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Spain

The Best of Spain: Barcelona and Madrid

Program No. 21336RJ
Find out what makes Barcelona and Madrid two of Europe’s most unique cities as you discover bold architecture, world-renowned museums, ancient monuments and celebrated cuisine. Olé!
Length
10 days
Rating (5)
Activity Level
Starts at
2,949
Flights start at
850

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 21 - Apr 30, 2023
Starting at
3,099
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding April 29, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

May 5 - May 14, 2023
Starting at
3,099
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding May 13, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

May 12 - May 21, 2023
Starting at
3,099
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding May 20, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

May 19 - May 28, 2023
Starting at
3,099
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding May 27, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

May 26 - Jun 4, 2023
Starting at
3,099
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding June 03, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

Sep 8 - Sep 17, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Sept. 16, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

Sep 15 - Sep 24, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Sept. 23, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

Sep 22 - Oct 1, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Sept. 30, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

Oct 13 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Oct. 21, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

Oct 20 - Oct 29, 2023
Starting at
3,249
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Oct. 28, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

Nov 3 - Nov 12, 2023
Starting at
2,949
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Nov. 11, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

Mar 8 - Mar 17, 2024
Starting at
3,099
Mar 15 - Mar 24, 2024
Starting at
3,099
Apr 12 - Apr 21, 2024
Starting at
3,099
Apr 19 - Apr 28, 2024
Starting at
3,099
May 3 - May 12, 2024
Starting at
3,099
May 17 - May 26, 2024
Starting at
3,099
Jun 7 - Jun 16, 2024
Starting at
3,099
Sep 6 - Sep 15, 2024
Starting at
3,349
Sep 27 - Oct 6, 2024
Starting at
3,349
Oct 18 - Oct 27, 2024
Starting at
3,349
Oct 25 - Nov 3, 2024
Starting at
3,249
Nov 1 - Nov 10, 2024
Starting at
2,999
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 21 - Apr 30, 2023
Starting at
3,799
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding April 29, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

May 5 - May 14, 2023
Starting at
3,799
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding May 13, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

May 12 - May 21, 2023
Starting at
3,799
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding May 20, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

May 19 - May 28, 2023
Starting at
3,799
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding May 27, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

May 26 - Jun 4, 2023
Starting at
3,799
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding June 03, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

Sep 8 - Sep 17, 2023
Starting at
3,949
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Sept. 16, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

Sep 15 - Sep 24, 2023
Starting at
3,949
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Sept. 23, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

Sep 22 - Oct 1, 2023
Starting at
3,949
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Sept. 30, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

Oct 13 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
3,949
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Oct. 21, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

Oct 20 - Oct 29, 2023
Starting at
3,949
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Oct. 28, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

Nov 3 - Nov 12, 2023
Starting at
3,559
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Nov. 11, 2023 departure of “The Best of Portugal: From the Age of Discovery to Today” (#20983) and receive free air from one program to the next!

Mar 8 - Mar 17, 2024
Starting at
3,769
Mar 15 - Mar 24, 2024
Starting at
3,769
Apr 12 - Apr 21, 2024
Starting at
3,769
Apr 19 - Apr 28, 2024
Starting at
3,769
May 3 - May 12, 2024
Starting at
3,769
May 17 - May 26, 2024
Starting at
3,769
Jun 7 - Jun 16, 2024
Starting at
3,769
Sep 6 - Sep 15, 2024
Starting at
4,019
Sep 27 - Oct 6, 2024
Starting at
4,019
Oct 18 - Oct 27, 2024
Starting at
4,019
Oct 25 - Nov 3, 2024
Starting at
3,919
Nov 1 - Nov 10, 2024
Starting at
3,589

At a Glance

Gaudí and Picasso. Paella and Tapas. Mediterranean chic and capital-city grandeur. There are no other cities in the world like Barcelona and Madrid. Join us to learn about what’s new in these two dynamic cities and reflect on what’s been around since antiquity, from fanciful architecture to wind-swept Roman ruins. With special insight from our local experts and plenty of time to discover on your own, you’ll get the most of these two bold European cities.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Walking around 3-4 miles per day; cobblestones and many unavoidable stairs. Public transportation and subway with no elevators used throughout the program. Looking for the same great program but at a slightly more leisurely pace? Check out "Spain at a Slower Pace: The Best of Barcelona and Madrid" (#22311).
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Learn about the incredible fairytale-like curved roofs and bright colors of one of the world's most intriguing parks and heritage sites: Parc Guëll.
  • Attend expert-led lectures and gain insight into Spain's fascinating historical and artistic roots.
  • Explore two of Europe’s most renowned art museums in Madrid with top-notch instructors.

