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SPAIN

The Best of Spain: Barcelona and Madrid

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Road Scholar
Program #21336RJ
10 Days | 9 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
If you’re looking for a more flexible schedule with ample independent time and several meals on your own, then our FLEX learning adventures are made for you.

Itinerary for Apr 25 — May 4, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Friday, April 25 - Depart USA
Depart From: Overnight flights to Barcelona, Spain.

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The hotel Catalonia Diagonal Centro is conveniently located in the heart of the city, one block from the Rambla de Catalunya and 2 blocks from the Paseo de Gracia, with its Gaudi architecture and buildings. The metro "Diagonal" is 200 meters away, and there is a bus stop beside the hotel. The hotel is a modern building, situated on one of Barcelona's main thoroughfares. There are 84 comfortable bedrooms, over several floors.

Contact info:
Balmes 142,
Barcelona, 08008 Spain
phone: +34 93 415 90 90
web: http://www.hoteles-catalonia.com/en/home.jsp

Room amenities: All bedrooms include: Individual air-conditioning and heating Safe Fully equipped bathroom with hairdryer, telephone, focus mirror, marble finishes Minibar (for a charge) Room Service Direct dial telephone Satellite TV Free Wireless Internet connection Please note that room sizes in Spain tend to considerably smaller than in North America.

Facility amenities: The Catalonia Diagonal Centro, has a snack-bar, lobby bar, small reception area, 5 meeting rooms,and a seasonal roof top swimming pool and terrace.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: TBD
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at 1800-241-1404 to inquire about rate and availability.


Day Two: Saturday, April 26 - Arrival in Barcelona / Welcome and Information me...
Arrive To: Arrival in Barcelona and airport transfers to the hotel.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: Welcome and Orientation . Walk through the bustling Ramblas - the main artery of the city, see the Boqueria market which dates from 1217 and is the gastronomic hub of Catalan / Mediterranean cuisine - a place where locals eat shop and gossip together in true Spanish style.

Dinner: Join all participants for a welcome dinner and the opportunity to socialize and get to know your fellow participants.

Evening: Evening Presentation: An Introduction to Barcelona at the Hotel Meeting Room

Lodging: Hotel Catalonia Diagonal Centro

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The hotel Catalonia Diagonal Centro is conveniently located in the heart of the city, one block from the Rambla de Catalunya and 2 blocks from the Paseo de Gracia, with its Gaudi architecture and buildings. The metro "Diagonal" is 200 meters away, and there is a bus stop beside the hotel. The hotel is a modern building, situated on one of Barcelona's main thoroughfares. There are 84 comfortable bedrooms, over several floors.

Contact info:
Balmes 142,
Barcelona, 08008 Spain
phone: +34 93 415 90 90
web: http://www.hoteles-catalonia.com/en/home.jsp

Room amenities: All bedrooms include: Individual air-conditioning and heating Safe Fully equipped bathroom with hairdryer, telephone, focus mirror, marble finishes Minibar (for a charge) Room Service Direct dial telephone Satellite TV Free Wireless Internet connection Please note that room sizes in Spain tend to considerably smaller than in North America.

Facility amenities: The Catalonia Diagonal Centro, has a snack-bar, lobby bar, small reception area, 5 meeting rooms,and a seasonal roof top swimming pool and terrace.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: TBD
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at 1800-241-1404 to inquire about rate and availability.


Day Three: Sunday, April 27 - La Pedrera and Panoramic tour of Barcelona.
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: This morning join your Study Leader for a walking tour to "La Pedrera" - the Quarry ( the popular name given to the Gaudi-designed modernist apartment building - Casa Milà), continue on through Paseo de Gracia past the Casa Batlló (another excellent example of Gaudi´s avant-garde architectural style), to the Plaza Catalunya, and the Gothic quarter. Visit la Plaza de la Catedral to see traditional Sunday morning "Sardana" dancing - a popular folklorique dance which symbolises the unity and pride of the Catalan people.. Free time for lunch on your own in the old port"Port Vell"area - a shining example of Barcelona's successful urban regeneration which took place prior to the 1992 Olympics.

