The tour leaves Barcelona at 8:30am and heads straight down to Tarragona, the old Roman Capital. The Romans chose Tarragona's strategic position as the site of a military camp during their campaigns against the Carthaginian troops in 218 BC. In time, that primitive fortress became the Capital of Hispania Citerior, one of the biggest provinces within the Roman Empire.
Our first stop is just past Tarragona where you will discover the impressive Roman Aqueduct (1st century BC) popularly known as 'El Pont del Diable' (The Devil's Bridge) or 'Les Ferreres' Aqueduct. It used to be part of the water supply network of the city and today stands in almost perfect condition. Over 200 meters long and nearly 30 meters high it is one of the hidden jewels of the area. This is a rare chance to get completely off the beaten track and visit one of the most amazing architectural wonders of Catalonia - and one that hardly anybody knows about.
From the aqueduct we travel back to Tarragona quietly entering the old part of the city through a narrow gateway in the ancient walls. Nowadays, the new city overlaps the site of the ancient Acropolis and during your visit you will see firsthand the surprising coexistence of a Roman past and modern life. Starting at the Archaeological walkway, you will be able to admire the surviving stone walls, wander through the historic old quarter - passing the medieval hospital - before stopping at the Cathedral where you can enjoy the Sunday morning antique market. Few tourists ever make it to Tarragona, and fewer still stumble across this traditional market. It's a great chance to pick up something truly unique from the area. For others, there is ample time to explore the beautiful cathedral that looks down on the antique collectors.
From there, you continue down through the old town to discover the Roman Forum and the nearby Roman Circus hidden amidst the urban design. Walk along the underground passageways that held the Circus' stands and come to one of the most popular squares within the old town, Placa de la Font, situated inside the Roman Circus. If you stand very still and close your eyes, you can almost hear the chariots racing by. On this very spot, thousands of years ago on, perhaps on the very same day of the week, the Roman capital of the Iberian Peninsula came alive in all of its bloody glory.
And last, but certainly not least, enjoy the breathtaking seaview over the Roman amphitheater and imagine gladiators battling each other to the death! It's a poignant moment to stand on the same dusty ground that bore witness to countless scenes of sacrifice and passion. Perhaps most fascinating of all is the Christian church built in the middle of the stage out of the very same blocks that were used in their amphitheater.
At 12.30 we leave Tarragona and stop briefly at Roc de Sant Gaieta, an intimate little village built on the rocky shoreline. Stroll between its tiny white houses and let your imagination take you away to Ibiza fishing villages built with a touch of Roman-Greco flair.
Arrive at Sitges at around 2:00pm. This once quiet fishing village today boasts a long and sandy beach, groovy boutiques, and a handful of interesting sights. Sitges has been fashionable since the 1890s, when it became an avant-garde art-world hang-out. Get lost in its shady side streets and enjoy the Mediterranean atmosphere with its old whitewashed fisherman's houses. After leaving this charming labyrinth, you suddenly find yourself on the seafront. Make a stop in one of the numerous cosmopolitan cafes and restaurants and imagine yourself in St. Tropez. Sitges has dining options to suit every taste and budget. After a leisurely Sunday lunch you might want to head off to one of the 17 beaches the town has to offer.
Fun trip. Tarragona is interesting with the Roman ruins and the aqueduct is amazing and fun to climb up to. Sitges has a gorgeous beach and great restaurants. I had a lovely meal and walked along the beach. Our guide was excellent and made the trip informative and fun.
This was a fun day with the six of us and our driver and guide, David, was terrific with lots of infectious energy and enthusiasm. If you book a tour with Explore Catalunya, see if you can select a tour that he will be guiding. There's lots to see in Tarragona and hopefully the weather will be better in Sitges than it was for us, because it was a fun beach resort.
This tour was a pleasant surprise. I didn't know anything about Tarragona before booking this tour, and the Roman ruins were top notch. Probably some of the best ones I've seen outside of Italy. The historical core is attractive, compact and easily walkable. It features a nice mixture of Roman and Spanish architecture. Sitges didn't disappoint either! Its a highly attractive beach resort that has a wonderful walking promenade along the beach with some great beach side restaurants. I loved it here, I did not want to leave. I even went back to Sitges for an extended weekend after this day tour. This tour is highly recommended, do it!
Colin United States of ...
Arnold was very knowledgeable about the history of Spain, Sitges and Tarragona. He was very personable and was able to answer questions from the group (i.e., he was not just reading from a script).
These cities are a must see! The aqueduct in Tarragona is breathtaking and getting to walk on it is really fun! Tarragona city was really nice and there are a few really neat things to see in the city while you're there. I highly recommend going and exploring the circus. We didn't go in the church because we didn't have time but the other couple that we were with really enjoyed it. Sitges was really one of my favorite cities visited in Spain. They have a ton of quaint little shops and restaurants and the beach is really beautiful! Bring your bathing suit, a towel, and some toilet paper trust me. Our tour guide Veronica I think was amazing. She did a really great job explaining everything and was very knowledgeable. I highly recommend this tour!
Joseph was obviously a history buff who knows a lot about the sites we visited. He was awesome! When we went to Tarragona, we were lucky enough to catch the Xiquets on a good day and they showed us the studio where they practice! Sitges was lovely and we made it back home at a good hour. Thank you!!
This full day tour was very interesting. David, our guide, was interesting and amusing. The Roman ruins were amazing. The trip was ell balanced with touring and self explore time. Stiges and the little Gaudí cellar were great additions.
excellent tour, our guide was just great, this is tour you don't want to miss
The weather wasnt great so we probably did not see Sitges at its best but Tarragona is spectacular in any weather. Joseph was very passionate about the history of the area and the extent of the remaining 1st Century Roman remains. Cathedral in Stiges is also worth a visit. Very good value.
Had a tremendous day. Six travellers and a very knowledgable, chatty and passionately Catalonian guide, Joseph. Taragona was an amazing place with historical sites well presented and Sitges was perfect as a lunch stop with loads of great eateries. If only it had been a little warmer! Great way to spend the day.
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