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Help please! 7 nights in costa brava and barcelona

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hello fellow travelers!
my 3 kids (25, 22, 21) and i are going to barcelona and the costa brava at the end of june/beginning of july. we have 7 nights total. i'm looking for some guidance on distances and do-ability on my flexible itinerary. i've been to spain, except for barcelona. we, as a family, like food, local sites, architecture, antiquities and experiencing culture different than our own (we live in chicago), nature and the outdoors and are low-key veteran travelers. museums and cathedrals are not their thing (i blame the vatican fiasco...). unfortunately, i'm the only one who knows how to drive a stick shift, so i'm trying to minimize the driving as much as i can, without missing the things that you have to drive to see properly.

we fly in and out of barcelona, so the first and last night for sure there.
i'm thinking:

first 2 nights in barcelona.
rent a car, go to parador in cardona and visit montserrat. (is it worth it? too touristy?)

return the car to barcelona, take a train to girona, (seems easy and 45 minutes), stay there overnight? then get another car there? or just keep the same car and deal with parking, etc.?

then.....perhaps double back to girona, dump the car, take the train back to barcelona for our last night. i have 3 swing days. can we get as far as cadaques or into the languedoc? are we better off visiting inland to olot, or the garroxta valley? or to perpignan and/or pals? i want to see enough but not run ragged and i'm not sure of the distances and travel times. i assume we stay in three different towns those 3 nights.

can you help me focus?
thanks in advance!

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