Lunch: Enjoy a typical tapas lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: This afternoon's Guided Panoramic Tour of Barcelona includes a visit to the Basilica of the impressive, unfinished Gaudi Masterpiece - La Sagrada Famila, Gaudí's equally exotic Parque Guell & Montjuic Hill which is home to both Montjuic Castle (a 17th Century fortress originally designed to defend the city from the Castilian army) and many of the buildings from the 1992 Olympic games - (including the architect Calatrava's "Olympic Needle")

Dinner: Leisure time to enjoy dinner on your own.

Lodging: Hotel Catalonia Diagonal Centro

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The hotel Catalonia Diagonal Centro is conveniently located in the heart of the city, one block from the Rambla de Catalunya and 2 blocks from the Paseo de Gracia, with its Gaudi architecture and buildings. The metro "Diagonal" is 200 meters away, and there is a bus stop beside the hotel. The hotel is a modern building, situated on one of Barcelona's main thoroughfares. There are 84 comfortable bedrooms, over several floors.

Contact info:
Balmes 142,
Barcelona, 08008 Spain
phone: +34 93 415 90 90
web: http://www.hoteles-catalonia.com/en/home.jsp

Room amenities: All bedrooms include: Individual air-conditioning and heating Safe Fully equipped bathroom with hairdryer, telephone, focus mirror, marble finishes Minibar (for a charge) Room Service Direct dial telephone Satellite TV Free Wireless Internet connection Please note that room sizes in Spain tend to considerably smaller than in North America.

Facility amenities: The Catalonia Diagonal Centro, has a snack-bar, lobby bar, small reception area, 5 meeting rooms,and a seasonal roof top swimming pool and terrace.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: TBD
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at 1800-241-1404 to inquire about rate and availability.


Day Four: Monday, April 28 - Montserrat Monastery & Museum
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Field Trip: Montserrat Monastery & Museum. Montserrat, the spiritual emblem of Catalonia, is set in the mountains of the region and enjoys spectacular scenery from the site perched on rocky slopes high above the Montserrat National Park. Enjoy a guided visit to the Museum which is home to a surprising collection of artwork through the ages that includes paintings by local Spanish & Catalan artists as well as Caravaggio. El Greco, Dali, Picasso, Tapies.......later take time to visit the Benedictine Abbey which hosts the 12th Century Romanesque carving of the Our Lady of Montserrat, a Black Madonna & Patron Saint of Catalonia, visited each year by thousands of pilgrims. (Note that access to see the statue at close range is up narrow stairs, and not accessible for those with limited mobility - who will be able see the figure from below).

Lunch: Leisure time to enjoy lunch on your own.

Afternoon: This afternoon take advantage of some free time to explore Barcelona using your T10 card for public transport. (Your Study Leader will provide orientation and assistance to ensure you make the most of your time). Before dinner, enjoy a lecture with the group: Your local expert will offer insight into the contrast between Modernist Catalan art, architecture & culture (Gaudi, Miro, Tapies, Dali….) and the more traditional aspects of art and life to be seen in Madrid later in the tour.

Dinner: at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Catalonia Diagonal Centro

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The hotel Catalonia Diagonal Centro is conveniently located in the heart of the city, one block from the Rambla de Catalunya and 2 blocks from the Paseo de Gracia, with its Gaudi architecture and buildings. The metro "Diagonal" is 200 meters away, and there is a bus stop beside the hotel. The hotel is a modern building, situated on one of Barcelona's main thoroughfares. There are 84 comfortable bedrooms, over several floors.

Contact info:
Balmes 142,
Barcelona, 08008 Spain
phone: +34 93 415 90 90
web: http://www.hoteles-catalonia.com/en/home.jsp

Room amenities: All bedrooms include: Individual air-conditioning and heating Safe Fully equipped bathroom with hairdryer, telephone, focus mirror, marble finishes Minibar (for a charge) Room Service Direct dial telephone Satellite TV Free Wireless Internet connection Please note that room sizes in Spain tend to considerably smaller than in North America.

