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Voyages to Antiquity: Exploring History’s Grandeur in France and Spain

Program Number: 21660RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/3/2015 - 6/19/2015;
Duration: 16 nights
Location: France/Spain/Morocco
Price starting at: $5,995.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 39; 15 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 14 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Fat; Gluten Free; Low Salt    

On this voyage from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic through the Strait of Gibraltar, study the rises and falls of empires and examine the spectacular architectural and artistic record left behind. Roman theaters, opulent Moorish palaces and medieval cathedrals beckon you inside to learn the stories of emperors, sultans and popes.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day and standing for up to four hours per day. Some uneven terrain, hills and steep stairs without railings at historic sites.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Aboard Aegean Odyssey, 11 nights; Seville (Spain), 2 nights; Madrid, 2 nights.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Days 2-3: Arrival Nice (France) / embark Aegean Odyssey:

Begin your voyage on the beautiful Côte d’Azur. During an independent day discover Nice and, if you wish, transfer to nearby Monte Carlo as well.



Days 4-5: At Sea / Marseille:

Sail along the Riviera to Marseille. Journey to Avignon and visit the Palace of the Popes. Continue to Nîmes and its magnificent Roman arena.



Day 6: Carcassonne:

An hour’s drive through lovely French countryside brings you to Carcassonne, a medieval fortified hill town of spectacular towers and ramparts.



Day 7: Barcelona (Spain):

Explore the Gothic Quarter, where buildings from the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages stand side by side. Enjoy some free time in the city.



Days 8-9: At Sea / Cartagena:

In ancient times, Carthago Nova (“New Carthage”) was the capital of a Roman province. Examine the city’s recently unearthed Roman theater.



Day 10: Málaga:

Journey through Andalusian countryside to the Alhambra, an opulent palace-fortress built by the Moors. Stroll through its gardens and interiors.



Day 11: Tangier (Morocco):

Navigate into the Strait of Gibraltar and go ashore in Tangier on the North African coast. Discover the Cave of Hercules and visit a colorful Moroccan market.



Day 12: Jerez (Spain):

Explore the old quarter including the Alcazar, a Moorish fortress that is now a public park. Enjoy a tasting of Sherry, the fortified wine named for the city.



Days 13-14: Seville / disembark:

Sail up the Guadalquivir River to Seville, where an expert-led excursion includes the imposing Gothic Cathedral and the Moorish Alcázar palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a field trip to Córdoba to find the Great Mosque-Cathedral and the old Jewish quarter. Lodging: Stylish, centrally located hotel.



Days 15-17: Train to Madrid / departure:

A high-speed train zips you 300 miles to Spain’s capital in 2.5 hours. Discover the sprawling Plaza Mayor, the bustling Puerta del Sol, the baroque Royal Palace and more. Savor two staples of Spanish culture: a tapas dinner and a flamenco show. Lodging: Centrally located, 4-star hotel.



Aegean Odyssey

The Aegean Odyssey is a premium class ship especially rebuilt to allow for a unique combination of ocean and river cruising, whether amongst the islands of the Mediterranean or on the great rivers of Asia. These journeys take you from uncrowded Mediterranean harbors to the African savannah, the Mughal monuments of India to the jungle temples of Southeast Asia. Public areas include Mediterranean-influenced restaurants, a library, Internet center, sweeping sun decks, outdoor pool, gym and spa.


