Road Scholar : Home
Art and Architecture in Iberia

Program Number: 3322RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/20/2013 - 10/7/2013;
Duration: 17 nights
Location: Spain/Portugal
Price starting at: $4,242.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Art History/Criticism
Meals: 42; 16 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 12 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

The diversity and intensity of Spain and Portugal’s art stems from centuries of invasions, expansions and conquests. Prehistoric Iberians, Visigoths, Moors and Christians — each wave of civilization left its own cultural inheritance. In the Celtic fortresses, Romanesque monasteries, Gothic cathedrals and Renaissance palaces and paintings, revel in the superlative art and architecture of Iberia.


• An expert leads a visit to five centuries of decorative tiles at the Tile Museum in Lisbon.
• Stay overnight at Portugal’s Bussaco Palace and Gardens.
• Enjoy a private visit to the home and museum of Valencian artist Jose Benlliure.

Activity Particulars

Walking one mile at a time over uneven surfaces, standing for more than an hour, some stairs without railings.

Date Specific Information


Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Lisbon (Portugal), 3 nights; Bussaco, 1 night; Salamanca (Spain), 2 nights; Madrid, 3 nights; Valencia, 2 nights; Barcelona, 5 nights; departure.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Lisbon (Portugal)
3 nights
Coach to Bussaco
1 night

A professor details the Roman and Muslim influences in Lisbon’s architecture and the Gothic Manueline style that flourished during the “Golden Age of Discoveries.” Explore Sintra National Palace, Jeronimos Monastery, the village of Obidos and the Monastery of Batalha. Enjoy a night in Bussaco Palace and a bowl of traditional duck soup.

Coach to Salamanca (Spain)
2 nights

Trace Salamanca’s art and architecture from the pre-Roman era to the rise and decline of Imperial Spain. Explore the city’s old town, cathedral and Plateresque buildings. After an evening walk, enjoy a coffee in Plaza Mayor -- the most monumental square in Spain.

Coach to Madrid
3 nights

From the 17th century to today, art historian and journalist Cecilia Ceriani illuminates the lives and works of Spain’s master painters, leading visits to the three renowned museums in Madrid’s “Golden Triangle of Art” and the Royal Factory of Tapestry. Experience the elegant Madrid of the Habsburgs and discuss contemporary life in Spain. In Toledo, marvel at El Greco’s masterworks at the Santo Tome Church and the Synagogue del Tránsito.

Coach to Valencia
2 nights

A local expert reveals the vanguard architecture of Valencia. Sample some Paella Valenciana and marvel at the Gothic La Lonja de la Seda and buildings by Santiago Calatrava in the modern City of Arts and Sciences complex.

Coach to Barcelona
5 nights

Art historian and native Catalonian Silvia Rieira introduces the murals, sculpture and buildings of Picasso, Miró, Dalí and Gaudí. Journey to the Gothic district, the National Museum of Catalonian Art, the Picasso Museum and more. Stroll through Gaudi’s Parc Guell and La Sagrada Familia Church and visit the Salvador Dali Foundation in Figueres. Savor a bowl of Castilian Soup and observe a Sardanas dance performance.

