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The Artistic Spirit of Paris and Barcelona

Program Number: 20216RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/22/2014 - 6/2/2014; 4/21/2016 - 5/2/2016; 5/19/2016 - 5/30/2016; 6/2/2016 - 6/13/2016; 9/15/2016 - 9/26/2016; 9/29/2016 - 10/10/2016;
Duration: 11 nights
Location: Spain/France
Price starting at: $3,665.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 25; 10 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” or Picasso’s early masterpieces? “Winged Victory” or Dali’s surreal 3-D collages? The Palace of Versailles or the Sagrada Familia? You don’t have to choose between the treasures of Paris and Barcelona on this journey encompassing the history-making art, architecture and music of both.


• Attend concerts at two stunning venues: Paris’s royal Sainte-Chapelle and Barcelona’s Palau de la Musica Catalana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• View some of the world’s great masterpieces at the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Musee Rodin, Dali Theatre and Museum and Museu Picasso.
• Zip from Paris to Barcelona aboard the high-speed TGV rail, taking in views of the Pyrenees as you cross the border.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to five miles per day. Extensive use of public transportation.

Date Specific Information

5-22-2014, 4-21-2016, 5-19-2016, 6-2-2016, 9-15-2016, 9-29-2016

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

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Paris (France), 5 nights; train to Figueres (Spain), coach to Barcelona, 5 nights; departure.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Paris (France)
5 nights

Discover the grand Gothic architecture of the Ile de la Cite including Notre Dame and La Sainte Chapelle. An expert-led field trip to the Palace of Versailles highlights the chateau’s gilded chambers and impressive gardens. Enjoy a walk through the Tuileries Garden — once the backyard of kings, it became a public park after the Revolution — and its Orangerie. Learn about the Paris-based Impressionists, a group that included Monet, Renoir, Pissarro and Berthe Morisot.

Train to Figueres (Spain)
Coach to Barcelona
5 nights

Step off the train in Figueres, the birthplace of Salvador Dali, and visit the town’s intriguing museum dedicated to its favorite son. In Barcelona, explore the Museum of the History of Catalonia independently before an expert-led journey through the city. Walk La Rambla, a pedestrian-only street where you pass locals shopping and enter the beautiful Liceu opera house. Journey into the vineyards of Penedes and learn about the famed Cava sparkling wine made here.

Paris: Centrally located hotel. Barcelona: Hotel in a Historical Monument building next to the Placa de Catalunya.
Meals and Lodgings
   Villa Pantheon
  Paris, France 5 nights
   Hotel Vincci Gala
  Barcelona, Spain 5 nights
 Villa Pantheon
Type: Hotel
  Description: The hotel is located in the Latin Quarter in the heart of Paris, close to Saint-Germain des Près, Notre-Dame, Panthéon, La Sorbonne, Ile Saint-Louis, Thermes de Cluny, Arènes de Lutèce, and the Institut du Monde Arabe, making it an ideal base for exploring the city.
  Contact info: 41, Rue des Ecoles
Paris,  75005 France
phone: +33 (0)1 53 10 95 95
  Room amenities: Private en-suite bathroom with hair dryer, individually controlled air conditioning, TV with international channels and Pay TV, in-room safe, direct dialing telephone, small refrigerator with bar, in-room modem plug for Internet access. Please note that hotel rooms in France are often considerably smaller than hotel rooms in the US.
  Facility amenities: The Villa Pantheon offers a traditional English feel with leather easy chairs and relaxed atmosphere.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services for availability and rates.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Hotel Vincci Gala
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Vincci Gala is a brand new hotel located in the heart of Barcelona, 2 blocks from the renowned Paseo de Gracia & Plaza Catalunya, and a short walk to the Gothic area of the city. The hotel has been refurbished with a contemporary design, whilst maintaining the original building facade and traditional features. There is a central atrium feature which provides light and character to the hotel's public areas. The nearest metro station, Urquinaona, is right next to the hotel.
  Contact info: Ronda Sant Pere 32
Barcelona,  2800 Spain
phone: +34 91 490 26 50
  Room amenities: 81 comfortable and bright bedrooms over 6 floors Amenities include: Safetydeposit box Hairdryer Free WiFi Internet connection Interactive TV Independent climate control Complete mini-bar service Welcome product set Pillow menu
  Facility amenities: Reception, lobby and a lounge bar with terrace. Restaurant and meeting rooms
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBC May be available on request

