The magnificent Pyrenees mountain range forms a natural border between Spain and France and offers spectacular opportunities for exploration, and that's what this holiday is all about – that, and lots of little trains…
We stay for 7 nights in the popular Spanish resort and fishing port of Roses, on the Costa Brava on the East coast. As your hotel is right on the seafront, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to stroll along the gorgeous sandy beaches or sit and watch the stunning sunsets.
And of course, we head off to sample some of those fabulous little trains (both road and rail) which operate in this lovely region. Highlights include the Yellow Train across the border in France, which will take us on a scenic journey through the mountains; and the lovely little electric cog railway which enables us to access the remote Nuria Valley…
Whether you’re a lover of rail travel, an admirer of natural scenery or just fancy exploring somewhere new, we’re sure you’ll love this 8-day tour, which flies you straight to Spain from Liverpool.
To maximise your enjoyment, the majority of the excursions are included in this new tour, but we’ve added a special optional trip to the historic walled city of Girona on the last day in case you’ve had enough of sitting by the pool by then.
Day 1: Liverpool-Barcelona, Spain – Join our coach at your local pick-up point to Liverpool John Lennon Airport for the early morning flight to Barcelona. On arrival we'll transfer you to the popular resort of Roses, on the Costa Brava. As your hotel is right on the seafront, why not take a stroll on the golden sands or promenade before dinner?
Day 2: Trenet de Cadaques – A relaxing morning to do as you please – maybe sit by the hotel pool or stroll on the beach. This afternoon's included excursion is on the Trenet de Cadaques – a fun road train which will take you through Roses up the coast to Cap de Creus National Park, where the mountains meet the sea.
Day 3: The Yellow Train – Today we head into France for an included excursion beginning in the medieval walled city of Thuir, famous for the Byrrh caves, where the aperitif Byrrh is made. We will be able to try some before we continue to Villefranche de Conflent, where we board the aptly-named Yellow Train for a scenic journey through the Pyrenees.
Day 4: Nuria Valley Rack Railway – Another included excursion, this time staying in Spain for a fantastic trip by rail into the mountains. Today it's an electric cog train which takes you into the remote Nuria Valley on a guided journey through the countryside.
Day 5: Besalú – Today we head to the medieval town of Besalú, whose star attraction is the Romanesque bridge over the River Fluviá. As part of this included excursion we will take a short road train tour around the town on the Aerotren of Besalú.
Day 6: Figueres – On day 6 we take a break from trains for an included excursion to the delightful town of Figueres, the birthplace of surrealist artist Salvador Dali. After a stroll around the town we'll head inside the Dali Theatre and Museum, where you can see many famous works by Dali.
Day 7: Girona (optional) – Spend your last full day at leisure relaxing or exploring the local area, or join us for an optional excursion to the interesting walled city of Girona.
Day 8: Barcelona-Liverpool - We'll transfer you to the airport in Barcelona today for your late morning flight back to the UK. Your coach will be waiting at the airport to take you back home.
Our first included excursion is on the road train known as the Trenet de Cadaques.
On this afternoon excursion we travel through our resort of Roses up the coast to the natural wonder which is the Cap de Creus National Park, where the Pyrenees meet the sea.
This is an area marked by unusual rock formations, stunning coastline, cliffs and coves and scenic views aplenty. You’ll certainly want to tale your camera!
On our second excursion we head into France, where first we visit the medieval walled city of Thuir. Located at the foothills of the Pyrenees, Thuir is noted for its vineyards and for the Byrrh caves, where the aperitif Byrrh (a blend of fine wines, plant extracts and quinine) is made.
We will be treated to a wine-tasting session where we can sample some of this interesting drink before we continue to the town of Villefranche de Conflent, where we board the Yellow Train for a scenic journey through the mountains.
This train line, started in 1903, is as famous for its engineering prowess as it is for the stunning natural beauty it travels through. Instantly recognisable because of its bright yellow colour (one of the dominant colours of the Catalan flag), this little train will treat you to spectacular views of the rocky mountains, including villages, two historic fortresses and a precariously-perched old hermitage.
