The Splendors of Spain: Part ii

Art Muse Los Angeles Spain Madrid Barcelona Granada Malaga Travel Excursion

Barcelona & Madrid

November 1st - 11th, 2018

Spend 10 days in Barcelona and Madrid exploring the history and cultural splendors in each city. We'll stay in centrally located four-star hotels and enjoy delicious, regional cuisine in celebrated restaurants.  Private visits to galleries, and artist studios will be featured together with guided tours at major museums and other important cultural venues.  A private reception in Madrid with a noted architectural historian will consider Spain’s contributions to architecture in the 21st century.

Daily Itinerary

Thursday, November 1st:
 Individual arrival in Barcelona and check-in to Hotel Pulitzer.  Welcome cocktails and dinner. 

Friday, November 2nd:
Spend the morning touring the Gothic Quarter, including the Picasso Museum, where an extensive collection of the artist's masterworks is on display in five adjoining medieval palaces.  After a group lunch, visit MACBA, Barcelona's Museum of Contemporary Art, and enjoy a privately guided tour.   Finish the afternoon with a gallery hop in El Born district, a picturesque part of the city filled with art galleries, boutique shops and eateries

Saturday, November 3rd:
In the morning we travel to the town of Olot, known for its dramatic volcanic landscape and contemporary architecture.  A private visit to the RCR office of the 2017 Pritzker Prize winning architects is followed by lunch at a restaurant designed by the team.  After lunch we head south to visit artist studios at Roca Umbert, an industrial complex recently converted into an art compound, in the town of Granollers.  Late afternoon we head back to Barcelona to enjoy the evening at leisure.  

Sunday, November 4th: 
This morning we explore modernist architecture with a stroll along Paseo de Garcia en route to La Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece.  Our coach meets us to transport us to Montjuic where a group lunch is enjoyed with the panoramic backdrop of the city, mountains, and sea.  

Following lunch, our afternoon is devoted to two museums and a pavilion located on Montjuic.  First, visit the Miró Foundation, created by Miró himself, where his work co-exists with cutting-edge contemporary art.  Next comes the Mies Foundation, best known for the now iconic Barcelona Pavilion designed by Mies van der Rohe for the 1929 International Exposition.  In late afternoon, the day concludes with a tour of the National Art Museum of Catalonia, filled with a collection of Romanesque mural paintings that once adorned small rural churches in the Pyrenees.  Evening at leisure.

Monday, November 5th: 
A morning train takes us northeast of Barcelona to the town of Figueres, birthplace of Antoni Dali.  A private guided visit to the wacky, wonderful Dali Theater-Museum offers a total experience of the surrealist master’s art and installation. Lunch in Figueres gives a taste of the cuisine of Ampurdan, a region in the province of Girona noted for wine and food.  Return to Barcelona in the late afternoon.  Evening at leisure. 

Tuesday, November 6th: 
Check out of hotel and transfer to the train station for a 3-hour ride to Madrid. Check in to Hotel Orfila in the heart of Madrid’s historic cultural center. After a group lunch we meet our local guide for an afternoon at the Prado Museum with a focus on the paintings of Bosch, El Greco, Zurbaran, Velaszquez, and Goya.

Wednesday, November 7th:
Enjoy a private tour at the Reina Sofia Museum this morning.  Here we pick up the thread of the history of Spanish painting, viewing masterworks by Dali, Zuloaga, Picasso, and more.  After a group lunch we stroll through the city to visit the Old Hapsburg Quarter and the Plaza Mayor.   

Return to the hotel to refresh.  A reception and conversation with the Executive Director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize is followed by a group dinner. 

Thursday, November 8th:
A daylong excursion to Cuenca, a small city east of Madrid, set in the mountains of Castile-La Mancha, begins with a short train ride.   A visit to the hillside Museum of Spanish Abstract Art introduces an important chapter to the history of 20th century art in Spain.  Lunch together at a local restaurant is followed by a walk around the town to see the famous “casas colgantes” (hanging houses) of Cuenca.  

Return to Madrid in the afternoon.  A private reception at a gallery begins the evening.  Independent dinner. 

Friday, November 9th:
Early this morning we rise to set out for Toledo, the spiritual center of Renaissance Spain.  Our walking tour of Toledo’s Medieval and Renaissance stops at the Cathedral, where we’ll see a number of El Greco’s paintings; Santa Maria la Blanca (the oldest synagogue on the Iberian Peninsula); and the Church of Santa Tome featuring one of El Greco’s masterpieces.

A group lunch at the Parador Toledo offers the best view of the medieval city of Toledo. Return to Madrid for an evening at leisure. 

Saturday, November 10th:
This morning enjoy a private tour of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum to place the history of Spanish art within a broader European context.  After the tour, enjoy an afternoon on your own.  We highly recommend a stroll along the Paseo del Prado, or perhaps a return to the Prado Museum (if more art is in order).  Lunch and shopping in the Salamanca neighborhood is also a prefect way to spend your final afternoon in Spain. Farewell dinner.

Sunday, November 11th:
Individual departures.

Pricing & Details

Trip Cost
$6,900 per person, based on double occupancy.  Single supplement, add $1,800. 

Cost Includes:

  • Four-star hotel accommodations for ten nights 
  • Breakfast daily at hotels
  • Eight lunches with non-alcoholic beverages
  • Four dinners with wine included
  • Transportation throughout by luxury mini-coach with bilingual escort/guide
  • All sightseeing entrance fees and guided visits 
  • Economy train from Barcelona to Figueres, Barcelona to Madrid, Madrid to Cuenca, Madrid to Toledo with 1 piece of checked luggage/person
  • Art Muse LA hosts and coordination

Not Included:

  • Round trip airfare to Spain
  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities for guides and drivers
  • Trip cancellation insurance