Facility amenities: The Catalonia Diagonal Centro, has a snack-bar, lobby bar, small reception area, 5 meeting rooms,and a seasonal roof top swimming pool and terrace.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: TBD
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at 1800-241-1404 to inquire about rate and availability.


Day Five: Tuesday, April 29 - Picasso museum and Catalonia today
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Morning Picasso Museum visit and lecture: With your expert guide, delight in one of the most extensive collections of Picasso's work to be found anywhere in the world.

Lunch: on your own.

Afternoon: This afternoon take advantage of some free time to explore Barcelona using your T10 card for public transport. (Your Study Leader will provide orientation and assistance to ensure you make the most of your time). Later enjoy a lecture by a local expert: Division in Spain - An insider's perspective on Catalan culture and the question of independence.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant

Lodging: Hotel Catalonia Diagonal Centro

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Innside Madrid Genova, is one of a new brand of hotels belonging to the prestigious Melia chain of hotels. The hotel combines the modern facilities of a contemporary boutique hotel, with the classic features of a traditional Madrid-style building. Located in the heart of the city's bustling Fuencarral area, and close to the exclusive Barrio Salamanca, the hotel is an ideal base from which to explore all areas of the city. The metro station "Alonso Martinez" is located beside the hotel. Note that there are a number of steps up to the reception from the hotel entrance. However, there is a small disabled-access elevator which guests may use as necessary.

Contact info:
Plaza Alonso Martinez 3
Madrid, 28004 Spain
phone: +34 91 2062160
web: http://www.melia.com/hotels/spain/madrid/innside-madrid-genova/index.html

Room amenities: 65 bright and modern rooms, all elegantly decorated in a modern contemporary style. Each room is equipped with a comfortable king size bed or two single beds and decorated in superior quality fabrics, the rooms also have pillow menu, 37 inch LCD TV, individually controlled air conditioning / heating, functional work space with WiFi internet and socket for laptop, iPod dock and cordless telephone, safe, minibar and modern and comfortable bathroom (with shower) with a complete set of INNSIDE amenities.

Facility amenities: SERVICES 24 hour reception and concierge Room service 24 hour wake-up calls Free high speed WiFi internet Business Centre with computer and photocopier (*) Laundry and ironing service (*) Medical services at the hotel (on request) (*) Currency exchange (*) Air conditioning Music Multi-lingual staff Humidifier FACILITIES The Library Cocktail Lounge The Deck Breakfast room 1 meeting room 2 magnificent terraces with views over the city Fully equipped gym (*) for a charge

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: No bath tubs - showers only.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: TBC
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at 1800-241-1404 to inquire about rate and availability.


Day Six: Wednesday, April 30 - Transfer to Madrid.
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Travel to Madrid on the high speed AVE train (Alta Velocidad Española) - Europe's longest high velocity rail network. Sit back and enjoy a comfortable, modern train, travelling up to 190mph and cutting standard journey times by half.

Lunch: On your own onboard the train.

Afternoon: After checkinging in to your hotel, enjoy a walking tour of downtown Madrid with your Study Leader as the streets start to come to life again at 5pm. Visit La Puerta del Sol( Sun Gate) - the geographical center (kilometer zero) of Spain, from where all road distances are measured, and the square that plays host to the city's annual New Year celebrations. Soak in the atmosphere of the grandiose Plaza Mayor and perhaps sample some traditional "Churros con Chocolate."

Dinner: at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Innside Madrid Genova

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Innside Madrid Genova, is one of a new brand of hotels belonging to the prestigious Melia chain of hotels. The hotel combines the modern facilities of a contemporary boutique hotel, with the classic features of a traditional Madrid-style building. Located in the heart of the city's bustling Fuencarral area, and close to the exclusive Barrio Salamanca, the hotel is an ideal base from which to explore all areas of the city. The metro station "Alonso Martinez" is located beside the hotel. Note that there are a number of steps up to the reception from the hotel entrance. However, there is a small disabled-access elevator which guests may use as necessary.

