Explore cultural centers in Spain, a country that has captivated travelers throughout the ages with exhilarating art, culture, and extraordinary history.

Starting at: $4,550 Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Vista from Gaudi's Parc Guell in Barcelona  Interior of Antoni Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia  Gaudi's Casa Mila in Barcelona  Gaudi's Casa Batlo (detail), Barcelona  The Gothic Quarter, Barcelona  Older architectural style of Barcelona  The Pyrenees Mountains  Monument to the running of the bulls in Pamplona  The city of Bilbao set amid the Basque countryside, with the Guggenheim Museum in the foreground  The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao  Seafood paella, a Spanish specialty  Traditional <i>tapas</i> bar in Spain. Credit: Peter Horree/Alamy

Impressions of Spain

A Stay in Barcelona and San Sebastián

10 days from $4,550

Explore cultural centers in Spain, a country that has captivated travelers throughout the ages with exhilarating art, culture, and extraordinary history.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

brochure iconbrochure

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Spending two weeks staying in two sites was really good... it meant far less pacing and repacking and less fatigue. Our group was very congenial, and that was one of the high points if not the high point of our trip.

- Stephen B.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Overview

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. View Special Air Rates/Services to learn more.

Immerse yourself in dynamic Barcelona and charming San Sebastián! During this new unique
stay program, explore both cities as well as fascinating Catalonia and the Basque region, each with its own distinctive identity, history, and proud traditions. Plus, enjoy the stunning settings of the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines and the Pyrenees Mountains.

Highlights Include:

  • Barcelona: Discover the unique architecture of Antoni Gaudí, found nowhere else in the world and considered a World Heritage site. Explore the Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas and enjoy panoramic vistas from Montjuic. Take a day excursion to Catalonia’s premier wine region to explore the Penedès vineyards and cellars and savor a tasting of their famous cava.
  • San Sebastián: Explore the charming Old Town area. Travel to nearby Bilbao to see the famous Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Gehry and housing masterpieces by de Kooning, Rothko, and others. Walk along the old streets of Pamplona, famous for the annual “Running of the Bulls” and its impact on Ernest Hemingway.
  • Enrichment Program: Meet with residents of San Sebastián over dinner and much more. 

Spending two weeks staying in two sites was really good... it meant far less pacing and repacking and less fatigue. Our group was very congenial, and that was one of the high points if not the high point of our trip.

- Stephen B.

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

Itinerary

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. View Special Air Rates/Services to learn more.

Immerse yourself in dynamic Barcelona and charming San Sebastián! During this new unique
stay program, explore both cities as well as fascinating Catalonia and the Basque region, each with its own distinctive identity, history, and proud traditions. Plus, enjoy the stunning settings of the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines and the Pyrenees Mountains.

Highlights Include:

  • Barcelona: Discover the unique architecture of Antoni Gaudí, found nowhere else in the world and considered a World Heritage site. Explore the Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas and enjoy panoramic vistas from Montjuic. Take a day excursion to Catalonia’s premier wine region to explore the Penedès vineyards and cellars and savor a tasting of their famous cava.
  • San Sebastián: Explore the charming Old Town area. Travel to nearby Bilbao to see the famous Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Gehry and housing masterpieces by de Kooning, Rothko, and others. Walk along the old streets of Pamplona, famous for the annual “Running of the Bulls” and its impact on Ernest Hemingway.
  • Enrichment Program: Meet with residents of San Sebastián over dinner and much more. 

Day 1 – Depart the U.S.

Smithsonian Journeys Travelers depart the U.S. on an overnight transatlantic flight to Barcelona, Spain.

