This was a great day. Got very tipsy at the first stop, the Freixenet winery, which put us in a great mood for the rest of the trip. Sitges is wonderful, but not enough time, as we were rushing our amazing seafood lunch that we ordered at one of the beautiful Restaurants along the beach. Another 30 - 60 minutes at Sitges would be perfect. Or not be like us and eat on the run.
Our tour guide Felliciano was charming and funny. He drove us from central Barcelona out to Montserrat and gave a quick run-down of the town on the mountain. His suggestions of buying picnic ingredients from the farmer's stalls then walking up the mountain to admire the view were great. We then drove to the Freixenet winery for a guided tour with many other people. This was very interesting, including the history of the winery and a train ride through the grounds. I would recommend this tour as it was the highlight of our trip!
Trip to Freixenet and Sitges was definitely a highlight during my trip to Barcelona. I arrived at the travel office about 10 minutes before the stated departure and while the office was very busy, I was able to check-in quickly. I would recommend though to definitely print and take your travel voucher with you; when I arrived they had no record of my reservation even though I booked over a week in advance. I presented my voucher and in no time had my tickets for the tour.
There were approximately 30 people on the tour and the bus ride from Barcelona was a pleasant 30 min drive. The Freixenet Winery and wine cellars were amazing and the tour host was great. I would definitely recommend this visit for anyone interested in Cava and Spanish wines.
The trip to Sitges was also a pleasant bus ride and the guide provided very interesting facts about Sitges and history of Catalonia that made the ride that much more enjoyable. Sitges is a beautiful, historic seaside resort town about 30 miles south of Barcelona with beautiful Mediterranean beaches and views.
You're only given about 2 hours in Sitges for lunch and shopping before having to get back on the bus, which is not nearly enough time. You do have the option to stay longer and return by train on your own, which is what I did, and is only a 30 min ride back to central Barcelona. Do take advantage of this option. I stayed about 6 hours enjoying lunch, walking the beautiful beaches, and exploring the town. Bring a swimsuit if you plan to stay and enjoy the beach! The visit to Sitges alone is worth the trip!
I highly recommend this tour!
I thoroughly enjoyed the Montserrat tour. It was beautiful and serene and overwhelming all at once. It was the highlight of my trip to Barcelona. Our tour guide was excellent and talked about all of Spain including Montserrat. The only problem was the Cava place was closed because it was Easter Monday and I wish we would have been told that sooner as we really really really wanted to go to the Freixenet Winery. I think there could have been a better replacement for not having have the Cava Trail portion of the tour, i.e. lunch or another champagne place, a basket of champagne or a refund of that portion of the trip. Otherwise it was a fabulous tour.
When I was booking this tour, it was not mentioned that you will have to come back to Barcelona after the first part of the tour (Freixenet winery and Sitges) and take another bus to go to Montserrat. This was a huge inconvenience and waste of precious time for us. On top of this we got stuck in the worst traffic while trying to get out to Montserrat from Barcelona. The road leading up to Montserrat was quite treacherous and our driver almost lost control. The tour guide we had of the first tour was excellent, but the second one was plain annoying. If I had to do it again, I would definitely go to Sitges and Freixenet with this tour company, but take the train to Montserrat on my own.
No enough time in Sitges and too much in Freixenet winery. Guide for Montserrat was quite good but again not enough free time.
The Montserrat leg of this day tour was splendid. Our guide, Alex, was funny, well informed, and eager to answer our many questions about this gorgeous mountain site. February crowds were light and unobtrusive, and we got to enjoy the funicular ride and the walk up to St Joan's hermitage in a kind of resonant silence. Alex informed us of Napoleon's tragic destruction of the earlier basilica, which explains its austere, functional exterior... but inside, it is Catalunyan gorgeous, all black and gold, with light of every color streaming over the hundreds of people gathered to hear the boy's choir. We had as much time as we needed to explore, and admire the view, out over the city, and over the river and valleys toward the sea. Memorable.
BUT... the afternoon league of our tour was to visit Freixenet winery, for a tour and cava "tasting". This was odious. It was one long, boring 80's era infomercial. The videos did not share the people, the culture, the land or the ancient process; they touted F's business model, and seemed left over from some investor's promo. And the tasting? One glass of Friexenet, after which we could not wait to escape. And when we did escape, the "guide" followed us into the gift shop, to suggest purchases. We and a Belgian tourist literally fled. Please take future guests to a small REAL cava producer, with real people, who can share real history and ideas. We told Alex how appalled we were, and he suggested we write this review. Please folks, cancel the Friexenet tour. It is insulting and offensive.
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