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23624
Spain

The Best of Barcelona and Madrid: Colorful Cultura with Your Grandchild

Barcelona and Madrid's awesome monuments, tasty tapas, fun dancing and vibrant culture make them the perfect cities for creating lifelong memories with your grandchild.
Program No. 23624RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
3,249
Spain

The Best of Barcelona and Madrid: Colorful Cultura with Your Grandchild

Barcelona and Madrid's awesome monuments, tasty tapas, fun dancing and vibrant culture make them the perfect cities for creating lifelong memories with your grandchild.
Length
10 days
Starts at
3,249
Program No. 23624 RJ
climate
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At a Glance

There’s exciting aventuras for everyone in Spain — that’s what makes it the perfect place for exploring with your grandchild! Whether you dream of seeing Picasso’s masterpieces or channeling your inner Gerard Piqué on a fun fútbol field trip to the largest stadium in Europe, our local experts will introduce you to the true gems of Barcelona and Madrid. So whip up some Catalan cuisine in a hands-on cooking class, try un churro delicioso, explore the Royal Palace and prepare for some Flamenco dancing — Spain awaits!
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Experience “fútbol fever” during a field trip to Camp Nou — the largest stadium in Europe — and see the jerseys and trophies displayed in the FC Barcelona Museum.
  • Discover historic Segovia via an expert-led city scavenger hunt, learning about its Roman aqueducts, Gothic cathedral and Alcázar (castle).
  • Whizz through Spain on the AVE high speed bullet train, reaching speeds up to 185mph!
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.
Only in Spain, A Foot-Stomping, Firecracker of a Memoir About Food, Flamenco and Falling in Love
by Nellie Bennett
In this exuberant memoir, an enthusiastic young Australian discovers a passion for Spanish culture (especially flamenco) as she explores Seville and Madrid.
A Traveller's Companion To Madrid
by Hugh Thomas (Editor)
This spritely anthology of eyewitness accounts -- in diaries, letters, memoirs and novels -- covers palaces and neighborhoods, customs, manners and morals of the city, revealing its geography, history and spirit.
Adventures in Spain
by Catherine Petit
From Madrid north to Santiago and south to Granada, join Catherine Petit as she shares her journeys through the countryside, hills, mountains and quaint cities and towns of the breathtaking country of Spain. Catherine serves as your personal guide through cathedrals, museums, parks, gardens, and architectural delights as she treks her way through the enchanting landscape. The photographs will bring the experience of Spain right to your door. The friends she made, the people she met, and the cultural extravagance she witnessed will ensure you make Spain your next destination.
Marina
by Lucia Graves (Translator), Carlos Ruiz Zafron
As fifteen-year-old Oscar roams the streets of Barcelona to escape the monotony of his boarding school life, he stumbles across a macabre graveyard ritual that transports him to an ethereal underground labyrinth. A cult classic in Spain and an international bestseller.
Spain, The People
by Tara Steele, Noa Lior
A pictorial and factual introduction to the people of Spain, geared for middle-schoolers. Chapters cover traditions, history, city and village life, homes, school, entertainment and food.
Frommer's EasyGuide to Madrid and Barcelona
by Frommer's
EasyGuides are full of practical, easy to absorb information and emphasize authentic experiences. This lightweight guide highlights important attractions with expert advice on accommodations and meals.
Culture Smart! Spain
by Marian Meaney
This concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture provides a short overview of the land and people along with practical travel advice.
Real Tapas
by Fiona Dunlop
A re-release of the critically acclaimed Real Tapas, this edition also features savory, traditional favorites as well as new, delectable recipes for the world’s most social cuisine.
Picasso
by Patrick O'Brian
Patrick O'Brian, who knew the artist, covers the life and work of Picasso.
Spain, The Root and the Flower
by John A. Crow
Take this book with you to Spain: it's an absorbing, well-written account of Spanish cultural history from prehistory to the Romans, Jews, Moors, Golden Age and on to Franco and his legacy in modern Spain.
Cathedral, The Story of its Construction
by David MacAulay
In this illuminating book for middle readers, master draughtsman MacAulay presents text and innovative drawings that detail the planning and construction of a 13th-century Gothic cathedral. It's a masterpiece.
Madrid, The History
by Jules Stewart
Jules Stewart sketches the history of a beloved city from Mayrit to Madrid, the Bourbons, Franco and beyond. With suggested whirlwind itinerary for Madrid in Two Days (and Nights).
Antonio Gaudi, Master Architect
by Juan Bassegoda Nonell
This pocket-sized collection of Gaudi's work captures the evolution, imagination and exuberance of one of the most influential architects of the 20th century.
Spain, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Peter R. Bush (Editor)
This collection of 30 stories from a who’s who of contemporary Spanish literature, including writers from Galicia, Leon, the Basque Country, Madrid and Barcelona.
Built to Last
by David MacAulay
A compilation of MacAulay's books Castle, Cathedral and Mosque with updated research and new color drawings. MacAulay tells the fictional but accurate stories of how these structures were built, explaining their historical and cultural importance. Packed with wonderfully detailed illustrations, this book will appeal to all ages.
Isabel, Jewel of Castille: Spain, 1466
by Carolyn Meyer
The imagined diary of Isabella when she was still a youngster, written for middle schoolers. The book is designed to feel like a real princess's diary, with gold-embossed pages and a sturdy binding.
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 interviews, anecdotes and observation.
Spain & Portugal Adventure Map
by National Geographic
A double-sided full color map of Spain and Portugal at a scale of 1:1,000,000 with good shaded relief, topographic detail, roads and waterways.
Barcelona
by Robert Hughes
A Longitude favorite, this big, thoroughly enjoyable cultural history of the city touches on architecture, art, religion and literature from Roman outpost to today.
Spanish Recognitions, The Roads to the Present
by Mary Lee Settle
A magical, meditative account of Spanish history, art, archaeology and travels by the noted writer. Settle (Turkish Reflections) conjures Cervantes, El Cid, the Moors, Visgoths, Romans, Lorca and Balboa as she writes of a road trip from Castile in central Spain to the southern coast.
If You Were There in 1492, Everyday Life in the Time of Columbus
by Barbara Brenner
A "you-were-there" history of medieval Spain, written for middle-schoolers and fun for the family. This clever illustrated history gives the facts of life in the cities and countryside from a child's point of view.
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.
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10 days
9 nights
18 meals
8 B 4 L 6 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Barcelona, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Barcelona
D
Catalonia Eixample 1864

