Rockdale Temple's
Journey to Amazing SPAIN
Led by Rabbi Sissy Coran
October 27-November 7, 2019


Tour Rates & Dates:

Start DatePlan Option/Hotel DetailTour Package*Click BOOK
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Oct 27, 2019
Rockdale Temple's
Journey to Amazing SPAIN
Led by Rabbi Sissy Coran
October 27-November 7, 2019
[+ Hotel Details]
$5050Sold Out
Oct 27, 2019
Rockdale Temple's
Journey to Amazing Spain
with Portugal Extension
Led by Rabbi Sissy Coran
October 27-November 10, 2019
[+ Hotel Details]
$6286Sold Out
*Please note that all rates displayed are based on standard room double occupancy.
All rates above are in US Dollars, and are based on full payment by credit card.
Discount for check payments available later in the booking process.
(Deposit can still be paid by credit card).
Upgraded room categories may be available to book later in the booking process.
If Land & Air price is displayed, the air portion includes tax and fuel surcharges, which are subject to change until ticketed.

Tour Overview:

Download a PDF version:

Jewish history in Spain is filled with contradictions. There is tragedy here, but there are also traces of former glories during the 1,000 years before the inquisition - these were large scale Jewish communities that prospered for long periods. We will delve into the past, as well as reach out to the nascent Jewish communities of today to hear their struggles, and their successes. With the Spanish government opening the door to citizenship for Jews with Spanish roots, and the opening of new centers of Jewish culture, there has never been a better time to visit Spain!

INCLUDED:

3 nights Westin Palace Madrid, Madrid
3 nights Melia Gran Colon Seville, Seville
1 night Barcelo Granada Congress, Granada
3 nights Eurostars Grand Marina Hotel Barcelona, Barcelona
All touring and sightseeing per an agreed upon itinerary in a deluxe air-conditioned vehicle with an English-speaking guide
Professional Tour Director throughout 
Breakfast daily 
Welcome dinner in Madrid 
Shabbat dinner in Seville with members of the Progressive Jewish community
Farewell dinner in Barcelona 
1 tapas lunch
AVE train from Madrid to Cordoba 
Meeting with ATID members
Transfer included if arriving/departing with the main group
Entrance fees as per itinerary
Porterage

INCLUDED IN PORTUGAL EXTENSION:

All of the above included in the Spain tour
3 nights Dom Pedro Hotel, Lisbon
All touring and sightseeing per an agreed upon itinerary in a deluxe air-conditioned vehicle with an  Shabbat dinner in Lisbon
Pastries at Pasteis de Belem

NOT INCLUDED: 

Roundtrip airfare, departure taxes and fuel surcharges
Flight from Barcelona to Lisbon 
Any border taxes or visas 
Tips to guides, driver, and dining room waiters ($18.00 per person, per day-pre-collected) 
Meals not listed above
Optional Flamenco performance in Seville 
Any items of a personal nature 
Travel insurance (highly recommended)


Tour Itinerary:

DAY 1: Sunday, October 27, 2019: DEPARTURE TO SPAIN

• We depart the United States on our overnight flight to Spain.

DAY 2: Monday, October 28, 2019: WELCOME TO MADRID!

• We arrive in Madrid this morning and are met by an Ayelet Tours representative.
• We enjoy an orientation drive past the Royal Palace, Puerta del Sol, the 17th century Plaza Major and other key sites as we learn about the city center's amazing (and sometimes sordid) history.
• This afternoon, we visit the Centro de Alta Reina Sofia, where we see the paintings of Guernica.
• We check into our hotel and have free time to refresh before enjoying our welcome dinner together this evening.

Overnight in Madrid

DAY 3: Tuesday, October 29, 2019: MADRID

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we tour the amazing Prado Museum and stroll through the beautiful Retiro Park.
• Next, we visit the Paseo del Prado between Estacion de Atocha and Plaza Colon, including a view of the fountains at Fuente de Neptuno and the Plaza de la Cibeles.
• Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.
• Dinner on own this evening.