Meals and Lodgings
   Aegean Odyssey
  Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea 11 nights
   Meliá Central Hotel
  Seville, Spain 2 nights
   Meliá Galgos
  Madrid, Spain 2 nights
 Aegean Odyssey
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The Aegean Odyssey offers boutique-style cruising at its best. In contrast to the massive vessels cruising to and from major ports, it is a midsized ship adapted for island and coastal cruising. The Aegean Odyssey can visit smaller, less crowded harbors and sail closer to the coast enabling you to really appreciate the magical views.
  Ship Information: Ship’s Tonnage: 11,563 Length: 461 feet Beam: 67 feet Draft: 20.5 feet Cruising Speed: 18 knots Passenger Decks: 7 Stabilizers: 2 Passenger Staterooms/Cabins: 198 Passengers – lower beds: 378 Classification: Lloyd’s Register Society London Ship’s Registration: Malta
  Contact info: Voyages to Antiquity
1800 SE 10th Avenue, Suite 230
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 877-398-1460
web: www.voyagestoantiquity.com
  Room amenities: All cabins are equipped with a flat screen TV, air-conditioning, and personal safe. Particular importance is placed on the standard of bedding in cabins. Luxury bedding, including fine duvets, covers and sheets, ample soft pillows and quality towels can be expected. Also, shampoo, bath and shower gel, soap, and shower cap are provided. Your cabin steward is always available. Cabins and suites feature outlets with 220 voltage, using the “European” two round pin plug. Hair dryers are provided in your cabin and electric rollers, curling irons, electric shavers and other small appliances can be used in your cabin. For safety reasons, travel irons are not allowed.
  Facility amenities: Dining: Aegean Odyssey offers many dining facilities: The Marco Polo Restaurant is the ship's more formal restaurant, providing casual country-club elegance for lunch or dinner; The Terrace Cafe offers a combination of indoor and outdoor seating where you can indulge in breakfast, lunch and dinner from the grill or the sumptuous daily buffet. In the evenings, enjoy breathtaking views over dinner at Tapas on the Terrace. *There is a complimentary choice of wine, beer, or soft drinks with your evening meal. There will be a string trio, pianist and casual dancing before and after dinner. You may also wish to partake in afternoon tea, served in the Observation Lounge or enjoy an evening snack and cocktail, available in the Lido and Rendezvous bars. A limited room service menu is available. Special Diets: Please advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. The ship can usually meet most general requests such as those made with an air carrier; however, this cannot always be guaranteed. Services: Library; outdoor pool; spa; health center, saunas, massage and beauty treatment rooms and early morning yoga on the Lido Deck; elevators; beauty salon; medical center; laundry and pressing services (order form and laundry bag is provided in cabin); lecture theater and cinema and on board shop. Internet: The Internet center (open 24 hours and a charge of $18 for 4 non-consecutive hours is applied, wireless available in reception area). PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of satellite connectivity on board a ship, the internet connection is slow, erratic and may be unavailable at times.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Meliá Central Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the heart of Seville opposite the Parque de Maria Luisa and Plaza España and very close to the University (Old Tobacco Factory), the Alcazar, the Barrio de Santa Cruz district, the Cathedral and the Archive of the Indies, the new Meliá Sevilla is the perfect choice for your business and leisure trips, thanks to its excellent location in the city centre, its fully equipped and comfortable facilities and the quality of its services.
  Contact info: Dr. Pedro de Castro, 1
Seville 41004,   Spain
phone: +34 95 4421511
web: www.melia-sevilla.com/en
  Room amenities: Each room has 24 hour room service, individually controlled air conditioning, luxury bedding, satellite television, telephone, free high speed WiFi Internet, mini bar, laundry service, an iron and ironing board (on request), safe box, and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers 24-hour front desk service, two restaurants and a bar, lobby, free high speed WiFi Internet, laundry service, outdoor pool with poolside bar, spa and gym, and a lounge.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Meliá Galgos
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the chic Barrio Salamanca, close to the main Paseo de la Castellana, the Meliá Galgos is a recently renovated 4-star hotel. It is surrounded by a wide variety of restaurants, cafés and shops, and there are two metro stations nearby providing easy access to all areas of the city.
  Contact info: Calle de Claudio Coello, 139
28006 Madrid,   Spain
phone: +34 915 62 66 00
web: www.melia.com/en/hotels/spain/madrid/melia-galgos
  Room amenities: Each room has a full bathroom with a make-up mirror, toiletries set, and a hairdryer, flat screen television, telephone, pillow menu, safe box, minibar, and complimentary WIFI.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers 24-hour reception, lobby, bar, two restaurants, fitness center with sauna, hot tub and steam room, small roof terrace, meeting rooms and business facilities with printers (for a fee), complimentary WIFI, and air-conditioning.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after:  Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. 1-800-241-1404
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Nice, France. Program begins at 5:00 PM in the “Observation Lounge” on board the ship. You will be staying at Aegean Odyssey that night.
  End of Program:
Madrid, Spain. Program ends after breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Meliá Galgos the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. The Voyages to Antiquity Guest Registration Form is required.
  Parking availability:
N/A
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Aegean Odyssey - At Sea
  Transportation to site: The cost of a taxi from the airport to the port in Villefranche-sur-Mer is approximately 50 Euro.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Madrid
  Transportation from site: A taxi from central Madrid to the airport costs 30 Euro per taxi. Alternatively, take the Metro Line 10 from Alonso Martinez to Nuevos Ministerios station, changing there for the Line 8 which stops at all terminals. Tickets can be purchased at the station and cost 5 Euro.
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: Departures
(Wednesday, June 3)
   
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight.

