Sonas Travel


If you sat down and made a list of what makes for the perfect city tour, your answer might well be Barcelona. Part Spanish but proudly Catalan, it’s a stylish city that could keep you enthralled for weeks, never mind days.

Everywhere you turn, you’re met with the captivating influence of Antoni Gaudí. From Barcelona’s most iconic building, La Sagrada Familia, to the humble lamp posts in Plaça Reial, his unique designs define the city’s landscape. No visit is complete without experiencing his architecture.

Think of the Camp Nou, Las Ramblas, The Barra Gotic, Montjüic, Port Vell, Poble Espanyol, the Olympic Stadium…and you’re still only getting started.

You have many options for exploring Catalunya beyond Barcelona: the monastery of Montserrat, the Roman ruins in Tarragona, the Dali Museum in Figueres and of course no school tour would be complete without a visit to the amazing PortAventura Theme Park!

Sample 4 day / 3 night itinerary

Day 1

  • Flight from Ireland to Barcelona (From Dublin, Shannon or Cork – see below for flight schedules serving Barcelona.
  • Take a guided coach tour of Barcelona, introducing the essential sights of the city. Barcelona is a very compact city, nestled between mountains and the Mediterranean Sea; a coach tour is a great way to see some of the most popular attractions, especially if it’s a compact itinerary. 
  • Visit Montjüic: The Magic Fountain, Montjüic Castle, the Olympic Stadium and Poble Espanyol. Montüic played host to the 1992 Olympics; the stadium was originally built to host the 1936 games but the Spanish Civil War put paid to that!
  • Transfer to accommodation for check-in and evening meal.
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia

Day 2

  • After breakfast, transfer to Barcelona for a full day’s sight-seeing.
  • Morning: visit Camp Nou and explore FC Barcelona’s history and extensive trophy collection in the stadium museum.
  • Afternoon: Walking tour in the city – options include a Gaudí-themed tour or a tour of the Gothic Quarter. Our colleagues in Runner Bean tours will help you to see Barcelona from the inside out – as the locals do!
  • Transfer to accommodation for dinner.
  • Evening Activity: House of Illusion in Salou offers you a range of possible evening activities. Vilanova Park can also offer many possibilities onsite (See below for accommodation options).
Casa Mila

Day 3

  • Breakfast at accommodation.
  • Full day in PortAventura. This amusement park on the outskirts of Salou is a favourite for all groups – factor in as much time as possible! Dinner options are available here as well.
  • Return to accommodation for late dinner.

Day 4

  • Breakfast in accommodation.
  • Transfer to Tarragona to explore its famous Roman history. Tarragona has a number of Roman ruins – the highlight of which is its amphitheatre. 
  • You might have some free time to spend on some last-minute shopping – Maremagnum Shopping Centre in the Port Vell are is ideal! Besides the 3 floors of shopping opportunities, there is also a variety of restaurants that can keep you going for the day.
  • Transfer to airport for return flight home. See below for an indication of the airports in or around Barcelona that serve the Irish market.
Roman amphitheatre

Building Your Itinerary - Cornerstones

Barcelona cathedral
Barcelona cathedral in the Barra Gotic

Cornerstones are the attractions that should form the core of any itinerary – the “do not miss” items! 

For us there are 4 such cornerstones to a Barcelona itinerary:

The architecture of Gaudí: You can dedicate a walking tour or even spend a full day exploring the works of Gaudí – but even in small measures, his work defines Barcelona.

Las Ramblas and/or Barra Gotic: Barra Gotic is the heart of Barcelona, home to the Cathedral and more – easily accessed as part of any walking tour around the city. Las Ramblas is a long collection of streets that run from Plaza Catalunya down to the statue of Colombus by the sea at Port Vell.

Camp Nou: Home of FC Barcelona, the museum tour takes about 2 hours and brings you through the dressing-rooms and on to pitch-side, then finishing up in the trophy room.

PortAventura: Every tour needs a fun day and PortAventura is exactly that! A useful tip is to include your adventure park towards the end of your itinerary – students will go home on a high!

Itinerary - Day Trips

Montserrat: The Benedictine monastery at Montserrat is an excursion that combines culture with spectacular scenery.

Tarragona: The Roman ruins in Tarragona are made up of many different elements, including the amphitheatre, the Roman circus and Praetorium and the Devil’s Bridge aqueduct (about 4km outside of Tarrogona).

PortAventura: One of Europe’s finest theme parks – an essential full-day excursion!

Figueres: The Dali Museum can be combined with a visit to Girona – a peek inside the mind of an eccentric genius.


Itinerary Fillers and Evening Activities

Filling time and gaps in an itinerary won’t be a problem in Barcelona – trying to cut out attractions will be the challenge!

The House of Illusion is a go-to for a variety of evening options and here are some other possibilities.

Chocolate Museum - Asterix
Asterix - The Chocolate Museum
  • The House of Illusion in Salou can play host to a wide variety of events – from magic shows to flamenco displays.
  • See the life-size puppets in the Hall of Giants.
  • Visit Barcelona Aquarium or take a boat trip on Las Golondrinas.
  • The Chocolate Museum has entrance tickets made of…chocolate!
  • Poble Espanyol opens late and can be a great way to finish a day’s activities.
  • La Boqueria is Barcelona’s food market – ideal for whiling away a lunch hour.
  • Tibidabo amusement park overlooks Barcelona and is a half-day excursion in its own right.

Accommodation Options

We offer schools 3 very different accommodation options, meaning that there’s a solution for every requirement.

Salou: Salou is a beachside town located 1 hour south of Barcelona. Its proximity to many attractions as well as the great value in off-season 3*/4* hotel rates make it the No.1 choice for most schools.

Vilanova Park: This is a 4* campsite with chalet accommodation options for school groups. Located half-way between Barcelona and Salou, it’s ideal for schools that want great facilities but also to be removed from the distractions of more urban settings.

Barcelona city centre: For small (or other) groups that don’t want the costs associated with coach transfers, we can accommodate you in a city centre location such as Poblenou – ideal for access to the Barcelona metro.

Salou promenade
Salou beach promenade - a stroll is a great way to burn off excess energy!

Connections from Ireland

Flight routes change all the time, but currently the options include:

  • Dublin to Barcelona, Girona and Reus
  • Shannon to Reus
  • Cork to Reus or Girona
  • Knock to Girona

Barcelona El Prat is the city’s main airport, located on the south side of the city.

Reus is a good bet too – an hour south of Barcelona, located near Salou and close to many attractions, while Girona is about an hour north of Barcelona.

Carriers include Ryanair (Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Knock), Aer Lingus and Vueling (both Dublin only).

All our itineraries are designed to make the best use of the time available to you – the above itinerary is just a sample of what’s possible.

Our Tour Guides - the Irish Connection!

Runner Bean Tours

Runner Bean Tours are exactly the type of people we love to work with! To you, they are the guides that give you a local’s insight into all things Barcelona. To us, they’re Ann-Marie and Gorka, an Irish-Basque combination that will help you to get the most out of your Barcelona experience!