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The Collection of Insight Journeys.

Travel & Learning experiences





vel & arning


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Fascination for learning. It´s my pleasure to introduce and welcome you to the Conoceris 2010 Insight Journeys Collection, a new concept for insightful learning that goes beyond traveling. How many times have you been fascinated with a subject, a place or a great personality and wanted to be more informed but found yourself unable to dedicate the time and effort that it would take?. Conoceris’ Insight Journeys are an excellent starting point for those who are constantly curious and retain a life-long delight in learning as well as an excitement for traveling.

Alhambra of Granada

Our journeys provide a unique way of learning combining the most up-to-date information delivered by reputed local scholars and offer selected itineraries that are off the beaten path.

We create true educational experiences in places where a subject can be observed first hand, discussed and debated. Our aim is to help you to become more expert and more knowledgeable through your own understanding. When traveling with Conoceris you will appreciate both an exciting and a lasting vacation experience and at the same time an unexpected but practical way to learn. Let us bring back the excitement of learning as you join us on the next Conoceris adventure.

Francisco Javier Navarro Founder & Managing Director Conoceris

► Conoceris is a not-for-profit foundation committed to creating the best learning experiences through travel.

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Travel & Learning Insight Journeys are sensational travel and learning experiences that start well in advance of traveling and have no end.

Learning is a means by which we give purpose to our lives and which strengthens us with a better understanding of the world around us. It also allows us to enrich our personalities and enables us to jump over hurdles in life. To achieve a truly beneficial learning experience we need to incorporate more dynamic perspectives and to interact with our environment. It’s necessary to change the pace by bringing one’s own knowledge and contrasting it with the lessons of real life. Traveling then becomes a huge opportunity to learn. But all too often any attempt at learning while traveling gets diverted because the emphasis is not on what you want to learn, but what the tour operator or trip planners have pre-planned for you. Traveling then becomes a racecourse in which you have little power to navigate or time to truly experience. Conoceris’ Insight Journeys are experiences where the ideas and concepts that you learn are turned into places, reflections and debates that you can see, listen to and grasp. This is the reason why we talk about journeys of discovery instead of a flat-out race across a tour. When traveling with us your destination is not a place, a resort or a show, but an inner journey that allows you to link what you are physically seeing, hearing and feeling with your innermost understanding of the complex nature of the world.

► Conoceris means knowledge (from Spanish verb, conocer ) and paths (from Latin noun, itineris). Our mission is create knowledge paths for you.

The Road to Santiago

Our life-long travel participants find that an Insight Journey is what makes a journey interesting and valuable. Join us on one of the knowledge paths that Conoceris has created for you.

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Our Difference We have added to a top-notch travel experience the luxury of learning from the best scholars in the subjects.

Cutting-edge knowledge Insight Journeys are in-depth experiences that rely on the most up-to date knowledge coming from the research community. This scientific knowledge is then adapted and brought to you by our journey directors so that everyone may be able to participate.

Personalization Insight Journeys are flexible learning experiences that can be tailored to your individual requeriments or to group interests. We take personal responsibility for every stage of your journey, sparing no effort to deliver the most inspired travel experience.

Reputed Scholars Insight Journeys are created and guided by outstanding scholars in their subjects. They are active participants in the research community and recognized experts in their respective fields.

Experiences From practical workshops to access to private places, Insight Journeys add experiences that are unique vehicles for practical learrning, often out of reach for average travelers.

Off-the-Beaten Path Itineraries Even though Insight Journeys visit most “must-see” sites at each destination, they are also focused on off-track itineraries that are not so obvious to the average tourist and that add real value to your learning experience. Limited editions Insight Journeys are limited to only a few trips each year. This allows the necessary time for our scholars to continue in the advancement in their specialized fields so that they are able to deliver a quality learning experience to you.

Research Conoceris is a not-for-profit foundation that aims to support research projects in a variety of subjects. Your participation contributes to our ability to support scholars’ research and improve future Insight Journeys. Partners Insight Journeys are fully crafted by the team of Conoceris. Additionally, we work directly with the local management at our destinations as well as leading travel companies whose goal is to deliver excellent quality and service.

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Philanthropy Our aim is to support international projects that advance the understanding of world cultures.

Research is at the core of our existence and adds to the quality of service and the uniqueness of the Insight Journeys Collection. Being on the ground floor of the lastest information and developments turns your travel with Conoceris into a truly remarkable experience.

Our scholars are involved in research projects that constantly enrich the Conoceris’ Collection and inspire the creation of new experiences. Their research sets the groundwork for each of our journeys and stimulates those participants who love to travel as well as to learn.

From the retrieving of long buried writings of an old Islamic Spanish poet, to the study of the significance of the manuscripts of the first people who discovered America, the advancement of understanding how things came to be is one of our goals.

Please ask us how you can support Conoceris´ research projects or make a donation. We will also be happy to cooperate with organizations worldwide that share our educational, research and philanthropic goals.

• learn • travel • research

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MEET OUR TEAM ..... They are the reseachers and professors that create sensational learning experiences that will inspire your understanding of our complex world.

