Medieval Jewish communities in Spain

As soon as you encounter the entrance to Besalu, a gorgeously well-preserved monument to medieval Jewish communities in Spain—a graceful bridge arching over the Fluvia River—you will feel like you’re walking into another time altogether.

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Ever since the Virgin of Mercy saved the city of Barcelona from a plague of locusts in 1687, the city has been celebrating the miracle she helped create with the liveliest festival it has all year- known as Festa de la Merce.  Happening at the end of September and on the 24th this year, the parties for Festa de la Merce will go on for four days through the night and early hours of the morning with wild fireworks, strangely costumed giants, colorful decorations and musical concerts lining the streets. It is a kind of end-of-summer celebration, so participants of the Festa de la Merce usually party as hardily and as noisily as they can.

Among the events not to be missed are the huge casteller, or human-castle building, contests, as illustrated above left. 

To see the unique Barcelona Castells or to experience the celebrations of Festa de la Merce for yourself why not let us customize a private Food, Wine and Cultural Tour for you.

As wine lovers venture out of Barcelona streets laced with Gaudi’s intricate designs to vineyards in the countryside, they are never left without brilliant Modernist architecture to gawk at. That’s because several of Catalonia’s best vineyards lie next to cellars often called wine cathedrals . When the region’s viticultural renaissance hit its stride in the early 1900s, some of the best Modernista (or Catalan Art Nouveau) architects wanted to celebrate by contributing their designing genius to booming wine cellars. Read more

Greek ruinsempuries greek ruins

Once you’ve visited the Greek and Roman ruins of Empuries, you’ll be expecting a higher standard for all of your archaeological site visits that follow. I mean, how many archaeological sites are literally steps away from an incredibly beautiful blue beach?

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Catalan people

The red and yellow stripes of the Catalan flag drape windows, balconies, walls, make up flower bouquets and wave in the fabrics Catalans hold up in the street all day on La Diada, or Catalonia’s national holiday. Celebrated on September 11, the day of Catalonia’s defeat under Spanish armies in 1714, La Diada brings attention to both the defeats and the optimistic future of Catalonia.

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Up until Jews were expelled out of Spain by its government and church in 1492, Jewish communities played a significant role in the culture, the architecture and academia of medieval Spain.

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 Located in the back of la Boqueria market is the remarkable collection of Llorenç Petrás: baskets and baskets of gourmet mushrooms with different sizes, colors smells and flavours from all over the world. His stand at La Boqueria Market, which has earned him the nickname “wizard of mushrooms,” is one of the best of its kind in Europe.

And now that we’re entering the best season for mushrooms—at the end of summer and beginning of fall—his collection is at the height of its diversity. Petrás’s humble stall in La Boqueria Market is unique because he still sells his product in person, even though he’s made unknown fortunes selling to luxury clients in both London and Paris.

At Gourmand Breaks we frequently organize for our guests la Boqueria market private guided  tours, followed by private cooking classes with our professional chef as well as tastings at all the most authentic ´foodie´ hotspots in the city!

Towering above the cobbled medieval Jewish quarter winding around it, the beaming Girona Cathedral has been a significant work of Gothic architecture since its construction began in the 11th century. Girona Cathedrals prominence especially rose in the 15th century when architects added what is still the largest Gothic nave in the world and the second largest nave overall, right behind St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Inside Girona Cathedral are several relics dating back to the 11th century as well, including ancient saint shrines, an ivory throne made for King Charlemagne and Tapestry of the Creation, a very rare surviving tapestry from this era depicting the creation of the world, months of the year and Biblical characters.

If you would like to explore beautiful Girona our  Romantic Spain Luxury Tour takes you for a walk within the cathedral’s courtyard and the Roman fortification wall behind it -a beautifully peaceful journey through the history of Gothic art as well as visits to medieval villages, Michelin starred dining and visits to prestigious wineries.

There’s only one place you can see some of Salvador Dalí’s best works in a museum that he personally designed and was laid to rest at: the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres.

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After a hot summer day, a light mist rolls in from the visible sea shores of Tamariu over hazy hay-wheel dotted farms surrounding the pueblo. Within it winds quaint cobblestone streets with Romanesque walls and arches dripping with hundreds of years of Catalan history. Sprinkled along these passages are shops selling locally made products like wine straight from the barrel, cheese, sausage, dark chocolate and a gelateria where we’ve stopped to have some of the richest ice cream we’ve had in a long time. This is just what we needed—a peaceful stroll through Pals. We cannot hide we’re in love with Pals.

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