All tours on this holiday have now departed. Future departure dates will be confirmed in due course.
The lovely city of Girona in Spain with its atmospheric medieval quarter
Perpignan - France’s Catalonian capital - exuding a rugged charm
Picturesque seaside town of Collioure
Pretty Besalú - with its narrow cobbled streets
Artistic Céret - haunt of Picasso and Matisse
The historic principality of Catalonia straddles the Pyrenees - a beautiful area of plains, coast, foothills and mountains. The Catalan language keeps the regional identity alive and the unique heritage is everywhere you turn with vibrant cities, glorious coastal scenery and traditional villages. From our base in the lively town of Figueres, we will visit some of the highlights of the region on both the French and Spanish sides of the border.
Day 1: Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Paris and onwards to Perpignan by TGV. On arrival, transfer by coach to the four-star Hotel Pirineos. On arrival there will be a selection of cold snacks served in the bar of the hotel.
Day 2: Morning walking tour of Figueres with afternoon free for personal exploration, with Christmas Eve dinner at the hotel.
Birthplace of Surrealist Salvador Dalí, Figueres is an attractive town with a wide, leafy boulevard lined with outdoor cafes as its main thoroughfare. The main attraction is Dalí’s homage to Surrealism, the Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí (entrance included) which is suitably bizarre! This afternoon is free to enjoy the town or simply relax. This evening enjoy a festive Christmas Eve dinner at the hotel.
Day 3: Full day free to explore Figueres with Christmas Day lunch at the hotel.
Day 4: Full day Perpignan.
A thoroughly southern city, Perpignan is the multicultural capital of the French Catalan region. The city’s small old town is a little rough-around-the-edges, but the bright colours of the buildings and palm tree lined boulevards make it feel wonderfully Mediterranean.
Day 5: Full day tour to Girona and Besalú.
The elegant city of Girona is a delight to explore, with a splendid walled medieval quarter - which sits on a hill overlooking the city, river banks lined with brightly painted houses, a wonderfully preserved medieval Jewish quarter and plenty of excellent museums. An important town in the early Middle Ages, Besalú is a gorgeous small town of stone houses and arcaded cobbled streets. Its most impressive feature is the 12th-century Romanesque bridge crossing the Fluvià river.
Day 6: Full day tour to Salses Fortress and Collioure.
Morning visit to the 15th century fortress at Salses, built on the site of a spring, most useful in the event of a siege, of which it has seen many. On the way back to Figueres we will stop at Collioure, a picturesque seaside town in the foothills of the Pyrenees, backed by a series of ancient terraced vines. In the early 20th century the town became the meeting place of Fauve artists, including Derain, Matisse and Picasso.
Day 7: Full day tour Céret and Rosas.
A contrasting day as we head to the cherry town of Céret for a true taste of southwest France, though with its tiled and painted facades, the town has a very Spanish feel. Popular with the likes of Picasso and Matisse, it has an artistic heritage reflected in its Museum of Modern Art (currently under renovation) that houses an outstanding collection. This afternoon visit Rosas, a pretty coastal resort situated at the northern end of the Gulf of Roses on the Costa Brava, and is an important fishing port with beautiful long white beaches.
Day 8: Transfer to Perpignan station to catch the return TGV to Paris and onwards by Eurostar to Ebbsfleet and St Pancras.
NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 49 passengers.
PLEASE NOTE: As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages. Trollies are available at St Pancras, but bags do need to be carried onto the platform.
Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890.
Hotel Pirineos, Figueres
The recently-rennovated four-star Hotel Pirineos is located in the centre of Figueres, close to the Dali Theatre Museum and the city's shopping area. The hotel has a restaurant 'Pelegri' which serves a variety of dishes. Rooms all have private bathroom with bath/shower, TV, phone, hairdryer, air-conditioning/heating, safe, wi-fi and mini-bar.
Hotel Pirineos Website
Pre-tour accommodation is available at the Premier Travel Inn, London King's Cross St Pancras, about a 5 minutes walk from St Pancras International, at an approximate rate of £120 per room. Bookings can be made direct with the hotel on 0871 527 8672 or visit their website.
Excellent variety of places visited on this holiday, although I felt that Rosas could have been omitted, and the visit to the fortress at Salses could have been briefer. Figueres was perfect as a base, and Hotel Pirineos was conveniently located. Staff were friendly and coped well with the large group of guests. I was impressed by the quality of the food in the included meals. Sandra McGill was a superb tour manager, and especially caring, patient and efficient when she accompanied me to the local hospital on Christmas Day! Fortunately, we were back at the hotel in time for the delicious lunch. It was a huge advantage that Sandra is a fluent Spanish speaker, and could manage Catalan too. Generally the local guides whom I experienced were good, although Sebastian ( Fortress at Salses) was too long-winded, but very entertaining, and Stephanie (Perpignan) did not have an adequate command of English for the task. I also felt that too much time was spent inside the cathedrals at Girona and Perpignan during the guided tours.
Review by Kurti who travelled 22-December-2018
Review by Anonymous who travelled 22-December-2018
Another excellent trip, well organised and with Sandra in charge, she was on the ball throughout as usual. Hotel very good and friendly. More to Figueres than we expected. Include the local fort there if possible next time. Only minor criticism was the outward train timing and a very long return day. Hope you find some more destinations.
Review by Izod who travelled 22-December-2018
This was a new tour and with some fine tuning would be excellent. The location is good and the hotel an easy walk to the centre. The excursions need reviewing-because there were too many journeys using the same old motorway between Figueres and Perpignan. Why does the TGV journey not go to Figueres rather than Perpignan? This would save 45minutes on the journey time. The hotel was of a high standard and the staff were polite but the bar service was poor, particularly Christmas Eve when some of us went to the next hotel to get a pre-dinner drink. The guide, Sandra, was very knowledgeable and efficient. All in all a good experience which could have been excellent with a bit of fine tuning.
Review by ROUND who travelled 22-December-2018
Review by Anonymous who travelled 22-December-2018
Figueres our base was a pleasant town, birthplace of Dali, with a very interesting museum devoted to him, and which he founded. Hotel was good with nice rooms, comfortable beds, helpful staff and excellent meals over Christmas. Long train journey and transfer times but overall a very good trip. Tour guide Sandra was exceptionally helpful, knowledgeable and conscientious. More trips to Spanish cities please TA? (with Sandra!)
Review by Harvey who travelled 22-December-2018
Despite a few little quirks - kettle provided but no socket anywhere handy - the hotel was generally excellent and very well located, staff very helpful, and breakfast and included meals were of very high standard. Tour manager was exceptional
Review by Wright who travelled 22-December-2018
A very enjoyable tour led by Sandra, whom we've met before and were equally impressed with this time round. The hotel was very good, though a little more space and clothes storage would have put up the score. Very good food though, both breakfast and the dinners there. Figueres is an interesting town with plenty to do, a lot of it Dali-related of course. On that front, we would strongly recommend a visit to the Bocam Restaurant near the Dali Museum. Excellent food and service from young and enthusiastic staff, with Gala's LIps and Dali's Egg as items on the dessert menu! Slightly disappointing that almost everything in Ceret was closed on the morning we were there, but otherwise a very interesting set of destinations. This was our 9th tour with Travel Editions, and there will be more. Many thanks.
Review by Paton who travelled 22-December-2018
Sandra is such a considerate tour manager and completely unflappable.
Review by O'Shea who travelled 22-December-2018
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