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Spain at a Slower Pace: The Best of Barcelona and Madrid

Program No. 22311RJ
Madrid and Barcelona are two of Europe’s most culturally fascinating cities. Join our experts for an insider’s perspective of these Old World gems, all at your own comfortable pace.

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DATES & starting prices
Mar 14 - Mar 23, 2024
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May 9 - May 18, 2024
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Oct 3 - Oct 12, 2024
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Oct 17 - Oct 26, 2024
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Filling Fast!
Nov 7 - Nov 16, 2024
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DATES & starting prices
Mar 14 - Mar 23, 2024
Starting at
May 9 - May 18, 2024
Starting at
Oct 3 - Oct 12, 2024
Starting at
Oct 17 - Oct 26, 2024
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Nov 7 - Nov 16, 2024
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At a Glance

First visit Madrid, the great capital of Baroque culture and art - bask in the power and excitement of this historic city, then enjoy the city of Barcelona, with its modernist architecture and considered the gateway to Europe and the Mediterranean. Today, both cities boast magnificent architecture, prolific legacies of culture and cuisine, considered some of the best in the world. Come join experts to explore these two treasures of Spain as you learn their individual and connected stories.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Climbing on and off the motor coach for city visits. Many cobblestones, steps and uneven ground. 1.5 to 2 miles of walking each day, unavoidable pedestrian areas. Additional standing at sites and museums. Looking for the same great program but a more challenging activity level? Check out "The Best of Barcelona and Madrid" (#21336).
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 and see the Modernist architectural masterworks of Barcelona.
  • Take part in a hands-on cookery class and enjoy the meal you prepare.
  • Attend an authentic Spanish “Tablao” to witness a traditional Flamenco performance.

General Notes

You may be interested in a more active version of this program, "The Best of Spain: Barcelona and Madrid" (#21336).
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Teresa de la Vega
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.

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

Profile Image of Pilar Arizaga
Pilar Arizaga View biography
Pilar Arizaga was born in Chile, grew up in Canada and currently lives in Spain. She has been a Group Leader for the past ten years and has worked with high school and college students, alumni and other groups. She has experience working in Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Morocco and England and she speaks English and Spanish, with knowledge of Portuguese, Italian, and French. Pilar is a well-organized, patient and passionate person about her work, always willing and seeking to take on new adventures.
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.
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.
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.
An Englishman in Madrid
by Eduardo Mendoza
Anthony Whitelands, an English art historian, is invited to Madrid to value an aristocrat's collection. At a welcome lunch he encounters Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, founder and leader of the Falange, a nationalist party whose antics are bringing the country ever closer to civil war.....
by Jason Webster
Jason Webster journeys across Spain, this time to explore the lasting effects of the Spanish Civil War. Could the divisions that led to the conflict still be simmering under the surface, and is it possible they could erupt again?
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 Map
by Borch Maps
A detailed city map, laminated and folded for easy reference.
Hotel Florida
by Amanda Vaill
Madrid, 1936. In a city blasted by civil war, six people meet and find their lives changed forever...
Winter in Madrid
by C.J. Sansom
A vivid and haunting depiction of wartime Spain, Winter in Madrid offers an intimate and riveting tale that offers a remarkable sense of history unfolding
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.
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.
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.
by Robert Hughes
Hughes brings us the story of an artist whose life and work bridged the transition from the eighteenth-century reign of the old masters to the early days of the nineteenth-century moderns.
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.
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.
Gaudi, A Biography
by Gijs van Hensbergen
A vivid account of the architect and his work.
by Jason Webster
Duende is Webster’s captivating memoir of the years he spent in Spain pursuing his obsession. Studying flamenco guitar until his fingers bleed, he becomes involved in a passionate yet doomed affair with Lola, a flamenco dancer...
Cadogan Guide Barcelona & Catalonia
by Dana Facaros
This savvy guide combines practical details and maps with illuminating background on history, culture and sightseeing.
Food and Wines of Spain
by Penelope Casas
This classic collection of 400 recipes, interwoven with cultural commentary and culinary history, is a pleasure to read, but prepare to become hungry.

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.