Gaudi provides a surreal introduction to Catalonia. The spires of La Sagrada Familia dominate the cityscape, spiraling over a Mediterranean coastline. Aristocratic houses reveal architectural innovation in the district of Eixample, early Modernista works commissioned by the wealthy of the city. Antoni Gaudi has provided the lasting legacy to the movement, but he wasn’t the first to craft a Catalan brand of art nouveau. Lluis Domenech I Montaner was highly influential, a stepping stone towards the more free-form styles of Gaudi and that would come later. While Gaudi sketched the cathedral, Montaner designed mesmeric public buildings, such as a hospital and classical music hall.
After an early flight arrival in Barcelona, you’re greeted by a guide and transferred into the heart of the city. Early check-in has been arranged, and there’s plenty of time to relax before a day in the city. Meet the guide for breakfast and set off on the trail of the Modernistas, a journey through the city that reveals outstanding works of art: Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, Park Guell, La Sagrada Familia, and the works of Montaner that have only recently been decommissioned. Such a journey isn’t just about the art nouveau. By traveling between the attractions, you’ll enjoy a great overview of Barcelona, from coffee on a terrace to colorful shopping streets and lively plazas. The evening is at your leisure, and the guide can provide dining recommendations.