• Visiting Bilbao’s architectural gem, the Guggenheim Museum
• Sampling some of the country’s best tapas, wine, and cider in Basque Country
• Wandering through the Gothic Quarters of Bilbao, San Sebastian, and Barcelona
• Exploring Antoni Gaudí’s Barcelona including La Sagrada Familia & Parque Guell
• Admiring unique modern architecture, charming plazas, and a lively buzz that never quits
• Relaxing on one of San Sebastian’s or Barcelona’s fine beaches
• Participating in art classes with Amelia Alcock-White (ameliawhite.net)
Day 1 – Arrival Bilbao
We arrive deep into Basque country, tucked into the deep lush folds and clefts of Euskadi’s coastal range is the fascinating city of Bilbao. The name is “Bilbo” in Basque, but its inhabitants prefer to call it the “botxo,” Basque for hole, or orifice. The orifice was originally a scattering of fish hamlets, huddled on the left bank where the hills offered some protection from the Normans and other pirates.
Evening walking tour and welcome dinner.
Day 2 – Bilbao – Guggenheim & Bodega
The major highlight today is our visit to the newest and biggest attraction in Bilbao, the Guggenheim Museum. The 31 329 sqm (349,000 sq foot) colossus is one of the focal points of a $1.5 billion redevelopment plan for the city. The Frank Gehry design features a 50 m- (165 foot-) high atrium, more than one-and-a-half times the height of the rotunda of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum in New York. The museum is devoted to American and European art of the 20th century, featuring (on rotation) the works of such renowned artists as Kandinsky, Mondrian, Picasso, Ernst, Pollock, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, Serra, and others.
This afternoon is yours to wander around the charming Medieval streets of Bilbao.
Later today we visit a Txakoli bodega. Txakoli production is associated mostly with farmhouses, but thanks to the creation of the different denominations of origin, you can visit wineries where wine tourism activities are conducted with the aim of raising awareness of the wealth of the wine and tourist area where it is produced.
Art Class: Option to participate in a sketching class at the Guggenheim with Amelia Alcock-White
Day 3 – Bilbao to San Sebastian
This is the City where Kings, Queens, Dictators and Nobles from Spain and other parts of Europe spent and still spend their summers!
It’s impossible to lay eyes on stunning San Sebastián (Basque: Donostia) and not fall madly in love. This city is cool and happening by night, charming and well mannered by day. It’s a city filled with people that love to indulge – and with Michelin
stars apparently falling from the heavens onto its restaurants, not to mention pintxo (tapas) culture almost unmatched anywhere else in Spain, San Sebastián frequently tops lists of the world’s best places to eat. From learning the proper way to eat pintxos (tapas), modern art works, the aquarium, wandering the various styles of architecture to just relaxing on the beach or the great night life, it is all right here!!
This afternoon we enjoy a walking tour through the narrow streets of Casco Antiguo (Old Town) and enjoy a pintxos lunch like a local.
Art Class: Gouache studies in the Old Town of Bilbao with Amelia Alcock-White
Overnight: San Sebastian
Day 4 – San Sebastian Galleries & Pintxos Class
This morning, enjoy an art gallery stroll of smaller contemporary galleries and interact with some of the gallery owners and artists.
Enjoy one of San Sebastian’s famous beaches! For its setting, form and attitude, Playa de la Concha is the equal of any city beach in Europe. Then there’s Playa de Gros (also known as Playa de la Zurriola), with its surfers and sultry beach-goers.
Evening activity: Finding (and eating) the best pintxos in town is a local sport, and in this class, home cooks learn how to replicate these sophisticated snacks at home. Let us guide you on a cooking journey through the recipes of the most famous streets and bars of San Sebastián’s Old Town. Participate in a tapas making event at a sociedad de gastronomia.
Art Class: Watercolour studies at the beach in San Sebastian Amelia Alcock-White
Overnight: San Sebastian
Day 5 – San Sebastian Riverboat
This morning you have to option to either take a riverboat tour that will go along a scenic route or take a kayaking trip to a nearby island.
This afternoon is free for you to wander or enjoy the beaches.
Evening activity: Private tour and dinner at a Sidreria, a hard cider distillery, typical of the area.
Overnight: San Sebastian
Day 6 – Travel by Train to Barcelona
This morning we board a train bound for Barcelona (approx 5.5 hrs).
Welcome to exuberant Barcelona! Spain’s second city, and the self-confident capital of Catalonia – Barcelona vibrates with life, and there’s certainly not another city in the country to touch it for sheer style, looks or energy. It’s long had the reputation of being the avant-garde capital of Spain; its art museums are world-class, its football team sublime, while its designer restaurants, bars, galleries and shops lead from the front.
As today is arrival day, there are no planned activities until this evening when we will have a meet and greet at the hotel with the rest of the group. We’ll take a brief stroll along Las Ramblas and some of the incredible Barrio Gotico, the oldest part of the city. Of course there will be plenty of time for tapas and wine.