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Orientation: 6:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This is a Road Scholar Family program. Adult participants are responsible for their children at all times. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Note that dinners in Spain generally take place much later than in North America, meaning that there is little or no free time in the evenings. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a 3-course plated welcome dinner with wine, coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Language Class, Parc Güell, Local Family
Barcelona
B,D
Catalonia Eixample 1864

Activity note: Walking up to 2-3 miles through the day; some cobblestones; steps and uneven surfaces in Park Güell and at La Sagrada Familia. Climbing/descending flights of stairs. La Sagrada Familia entrance times are strictly regulated and subject to change or substituted for another Modernist monument.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a buffet featuring a selection of bread and pastries, cereal, yogurt, fruit, and cold cuts, plus coffee, tea, juice, water.

Morning: Buenos días/Bon día, Barcelona! We will begin with a language lesson going over a few key words and phrases that you can use during your week in Spain. Afterward, our instructor will introduce us to the city as we visit Gaudí's famous and still unfinished Sagrada Familia church and some of the city's greatest sites. We will end the morning in the Gothic Quarter.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: We will head to Parc Güell, Gaudí's outdoor residential project which is now a municipal garden, boasting a wealth of modernist architecture and some unique and fun features. Following the visit, we will return to the hotel where a local family will explain what life is like in Spain today.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we'll enjoy a plated meal with a complimentary soft drink or glass of wine; mineral water included.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Barcelona Challenge, Cookery Class, The Mediterranean
Barcelona
B,L
Catalonia Eixample 1864

Activity note: Getting on/off public transportation; most Metro stations do not have escalators or elevators. Climbing/descending flights of stairs. Walking approximately 3-4 miles throughout the day; many cobblestones and uneven surfaces. Independent exploration according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will learn about the history, art, and culture of Barcelona inside and out during a fun-filled and challenging team activity organized by local experts around the city center. The winning team earns a prize! Next, we’ll walk to a cookery school in the old quarters of the city, where a local chef will teach us how to make traditional Catalan cuisine.

Lunch: We'll enjoy the Catalan dishes we made at the cookery school.

Afternoon: Explore the area at your own pace or choose to join the Group Leader for a walk around the beautiful Port Vell and Barceloneta areas of the city which are a fine example of the urban regeneration that took place in Barcelona before the Olympic games of 1992.

Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Picasso Museum, Barcelona Old & New, Soccer at Camp Nou
Barcelona
B,L,D
Catalonia Eixample 1864

Activity note: Getting on/off public transportation; most Metro stations do not have escalators or elevators. Climbing/descending flights of stairs. Walking up to 2-3 miles throughout the day; many cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We'll head out to the Picasso Museum and learn about the life and works of Pablo Picasso as we take a firsthand look at some of the artist's masterpieces, accompanied by our local expert. Afterwards, we’ll discover more of El Born area of the city. With our local expert, we will walk through the labyrinth of streets dating from medieval times. We’ll see the Church of Santa Maria del Mar – the setting for the novel 'The Cathedral of the Sea' – and learn about Barcelona’s ancient Roman ruins, which can be found throughout the old quarter.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we'll have a light lunch of tapas with drinks included.