Juan Castilla is a leading authority on al-Andalus and a scholar, teacher and researcher for over 20 years. Since 2005 he is Director of Spanish research institute of Arabic Studies in Granada where he is in charge of research groups. He is actively involved in disseminating the knowledge and heritage of al-Andalus and has been Lecturer in Bagdad, Cairo, Tunis, Argel, Tripoli and other cities of the Arab world. Juan is the author of 12 books and over 45 articles. He received a B.A with high honors in Filology and Arab Studies in 1984 and a Ph.D. with high distinction in 1991 from Granada University. > Meet Juan in “Al-Andalus: treasures of Islamic Spain”

Jaime Contreras is an internationally reputed scholar in the field of interculturality and modern history whose works have focused on understanding the dialogue processes between cultures. Jaime has lectured in the USA, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Denmark and since 1991 holds the Chair of Modern History at Alcala University. He has held a number of senior academic positions including Director at the International Institute of Sephardic Studies for 10 years, the President of the Spanish Associaton of Modern History and the Deputy Vicechancellor at Alcala University. > Meet Jaime in “The Sephardic Legacy: Spain and its Jews”

Rosa Maria Martinez holds the Chair of History of America at Madrid Complutense University where she received a Ph.D in Geography and History in 1985. She has been a visiting scholar at several international institutions among them the University of Texas at Austin and Brown University in the USA, and others in Mexico, Brazil, Italy and Argentina. Rosa Maria was for 6 years Vice Director, Office of Religious Affairs at Spanish Ministry of Justice. At the moment she is Vice President of the International Religious Liberty Association in Washington, DC. > Meet Rosa in “The Sephardic Legacy: Spain and its Jews”

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..... OF JOURNEY DIRECTORS Our outstanding travel leaders are committed to delivering in-depth knowledge and are eager to guide your interests in ways you won´t find elsewhere. Esther Pascua has been a Professor in the Department of Medieval History and Institute of Environmental History at St Andrews University in Scotland for 10 years. Esther received a Ph.D in Medieval Studies from Madrid Complutense University in 1985 and she participates regularly in seminars and projects on Spanish Medieval History. Esther has been an active member of several research centers in the United Kingdom and Spain and is the author of over 30 contributions to books and journals. > Meet Esther in “The Road to Santiago: living memory of European culture”

Javier Perez is a Professor in the Department of History and Modern Art at Madrid Complutense University since 2008 where he also received a Ph.D with high distinction in History of Art in 1997. He has been researcher at international institutions such as the National Gallery of Art (Washington DC), the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, the Carnegie Museum of Art, as well as in Berlin and Munich. Javier is also the author of several books on modern art, is an art curator and a juried member in modern art showings. > Meet Javier in “Discovering Picasso: life, works and legend” & “New Visions visions on Spanish 20th century Centuryart” Art”

Jesus Varela is a well-known and prominent scholar of Columbus and the History of Discovery to which he has dedicated most of his academic career. Since 1994 he is the Secretary General of the Institute of IberoAmerican and Portuguese Studies at Valladolid University where he is in charge of research and is also the Director of Casa de Colon in Valladolid. Jesus is the author of 20 books, 28 contributions to books and over 40 articles. Professor Varela has been widely recognized for his work and he has received distinctions in Spain and Portugal. Jesus holds a Ph.D. in History of America with high distinction in 1983 from Valladolid University. > Meet Jesus in “Columbus and the Discovery: in the footsteps of the Admiral of the Ocean Sea”

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EUROPE A Wealth of Insightful Learning In 2010, The Collection of Insight Journeys will take place in Spain. Spain is a mosaic of cultures. Heterogeneous. Old and modern. Refined and popular. Plural and diverse. The variety of its culture attracts. The historic heritage dazzles. The vital power of its people fascinates. Spanish culture is extremely rich and touches upon all forms of artistic expression. From literature to painting, music to architecture.

In each of these aspects, at some time in history or other, Spanish culture has reached the highest heights. Let’s just say that Spain is one of the richest countries in the world with regard to monumental heritage; it is not in vain that Spain has the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage listings. These are just a few of the reasons why The Collection is worth experiencing.

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Discovering Picasso


New Visions on Spanish 20th Century Art


The Road to Santiago


The Sephardic Legacy


Columbus and the Discovery



Life, works and legend

Living memory of European culture

Spain and its Jews

In the footsteps of the Admiral of the Ocean Sea

Treasures of Islamic Spain

QUESTIONS? Call Conoceris at + 34 91 678 26 07 or E-mail

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DISCOVERING PICASSO Life, works and legend 8 days/ 7 nights Departure dates 2010: 05/05, 06/30, 09/22

Picasso is more than an artist. He is a myth, a tireless creator, a passionate bon vivant who determined that every work that left his hands would thrill the spectator as it had thrilled him during creation. Picasso is generally considered the greatest artist of the 20th Century. He was unique as an inventor of forms, as an innovator of styles and techniques, as a master of various media, and as one of the most prolific artists in history. He created more than 20,000 works.

The Guernica, Picasso

First famous for his pioneering role in Cubism, Picasso continued to develop his art with a pace and vitality comparable to the accelerated

technological and cultural changes of the twentieth century. Each change embodied a radical new idea, and it might be said that Picasso lived several artistic lifetimes. He has also been called “a volcano in constant eruption,� and his continued scrutiny has made him a phenomenon almost unique in the history of art. No other artist has ever commanded so wide a fame in his own lifetime. His name is almost a synonym for modern art. His works have set off debates in Levittown living rooms, rocked the cafes of Montmartre and built up queues in Moscow, Tokyo or Los Angeles.



“Discovering Picasso” is not simply a journey thought to visit museums and collections, but an investigation into the architectural and cultural fingerprints of the moment that Picasso lived and an exploration through the cities in which he lived and created his works.

Day 1: Arrival to Madrid

During this journey you will have the opportunity to visit the 5 most important centers of the work and life of Picasso in Spain, the places where the legend began and that today contains his most important collections: Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Buitrago and Horta de Sant Joan. Although some of the places you will visit are the most acclaimed centers of the work and life of Picasso, others are very suggestive such as the village of Horta de Sant Joan where Picasso would say he invented cubism, and the invaluable collection of the barber of Picasso in the pretty village of Buitrago. The food in Els Quatre Gats or the visit to the “chiringuito” Picasso will combine with the indepth lessons on Picaso to create an enjoyable and exclusive experience.

