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ACIS - La France y España - Educational tour to France, Spain

Discover France and Spain’s three most populous cities with the time and flexibility to explore as you please, all at a great price.


DAY 1: Overnight Flight

Depart from the USA.

DAY 2: Paris

Arrive in Paris and meet your ACIS Tour Manager before beginning to explore one of the world’s great cultural centers, brimming with museums, art galleries and historic sights. Paris is called the “City of Light” for its role as a center of education during the Age of Enlightenment (it was also one the first cities to adopt streetlights). Perhaps stroll through Montmartre to the white-domed Sacré Cœur or seek out a lesser known but equally interesting attraction such as the Musée Marmottan-Monet, housing the artist’s Impression, Sunrise—the painting for which the Impressionist movement was named.

DAY 3: Paris

Today’s guided sightseeing tour shows you the magnificent Eiffel Tower, Napoleon’s final resting place at Les Invalides and the Gothic wonder of Notre Dame. In the afternoon, you may choose an optional French cooking lesson, where you’ll learn how to make traditional dishes à la francaise—then savor the delicious results. Alternatively, the afternoon is yours to soak up the famous Parisian joie de vivre at a local café or take a stroll through the vibrant Marais neighborhood. This evening perhaps explore your hotel’s quartier or stroll the banks of the Seine.

DAY 4: Paris

Begin the day by learning about the masterpieces of the Louvre, which includes Leonardo da Vinci’s incomparable Mona Lisa. Also see the Winged Victory and the Venus de Milo as you wander through the many 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. The afternoon is yours to experience more of this wonderous city at your leisure. Be sure to work up an appetite, and nerve, as you have the opportunity tonight to dine on frog legs, and other unique specialties at an authentic French restaurant.

DAY 5: Barcelona

This morning board a flight to Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia and Spain’s second largest city. Founded by the Romans in the 3rd century BC, it’s known for its artistic treasures and fine architecture, from Gothic to Modernist. Take time to wander the old town and acquaint yourself with this vibrant culture, including a walk through the narrow cobbled streets, peaceful squares and towering old buildings that characterize Barri Gòtic (the city’s Gothic Quarter), which was at times home to both Picasso and Joan Miró. In the evening, marvel at the illuminated façades of the city’s famed Gaudí-designed houses along the Passeig de Gràcia. Antoni Gaudí, one of Catalonia’s most famous sons, was a Modernist architect whose distinctive style is revered to this day.

DAY 6: Barcelona

Begin your day with a panoramic sightseeing tour during which our local expert will provide commentary, via personal headsets, on all the major highlights of Barcelona. You’ll be able to study the intricate design inside and out of Gaudí’s still-unfinished Sagrada Familia and stroll whimsical Parc Güell. Then spend the afternoon discovering more of Barcelona, perhaps practicing your Spanish while mingling with locals in Plaça Reial, a popular city square, or engaging all your senses at the world famous La Boqueria food market. Tonight, we’ll have a tapas dinner in true Spanish style: you try different local specialties as you sidle up next to the locals for whom this is a culturally important and typical way to spend an evening. Classic tapas dishes include items such as tortilla española, patatas bravas, bacalao, cheeses, olives or jamón.

DAY 7: Madrid

Say adios to Barcelona and head for Madrid on the high-speed AVE train. Madrid’s rich heritage comes alive 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 visit the magnificent Prado (skipping the lines with your timed reservation), 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.

DAY 8: Madrid

Discover more of Madrid’s museums and parks at your own speed today. Don’t miss the impressive four-towered Alcázar, a fortress built in the early 11th century. Or you may opt to take a full-day excursion to nearby Toledo, the city where the world-famous artist El Greco made his home and created his most famous works. Toledo offers a rich mix of cultures, thanks to a unique blend of Christian, Jewish and Muslim heritages. The excursion includes lunch with at a breathtaking spot with a panoramic view over the city. Later, in Madrid, you may opt to experience one of Spain’s most enduring performance art traditions during a flamenco lesson and show. The show features your instructor making it look easy. We’ll cap off our exceptional tour tonight with a stroll down to Plaza Mayor to see the artists and street performers.

DAY 9: Departure

Depart for the USA.

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EXCEPTIONAL DIFFERENCES

Central Hotels
    Central Hotels
  • 9 hours saved without a daily commute from a suburban budget hotel
 
  • 7 evenings for more exploring in town
Local Restaurants
    Local Restaurants
  • 7 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 AVE trains leave more time to explore in Madrid and Barcelona
 
  • Save at least an hour with a timed entrance to the Prado

highlights

CULTURAL CONNECTIONS

Highlights Waiting to Happen

Student group tour of Notre Dame

Notre Dame In Paris

Horizontal, barcelona, parc Guell

Parc Güell Wall

Felipe 3, Horizontal, madrid, statue

Felipe III Statue

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

  • Students will compare and contrast Gothic and Romanesque architecture.
  • Students will explore the interrelationship between French and Spanish history and culture as they discover the Catalonian region of Spain.
  • Students will learn about the creation of modern Spain under Franco's rule and its evolution from the Spanish Civil War to the modern day.
 

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$3366

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