The Best of Spain: Barcelona and Madrid

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!
Rating (5)
Program No. 21336RJ
10 days
Starts at
Flights start at
17 Reviews
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5 Average

My first experience with Road Scholar exceeded expectations and I have already booked my next adventure with them!

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

This trip exceeded my expectations in every way. I was particularly impressed by the enthusiasm, knowledge and patience of our Spanish guide, Sonja Formojo. It is amazing how much I was able to do during this voyage. There was a good balance between scheduled events and free time, and Sonja helped each of us to optimize our free time. She taught us how to use the bus and metro systems to independently navigate Barcelona and Madrid. Spanish infrastructure, including high speed rail, is impressive. The accommodations were very good and the weather was perfect. My husband doesn't like to travel, so I went by myself and appreciated the friendly reception by all the other road scholars/kindred spirits. We had a great group and everyone always showed up on time! I was very pleased that with Sonia's help, I was always able to find delicious gluten and dairy free options for my medical food sensitivities. All of our event guides were excellent! My only constructive criticism is that we should have headed out to Montserrat 30 minutes earlier. As the day progressed the crowds were unbelievable and long lines prevented me from gaining access to the Black Madonna and the famous Boys' Choir. Nonetheless, I did have time to take the funicular to see the spectacular views from the mountain top. There is a TON of information imparted by our excellent event guides, and I urge everyone contemplating this trip to take the time to first study a bit of Spanish history, art and architecture. In anticipation of this trip I took several Great Courses, learned basic Spanish, and enjoyed tackling some of the books on the Road Scholar recommended reading list, including George Orwell's "Homage to Catalonia". I brought Rick Steves' Spanish guidebook with me, and it really helped to optimize my free time. I return home with a much deeper understanding of this culturally rich and beautiful complex country that sits at the crossroads between Europe & North Africa.


As a first time participate in a guided tour program, I am impressed with the concept of Roads Scholar program. The small group size of 24 enabled interfacing with all. Staying 4 days in each Barcelona & Madrid was a pleasure & am looking forwarded to another tour program next year


this was the best trip ever thanks to our guide Elena and if you do this trip ask for her. You will be glad that you did.


Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo great value and experience. Highly recommend it.


The Best of Barcelona and Madrid was an exceptional tour, with a focus on art and architecture that met a need I didn't fully realize I had! We were fortunate to have a remarkable group leader who was welcoming, friendly, helpful, and informative. This was my third Road Scholar tour, and I will definitely be back for more.


The Best of Spain was a wonderful experience. I fell in love with Barcelona. Our guide was amazing! This is an active trip, so be honest about your abilities, some people could not keep up - but it did not slow down the rest of the group or our guides.


This is a great program and a real adventure with wonderful guides, hotels, tours, and education.


I could not have gotten this quality of an experience by myself. Exploring Spain with the other travelers and the host added so much to the trip.


A lot of walking up and down steep hills. Lot of stairs in the churches and cities don't have railings. Terrific guide, Sonia. Great hotels.


Exceptional value! This is a "must do" adventure.


Many are familiar with some of art and architecture featured in this program, but few have the opportunity to see it in such abundance and outside the pages of the art books.


I've just returned from the The Best of Spain: Barcelona and Madrid trip!!! This is an incredible trip giving you insight, awareness and a true appreciation for Spain! Maevon is an incredible guide, very informed, organized and attentive. I strongly recommend this trip!!


I loved every day of this trip. I found it thrilling to be learning about the art, music and food. I also found it wonderful to be sharing it with strangers who fast became friends. Thank you, thank you!!


Barcelona and Madrid are beautiful cities and this program helped us gain insight into Spain's long and evolving history in a way reading alone wouldn't. Road Scholar's instructors are expert, enthusiastic, and provide excellent guidance at helping participants understand what they are seeing and why they are seeing it. This program is an outstanding value that fit with both our time and expense budgets. I highly recommend it.


Encourage anyone wanting a vibrant intro to Spain's culture, people, history, politics and cuisine to delve into the Barcelona, Madrid, Toledo journey.

Mary Beth

Road Scholar has a quality program. We’ve done 3 trips now and have learned so much on each one and in ways that we never could have done on our own. Accommodations, staff, food, are all outstanding every step of the way.

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