Day 2: Madrid Day 3: Buitrago Day 4: Barcelona Day 5: Barcelona Day 6: Horta de Sant Joan Day 7: Malaga Day 8: Return to Madrid

WHAT YOU LEARN Our expert lectures along the way will include: • The artist in war: Guernica and the Pavilion of Paris of 1937. • The friendship and the collecting of Eugenio Arias, barber of Picasso. • Picasso’s modernist Barcelona: Gaudi and the public space. • Picasso’s painting, the first global vision. • Picasso and the modernist Catalan painting. • Horta de Sant Joan, cradle of the cubism. • Picasso’s links with Andalusia. • Large works of the collection of the inheritors of Picasso.

Picasso at his studio

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DISCOVERING PICASSO Life, works and legend WHAT YOU EXPERIENCE Some of the museums and collections that you will have the opportunity to explore are the following: • Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid. • Museo Coleccion Eugenio Arias, Buitrago.

Javier Perez Journey Director

• Museo Picasso, Barcelona. • Museu Nacional de Arte de Cataluña, Barcelona. • Centro Picasso de Horta, Horta de Sant Joan. • Museo Picasso, Málaga. In addition you will visit symbolic places of architectural and cultural life of the time period of Picasso, in cities such as Barcelona and Malaga. There you will breathe in the same local atmosphere that inspired this genius of the modern art world. The visit to Gaudi’s Barcelona, with his Sagrada Familia, Parque Guell and Casa Milla will show you the deep sources of art the influenced Picasso. But we will not forget his most personal life. His birth house in Malaga and the strolls along the city of his childhood are experiences that we won’t let you miss.

Picasso’s impact on the history of modern art has been profound and his genius have been felt not only on painters but also on successive groups of writers and poets. Getting to know his life and works is, undoubtedly, a unique experience, and an inexhaustible approach to creativity and wisdom. This is precisely the aim of the journey: to allow you to feel the time of Picasso, understand the secrets of his art and appreciate the timeless quality of his contributions. We have bypassed the traditional methods of an educational experience through memorization of information in a short amount of time, which usually creates a feeling that one does not know anything of what Picasso was or what he continues to be. Instead, I offer you an experience shared by the group that will explore Picasso and his legacy not only through his works, but through key pieces of literature, photography or cinema as well. You will discover Picasso like a kaleidoscopic spectacle, as a prism whose many faces allow you to discover the innumerable profiles of this great genius.

Picasso Museum, Málaga

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NEW VISIONS ON SPANISH 20th CENTURY ART 14 days/ 13 nights Departure dates 2010: 04/21, 06/16, 09/15

The Great Masturbator, Dali

Spanish artists working in the period before 1945 exercised a major influence on artistic developments in the twentieth century. They were in the vanguard of the changes taking place in the art world, in style, in professional attitudes and in the place of the artist within society.

These particular characteristics of Spanish art favored the appearance in the mid-20th century, of Cubism, Informalism, Geometric Abstraction and Magical Realism, among other trends, running parallel to those in international art of the day.

Picasso was a key figure in this respect. With his succession of styles, he demonstrated the importance of artistic freedom. And his world famous Guernica was a penetrating commentary on the Spanish Civil War.

The new generations of Spanish artists of the second half of the 20th century took up the banner of their predecessors, while also incorporating new visual idioms characterized by a process of ongoing investigation and experimentation.

The stylistic evolution in Picasso’s work is also reflected in that of artists like Miro and Dali. After World War II, artists like Tapies, Chillida and Saura maintained the Spanish tradition: they were interested in Abstraction and Surrealism, both figurative and non-figurative.

The co-existence of all these names and trends within Spanish art is reflected in the harmonious dialogues and unique relationships seen in the museum’s galleries and cities, in which the mediums of painting and sculpture are combined.



One of the main reason to come is the emphasis we place in the idea that Spain is not only one of the countries with a more spectacular historical and artistic past in the world, but also one of the big protagonists of the modern 20th Century art movements.

Day 1: Arrival in Madrid

To show you this reality, we will take you to some of the greatest moments of Spanish art, from Catalan modernism to the informalism of the center of Spain as well as the contributions of Basque art. Of course an essential part of the journey is a deep review of the paths followed by its maximum representatives, artists like Dali, Picasso, Miro, or Tapies. But your experience would not be complete if you did not experience some of the most relevant architectural works produced by the Spanish artists of the 20th century. You will then appreciate how impactful their works are and the enormous vitality and originality they bring to this country.

Day 2: Madrid Day 3: Cuenca Day 4: Arganda- Madrid Day 5: Elciego & Bilbao Day 6: Bilbao Day 7: San Sebastian Days 8- 11: Barcelona Day 12: Figueras & Cadaques Day 13: Montserrat & Barcelona Day 14: Return to Madrid WHAT YOU LEARN Our experts will lecture you on these themes along the journey: • Spanish art until 1939: Picasso, Dali, Miro, cubism and surrealism. • The best collection of the 50s in Spain. • The contemporary sculptor in his place of work. • The brilliant architecture of Frank Gehry in Spain. • The museum: architecture of the spectacle.

Casa Batlló, Barcelona

• History of the Basque art of the 20th Century. • Chillida: the most universal Basque sculptor. • The modernist Barcelona: Gaudi and the public space.