Day 2 — Barcelona, Spain

Arrive at Barcelona’s El Prat Airport. After completing arrival formalities transfer to the Renaissance Barcelona Hotel. Spend the remainder of the afternoon at leisure. Take some time to unpack, relax, or venture out into Barcelona and explore the city. Tonight, gather with fellow Smithsonian Journeys Travelers for a Welcome Reception and Dinner. (D)

Day 3 — Barcelona

Bordered by the Pyrenees Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, Catalonia was settled by the ancient Greeks, Carthaginians, and Romans. During an engaging lecture, explore its fascinating history, intrinsic spirit of independence, and its vibrantly Gothic and Art Nouveau capital city. Begin exploring with a sightseeing overview of the many delights of Barcelona. As you drive through this fascinating port city, see the Paseo de Gracia, the Champs Élysées of Barcelona; Montjuic, where the 1992 Olympics took place; and the cosmopolitan city's remarkable architecture. Enjoy a guided walking tour of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. See Barcelona’s Cathedral, the Placa Sant Jaume, and other treasured landmarks. Discover some of the local flavor with lunch at a popular Barcelona restaurant. Take some time this afternoon to follow your own path and explore the city. This evening, join fellow Smithsonian Journeys travelers for dinner at a select restaurant. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Barcelona

Learn about Antoni Gaudí, the architect whose work is one of the defining elements of Barcelona at an engaging lecture. Wrap your imagination around the organic architecture of Gaudí, who was a leading exponent of Europe’s Art Nouveau movement, a style characterized by extraordinary ornamentation. See Gaudí’s most famous works, like the Parc Guell and the La Sagrada Familia Basilica, the magical and surprising cathedral still under construction today. His works in Barcelona have been classified as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Attend an engaging lecture by the Smithsonian Journeys Expert. Before dinner, get together in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers' Corner for lively conversation. Enjoy dinner with newfound friends at a popular Barcelona restaurant. (B,D)

Day 5 — Barcelona

The morning is at leisure so let your interests be your guide and explore on your own. Just a short drive from Barcelona, the Penedes wine region is best known for producing Cava, a sparkling wine that is known for both quality and value. The wineries here also make young, fruity white wines and full-bodied reds. Visit a winery where you will see its lush vineyards and enjoy lunch while sampling the wines. (B,L)

Day 6 — Barcelona to Bilbao

Depart Barcelona for the short domestic flight to Bilbao, Spain. Upon arrival enjoy a sightseeing tour to see the landmarks of the city. The highlight of the day is a guided tour of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, noted as much for its stainless steel and glass Frank Gehry design as it is for its collection of modern art. After touring the museum, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon drive to San Sebastián and the Hotel de Londres y de Inglaterra, where accommodations await. The Basque country has its own identity and unique language. At an engaging lecture learn about the jewels along the Bay of Biscay, including genteel San Sebastián, once the summer retreat of Queen Isabella II. This evening “Meet the People” and learn about life in Spain today through the eyes of local townspeople while enjoying dinner with them at the hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — San Sebastián

The coastal town of San Sebastián, known as Donostia in the Basque language, is a city with something to please everyone. There are museums, parks, beaches, mountains, and even an island in the bay to explore. On a walking tour see the Cathedral del Buen Pastor, the Town Hall, and the waterfront Promenade. Stroll through the Old Quarter, which is filled with museums, picturesque squares, and lovely architecture. The rest of the day is free to explore San Sebastián on your own. Attend a lecture about the life of Ernest Hemingway, who visited and lived in Spain spending much of his time writing, most famously, about bullfighting and the Spanish Civil War. Dinner will be served at a select local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 8 — San Sebastián

Get an early start on the day with a drive to Pamplona and explore the 16th-century city famous for the annual Running of the Bulls each July. Savor regional specialties during lunch at a popular restaurant. After returning to San Sebastián, your Smithsonian Journeys Expert will give an informative talk. Gather in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers' Corner to exchange experiences. (B,L)

Day 9 — San Sebastián

The day is free of planned activities today so follow your own path and let your interests be your guide. Customize your activities by choosing from a variety of optional excursions and activities. Your Travel Director will present the menu of options on site, as well as details on the cost. Tonight, gather with your Smithsonian Journeys friends and fellow travelers to reminisce about your Spanish adventure during a Farewell Reception and Dinner. (B,D)

Day 10 — Depart for U.S. Gateway Cities

Depart for the Bilbao Airport and your transatlantic flight to your U.S. gateway city. (B)