Lisbon: Centrally located, modern hotel. Bussaco: Former royal hunting palace. Salamanca: Comfortable, centrally located hotel. Madrid: Centrally located, neo-classical hotel. Valencia: Hotel near the City of Arts and Sciences. Barcelona: Four-star hotel near Gaudi’s buildings in Paseo de Gracia.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Mundial
  Lisbon, Portugal 3 nights
   Bussaco Palace Hotel
  Bussaco, Portugal 1 night
   Abba Fonseca Hotel
  Salamanca, Spain 2 nights
   Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía
  Madrid, Spain 3 nights
   Hotel Silken Puerta Valencia
  Valencia, Spain 2 nights
   Hotel Catalonia Berna
  Barcelona, Spain 5 nights
 Hotel Mundial
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Mundial hotel is located right in the heart of Lisbon, in the Baixa Pombalina district, with the São Jorge castle as backdrop and a stone's throw away from Praça do Rossio square, an area with easy and quick access to the main sights of the city.
  Contact info: Largo Martim Moniz, 1100-341
Lisbon,   Portugal
phone: +351 21 884 20 00
  Room amenities: Equipped with direct dial telephone, air conditioning, heating, individual safe, hairdryer, mini-bar, bathrobe, radio, satellite TV.
  Facility amenities: Laundry Service, 24 Hours Room Service, Handicapped Rooms Available
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Contact program provider for special rates and reservations.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Bussaco Palace Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Built in 1900, the Palace of Bussaco stands in a vast clearing in the centre of the forest. A former royal hunting lodge built by Italian architect Luigi Manini, the Palace lies amidst a formidable 250 acres century-old forest park, with giant trees and rare flora, chapels, belveders and a 17th century convent. The Palace is decorated in neo-manueline architectural style with large tile panels and fine paintings.
  Contact info: Bussaco Forest Park
Mata do Bussaco
Mealhada,  3050 Portugal
phone: +351 231937 970
  Room amenities: direct dialing, tv, hair dryer, free internet access point in room.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, buffet breakfast room, balcony bar, room service, laundry service, concierge, free internet access from lobby.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Abba Fonseca Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Abba Fonseca is located in the historic heart of Salamanca. The building has been completely refurbished, and it blends in beautifully with its historic surroundings. It offers comfortable and modern rooms that are fully equipped. The hotel is next to the Palacio de Congresos (conference centre) and the Colegio Fonseca in the beautiful city center of Salamanca.
  Contact info: Pza. San Blas, 2
Salamanca,  37007 Spain
phone: +34 923 01 10 10
  Room amenities: air conditioned rooms, satellite TV, mini bar, hair dryer, safety box
  Facility amenities: Concierge, restaurant, cocktail bar, snack bar, lounge. Hotel also offers wifi acces, fitness center, jacuzzi, sauna.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: This interesting hotel is located in the very heart of Madrid, just a few steps away from Plaza de Cibeles and the Puerta del Sol, in a building dating from the beginning of the 20th century. Its excellent location, very close to the Prado Museum and the Thyssen Gallery, makes it possible to take full advantage of Madrid’s cultural offerings. Furthermore, the hotel offers all of its visitors a fantastic restaurant, a seasonal swimming pool and 5 function rooms that can be used to hold all types of events.
  Contact info: Gran Vía, 7-9
Madrid,  28013 Spain
phone: +34 91 531 22 22
  Room amenities: Air conditioning and heating, flat screen satellite TV, free internet access, hair dryer, infrared light (bathroom), marble bathroom, minibar, room service, safe deposit box, telephone in bathroom, telephone with direct line
  Facility amenities: Access for the handicapped, air conditioning and heating, bar, dry cleaning, fitness area, foreign exchange, internet, jacuzzi, laundry service, porter, restaurant, sauna, valuables deposit service.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Silken Puerta Valencia
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Silken Hotels prides itself in its refined avant-garde design and state-of-the-art technology. Designed by Javier Mariscal a leading Spanish Architect it was created on the dry bed of the former river running through the city. Well located with easy access to the City of Science and Arts, The Fine Arts Museum and the City Park.
  Contact info: Cardenal Benlloch, 28
Valencia,  46021 Spain
phone: +34 963 936 395
  Room amenities: en-suite bathrooms, hairdryer, air-conditioned room, interactive tv, direct dialing phone, in room free internet access via modem.
  Facility amenities: A la carte restaurant, lounge, lobby bar and cafeteria, room service, air conditioned throughout. Internet access from lobby at supplemental cost.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Catalonia Berna
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in a fully restored historical building, central position just two blocks from "La Pedrera" ( Gaudi - Casa Mila) and four blocks from Plaza Catalunya.
  Contact info: Roger de Lluria, 60
Barcelona 08009,   Spain
phone: +34 93 272 00 50
  Room amenities: Private facilities,hair dryer, in room a/c & heating, tel., Satellite TV, Minibar, Safe deposit box. Wi-fi
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar, Lounge and a spacious Lobby, lift to all floors. internet and wi-fi in public areas
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBA Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for details.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program begins with lunch at your program hotel in Lisbon. Orientation is in the early evening. You will be staying at Hotel Mundial that night.
  End of Program:
This program ends after breakfast at your program hotel in Barcelona. You will be staying at Hotel Catalonia Berna the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Inter-City Trains and buses to/from Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona available to / from most Portuguese, Spanish and other European cities.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lisbon
  Nearest airport:  Lisbon Airport - Portela de Sacavem
  Transportation to site: If you are unable to take the group transfer to the hotel, taking a taxi from the airport to the hotel is your best option. A taxi ride to the hotel in Lisbon will cost you around 25 EUR.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Barcelona
  Nearest airport:  Barcelona airport
  Transportation from site: You may take a taxi from the hotel to the airport in Barcelona. The cost is around 30 Euros. You could also pre-book and pre-pay for your transfer online with Aerocity:
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1:
(Friday, September 20)
 In Transit:

