Iron Age ceramics reconstruction Catalonia

Potters, Past and Present – the Archaeology of Catalan Ceramics and Artisans Tour

Highlights

  • Travel into the picturesque Penedès wine region for a private tour of the excavations of a hilltop village dating to the Iron Age, Roman period, and Medieval period
  • Visit a contemporary ceramicist's studio overlooking vineyards for a meet and greet with the potter and a visit of his ancient Catalan farmhouse and studio
  • Experience the tranquil, stunning countryside of Catalonia “away from the madding crowd”
  • Immerse yourself in the charms of this Mediterranean region’s culture and heritage in an expert-led tour
  • Have a traditional Catalan lunch in a local restaurant or have a gourmet Catalan picnic

Duration: Approximately 8 hours

Activity level: Light/Moderate

Price: From € 200 per person

Itinerary

Morning
Tour leader Killian Driscoll and your chauffeur will pick you up from your chosen location, and you’ll start your tour driving out of the city with Killian introducing the day ahead, and answering any of your questions.

Throughout the day, Killian will share with you his knowledge of the archaeology and history of the region, and the places you visit. You will be given an insight into the lives of the people that inhabited the area over the millennia, looking at the ceramics of the past and present.

For the archaeology of Catalan ceramics and artisans tour we’ll drive to the picturesque Penedès wine region about 45 minutes south of Barcelona. The first stop will be the archaeological site of Olèrdola, an abandoned Medieval hilltop village with impressive views over the entire Penedès wine region. Olèrdola's roots go back much further, and you will see the remains of the prehistoric Iron Age settlement, as well as the structures of the Roman period. At Olèrdola, you'll have a private tour of the site which is a museum as well as an active excavation.

Olèrdola is an Iron Age village and from the classical writers, we know that the Penedès region was home to the Iberian tribe called the Cossetans. During the tour you'll learn about the development of the settlement over the centuries, beginning with Neolithic and Bronze Age activity in the valley below, to the construction of an Iron Age village, the changes with the arrival of the Romans, and the birth and end of the Medieval village.

Lunch
From there you'll continue through the Penedès wine region to have your leisurely lunch in a local restaurant of your choice or your specially prepared, gourmet Catalan picnic.

Sant Miquel Church, Olèrdola
Sant Miquel Church, Olèrdola

Afternoon
After lunch, we’ll drive to Font Rubí in the stunning hills overlooking the Penedès and the Mediterranean Sea to visit the contemporary ceramicist Carles Llarch's pottery studio. Here you will meet with the ceramicist in his studio built in an ancient Catalan farmhouse.

Carles Llarch is a ceramicist that makes bespoke, contemporary pieces. He also makes a range of ceramics for authentic restoration of historic buildings, as well as large amphoras for wineries all over the world who use ceramic amphoras for their boutique wine production. These large amphoras are all bespoke pieces, made individually for the winery.

During the private visit, Carles will talk about his work and the traditional processes of ceramic making he uses. You’ll see all the stages of pottery making, from the raw clay to the finished piece.

As well as visiting his studio, you'll be treated to a private tour of the ancient farmhouse that houses, amongst other delights, a centuries-old community stone-built wine press and community stone bread oven.

On your way back to Barcelona you'll visit a small village, to stop at a local cafe in the Penedès wine region for a refreshment and enjoy the atmosphere of a Catalan village.

Amphoras for wine production by Penedès ceramicist Carles Llarch
Amphoras for wine production by Penedès ceramicist Carles Llarch

Interactive Google Map of the Archaeology of Catalan Ceramics and Artisans Tour itinerary, with some of the stops marked, along with the route to and from Barcelona