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Grand tour of spain September 15 – October 3, 2012

Tour leader: DR Kathleen olive

Seville’s Plaza de España


Grand tour of spain Overview Spain’s remarkable history makes it a compelling destination for travellers. Its origins go back to at least the 11th century BC, when Greek and Phoenician settlers first encountered indigenous Iberian tribes. As the Roman province of Iberica, Spain was the birthplace of the emperors Trajan and Hadrian, before becoming a substantial Visigoth kingdom. Seven centuries of Moorish Islamic civilization – unique in Europe – created an artistic legacy of glittering palaces and mosques. By the early 16th century Spanish rulers controlled most of Europe and the New World, heralding a period of unprecedented wealth, and an explosion of building and artistic patronage. In the 19th and early 20th centuries a new dynamism and independent spirit emerged, expressed in exuberant modernista art and architecture. This magnificent heritage is surveyed in Academy Travel’s 18-day tour from south to north, through the regions of Andalucia, La Coruña, Aragon and Cataluña. The itinerary commences with three nights each in the southern cities of Granada, Cordoba and Sevilla, home to Roman and Moorish treasures. Our four days in Madrid are an art-lover’s dream, with visits to outstanding galleries and Royal Palaces of the imperial period. The tour ends in Barcelona, a thoroughly modern city, but one with ancient roots. Many of Spain’s historical cities can be explored on foot, and we have selected centrally located hotels throughout to allow for individual exploration. The itinerary includes several free afternoons for this purpose. SOME TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Endless diversity: the elegant carved arches of the Alhambra; the austere façade of Philip II’s El Escorial and Gaudi’s Casa Batlo (top to bottom)

 Three nights in Granada, home to the 13th-century Alhambra, a complex of palaces and Islamic water gardens, and other Moorish sites  Three nights in Cordoba, undertaking a relaxed tour of the Alcazar and the famed 8th-10th century Mosque  Excursions to small, historic towns in Andalucia, such as Baeza and Carmona  Three nights in Sevilla, home to the world’s third largest cathedral and an excellent art museum  An excursion to El Escorial, Phillip II’s royal monastery-palace outside Madrid, built at the height of Spain’s international power and prestige  Three major art museums in Madrid: The vast Prado, with its treasures of Spanish art; the exquisite private collection of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Queen Sofia Art Centre, home to Picasso’s Guernica  Three nights in Barcelona, Spain’s most vibrant city with a particular focus on the modernista architecture of Gaudi and Montaner


Tour Price The tour price is $6,890 per person, twin share (land content only). The supplement for a single room is $1,800 per person. A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is required to secure a place on the tour. Included in the tour price          

All accommodation in carefully selected four star hotels All breakfasts plus lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary Land travel by air-conditioned coach and high speed train Extensive background notes Background talks Services of Australian tour leaders throughout tour All entrance fees to sites mentioned on itinerary Qualified local guides where appropriate Porterage of one piece of luggage at all hotels Tips for all services included in the itinerary

Not included  Airfares from Australia to Granada and return from Barcelona (see below)  Travel insurance  Meals not mentioned in itinerary  Expenses of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls or internet usage

Air travel OPTIONS The tour price quoted is for land content only, beginning in Granada and ending in Barcelona. Please contact us for the best possible prices on Economy, Business or First class fares. We recommend flights with Singapore Airlines who fly into and out of Barcelona. Flights leave Australian cities in the afternoon connecting in Singapore with onward flights to Barcelona. Spanair has connecting flights from Barcelona to Granada. Airport – hotel transfers will coincide with the SingaporeSpanair flight schedule into Granada at the beginning of the tour and out of Barcelona at end of the tour.

Enquiries and bookings For further information or to secure a place on this tour please contact travel consultant Hannah Kleboe at Academy Travel on 9235 0023 or 1800 639 699 (outside Sydney) or email hannah@academytravel.com.au

Tour Leader Dr Kathleen Olive holds a doctorate in Italian Studies from the University of Sydney, where she has also taught the history and culture of medieval and Renaissance Europe. Her expertise covers European history, society, art and architecture. Kathleen leads numerous tours to Italy for Academy Travel and looks forward to adding Spain to her repertoire.

