of clapping from all around. I breathe, I applaud. Sweaty, exhausted, satisfied I lean back in my chair.

Then it begins again, a different song, another dance but the same intensity, then another and another. I’m overawed, overwhelmed, emotional, content.

That’s what the City Hall Flamenco show did for me!

Flamenco Dancer, City Hall, Barcelona

A fabulous experience and atmosphere which we recommended the Writers Retreat added to the itinerary. Why? The seven performers were obviously a troop, they talked and laughed together, and improvised. It wasn’t a perfectly rehearsed, stick-to-the-plot show. They teased each other, followed each other and enjoyed themselves. I felt as though it was a jamming session to them, raw, real and passionate.

Where’s the show?  City Hall, Rambla de Catalunya, 2

When’s the show? Thursday to Sunday  7:30 pm and 9:30 pm

What’s their website? City Hall Flamenco

Flamenco Dancer, City Hall, Barcelona

I was given complimentary tickets to the show, I would pay to go again.

Champagne Afternoon Tea at the 5* GL Majestic Hotel & Spa, Barcelona

The 5* GL Majestic Hotel & Spa in Barcelona has introduced Afternoon Teas with difference. Think Paris and London and between 16-19 every afternoon you can partake of their Majestic Champagne Fashion Tea with delicious treats by Nandu Jubany (Majestic’s one-star Michelin chef) and a live pianist in El Bar.

Majestic Fashion Tea

The hotel in Paseo de Gracia is surrounded by national and international fashion shops, so when you’ve shopped til you drop or need a little refreshment to be ready for more, pop into the Majestic for a sumptuous treat.

Two types of menu are on offer with bite-size sweets and savouries, tea, coffee, chocolate and champagne. Choose between five designer eclairs: Perugia by Brunello Cucinelli, Pasion Romana by Bulgari, Sweetie by Jimmy Choo, 2015 by Rosa Clará y Fiamma by Salvatore Ferragamo.

Bulgari Eclair
Bulgari Eclair

Majestic Fashion Tea
A delicious eclair to your choosing, homemade Majestic plum cake and hot beverage.
Price: 16€

Majestic Champagne Fashion Tea

Start with a savoury bite, the choice of eclair accompanied by a glass of Champagne Ruinart, followed by an eclair from the Fashion Menu, a slice of homemade Majestic plum cake, a macaroon and a hot beverage.
Price: 31€

Just the thing to take the weight off your feet before heading out to burn off the calories and do some more shopping.

The Serras, Barcelona’s New 5* Boutique Hotel

theSerras

The Serras Barcelona is a new 5* boutique hotel in the heart of the city and with views of the Med and a Michelin star chef – Marc Gascons. This classy 28 bedroomed ‘Design Hotel’ has to be your stylish stay in the Gothic quarter.

Just five minutes walking distance from golden beaches, 3 minutes from must-visit famous Las Ramblas and the historial centre, a perfect spot to relax on the beach, take in a bit of culture and sample the fabulous tapas bars as well as the hotel’s fabulous yet informal Catalan cuisine restaurant.

TThe Serras Roof Terrace

The rooftop terrace overlooking the new Port Vell marina and the deep blue Mediterranean has a superb infinity pool and comfortable lounging area. A perfect hideaway, a sun trap and a gorgeous spot for a late breakfast, a light lunch or a cocktail or two while watching the setting sun.

The Serras is compact, classy and definitely cool.

Five of the Best Rural Luxury Hotels in Spain

Can Bonastre Wine Resort Terrace Views

Can Bonastre Wine Resort – Masquefa, Catalunya

Can Bonastre Wine Resort manages to strike just the right note between rural seclusion and, at just 35 minutes from Barcelona, accessibility. Boutique in size and style it may be, but that doesn’t come at the expense of proper luxury facilities – not least in a fantastic range of spa treatments and therapies. As the name suggests, wine features pretty heavily in Can Bonastre’s appeal, and the hotel’s two fine dining restaurants showcase vintages from their very own vineyards. It’s all capped off – to absolutely stunning effect – with views across to the mountains of Montserrat.

Palacio San Benito – Cazalla de la Sierra, Andalucia

In keeping with its roots as a 15th-century hermitage, there’s been an almost religious reverence brought to bear on the restoration of Palacio San Benito by Manuel Morales de Jódar. Plain function has simply never been allowed to take precedence over form or to strip out the building’s historical features. The fountain doubles up as a pool, the library is wonderfully overwrought (in the Sevillano style) and the gallery surrounding the central patio looks pretty much as it has for the last 500 years…

La Pleta by Rafael Hotels – Baqueira, Catalunya

Secreted away in the heart of the Pyrenees, and with privileged access to the exclusive ski resort Baqueira Beret, La Pleta by Rafael Hotel is where Spain’s beautiful people winter. Small and unremittingly chic, there’s a couple of great in-house restaurants to choose from, and… not much else. Apart from peace, quiet and wonderful views stretching away in every direction!