Road Scholar : Home
Spanish Art: From the Golden Age to Gaudi and Beyond

Program Number: 3328RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/30/2013 - 11/15/2013; 9/30/2015 - 10/16/2015; 10/21/2015 - 11/6/2015; 4/6/2016 - 4/22/2016; 4/20/2016 - 5/6/2016; 5/11/2016 - 5/27/2016; 6/1/2016 - 6/17/2016; 9/14/2016 - 9/30/2016; 9/28/2016 - 10/14/2016; 10/19/2016 - 11/4/2016;
Duration: 16 nights
Location: Spain
Price starting at: $3,961.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Art History/Criticism
Meals: 39; 15 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 10 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

From creative giants such as Velázquez, El Greco and Goya in the “Golden Age” to the 20th-century masters Picasso, Miró, Dalí and, more recently, Tàpies and Barcelo -- the vitality and diversity of Spanish artists have influenced artistic expression the world over. Journey from the Prado in Madrid to the Guggenheim in Bilbao to experience the full spectrum and rich heritage of Spain’s master artists.


• Connect the lives, works and schools of Velazquez, Goya and El Greco to modern masters Picasso, Miró and Dalí.
• Expert-led visit to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao designed by world-famous architect Frank Gehry.
• Private performance and meeting with members of a Catalonian medieval folklore group in Barcelona.

Activity Particulars

Participants should be able to walk one mile at a time and stand for at least one hour. Cobblestones and other uneven ground. Some stairs without railings.

Date Specific Information

10-30-2013, 9-30-2015, 10-21-2015, 4-6-2016, 4-20-2016, 5-11-2016, 6-1-2016, 9-14-2016, 9-28-2016, 10-19-2016

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

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Madrid, 5 nights; Cuenca, 2 nights; Burgos, 1 night; Bilbao, 2 nights; Barcelona, 5 nights; departure.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Madrid
5 nights

Art historian Cecilia Ceriani details the lives, works and schools of great 17th-century Spanish masters Ribera, Zurbarán and Murillo and their influence on 20th-century artists such as Picasso, Miró, Dalí. View Goya frescoes, Picasso’s “Guernica” and much more in the famed “Golden Triangle of Art,” and examine El Greco’s work in Toledo. Share tapas and meet with Spanish university students about life in Spain today.

Coach to Cuenca
2 nights
Coach to Burgos
1 nights
Coach to Bilbao
2 night

In Cuenca, 1,000 feet above the Huecar River gorge, examine the works of the 1950-60s “Generacion Abstracta” at the private collection of the Museo de Arte Abstracto Español and the Antonio Pérez Foundation. Explore the old quarters of Burgos and its Gothic Cathedral. Marvel at the signature curves of Bilbao’s Guggenheim, described as “a voyage to the next century.” Stroll through Bilbao’s medieval town center and, at the Museum Chillida-Leku, see the monumental works of Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida.

Coach to Barcelona
5 nights

In the capital of Catalonia, revel in the avant-garde work of Picasso, the powerful language of Miró and the surrealism of Dali. Art historian Silvia Rieira leads your inquiry through Barcelona’s museums and streets, including the Picasso Museum, medieval town center and Parc Güell -- Gaudí’s visionary 19th-century residential project. Explore the castle and museums of Dalí and join in Sardanas dancing in the Cathedral main square.

Madrid: Four-star hotel on the Grand Via. Cuenca: Charming 17th-century hotel overlooking the Casas Colgadas Canyon. Burgos: Comfortable hotel near the river. Bilbao: Modern five-star hotel facing the Guggenheim Museum. Barcelona: Four-star historic hotel near Plaza Catalunya.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Cecilia Ceriani

Cecilia Ceriani has been an art teacher and critic for nearly three decades. She holds degrees in art history and English philology from the Complutense University of Madrid. Cecilia spent four years in South America as an art critic and book reviewer for newspapers in Montevideo and Buenos Aires before returning to her native Spain in 1986. Since then she has been lecturing on Road Scholar programs and at the U.S. Cultural Center in Madrid and writing for respected Spanish publications.
Silvia Riera

