Madrid | Granada | Seville | Barcelona | Gibraltar
A millennium ago, Spain was the center of the Jewish world, a Muslim land where Jews were at the pinnacle of commerce, finance, the arts and diplomacy.
Our tour is flavored with memories of that Golden Age of Sephardic Jewry, and you’ll encounter glimpses of that historic presence in Toledo, Granada, Córdoba and Seville.
But Spain is not only ancient, It’s a vibrant and ultra-modern European country that has somehow managed to retain the charming aura of a more leisured era.
Spain is the art of Goya, El Greco and Velazquez. The land of paella, Jose Carreras, Julio Iglesias and Antonio Banderas. Spain’s capital, Madrid, is imposing and high-tech.
Barcelona is a truly grand European city. And Toledo, Granada, Córdoba and Seville are utterly exquisite. You’ll see the vast Spanish landscape too, visit oh-so British Gibraltar, and visit the Costa del Sol.
Evening departure from New York to Spain.
Morning arrival Madrid, Spain’s vibrant capital. Meet your Tour Manager and begin! See the Royal Palace, and the elegantly colonnaded Plaza Mayor. Tonight, Shabbat dinner together celebrates your arrival. (D)
Attend services, if you wish, then our walking tour includes an amazing visit to the world-famous Prado Museum with its wealth of masterpieces. This afternoon, perhaps a siesta – for Madrilenos dine late. (B)
Morning visit to Beth Yaacov Synagogue for a briefing on Spanish Jewry, then our tour of the city includes the Reina Sofia Museum, Plaza Espana, Plaza Colon and other highlights of this exciting city, then drive to Toledo, once royal capital of Spain. Visit the Grand Toledo Cathedral, Santa Maria la Blanca (formerly the Grand Synagogue), and the El Transito Synagogue. Return to Madrid. (B)
Madrid | Granada
Today’s drive takes us south to the Andalusian city of Granada, once the “city of the Jews”, site of Samuel ha’Nagid’s Talmudic Academy, which attracted students from the Mediterranean, Baghdad and Jerusalem. Visit the intricately ornamented fortress and palace of Alhambra and its gorgeous Generalife Gardens. It was here in 1492 that Ferdinand and Isabella signed the decree expelling the Jews from Spain. Overnight in Granada. (B)
Granada | Córdoba | Seville
Depart to Córdoba, birthplace of Maimonides; visit the Almodovar Gate and the pre-Inquisition Jewish Quarter. See the statue of Maimonides and walk the Calle de los Judios to the ancient synagogue. Visit the gorgeous 8th century mosque, now a cathedral. Continue to Seville for dinner and overnight. (B, D)
Visit Seville’s enormous cathedral with its Giralda Tower. See the Alcazar, a Moorish Palace and royal residence, and El Barrio de Santa Cruz, once the thriving Jewish Quarter, preserved with great care. Balance of the day at leisure. (B)
Seville | Gibraltar | Barcelona
Today, a gorgeous drive through the rugged scenery to the Mediterranean coast to the British Crown Colony of Gibraltar. See the Rock of Gibraltar’s legendary Barbary Apes and visit St. Michael’s Cave. See the Old Moorish Castle and continue to the ancient Jewish cemetery. (Jews have lived in Gibraltar for at least 300 years). Visit the 200 year-old Nefusot Yehuda “Flamenco” synagogue, before continuing to the Málaga airport for the flight to Barcelona. (B)
Today’s touring includes the Casa Sefardita Jewish Community Center, dual Sephardic-Ashkenazi synagogues, opened in 1954 (Spain’s first after the expulsion). Visit Montjuic (Mountain of the Jews) and see Gaudi’s expressionist Church of the Holy Family. This evening, Shabbat dinner together. (B, D)
Attend services if you wish, then join your Tour Manager for a walking tour of the Plaza Cataluna, the broad, flower-filled Las Ramblas Avenue, Lo Boqueria Market, the Gothic Quarter and the Call, the Jewish Quarter. (B)
Follow the Mediterranean “costa brava” highway north into the heart of Catalonia and the city of Gerona, a major Jewish center prior to 1492. See the Call, the Old Jewish Quarter, including a rare example of Spain’s ancient Jewish architecture, the Isaac El Sec Center, a restored medieval mansion, now a study center on the Sephardic world. Continue to the small town of Besalu, with its Call and ancient mikva, and after a delicious country lunch, continue to Figueras to visit the Salvador Dali Museum before returning to Barcelona in time for our Farwell Dinner capping a magnificent tour. (B, L, D)
Transfer to the airport for the flight back to the U.S. arriving later the same day. (B)