Barcelona & Catalonia

Girona, Olot, Banyoles, Besalú, Costa Brava & Santa Pau

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Experience the diversity and beauty of Catalonia.

Barcelona & Catalonia Photo Adventure Vacations – Inspire, Create and Learn.

When people think of Barcelona, they tend to overlook what lies just north of this fabulous city. There are not many places where you will find wild coastal areas, mountain ranges, ski resorts, flatlands, pristine forests, deltas and volcanic regions, all in one province. Cataluña is one such exception. In addition to the stunning and varied natural beauty on display, we will explore Girona and Olot, the medieval villages of Banyoles and Santa Pau, enjoy their atmospheric light, local fiestas, excellent cuisine and proud people. Barcelona itself offers so much for the photographer and is an ideal starting point for this photographic journey. Starting in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter as well as moving on to the spectacular mountain range of Montserrat and the beautiful beaches of Sitges.

This adventure is designed not only to guide you to the most photogenic locations carefully planned for the best light, but to aid you in mentally visualizing a scene before capturing the decisive moment. Our aim is to raise your awareness and spark your creativity so that you not only go home with images to be proud of, but use your new found skills to improve and expand your photographic technique in general. Apart from the technical aspect of learning your camera settings and capabilities, you will learn how to turn an ordinary image into an extraordinary image by using your own creativity.

In addition, you will become knowledgeable on how to survey the landscape, utilize and approach your environment, photograph people indigenous to the region and the cultural considerations and challenges of photographing in a foreign country. Our week together will include individual and group discussions, inspiring ideas and great fun. We cannot think of a better location to express your creativity than the magical region of Cataluña.


Group Size

4-8 Guests

Experience | Difficulty

Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers

DSLR, mirrorless, compact or iPhone cameras

Busy schedule

Travel by car or minibus

Moderate elevation changes and lots of walking

(non-photographers also welcome)

Photographer | Guides

Laurie Cohen  |  October 16-21, 2017

Laurie Cohen  |  March 12-17, 2018

Weather | Sun

April - Temps 63/47 F  17/8 C  Sunrise 7:35 | Sunset 8:15 (20:15)

September - Temps 76/60 F  24/16 C  Sunrise 7:46 | Sunset 7:38 (19:38)

October - Temps 69/54 F  20/12 C  Sunrise 7:15 | Sunset 5:52 (17:52)


Travel, landscape, architecture, nature and people photography

Professional photographer | guide

Photo walks & discussions

Small group size (4-8 guests)

Fine hotel accommodations (except in remote locations)


2 Dinners

Local transportation


Pulitzer, Hotel Silken Diagonal, Acta Atrium Palace or similar - Barcelona

Mas El Guitart or similar - Besalú

Travel Information

Arrival & Departure Airport: Barcelona, Spain (BCN) - Transfer time to hotel 30 min

Our adventure begins at 11 AM on the first day and ends at noon on the last day.

Travel Visa: A visa may be required depending on your nationality. Go to VisaMapper for more information.



Photo Adventure Vacation | October 16-21, 2017:  $4,195

Photo Adventure Vacation | March 12-17, 2018:  $4,195

Single Supplement:  $600

(Optional) Early Arrival Hotel Room:  $300

(Optional) Late Departure Hotel Room:  $300

Deposit:  $1000


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*All prices are per person and based on double occupancy. Please select single occupancy for a private room. For your convenience we offer optional early arrival and late departure accommodations so you can extend your stay before or after the trip. We typically stay in boutique hotels in the 4-star category. Not all destinations offer these types of properties. We look for unique hotels which offer cultural, historic and/or authentic features. Depending on the size of the group, smaller boutique hotels may have limited room inventory. In some countries or in remote locations, we may be limited to lodges or branded chain hotels. Breakfast is included only if included in our room rates.