Silvia Riera was born and raised in Barcelona, where she developed her passion for arts and the Catalan culture. In addition to Spanish and her native tongue, Catalan, Silvia is fluent in French, Italian, English and Portuguese. Silvia has lectured about modernism and Gaudi since 1988. Beyond arts, Silvia is — like most Barcelonians — a big fan of FC Barcelona, the world-renowned soccer team.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía
  Madrid, Spain 5 nights
   Posada San Jose
  Cuenca, Spain 3 nights
   Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao
  Bilbao, Spain 2 nights
   Hotel Catalonia Berna
  Barcelona, Spain 5 nights
 Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located on the Gran Via, just a short step from the Plaza Cibeles and the Puerta del Sol, in the heart of Madrid, the hotel was built in 1995, on the site of a late 19th century building, preserving the original neo-classical facade.
  Contact info: Gran Via, 9
Madrid,  28013 Spain
phone: +34 -91-531-2222
  Room amenities: Air conditioned rooms, en-suite bathrooms,hairdryer, laundry, room service, direct dialling, cable tv. Wi fi internet access at supplemental cost.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, elevators, coffee shop, and breakfast rooms, meeting rooms.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBA Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for details.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Posada San Jose
Type: Inn
  Description: Posada San Jose is a charming Posada inside an extremely well located 17th century refurbished building, in the heart of Cuenca’s old quarters. Double rooms with private facilities. Meals are served in the restaurant and in the lounge overlooking the Casas Colgadas’ canyon .
  Contact info: C. Julian Romero, 4
Cuenca,  16001 Spain
phone: +34 -969-211-300
  Facility amenities: Breakfast and restaurant room overlooking gorge of River Huecar.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: The Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao is a contemporary five-star hotel, superbly located, facing the Guggenheim Museum. Built from a project of integral design with great formal coherence, carried out by architects Javier Mariscal and Fernando Salas. The neighbourhood of the museum heightens its cosmopolitan atmosphere. The main Atrium, flooded with natural light, is enhanced by a 26-meter high sculptural piece by Mariscal, "Fossil Cypress", occupying the entire five-floor verticality of the building, from the floor to the skylight that crowns the terrace.
  Contact info: Alameda Mazarredo, 61
Bilbao,  48009 Spain
phone: +34 -94-425-33-00
  Room amenities: Rooms are quite comfortable, inspired by Bauhaus and 20th century design. Air conditioned, en-suite bathrooms, hairdryer, wi fi internet access at supplemental cost
  Facility amenities: A crystal dome over the cafeteria offers an inspiring open view of the Guggenheim. A large teakwood-paved terrace with unusual front views of the Museum and the Ria allows privileged vistas of the the city's modern looks while allowing the countryside to arise where the urban landscape is interrupted.
  Smoking allowed: No
  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" ( Gaudí - 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, 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 at the hotel in Madrid. Orientation will be in the early evening. You will be staying at Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía that night.
  End of Program:
This program ends after breakfast at the 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 Madrid and Barcelona available to/ from most Spanish and other European cities.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Madrid
  Nearest airport:  Madrid Barajas
  Transportation to site: A taxi from the airport to the hotel costs around 40 euros and takes about 35 minutes.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Barcelona
  Nearest airport:  Barcelona Airport
  Transportation from site: A taxi from the hotel to the airport costs around 35 euros and takes about 30 minutes.
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: US Bound for Madrid
(Wednesday, October 30)
 Depart From: International flight to Madrid, Spain.
 In Transit:

Day 2: Arrivals, Panoramic Drive and Orientation in Madrid
(Thursday, October 31)
 Arrive To: Arrive in Madrid and transfer to the program hotel.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel restaurant; your room will be available this afternoon.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a panoramic drive of Madrid, then return to the hotel for an orientation meeting with your Group Leader.
 Dinner: Dinner at or near the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Introduction to Spanish Painting and the Prado Museum
(Friday, November 1)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Lecture: "The Golden Age and Great Masters of Spanish Painting"
 Lunch: Lunch at or near the hotel in Madrid
 Afternoon: Enjoy an expert-led field trip to the Prado Museum. This world-famous collection was assembled by the Hapsburg and Bourbon Spanish monarchs from the 16th to early 19th centuries. It has since been enhanced by works received from churches and convents, and by nine new galleries since 1950, including the Casón del Buen Retiro exhibition of 19th century art.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local cuisine
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: El Escorial and a Taste of Tapas
(Saturday, November 2)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Lecture: "The Lives, Works and Styles of Great 17th Century Spanish Masters: Velázquez, Goya, El Greco, Zurbarán and Murillo"
 Lunch: Lunch at or near your hotel in Madrid
 Afternoon: This afternoon travel to the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site of El Escorial, the historical residence and burial place of Spanish monarchs. The church has a Greek-cross base and the chapel holds the funeral monuments of Charles V of Spain and Philip II. The library deserves special mention, with around 45,000 books dating back to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In the early evening you will gather at your Madrid hotel to meet with local residents and discuss modern life in Spain.
 Dinner: Walk to a local restaurant for a "tapas" style dinner
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: San Fernando Royal Academy, Goya's Sistine Chapel and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
(Sunday, November 3)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Depart for the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, where a local expert will discuss the history of Spanish painting. This 17th century academy collection includes works by Ribera, Zurbarán and Velázquez, as well as 13 of Francisco Goya's masterpieces. Following this you will stop to marvel at Real Ermita de San Antonio de La Florida, Goya's final resting place. Often referred to as Madrid's Sistine Chapel, this church is covered in magnificent frescoes painted by Goya himself.
 Lunch: A light lunch at one of the oldest and most popular restaurants in Madrid
 Afternoon: Examine the priceless Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, which was donated to the Spanish government and is housed in the beautifully restored 18th century Villahermosa Palace in Madrid.
 Dinner: Dinner at or near your hotel in Madrid
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: 20th Century Art and the Reina Sofía Museum
(Monday, November 4)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Lecture: "Introduction to 20th Century Spanish Art"
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel or museum in Madrid
 Afternoon: Join your local expert for a discovery of the Reina Sofia Museum. Madrid's response to the contemporary Art Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Reina Sofía is an amazing glass building with outside transparent lifts. Its most famous piece is “Guernica”, a large painting by Picasso which depicts widespread suffering during the Spanish Civil War. After visiting the museum the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to explore Madrid on your own.
 Dinner: Free time to plan dinner on your own.
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: El Greco in Toledo/ Arrival in Cuenca
(Tuesday, November 5)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: After an early breakfast, check out of the Madrid hotel and depart for Toledo. As you approach this historic World Heritage city you will be treated to breathtaking panoramic views. On arrival a local expert will lead a walk through the old walled city and discuss the melding of Christian, Jewish and Moorish cultures in this former capital of the Spanish Empire. El Greco spent the latter half of his life in this city, and you will have the chance to view some of the artist's most well-known works at the cathedral, the Santo Tomé sacristy, El Greco's Museum, and the former "Sinagoga del Tránsito" now a Museum.
 Lunch: Late lunch at a restaurant in Toledo
 Afternoon: Following lunch you will board the coach and continue on to Cuenca; your Group Leader will introduce you to this walled city during a panoramic drive overlooking the spectacular river gorges of the Júcar and Huecar rivers and the famous 15th century "casas colgadas" or hanging houses. You will then check in at the hotel and take some time to settle in to your room before dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at or near your hotel in Cuenca
Accommodations: Posada San Jose
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: The History of Cuenca and the Museo Antonio Pérez
(Wednesday, November 6)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Lecture: "The Abstract Generation: Spanish Art in the 1950s and 1960s."
 Lunch: Lunch at or near your hotel in Cuenca
 Afternoon: Enjoy an expert-led walk around Cuenca's beautiful cobblestoned old town, ending with a guided visit to the Museo Antonio Pérez, located in the old Convent of the Carmelitas Descalzas (the Barefoot Carmelites). In addition to the paintings, prints, and sculptures that Antonio Pérez collected, today the museum also contains works by contemporary artists such as Millares, Gordillo, Torner, Antonio Saura, Equipo Crónica, Bonifacio, Andy Warhol, Chillida, Zóbel, Rueda and Canogar, to name but a few.
 Dinner: Dinner at or near your hotel in Cuenca
Accommodations: Posada San Jose
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Cuenca's Museum of Abstract Art
(Thursday, November 7)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: At the Museo de Arte Abstracto you will examine one of the most extensive collections of abstract art in Spain, housed in one of the city's "casas colgadas." Discuss the "Generación Abstracta" movement and study works by artists such as Millares, Tàpies, Sempere, Torner, Rueda, Zóbel and Saura.
 Lunch: Lunch at or near the hotel in Cuenca