Physical fitness for this tour Although the itinerary for this tour is unhurried and our tours attract many travellers in the 60-70 age bracket, a moderate level of physical fitness will be required in order to participate fully in the tour. Specifically you should be able to do the following:  Keep up with the group at all times  Walk unassisted for up to three of four hours with only short breaks – there are walking tours on seven days of the itinerary  Negotiate steps and slopes on archaeological sites, which are often uneven and unstable  Get on and off coaches and trains unassisted  Move around airports with hand luggage unassisted If you are concerned about your ability to meet the requirements of the trip we urge you to contact us for further information and to consult your medical practitioner for an honest assessment. The tour leaders may instruct you to take time out of the tour program if they consider that you will slow the group down or are at risk of injury or illness.


Grand tour of spain Detailed ItinerARY All breakfasts included. Included lunches and dinners are indicated by the letters (L) and (D). Saturday September 15 Departure from Australia

International flights are not included in the tour price. The following information is for passengers wishing to travel direct from Australia to join the tour, with flights organized through Academy Travel. We recommend flights with Singapore Airlines who fly into and out of Barcelona. Flights leave Australian cities in the afternoon connecting in Singapore with onward flights to Barcelona. Sunday September 16 Granada

Those arriving on Singapore Airlines flights into Barcelona this morning will meet the onward Spanair flight to Granada. On arrival into Granada at midday there is a transfer to the hotel. After time to check in and freshen up we’ll head out for an orientation walk. The city of Granada enjoys a lovely setting on a fertile plain overlooked by the Sierra Nevada and there is much to enjoy in the city, which reflects a rich and diverse history in its vibrant mix of Spanish and Arabic culture. This evening we’ll have a light dinner and an early night. Overnight Granada (D) A manicured courtyard with orange trees n the Alhambra Above: Below:

Detail of the fine decoration in the Palacio Nazaries

Monday September 17 The Alhambra

After a talk in our hotel we make our way to the Alhambra, palace fortress of the Nasrid sultans, rulers of the last Spanish Moorish kingdoms. Our guided tour will take us through the beautiful 14th-century Palacio Nazaries as well as the later Renaissance palace, built for Charles V within the walls of the citadel. We also visit the Alcazaba, the earliest part of the fortress around which the Palacio was built, before making our way to the Generalife, the summer palace of the Sultans with its series of patios, enclosed gardens and waterways. After a break for lunch there is time to relax and enjoy this exceptional site. This evening we enjoy our welcome dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight Granada (B, D) Tuesday September 18 Granada

Our walking tour this morning takes us through the Albaicin. The Moors retreated here to live after the reconquista and it remains Spain’s largest and most characteristic surviving Moorish barrio, or neighbourhood. We also visit the 11th-century Arab baths, among the best preserved in Spain, and visit the Casa de Castril, the local archaeological museum containing finds from Granada’s Neolithic, Phoenician, Roman, Visigothic and Moorish past. Walking up to the Church of San Nicolas we enjoy the view back across the city. After a break for lunch we visit the Royal Chapel, a flamboyant late gothic building containing the mausoleums of the early Catholic monarchs. Overnight Granada (B) A view across the Albaicin, Granada


Wednesday September 19 ubeda

Departing Granada we make our way to Ubeda. This elegant town flourished in the 16th-century and still displays a rich heritage of Renaissance palaces, churches and fine squares. After lunch we make our way on to Cordoba. We’ll check in to our hotel and there is time to relax before we meet in the early evening for a talk, followed by dinner in our hotel. Overnight Cordoba (B, L, D) Thursday September 20 The mezquita

Cordoba was the largest city in Roman Spain but its period of greatest glory was under the caliphate of the Moors. It is from this period that the beautiful Mezquita dates. Begun around 780 on the site of an old Visigothic church, the mosque is arguably the grandest and most beautiful ever built by the Moors in Spain. Our walking tour today takes us through the historic centre of Cordoba, visiting the mosque, the 14th-century Alcazar and fine arts museum. We also stop at the synagogue – one of only three in Spain that survived the Jewish expulsion of 1492. Overnight Cordoba (B) Friday September 21 cordoba