Monday (1)  Barcelona - Montserrat - El Borne - Gothic quarter

We meet on Monday morning at 11 AM in the lobby of our hotel in Barcelona. We start by discussing PWA’s “10 Guiding Principles to Great Photography” as well as our “THE ART OF SEEING” photographic technique. Followed by informal discussions during our group lunch on what our guests are trying to achieve in their photography, subject matters, styles and techniques. From here we will set out for a pleasant day of photography at the spectacular mountain range of Montserrat, located 45 minutes drive inland. In the evening we will spend time in Barcelona’s old Jewish quarter and Gothic quarter for a night photography tour to practice some low-light shooting with ambient and street lighting. Afterwards, we will celebrate with our “Welcome Dinner” at one of our favorite Barcelona restaurants. (D)

Tuesday (2)  Girona - Bianya

On Tuesday morning we will check out of our hotel and leave Barcelona, heading to the town of Girona, located 1 hour's drive north of Barcelona. Girona has a peaceful feel all year round and is an excellent place to enjoy everything a small city has to offer, while escaping from the throngs of tourists and the hustle and bustle of the coast. Upon arriving to Girona’s most photogenic section, we will learn to use reflections as a way to capture images of the colourful houses along the river. Girona has an extremely well preserved medieval quarter and old Jewish quarter that we will explore. After lunch we will set out for more photography in the late afternoon and during the magic hour. The medieval architecture and ancient stone lanes make for a breathtaking backdrop during the most atmospheric light. In the evening we will leave Girona and head to our second hotel, located in the Valley of Bianya. This charming rural hotel is located within the La Garrotxa region of Catalonia, and will be our base for the next 4 days. (B)

Wednesday (3)  Santa Pau - La Fajeda - Besalu

On day 3 we will drive to the medieval town of Santa Pau to reach the first light. Santa Pau is outstanding on account of its medieval monuments. The "Vila Vella" (Old Town), Plaça de la Arqueria Square, the castle and Santa María Church can be seen in this unique village, packed with charm and magic. From here we will arrive to La Fajeda forest to practice some techniques in landscape photography, before heading to the town of Olot for lunch. The Garrotxa region is an area of extinct volcanos and stunning natural beauty. Because of the nutrient-rich earth, it is well know for it’s lush forests, healthy landscapes and excellent gastronomy. In the late afternoon, we will head to the beautiful medieval town of Besalu. This town was designated a historical cultural property, and it's most significant features are a 12th century Romanesque bridge and a restored Mikvah [ancient Jewish baths]. Overlooking the Roman bridge is one of our favorite restaurants, where we will enjoy traditional dishes from the local area. (B)

Thursday (4)  Sant Joan les Fonts

On early Thursday morning, we will explore the surrounding area of our hotel by foot. Because of it’s location, the Valle de Bianya often has low-level fog, creating very atmospheric shots. After breakfast we will head to Sant Joan les Fonts to visit the basalt formations along the river. Nearby is the interesting village of Castellfolit de la Roca, perched on volcanic cliffs. Panoramic views can be seen from the bell tower of the old Roman church. In the afternoon, we encourage you to select your favorite images to date and edit them for a group critique the next day. In the evening, we will enjoy a barbecue dinner at our hotel. You will have the option of using the spa at the hotel, which would round off a memorable day. (B)

Friday (5)  Figueres - Costa Brava

On Friday morning, we will head towards Figueres to visit the Salvador Dali museum to photograph the exterior, as well as enjoying the large display of surreal art inside. From Figueres we will head to some of the Costa Brava’s most picturesque seaside towns. With their rugged cliffs and deep blue sea, the Costa Brava is famous for it’s areas of natural beauty, quaint coastal towns and excellent seafood. We will spend some time exploring the coastal areas, and you will have the option of taking a swim. Here we will enjoy our “Farewell Dinner” at one of our favorite restaurants. On returning to our hotel, we will have our group critique, as well as an introduction to post processing techniques. (B) (D)

Saturday (6)  Peratallada - Pals - Barcelona 

On our final day, after checking out of our hotel, we will enjoy some morning photography in the pretty medieval town of Peratallada, before heading to the historic town of Pals. Both towns are ideal locations to shoot in the morning, with their old stone structures and pretty streets. We then return to Barcelona, where we will bid you farewell. Our adventure ends between noon and the early afternoon. We urge you to extend your stay in Barcelona or elsewhere in Spain and apply all the wonderful photographic techniques you learned on this photo adventure. (B)

