Winter Getaway: Barcelona and Mallorca, February 13 to 22, 2023
Looking for the perfect mid-winter escape? Travel with us to Barcelona and Mallorca! There are many advantages to a February visit: fewer tourists, lower prices, and mild winter weather - plus, you’ll get to see Mallorca wearing its best ‘dress:’ four million almond trees in blossom! Our stay also coincides with carnival time: both Barcelona and Mallorca celebrate with street parties, live music, food and drink, and colorful costume parades.
 
In addition, some exceptional musical treats are in store for you: Le Concert des Nations period instrument orchestra conducted by the Catalan viola da gamba virtuoso Jordi Savall at Palau de la Música; Verdi’s Macbeth at the renowned Liceu Opera with Luca Salsi, Sandra Radvanovsky, and Erwin Schrott, conducted by Josep Pons; and Puccini’s La Bohème at Palma de Mallorca’s intimate 19th-century theater. Also in Barcelona, you will have the option of choosing to attend a recital by Evgeny Kissin or Handel’s Alcina starring Magdalena Ko┼żená, Erin Morley, and Elizabeth DeShong, accompanied by one of the best period instrument orchestras in the world: Les Musiciens du Louvre conducted by Marc Minkowski.
 
In Barcelona, we’ll we discover the Modernista architecture movement and visit some of Gaudí's most important sites, Casa Batlló, Casa Milà (exteriors), Sagrada Familia, and Park Güell, as well as the impressive hospital complex of Santa Creu i Sant Pau by Lluís Domènech i Montaner and his son.
 
Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands, has a rich history and culture, stunningly rugged scenery, and delicious cuisine and wines. We will explore its vibrant capital Palma de Mallorca, known for impressive Gothic architecture coupled with Catalan modernism, attributed among others to Gaudí, and paintings by the exceptional Majorcan artist Miquel Barceló. Excursions will take us to the charming village of Valldemosa to visit the Carthusian Monastery where Chopin and George Sand spent a winter; to Sóller with its fantastic church of Sant Bartolomé and Bank of Sóller; to the picturesque Deía, perched above the seashore at the foothills of the UNESCO-protected Tramuntana range; to Santa Eugenia region, the cradle of the Mallorcan wine; and to the wonderfully preserved walled medieval town of Alcúdia.

PRICES AND CONTENTS

Prices, per person

  $3,590 sharing a double
$ 4,065 single occupancy


Prices are based on a minimum of 10 participants; they will be reduced in case of 15
or more participants.

Prices are stated in
U.S. Dollars

calculated on an exchange rate of $1.00 to the Euro and will be adjusted to reflect a variation of 5% or more in the exchange rate.




Package prices include

Accommodation in these
carefully chosen four-star hotels


  Hotel Vincci Gala
Barcelona


Hotel
Almudaina
Palma de Mallorca


Hotel Ciutat del Prat
Barcelona Airport



Breakfast each day

Lunch or dinner on six days

Wine tasting

Airport transfers

Ground transport by
private coach

  Round trip air (economy class) Barcelona to Palma de Mallorca

  Tours with expert guides as described to the right

  Best-available seats for
three performances



  Plus, at additional cost:


Alcina at the Liceu
- or -

Evgeny Kissin Recital
at the Palau de Música


Upgraded hotel accommodations as available




THE TOUR



Monday 13 February: Depart Houston on the airline of your choice; all the major alliances offer flights into Barcelona for as little as $750 round trip.

Barcelona (4 nights)

Tuesday 14 February: Arrivals. We will arrange for your transfer to our hotel and provide a festive Welcome Dinner.

Wednesday 15 February: Your day is free to explore Barcelona:

  • The Gothic Quarter with the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, El Call (Jewish quarter), the El Born area, La Boqueria (main market), and Las Ramblas, the city's most famous street. If this is your first visit, we can arrange an optional private guided walking tour for a group of at least four.
  • The Picasso Museum, focusing mainly on Picasso's early works
  • The National Art Museum of Catalonia, with a a vast collection of Catalan art spanning the early Middle Ages to the early 20th century

This evening, we walk to the nearby Palau de la Música, a gem of Catalan Modernista architecture by Lluis Domènech Montaner, for a performance by Le Concert des Nations with Jordi Savall.

