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The Artistic Spirit of Paris and Barcelona

Program Number: 20216RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/23/2015 - 5/4/2015; 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: $3,795.00 - 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; Low Fat; Low Salt    

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

4-23-2015, 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
   Abba Balmoral Barcelona
  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 (#)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:  Road Scholar can reserve additional nights at a special rate at this program hotel. Please contact Road Scholar at 1-800-241-1404 for our special rate and to make a reservation. Please call at least 45 days prior to your program departure to ensure availability of the Road Scholar special rate which includes taxes and breakfast.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Abba Balmoral Barcelona
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: 103 Rooms, free Wi-Fi connection in all hotel, meeting rooms up to 180 people, coffee–bar, restaurant, parking, business center, sauna, fitness center and solarium. In Barcelona city center, 5 minutes to Gaudí's famous building “La Pedrera”, next to la Diagonal of Barcelona and close to Passeig de Gràcia and Rambla Catalunya.
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: C/ Vía Augusta, 5
Barcelona,  08006 Spain
phone: +34 ) 93 217 87 00
  Room amenities: All Standard rooms have free Wi-Fi, a bathroom with bath, hair dryer, cosmetic/shaving mirror and all the necessary facilities and comfort for yourstay. All the rooms have a flat-screen television, safe, minibar, air conditioning, laundry service and a desk. They include free access to the gym, sauna and panoramic terrace. Room size: 25-35 m2. Type of bed: Twin (1 x 1,90 m) / Queen (2m x 1,8m).
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBD Contact PD for rates

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 Abba Balmoral Barcelona 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 train 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, April 23)
 In Transit: Overnight flight to Paris

Day 2: Arrival in Paris and Program Orientation
(Friday, April 24)
 Arrive To: Arrive in Paris CDG and transfer to the hotel. Check in is generally after 12:00 noon.
 Afternoon: Program Orientation at the hotel at 5 PM. We will gather in our private meeting room in the early evening where the Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Villa Pantheon
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Gothic Paris - Ile de la Cite, Notre Dame and the Sainte Chapelle
(Saturday, April 25)
 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: At a 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: 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, April 26)
 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: At a local restaurant 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: At a local restaurant 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, April 27)
 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: 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: 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, April 28)
 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: 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: 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, April 29)

Note: Note that there is no porterage service available at the train station in Spain and participants will be required to handle their own luggage off the train.

 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: At a local restaurant 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: At the hotel.
Accommodations: Abba Balmoral Barcelona
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: History of Catalonia - Barcelona City Orientation and Sagrada Familia
(Thursday, April 30)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we take public transport to the Museu d'Historia de Catalunya, in the Old Port area of the city. Here we enjoy an expert Lecture - An Introduction to Barcelona Art and Architecture from Gothic to Gaudi - before taking some time to visit the Museum which chronicles the history and identity of the Catalan people.
 Lunch: At a restaurant In the Old Port
 Afternoon: Field trip: Sagrada Familia: Enjoy a guided visit of the renowned, unfinished basilica designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, followed by a driving visit of Barcelona's city highlights ending at our hotel.
 Dinner: On your own. This is your opportunity to explore your own culinary selection in Barcelona.
Accommodations: Abba Balmoral Barcelona
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: Barcelona People, Music and Modernist Architecture
(Friday, May 1)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: This morning we take public transport to the Ramblas area of the city. With our local expert we enjoy a guided visit of the Liceu Opera House - built according to the plans of the architect Miquel Garriga i Roca, it was inaugurated on April 4, 1847 and was the largest opera house in Europe holding 4,000 seats. Later, join your Group Leader for a walk along the famous Ramblas boulevard.
 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. Perhaps choose to visit the modernist Palau de la Musica, or Gaudi's Parc Guell. Your Group Leader will offer information and assistance.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Abba Balmoral Barcelona
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: El Penedes, Cava Wines, Sitges and the Mediterranean Coast, Musical Performance
(Saturday, May 2)
 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, we transfer to Sitges to visit Museum of Cau Ferat. Santiago Rusiñol's residence and studio, and temple of his philosophy of Total Art is home to an important collection of paintinsg by Rusiñol and the artists who, like him, preached a modern form of art: Casas, Utrillo, Clarasó, Mas i Fondevila, Regoyos, Zuloaga, Picasso, Pitchot or Anglada Camarasa. It also presents Rusiñol's collection of wrought iron, which the museum was named after, collections of ceramics, glass, furniture and woodcarvings, and unusual objects that the author collected all through his life.
 Lunch: Enjoy your meal while 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 at a local restaurant
 Evening: Join your fellow participants for an evening of Spanish Classical Guitar music at a local church.
Accommodations: Abba Balmoral Barcelona
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Gothic Barcelona - Gothic Quarter, the Cathedral and the Joan Miró Foundation
(Sunday, May 3)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: This morning join our local expert for a Field trip to the impressive Miró Foundation - Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art, which displays over 14,000 works including a large collection of Miro's finest pieces. (Note that the Miro visit replaces the Picasso Museum which is unavailable for group visits this weekend). Later we 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. Finally we visit 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.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant in the Gothic Quarter.
 Afternoon: Later, Meet with Local Barcelonians and learn all about life, work and family, as well as the current political and social situation.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant
Accommodations: Abba Balmoral Barcelona
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Departure from Barcelona and Return to the US
(Monday, May 4)
 Breakfast: At the hotel - time permitting
 Morning: Group transfer to the airport from the hotel. Your Group Leader will confirm your transfer time with you before departure. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
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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