Itinerary (subject to change based on weather & energy of the group): absolutely no experience travel sketching necessary!
Thursday Oct 5 - Arrival and Meet & Greet We all meet at 4pm in Barcelona and transfer to our Masia (Traditional Catalan farm house) near the Costa Brava (www.mascalvo.com/) for kick-off orientation event, overview of our travel journal work, cocktail party and welcome dinner prepared by private chef. Friday Oct 6 - Cadaques & Dali House Our day begins at 8:00am with a simple breakfast in the Masia before heading off to explore Cadaques and Port Lligat and a visit to Salvador Dali’s home with quick sketching opportunities while we await our entrance and tour. We will be accompanied all day by a local Dali expert, who will offer insight to Dali’s extravagant lifestyle and help prepare you for your visit. After the Dali experience we will head to the Cap de Creus lighthouse, the easternmost point of Spain. We will sketch the magnificent vistas of the rocky shore and azure sea. Sumptuous colors will make our watercolor efforts joyous. We will have lunch together in the white washed village of Cadaques, followed by free time to explore the town. We will head back to the Masia for the evening. Around 6:00pm, we’ll all get together for additional sketch lessons (to include some local wine), then break for dinner which will be on your own (it is an easy walk to town & you will have access to the farmhouse kitchen).
Saturday Oct 7 - Emporda Winery / Peratallada Day We will have an 8:30am start (after a light breakfast) and head out to a local winery in the D.O. Emporda for a wine tasting and vineyard brunch. Inspiration for sketching will surround us as we spend some time in the natural beauty between the vines and explore our watercolors and pen work. In the afternoon we will have a tour of the winemaking facilities and then we will drive to the amazingly well preserved village of Peratallada where we will fall in love with stones! Judith will demonstrate watercolor and sketching techniques to use for capturing the beauty of these ancient buildings before we head back to the Masia for our final farmhouse dinner. Sunday Oct 8 - Calella de Palafrugell This day begins at 9:00am with a light buffet breakfast at the Masia followed by an on-site sketching session until we check out of the Masia and head to Calella de Palafrugell, a charming Costa Brava fishing village. We will prepare our day packs and take an easy hike to a small beach to sketch the Mediterranean sea, breathe deeply and touch the water. A Paella lunch awaits, after which we will walk to the neighboring village of Llafranc to enjoy another picturesque fishing village. After our fill of the fresh Mediterranean air, we will transfer to Barcelona and check into our apartments. www.enjoybcn.com/buildings-barcelona/colon The evening is free to explore the Barcelona neighborhoods and relax and reflect on the first 3 days together (dinner on your own).
Monday Oct 9 - World Famous Food Market/Modernist Architecture/Gaudi This morning begins as the sun rises with a gathering at 7am for coffee and pastries in front of the impressive Barcelona Gothic Cathedral. Onward to some sketching opportunities in the Gothic Quarter and the charming Sant Felip Neri Plaza. Then we’ll head to the world famous Boquería Food Market for a tour and some time for sketches and photographs. We will have a full breakfast at El Quim (in the market), then walk up to the Passeig de Gracia. The "Block of Discord" will amaze you and fill a few pages in your journals! This is an architectural gem with buildings by Gaudi, Muntaner and Cadafalch. To continue our architectural investigation we will walk up the street to the Casa Mila and enter for a visit. The roof will make for a perfect spot for another sketching demo before we head to lunch. After the early morning and lots of walking, we will then take a break after lunch with free time and dinner on your own.
Tuesday, Oct. 10 - UNESCO World Heritage site / Goodbye Dinner This morning has a more leisurely start (breakfast on your own) with a 9:30AM meeting to head to the park near the Sagrada Familia so we can marvel at this impossibly beautiful and ever changing structure. We will walk to an "off the beaten path" destination which will provide a comfortable spot to sketch and an interesting bit of history: the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau. After a tour of the Hospital (a UNESCO World Heritage site and museum complex) we will have free time for lunch and any additional exploring of Barcelona you would not want to miss (on your own). In the evening, we wrap up our time together with a very special "pica-pica" (cocktail party) hosted at the Ca La Maria outdoor patio then enjoy a few hours together to finish pages in our journals using collage and various mixed media techniques Judith will share. A few group pictures, many heartfelt toasts, and a huge group hug will end this Magnificent Spanish adventure! Weds, Oct. 11 - Students depart on their own (check out of the apartments is at 11:00am), meals not included this day.
FAQs for the Magnificent Spain: Exploring the Costa Brava and Barcelona with a Sketchbook art retreat (if you do not see your questions answered below, please contact Judith)
I'm thinking about this trip, but I have never sketched! No problem! If you are in the Denver area then you are invited to take advantage of the special offer to take any of the Simple Sketch classes Judith is teaching between April 1-Sept. 1 for a 50% discount (check her Workshop page). If you are coming from outside of Denver please be assured that Judith will guide you thru some simple steps so you can enjoy your time recording the magnificent views on the trip, regardless of your previous art journal or drawing experience. With a small group there will be plenty of individual instruction. Any suggestions for flight arrangements to/from the US? Yes, we recommend booking your flight with Custom Travel (out of Denver, CO) 303.333.5444 or 1.800.634.3273 or email at: email@example.com They will help you coordinate your flights and travel plans ( for a small fee) to arrive in Barcelona with plenty of time to connect with the group at 4:00pm (16:00 Europe time).They will also help with travel insurance recommendations. Of course, students may book their flights on their own. How do I get to and from the Barcelona airport? Transport is not included in the retreat fee, but may be arranged with Danny Adler on an individual basis. Is there a reduced price if I share a room? There is a possibility for a slightly reduced rate (there are a limited number of shared room options); please let Judith and Danny know you are interested. I am attending with a friend, can we share a room or apartment? Both the apartment in Barcelona and the Masia have shared bathrooms (for 2), there are a limited number of shared bedrooms. We will make the effort to assign shared bathrooms to participants who are traveling together. During the free time in the afternoons in Barcelona I'd like to see additional points of interest that I have read about; how will I get around on my own? Danny will provide a comprehensive guide to Barcelona for each participant & set you up for exploration on your own. How can I make arrangements to stay in the Barcelona apartment before or after the tour if I wish to arrive a few days early or stay a few days longer? You will have the option of extending your visit to Barcelona by booking extra lodging thru Danny directly, depending on availablitlity. What art materials will I be asked to bring? Students will be sent a comprehensive list of art supplies to bring on the trip. You will have an option of gathering these items (which many students already own) or purchasing them as a kit directly from Judith. We are going to travel light; each student will bring their own materials. Students are encouraged to carry their art materials in a very light day pack. Will I have time to do some photography? Absolutely! Our sketching time will allow students time to explore the area with their cameras if they prefer. Judith will have a small, portable printer designed for use with the iPhone which students may access on a select basis. What will the weather be like (typical October)? Typical weather in October for Barcelona and along the Costa Brava includes dry, sunny and mild temperatures with averages ranging from 55° - 70° degrees; perfect! How will we be traveling from one destination to the next? We will be in a private coach while staying in the Masia, then using the Metro (subway) in Barcelona (these costs are included). During your free time, students may choose to travel by taxi or bus. What is the cancellation policy? Your deposit and fees are non-refundable. Should I purchase travel insurance? You are strongly encouraged to purchase travel insurance since the tour fees are non-refundable. Our recommended tour agent in Denver, CO (Custom Travel) can help you purchase insurance from an independent agent. What if I have dietary restrictions? No problem! We are preparing for Gluten Free, and will survey participants for other dietary considerations before the trip and will accommodate everyone at all included meals.