Contact info:
Plaza Alonso Martinez 3
Madrid, 28004 Spain
phone: +34 91 2062160
web: http://www.melia.com/hotels/spain/madrid/innside-madrid-genova/index.html

Room amenities: 65 bright and modern rooms, all elegantly decorated in a modern contemporary style. Each room is equipped with a comfortable king size bed or two single beds and decorated in superior quality fabrics, the rooms also have pillow menu, 37 inch LCD TV, individually controlled air conditioning / heating, functional work space with WiFi internet and socket for laptop, iPod dock and cordless telephone, safe, minibar and modern and comfortable bathroom (with shower) with a complete set of INNSIDE amenities.

Facility amenities: SERVICES 24 hour reception and concierge Room service 24 hour wake-up calls Free high speed WiFi internet Business Centre with computer and photocopier (*) Laundry and ironing service (*) Medical services at the hotel (on request) (*) Currency exchange (*) Air conditioning Music Multi-lingual staff Humidifier FACILITIES The Library Cocktail Lounge The Deck Breakfast room 1 meeting room 2 magnificent terraces with views over the city Fully equipped gym (*) for a charge

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: No bath tubs - showers only.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: TBC
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at 1800-241-1404 to inquire about rate and availability.


Day Seven: Thursday, May 01 - Panoramic tour of Madrid & visit of Segovia.
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: This morning enjoy a half day panoramic tour of MADRID by coach. Your local guide will show you the historic bustling streets of la Calle Mayor and La Gran Via, explain the significance of Cibeles to the people of Madrid , see also the imposing Columbus Square and the emblematic Puerta de Alcalá - a historical gateway to the city.

Lunch: Leisure time to enjoy lunch on your own.

Afternoon: Field Trip to the historical town of Segovia by coach. Situated to the North West of the capital, in the Castile region, and classified as a UNESCO world heritage site, Segovia boasts a wealth of monuments which span the centuries. See the remarkably well-preserved Roman Aqueduct (dating from around AD50), the 16th Century Gothic Cathedral and enjoy a guided visit to the renowned Alcazar, begun in the 11th Century.

Dinner: at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Innside Madrid Genova

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Innside Madrid Genova, is one of a new brand of hotels belonging to the prestigious Melia chain of hotels. The hotel combines the modern facilities of a contemporary boutique hotel, with the classic features of a traditional Madrid-style building. Located in the heart of the city's bustling Fuencarral area, and close to the exclusive Barrio Salamanca, the hotel is an ideal base from which to explore all areas of the city. The metro station "Alonso Martinez" is located beside the hotel. Note that there are a number of steps up to the reception from the hotel entrance. However, there is a small disabled-access elevator which guests may use as necessary.

Contact info:
Plaza Alonso Martinez 3
Madrid, 28004 Spain
phone: +34 91 2062160
web: http://www.melia.com/hotels/spain/madrid/innside-madrid-genova/index.html

Room amenities: 65 bright and modern rooms, all elegantly decorated in a modern contemporary style. Each room is equipped with a comfortable king size bed or two single beds and decorated in superior quality fabrics, the rooms also have pillow menu, 37 inch LCD TV, individually controlled air conditioning / heating, functional work space with WiFi internet and socket for laptop, iPod dock and cordless telephone, safe, minibar and modern and comfortable bathroom (with shower) with a complete set of INNSIDE amenities.

Facility amenities: SERVICES 24 hour reception and concierge Room service 24 hour wake-up calls Free high speed WiFi internet Business Centre with computer and photocopier (*) Laundry and ironing service (*) Medical services at the hotel (on request) (*) Currency exchange (*) Air conditioning Music Multi-lingual staff Humidifier FACILITIES The Library Cocktail Lounge The Deck Breakfast room 1 meeting room 2 magnificent terraces with views over the city Fully equipped gym (*) for a charge

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: No bath tubs - showers only.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: TBC
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at 1800-241-1404 to inquire about rate and availability.