Day 2: Arrival in Lisbon / Downtown Lisbon, Chiado & Belem Area
(Saturday, September 21)
 Morning: Flights arrive in Lisbon.
 Lunch: Lunch in the hotel dining room, followed by check-in to your room.
 Afternoon: Meet for orientation with your group leader and fellow participants. Afterwards, enjoy a guided orientation drive of Lisbon visiting the traditional district of Chiado, and old parts of town known as the "Baixa Pombalina", and the "Rossio". The Belem Area will introduce the Monastery of Jeronimos, the Tower of Belem and the Monument to the Discoveries.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel's restaurant
Accommodations: Hotel Mundial
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Lecture - "Arte Antiga" / Portuguese National Tiles & Ceramics Museum
(Sunday, September 22)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning attend a lecture: Roman and Muslim influences in Portuguese Architecture, The Gothic Manueline Architectural style , Portugal's Golden Age of Discoveries, The "Baroque" style in Portugal, and Masters of Portuguese painting and Fine Arts from the 17th century to Contemporary Times. After the lecture transfer to "Museu de Arte Antiga" for an expert-led exploration of its vast Collection.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Lisbon.
 Afternoon: This afternoon enjoy an expert-led discovery of the Portuguese National Tile Museum. Inside a former convent founded in 1509 the museum houses the most famous collection in Portugal and displays rare samples of archaic ceramic tile from the 15th to neoclassical 19th century to contemporary production.
 Dinner: A taste of local culture - participant in a question and answer session with local University students to learn about Portuguese life first-hand. Afterwards, the students will join you for dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Mundial
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Sintra Village and Nacional Palace / Fado Songs
(Monday, September 23)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning enjoy a lecture on Contemporary Architecture in Portugal.
 Lunch: After the lecture drive to Sintra where you will have free time to enjoy a stroll and explore the old village and take some time to have lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: This afternoon enjoy an expert-led exploration of the Royal Palace of Sintra with its landmark impressive twin kitchen chimneys, built by D Joao I at the end of the 14 Century, and enlarged by D Manoel I in the early 16 Century. Observe the remarkable "Azulejos": decorations that were added in the 16 & 17 century, and the Arabic Hall amongst other opulent rooms.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
 Evening: Enjoy an after-dinner private performance of Fado players and singers, where besides listening to great music you will also have the opportunity to learn more about Fado origins and have a close look at its instruments.
Accommodations: Hotel Mundial
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Village of Obidos & Monastery of Batalha / Bussaco Palace and Forest
(Tuesday, September 24)
 Breakfast: This morning have an early breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning attend a lecture on contemporary Portugal: an analysis of social, political and economic issues from the 20th century to this date. Later on, enjoy two expert-led walking explorations, the first is at the Fortified Village of "Obidos", a former Moorish Fortress town freed in 1148 by Afonson Henrique. Then continue on to "Monastery of Batalha". One of pinnacles of Gothic architecture in Portugal, it was built in celebration of the Battle of Aljubarrota which secured Portugal's independence. The highlight here is the "Unfinished" Chapels.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant en route.
 Afternoon: Arrival and check-in at Bussaco Palace Hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is free for exploration on your own of the gardens around the Palace, or further exploration into the park.The Woodland on the grounds of Bussaco Palace -"Mata do Bussaco" - was created in the 6th Century and covers 250 acres, with more than 400 natives trees and over 300 exotic species brought from all over the world.
 Dinner: Enjoy a special dinner tonight in the Palace's dining room.
Accommodations: Bussaco Palace Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Salamanca / Discovery of Casco Antigo
(Wednesday, September 25)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Enjoy a free morning to explore the Palace forest and gardens before departing by coach to Salamanca in Spain.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant en route to Spain.
 Afternoon: After lunch continue to Salamanca where we arrive late afternoon. Upon arrival we take an expert-led walk through Salamanca's old medieval quarters, "Casco Antiguo", visiting Plaza Mayor, considered to be the most monumental plaza in Spain.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Abba Fonseca Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Old University and Cathedrals in the Golden City
