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Compare and contrast the cultures of Spain and France through many interactive cultural connection activities.


DAY 1: Overnight Flight

Depart from the USA.

DAY 2: Madrid

¡Bienvenidos a España! Arrive in Madrid and meet your ACIS Tour Manager before beginning to explore the wide avenues and open plazas of Spain’s capital city.

DAY 3: Madrid

Madrid’s rich heritage comes alive this morning during your guided sightseeing tour of the classic Spanish boulevards, grand plazas, and diverse architecture that characterizes modern-day Madrid. Highlights include the Plaza de España, with its statue of Don Quixote, the majestic Alcalá Gate, and the famous bullring Las Ventas. Then breeze past the crowds with your timed entrance to visit the magnificent Prado, one of the world’s premier art museums. Here, an expert provides illuminating commentary via personal headsets on the artwork of Velázquez, Goya, Raphael, Rubens, and Bosch. Even the 18th-century Neo-Classical building that houses the collection is stunning. This evening take cues from a professional dancer, learning the steps during a flamenco lesson before watching your instructor and others take the stage to perform a traditional flamenco show.

DAY 4: Barcelona

This morning depart Madrid aboard the high-speed AVE train to Catalonia’s capital city, Barcelona. Founded by the Romans in the 3rd century BC, it’s known for its artistic treasures and fine architecture, from Gothic to Modernist. Let the city introduce itself during a guided panoramic sightseeing tour, starting with Montjuïc Hill, where many of the 1992 Olympic events took place. Our local expert will also point out, via commentary over personal headsets, all the major sights of Barcelona, including Gaudí’s famous houses. Antoni Gaudí, one of Catalonia’s most notable sons, was a Modernist architect whose distinctive style is revered to this day. After, you’ll be able to study the intricate designs inside and out of his still-unfinished Sagrada Familia and stroll whimsical Parc Güell.

DAY 5: Barcelona

The narrow cobbled streets, peaceful squares and towering old buildings of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter are perfect for exploring this morning. Then switch your mode of transport for a Barcelona by bike tour through lovely Ciutadella Park, and the nearby Olympic Port. In the afternoon you may opt to learn about Barcelona's famed football club with a tour of Camp Nou Stadium. This evening become familiar with Spanish culinary traditions as you work in teams during a paella cooking lesson and dinner. You will use traditional methods to cook paella—a spicy tango of rice, seafood and vegetables considered by many as Spain’s national dish.

DAY 6: Provence

Depart Spain and cross the Pyrénées to France. Your first stop is the medieval city of Carcassonne, whose ramparts and towers are so well-preserved that they have been featured in movies. Continue through vineyards to Provence.

DAY 7: Provence

Soak in the beauty of your surroundings during this morning’s horseback ride through the Camargue, the picturesque marshy delta region at the mouth of the River Rhône. Then continue to Aigues-Mortes and explore its authentic medieval ramparts before contemplating the Roman Empire’s influence in France at the Pont du Gard. This Roman aqueduct preserved in almost perfect condition is a true marvel of Roman engineering—the 161-foot tall bridge aqueduct is still standing nearly 2,000 years after its construction. Our tour offers an exclusive guided visit to the third floor and its exceptional views.

DAY 8: Paris

Board the high-speed TGV train for Paris this morning. Upon arrival you’ll want to dive right in to explore one of the world’s great cultural centers, brimming with museums, art galleries and historic sights alongside an endless array of charming curbside cafés and boulangeries. During the afternoon, sightseeing with a local expert guide brings you to the very best place to get your picture taken with the Eiffel Tower, shows you the monumental Arc de Triomphe, points out the massive Les Invalides (where Napoleon is buried) and helps decode the Gothic façade of Notre Dame. The evening is free for discovering Montmartre’s artist-filled squares and sweeping views over Paris.

DAY 9: Paris

We start our day exploring the Louvre and discover the many famous masterpieces that call it home. See the Mona Lisa, the Winged Victory and the Venus de Milo as you wander through the galleries. From its beginnings as a royal fortress to its current status as the world’s most visited art museum, the Louvre has long been at the center of Parisian culture and home to a collection of 35,000 works of art from around the world. Then ascend to the top floor of the Eiffel Tower for views over this magnificent city. Your final evening in Europe is highlighted by a scenic illuminated boat ride along the Seine. You may opt to upgrade your Seine experience with a dinner cruise, reveling in traditional French cuisine and music as you glide past some of the city’s most notable landmarks.

DAY 10: Departure

Depart for the USA.



Optional Extensions and Extra Nights:

Further immerse yourself in the culture and wonders of La Ville Lumière with an extra night in Paris, including the services of your ACIS Tour Manager.

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EXCEPTIONAL DIFFERENCES

Central Hotels
    Central Hotels
  • 8 hours saved without a daily commute from a suburban budget hotel
 
  • 7 evenings for more exploring in town
Local Restaurants
    Local Restaurants
  • 8 delicious, multi-course dinners at local favorites
 
  • Meal times tailored to maximize your experience in the city
Smart Trip Design
    Smart Trip Design
  • High-speed trains leave more time to explore in both Spain and France
 
  • Reach for your wallet less with Eiffel Tower, Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell entrances included

highlights

CULTURAL CONNECTIONS

Highlights Waiting to Happen

Felipe III Statue

Felipe III Statue

Parc Güell Wall

Parc Güell Wall

Abbey Of Senanque

Abbey Of Senanque

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

  • Students will compare and contrast French & Spanish Art Nouveau.
  • Students will explore the interrelationship between French and Spanish history and culture as they discover the Catalonian region of Spain.
  • Students will assess the multicultural milieu of Spain as they experience a wide range of artistic traditions including the Spanish gypsy heritage of flamenco dancing.
 

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PRICE THIS TOUR


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$4122

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