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• The modernist Barcelona: the private space. • Picasso’s painting, an overall view. • A palace for a dreamer: Joan Miro. • The Informalism: emotion written in the matter. • More recent practices of the contemporary art. • An eccentric genius called Dali. • Nature, religiousness and contemporary art. WHAT YOU EXPERIENCE Some of the museums and collections that you will have the opportunity to explore are the following: • Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (MNCARS), Madrid. • Museo Español de Arte Abstracto (Spanish National Abstract Museum), Cuenca.

Javier Perez Journey Director

Spanish 20th Century art is an inexhaustible source of surprises and a unique example of influences, originality and vigor. Nevertheless, for many people outside of Europe, Spanish art is little known. “New Visions of Spanish 20th Century art” is a journey that will provide you with a rigorous background of information while at the same time allow you to live singular experiences away from the typical tourist circuits of the masses.

• Fundición de Eduardo Capa, Arganda. • Frank Gehry´s Marques de Riscal Winery, Elciego. • Museo Guggenheim, Bilbao. • Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao. • Txillida Leku, San Sebastián. • Museo Picasso, Barcelona. • Fundación Miro, Barcelona. • MACBA, Barcelona. • Fundación Gala-Dali, Figueras.

The visit to places like Fundicion Capa will reinforce the cumulative value of the journey, as you will be able to witness the processes of metal work as it transforms into an artistic piece. And of course, we have not forgotten the architecture, where Spain has been a world leader, not only because is the birth place of geniuses such as Antonio Gaudi but because Spain has seen the construction of some of the best world architecture of the past few years.

• Museo de Arte Abadia, Montserrat. The journey will culminate with a visit to the spectacular Gaudi’s Barcelona, with his Sagrada Familia, Parque Güell and Casa Batllo.

I´m sure you won´t be able to experience such a wonderful and instructive mixture of modern painting, sculpture and architecture elsewhere in the world.

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THE ROAD TO SANTIAGO Living memory of European culture 15 days/ 14 nights Departure dates 2010: 04/28, 05/26, 09/29

The Road to Santiago was one of the main inspirations on European culture in Middle Ages and a unique example of its type which had a significant, even fundamental, influence on the consolidation of western Europe. The Road, which is to a large extent preserved intact, travels throughout Nothern Spain from East to West and converged on Santiago de Compostela, at the foot of the apostle’s tomb.

A tile signalling the Road to Santiago

The tradition of pilgrimage to Santiago has not ceased since the 10th century, though its popularity has waned in modern times. Since it was declared the first European Cultural Itinerary by the Council of Europe in 1987, it has resumed the spiritual role that it played in the Middle Ages, and every year many thousands of pilgrims converge to make their journey.

The cultural heritage scattered along the length of the Road is immensely rich. It represents the birth of Romanesque art and is unique by virtue of the Gothic cathedrals and the chains of monasteries, along with public works created expressly for the Road, such as bridges, inns, hospitals, markets and even prisons. The Road to Santiago was also included by UNESCO on the list of World Cultural Heritage in 1993. Today traveling along the Road is an exciting and unforgettable experience, an exceptional opportunity to discover Europe and its most deepest cultural roots.



The Road to Santiago is a unique opportunity to experience and comprehend the complex evolution of western Europe along the centuries.

Day 1: Arrival to Madrid

Our main aim is to translate and update the real significance of the Road to the modern cultured traveler, turning the journey into an individual experience and a collective exercise into the medieval origins of Europe. You will travel the Road along the “French Route”, one of the most outstanding itineraries to tour today. Throughout the Road, you will combine visits to main historical cities, all of them celebrated heritage centers, along with trips to smaller rural villages that contain invaluable traces of the passage of time. You will walk up to 10 miles by foot along the journey divided in several easy excursions that will take you to explore the most representative artistic monuments and landscapes of the Road.

Day 2: Madrid- RoncesvallesPamplona Day 3: Pamplona to Logroño Day 4: Logroño to St Domingo Day 5: St Domingo to Burgos Day 6: Burgos to Palencia Day 7: Palencia to Sahagun Day 8: Sahagun to Leon Day 9: Leon to Ponferrada Day 10: Ponferrada to Lugo Day 11: Lugo & Roundtrip

And of course you will listen to the music of the period and debate upon original texts translated into English.

Days 12: Lugo to Santiago

Definitely you will live the ultimate Road to Santiago travel and learning experience.

Day 15: Return to Madrid

Days 13-14: Santiago

WHAT YOU LEARN Our experts will lecture you on these themes along the journey: • Europe in the Early Middle Ages (11th century). • Benedictines and Cistercians: Romanesque and Gothic. • The origins of the Castilian (Spanish) and other linguistic communities. A Road´s cathedral capitel

• Beasts and monsters of the Road. • Revolts, violence and conflicts.

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THE ROAD TO SANTIAGO Living memory of European culture • Fairs and trade along the Road. • Popular architecture, popular games and traditional music. • Legends, magic and symbols. • The rural world: agriculture, medieval landscapes and fauna. • The military orders.

Esther Pascua Journey Director

• Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages. • Urban impact of the Road. • Othe cultural transmission: medicine, fragrant plants, diet and others. WHAT YOU EXPERIENCE The journey stops at 40 cities and small villages throughout the Road, a fully comprehensive tour across the most valuable assets of the Spanish heritage of the Middle Ages. You will pass through five Spanish regions and about 100 towns and villages. Some of these are the top medieval spots of Western Europe. You will visit an extensive myriad of religious establishments of all kinds (cathedrals, parish churches, chapels, abbeys, monasteries, and hermitages), foundations designed to assist pilgrims (hospitals, inns, and hospices), administrative buildings, private houses and palaces in the towns and villages along the Road. You will explore other structures such as bridges, pillories, locks, and commemorative crosses as well as the thousands of years of old art and history concentrated at the worldwide known Atapuerca archaeological site and the Roman open-air quarry of Las Medulas. Surely you will be stunned by the magnifient medieval heritage cities of Burgos, Leon and Santiago de Compostela.