Overnight in Madrid

DAY 4: Wednesday, October 30, 2019: TOLEDO

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We depart for one of the main highlights of Spain, the Imperial City of Toledo. This former royal capital of Spain and heart of Jewish learning and literature is an example of a perfectly preserved medieval city, rightly called a “living museum”.
• We visit the Grand Toledo Cathedral, the largest gothic cathedral in the world, Santa Maria La Blanca, formerly a synagogue, and the Transito Synagogue, originally intended as a private house of worship for Samuel Ha Levi in the 14th century. In 1970, the synagogue, along with the neighboring Sephardi Museum (Museo Sefaradi), established in 1964, became the National Museum of Judeo-Spanish Art, a state institution under the control of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture.
• We enjoy a breathtaking view of the city from across the river before returning to Madrid for a free evening and dinner on own.

Overnight in Madrid

DAY 5: Thursday, October 31, 2019: CORDOBA

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We travel via the high-speed AVE train to Cordoba, home of the great Rambam, Moses Maimonides.
• We see the synagogue with its bronze statue of Maimonides and the cathedral, once a mosque.
• Once the home of the Jewish community, Cordoba's medieval quarter is called “La Juderia” (The Jewry), a labyrinth of winding, narrow streets. Shady flower-filled courtyards and picturesque squares such as La Plaza del Potro. Here, we visit the Casa de Sefarad for a special program about the Ladino language and Sephardic culture and music.
• We visit the famous “La Mezquita”.
• We have time to explore the shops of the Calle de los Judios.
• Later this afternoon, we continue by bus to Seville, where we stop by the iconic and beautiful Plaza de España.
• We check into our hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure and dinner on own.

Overnight in Seville

DAY 6: Friday, November 1, 2019: SEVILLE

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We enjoy a Jewish heritage tour of Seville, led by our fantastic local guide Moises. We will walk inside the former Jewish quarter of Seville, trying to understand how our ancestors lived in this city until the edict of expulsion was issued by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492.
• We continue to the Barrio de Santa Cruz with its winding narrow streets and small plaza, once a thriving Jewish community.
• For Kabbalat Shabbat services this evening, we will join together with Rabbi Haim Casas, who is working to establish the reform/progressive community in Seville.
• Later this evening, we enjoy Shabbat dinner together.

Note: Nov. 1 is All Saints Day in Spain - government buildings and other businesses may be closed today.

Overnight in Seville

DAY 7: Saturday, November 2, 2019: SHABBAT SHALOM!

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Enjoy the morning at leisure.
• This afternoon, we delight in a city tour of Seville. We visit the burial site of Christopher Columbus, then take in the view at the largest cathedral in Spain, with its Giralda Tower and the Moorish Alcazar Palace.
• Spend the evening discovering Seville and enjoying dinner on own.
• Option to see a Flamenco performance.

Overnight in Seville

DAY 8: Sunday, November 3, 2019: GRANADA

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We depart Seville and travel to Granada, where we will enjoy a tour, including the Alhambra Palace. This was the palace where, in 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella signed the decree expelling the Jews from Spain.
• We also see the gamed Generalife Gardens and the Old Jewish quarter.
• This afternoon, we check into our hotel and have time to relax and refresh.
• We suggest coming back to the center of town in the evening, where the café lifestyle continues well into the night.

Overnight in Granada

DAY 9: Monday, November 4, 2019: BARCELONA

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• Today, we fly to Barcelona.
• Upon arrival, we see the harbor area, Columbus status and stroll down “La Ramblas”, a popular downtown boulevard.
• We continue to the awe inspiring Sagrada Familia Church designed by Gaudi and still in perpetual state of construction. We also see Gaudi's Güell Park.
• Choose to stay and explore Casa Batllo or Casa Mila on own and return to the hotel at your leisure (no bus).
• Tonight, we have the option to go to the city center for a taste of tapas, the Spanish hors d'ouevres buffet on own.

Overnight in Barcelona

DAY 10: Tuesday, November 5, 2019: JEWISH BARCELONA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we enjoy a private Jewish heritage tour of the city with Dominique, our Jewish Heritage Specialist, including a visit to the Holocaust memorial, dedicated on the 50th anniversary of the Shoah by the Jewish institutions of Barcelona.
• Next, we stop by the side of the ancient cemetery from the middle ages, where there are no visible markers today, but where we will hear the history of the site and the efforts of Dominique and the local Jewish community to get it designated as a landmark. From this point we can look over the Mediterranean and on to the city of Barcelona.
• Our next stop is at Monjuich (Jew's Hill) for a magnificent view of the city. This hill is Barcelona's central park today.
• We continue with a drive down to the oldest part of town, the Gothic quarter, for an easy walk in El Call (the ancient Jewish quarter), where we will see the remains of Barcelona's Major Synagogue that reopened in 2002 as a small museum.
• Following our Jewish heritage tour, we visit Progressive Congregation ATID to meet with local members of the community for a tour and discussion of Jewish life in Barcelona, and to enjoy a small tapas dinner.