This morning we visit Cordoba’s excellent Archaeological Museum, whose collection of prehistoric Iberian, Visigothic, Roman and Muslim objects is housed in a small Renaissance villa. Here we also see the remains of the Roman theatre, the largest in Roman Hispania. In the afternoon we head northwest of Cordoba to Medina Azahara, the site of a once sumptuous palace complex built by Caliph Abdar-Raluman III in the 10th century. At its peak the site extended over three terraces and in addition to the palace buildings included a zoo, an aviary, numerous baths and a weapons factory. Sacked by Berber invaders in 1010 and then abandoned, excavations only began on the site as recently as 1910. Today we can see parts of the palace and mosque and a section of reconstructed gardens. Returning to Cordoba the evening is at leisure. Overnight Cordoba (B) Saturday September 22 CARMONA to seville

We depart Cordoba for Seville this morning. En route we stop at Carmona, a small picturesque town overlooking the Corbones River with many heritage buildings. Our walking tour includes the Church of San Pedro and the Puerta de Sevilla, a fortified Roman gateway with Carthaginian and Moorish elements. After a break for lunch we visit the Roman Necropolis where more than 300 tombs can be found in subterranean, rock-hewn chambers. Dating from the 2nd century BC many of the tombs are decorated with frescoes. After our visit we make the short drive to Seville and check into our hotel. Tonight we have dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight Seville (B, D)

Above: The beautiful interior of Cordoba’s mezquita

Above: The Medina Azahara on the outskirts of Cordoba Below: Porta de Sevilla, Carmona


Grand tour of spain Sunday September 23 The alcazar and barrio de santA cruz

Vibrant and theatrical Seville, the city of Carmen, Don Juan and Figaro, is regarded as the quintessential Andalucían city. After a talk in our hotel we begin our exploration with a visit to the Real Alcázar, dating from the 12th to 14th centuries. The Alcázar is an excellent example of pure Mudéjar style, a symbiosis of Christian and Islamic influences. Our visit also includes the lovely Moorish gardens of the palace. The afternoon is free to explore the nearby Barrio de Santa Cruz, the former Jewish quarter where shops, museums and cafes are interspersed with whitewashed houses along the cobbled streets. Overnight Seville (B) Monday September 24 seville

Above: Seville’s magnificent cathedral – a 15th century gothic marvel which retains the 12th century minaret from the original mosque on the site Below: The extraordinary collection at the Museo del Prado in Madrid includes works by many of the great Spanish masters including Velasquez’s intriguing ‘Las Meninas’ (c.1665), which has become one of the most widely analysed works of Western art

Today we visit Seville’s magnificent cathedral, the largest gothic church in the world. Work commenced on the cathedral in 1402 and was completed in just over a century – a monumental achievement. Our guided tour includes the Chancel, Royal Chapel and the treasury, in which we can see works by Goya and Murillo. Little remains of the original 12th-century mosque on the site apart from the Patio de los Naranjos – the traditional ablutions area for the mosque – and the 12th-century Giralda, a beautiful 98-metre-high minaret which offers excellent views from the top. From here we make our way to the Hospital de la Caridad, established in 1676 by Don Miguel de Manara, a repentant rake who was reputedly the inspiration for Byron’s Don Juan. Don Miguel commissioned a number of paintings for the Hospital from some of the great Sevillan artists including Murillo and an extraordinary piece by Valdes Leal. The afternoon is at leisure. You may like to visit the nearby Parque de Maria Luisa, a favoured destination for Sevillanos wanting to stroll and relax. Overnight Seville (B) Tuesday September 25 Madrid

We depart Seville this morning, taking one of Spain’s high-speed AVE trains to Madrid – a journey of 2.5 hours. On arrival we transfer to our hotel, check in and have a break for lunch before making our way to one of the world’s premier art galleries – the Prado. First opened to the public in 1819 the museum’s extensive collection includes, of course, an exceptional collection of Spanish paintings, established by Ferdinand VII from the Habsburg and Bourbon vaults and augmented over the centuries through careful acquisition. These works include masterpieces by artists such as Velasquez, Goya and El Greco. We take a tour of key works in the collection after which there is time to enjoy the collection independently. Dinner tonight is in our hotel. Overnight Madrid (B, D) Wednesday September 26 royal power

Today our full day excursion takes us out of Madrid to the monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial. Commissioned by Phillip II to commemorate the defeat of the French at St Quentin this vast structure of over 4,000 rooms (1,200 doors and 2,600 windows) was both monastery and royal residence. The austere decoration of Phillip’s own apartments is in


contrast to the splendour of those enjoyed by later Bourbon monarchs. Our tour will take us through the monastery, royal apartments, basilica and library as well as the mausoleum, the final resting place of almost all Spanish monarchs since Charles V was interred in 1558. After a break for lunch we make our way to Segovia, beautifully sited on a rocky ridge above the Castilian plain. Here we see the impressive Roman aqueduct, and visit the cathedral and the extraordinary Alcazar, a beautiful turreted fantasy which reputedly inspired Walt Disney. Overnight Madrid (B) Thursday September 27 A wealth of art

