Avanti Destinations: Costa Brava ExplorerDay 1 Montserrat Pick up your rental car in Barcelona and head west towards Vilafranca de Penedés, the main town in the wine-growing region of Catalonia. You will have a visit and wine tasting at a typical winery of this region. After this refreshing stop, drive north for about two hours to the mountain of Montserrat. Hidden away in this saw-toothed mountain is the Benedictine Abbey Santa Maria de Montserrat, an important icon for the Catalonian people for almost a millennium. Monks settled here around 900 A.D. and a monastery was founded in 1025. The present church dates from the 1850s. The most important attraction at the abbey is La Moreneta or the Black Madonna, saved from the fire when the French burnt the abbey in 1811. We recommend that you take the optional tour of the Abbey. The dramatic setting and the surrounding rock formations are worth exploring. You can take a funicular higher up the mountain if you’d like to take a hike. Afterwards, check into your hotel, the Abat Cisneros, which was formerly a pilgrimage guest house. It is next to the Abbey. Dinner on your own. Centrally Located Hotel In Montserrat, () Day 2 Montserrat, Cadaqués After breakfast at your hotel, drive northeast to the small Catalonian city of Gerona, at the confluence of four rivers. The medieval center of the town is well worth exploring for its mansions, its well-preserved Jewish ghetto, Roman walls and Arab-style baths. The jewel of this town is its magnificent cathedral, with one of the largest naves in Christendom and an beautiful cloister. Gerona is famous for its food, so have lunch here before proceeding to Figueras, about an hour to the north. Here you’ll have a guided tour of the Salvador Dali Theatre and Museum (Figueras was Dali’s birthplace). After exploring Figueras, take a short drive to the charming whitewashed beach town of Cadaqués, where you’ll spend the night. Centrally Located Hotel In Cadaqués, (B) Day 3 Cadaqués After breakfast, explore the town and the nearby beaches. The town sits on a bay in the middle of the Cap de Creus Peninsula, much of which is a national park. Cadaqués has attracted many artists over the years; among those who have spent time here—in addition to Dali who lived here for several years—were Picasso, Joan Miró, René Magritte, Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray. The Salvador Dali House-Museum here is a suggested optional visit. Centrally Located Hotel In Cadaqués, (B) Day 4 Cadaqués After breakfast, continue on to your next Avanti destination! Centrally Located Hotel In Cadaqués, (B)
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