Detail of stonework in Sant Pere de Rodes Monastery
Explore Céret, home to iconic 20th century artists such as Picasso, Braque and Matisse, including a visit to the Musée d’Art Moderne
Delve into Dalí’s Surrealist mind by visiting his unmissable Teatro-Museo in Figueres
Visit the Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes and view its remarkable Romanesque architecture
“I thought Juliet was an excellent Tour Director. She certainly knows her subject in depth and is very good at projecting her considerable knowledge in a user-friendly manner”
ACE customer on a previous tour led by Juliet Heslewood
Nested between France and Spain, Roussillon – a former county of the Principality of Catalonia – boasts diverse landscapes and a unique identity. This French gateway to Spain inspired and welcomed several artists from the 20th century avant-garde, such as Picasso, Miro, Matisse, Dalí and Braque.
The village of Céret drew Picasso and Braque as well as other leading artists including Matisse, and this creative emulation led to the foundation of a rich Musée d’Art Moderne. In addition to exploring collections of Cubism, Fauvism and Surrealism, we will also devote time to exploring the Musée d’Art Hyacinthe Rigaud in Perpignan, encompassing fine examples of regional art from the Gothic period through to modern times.
As well as the art collections, our stay in Roussillon will enable us to study Romanesque architecture and sculpture. Highlights include the Abbey of Saint Michel de Cuxa, Serrabone Priory, the Musée du Maître de Cabestany and the Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes – decorated by the Maître de Cabestany’s workshop in the 12th century.
We will cross into Spain, taking the opportunity to look at the restored stone-built town of Besalú with its complex fortified bridge. Indeed, the defensive architecture of this frontier zone, studded with 17th century strongholds, is one of the region’s most fascinating aspects. Forteresse de Salses, keeping watch over the border with Spain, is a masterpiece of 15th century military architecture. We will also look at Dalí’s theatrical works in his purpose-built Teatro-Museo in Figueres.
Accommodation will be on the Mediterranean just outside the fishing port of Port Vendres, once home to Charles Rennie Mackintosh, at the comfortable and simply furnished three-star Hotel Les Jardins du Cèdre. The terrace enjoys panoramic views overlooking the sea and the hotel is particularly noted for its excellent restaurant. All the twin/double rooms are deluxe category, located in the new building of the hotel, which opened in May 2020. Double for single use rooms are comfort category and are located in the hotel’s 19th century Catalan mansion. All rooms, in both the new and main buildings, have a sea view and a balcony or terrace.
This tour will be led by Juliet Heslewood, MA, an author and art historian who lived in France for nearly 30 years where she devised and led study tours in six different regions. Juliet studied at the universities of London and Toulouse, and she has written many books, including most recently Van Gogh: A Life in Places. In addition to leading tours, Juliet frequently lectures at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
Included: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a deluxe twin or double bedded room (new building), seven breakfasts, seven dinners with wine, water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not Included: travel insurance, comfort room for single use supplement (main building) £185.