Geography Trips for Schools to Spain
The Costa Brava’s picturesque landscape is brimming with sandy beaches, rocky headlands, unspoiled coves and a collection of enchanting islands – all yearning to be explored. This varied and extensive coastline is home to the vibrant city of Barcelona, attractive tourist resorts and traditional fishing villages. With as much charm as there is geographical insight – think coastal landscapes, volcanic landscapes and fluvial environments – it’s the perfect destination for younger students that’s not too unfamiliar.
We base our groups in resorts along the coast, just north of Barcelona, meaning you’ll have easy access to the Costa Brava, Barcelona and surrounding inland areas, like the volcanic Garrotxa National Park and the rugged yet stunning multi-peaked Montserrat. Throw in some Mediterranean sun and typical ‘fiesta’ vibes, and you’re set to go.
If the array of geographical excursions and warm sunny climate aren’t enough to tempt you then maybe you’ll be set on a Geography Trip to Spain when you hear that 100% of geography groups that visited the country said they would recommend it to a fellow teacher. In addition, the average overall tour experience rating as per our post-tour questionnaires was 4.5 out of 5.
Did you know?
Spain is home to a type of tailless monkey, the macaque, which is the only type of wild monkey that lives in Europe.
Spain is located in southern Europe and occupies 85% of the Iberian Peninsula.
Our quick, online quote form allows our specialists to provide you with a bespoke quotation for a trip tailor-made to your group’s individual requirements.
Spain Fact File
KS3 & KS4 (or equivalent)
Flight or coach
Barcelona El Prat, Girona or Reus
Flight duration from UK:
Approx. 2 hours – 2 hours 30 minutes
Time by coach from Calais:
Best time of year to visit:
All year round
Coastal Systems & Landscapes
Ecosystems & Biodiversity
Globalisation & Global Systems
River Systems & Landscapes
Rocks, Weathering & Soil
Weather & Climate
Spain Geography Recommended Visits
Catalonia provides an array of opportunities for students to witness and further their understanding of some of the topics they have been learning about back in the classroom. Here are just a few of our recommended visits, most with a geographical focus as well as some leisure excursions which can also be built into your tailor-made itinerary.
Considered as one of the most important wetland zones in north eastern Spain, the area is under constant threat of encroachment from the growth of the city of Barcelona. Nature reserves have preserved some of the natural landscape and students can consider the conflicts that exist between the various users and the resultant management issues. Changes to the landscape and the contribution to the occurrence of flash floods can also be investigated.
Cap de Creus:
The rocky headlands, bayhead beaches and offshore islands to the north of Barcelona are wonderful places for your students to explore. A walk along the coastal path to Port de la Selva gives superb views of this magnificent coastline as well as opportunities to observe and appreciate coastal processes and forms. A boat trip is an exciting option; there are two options to consider.
Marina Princess; L’Estartit
This company operates out of the small port of l’Estartit, on the coast, across from Girona. Various trips are offered but perhaps the most appropriate would be the 1 3/4 hour trip, “Sant Marti d’Empúries-Illes Medes”. This trip takes you north of l’Estartit, past various coves and bayhead beaches. On the return journey, a tour is made around the Illes Medes, a 7 island archipelago. The boat is also equipped with an underwater viewing area onboard where the wonders of the life of the Mediterranean can be seen. This boat trip could be taken at any time, but it may be a good combination with a morning in the Dalí Museum in Figueres.
L’Aventura del Nautilus
This company offers a similar experience as Marina Princess. Their boats have submerged cabins from which an exceptional view of sea life and the seabed can be gained. There are many routes but two are particularly recommended for school groups; Route 1 is from l’Estartit to the Illes Medes; Route 2 is from l’Estartit to the Illes Medes and to Roca Foradada. This company has also designed a special educational program on the submarine life of the Mediterranean and the Illes Medes Nature Reserve. This includes a commentary during the boat excursion, a full colour fish guide and an interactive CD-Rom (one per class) on the Illes Medes.
Garrotxa National Park
Lying north and west of Barcelona is the Garrotxa Natural Park. While the area is now a rich, dense, forested region, it was once a sea of fire and molten lava. The last volcanic eruption in La Garrotxa took place 11,000 years ago but today you can walk up and into the craters to see their “innards” and to discover just what a volcanic bomb, lapilli and a strombolian eruption are like. A stroll up the side of the Montsacopa volcano, for example, and around its crater, provides an excellent bird’s-eye view of the settlement of Olot.
Combine a visit to Garrotxa National Park with visits to the Volcano Museum in Olot. In the Museu del Volcans you will feel the earth move beneath your feet! The ‘Casal dels Volcans’ (that houses El Museu dels Volcans) is situated in the heart of a botanical garden in the town of Olot. The museum offers the chance to get to grips with the phenomenon of volcanoes, through drawings, photographs, volcanic bombs and a realistic earth tremor. You can learn about plate tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes; the seismic activity of the region. There is a seismograph and audio-visuals which simulate an earthquake. The present day forest ecosystems, with dioramas of the flora and fauna, can also be studied.