May all who come as guests... leave as friends®

Options and Benefits

Private Guided Tours & Adventures

We offer amazing private guided photo adventures, cultural tours and vacations for individuals, couples, families and groups. We can customize any of our published adventures, as well as others, to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests. This may include the finest 5-star accommodations, business-class travel, and private guides and fixers who are able to make the impossible possible. If you are not interested in a photo-centric vacation, but you love our approach to private travel, we will be happy to design and deliver an amazing adventure focused on travel, culture and cuisine. Click here for more information. Feel free to call us at 1-888-834-0288 or contact us for more information.

Gift Certificates

Give someone you know a Gift Certificate, good toward any of our Photo Adventures, Photo Tours, Private Guided Tours, Online Courses, Prints or Merchandize. Our beautifully personalized eGift Certificates are delivered to you electronically. They are fully transferable and have a 2 year expiration date. They are available in any amount from $100 to $5000. It makes a great gift for anyone who loves photography, travel or adventure. Order now, or email us for more information.

Private Online Lightroom & Photoshop Tutorials

We offer private online Lightroom and Photoshop photo editing tutorials for individuals who would like to improve their post-processing skills. Each is customized to meet your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests. We provide you with one-on-one discussions using online connectivity. Many of our Photo Adventure guests select our online post-processing as an extension to their trip. Click here for more information.

Combination Tours

You can SAVE by combining two or more back-to-back photo adventures. Click here to explore our wonderful selection of Combination Packages.

Travel Insurance

We offer travel insurance through Travelex. The cost for travel insurance can be as low as 4% of the total trip cost, depending upon age and other factors. Knowing you have trip cancellation coverage can make a big difference should you have to cancel for some unforeseen reason. Travelex Insurance Services is a BBB Accredited business with an A+ rating. Click here to get a free quote.

INSIRE eNewsletter

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Loyalty Club**

All registered guests for 6 day or longer Photo Adventures are automatically enrolled in our Loyalty Club. You will receive a $200 discount on your next Photo Adventure. After attending just 3 Photo Adventures, you’ve reached “Gold” status and a $300 discount good toward future Photo Adventures. After attending 6 Photo Adventures, you’ve reached “Elite” status and a $500 discount good toward future Photo Adventures. Elite status guests also receive other benefits such as additional discounts, special offers, room upgrades (when available), and more. Click here to learn more.

**LOYALTY CLUB: Loyalty discounts only apply to 6 day or longer Photo Adventures. The discount is applied to the Photo Adventure fee when booked directly through our website, and cannot be added to or combined with any “pay in full”, “pay in advance” or “discounted specials”. This discount cannot be combined with any other offer. Your discount will be applied to your final payment. Only one discount per person, per adventure. This discount has no cash value. Polar Adventures are excluded from this offer. Loyalty Club status will be eliminated after 3 years of inactivity.  

NOTE: We reserve the right to change hotels based on availability and pricing. Not included in your rate are alcoholic beverages, unscheduled meals, travel to and from our destinations, airport transfers, travel insurance and any optional excursions you may choose to book on your own or as a group. Breakfast is usually included unless it is not offered in our hotel package. As is standard in the travel industry, all accommodations are based on double occupancy. Please choose the private room / single supplement option if you prefer your own room. Double occupancy can only be offered if you are traveling with a guest. We reserve the right to change events and schedules throughout the itinerary due to adverse weather conditions or complications that may arise that are out of our control. Our number one priority is always the safety of our group.



October 16 - 21, 2017

March 12 - 17, 2018

Travel, Landscape, Architecture, Nature and People Photography


  1. -6 Days

  2. -Workshop Adventure

  3. -Photographer | Guide

  4. -Photo Walks

  5. -Small Group Size

  6. -Fine Hotel and B&B

  7. -Breakfasts

  8. -2 Dinners

  9. -Local Transportation

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