(Thursday, September 26)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning enjoy a lecture on the History of Salamanca, Salamanca's Architecture (from Romans to Middle Age), the "Plateresco", and Imperial Spain including the creation of Salamanca University. After the lecture enjoy an expert-led exploration of the inter-connecting Old & New Cathedrals.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Hotel in Salamanca.
 Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon free to rest or continue your exploration of the Golden City.
 Dinner: Enjoy planning your own dinner tonight in Salamanca
Accommodations: Abba Fonseca Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Madrid by way of Avila / Exploration of the Madrid of the Habsburgs
(Friday, September 27)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: After an early departure from Salamanca, we transfer to Madrid. A brief stop outside the walled city of Avila will provide a spetacular photo opportunity of its well restored walls.
 Lunch: We will arrive in Madrid in time for lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a panoramic orientation drive and an expert-led discovery of the old town, known as the "Madrid of the Habsburgs" before arriving at the Hotel to check-in. This evening enjoy a lecture on Madrid of the Habusburgs, an Introduction to European and Spanish Painting, and the Life and Paintings of El Greco and Velasquez .
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Artist Lectures / Prado Museum
(Saturday, September 28)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning enjoy a lecture: Life and Paintings of Ribera, Zurbaran and Murillo, Life and Paintings of Goya, and an Introduction to Pablo Picasso.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Hotel Restaurant
 Afternoon: After Lunch enjoy an expert-led exploration of the Prado Museum containing one of the world's greatest collections of European art from the 12th through the 19th century. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to explore on your own or return to the hotel to relax.
 Dinner: Dinner is on your own tonight to explore the local restaurants in Madrid.
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Toledo: El Greco's Museum and Synagogue Museums / Thyssen-Bonermizsa Collection
(Sunday, September 29)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning drive to Toledo for an expert-led discovery of El Greco's Museum, the former Synagogues, Del Transito and Santa Maria La Blanca, which are now Museums, and a drive around the hills of Toledo affording breatktaking panoramic views over the town.
 Lunch: Lunch in Toledo at a local restaurant before returning to Madrid
 Afternoon: Returning to Madrid after lunch, enjoy an opportunity for a self-guided exploration of the Thyssen-Bornemizsa Museum Collection at the Hermosilla Palace, a magnificient palace acquired and restored by the Spanish Government to house the Collection. The remainder of this afternoon and evening is Free to spend as long as you like at the Collection and/or exploring Madrid.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Reina Sofia Arts Center / Valencia: The City of Science and Art
(Monday, September 30)
 Breakfast: Early breakfast in the Hotel dining room.
 Morning: An exciting day will start with a guided visit to "Reina Sofia Arts Center" for an expert-led discovery presenting, among other works, Picasso's masterpiece Guernica. If time allows we will visit the "Real Fabrica de Tapices", and its workshops, where commissioned tapestry works are done to this day, in the same ancient tradition.
 Lunch: Enjoy a late lunch at a local restaurant en route to Valencia.
 Afternoon: Upon arrival at the Hotel in Valencia check-in to your room and take some time to relax before dinner.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room
Accommodations: Hotel Silken Puerta Valencia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Casa Museo Benlluire / Modern Art Museum of Valencia
(Tuesday, October 1)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning enjoy a lecture on Valencia, Monumental Gothic architecture, Flemish and Italian influences, Decorative arts and Ceramics, Modernism in Valencia, and Contemporary Spanish architecture. After the lecture, a guided visit will introduce "Casa Museo Benlluire" a quaint house and charming studio former residence of this famous 20th century artist from Valencia, exhibiting his paintings and many of his sculptures.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch an expert-led visit will explore the permanent collection of IVAM - the Museum of Modern Arts of Valencia, one of the most important modern and contemporary art museums in Spain.
 Dinner: Enjoy time at leisure in Valencia tonight to explore some of its traditional restaurants, serving the famous " Arroces" - rice dishes and sea foods.
Accommodations: Hotel Silken Puerta Valencia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: La Lonja / The Old Market and Ceramics Museum / Transfer to Barcelona