Day 2: Welcome / Embark the Aegean Odyssey
(Thursday, June 4)
   
 Morning: Arrival at Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport (NCE). Transfer to the ship for embarkation.
 Afternoon: Welcome orientation to the program at 5:00 PM in the ship's "Observation Lounge".
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Nice, France / Monte Carlo
(Friday, June 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: A morning at leisure to enjoy the seaside city of Nice on the French Riviera.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: This afternoon the ship will offer a transfer to Monte Carlo, famed capital of Monaco, for free time.
 Dinner: Dinner on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: The ship will overnight in Nice.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Cruising the French Riviera Coast
(Saturday, June 6)

Note: .



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: At sea. In the morning, as the ship makes its way to Marseilles, you will pass close to the coast of Monte Carlo and then continue along the beautiful coastline of the Cote d'Azur passing Nice, St. Tropez and Antibes.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Take advantage of the ship's well stocked library that has a wide selection of volumes covering classical history, literature, art, architecture, and philosophy. The frequently updated collection also includes an extensive reference section as well as modern and classic novels.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: The ship arrives to Marseilles in the evening.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Marseilles, France
(Sunday, June 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Explore the Provençal countryside on this full-day field trip that visits Avignon with its papal legacies and Nîmes, along the Via Domitia, the Roman road constructed in 118BC that connected Italy to Spain. Your adventure starts with a 90-minute drive to Avignon which rose to glory in the Middle Ages, when a series of French born Popes fled Rome and made the town a base from which they ruled Christendom until 1407. Enjoy views of the Rhone River and Avignon's much-sung-about bridge, Pont St Benezet. The highlight of your visit is a guided visit of the Pope's Palace.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, explore Nîmes, once a Roman colony that prospered until the end of the 3rd century. Its history is evident in its 2,000 year old elliptical Roman amphiteatre, the best-preserved arena in France and still in active use as a concert arena. Stroll the tree-shaded boulevards that trace the foundations of its former city walls.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Evening departure for Port-la-Nouvelle, for tomorrow's visit to Carcassonne.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Port-la-Nouvelle, France / Carcassonne
(Monday, June 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: From the port of Port-la-Nouvelle, it is an hour's drive through the quintessentially French Languedoc countryside to Carcasonne. Founded by the Romans, the fortified city of Carcassonne became the largest walled stronghold of the Middle Ages and its remarkable towers and ramparts are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Free time to relax on board.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Evening departure for Barcelona. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Barcelona, Spain
(Tuesday, June 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: This morning we explore Barcelona. Our field trip will be dedicated to exploring the Roman sites of the city including the Temple of Augustus, the Gothic Quarter and the City Museum of Barcelona.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own in Barcelona.
 Afternoon: A free afternoon allows you to see more of Barcelona according to your own interests and pace. Perhaps visit extraordinary Sagrada Familia, the massive Catalan church designed by the visionary architect Antoni Gaudí. Construction of this iconic building began in 1882 and is still ongoing. A stroll along Las Ramblas, perhaps stopping to sip sangría and people watch, is a must.
 Dinner: Dinner on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: Midnight departure for the south of Spain. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: At sea
(Wednesday, June 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Treat yourself to one of many spa services offered by the ship. Or, simply relax poolside enjoying the late spring sunshine.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Find your way to one of the ship's lounges for a conversation with fellow travelers.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Cartagena, Spain
(Thursday, June 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Survey the Roman Theater of Carthago Nova – the New Carthage – as Cartagena was known during the heyday of the Roman Empire. Built between 5 and 1 BC and dedicated to the grandsons of Augustus Caesar, its remains were first discovered in 1988 and the archaeological excavations and restorations were completed in 2003. Explore the remains of the Santa María la Vieja Cathedral, dating from the end of the 13th century and irreversibly destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. Situated on the hill of La Concepción in the Cartagena’s old town, the ruins are evocative of medieval Spain.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore the menú del día at a tapas restaurant or two.
 Afternoon: Free time for indepdendent exploration of Cartagena.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Early evening departure for Málaga. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Málaga, Spain
(Friday, June 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a coach ride through the Andalucían countryside from the port of Málaga to Granada. Here you will experience the majesty of the Alhambra, a Moorish citadel and palace. It is the most renowned building of the Andalusian Islamic historical legacy. Together with the adjoining gardens and orchards of El Generalife, this remarkable site is considered an architectural culmination of Nasrid art undertaken in the 13th and 14th centuries and has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1984.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continuation of the full-day excursion to Granada.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Midnight departure for Tangier. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Tangier, Morocco
(Saturday, June 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: This morning discover Tangier, a city founded by Carthaginian colonists in the early 5th century BC. Visit Cape Spartel, the most north-western point of mainland Africa. Explore the cave of Hercules; legend has it that Hercules slept in this cave before performing his 11th labor. Enjoy the colorful markets of Tangier's old town and the ocean view from the kasbah.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of Tangier.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Evening departure for Cádiz. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Cádiz, Spain
(Sunday, June 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: From the port of Cádiz, it is about 1/2 hour to Andalucia's 5th largest city: Jerez de la Frontera. Jerez is the world capital of sherry and the city where flamenco singing began. Wander its well-preserved old quarter dating from medieval times. Admire the Alcazar, a former Moorish fortress, and now a park. Nearby is the archaeological site of the ancient city Asta Regia, once a prominent Roman city. Enjoy a sherry tasting at a local bodega and learn about the manufacture of this celebrated fortifed wine.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Cruise the Guadalquivir River, the second longest river with its entire length in Spain, to arrive in Seville by sunset.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: The ship overnights in Seville. Free evening to prepare belongings for disembarkation.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Disembark / Seville, Spain
(Monday, June 15)

