Sampling the high life in Barcelona

The harbour in Barcelona.
The harbour in Barcelona.
Picture: Loraine Cogan

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Fancy the idea of staying in a hilltop castle, overlooking the sun-kissed city of Barcelona, skippering a luxury yacht and being waited on hand and foot by beautiful girls?

Well, not surprisingly, so did me and my mates. Assured by organiser Redseven this would be a stag party to end all stag parties, we soon arrived at our very own castle, in the beautiful hills surrounding Barcelona, with fantastic views of the city.

This was a playboy’s paradise, the castle came complete with personal chef, waitresses, 15 bedrooms and even a chill-out room replete with shisha pipes.

Once suitably refreshed with fine wines and beers and mouthwatering steaks from the barbecue, it was time to head inside and take our seats at the poker table for the evening’s first spot of entertainment.

Our dealer for the night is none other than a professional poker champion, on hand to guide us through the intricacies of Texas Hold ‘Em. Unfortunately, there is more chance of me scoring at Barca’s Camp Nou football stadium than winning a hand, and after two hours, and considerably lighter in the wallet, we are driven into the city.

First up the impressive Port Olimpic. This has become one of the most popular areas of the city to visit at night, with a casino, several clubs, and countless bars, where the young, beautiful people of Barcelona come to party.

Armed with VIP passes, we wander to the front of the queue and into the exclusive lounge of club Shoko. This is where people come to see and be seen.

After several glasses of complimentary Champagne, and with the party in full swing, we head to the harbour area where there are more clubs and bars, most staying open until at least 6am.

After a hearty English fry-up in the castle grounds the next morning, and with hangovers beginning to subside, it’s time for a good old sightseeing tour of the city.

I’m handed a crash helmet and told to take the wheel of an open-top three-wheeler that looks more like a glorified moped.

This as I’m finding out, is a GoCar. Each of the little yellow vehicles is fitted with a GPS that not only gives you directions but tells you about the sights, too.

After taking in one of the city’s most revered attractions, Gaudi’s futuristic-looking Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, we are soon zigzagging up the hill to the Olympic site.

‘Please slow down’, our faceless guide insists as we hurtle over potholes at 30mph.

After an exhilarating few hours, and a close shave or three with some of the city’s taxi drivers, we move on to perhaps Barcelona’s best-known landmark.

For many, no visit is complete without a tour of the Camp Nou, home to Barcelona FC.

Taking a walk around the stands, which regularly hold 99,000 roaring Catalans, gives a sense of the size and scale of the stadium.

On a vast bank of seats is the message ‘mes que un club’ (‘it’s not just a club’).

With our day of sightseeing complete, we are whisked off to visit some of the old bars of the city. Later we head to the charming Gothic Quarter and to round off the night we roll up to another of Barcelona’s best clubs, Catwalk.

On our last day we go to sea aboard our very own 30ft, £500,000 private yacht.

I honestly can’t think of a better place to crack open another beer.

ESSENTIALS

Chris Parker was a guest of Redseven, which offers three-night ‘Barcelona King of the Castle’ stag weekends from £328, including castle accommodation, an afternoon on a private yacht, guest list nightclub entry and city and airport transfers by 24-hour minibus service. Flights extra.

Redseven holds an ATOL licence and is ABTA-bonded.

For reservations call 0800 970 2744 or visit redsevenleisure.co.uk

KEY FACTS - BARCELONA

BEST FOR: Stag and hen parties and couples.

TIME TO GO: Spring and autumn for warm sunny days, without the summer bustle.

DON’T MISS: The tapas, a wonderful Spanish delicacy served all over the city.

NEED TO KNOW: Quick and affordable, the Metro is the best form of public transport.