After a talk in our hotel our focus today is two more of Madrid’s great art galleries – the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza. We begin with the Reina Sofia - an outstanding museum of contemporary art whose permanent collection includes works by Juan Gris, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso. Picasso’s Guernica, painted in response to atrocities committed during the Spanish Civil War, is one of the museum’s most famous pieces and is complemented by a series of preliminary drawings which show how the major work was developed. The Thyssen-Bornemisza is an exceptional private collection with over 800 works dating from the 13th century to the present day. Acquired by the state in 1993 from Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, the collection includes a magnificent portrait collection with works from Ghirlandaio, Raphael, Carpaccio, Titian and many more. Overnight Madrid (B) Friday September 28 Madrid at leisure

Today is free for you to explore Madrid at your own pace. Your tour leader will be happy to help with suggestions. Overnight Madrid (B) Saturday September 29 Barcelona

We depart Madrid for Barcelona this morning, again taking the AVE train which enables us to travel the 600 kilometres to Barcelona in around three hours. On arrival we transfer to our hotel and have a break for lunch before taking an orientation tour of the city, the harbour front and Montjuic. We gather in our hotel in the early evening for a talk before heading out to dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight Barcelona (B, D) Sunday September 30 ciutat vella

This morning we make the easy walk from our hotel to the Barri Gòtic, the medieval heart of Barcelona. Here we can also see traces of the original Roman city of Barcino. The Museo d’Historia de la Ciutat, housed in a 15th-century gothic mansion, shows the history and topography of the ancient and medieval city of Barcelona. From here we make our way to the cathedral, one of the few Barcelona churches spared by anarchists during the Civil War. We also tour an icon of modern architecture in Barcelona, the Palau de la Musica Catalana

Above: A detail from Picasso’s Guernica, in the collection of the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid Below: The Palau de la Musica Catalan in Barcelona, a vibrant example of Catalan architectural style


Grand tour of spain (Palace of Catalan Music). Designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner and completed in 1908, it is seen today as the epitome of the Catalan modernist architectural style — an exuberant mix of tiled mosaic decoration, stained glass and mural. Today the building, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is still used for performances. We meet this evening for a talk in our hotel. Overnight Barcelona (B) Monday October 1 gaudi in barcelona

On our final day we undertake a circuit of sites exemplifying the work of one of Barcelona’s most famous sons, Antoni Gaudí. We commence with the residential structures of Casa Batlo and Casa Mila (La Pedrera) on the Passeig de la Gracia. We then visit the massive Sagrada Família, the architect’s best known work, and still incomplete. Nearby is the charming Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, completed in 1930. We end the day strolling through the Park Gϋell on the slopes to the west of the old city. Tonight we share a farewell dinner in a typical Catalunian restaurant. Overnight Barcelona (B, D) Tuesday October 2 Departure

Flights with Singapore Airlines depart Barcelona in the morning connecting with ongoing flights to Australia early the next day. (B) Wednesday October 3 Arrival in Australia

Flights arrive back into Australia in the evening.

Additional travel AND stopovers We are more than happy to arrange additional travel either before or after the tour dates. Stopovers on the outbound or return flight are also possible for those wishing to break their journey. Please contact Hannah Kleboe on (02) 9235 0023 to discuss your requirements.

Gaudi in Barcelona (from top to bottom) La Pedrera, La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell


Hotels Granada, Hotel villa oniria (3 nights)

The elegant Oniria is a19th century mansion built around an internal courtyard carefully restored in Andalusian style. Well located for Granada’s main attractions. www.villaoniria.com Cordoba, Hotel NH AMISTAd (3 nights)

Located in the historic heart of Cordoba, 5 minutes from the Mezquita, the Amistad comprises two fully renovated 18th century mansions. The hotel retains many original elements including a Mudéjar-style internal courtyard. www.nh-hotels.com

A room at the Villa Oniria, Granada

sevilla, hotel casas del judería

(3 nights)