Spectacular scenery awaits as you pass through the Tet Valley. Here the train track hugs the hillside and you'll have wonderful views of forests, streams, viaducts and bridges until you reach pretty Mont-Louis. Here we'll disembark and find our coach waiting for us, ready to drive us back to the hotel.
- Nuria Valley Rack Railway
An electric cog railway, the Nuria Valley Rack Railway enables us to reach a remote area of the Pyrenees – there are no roads in this region; the only other way to access the valley is via boat or on foot!
As such, it offers an opportunity to appreciate the serene beauty of the valley and its lake without the buzz and pollution of traffic. The magnificent scenery is very impressive here, with the lake reflecting the greens and browns of the forests covering the sloping mountainside.
As you journey into the heart of the valley, your guide who will tell you more about this peaceful and beautiful area. Keep your eyes peeled for wild animals, such as deer or marmot – you never know your luck!
Highlights of the lovely town of Besalú (one of Catalonia’s best preserved medieval towns) are its pretty cobbled streets, historic facades and its picturesque old bridge. It’s really like stepping back in time here…
While we’re in Besalú we travel on the Aerotren, a little road train which will take us on a short but leisurely tour of this picture-postcard town so you don’t miss a thing.
We will discover the delightful town of Figueres on foot.
The town of Figueres is most famous for being birthplace of surrealist artist Salvador Dali, but there is more to the town than Dali and his works.
Here you’ll find an intriguing Old Town with a laid-back atmosphere, a well-preserved castle, a nice church and lots of shops to browse.
Even if you’re not interested in art, a visit to The Dali Theatre and Museum will certainly be an eye-opener! Alongside a large variety of works by Dalí himself (many created specifically for the museum), there are pieces from a selection of other notable artists too, including El Greco, Antoni Pitxot and Marcel Duchamp. Dali is also buried here – his crypt is under the stage!
The excursion below can be pre-booked from £67 per person – ask your holiday advisor for details of how to book.
- Girona (three-quarter day, moderate walking) – from £67
The historic city of Girona is awash with museums, galleries and Gothic churches, strung around a web of interesting cobbled lanes and medieval walls.
Highlights include the 11th century cathedral, the brightly painted houses overlooking the Onyar River, and the seven museums which cater for all interests, from art to architecture.
This tour visits historic towns and involves train journeys – there will be uneven ground, steps and some cobbled streets, so a moderate to good walking ability is recommended.
PRESTIGE HOTEL, ROSES ★★★
You will stay in one of the 3-star Prestige hotels in the heart of the fishing port of Roses.
Each hotel is ideally situated close to the beach and offers facilities including a restaurant, bar and swimming pool.
Guest rooms feature all the facilities you would expect, including en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning and a TV and a lift.
Roses itself is renowned for its splendid wide, clean beaches, as well as the beautiful sunsets which can be seen over the bay when the weather is good. As your hotel is right on the seafront, you’ll be able to take a stroll on the golden sands or along the promenade whenever you want.
There’s also a busy harbour, a 16th century Citadel – built as a military fortification and now used as the site of open-air concerts and events – and a fascinating Megalithic Park with ancient ruins, should you fancy going further afield.
Deposit £200pp balance due 10 weeks prior
Price includes: 7 nights D/B/B basis, return flights plus airport transfers, 5 included excursions and services of a dedicated Tour Manager and specialist local guide. Single room supplement £300.
Points to note;
- All passengers are required to have travel insurance* cover for this holiday £42 Full details of the cover we offer can be seen on our website or feel free to arrange cover independently
- Some European destinations impose a modest tourist tax to be paid directly to the hotel by all guests
- Please be aware holidays that include walking & guided tours may often involve uneven ground (cobbled streets, etc.) and steps, and therefore are not suitable for persons with mobility issues.
- Travelsphere Holidays Terms and conditions apply – available on request