General Notes

Program includes independent time to explore the city and several meals on your own. Group Leaders will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities provided in preparatory materials. You may be interested in a more leisurely version of this program, "Spain at a Slower Pace: The Best of Barcelona and Madrid" (#22311).
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Gracia Gonzalez del Rio
Gracia Gonzalez del Rio was born in Lima, Peru and moved to Spain in 2001 after earning her master’s degree in corporate communication. Three years later, she began working as an educational group leader, introducing Spanish groups around Central Europe and educating groups from North America around Spain and Portugal. She greatly enjoys interacting with travelers and introducing them to European and Iberian cultures. Gracia currently resides in Sitges, near Barcelona, with her husband and children.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Gracia Gonzalez del Rio
Gracia Gonzalez del Rio View biography
Gracia Gonzalez del Rio was born in Lima, Peru and moved to Spain in 2001 after earning her master’s degree in corporate communication. Three years later, she began working as an educational group leader, introducing Spanish groups around Central Europe and educating groups from North America around Spain and Portugal. She greatly enjoys interacting with travelers and introducing them to European and Iberian cultures. Gracia currently resides in Sitges, near Barcelona, with her husband and children.
Profile Image of Sonia Formoso
Sonia Formoso View biography
Sonia Formoso is of Swiss-Spanish heritage and is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Italian. She has 14 years of experience leading education travel programs under her belt. Sonia studied at the Universities of Lausanne, Switzerland and Madrid Complutense, where she earned degrees in politics, social sciences and communication. She brings her signature energy, enthusiasm and in-depth knowledge to every Road Scholar program she leads.
Profile Image of Paola Camusso
Paola Camusso View biography
Paola Camusso was born in Lima, Peru but moved to Europe when she was 19 years old; she has lived in both Paris and Madrid. She has a master's in marketing and multimedia communications. For the past ten years, she has led students and adults from the USA, Canada, Australia and Latin America throughout Europe. In addition, Paola has led groups in Machu Picchu and the Andes last year. She is fluent in Spanish, English and French, and runs a successful clothing company.
Profile Image of Elena Lomban
Elena Lomban View biography
Elena Lombán was born on the Atlantic coast of Galicia, Spain. After living in the U.S. for several years, she began leading educational programs in 2006. She is an English teacher and licensed Galicia expert, passionate about education and travel while sharing her knowledge of linguistics, literature, history, and art. Fluent in Spanish, Galician, English, Italian, and French, Elena has traveled throughout Europe and North America. She loves the thrill of meeting Road Scholars for each new learning adventure and living life to the fullest.
Profile Image of Silvia Riera
Silvia Riera View biography
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.
Profile Image of Cecilia Ceriani
Cecilia Ceriani View biography
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.
Profile Image of Teresa de la Vega
Teresa de la Vega View biography
Teresa de la Vega studied history and geography at Complutense University of Madrid and has received degrees in American anthropology, ancient history, and art history. She has taught courses in art history throughout her career.
Profile Image of Clarisa Gonzalez Ortiz
Clarisa Gonzalez Ortiz View biography
Clarisa Gonzalez Ortiz believes educational travel as therapy and change is a fundamental part of life. She works for personal wellbeing through travel via the study of languages, Gestalt therapy, and animal assisted therapy. Clarisa is a tourism and travel expert, official guide of the Balearic islands, therapist, and pet therapist. Her hobbies include reading, sailing, and music.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War
by Amanda Vaill
The telling of the story of the Spanish Civil War through the eyes of several characters, including Ernest Hemingway, his girlfriend Martha Gellhorn and others - all of whom stayed at Madrid's Hotel Florida.
Ghosts of Spain
by Giles Tremlett
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 interview, anecdote and observation.
Antonio Gaudi, Master Architect
by Juan Bassegoda Nonell
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
by Robert Hughes
This big, thoroughly enjoyable cultural history of the city touches on architecture, art, religion and literature from Roman outpost to the present.
The Arts in Spain, From Prehistory to Modernism
by John Moffit
From the cave painting at Altimira through the Golden Age, to the works of Picasso and Miro, this book documents the course of art in Spain, with 150 illustrations.
The Hive
by Camilo José Cela
The Hive presents a panoramic view of the degradation and sufferings of the lower-middle class in post-civil war Spain.
Love and Revolutionary Greetings: An Ohio Boy in the Spanish Civil War
by Laurie E. Levinger
Follow the story of a boy name Sam Levinger who travels to Spain in 1937 to join the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Based off of letters home to his mother, this story will captivate and educate it's readers of the American involvement during the Spanish Civil War.
Food and Wines of Spain
by Penelope Casas
A classic collection of 400 recipes, interwoven with cultural commentary and the culinary history of Spain
Cadogan Guide Barcelona & Catalonia
by Dana Facaros
This savvy guide combines practical details and maps with illuminating background on history, culture and sightseeing.
Homage to Catalonia
by George Orwell
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.
Winter in Madrid
by CJ Sansom
A vivid and haunting historical novel, depicting post-Civil War Spain
The Shadow of the Wind
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
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.
Spain, A History
by Raymond Carr
An authoritative overview of Spain through the ages by one of the world's leading authorities on the history of Spain, Sir Raymond Carr.
Captain Alatriste
by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
A swashbuckling adventure set in 17th Century Spain during the reign of Philip IV and the Golden Age of Spanish power.
Gaudi, A Biography
by Gijs van Hensbergen
A vivid account of the architect and his work.
Barcelona Map
by Borch Maps
A detailed city map, laminated and folded for easy reference.





Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.