Day 7 – Barcelona Barrio Gotico
Barcelona’s architectural treasures span 2000-plus years. Towering temple columns, ancient city walls and subterranean stone corridors provide a window into Roman-era Barcino. Fast forward a thousand years to the Middle Ages by taking a stroll through the shadowy lanes of the Gothic quarter, past tranquil plazas and soaring 14th-century cathedrals. In other parts of town bloom the sculptural masterpieces of Modernisme, a mix of ingenious and whimsical creations by Gaudí and his Catalan architectural contemporaries. Barcelona has also long inspired artists, including Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró, whose works are in bold display in the city’s myriad museums.
This morning we explore some of the charming streets and squares of the Gothic Quarter while enjoying tapas along the way.
For the rest of the afternoon, you’ll have time to explore on your own. Later this evening we venture out with the locals for live music. (TBD)
Day 8 – Barcelona – Wine Tour & Figueres Dali Museum
This morning we head up the coast towards Girona and Figueres. En route we head to Emporda, a charming bodega for a tour, tasting and lunch.
After our bellies are full, we enjoy a stroll around Girona before continuing to Figueres for the Dali Museum. We step inside the surreal world of Salvador Dalí and find a museum like none other. It is a testament to Dalí’s enduring popularity that his eponymous museum, in the middle of Figueres is the most visited sight in Spain after Madrid’s Prado and Bilbao’s Guggenheim. Dalí wanted visitors to see his massive collection as a ‘whole’ work, and for this reason he wanted no catalogues and refused to have his works placed in chronological or subject order. Inside is a world of fantasy mixed with architecture mixed with paintings and sculptures. It’s a complete surrealistic experience.
Art Class: Sketching at Dali Museum led by Amelia Alcock-White
Evening – Return to Barcelona , free evening.
Day 9 – Barcelona – Gaudi
We visit, Gaudi’s Parque Guell, a garden complex with architectural elements overlooking the city. The park is in Gracia, well known for its charm, sunny squares, cafes, restaurants and terraces, small streets with little traffic, and boutique shops. You can still see that Gracia used to be an independent town until the end of the 19th century.
Later we have the opportunity to visit Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia.
Enjoy a free afternoon visiting different neighbourhoods of Barcelona. Other more tranquil parts of the city include Ciudadella Park, Montjuic, and Tibidabo. The Palau de la Musica Catalana is a classic example of the modernist Catalan architectural style and a fabulous place to hear a classical concert.
Art Class: Sketching of Gaudi’s Parque Guell and Sagrada Famila with Amelia Alcock-White
Day 10 – Barcelona – Picasso Museum
The Picasso Museum, dating from the 13th-15th centuries, occupies five large town houses or palaces, and is a must see. We explore the highlights of Picasso’s painting career. With our last full day in town, you have some time to catch up on any last minute sights you missed, enjoy the promenade, wander Las Ramblas one last time, or get lost in winding streets in the Gothic District.
We toast to a fantastic trip together during our last group dinner and celebration.
Day 11 – Departure or Extension
After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your international flights.
OR Extend your visit!
YOUR TALENTED HOSTS
Born on Vancouver Island, Amelia Alcock-White is a contemporary Canadian painter who lives and works in Vancouver, BC. She studied fine art at Vancouver Island University, Emily Carr Art Institute and Columbus State University. She has exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver, San Francisco and Toronto. Her work is represented in notable public and private collections.
Amelia looks forward to sharing her art experience including plein air techniques, drawing skills and approaches to watercolor and gouache. The delightful combination of art and Spain will create an unforgettable learning experience.
Born in Chicago, Tom Lavin, has been an educator, performer, composer, publisher, recording studio owner and has headed several publicly traded tech companies. Tom has over a dozen gold and platinum awards and has composed award-wining film scores.
In addition to a Juno and the W.C. Handy International Blues Award, Tom Lavin & the Legendary Powder Blues have sold over a million records and have appeared in concert with the Who, Z.Z. Top, Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, James Brown, Stevie Ray Vaughn and many others. They continue to perform at festivals internationally.
• 10 nights in 4+* star accommodations based on double occupancy
• Meals as per itinerary
• Services of an experienced tour leader
• Local transportation (private vehicles, train)
• Excursions and entrance fees (as per itinerary)
• Local guides (where applicable)
• International Flights (can be arranged through us firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Mandatory travel medical insurance and optional cancellation insurance (can be arranged through us
• Meals and beverages not mentioned in itinerary
• Items of personal nature
• Services and entrances not mentioned above
• Passport and visa fees
• Tips/Gratuities for tour guides, drivers, etc.
Date: June 19th, 2017
$3995 USD per person based on double/twin occupancy
$850 USD Single Supplement (Limited Availability)
Finisterra Travel LTD
106-550 E 6th Ave
Vancouver, BC, V5T 4H2
Full payment is due 60 prior to departure.
Flights are not included in the tour price. Do not purchase any airline tickets until the Seductive Spain: A Creative Journey is confirmed to take place. Pre and post tours can be arranged through available at an additional charge. Please contact Finisterra Travel for further details email@example.com
Please note that most countries require passports to be valid for 6 months from the date of your return flight. We are not responsible if you are refused entry to a country because you lack the correct passport, visa or other travel documentation.
Bilbao Silken Gran Domine
San Sebastian Silken Amara
Barcelona NH Constanza
*Please note that hotels are subject to change and availability.