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program starts with an Orientation at 5 PM at the hotel in Paris on Day 2. You will be staying at Villa Pantheon that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends with breakfast at the hotel on Day 12 You will be staying at Hotel Vincci Gala the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. No other documents are needed.
  Parking availability:
No available parking.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Train & bus available.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Paris
  Nearest airport:  Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
  Transportation to site: There are taxis readily available from Paris CDG to the hotel but these can be pricey running from 60 - 70 Euro per car plus 1 E per bag fee. There are trains running every 5 minutes from the airport terminal 2 into the city costing about 8 E. For the most up to date information check the Paris CDG airport website.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Barcelona
  Transportation from site: Taxis are readily available from the hotel to the airport in Barcelona. Taxi rate runs from 30 - 35 Euro per car plus 1 Euro per bag luggage fee.
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 Departure and Overnight Flight
(Thursday, May 22)
 In Transit: Overnight flight to Paris

Day 2: Arrival in Paris and Program Orientation
(Friday, May 23)
 Arrive To: Arrive in Paris CDG and transfer to the hotel. NOTE: Rooms may not be ready for all who are arriving early. Rooms will be issued on a first come first serve basis. Check in is generally after 12:00 noon.
 Afternoon: Program Orientation at the hotel at 5 PM.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner served at the hotel
Accommodations: Villa Pantheon
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Gothic Paris - Ile de la Cite, Notre Dame and the Sainte Chapelle
(Saturday, May 24)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel
 Morning: Morning lecture: "An Introduction to Paris from Gothic to Modernist: Architecture." Learn about the evolution of Paris from a Gothic city to a modern capital through her art and architecture. Transfer to Ile de la Cite by metro or public bus Field Trip: No visit to Paris is complete without seeing the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. The Jewel of Gothic Architecture, Notre Dame is the heart and life of Paris.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant near Notre Dame featuring French crepes
 Afternoon: Field Trip Ile de la Cite: After lunch we explore the Ile de La Cite on foot and see some of the lesser visited streets known as the Ancien Cloître Quartier. Field Trip: The Sainte Chapelle is the finest royal chapel to be built in France and features a truly exceptional collection of stained glass windows. It was built in the mid 13th century by Louis IX, at the heart of the royal residence, the Palais de la Cité. It was built to house the relics of the Passion of Christ. Adorned with a unique collection of fifteen glass panels and a large rose window forming a veritable wall of light, the Sainte Chapelle is a gem of French Gothic architecture.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant near the Eiffel Tower
 Evening: Paris City Lights Tour by coach takes you by some of the best known monuments of Paris, depending on the time of year you may enjoy the view with the lights illuminating the monuments or it may still be light out.
Accommodations: Villa Pantheon
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Paris Royalty and the Belle Epoque - Versaille, the Opera Garnier and a Classical Music Performance
(Sunday, May 25)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Field Trip: This morning enjoy an expert-led discovery of the Palace of Versailles, the French royal chateau from 1682 until 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution. The beautiful gardens of Versailles are an excellent example of French garden planning and are not to be missed.
 Lunch: Lunch near the Opera Garnier
 Afternoon: Field Trip: Opéra de Paris or Opéra Garnier, is a 1,600-seat opera house on the Place de l'Opéra in Paris. It was the primary home of the Paris Opera from 1875 until 1989 when the Opera Bastille was opened. A grand building designed by Charles Garnier in the Neo-Baroque (or "Baroque Revival") style, it is regarded as one of the architectural masterpieces of its time.
 Dinner: Light dinner near performance location
 Evening: Classical Musical Performance at the Sainte Chapelle: Each evening the Sainte Chapelle hosts various classical musical performances.This evening we join Parisians in an evening musical presentation at one of the most beautiful sites in Paris. NOTE: Due to scheduling of events this presentation may be at another similar venue.
Accommodations: Villa Pantheon
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Paris Art and Art History - The Louvre, Tuileries Gardens and the Orangerie
(Monday, May 26)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel
 Morning: Morning lecture: "An Introduction to Paris from Gothic to Modernist: Art." Learn about the evolution of Paris from a Gothic city to a modern capital through her art and architecture. Field Trip: Independent exploration of the Louvre: Your expert guide will introduce you to the museum and take you to some of the highlights, but you will have time to explore the museum on your own.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own at the Louvre. You can take your time to see the museum and eat at one of many food venues in the Carousel, at the Louvre restaurant, or upscale Café Marly. Set your own agenda.
 Afternoon: Field Trip: Walk through Jardins des Tuileries, the gardens that once served as the backyard for the Kings of France and today are a place of relaxation for busy Parisians and make for a pleasant walk from the Louvre to the Orangerie. Field Trip: Discovering the Orangerie: Featuring Monet's large water lily paintings, the Orangerie is a must-see museum in Paris.
 Dinner: Dinner near the hotel at a local brasserie
Accommodations: Villa Pantheon
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Impressionist Art in Paris - Orsay and Rodin Museums
(Tuesday, May 27)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel
 Morning: Morning lecture: "An Introduction to Paris From Gothic to Modernist: The Impressionist Era." Learn about the evolution of Paris from a Gothic city to a modern capital through her art and architecture. Field Trip: Discover the Musée d'Orsay with its rich and varied collections covering the prolific period from 1848 to 1914 and housing some of the best impressionist paintings in the world.
 Lunch: Lunch at Musee d'Orsay in the museum restaurant
 Afternoon: Field Trip: The Musée Rodin contains most of Rodin's significant creations, including The Thinker, The Kiss and The Gates of Hell. Many of his sculptures are displayed in the museum's extensive garden. The museum is one of the most accessible museums in Paris.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own. This is your opportunity to explore your own culinary selection in Paris.
Accommodations: Villa Pantheon