The Road to Santiago is probably the most valued cultural itinerary of Europe and a perfect reflection of the European cultural evolution throughout the centuries. But being able to understand the real significance of the Road is not a simple task. Those who travel the Road to Santiago frequently have a very fragmentary information; sometimes superficial, sometimes complimentaryc. Only a few manage to understand the real historical, critical, deep and integrated impact of the Road and comprehend its full relevance and meaning for the present. And that is exactly what I propose to you. A panoramic vision of what the Road once represented and what it is today, with the analytical maturity of a historian expert in the topic that will help you unravel the complex cultural phenomenon of the Road. Join us on a journey of knowledge and reflection that attracts not only the mind, but the senses and the feelings as well.

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THE SEPHARDIC LEGACY Spain and its Jews 13 days/ 12 nights Departure dates 2010: 03/29, 06/23, 10/09

Sepharad and the Sephardics evoke a myth, the recollection of a civilization loaded with symbolism that gives sense and meaning to multiple traditions that took place century after century for more than five hundred years. The history of Sepharad began with an eventful and traumatic experience that affected the communities of Jews who were living in Christian Spain at the end of the 15th Century. This was their expulsion in 1492 that forced their exile and march out of the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon.

The Jewish Quarter, Toledo

Since then, this complex history is interwoven with recollections of sadness and strength supported with well documented historical materials.

With the passage of time, such vestiges have been buried and silenced by the weight of a time during which denial was imposed in Christian Spain. Nevertheless, the history of that legacy was not totally devastated. Signs and traces stayed, fingerprints remained and today, in our time, such heritage is not only recognized but also studied and celebrated. Today Sephardic descendants are noted for and pride themselves of their origins while we all have the opportunity to trace the impressive legacy that Sepharad´s civilization created on its own merit.



The places and culture that shaped what we call today the Sepharad civilization have left deep imprints not only in the history of Spain and Europe but in Judaism throughout the world.

Day 1: Arrival to Madrid

The contributions made by the Spanish Jews to human thought and science, besides their particular role in the advancement of commerce and cultural exchange are still admired and remembered. Through “The Sephardic Legacy” we will pay particular attention to the principal protagonists of Sepharad and its culture, such as Yehuda Ha Levi, Maimonides, Ibn Paquda, Jom Sem Tob, Paul of Santa Maria, Diego Arias Dávila, Abraham Senior. All of them shared the same roots, but created different worlds. The cities, quarters and physical evidence left by the Spanish Jews will create for you an understanding of the way Sephardics lived and coexisted together with the Christians and Muslims of the time. At the end of the journey you will understand the key role and the multiple meanings of the Jewish communities that occupied Spain, and the phenomenon of interculturality that took place.

Day 2: Alcala & Zaragoza Day 3: Zaragoza Day 4: Tudela & Soria Day 5: Soria Day 6: Medinaceli & Sigüenza Days 7-8: Cuenca Days 9-10: Toledo Day 11: Avila Day 12: Segovia Day 13: Return to Madrid WHAT YOU LEARN Our experts will lecture you on these themes along the journey: • The Jewish influence in the foundation of the University of Alcala. • The Judeo-Muslim culture: Ibn Paquda. • The Jews from Tudela: Jehudá Ha Levi. • Jewish and converted: the difficulties of living together. • Intercultural spaces in the 15th century: the Jewry of Segovia. • Intercultural visions from Sigüenza.


• The action of the Inquisition in the area of Cuenca.

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THE SEPHARDIC LEGACY Spain and its Jews • The meaning of the Toledo Sephardic Museum. • Judaism and the mystical currents. WHAT YOU EXPERIENCE Some of the places, museums and heritage that you will have the opportunity to explore are the following: • University of Alcala, Madrid.

Jaime Contreras Rosa Martinez Journey Directors

• Aljaferia, Zaragoza. • Mudejar Quarter, Zaragoza. • Romanic art of Soria. • Old town of Medinaceli. • Old town and cathedral of Sigüenza. • Historical Ermita del Niño in La Guardia. • Old town of Toledo. • Synagogues of Toledo. • Sephardi Museum, Toledo. • Old town of Avila.

“The Sephardic Legacy” is a journey that invites you to learn the facts and to recognize fingerprints of the mythical Sepharad across the roads and cities of Spain. Sepharad was a complex social system whose interest has been reawakened by the educated throughtout the world in the last decades. Part of this interest resides in the significant influence that the Sephardic culture and heritage have had over Judaism that is still present today.

• St Teresa´s Convent, Avila. • Old town of Segovia. An important part of the journey will be visiting some of the most remarkable old Jewish quarters in cities like Toledo, Cuenca, Soria, Tudela, Avila, Segovia, Sigüenza, La Guardia and Zaragoza, most of them are declared World Heritage sites by UNESCO.

Although the Sephardic traditions date back to the Middle Ages, the role of interculturality and minorities in our global world makes the comprehension of Sephardic history that much more important in the understanding of how to create a healthy cultural coexistence in the future. Finally, Sepharad was also a borderline culture, with boundaries in constant change that although separated still allowed for communication. Sephardis learnt to work hard and even thrive in a time of upheavals and within a sometimes untolerant society.

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COLUMBUS AND THE DISCOVERY In the footsteps of the Admiral of the Ocean Sea 15 days/ 14 nights Departure dates 2010: 04/07, 06/09, 10/13

“... and I left (the port of Palos), very well provided with supplies and with many seamen on the third day of August (1492), on a Friday, half an hour before sunrise and I took the route (...) to Canary Islands (...) in order from here to take my course and sail so far that I would reach the Indies...” (extracted from The Diary of Columbus).

