Musical Spain
https://worldstrides.com/itineraries/musical-spain/

Musical Spain

Barcelona and Madrid

Spain is a vibrant country that combines the spirit of its various rulers over the centuries, from the Phoenicians and Romans, to the Moors and Christians. Its rich history is complimented by an expansive landscape of mountains, deserts, and glorious beaches. From the pounding rhythms of the flamenco and the unique experience of the bullfight, to the food that brings all people together, Spanish culture is defined by a deep passion for life that is contagious to all visitors.

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Highlights

Your Adventure, Day by Day

Day 1 Depart from North America
  • Flight to Madrid Sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight to Madrid.
Day 2 Meet in Madrid
  • Arrive in Madrid Our 24-hour Tour Director will meet us at the airport and remain with us until our final airport departure. We will have use of a private coach and driver while touring for the next seven day(s). Spain’s capital city of Madrid lies at the heart of the country. Despite its modern and cosmopolitan culture, the city has preserved its traditional architecture and charm. This is a city of great monuments and great art, all against the backdrop of a rich culture and an exciting nightlife.
  • Plaza de España In the center of the square we will see the monument to Cervantes, which depicts characters from his most famous work, Don Quixote. We will also see a monument to Columbus.
  • Visit the Palacio Real A huge palace begun in 1738 on the site of the Madrid Alcázar, which burned to the ground in 1734. Our tour will take us through some of the palace’s 2,000 rooms that the “enlightened despot” Charles III called home. Although the palace is no longer home to the royal family, it is still full of art treasures and antiques, including Tiepolo ceilings and paintings by Goya. Highlights of our visit include the Reception Room and State Apartments; the Throne Room; the Banquet Room, where receptions for heads of state are still held; and the Royal Chapel.
  • Hotel check in Our centrally-located Madrid hotel will be our home for the next two night(s). We will have breakfast at the hotel daily.
  • Dinner This evening, dinner will be provided in a local restaurant.
Day 3 Half Day Trip to El Escorial & Valle De Los Caidos
  • Journey to El Escorial A massive monastery-palace commissioned by Philip II, El Escorial highlights include; the Royal Apartments, many decorated with fine tapestries; the Pantheon of the Kings, which contains the mortal remains of all the Spanish monarchs from the time of Emperor Charles V; the Art Gallery, featuring works by Bosch, Titian, and El Greco; the Basilica; and the spectacular Library, with over 40,000 original books from the time of Philip II and a ceiling by Tibaldi.
  • Valle de los Caidos Cross Visit Valle de los Caidos Cross, a Catholic basilica and a monumental memorial in the municipality of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. It was conceived by Spanish general Francisco Franco to honour and bury those who fell during the Spanish Civil War.
  • Plaza Mayor Spend time in the Plaza Mayor, Madrid’s most famous square. Throughout its long history the square has hosted markets, bullfights, soccer games, public executions, and the Spanish Inquisition. It is now ringed by shops and cafés, and often filled with artists and musicians.
  • Puerta del Sol Explore the Puerta del Sol, one of Madrid’s busiest and most historic squares. While here we will view the Kilometre Zero marker, from which all distances in Spain are measured, and Madrid’s symbol, the Madrono.
  • Dinner This evening, dinner will be provided in a local restaurant.
  • First Concert Performance Our concert performance in Madrid will be today. Prestigious venue options include the Basilica San Lorenzo de El Escorial or the Santa Cruz de Atocha. Additionally, the Iglesia Parroquia de Cristo Rey de Argüelles or the Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de la Concepción de Pueblo Nuevo are venue options for sacred music where your group will have access to the organ.
Day 4 Flight to Barcelona
  • Explore the Prado Before departing to go to Barcelona, explore the world’s finest art museums. Inside is a collection of European art from the 12th to 19th centuries based on the Spanish Royal Collection. Our specialist-guided tour will focus on the Spanish masters, such as Velazquez, Goya, and El Greco; and we will also see works by Raphael, van der Weyden, Bosch, Rubens, Titian, and Caravaggio.
  • Flight to Barcelona Barcelona is the heart and soul of Cataluña, and, with one of Spain’s largest ports, has grown through trade and tourism. The city is characterized by the work of Antonio Gaudí, whose unique worldview created some of Europe’s most distinctive architecture. This beautiful city charms visitors at every turn with its vibrant spirit.