Overnight in Barcelona

DAY 11: Wednesday, November 6, 2019: GERONA

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin our day at Figueres to visit the Dali Museum.
• We continue to Gerona, formerly a major Jewish center and home to the famous Ramban - Nachmonides.
• We see the Old Jewish Quarter, newly restored museum and courtyard.
• We return to Barcelona later this afternoon.
• This evening, we join together for a festive farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight in Barcelona

DAY 12: Thursday, November 7, 2019: DEPARTURE

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we transfer to the airport for our flight back to the United States, landing later today.


OR CONTINUE ON A
PORTUGAL EXTENSION
November 7-10, 2019

• We take an early morning flight from Barcelona to Lisbon.
• Upon arrival in Lisbon, we are met and assisted by our local representative.
• From the airport, we drive about a half hour outside Lisbon to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sintra.
• Upon arrival in Sintra, we walk through the Jewish Quarter, where Jews lived before the forced conversions of 1497.
• We continue with a visit to the breathtaking Pena Palace, a notable example of Portuguese architecture in the Romantic Period. The palace is surrounded by a forest featuring over 500 different tree species gathered from the four corners of the earth.
• We transfer to our hotel in Lisbon to check in and enjoy an evening at leisure and dinner on own.

Overnight in Lisbon

Day 13: Friday, November 8, 2019: LISBON

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we enjoy a walking tour through the Judaria Grande (Large Jewish Quarter), established in the 13th century under King Dinis. During the Moorish rule, Jews co-existed with Muslims in the neighboring Alfama quarter, the oldest quarter of Lisbon. However, the Judaria Grande was bustling with the activity from successful merchants positioned near the harbor. Despite devastation, which later came in the forced conversion of 1497, and the natural disasters of 1755, this area still contains clues to its Jewish past, and we will discover Jewish customs still present in the community and architecture.
• We continue with a tour through the Alfama, Lisbon's oldest quarter, crowned by the 12th century Castelo (castle) Sao Jorge (outside visit). The originally Moorish area exemplifies the true individuality of the city of Lisbon with its overlapping historical pasts and steep slopes.
• We explore the Jewish sites of interest in Lisbon. Chief among them is Rossio Square. The National Theatre stands upon the site of the Palace of Estaos, where during the Inquisition, many Jews were tortured and killed as “infidels”. The adjacent Square of Sao Domingo is the site of the Massacre of 1506, when more than 500 New Christians (Jews who were forced to convert) were tortured and killed.
• We see the memorial monument erected not long ago by Lisbon's Jewish community and the monument nearby erected by the church.
• We explore the architecture of the Rossio train station.
• Next, we walk by the famous Ginja stand, where locals purchase small glasses of cherry liqueur, first brewed in an ancient monastery.
• We view the famed elevator Santa Justa, designed at the workshop of Eiffel (of tower fame) and then walk down towards Praca Commercio and the waterfront to enjoy the beauty of this charming city.
• This evening, we enjoy Shabbat dinner together.

Overnight in Lisbon

Day 14: Saturday, November 9, 2019: JEWISH LISBON

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We visit Lisbon's synagogue, Shaare Tikva, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2002. We hear the history of Jewish culture in this city. It is believed that Jewish life began here not long before Lisbon fell to the Moors in the 8th century.
• After a short break for lunch on own, we continue to the waterfront area of Belem, where we visit the Monastery of Geronimo the largest cloisters in this part of the world (inside visit).
• We see the monument to Vasco de Gamma. It was from here that he set sail to discover the New World.
• We will stop for a delicious pastry at Pasteis de Belem coffee house, whose walls are covered with the famous blue and white toles of Portugal.
• Evening at leisure and dinner on own.

Overnight in Lisbon

Day 15: Sunday, November 10, 2019: DEPARTURE

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We transfer to the airport for our flight back to the United States, landing later today.



THE MEMORIES LAST FOREVER!!
*Itinerary subject to change