Columbus and Queen Elisabeth, Granada

The description of how Columbus himself started the enterprise of the Discovery marked a profound change in his life and forever changed the map of the world. His achievements were enormous. The Discovery of America opened up new horizons and an unimagined range of new opportunities to mankind. Both American and European lives were extraordinarily changed to the point where we are today.

No doubt Columbus’ discovery of America is for some the greatest and most important event of the history, though, for others the beginning of the destruction for centuries of fragile cultures and civilizations. But above all, Columbus provoked an intellectual transformation and as a result of his vision, the modern age was ushered in, and the world was never to be the same again. After five centuries, although Columbus and his deeds remain controversial and mysterious, they have at the same time inspired the imagination of generations who admire Columbus for his conviction of following his dream of opening new routes for mandkind.



Christopher Columbus’ achievement was a breakthrough for the European minds of the 15th Century that challenged the way they perceived the world

Day 1: Arrival to Madrid

To fully understand the Discovery, we will delve into the complex personality of the Admiral, try to understand his thinking and the dynamic forces that motivated him in the old world. We will analyze the many radical changes in technology, cartography and navigation that made new ways of traveling possible, as well as the new political, economic, religious and dynastic forces that were at work throughout western Europe and changed the feudal mindset. We will follow his personal footsteps through the many cities and villages of Spain that witnessed Columbus’ pursuit of those who might support his risky enterprise.

Day 2: Madrid & Alcala Day 3: Segovia & Medina del Campo Day 4: Valladolid Day 5: Medina de Rioseco & Toro Day 6: Tordesillas & Salamanca Day 7: Salamanca surroundings Day 8: Plasencia & Guadalupe Day 9: Trujillo & Merida Day 10: Seville Day 11 Moguer & Palos

Along the way, we will also review the artistic imprints and writings of the people that most influenced his life and the age of Discovery.

Day 12: Cordoba

But last and foremost, we will explore his passionate personality to understand how difficult it was for him to find the balance between explorations and family. We will try to grasp how his emotions were reflected in his relationships not only with his men, the kings and nobles, but also with his sons and his loving partners.

Day 15: Return to Madrid

Days 13-14: Granada

WHAT YOU LEARN Our experts will lecture you on these themes along the journey: • The ships and the men of the Discovery. • The writings of Colombus. • The itineraries of Columbus. • Columbus as Admiral of the Ocean Sea. • The Treaty of Tordesillas. • Tordesillas and the court of the Trastamara.

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COLUMBUS AND THE DISCOVERY In the footsteps of the Admiral of the Ocean Sea • Life and Death of Colombus in Valladolid • The role of Queen Isabel of Castile and the Catholic Kings. • The Dominicans in America. Colombus and the Dominicans. • Extremadura and its Conquerors of America. • Colombus and religion.

Jesus Varela Journey Director

• Colombus and the Indians. • Staging posts of 16th century travelers. • America and its archives. • Seville, Moguer, Palos and America. • Colombus in La Rabida. • Colombus’ love affairs. • Colombus and Granada. The capture of Granada. WHAT YOU EXPERIENCE The journey will take you across 19 cities and towns in Spain, the most relevant in the life of Columbus and with a significant role in the social and political motivations of the age of Discovery. You will experience the moment when Columbus and his men departed from the port of Palos for the Discovery, board a replica of the Admiral’s Santa Maria ship and learn about the monks of the Monastery of La Rabida who always supported the “crazy” ideas of Columbus. You will see and touch some of the most remarkable pieces from the Discovery kept in the Spanish museums and castles, including original documents. And don´t miss the practical workshop on cartography in Tordesillas. And to cap off that total learning experience, enjoy the sensation of tasting the very best of Spanish gastronomy along the journey.

“Columbus and the Discovery” is a unique experience for those interested in enjoying both a discriminating and a practical learning journey on the life of Columbus and his time in the old world. You will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to visit emblematic places in the life of Christopher Columbus and of those that most influenced the Discovery, like Valladolid, Segovia, Seville, or Cordoba. But also cities in which important treaties for the European and American History were signed, like Tordesillas, or where the last battles of the Reconquest freed the Castilians from the Moors and the Catholic Kings granted the conditions to travel to the Indies, like Granada. You will have the chance to hold in your hands original documentation of Columbus and to learn about the cartography and navigation routes followed by Christopher Columbus and his men. All of this included with a tasting experience of the delicious local specialities and of the customs of those places that saw the birth of a new world.

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AL-ANDALUS Treasures of Islamic Spain 14 days/ 13 nights Departure dates 2010: 04/16, 06/04, 10/22

Al-Andalus includes not only the peninsular territories occupied by the Arabs, but also the country where they sheltered their economic prosperity, their cultural brilliance, and their scientific development, and from where rich goods penetrated the corners of the world. Islamic Spain lasted for 800 years, from their arrival in 711 to the fall of the last Muslim state of Granada in 1492. For much of that time, the sophistication of its centers far exceeded what contemporary Christians could offer. This exceptional and prolific civilization had a major impact in the transmission of Arab science, culture and technology to its western neighbors.

European acceptance of this legacy decisively affected western culture, not only in Europe but also in the New World discovered by the Spaniards. But then the kingdoms that composed alAndalus, such as Granada, Cordoba or Seville, once rich and without equal, come into bloody warlike clashes and fratricidal fights. The Christians were swift to expel them. Today, the impact of al-Andalus over peninsular culture is still discernible and remarkable with some of the most important treasures of civilization still there for you to admire. For these reasons, the journey through Islamic Spain will be one of the most memorable experiences you can have.