Day Eight: Friday, May 02 - The history of Madrid and the Royal Palace.
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Join your study leader for a morning presentation at the hotel. Learn about the history, culture and people throughout the Ages of Madrid .

Lunch: Lunch on your own at a restaurant of your choice.

Afternoon: Enjoy afternoon visits to Monuments included on your Madrid Tourist Card - Walk through the old Madrid of the "Austrias" to the Opera and Royal Palace with your group leader. Later, on your own enjoy fast track entry to the magnificent Royal Palace (the official residence of the Spanish Royal family dating from the 18th Century) and the Almudena Cathedral - named after the Patron Saint of Madrid.

Dinner: at a local restaurant.

Evening: Flamenco Show - join your Study leader at a traditional "tablao" to soak up the sights and sounds of a typical evening of Spanish folklore, music and dance.

Lodging: Innside Madrid Genova

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The Innside Madrid Genova, is one of a new brand of hotels belonging to the prestigious Melia chain of hotels. The hotel combines the modern facilities of a contemporary boutique hotel, with the classic features of a traditional Madrid-style building. Located in the heart of the city's bustling Fuencarral area, and close to the exclusive Barrio Salamanca, the hotel is an ideal base from which to explore all areas of the city. The metro station "Alonso Martinez" is located beside the hotel. Note that there are a number of steps up to the reception from the hotel entrance. However, there is a small disabled-access elevator which guests may use as necessary.

Contact info:
Plaza Alonso Martinez 3
Madrid, 28004 Spain
phone: +34 91 2062160
web: http://www.melia.com/hotels/spain/madrid/innside-madrid-genova/index.html

Room amenities: 65 bright and modern rooms, all elegantly decorated in a modern contemporary style. Each room is equipped with a comfortable king size bed or two single beds and decorated in superior quality fabrics, the rooms also have pillow menu, 37 inch LCD TV, individually controlled air conditioning / heating, functional work space with WiFi internet and socket for laptop, iPod dock and cordless telephone, safe, minibar and modern and comfortable bathroom (with shower) with a complete set of INNSIDE amenities.

Facility amenities: SERVICES 24 hour reception and concierge Room service 24 hour wake-up calls Free high speed WiFi internet Business Centre with computer and photocopier (*) Laundry and ironing service (*) Medical services at the hotel (on request) (*) Currency exchange (*) Air conditioning Music Multi-lingual staff Humidifier FACILITIES The Library Cocktail Lounge The Deck Breakfast room 1 meeting room 2 magnificent terraces with views over the city Fully equipped gym (*) for a charge

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: No bath tubs - showers only.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: TBC
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at 1800-241-1404 to inquire about rate and availability.


Day Nine: Saturday, May 03 - Retiro Park & Triangle of Art.
Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: With your group leader, enjoy a morning visit to the Retiro Park (compare to Montjuic and Gaudi Parks in Barcelona ) - 450 acres of landscaped gardens, sculptures, monuments and a lake. With guidance from your Study Leader, chose to visit other museums or attractions in the area - for example, the nearby Botanical Gardens.

Lunch: on your own.

Afternoon: This afternoon, you will have a chance to visit Madrid's "Triangle of Art" (The must-see museums of El Prado, Reina Sofia, Thyssen-Bornemisza) on your own. Entrance Fees are included in your Madrid tourist card that will be given to you by your group leader. With the assistance of your group leader choose to visit Velazquez and Goya at El Prado, Picasso's "Guernica" at the Reina Sofia.....or both.

Dinner: at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Innside Madrid Genova

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Ten: Sunday, May 04 - Departure transfers and return home.
Morning: Departures in the early morning to the airport.


Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
8 nights of accommodations
15 meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 7 dinners
5 Expert-led lectures
10 Field trips
1 Performances

Ratings

4.5
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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