Take your group on this bus tour through the city of Barcelona: the driver of your rented minibus will take you to aristocratic, tranquil gardens that are full of enchantment. Great for romantics and those who want to explore a lesser known side of Barcelona. Compare prices and hire a coach or minibus in Barcelona to organize this tour.
Mini-bus Tour of Barcelona’s Historical Gardens
Most tour guides talk about Barcelona principally in terms of its modernist architecture. People from all over the world visit the city to see La Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, Las Ramblas, Santa Maria del Mar, or the Mediterranean. But many tourists are unaware of Barcelona’s historic gardens. Built in the 18th and 19th centuries, they’re an excellent example of the city’s storied past. During the 20th century, these gardens ceased to be exclusive places for aristocrats and became a great place to take a walk and enjoy some fresh air without leaving the city of Barcelona.
In the Morning: Lose Yourself in The Horta Labyrinth
Photo credit: wikipedia
We recommend starting your day trip at The Horta Labyrinth Park, the oldest extant park in Barcelona. At the end of the 19th century, Joan Antoni Desvalls, the Marquess of Llupía de Alfarrás, started the construction of an estate and a neoclassical garden. The garden was built in stages with the help of architects Domenico Bagutti and Elies Rogent. At the entrance to the park you can see what was once the palace of the Desvalls family, and even though it has unfortunately fallen into an advanced state of disrepair, you can still get an idea of its former glory.
As its name implies, the lower part of the park contains a small labyrinth. Lose yourself amongst the walls of well-trimmed cypress trees. A statue of Eros awaits you at the center of the garden. A few years ago some scenes for the movie “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” were filmed here.
We hope that everyone in your group manages to find their way out of the labyrinth, because even though it’s a very enchanting spot, we’ve still got more great places to discover. Once everyone is safe and sound back on the bus, ask your bus driver to take you to the Can Sentmenat Gardens.
The Gardens of can Sentmenat
Photo credit: wikipedia
This garden was built by one of the noble families of Catalonia, the Sentmenat family, at the foothills of Mount Collserola. The Sentmenat residence was a medieval farm house that was rebuilt in the 18th century (El Mas Teixidor, originally built in the 14th century). Built in the neo-gothic style, it was renovated in the 19th century, giving it a new, romantic air. In front of this imposing edifice, which in its hay day was home to marquises, we find a terrace with six female sculptures. In addition to enjoying the tranquility and beauty of the garden, your group can enjoy spectacular vistas of the city of Barcelona or relax by the gently flowing waters of the waterfall and the stone pool located in front of the trees.
Eat at Bar Terrassa Aulazero
If you’d like to eat before continuing on your journey, you’ll find food at the Terrassa Aulazero Bar, which is located next to the park. It’s a simple bar where you can enjoy some tapas or a sandwich and a salad; their patatas bravas are excellent.
And if you get sleepy after eating, you can wait for your bus to get going again under the placid shade of the age-old palm trees.
In the Afternoon:Head out to the Pedralbes Palace Gardens
Naked by Enric Casanovas
photo credit: wikipedia
Now it’s time to continue on to our last stop for the day: the gardens of Pedralbes Palace. So tell your chauffeur to drive on.
The site of the modern-day Pedralbes Palace was formerly the location of the 17th century can Feliu estate, which was acquired by Count Eusebi Güell. The renovation was directed by architect Joan Martorell and then Anton Gaudí. From 1924 to 1931 it was converted into the Royal Palace. Pedralbes Palace is a 20th century palace, though inside we can find different styles. But for the purposes of today’s group tour, we’re interested in the gardens. These gardens were designed by Nicolau Maria Rubió, taking advantage of the existing vegetation. Rubió decided to keep some of the older trees, such as some of the linden trees, cedars (most notably the Himalayan cedars), bamboos, and eucalyptus, among others. The result was a harmonious garden with a stately air. In addition to the Mediterranean and exotic vegetation, you will also find ponds, decorative elements of various styles, and sculptures in the park.
Gaudí and Enric Casanovas together in a romantic garden
Besides Rubió, other architects and sculptors participated in the Pedralbes garden project, including Gaudí, who built, among other things, The Fountain of Hercules located in the little bamboo forest, the highlight of which is the wrought iron fountain made in the shape of a dragon’s head. Upon entering the park we are greeted by a marble sculpture of a nude female by a pool. Entitled, “Mediterranean,” Eulália Fábregas created it in 1962. You can find other nude sculptures in the garden, such as “Nu femení agenollat” by Joan borell i Nicolau (1916) and Enric Casanovas’s bronze sculpture, “Nu.” Other works that stand out include the three fountains by Carles Buïgas. Upon entering the wrought iron gate, an extremely beautiful park opens up before us. This romantic park will make you forget that you’re even still in Barcelona. These gardens are lined with shady trees under which one can rest, such as the fantastic pergola designed by Gaudí. There’s nothing better than enjoying the fresh air while seated on one of the benches in the garden, shaded from the sun, as your guide tells you all about this fantastic Barcelonian garden.
Now that you’re completely relaxed after all the gardens and romanticism, you can ask your chauffeur to take your group back to your hotel. If so much walking has made you hungry, you can ask the bus driver to take you to a restaurant. How about the restaurant with the best panoramic views of Barcelona? I recommend heading to the Torre d’Alta mar restaurant, a 75-meter-tall watchtower that has been converted into a restaurant.