Note: The Barrio de Santa Cruz is largely cobbled.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Disembark the ship and enjoy a guided visit of Seville, the capital and largest city of Andalucía. Explore its oldest neighborhood, the Barrio Santa Cruz. Meander its labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys that open onto beautiful plazas. During medieval times, this neighborhood was the Jewish quarter and it is home to many of Seville's oldest churches. Visit its cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral – and the third largest church – in the world. In 1898 it became the final resting place of Christopher Columbus. Next, visit the spectacular moorish Alcázar Royal Palace and gardens -- the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe. Originally a fort built by the Almohad Dynasty, it is one of the best remaining examples of Mudéjar architecture.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Check-in to hotel and enjoy some time for relaxing before heading out with your Group Leader to explore nearby Maria Luisa Park and the impressive Plaza de España, built for the World Expo in 1929, and a fine example of typical Sevillan architecture and incoporating traditional Andalucían ceramic tile.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
   
Accommodations: Meliá Central Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 14: Seville, Spain / Córdoba
(Tuesday, June 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Enjoy the rolling plains of the Andalucían countryside during this morning's transfer to Córdoba. Today's full-day field trip will include the Mezquita, a medieval Islamic mosque that was converted into a Catholic cathedral. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble and granite. Next, explore Córdoba's Jewish quarter where this population flourished between from the 10th century until their expulsion from Spain in 1492. Its historic synagogue built in Mudéjar style is a memorial to the nearly 500 years of peaceful coexistance of Christians, Jews and Muslims in this city. There will also be time to visit the Alcázar,formerly a Visigoth fortress before falling to Umayyads conquerers and much later – after its expansion – it served as one of the primary residences of Isabel I and Ferdinand II.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Visit Viana Palace, formerly housing nobility and now a National Historic Monument. It is oft referred to as the Museum of the Patios, for its twelve separate 'patios' or garden rooms, each with their own unique design. There will be some free time after this visit for independent exploration of Córdoba before meeting the coach for the transfer back to Sevilla.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Meliá Central Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 15: Train to Madrid, Spain
(Wednesday, June 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning we transfer to Seville's Santa Justa station to board a high-speed train to Madrid. The roughly 300 mile journey takes approximately 2 1/2 hours. Store luggage at the hotel and continue on to Old Madrid.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own in Old Madrid at the San Miguel Market.
 Afternoon: Walking excursion of majestic 17th century Plaza Major with its three-story residences and statue of Felipe III. Next, on to Puerta del Sol, one of the most well known landmarks in Madrid. Originally named for the gate in the city wall that surrounded Madrid in the 15th century, now the city's busiest plaza and the center of the Spanish road system, from which all distances are measured. Check-in to hotel before orienting to area with your Group Leader.
 Dinner: Enjoy an introduction to Flamenco with a brief lecture and demonstration followed by a tapas dinner and a Flamenco show.
   