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to explore the charming old town of Cuenca.
 Dinner: Time at leisure to explore the local restaurants on your own
Accommodations: Posada San Jose
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Coach Transfer to Bilbao / Guggenheim Museum
(Friday, November 8)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel
 Morning: Board the coach for your transfer from Cuenca to Bilbao. Your base in Bilbao will be an ultra-modern hotel next to the Guggenheim, echoing the museum's architecture and offering incredible rooftop views from the restaurant.
 Lunch: Lunch en route to Bilbao.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a field trip to Bilbao's spectacular Guggenheim Museum, designed by world-famous architect Frank Gehry. After exploring the museum's collections you will join your local expert guide for a walk around Bilbao's historic old town. Enjoy your stay at one of the most emblematic hotels of Bilbao and Spain.
 Dinner: Take this opportunity to dine on your own in Bilbao
Accommodations: Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11: Chillida-Leku Museum / San Sebastian
(Saturday, November 9)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: This morning transfer to the Chillida-Leku Museum, an farmhouse surrounded by nearly 30 acres of grounds that have been converted to an indoor and open air exhibit. The museum was planned and created by the sculptor Eduardo Chillida and it contains the most comprehensive collection of his life's works. Transfer to San Sebastian before lunch.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Guided walking tour of San Sebastián before heading back to Bilbao. Take the rest of the afternoon to relax at the hotel or explore Bilbao on your own.
 Dinner: Dinner at or near the hotel.
Accommodations: Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Flight to Barcelona/ Barcelona's Gothic Quarter and the Sardana
(Sunday, November 10)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for your flight to Barcelona.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: A local expert will present an overview of Barcelona's history and art during an orientation drive around the city. Following this is a walking exploration of the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter). You will end at the Cathedral square, a historical square in the heart of Barcelona.
 Dinner: Dinner at or near your hotel in Barcelona
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Berna
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: The Modernist Movement and Gaudí's Parc Güell
(Monday, November 11)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Lecture at the Museum of the History of Catalonia: "The Modernist Movement and the Concept of Total Art"
 Lunch: Lunch at or near the hotel in Barcelona
 Afternoon: Your local expert will take you to Parc Güell, Antoni Gaudí's residential project based on the English Garden City Movement and completed in 1914. After exploring the gardens you will visit the small house, now a museum, where Gaudí lived while directing the construction of Parc Güell.
 Dinner: Enjoy planning your own dinner and exploring local restaurants tonight
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Berna
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 14: Joan Miró / Private Catalan Dance Performance
(Tuesday, November 12)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Lecture at the Museum of the History of Catalonia: "20th Century Catalonian Artists: Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí and Antoni Gaudí”
 Lunch: Lunch at the museum cafeteria
 Afternoon: Your local expert will lead a field trip to the Joan Miró Foundation, Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art, which displays over 14,000 works including a large collection of Miró's works.
 Dinner: Dinner at or near the hotel in Barcelona
 Evening: Following dinner you will transfer to a local community center for a private performance of Catalonian music and dancing. After the presentation take the opportunity to join the performers for a glass of sangria as they discuss their commitment to preserving Catalan traditions.
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Berna
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Salvador Dalí in Figueres and Púbol: Dalí Theatre-Museum and Gala's Castle
(Wednesday, November 13)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Depart Barcelona for a full-day field trip to Figueres, the birthplace of Salvador Dalí. Upon arrival you will explore the Dalí Theatre-Museum, the world's largest surrealist art object. Built upon the remains of the former Figueres theatre, the museum collecction spans the artist's entire career, from his earliest art to the works of the last years of his life.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in Púbol
 Afternoon: Arrive at the Gala Dalí Castle Museum-House for a private guided exploration. Dalí dedicated himself to furnishing and decorating this medieval castle as a retreat for his wife and muse, Gala. The castle collection includes paintings and drawings that Dalí gave as presents to Gala, as well as the elephant sculptures that adorn the garden, a collection of Gala's haute-couture dresses, and the furniture and many objects with which they decorated the house. Return to Barcelona in the early evening.
 Dinner: Dinner at or near the hotel in Barcelona
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Berna
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Pablo Picasso's Years in Barcelona
(Thursday, November 14)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Lecture at the Museum of the History of Catalonia: "Pablo Picasso's Art and Influences." This is followed by a field trip to view the Picasso Museum collections, which testify to the artist's strong ties with the city where he spent his artistic formative years. Gain an understanding of the artist's development by examining some of the 3,500 works that make up the museum's permanent collection.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Picasso Museum cafeteria
 Afternoon: Enjoy a final free afternoon in Barcelona
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at or near the hotel in Barcelona
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia Berna
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Departure from Barcelona
(Friday, November 15)
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel (if your flight time allows)
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for return flights to the U.S.
Meals Included: Breakfast
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.

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