Formerly part of the residence of the Duke of Bejar the Casas del Juderia retains the internal courtyards and fountains of an Andalusian palace. Rooms are well equipped and the hotel also has a restaurant and piano bar. lascasasdelajuderiaseville.spainhotels.it Madrid, hotel las letras

(4 nights)

The centrally located Las Letras is a full renovated former palacio. Within easy walking distance of shops and restaurants the hotel also has a library for those looking for a little quiet time. www.hoteldelasletras.com

The courtyard of the Hotel Casas del Juderia, Seville

Barcelona, hotel espana (3 nights)

The 4-star Espana is located in the historic centre of Barcelona, not far from La Rambla. First opened in 1859 the hotel was then renovated by architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner (famous for the Palau de la Musica Catalana). The hotel now offers comfortable contemporary accommodation combined with 19th century classicism. www.hotelespanya.com/en/the-hotel/

Weather on Tour Spain is a big country so expect some variation in the weather pattern from south to north. September is still late summer for Spain so average temperature will range from about 13°C to 28° C. September weather can be a bit temperamental so expect some rainy days.

The classic interior of the Hotel Espana, Barcelona


About Academy Travel

Academy Travel Each year Academy Travel organizes around 30 journeys to Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia and the Americas, each focusing on a distinctive historical, artistic or cultural theme. There is a maximum of 20 participants on our tours. The aim of every Academy Travel journey is to combine the pleasures of independent travel with the benefits and shared enjoyment of a group. Expert tour leaders, carefully selected accommodation and carefully paced itineraries are the key ingredients of our planning. Our activities includes our open-age tour program, international summer schools for the University of Sydney, the Australian National University and other tertiary institutions, tours for the Association of Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (ADFAS) and specialist tours for senior secondary school history students. Academy Travel is an Australian-owned travel company, founded in 2004. The company’s staff includes both academic experts with knowledge of history, archaeology, art and architecture and travel professionals with over two decades’ industry experience. Our Australian office is based in a heritage-listed building in the Sydney CBD. We also have our own office in Rome which organises all our programs in Western Europe. This means we have direct control over the selection of hotels, restaurants, coaches and local guides, guaranteeing superior quality. Clockwise from above: Greek temple at Segesta, Sicily. Sharing lunch in a Renaissance villa outside Florence. Private viewing at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Sicily.

Expert tour leaders

What makes our tours different?

Who participates in our tours?

> Outstanding tour leaders. All our leaders possess extensive knowledge of the places visited on a journey, skills in communicating this knowledge to an interested audience and practical skills in managing a group journey. Most of all our leaders have a love and enthusiasm for the places you visit!

Academy Travel’s tours are open to everyone, but they are not for everyone. They appeal to those who want to move beyond mass tourism, either because they have considerable travel experience or have a strong interest in a particular place or period. Very often participants are regular independent travellers, but have chosen to join the group because of the special attraction of the itinerary or the expertise of the group leader. The opportunity to travel with like-minded people is one of the main appeals of our program.

> Itineraries planned around carefully thought-out historical and cultural themes, rather than superficial ‘panoramic’ tours. You have time to build up an in-depth understanding and appreciation of what you see, not just a check-list of famous sites. > Extended stays in most destinations, rather than one- or two-night hops. This allows you the chance to get to know the places you visit, time to pursue individual sightseeing and the opportunity to simply relax and watch the world go by. It also means you can attend to practical matters, such as laundry and emails, with ease.

There is no minimum or maximum age limit for tour members. All we ask for is a reasonable level of fitness, interest and enthusiasm.

> Background talks before you visit sites, museums and galleries. This leaves you free to spend your time actually looking at the things you’ve travelled to see, rather than straining to listen to a local tour guide. Through the background talks you’ll also build up a coherent understanding of the country you’re visiting, not just a fragmented set of facts. > Extensive tour notes, reading lists and pre-departure notes. For every tour we provide detailed tour notes on the specific sites we visit, a general historical and social background of the countries you visit and practical information about travel arrangements.

Maximum 20 in a group

Carefully-planned itineraries


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If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply: More than 60 days before departure: $500* 60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due 44-15 days before tour start: 50 % of total amount due 14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due *This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.

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September 15 – October 3, 2012 Tour leader: DR Kathleen olive Seville’s Plaza de España Many of Spain’s historical cities can be explored on...