Alhambra, Granada

In collaboration with:



The Iberian Peninsula is the area of Mediterranean Europe where the most prolongued and intimate encounter between Christendom and Islam occurred.

Day 1: Arrival to Madrid

There, a civilization of exceptional cultural and artistic vigor was forged and has left us a legacy unique in the world. From the Alhambra of Granada to the Great Mosque of Cordoba and Alcazares of Seville, al-Andalus evokes a time of sophistication and enlightment. Far less exotic than the tales of writers like the American Washington Irving, al-Andalus’ achievements led directly to the Renaissance and cultural advancement of modern Europe as it is recognized today. No contradiction existed in al-Andalus between faith and learning and the tolerance of other faiths was widely respected. This led to human exploration and the development of almost every branch of learning we are familiar with in the western world today. But al-Andalus is more than an old treasure. It´s a reality, a living scenario of well shaped customs and traditions with people full of life. A modern culture full of folklore and rich gastronomy whose roots are those of al-Andalus, and where fine handworks are still created as the old masters used to do. Once you are in al-Andalus, the visual splendors will arouse your senses in a way that allows you to go beneath the surface and ignite your consciousness in a way the al-Andalus inhabitants have done for centuries.

Day 2: Toledo Day 3: Jaen Day 4: Alcala la Real & Granada Days 5- 7: Granada Day 8: Malaga & Ronda Day 9: Ronda Days 10-11: Seville Days 12-13: Cordoba Day 14: Return to Madrid WHAT YOU LEARN Our experts will lecture you on these themes along the journey: • General historical synthesis of al-Andalus. • The legacy of al-Andalus. • The process of the Christian Reconquest. • The meaning of the Battle of Navas de Tolosa. • The diet and gastronomy of al-Andalus. • The purifier ritual of the hammam. • The establishment of the North African dynasties in the Iberian Peninsula. • The Umayyad dynasty of Cordoba.

35 CONOCERIS/ insight journeys

AL-ANDALUS Treasures of Islamic Spain • Jews and Christians in al-Andalus. • Castles and palaces of al-Andalus. • Art, architecture and religious life. WHAT YOU EXPERIENCE The journey will take you around 10 of the brightest cities that are home to the magnificence of al-Andalus. You will have time to explore in depth the most relevant monuments of al-Andalus, like the Alhambra of Granada, the Great Mosque and Medina Azahara of Cordoba and Alcazares of Seville. But suddenly you will find yourself off the most touristic places, touring unique castles, mosques, palaces and houses, like Burgalimar, Alcala la Real, Jaen, Malaga and Ronda. You will also breath the everyday life of al-Andalus while strolling the one-of-a-kind old towns of Toledo, Albayzin (Granada) and Santa Cruz (Seville). You will be transported to the life of the other communities of al-Andalus, like the Jews, while visiting the quarters and synagogues of Toledo and Cordoba. Finally, there are some secrets for your senses awaiting you. You can´t miss the visits to the baths and tea houses as they will surprise and delight you. The workshops of calligraphers and pasterworks will only add to the enchantment of al-Andalus and will last in your mind for a lifetime.

Juan Castilla Journey Director

Our Insight Journey aims to focus on a simple, didactic, innovative and scientifically rigorous way to show you all aspects of the history and culture of al-Andalus. From the life of those who governed al-Andalus up to the festive celebrations of its inhabitants, the social structure and ways of life of the population, its religious practices, etc. We will be able to answer any key questions our cultured traveler would ask themselves while following the footsteps of the Arabic past. “Al-Andalus. Treasures of Islamic Spain” is a unique opportunity to explore the daily life and most relevant monuments of this prolific civilization throughout two weeks. It offers you the possibility to delve deeply into the entrails of a society whose signs of identity still remain in the Peninsula, specially in Andalusia. You will experience sensations as simple as crossing the streets of an old al-Andalus city or the uniqueness of stepping inside a house, bath and palace from the time. You will find out what was inside the building, where people used to sleep, what they ate or how the used to dress. I assure you your Insight Journey will be a lasting learning experience.

The Great Mosque of Cordoba

36 CONOCERIS/ insight journeys

Hotels & Restaurants A selection that cultivate our philosophy of joining history, culture and modernity and the care for every detail.

Our hotels and restaurants provide an impeccable hospitality, elegant comfort and excellent levels of service. Among the hotels are extraordinary historical buildings which display original pieces that will support your own learning experience. Most of the hotels are located in the heart of the cities and within walking distance from the cultural sites and shopping areas. The rooms are designed to offer the most up-todate technological standards and business facilities for your communications. And for your relaxation and sport activities the hotels feature spa and fitness clubs.

In the restaurants our commitment is with the regional gastronomy as the essence of the culture and of the history of each location. You will enjoy the best of the yesterday and the today of the cuisine with dishes that are adjusted to each season. You will truly live a real experience for the senses. We always take care of your special health requirements, the vegetarian ones, the diabetics, and of those who want to enjoy the high gastronomy looking after of themself, but without having to resign anything.

QUESTIONS? Call Conoceris at + 34 91 678 26 07 or E-mail

37 CONOCERIS/ insight journeys

Groups & Tailored Programs A journey that may specially be tailored for your group to elevate your learning experience.

We work hand in hand with your alumni, society, academy, museum, not-for-profit, special interest group or employee rewards program. Conoceris’ travel management department creates unique learning experiences specially tailored for your group.

University departments and professors may participate in the tailoring of extension programs or curriculum course credits through our insightful and hands-on journeys. With us your students will meet your highest academic standards.