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: TGV Day Train Paris to Figueres (Barcelona) - Dalí Museum in Figueres
(Wednesday, May 28)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the train
 Morning: Free time during morning on board the train to enjoy the view outside the window as the High Speed TGV crosses France from Paris to the Pyrenees and into Spain.
 Lunch: Lunch in Figueres
 Afternoon: Field Trip: Discovering Dalí in Figueres The Dalí Theatre-Museum, the largest surrealistic object in the world, occupies the building of the former Municipal Theatre, a 19th century construction which was destroyed at the end of the Spanish Civil War. On its ruins, Dalí decided to create his museum. After the museum visit, board a coach to Barcelona.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Vincci Gala
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: History of Catalonia - Barcelona City Orientation and Sagrada Familia
(Thursday, May 29)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Morning Lecture: An Introduction to Barcelona Art and Architecture from Gothic to Gaudi. Excursion: Enjoy a coffee break before having some free time to visit Museu d'Historia de Catalunya.
 Lunch: Lunch in the Old Port featuring Spanish paella
 Afternoon: Field trip: Sagrada Familia: Enjoy a guided visit of the basilica designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi followed by a driving visit of Barcelona's city highlights ending at our hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own. This is your opportunity to explore your own culinary selection in Barcelona.
Accommodations: Hotel Vincci Gala
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: Barcelona People, Music and Modernist Architecture
(Friday, May 30)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel
 Morning: Field trip: Morning in the Ramblas: Join a local expert for a walking tour exploring the Boqueria market to try some local specialties and mingle with local Barcelonians as they do their market shopping. Field trip: Liceu Opera House: The opera house, built according to the plans of the architect Miquel Garriga i Roca, was inaugurated on April 4, 1847. It was the largest opera house in Europe holding 4,000 seats.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own in Barcelona
 Afternoon: Free time to explore the city. Barcelona has so much to offer and much of it is within walking distance. Suggestions will be made.
 Dinner: DINNER AT THE HISTORIC 4 GATS Restaurant, once frequented by great artists and writers, including Picasso, Santiago Rusiñol and Ramon Casas.
 Evening: Enjoy a Flamenco performance of Maria de la O in the famous Palau de la Música.
Accommodations: Hotel Vincci Gala
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: El Penedes, Cava Wines, Sitges and the Mediterranean Coast
(Saturday, May 31)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel
 Morning: Field trip: El Penedes Wine Region and Cava Wines: As we drive through the vineyards, learn about the local specialty sparkling wine, its production, and explore a local cellar before you enjoy a tasting. Later on transfer to Sitges to visit Stampfli foundation, an organization that collects and displays a variety of art. It consists of a collection of over 70 works by 60 renowned contemporary artists from 21 countries. This museum, backed by Sitges Council and the Generalitat de Catalunya, is home to a collection that is representative of art from the nineteen sixties to the present.
 Lunch: Lunch overlooking the Mediterranean
 Afternoon: Continue your exploration of Sitges. You will have some free time to explore on your own before heading back to Barcelona.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner near or at the hotel.
 Evening: Meet with Local Professionals in Barcelona and learn all about life, work and family, as well as the current political challenges.
Accommodations: Hotel Vincci Gala
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Gothic Barcelona - Gothic Quarter, the Cathedral and the Picasso Museum
(Sunday, June 1)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel
 Morning: Field trip: Gothic Barcelona: With our local expert explore the famed Gothic Quarter, learn about the history and the architecture of this spectacular city. Enjoy some time to wander on your own through the medieval streets and stop at the Sardanas Dancing performance in the Main Square.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in the Gothic Quarter
 Afternoon: Field trip: La Seu Cathedral: In the heart of the Barri Gotic, this soaring Gothic cathedral is named after Barcelona's patron Saint Eulalia who, according to Catholic tradition, suffered martyrdom during the Roman Empire. Her body is entombed in the cathedral's crypt. Field trip: Picasso Museum: The Picasso Museum, housed in five adjoining medieval palaces, has one of the most extensive collections of artworks by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. There are more than 3,500 works in the permanent collection of the museum. Picasso first arrived in Barcelona in 1894 when his father found work teaching at the city art school. The Museu Picasso reveals the artist's relationship with the city of Barcelona from youth until his death in 1973.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner
Accommodations: Hotel Vincci Gala
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Departure from Barcelona and Return to the US
(Monday, June 2)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel
 Morning: Group transfer to the airport from the hotel (time is subject to change until 5 weeks before departure)
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Barcelona Casa Mila
Casa Milà, is yet another one of Gaudí’s masterpieces. It was commissioned by a friend of Batlló, Pere Milá i Camps. Gaudí designed furniture to the building and built one of the most distinctive of the city's buildings. in fact the building was so peculiar to Gaudï's contemporaries that they baptized the building la pedrera (the quarry) and the newspapers made caricature drawings of it. However, in 1984 Gaudí and Casa Milà got their well deserved recognition: this was the year when Casa Milà was included on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
  Parc Guell
Park Güell is a garden complex with architectural elements situated on the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. It was designed by the Antoni Gaudí and built in the years 1900 to 1914. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  Paris Boulevard St-Honoré
The Boulevard St- Honoré is the street of French designer clothing boutiques, one of the best window-shopping streets in the world.
  Musee de L’Orangerie
The Orangerie is the Paris museum that houses the largest of Monet’s “Nymph” paintings. After being closed for nearly five years, the museum reopened in 2007. For additional information, visit
  Rodin Museum
The Rodin Museum, housing the works of sculptor Auguste Rodin, is located near the Seine in a park-like setting. It features works that include “The Thinker,” “The Gates of Hell” and “The Burghers of Calais,” as well as many sculptures by Camille Claudel, Rodin’s lover. 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 Moveable Feast