(Wednesday, October 2)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Depart for a presentation of Gregorian chants at Patriarc's Church, then a walking visit will introduce parts of the former Medieval city, the Old Market, "La Lonja", and the Ceramics Museum.
 Lunch: We return to the Hotel for lunch.
 Afternoon: After lunch transfer by coach to Barcelona.
 Dinner: Dinner at the Hotel in Barcelona.
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Berna
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: "Museo de Historia de Catalunya" / Barcelona & Gothic Quarters / Catalan Folklore Evening
(Thursday, October 3)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning enjoy a lecture at the "Museo de Historia de Catalunya": Modernism a Total Art: Architecture, Sculpture, Paintings and Crafts; Antoni Gaudi and Pablo Picasso.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Cafeteria of the Museum, overlooking Barcelona Harbor
 Afternoon: This afternoon, an orientation drive introducing the City of Barcelona includes a guided walk around the Old Gothic quarters of the former Medieval city.
 Dinner: Dinner at the Hotel
 Evening: After dinner we drive to a local traditional private school of dance dedicated to preserving traditional Catalan Music and dances -"Esbart San Marti"- for a private presentation of these exciting songs, dances and traditions. After the performance there will be an opportunity to share a glass of sangria and chat with the dancers and teaching staff.
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Berna
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Dali and Gala's Castle Residence
(Friday, October 4)
 Breakfast: Early breakfast in the Hotel breakfast room.
 Morning: Our expert will take you on a delightful exploration of the Salvador Dali Museum Foundation created by this master in Figueres, followed by a visit to Dali's unique Jewelry exhibition.
 Lunch: We will continue from Figueres to Pubol, where we have lunch.
 Afternoon: Our day continues with an expert-led visit exploring the residence Dali created for his wife and muse, Gala, known as "Castelo de Gala" (Gala's Castle).
 Dinner: Time at leisure after this exciting day will allow you to explore some of the restaurants around the Olympic Port or the "Ramblas" of Barcelona on your own.
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Berna
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 16: Picasso Museum / Parc Guell and Sagrada Familia
(Saturday, October 5)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning enjoy a lecture at the hotel on the Life and Paintings of Pablo Picasso. After the lecture, we transfer to "Museo Picasso" where you will enjoy an expert-led discovery.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: This afternoon an expert-led walking lecture will focus on Gaudi's works in Barcelona, discovering "Parc Guell", and Antoni Gaudi's architectural masterpiece, the "Sagrada Familia" Temple.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room
 Evening: This evening enjoy an informal question and answer session with local young professionals who offer insight into their way of life and the cultural background of Barcelona and Catalunya.
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Berna
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Miro Foundation and the National Museum of Art of Catalonia.
(Sunday, October 6)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning enjoy an expert-led exploration of the National Museum of Art of Catalonia. After a short break we will continue to the Miro Foundation where a walking lecture will introduce its important collection. Both Museums are located inside the Park of "Montjuic".
 Lunch: Lunch is on your own to explore the local restaurants of Barcelona.
 Afternoon: This afternoon enjoy some free time to explore Barcelona on your own one last time before tomorrow's departure.
 Dinner: This evening enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Berna
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 18: Return flight to USA
(Monday, October 7)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning transfer to the Airport for return flights to the US.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Lisbon Museum Calouste Gulbenkian
Owner of a colossal fortune, this highly successful businessman became one of the most remarkable art collectors of the 20th century. He used to define himself as eclectic, but discerning, and the collection very much mirrors his way of life. His origins are evident in the quantity of Islamic objects he collected and his European education is reflected in his interest in the great masters of painting, sculpture and the decorative arts. Seeking a peaceful heaven during the war years, Calouste Gulbenkian arrived in Lisbon in April 1942, and spent the last thirteen years of his life in the Hotel Aviz, where he died on July 20th, 1955. For additional information, visit
  Palacio da Ajuda
Royal Palace built to host King Jose I and his court after the earthquake of 1755. Houses important collection of tapestries, fine arts, furniture and china donated by Portuguese Royal familities. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