Afternoon: We will take in Spain's fútbol culture at the largest stadium in Europe, Camp Nou. There, we'll discover the FC Barcelona Museum where we will find jerseys worn by some of the sport's greatest players, in a country where fútbol is followed with unrivaled fervor. Finally, we'll trace the history and values of the club, and view the impressive trophy collection. We'll then return to the hotel for dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel, we'll enjoy a plated meal with wine, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: We will head to a local community center for an exclusive viewing of Esbart San Marti's dress rehearsal featuring traditional Catalan folk songs and dances, as well as a chance to meet the performers afterwards.

DAY
6
Transfer to Madrid, Downtown Walk
Madrid
B,D
Hotel Catalonia Gran Via

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach and train; minimal driving; walking through 2 large train stations, up escalators and some steps. Train ride is about 386 miles, approximately 2.5 hours. Participants will need to handle their own luggage on and off the train as there is no porterage available at the station.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We'll check out and ride via motorcoach to the rail station, where we will board an AVE (Alta Velocidad Espanola—Spanish High Speed) train for Madrid. Reaching speeds of up to 190 mph on more than 2,000 miles of track, the AVE network is the largest high-speed rail network in Europe and second only to China.

Lunch: On your own on the train.

Afternoon: Upon arrival in Madrid, we'll check in at the hotel. Afterwards, we'll join our Group Leader for a walking introduction of the downtown area of the city. We'll take in the strikingly different architecture and culture of Spain's capital city as it comes to life. We'll even have the opportunity to try a "merienda" of traditional churros (similar to a doughnut made from deep-fried unsweetened dough and sprinkled with sugar) in a local pastry shop.

Dinner: At a traditional tapas restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Royal Palace, El Prado, The Art of Flamenco
Madrid
B,L,D
Hotel Catalonia Gran Via

Activity note: Walking up to 2-3 miles throughout the day; many cobblestones and uneven surfaces. Climbing/descending flights of stairs. Flamenco dancing.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: On a panoramic walking visit of Madrid, our local expert will introduce us to the main sites of the city, including the historic gateway of La Puerta de Alcala, the impressive Cibeles Square, and the old Austrias area. We will end at the Royal Palace, Europe's largest palace by floor area and official home to the Spanish royal family. Please note that the palace is occasionally closed for royal events, in which case the visit will be substituted with an alternate visit.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we'll have a plated meal with a glass of wine or soft drink; water included.

Afternoon: We'll join our local expert for an enlightening visit to El Prado – Spain's grandest museum – which houses one of the world's finest collections of European art, ranging from the 12th century to the early 19th century. On this unique and fun-filled adventure of discovery around the museum, we will learn all about European art and artists, as seen through the eyes of some of Europe's grand painters. We will then head over to one of Madrid's most traditional tablaos for an interactive evening of flamenco. Learn about the history and folklore of this popular art and discover the rhythmic moves that accompany the traditional "palos."

Dinner: At the flamenco show, we'll have simple shared plates with soft drinks or wine/beer included.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
A True Madrileño
Madrid
B,L
Hotel Catalonia Gran Via

Activity note: Getting on/off public transportation; most Metro stations do not have escalators or elevators. Climbing/descending flights of stairs. Walking up to 2-3 miles throughout the day; many cobblestones.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: The group will divide into two teams in a bid to discover the true Madrileño we carry inside as we enjoy a series of educational activities around the old city, including some cultural do's and don'ts!

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We'll join our Group Leader on a walking visit to El Retiro Park, a green oasis in the capital with a sprawling 450 acres of landscaped gardens, sculptures, and monuments. You may choose to take a boat ride on the lake and enjoy the street performers who line the leafy avenues.

Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Segovia & Spain's Historic Past, Free Time
Madrid
B,D
Hotel Catalonia Gran Via

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 60 miles, approximately 90 minutes to Segovia. Walking 3-4 miles on cobblestone streets in the morning. Going up/down steps without railings. Comfortable footwear is recommended. Extent of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We'll board the motorcoach and ride to Segovia. Situated northwest of Madrid in the Castile region and classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Segovia boasts a wealth of history spanning over centuries. On this expert-led visit of the city, we'll discover the remarkably well-preserved Roman Aqueduct (dating from around 50 C.E.), the 16th-century Gothic cathedral, and the renowned Alcazar with its "fairytale" turrets, begun in the 11th century.

Lunch: On your own to explore local cuisine in Segovia before returning by motorcoach to Madrid for the afternoon.

Afternoon: Free time. This period of time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we'll have a plated meal with mineral water, wine, and soft drinks. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
10
Program Concludes, In Transit From Program
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 12:00 Noon. See your program’s "Transportation Information" regarding transfers, which may begin as early as 4:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet, flight times permitting. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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