Accommodations: Meliá Galgos
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 16: Madrid, Spain
(Thursday, June 18)

Note: If the Royal Palace is closed to the public due to a royal event, a museum visit will be substituted in its place.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Morning panoramic sightseeing visit of Madrid including Paseo de la Castallaña, Madrid's chic modern district, the Paseo del Prado, also known as the Triangle of Art, the Plaza de Cibeles and Town Hall, La Gran Vía, Madrid's theatre district, and Almudena Cathedral. Visit the stunning Royal Palace, the largest in Europe by floor area and containing a spectacular collection of artwork, as well as furnishings.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of Madrid.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Meliá Galgos
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 17: Departures
(Friday, June 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Transfer to Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) for departures.
   
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.

Suggested Reading List


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.



Barcelona


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



Culture Smart! Spain


Author: Marian Meaney


Description: This concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture provides a short overview of the land and people along with practical travel advice.



Driving over Lemons, An Optimist in Andalucia


Author: Chris Stewart


Description: Stewart's memoir about moving with his wife to a farm in Alpujarras is charming and insightful. Unlike many expatriates, Stewart manages to ground himself far enough into the community to make lasting friends -- as well as a home for his young daughter.



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.



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.



Ghosts of Spain


Author: Giles Tremlett


Description: Tremlett captures the Spanish character, history and modern politics in this masterful portrait, interweaving the story of his love for the country (where he has lived for 20 years) with interviews, anecdotes and observation.



Leaving Tangier


Author: Tahar Ben Jalloun


Description: Capturing the ambitions of young people everywhere, Ben Jalloun traces the fate of Azel, his sister and other emigrants, who leave Morocco for the promise of a better life in Spain.



Only in Spain, A Foot-Stomping, Firecracker of a Memoir About Food, Flamenco and Falling in Love


Author: Nellie Bennett


Description: In this exuberant memoir, an enthusiastic young Australian discovers a passion for Spanish culture (especially flamenco) as she explores Seville and Madrid.



Spain, A Traveler's Literary Companion


Author: Peter R. Bush (Editor)


Description: This collection of 30 stories form a who’s who of contemporary Spanish literature, including writers from Galicia, Leon, the Basque Country, Madrid and Barcelona.



Spain, The Root and the Flower


Author: John A. Crow


Description: Take this book with you to Spain: it's an absorbing, well-written account of Spanish cultural history from prehistory to the Romans, Jews, Moors, Golden Age and on to Franco and his legacy in modern Spain.



The Alhambra


Author: Robert Irwin


Description: Irwin's brief, indispensable guide introduces the stunning Moorish palace and fortress complex, revealing its mysteries, myths and significance with wit and insight.



The Friar of Carcassonne


Author: Stephen O'Shea


Description: O'Shea (The Perfect Heresy) turns the tale of Friar Bernard Delicieux and a city that stood against Pope Boniface VIII, Machiavellian French King Philip the Fair and grand inquisitor Bernard Gui into a thrilling tale of resistance in Medieval Languedoc.



The Popes of Avignon, A Century in Exile


Author: Edwin Mullins


Description: Grounded in the architecture and papal legacy of Avignon and the surrounding area, this engaging history sets the 70-year period of papal exile in the south of France against the context of Europe's turbulent transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.



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.



Two Towns in Provence


Author: M. F. K. Fisher


Description: Celebrated food writer M.F.K. Fisher contrasts village life in Aix-en-Provence with bustling Marseilles, evoking these two favorite places with anecdote and loving description.





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