You may wish to extend a journey with new original themes or add an outstanding specialist to further enrich the learning experience. Our programs can be personalized for reduced or extended itineraries or to balance your group schedules.

Your journey begins with a phone call to one of our specialists, who will design and oversee your program from beginning to end. We can arrange for special access and opportunities for your group learning experience that no other organization can match.

The result is a carefully crafted distinctive insight journey perfectly tailored to your interests. Contact our Travel Specialist at + 34 91 678 26 07 for special groups requirements or E-mail

38 CONOCERIS/ insight journeys

Dates & Prices JOURNEY





Discovering Picasso: life, works and legend



Please ask

05/05, 06/30, 09/22

New Visions of Spanish 20th Century Art


14 / 13

Please ask

04/21, 06/16, 09/15

The Road to Santiago: living memory of European culture


15 / 14

Please ask

04/28, 05/26, 09/29

The Sephardic Legacy: Spain and its Jews


13 / 12

Please ask

03/29, 06/23, 10/09

Columbus and the Discovery: in the footsteps of the Admiral of Ocean Sea


15 / 14

Please ask

04/07, 06/09, 10/13

Al-Andalus: treasures of Islamic Spain


14 / 13

Please ask

04/16, 06/04, 10/22

Note: Special dates and prices may apply to groups and tailored insight journeys. Please ask our travel specialist for specific conditions. * Prices may change to reflect fluctuations in foreign exchange rates.

QUESTIONS? Call Conoceris at + 34 91 678 26 07 or E-mail

39 CONOCERIS/ insight journeys

Reservation Information Costs Include: All accommodations in hotels per jouney, museum and entrance fees, special access permits, transfers to and from group flights, taxes, service charges, services of our guiding staff and journey directors and a complete pre-journey information,including suggestions on what to bring and recommended reading. Not Included: Air transportation, extensions, passport, visa, immigration fees, meals not indicated, baggage/accident/travel protection plan, items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, e-mail, laundry. Gratuities to hotel and restaurant staff at your discretion. Airfare: For all programs, airfare is an additional cost unless otherwise indicated. Sample airfares are subject to change. We will gladly assist in making your air arrangements. TERMS & CONDITIONS Guaranteed Departures: All departures are guaranteed being subject to a minimum number of passengers to operate, excepting only cases of force majeure and other circumstances beyond Conoceris control. Should the minimum number of passengers not be met, Conoceris will offer either modify the services of the original program to accommodate a smaller group or offer an alternative program. Should no alternative be suitable, Conoceris will offer a full refund of all monies received. Itineraries: Arranged itineraries are subject to change at any time due to unforeseen circumstances or circumstances beyond Conoceris control. Every effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but alterations may occur after the final itinerary has been issued. Conoceris also reserves the right to withdraw a program or any part of it, to make such alterations to the itinerary or the program inclus2ions as it deems necessary or desirable. Reservations: To reserve your place, an advance payment for the program as outlined is required at the time of reservation and is payable by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or transfer. The per person amount due is noted within this brochure. Early Arrival: Conoceris recommends that you arrive a day or two before the start of your program to allow time to relax and to prepare for the start of your program. Conoceris has negotiated special overnight rates so ask for details at time of booking.

Active Elements: On specified programs Conoceris will require notice if any participant has any physical or other condition or disability that could create a hazard to himself or herself or to other members of the selected program. Conoceris reserves the right to decline to accept anyone that it considers unsuitable due to fitness level. Should you have any questions or need any clarification about a specific program please ask for details at time of booking. Registration and Payment Schedule: For all programs in this brochure a deposit of $1,000 per person is required at the time of booking. Final payment is due 45 days prior to departure. If your reservation is made within 45 days of departure, the entire cost of the trip must be paid at the time of the request in order to secure confirmation. Cancellation Charges: For all programs cancellations received 45 days or more prior to departure will be subject to a $600 per person/per program cancellation fee; 45–30 days, will be subject to 50% of program price and 29 days or less will be subject to 100% of program price. Travel Protection Plan: Travel protection and medical insurance are available at extra cost. Ask about our comprehensive guest travel protection plan for a worry-free expedition. Claims and Refunds: Refunds are not made for any missed services, except for verifiable extenuating circumstances. For verifiable claims to be considered, they must be received in writing within 30 days of the termination of the program and be accompanied by supporting documentation and/or a statement from the local destination company verifying the claim. Limits on Responsibility: Conoceris its employees, shareholders and directors and assigns does not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your trip. It purchases transportation, hotel and other lodging accommodations, restaurant and other services from various independent suppliers. All such persons and entities are independent contractors. As a result Conoceris is not liable for any negligent or willful act of any such person or entity or of any third person. In addition and without limitation, Conoceris is not responsible for any injury, financial or physical loss, death, inconvenience, delay or damage to personal property in connection with the provision of any goods or services. Travelers assumes all such risks associated with participating in this trip.

fascination for learning.

For Reservations: Contact CONOCERIS (+34 91 678 2607)

Reservation Hours: Monday – Friday 9am – 2pm ET

FOR RESERVATIONS, PLEASE SEND: Your name: Journey title:

Starting date:

Conoceris Avda Via Lactea, 3 28830 Madrid- Spain Phone: +34 91 678 26 07 Fax: +34 91 655 54 46 E-mail:

Number of travelers: Contact:

Phone: e-mail:

Comments/ Special requirements: For additional information and online reservations, visit us on the Web: © 2010. CONOCERIS, All rights reserved.

For reservations and/or quotes, please fax this form to +34 91 655 54 46; Version as of 02/25/2010

Conoceris' Full Catalog 2010  

The Collection of Insight Journeys 2010

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