Site visits to Sant Joan les Fonts to see the basalt columns and El Croscat Volcano for excellent views of a cross section through the ash layers and volcanic bombs of the volcano are excellent alternatives to the Volcano Museum. Any of these excursions can be followed with either a visit to the medieval town of Santa Pau, whose restoration and conservation is quite remarkable, or a return to the Costa Brava area for some time to relax or soak up the culture. Combining any of these visits with a trip to the Garrotxa National Park makes for a full, varied and most absorbing day.
This a mountain mass that rises abruptly from the plains below. Made of conglomerate rock, the action of frost and water have serrated the mountain’s peaks into finger like protrusions. It is fun to access Monserrat by train and to then take the funicular train up to the high tops. Here, several short to medium length strolls can be taken. Back at the train station is the Monserrat Monastary. Arriving in time for the 1pm choirboys’ performance is an additional delight.
The colourful city of Barcelona offers so many options that whole days and half days can be constructed to integrate city-time into your itinerary. Urban regeneration as well as culture and retail therapy are all topics that can be incorporated.
Thinking of culture, the work of the genius Gaudí can be seen throughout the city, nowhere more stunning than at the Sagrada Família. This cathedral is a work-in-progress but its towering spires and intricate architecture is quite remarkable. Gaudí´s work can also be seen in the Parc Güell where his use of curves, colour and mosaic tiling add a surreal effect. Art galleries e.g. of Miró, are another cultural option.
By contrast, urban regeneration can be experienced and evaluated in the Maremagnum Centre in Port Vell, an example of a regenerated port area. Also in the Port Vell area is the IMAX cinema and the Aquarium. From Port Vell a trip on the La Golondrinas boats offers an informative trip and a chance to see Barcelona from the sea.
Add to this the Olympic Village, the Olympic Port, the Nou Camp Stadium, the Tibidabo Fun Park (and lots more) and there is a wealth of choice to help to develop an excellent day (or two!) in the city. Strolling along La Ramblas too is a must if some shopping time is desired. Here are more details on some of the options available in Barcelona.
Dalí was a genius and a visit to the Dalí Museum in Figueres reinforces this point most definitely. The museum itself is visually stunning with its adornment of plaster croissants on its exterior wall surfaces; not forgetting the boiled eggs around the roof! A few hours spent here is very stimulating and a guide can bring extra educational focus to the museum. Dalí had many styles and subjects; his use of the natural landscape around his home is most evident for both colour and form. Plus, there are some quite zany artefacts in the museum. A good addition to this visit is to then visit Dalí´s home in Port Ligatt; this is zaniness on a grand scale! Using a joined series of former fishermens´houses, Dalí decorated and furnished his home with fascinating designs, colours and forms. It is also a possibility to enjoy some leisure time in Roses or in Calella; simply enjoying these Mediterranean resorts.
Universal Studios PortAventura
Universal Studios PortAventura has a distinctly exotic edge! Themes include the Mediterranean, Polynesia, China, Mexico and the Far West. There are rides galore; including roller coasters, flumes, rapids and the amazing Temple of Fire – not to mention shows, restaurants and shops. The latest ride is the Hurakan Condor, a free fall tower of 282 feet and a maximum speed of 70mph! PortAventura is accessible for a full day excursion from the resorts on the Costa Brava; it’s about 1 1/2 hour from Barcelona.
Tordera River Studies
Take your students away from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona to learn about source-to-mouth ‘wet’ river studies at the unspoilt Tordera river. Investigate the upper, middle and lower course of the river and undertake fieldwork, practise data collection techniques and develop geographical skills. Throughout the day, students will appreciate the different processes at work along the long profile of the river.
Glass Bottom Boat
Take a unique journey across the waters of Spain in a glass bottom boat. Based in Tossa de Mar, you’ll board the boat and venture into enchanting caves, visit golden beaches and admire fascinating marine life in the glass bottom, all the while taking in the beautiful coastal views. The perfect way to relax after a day of adventure.
Bespoke Geography Trip Student and Teacher Resources
A Destination Guide comprises a mix of maps, diagrams, photographs and text relating to the locations and topics of the tour. The Destination Guides are designed to “set the general scene” before a visit takes place. They provide background information on, for example, the Garrotxa Volcanic Park and the Sagrada Família in North East Spain. Pupils are encouraged to read through and digest the information in advance of their visit.