Thursday 16 February: This morning we embark on part one of a two-morning exploration of Catalan Modernista architecture, today focused on seminal works by Gaudí. Our day is capped off with a performance of Verdi's Macbeth at the famed Liceu Opera (1847), featuring Luca Salsi and Sandra Radvanovsky.

Friday 17 February: Today, our expert guide shows us Gaudí's Park Güell and Montaner's Santa Creu y Sant Pau, one of the largest Art Nouveau conplexes in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You might want to take the evening off or attend one of two optional performances:  Evgeny Kissin recital at Palau de la Música or Alcina at the Liceu.

Palma de Mallorca (3 nights)

Saturday 18 February: Fly to Palma de Mallorca; sightseeing in Old Town, including the magnificent La Seu Gothic Cathedral, Placa Major, San Francisco Church with its fine cloisters, and The Royal Palace of La Almudaina.

Sunday 19 February: Free Day in Palma; enjoy the festive atmosphere of carnival time! You may want to visit some of the outstanding museums and other sights of interest:

  • Es Baluard Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art
  • The Pilar and Juan Miró Foundation (the studios where Miró worked right up until his death in 1983)
  • The Museum of Mallorca, featuring archaeology and Medieval paintings
  • The Juan March Foundation, a collection of Spanish Art of the 20th century, with works by Picasso, Miró, Juan Gris, and Salvador Dali
  • The Palma de Mallorca Aquarium
  • The Pueblo Espanyol, a “village” featuring replicas of some of Spain’s most famous sights, such as the Alhambra in Granada, Torre de Oro in Seville, and El Greco's House in Toledo
Monday 20 February: Today we drive to the nearby countryside. One of the most beautiful Mallorcan villages, Valldemosa, is where Chopin and his lover, George Sand and her two children, spent a winter at the Carthusian Monastery. Chopin composed many famous works there, including most of the opus 28 Preludes, including the most familiar "Raindrop." The cell they occupied is now a museum, with memorabilia including a lock of Chopin's hair and a period Pleyel piano.

We continue to Deía, one of the prettiest villages in Mallorca and in Spain, a place of rest and residence for numerous writers, musicians, and artists including Manuel de Falla, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Robert Graves. Nestled between the sea and the Tramuntana mountain range, Deía enchants with its narrow cobbled streets, pretty green-shuttered stone houses clinging to the hillside, cafes, and restaurants.

We will also visit Sóller to see its fantastic church of Sant Bartolomé and Bank of Sóller. The church was born as a small Gothic temple but has undergone transformations over the centuries that culminated with the modernist facade by Joan Rubió that makes it unique.

In the evening, we attend a performance of La Bohème at the lovely 19th-century opera house.

Tuesday 21 February:  We visit the wine region of Santa Eugenia (including a wine tasting with tapas) and Alcúdia, a town ringed by impressive medieval walls that enclose a maze of narrow lanes, historic mansions, cafe-rimmed plazas and warm-stone houses.

We fly to Barcelona in the evening with overnight accommodations at a comfortable airport hotel, to make tomorrow's departure as convenient as possible.

Wednesday 22 February: Depart for home or further travels on your own.

Palau de la Musica
Palau de la Musica
Liceu ceiling
Liceu ceiling
Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia
Park Guell
Park Guell
Casa Batllo
Casa Batllo
Rugged Coastline
Rugged Coastline
Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca
Valldemossa
Valldemossa
Deia
Deia
Soller Cathedral
Soller Cathedral
La Seu Cathedral
La Seu Cathedral
Palma de Mallorca Market
Palma de Mallorca Market
Alcudia
Alcudia
Mallorcan Sunset
Mallorcan Sunset