22311
Spain
Spain at a Slower Pace: The Best of Barcelona and Madrid
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.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22311RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
2,779
Flights start at
775
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10 days
9 nights
20 meals
8 B 4 L 8 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Departure for Spain
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrival in Barcelona & Welcome Orientation
Barcelona
D
Catalonia Eixample 1864

Activity note: Check-in is available beginning at 2:00 p.m

Morning: Arrive at the Barcelona airport and transfer to the hotel.

Afternoon: Take some time to unpack and to relax or become acquainted with the neighborhood on an optional walk with your Group Leader. Later in the afternoon, we will gather in the hotel conference room where the Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. In addition to the program theme and logistics, 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 indicated times are approximate and that program activities and schedules could change due to local circumstances such as weather, traffic conditions, etc. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Continue getting to know your fellow participants at the welcome dinner. Enjoy a three-course meal with choice of entrée plus a complimentary glass of wine and mineral water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Settle in and get a good night's rest for the full day tomorrow.

DAY
3
Introduction to Spanish Art & La Sagrada Familia
Barcelona
B,L,D
Catalonia Eixample 1864

Activity note: Today's activities include ascending and descending the motor coach steps during the city visit plus some uneven surfaces at La Sagrada Familia church. Please note that Sagrada Familia entrance times are strictly regulated and subject to change.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Your expert lecturer will offer you an introduction to Modernist Catalan art, architecture, culture, and life with a special focus on the modernist artists.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: We will depart by coach for a panoramic visit of Barcelona including the major emblematic sites of the city and a visit to Antoni Gaudí's masterpiece, the gigantic basilica known as La Sagrada Familia (the Sacred Family) that began construction in 1882 and continues to this day. It has become the symbol of the city.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Las Ramblas & Introduction to Catalan Cuisine
Barcelona
B,L,D
Catalonia Eixample 1864

Activity note: Today's activities include approximately 1.5 miles of walking around the Ramblas area of the city, plus standing in the market and at the cookery class.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: We will depart by private bus to Las Ramblas for a group leader led walk and a visit to La Boqueria market.

Lunch: Enjoy a cookery workshop and enjoy a lunch consisting of the dishes you will have prepared including a complimentary glass of wine.

Afternoon: Enjoy some free time before returning to your hotel by motor coach.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Gaudi and Picasso
Barcelona
B,L,D
Catalonia Eixample 1864

Activity note: Today's activities include: some uneven surfaces and steps at La Pedrera, approximately 1.5 miles of walking, plus standing at the sites and museums. Please note that Picasso Museum entrance times are strictly regulated and subject to change.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: We will depart by bus for an expert guided visit to La Pedrera, or "the Quarry" (the popular name given to the Gaudi-designed modernist apartment building Casa Milà). Later on, we will drive the modernist route of La Paseo de Gracia and onward to lunch.

Lunch: Enjoy a Tapas lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Led by a local expert, we will walk to our field trip at the Picasso museum for an on-site presentation followed by time to explore on your own.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Transfer to Madrid via High Speed AVE Train
Madrid
B,D
Meliá Madrid Serrano Galgos

Activity note: Today's activities include standing and walking through two large AVE train stations in Barcelona and Madrid. Your luggage will be transferred separately.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: After checking out of the Barcelona hotel, we will depart by motorcoach to the train station and board the “Alta Velocidad Española.” The AVE is Europe's longest high speed rail network that can reach 190 mph. The 386 mile trip to Madrid takes about 2-1/2 hours. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!

Lunch: On your own aboard the train.

Afternoon: Check-in at your centrally located Madrid hotel and take some time to freshen up and to relax before a presentation on the transition in Spain and Movida Madrilena, a countercultural movement that took place mainly in Madrid during the Spanish transition after Francisco Franco's death in 1975.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Introduction to Madrid & El Prado Museum
Madrid
B,L,D
Meliá Madrid Serrano Galgos

Activity note: Today's activities include: climbing on and off the motorcoach, plus standing and walking through some pedestrian areas of the city and around the extensive Prado Museum

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Join your expert local lecturer for a presentation at the hotel. Learn about the history, culture and people throughout the ages of Madrid.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Join our local expert as we board a motorcoach to see Madrid's most emblematic sites. We will finish with a guided visit to the majestic El Prado Museum, which holds one of the world's finest collections of European art. Highlights include masterpieces of the French, German, and Italian schools, early Flemish works, and the finest collection of works by Spanish Grand Masters such as Velázquez, Goya, Murillo, and many more.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Segovia and the Art of Flamenco
Madrid
B,D
Meliá Madrid Serrano Galgos

Activity note: Today's activities include: standing and walking between one to two miles through pedestrian areas of Segovia, which has some cobblestones and occasional steps without handrails. Free time or group leader-led activities may include additional walking.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: We will take a field trip to the historical town of Segovia by coach. Situated to the northwest of the capital, in the Castile region, and classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Segovia boasts a wealth of monuments which span the centuries. See the remarkably well-preserved Roman Aqueduct (dating from around 50 A.D.), and enjoy a guided visit to the renowned Alcazar, which began in the 11th century. Following the visit, we will return to Madrid.

Lunch: On your own to explore local cuisine.

Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon for personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: We will depart by motorcoach to a local tablao (flamenco bar) for a welcome drink and an introductory presentation on the art of flamenco, followed by a simple dinner of tapas with wine, sangria, or beer. A flamenco performance follows dinner.

Evening: Flamenco! “Voices filled with anguish and pain in cante jondo, rhythms of happiness and joy in sevillanas and rumbas.” Flamenco is all that and more, full of passion and intensity. Madrid takes pride as the capital of flamenco, hub of the recording industry, and starting place for aspiring artists performing in tablaos. Revel in the sights and sounds of a typical evening of Spanish folklore, music, and dance. We will return via motorcoach after the performance ends at approximately 9:30 p.m.

DAY
9
Modernist Madrid: Reina Sofia Museum
Madrid
B,D
Meliá Madrid Serrano Galgos

Activity note: Today's activities include ascending and descending the motor coach's steps, plus standing and walking through the museum. Free time or group leader-led activities may include additional walking.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Enjoy an expert lecture at your hotel which will provide an introduction to 20th century Spanish art. Following the lecture, depart by motorcoach to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Reina Sofia Museum). The Reina Sofía opened its doors in 1990 as a modern, contemporary Spanish museum on an international scale. Its collection of more than 20,000 works includes masterpieces by Dali, Miro, Picasso, and many others. Its most famous piece is Picasso's "Guernica,” based on the bombing of that Basque town during the Spanish Civil War, but with broader symbolism as a plea against the barbarity and terror of all war.

Lunch: On your own to explore local cuisine. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Enjoy some free time this afternoon, or take this opportunity to prepare for your journey home.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant which includes a three course meal, with a choice of each course. Complimentary red or white house wine plus mineral water.

Evening: At leisure. Say farewell to new Road Scholar friends and prepare for your departure in the morning.

DAY
10
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Breakfast: A buffet breakfast is included if flight times permit.

Morning: Departures in the early morning to the Madrid airport. 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.






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