The Destination Guides provide an important framework and a context to the places being seen whilst out on tour. Additionally, there are some specific and some generic Geography Options that can be incorporated to the Destination Guide for those party leaders who wish to include a judged amount of on-site fieldwork from time to time whilst on tour; the nature of these are discussed with party leaders at the time of bespoke itinerary design when decisions on their selective inclusion can be made. The list that follows shows the titles of each section of the Destination Guide:
Spain Study Handbook Ratings
Usefulness of Teacher Resource:
Usefulness of Student Guide:
Study Units available:
- General map of the tour area
- The Garrotxa Park Volcanic Zone
- Dalí Day: Figueres and Port Ligatt
- Llobregat Delta: Reserve visit
- Montserrat: Mountain and Monestery
- Barcelona: Las Ramblas
- Barcelona: Gaudí the architect
- Barcelona: Gaudí Sagrada Família
- Barcelona: Gaudí Park Güell
- Barcelona: Picasso
- Barcelona: Olympic aspects
- Barcelona: Nou Camp
- Barcelona: Port and boat trip
- Barcelona: Tibidabo amusement park
- Tarragona: Port Aventura
- Tordera River Studies
A Teacher Guide is also provided, containing information about excursions, visits and activities and offering advice on practicalities and the logistics of each day.
For some groups, however, teachers might wish that pupils carry out some practical fieldwork activities whilst on tour (e.g. collecting primary data). For this, additional support materials are available called Geography Options. If selected, these will be added in to each pupil’s Destination Guide. Geography Options include:
- Socio-economic Contrasts across Spain
- The Climate Graph for Barcelona
- Tourist Questionnaires (in 5 languages)
- Building Use Survey (Generic)
- Traffic Flows; A measure of environmental pressure (and measurement of PCUs)
- Pedestrian Flows; A measure of environmental pressure
- Lloret de Mar Tourism Study
- Resort Perceptions
- Central Calella Map
- Llobregat Delta Issues
- Visit to a Vineyard and Olive Grove
- Evaluating Statements: Tourists’ Attitudes
- Mediterranean Agriculture
- Diagram Frameworks (for presenting collected/collated data)
Sample PagesGet in Touch
Spain Sample Itineraries
Your bespoke itinerary will include the appropriate balance of educational visits and leisure excursions to fill your chosen duration and meet your aims and objectives. Your dedicated School Tour Coordinator will offer advice and recommendations with the sole aim of creating the perfect itinerary for your group. But just to get you inspired, we have outlined the itinerary created for one of our clients below.
Dates: 22nd – 25th March
Accommodation: Hotel Novopark, Tossa de Mar
Board Basis: Full Board
Overview of visits: Cavas Freixenet, El Croscat Volcano, Montserrat Monastery, Nou Camp Stadium, Las Ramblas and La Sagrada Familia Church.
Having flown into Barcelona the group was greeted by the glorious sunshine that they were to enjoy for the rest of the week!
Before travelling to the hotel, the group visited Cavas Freixenet in Saint Sadurní d’Aboia which had been arranged prior to the trip. The group enjoyed a tour of the winery built in 1922, including a miniature train ride!
The group continued on to the Hotel Novopark in Tossa De Mar for their evening meal and time at leisure.View the full day-by-day itinerary
After breakfast, the group departed for El Croscat Volcano in Garrotxa Volcani area! It contains some of the most interesting volcanic landscape in Europe; 30 Strombolian volcanic cones, explosive phreatomagmatic craters and over 20 unusually constructed basaltic lava flows!
This was followed by a visit to Montserrat, a rugged mountain that houses the Montserrat Monastery. Once the group had ascended to the Monastery, they enjoyed the spectacular views across the Catalonian countryside. They also paid a visit to the Basilica of Montserrat which lies at the heart of the Benedictine community.
In the evening the group returned to the hotel for their evening meal and relaxed after a long day of adventures!
After breakfast, the group departed for the Nou Camp Stadium for a guided tour. This stadium is the home of one of the most successful European football teams, Barcelona! The group experienced a behind-the-scenes tour of the on goings before a major match!
This was followed by a stroll through Las Ramblas, the famous tree-lined boulevard filled with cafés, street entertainers, artists and even palm readers! Next the group visited La Sagrada Familia, the grand Roman Catholic Church designed by Gaudí himself!
The group arrived back at the hotel for their final evening meal.
After an adventurous few days, the group had their last breakfast in the hotel before setting off for the airport and their return journey home.
Preferred Choice 3* Hotel on the Costa Brava
We base most of our groups in 3 star hotels in the smaller coastal resorts just north of Barcelona, such as Calella, Tossa de Mar and Malgrat de Mar. With Barcelona only a 45 minute drive away, the hotels provide a convenient base for our groups. Here are just a few of our favourites:
Barcelona Sports Hostel
Set in the heart of the city and close to iconic sightseeing attractions, Barcelona Sports Hostel is a new, modern and friendly hostel. With the hostel’s sport theme, groups can enjoy its track area, TV lounge rooms, indoor swimming pool and fitness centre, as well as its free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and outdoor terrace. After a day of sightseeing, groups can relax and refuel in its restaurant and bar.
Hotel Gran Garbi
Just 300 metres from the beach in Lloret de mar, Hotel Gran Garbi offers spacious rooms, each with a balcony, air conditioning, satellite TV and private bathroom. With indoor and outdoor pools and a buffet restaurant, as well as daytime activities and evening entertainment, there’s plenty to keep groups amused. For those who want to venture out, a number of shops, restaurants and lively discos are just a 5-minute walk away.
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