Author: Ernest Hemingway

Description: A treasure for anyone interested in Parisian cafe society and its luminaries circa 1925. Hemingway includes sharp portraits of Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ford Maddox Ford and others who idled on their way to greatness.

Antonio Gaudi, Master Architect

Author: Juan Bassegoda Nonell

Description: This lavish little collection of Gaudi's work captures the evolution, imagination and exuberance of one of the most influential architects of the 20th century.


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.

Barcelona Map

Author: Borch Maps

Description: A detailed city map, laminated and folded for easy reference.

Eyewitness Guide Barcelona & Catalonia

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this superbly illustrated guide features color photography, dozens of local maps and detailed information on the region's attractions.

Eyewitness Guide France

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: This superb guide to all of France features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions. Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this is the guide to carry.

Homage to Catalonia

Author: George Orwell

Description: Orwell's portrait of the Barcelona uprising and the spirit of a city at war is a classic, an observant and heartfelt report from the streets.

Paris Map

Author: Borch Maps

Description: A sturdy laminated map of the city center at a scale of 1:12,000 and all of Paris at a scale of 1:15,000.

Paris in Mind

Author: Jennifer Lee (Editor)

Description: With selections spanning 300 years, this wonderful anthology reflects America's long connection to Paris and the French. The 30 American writers tapped include Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway and David Sedaris.

The Road from the Past, Traveling through History in France

Author: Ina Caro

Description: Time travel through France by way of its finest castles, chateaux, cathedrals and monasteries. This unusual travelogue is an invaluable companion for traveling in Paris, southern France, the Dordogne and the Loire Valley, combining personal observation with large doses of well-presented history.

The Shadow of the Wind

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Description: Set in the brooding atmosphere of post-WW II Barcelona, this gripping story-within-a-story has it all: murder, doomed love and a mysterious book which draws the young hero, Daniel Sempere, into the city’s dangerous underworld.

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