A Traveller's History of Spain

Author: Juan Lalaguna

Description: A swift survey from prehistory through the Romans, Goths and Moors to the present.


Author: Robert Hughes

Description: A Longitude favorite, this big, thoroughly enjoyable cultural history of the city touches on architecture, art, religion and literature from Roman outpost to the present.

Eyewitness Guide Lisbon

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: A compact, illustrated guide to the city featuring excellent neighborhood maps and hundreds of color photographs. It also includes chapters on the surrounding areas and Lisbon's coast.

Eyewitness Guide Spain

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: This superb, colorful guide covering all of Spain features bright photography, dozens of maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions.

Iberia, Spanish Travels & Reflections

Author: James Michener

Description: In this best-selling travelogue, Michener presents a compulsively readable and well-observed account of his love affair with Spain and all things Spanish. It has achieved the status of a classic, rich in detail and insightful.

Journey to Portugal, In Pursuit of Portugal's History and Culture

Author: Jose Saramago

Description: Jose Saramago's richly detailed account of his journey across Portugal in 1979. He combines his vivid impressions of the Portuguese landscape and people with a dose of history, fiction and meditations.

Painting in Spain 1500-1700

Author: Jonathan Brown

Description: Velazquez and El Greco are but a few of the Spanish artists discussed in this in-depth study of the art produced during Spain's golden age.

Spain & Portugal Adventure Map

Author: National Geographic

Description: A colorful, shaded relief map of Spain and Portugal at a scale of 1:1,000,000. Includes Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca, and the Canary Islands.

The Arts in Spain, From Prehistory to Modernism

Author: John Moffit

Description: From the cave painting at Altimira through the Golden Age, to the works of Picasso and Miro, this book documents the course of art in Spain, with 150 illustrations.

The Ornament of the World, How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain

Author: Maria Rosa Menocal, Harold Bloom (Introduction)

Description: A lively, illuminating portrait of the Andalucian Kingdom, its cultural achievements and religious tolerance from the eighth century to 1492.

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