Art, History & Culture

Discover the Richness of Spain, Portugal & France

The history of Spain and Portugal dates back to the Early Middle Ages, and the first written records of France appear in the Iron Age so, as you can imagine, there is a LOT of history here!! The Romans roamed and the Moors meandered, conquering, constructing and battling as they went. They added their grain of sand to the historic treasures left behind over the years for us, in the 21st Century, to enjoy! - From the amazing Alhambra in Granada to the mind-blowing Mezquita-Cathedral of Cordoba to the unfinished symphony of La Sagrada Família in Barcelona. - From Guimaraes called the birthplace of Portugal where the country’s first monarch was born in 1110, to the country’s oldest University in Coimbra to Evora’s 1st century Roman Temple. - From Lisbon’s impressive historical new world expeditions, synonymous with Portugal's golden Age of Discovery to the tragic history of Medieval France and the nostalgic ruins of its Cathar castles. - From Toulouse and the largest Romanesque church of Europe to Carcassonne and the biggest medieval fortress on the continent.

But there’s more than just monuments! Submerge yourself and admire Art everywhere you go from the tiles in Portugal that decorate everything from walls of churches and monasteries, to palaces, houses and railway stations to the most unassuming 19th century water tower in France, now the oldest photography gallery in Europe! But if you say Art we say El Prado! Although it’s not for the feint hearted as it features one of the world's finest collections of European art and the largest holdings of Bosch, Titian, El Greco, Rubens, Velázquez and Goya. Enjoy a fascinating afternoon in El Prado with our enthusiastic art history specialist whose insight is impressive and will make sure you don't miss a thing as you marvel at all the stories behind those world famous paintings. The Prado is located within Madrid's Famed Golden Triangle of Art so with the nearby Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Museo Reina Sofía, may your cup runneth over with art ☺

And there’s more for the art lover! Spain is the proud home of many great Art Museums all over, from the Spectacular Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to the namesake museums taking you into the surrealistic world of Dali and the prolific world of Picasso. Discover the rich history of Spain, Portugal and France and marvel at the architectural legacy of Gothic cathedrals, ancient Greek and Roman ruins and Impressive monuments from so many time frames. Here below you will find some of our sample itineraries for your Art, History & Culture experience in Europe:

Experience, travel – these are as education in themselves. Euripides

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Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey. Pat Conroy