Dalí day trip from Barcelona

By Judith Pfaffenberger
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My husband, Loren, and I decided in August to fly into Barcelona a few days prior to a cruise starting Jan. 4, 2013. 

I would like to recommend Hotel Catalunya (Santa Anna 24, Barcelona, 08002, Spain; phone 93 3019150, fax 93 3189403). Its location is ideal, on a pedestrian street running into La Rambla half a block away. 

When we arrived at the Barcelona airport, the bus was easy to get at a cost of 5.75 (near $7.50). It stopped at Plaza España and the university area on the way to Plaça de Catalunya. (A cab would have cost about 40.) From the square, it was an easy, 1½-block walk with our luggage to the hotel.

Our room was small but clean, with a balcony and a nice view of the Christmas lights. For two nights, it cost $90 per night through Booking.com. That did not include breakfast, but we picked up pastries at a store and there was a coffee machine (1) in the lounge. There also were cafés close by with coffee and a roll for 2.

We had been to Barcelona a few times and done most of the tourist sights. A Rick Steves show had featured the Dalí museum in Figueres, which looked interesting. A few months in advance, I asked on Cruisecritic.com whether anyone else from our cruise would be interested in such a trip. I got replies from two other couples, and one person also wanted to visit the Dalí house at Portlligat, so I checked tour possibilities. 

(By the way, this website has been very helpful. On a cruise from Miami to Seville on the Azamara Quest with 550 passengers in March ’13, more than 100 were connected on Cruisecritic.)

Some companies do not offer the Figueres group tour in winter. Since there were six of us, I asked Spanish Trails (C/ Ronda Sant Pere 23, Principal 3, Plaza Urquinaona 08010, Barcelona, Spain; phone +34 93 500 1616) about doing a private tour. 

Spanish Trails came up with the perfect tour for us for 125 ($160) per person, including a very nice lunch in Cadaqués on the coast. Our very capable guide, Andrew Wilson (a former art student), picked us up at our hotel at 8:30 a.m., and after a 2-hour scenic drive we were in Cadaqués, where Andrew treated us to hot beverages at a waterfront café. We had a little time to explore this quaint town in perfect weather. 

Then we went to the Portlligat House-Museum Salvador Dalí (Portlligat, E-17488 Cadaqués, Spain; phone +34 972 251 015), which we all felt was the high point of the day, as Andrew’s Dalí stories were entertaining and informative.

Lunch was back at Cadaqués at an untouristy place. I had mussels, calamari, coconut mousse and wine. The complete lunch price was 13.50, but ours was included.

A 45-minute drive took us to the Dalí Theatre-Museum (Gala-Salvador Dalí Square, 5, E-17600 Figueres, Spain; phone +34 972 677 500). Andrew gave us an introduction, and then we walked around on our own. This was a fun hour, including the Mae West Room and Dalí’s parody of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

On our way back to Barcelona, we stopped at sunset for a short walking tour of the old Roman city of Girona. Our 12-hour day of touring was long but memorable and worthwhile. We highly recommend Spanish Trails and Andrew.

JUDITH PFAFFENBERGER

Toledo, OH

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

My husband, Loren, and I decided in August to fly into Barcelona a few days prior to a cruise starting Jan. 4, 2013. 

I would like to recommend Hotel Catalunya (Santa Anna 24, Barcelona, 08002, Spain; phone 93 3019150, fax 93 3189403). Its location is ideal, on a pedestrian street running into La Rambla half a block away. 

When we arrived at the Barcelona airport, the bus was easy to get at a cost of 5.75 (near $7.50). It stopped at Plaza España and the university area on the way to Plaça de Catalunya. (A cab would have cost about 40.) From the square, it was an easy, 1½-block walk with our luggage to the hotel.

Our room was small but clean, with a balcony and a nice view of the Christmas lights. For two nights, it cost $90 per night through Booking.com. That did not include breakfast, but we picked up pastries at a store and there was a coffee machine (1) in the lounge. There also were cafés close by with coffee and a roll for 2.

We had been to Barcelona a few times and done most of the tourist sights. A Rick Steves show had featured the Dalí museum in Figueres, which looked interesting. A few months in advance, I asked on Cruisecritic.com whether anyone else from our cruise would be interested in such a trip. I got replies from two other couples, and one person also wanted to visit the Dalí house at Portlligat, so I checked tour possibilities. 

(By the way, this website has been very helpful. On a cruise from Miami to Seville on the Azamara Quest with 550 passengers in March ’13, more than 100 were connected on Cruisecritic.)

Some companies do not offer the Figueres group tour in winter. Since there were six of us, I asked Spanish Trails (C/ Ronda Sant Pere 23, Principal 3, Plaza Urquinaona 08010, Barcelona, Spain; phone +34 93 500 1616) about doing a private tour. 

Spanish Trails came up with the perfect tour for us for 125 ($160) per person, including a very nice lunch in Cadaqués on the coast. Our very capable guide, Andrew Wilson (a former art student), picked us up at our hotel at 8:30 a.m., and after a 2-hour scenic drive we were in Cadaqués, where Andrew treated us to hot beverages at a waterfront café. We had a little time to explore this quaint town in perfect weather. 

Then we went to the Portlligat House-Museum Salvador Dalí (Portlligat, E-17488 Cadaqués, Spain; phone +34 972 251 015), which we all felt was the high point of the day, as Andrew’s Dalí stories were entertaining and informative.

Lunch was back at Cadaqués at an untouristy place. I had mussels, calamari, coconut mousse and wine. The complete lunch price was 13.50, but ours was included.

A 45-minute drive took us to the Dalí Theatre-Museum (Gala-Salvador Dalí Square, 5, E-17600 Figueres, Spain; phone +34 972 677 500). Andrew gave us an introduction, and then we walked around on our own. This was a fun hour, including the Mae West Room and Dalí’s parody of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

On our way back to Barcelona, we stopped at sunset for a short walking tour of the old Roman city of Girona. Our 12-hour day of touring was long but memorable and worthwhile. We highly recommend Spanish Trails and Andrew.

JUDITH PFAFFENBERGER

Toledo, OH