The Costa Brava and the Catalan Coast by First Class rail on daytime trains
Prices from £1,195 per person
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With its dramatic coastline, beautiful coves and stunning scenery, the Costa Brava is understandably treasured by its many visitors. Platja d’Aro is arguably one of the most picturesque towns along this stretch of the Catalan coast, with its clear azure waters and historical heritage as a charming fishing village. You have a full week to relax and discover this incredible destination on your exciting getaway by First Class rail. Based in a wonderful 5-star hotel, you can truly unwind in this secluded paradise, or take the opportunity to explore more of the region’s dynamic cities and artistic heritage.
This 7-night / 8-day holiday by First Class rail is from £1,195 per person (based on two people travelling together).
Upgrade to a sea view room with terrace from £20 per person per night
Upgrade to a sea view suite with terrace from £55 per person per night
Prices vary according to the season and room type; please click here or see below for a full list of prices.
Day 1 – London to Platja d’Aro
Start your holiday at St. Pancras International, the ‘cathedral of railways’ in the heart of London. Take the time to admire this beautifully restored station including its majestic glass roof, before you join the Eurostar to Paris. Sit back and watch the countryside swish past as you make your way towards the French capital. Travelling in Standard Premier Class (Eurostar’s 1st class for leisure travellers), enjoy a light meal and drinks served at your seat as you reach speeds of up to 186 mph. On arrival at Paris Gare du Nord your private taxi transfer takes you across the city to the Gare de Lyon, where you connect with the high-speed TGV service for your onward journey into Spain. Admire the changing scenery as you continue through France and across the Spanish border to Girona.
In Girona your pre-arranged taxi transfer (payable locally) takes you directly to Platja d’Aro, set in the heart of the idyllic Costa Brava – a dramatic, untamed stretch of Spain’s coastline. This beautiful region is home to a number of secluded coves and quiet bays. Here you spend seven nights at the highly-rated Salles Hotel & Spa Cala del Pi (5 star).
Day 2 – At leisure in Platja d’Aro
As the first of six full days to discover Platja d’Aro and the surrounding area, take today to settle in to this authentic Spanish fishing port. Your hotel’s many facilities include a spa with heated indoor pool, as well as three outdoor pools with views over the Mediterranean. You may wish to make the most of the sunshine and relax on the beach. The broad, open Platja Gran, with its inviting golden sands, is around 2 kilometres in length. This offers the perfect contrast with the Cala del Pi directly outside the hotel; this enclosed picturesque cove feels almost exclusive.
Other attractions in Platja d’Aro include Estanys Park, a beautiful open space in a central location. The park is home to around 250 species of birds and there are special viewpoints to maximise your chances of spotting them.
Day 3 – Figueres and the Dali Foundation (payable locally)
Why not travel to nearby Figueres today? The city is best known as the home of surrealist artist Salvador Dali, and today the Salvador Dali Foundation exhibits an extensive array of his work, from sculptures and paintings to photography and jewellery. Much of this is on display in the truly distinctive Salvador Dali Theatre Museum, though some notable works including the celebrated beating heart brooch are in the nearby Dali Jewels Museum.
The city’s Sant Ferran Castle is one of Europe’s largest castles and has had a long history which is fascinating to discover. Other highlights of Figueres include the attractive old town centre, with its beautiful buildings and narrow streets.
Day 4 – Girona (payable locally)
Today you might like to travel back to Girona, to discover more of this wonderful city. As northern Catalonia’s largest city, Girona is a jewellery box of museums, galleries and Gothic churches, strung around a web of cobbled lanes. The walled medieval quarter, the Barri Vell, is perched on a hill above the city and is well worth a visit. With its narrow cobbled alleyways, balconied houses and shady little plaças, it is a delight to explore. Another highlight is the long row of picturesque pastel-hued houses, the Cases de l’Onyar (pictured), which cling to the banks of the Ríu Onyar, as it meanders through the centre of town. The city’s medieval Jewish quarter remains one of the best preserved in Spain.
Day 5 – Barcelona (payable locally)
Another great option for your stay on the Costa Brava is Barcelona, the Catalan capital. This magical city is packed with attractions, from the lively Ramblas to the smart shops of Passeig de Gracia. Perhaps head towards the older parts of town with wonderful examples of Gaudi architecture including in Parc Guell (pictured). A ‘must see’ is the Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Antoni Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece. The artistic heritage is also present in the Picasso Museum, which is home to one of the world’s largest collections of Picasso works. During your visit perhaps head to Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol where the street musicians, fortune tellers and painters will entertain visitors, who are being tempted by the designer boutiques and handicraft shops.
Days 6 and 7 – Discovering the Catalan Coast
You have two further days in Platja d’Aro to relax or explore at your own pace. Enjoy people watching from one of the charming pavement cafés, or venture a little way inland to the ancient village of Castell d’Aro. The site, which was the original centre of Platja d’Aro, dates back to the first century BC and grew around a fortified church and medieval castle – both of which are still standing today. The Benedormiens Castle and Church of Santa Maria are both a joy to discover. The Catalan Coast is also perfect for walking and you may wish to explore the stunning coastline on foot. Should you wish to travel further afield, why not discover another Dali connection and head to Cadaques? This pretty fishing port (pictured) was a favourite retreat for the artist, and the charming village of whitewashed houses inspired much of his work. Of course, you may wish to simply unwind on the beach or make use of the hotel’s facilities.
Day 8 – Platja d’Aro to London – Homeward bound
This morning after breakfast your pre-arranged taxi transfer (payable locally) returns you to Girona. Here you join the superfast TGV service for the journey back into France and northwards to Paris. Your private transfer takes you across the city to the Gare du Nord and heralds the last leg of your journey. Here you join the Eurostar service and head for home. Take time to reflect on the magnificent sights, sounds and tastes you have enjoyed over your week long stay on the Costa Brava, as you sit back and relax with a light meal and drinks before your arrival into London St. Pancras and the final leg of your journey home.
Room upgrade types and seasonal price variations
|Low Season (November to March)||Mid Season (April and October)||High Season (May and June)||High Season (September)||Peak Season (July)||Peak Season (August)|
|Double room||from £1,195||from £1,295||from £1,450||from £1,495||from £1,675||from £2,075|
|Sea view double with terrace||from £1,335||from £1,435||from £1,590||from £1,635||from £1,815||from £2,215|
|Sea view suite with terrace||from £1,580||from £1,680||from £1,835||from £1,880||from £2,060||from £2,460|
Please note all prices are per person, based on two people travelling together: