The baldie is fled, long live the baldie!

The business (basically a CRM database) passed into better hands in 2012. These materials remain here for cannibalisation and amusement.

The baldie meanwhile has found pastures new: as a singing organ-grinder for your event in the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands or Spain! Town and country walking and study tours in Barcelona and the Western Med
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    • Language All our guides are native English speakers and speak the local language fluently.
    • Knowledge Our local and subject knowledge is profound and up-to-date.
    • Interactivity See someone interesting? We'll interpret. Tired/full of energy? We can adapt the programme.
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    • Responsibility Unlike most "green" tour businesses, we only use public transport--cheaper and generally more interesting.

Barcelona tours - Taste wine and visit village chapels and bars in the Penedès near Vilafranca

All photos © Mr Baldie. More.



This walk takes you through the heart of the Penedès, one of Spain's most interesting (and tasty) wine regions, with a fine selection of local bars to cheer your spirits en route.

We start in an ancient village on the Roman road from Cadiz to Rome (Hannibal came this way), featuring a 10th century castle and a village telly station.

Then we walk along olive tree-lined tracks through vineyards and past farms (1, 2 (Montserrat in distance), 3, 4) to ...

(Before we get to where we're going to, if you tell us in advance we can fix up a short tasting of some excellent wines on a small farm just off the path. Back to the chase:)

... a small settlement with one of the prettiest Romanesque chapels you're ever likely to see (1, 2,) and some quite extraordinary Gothic murals (weekdays only).

There's a very nice bar in the village where we can either take a snack or, if you tell us in advance, have a superb traditional-style meal with excellent local ingredients and wines.

Next stop is another small settlement with a rather pretty church and usually a couple of elderly market gardeners to talk to, followed by an optional visit to the remains of a Republican Civil War airfield and air raid shelter.

Then a hill-top shrine with glorious views over the country, and down a country track into Vilafranca, the beautiful small town around which the local wine industry is based.

If you want to see the markets in Vilafranca and don't want to get up too early, we can do this walk in reverse.


Coming soon! Try the introduction.


Grade leisurely
Base Barcelona (Meeting point information here, where relevant - make sure you have the right one!)
Location tags Alt Penedès, Avinyonet del Penedès, Barcelona, Catalonia, La Granada del Penedès, Les Cabanyes del Penedès, Pacs del Penedès, Sant Martí­ Sarroca, Santa Fe del Penedès, Vilafranca del Penedès, Vilobí­ del Penedès,
Theme tags archaeology, architecture, gastronomy, history, literature, military, nature,
Your guide(s) Mr Baldie
Walking distance 13 km / 8.08 miles
Walking time 4 hr
Total return travel time from base to walk 2 hr
Total time from "hello" to "goodbye" 6.60 hr
Fiestas and markets in places we go through - combine a walk and some partying or shopping!
  • last Sunday in January (pilgrimage to local shrine with giants/dragon/food/drink/religious service)
  • third Sunday in January
  • third weekend in May (May Fair)
  • second weekend in July (village fiesta)
  • August 29-September 2 (major town fiesta/dancing animals/food/drink etc)
  • October 31 and November 1 (big flower market for All Souls)
  • second weekend in October (village fiesta)
  • November 1 (castellers festival)
  • three weeks before Christmas (Christmas market)
  • weekend before Christmas (poultry competition/market/giant chicken dancing/wine and food)
  • every Saturday (big general purpose street market)
  • every second Sunday of the month from October to June (antiques/collectors/artesans)

Note that there are also events in most places on January 6 (Three Kings), Carnival, Easter, April 23 (St George), June 23 (St John), and September 11 (Catalan regional/national day)


Coming soon! Please try the overview or itinerary for pictures.


  1. [...] During this walk the other day with the man who threw his underpants at Tom Jones and his gorgeous new missus we had [...]

  2. [...] tend to become somewhat weary and confused during my annual donkey walk, and the finer details of this particular beast’s unstable relationship with the bell-tower [...]

  3. [...] Vilafranca is a quiet country town, but the weekly market attracts an interesting range of pickpockets. Hopefully numbers will increase as the works in the main square are completed and the recession begins to bite. This lady put her hand into S’s pocket at a vegetable stall: [...]

  4. [...] an apoplectic hunchback who guards a medieval castle/chapel complex on the bicycle ride variant of this walk. His platform is terror. His talent is driving his beat-up Seat at high speed into the group, [...]

  5. [...] Fuet is called llonganissa in Valencia and longaniza in Spain generally. It’s a dry, cured, thin pork sausage in intestine or similar. The nearest equivalent Rohwurst I can think of is Landjí¤ger. If you hand over your five euros, then don’t eat all four sausages at once. (On this walk.) [...]

  6. [...] fine, but he drinks so much of his stuff himself that the market remains a fairly vague concept. My favourite class act used to do a lot of business in the Far East, so prices may be coming down shortly. It is to be [...]

  7. [...] Council-owned bar, Les Cabanyes del Penedès, Catalonia, Spain, seen on this walk. [...]

  8. [...] Dunno if the museum idea will work out, but this is good news from Joan Saumell and his people. On this walk. [...]

  9. [...] In the town hall of Les Cabanyes del Penedès, on this walk: [...]

  10. [...] was the Saudis, but we’re keeping an open mind just in case Abdullah wants to bring the harem wine-tasting this [...]

  11. [...] plant on the Castellbisbal side of the Llobregat, taken from the train on the way back from this walk. You'd have to be quicker than me to get the satanic flames flickering inside. It makes me think of [...]

  12. [...] reminds one of the custom of throwing donkeys off church towers in such benighted places as this. More modern animal sacrifice here. All grist to this mill, slowly taking shape twixt other [...]

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