  • Hotel check in For the next four evening(s) we will enjoy the convenience of our centrally-located Barcelona hotel, where daily breakfast will be included.
  • Dinner Enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 5 Discover Barcelona
  • Barri Gòtic Explore the narrow streets and squares of the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter). This is the city’s oldest quarter, parts of which have survived from the Middle Ages. A few highlights of the walk will include the Plaça del Pi, the Plaça de Sant Felip Neri, and the magnificent Plaça Sant Jaume.
  • Visit Barcelona Cathedral It is a celebrated example of Catalonian Gothic architecture. The three naves, cleaned and illuminated, have splendid Gothic details, and the large bell towers perfectly blend medieval and Renaissance styles. The beautiful cloister, high altar, side chapels, sculptured choir, and Gothic arches highlight one of the most impressive cathedrals in Spain.
  • Relax in the Parc de la Ciutadella Barcelona’s most formal and historic park, Parc de la Ciutadella was formerly a citadel built by Phillip V after he won the War of the Spanish Succession. Work on the park began in 1872, and in 1887-88 the World’s Fair was held on its grounds, with the nearby Arc de Triomf serving as the event’s grandiose main entrance. Today, lakes, gardens, museums, and promenades fill most of the park. Gaudí contributed to the monumental, Italianate fountain in the park when he was a student; the lampposts are also his.
  • Dinner on Las Ramblas We will enjoy our evening meal together in a local restaurant in Las Ramblas area, Barcelona’s most colorful and interesting street. This pedestrian mall extends almost a full mile, and is lined with shops, cafés, and markets.
  • Second Concert Performance Your concert performance will be today. Venue options for your performance today include the Santa Maria del Mar Church, one of the most historic churches in Barcelona and a joy to perform inside; the Basilica del Tibidabo, which overlooks the city; the Church of Los Salesianos, just off Las Ramblas; or Barcelona Cathedral. These are ideal venues for your sacred repertoire. Additional venues include the Centro Civico or the Diagonal Mar Shopping Center as secular venues. As a joint concert venue, the Europa International School would be an ideal venue.
Day 6 Half-Day Trip to Montserrat
  • Monestir de Montserrat Explore the Catalan region’s holiest place, Monestir de Montserrat, a mountain monastery surrounded by chapels and hermits’ caves. Our visit begins in the Basilica, highlighted by La Moreneta (The Black Virgin), a statue from the 12th or 13th century. We may also have the opportunity to hear the monastery’s 50-member Escolania, one of the oldest and most renowned boys’ choirs in Europe. (The choir normally performs daily at 1 pm).
  • Funicular Ride to Sant Joan If time permits, our time at Montserrat concludes as we take a Funicular Ride to Sant Joan to a viewpoint of 3000ft, for wonderful views of Catalunya, the Pyrenees, and the islands of Majorca and Ibiza.
  • Explore Poble Espanyol This re-created Spanish village was built for the 1929 World’s Fair, and features various regional architectural styles from the Levante to Galicia. A total of 115 life- size reproductions of buildings and monuments are combined with numerous outdoor cafés and shops, which sell crafts and souvenir items from all of the provinces. There are also many artists at work printing fabric, weaving, and blowing glass.
  • Dinner We will enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 7 Explore Barcelona
  • La Sagrada Familia Experience the cathedral of La Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudí’s incomplete masterpiece and one of the more distinctive creations of Spain.
  • Quadrat d’Or (Golden Triangle) Walking Tour This area has been named the world’s greatest living museum of turn-of-the-century architecture. Our tour will highlight many of the key buildings, including Casa Batlló, designed by Gaudí in 1905; and La Manzana de la Discordia, the ultimate modernista building. Many of the buildings still serve their original purpose as luxury apartments for the city’s 19th century nouveau riche, while others are now office buildings and even shops.
  • Dinner Enjoy local fare at a nearby restaurant.
  • Third Concert Performance Your concert performance will be today. Venue options for your performance today include the Santa Maria del Mar Church, one of the most historic churches in Barcelona and a joy to perform inside; the Basilica del Tibidabo, which overlooks the city; the Church of Los Salesianos, just off Las Ramblas; or Barcelona Cathedral. These are ideal venues for your sacred repertoire. Additional venues include the Centro Civico or the Diagonal Mar Shopping Center as secular venues. As a joint concert venue, the Europa International School would be an ideal venue.
Day 8 Final Farewell
  • Depart from Barcelona Our rewarding and enjoyable tour comes to an end as our Tour Director accompanies us to the airport on our final day.