Giving to
Bryn Mawr

Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center


Historic Lodgings of Spain & Portugal

March 12 - 26, 2011

You're invited to join the Bryn Mawr Alumnae Association with H. Rosi Song, Associate Professor of Spanish on a distinctive small group journey through the Iberian Peninsula to the intimate lodgings of Spain's paradores and Portugal's pousadas: medieval monasteries, historic fortresses, and stately palaces, each reflecting the spirit of its region. We will feel the spell of Iberia's rich Roman and Moorish past – and the pull of its vibrant contemporary life.

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Preliminary Itinerary
(please click on location to reveal details)


DAY 1: March 12, 2011 - Depart the U.S. for Lisbon

This evening you'll depart for Europe, with a connecting flight to Lisbon.

DAY 2: March 13, 2011 - Arrive Lisbon, Portugal

You arrive in Lisbon today and transfer directly to your hotel to rest and relax, or perhaps to begin exploring the city on your own. Tonight meet your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director and fellow travelers over dinner together at your hotel.
Meals: Dinner
Accommodations: Hotel Tivoli Lisboa

DAY 3: March 14, 2011 - Lisbon/Queluz, Portugal

This morning's city tour includes a visit to the majestic Mosterio des Jeronimos, a monastery built to house some of Portugal's treasures from the discoveries of Vasco de Gama and other explorers. And we see the nearby Tower of Belem, a symbol of Lisbon and the most photographed monument in Portugal. We also stop by the inspiring Monument to the Discoveries, commemorating Portugal's seafaring and literary heritage. Then we head outside the city to tour the lovely National Palace at Queluz, the former summer home constructed between 1658 and 1758 that ultimately became the residence of Portuguese royalty. Dinner tonight is on your own; later you might wish to venture out to a local club to hear Portugal's traditional, haunting Fado music.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: Hotel Tivoli Lisboa

DAY 4: March 15, 2011 - Lisbon/Evora, Portugal

We leave Lisbon this morning for Portugal's Alentejo, a region of olive groves, vineyards, and wheat fields alive with colorful flowers. We stop for lunch along the way at a local restaurant in Monsaraz, a fortified hilltop town with just 150 residents. Continuing on our journey, we reach Evora late this afternoon. Here we stay at the lovely Pousada dos Loios, a restored convent considered the finest pousada in Portugal (despite its small guest rooms), where we dine together tonight.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations: Pousada dos Loios

DAY 5: March 16, 2011 - Evora, Portugal

This morning's walking tour introduces us to enchanting Evora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the architectural gems of Portugal. An ancient walled town, Evora evokes living memories of both the Roman and Moorish periods of Portuguese history, with many streets so narrow they must be navigated on foot. This afternoon you're free to visit the tiny shops and cafés that line the streets of Evora, and bask in the splendid scenery that surrounds you. Dinner this evening is at our pousada.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Pousada dos Loios

DAY 6: March 17, 2011 - Evora/Merida/Carmona, Spain

We have a full day of travel ahead as we leave Evora for Spain. Along the way, we stop in the ancient city of Merida, once the capital of Lusitania (Latin for the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal), and a town that contains more Roman ruins than any other in Spain. You'll have time here to explore the ruins, soak in the atmosphere, and enjoy lunch on your own before we continue on to Carmona and our parador, a former 14th-century Arab fortress. We dine there together this evening.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Parador de Carmona

DAY 7: March 18, 2011 - Carmona/Seville, Spain

Today we travel to Seville, perhaps the greatest city of the Spanish south and “home” of Carmen, Don Juan, and Figaro. One of the earliest Moorish conquests in 712, Seville has a number of excellent examples of Moorish art and architecture. Our morning tour here passes by the 16th-century Cathedral, the largest Gothic church in the world; and visits the Alcazar, the palace noted for its signature mudejar (Moorish) architecture. Then we enjoy free time on our own for lunch and independent exploration before we head back to Carmona and our parador late this afternoon. Dinner tonight is at the parador.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Parador de Carmona

Day 8: March 19, 2011 - Carmona/Cordoba, Spain

Today's excursion is to Cordoba, capital of both Roman and Moorish Spain, and home to some of the country's most important monuments. Our walking tour here takes in many of the highlights, including the atmospheric Old Quarter with its narrow winding streets, whitewashed houses, and revered Mezquita mosque. With more than 500 columns and graceful arches, the Mezquita incorporates Byzantine, Oriental, Hispano-Romanic, and Visigothic elements into its architecture. A center of culture and learning in the Middle Ages, Cordoba later became known as a city of both ancient and modern traditions. Following our tour we have free time for lunch and to explore on our own. We return to our parador late this afternoon and dine there tonight.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Parador de Carmona

DAY 9: March 20, 2011 - Carmona/Ronda, Spain

We travel south today to the charming, unspoiled town of Ronda, located in a dramatic natural setting. Ronda is built atop the isolated perimeter of a high sierra at the edge of a dramatic gorge, with tall white-washed houses forming a majestic skyline. We reach the city this morning and set out to explore, taking in the graceful cathedral of Santa Maria Mayor in the town's old quarter; two 17th-century bridges; and the Casa de Mondragon, once home to Moorish kings. But perhaps the most wonderful sight of all is the view from our parador, Ronda's restored medieval city hall, at the edge of El Tajo Gorge, more than 500 feet deep and 300 feet wide. This afternoon we enjoy a walking tour of Ronda; tonight we enjoy dinner together at our parador.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Parador de Ronda

DAY 10: March 21, 2011 - Ronda, Spain

Today's is at leisure to relax and enjoy this delightful town on your own. Dinner tonight is at our parador.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Parador de Ronda

DAY 11: March 22, 2011 - Ronda/Granada/Ubeda, Spain

Leaving Ronda this morning, we travel to Granada to experience perhaps the most extraordinary and best-preserved Moorish monument in existence: the Alhambra, the grand palace-fortress of Spain's last Moorish rulers. In addition to its exquisite architecture, the Alhambra enjoys a unique setting high on a hill with magnificent vistas at every turn. Upon arrival in Granada there's time for lunch on your own before we begin our tour of the Alhambra. We arrive early this evening at our parador in Ubeda and dine there tonight.

Please note: In addition to your one piece of checked luggage, you also will need to bring along a smaller, soft-sided carry-on or duffel bag for your overnight stay at Parador de Ubeda. This bag should be small and flexible enough so that you can pack it inside your checked luggage.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Parador de Ubeda

DAY 12: March 23, 2011 - Ubeda/Toledo/Madrid, Spain

We leave Ubeda this morning for Toledo, capital of medieval Spain. Home of the renowned artist El Greco (“The Greek”) who immortalized the city in many of his medieval paintings, Toledo has changed little in looks since the Middle Ages. The city is filled with testaments to its Roman and Moorish heritage, and boasts some of the greatest architecture in Spain. After lunch on your own here, we visit Toledo's most impressive monument: the Gothic Cathedral, which was constructed over a period of more than 250 years, from 1226 to 1493. We also call on the Sinagoga del Tránsito which was erected in 1357 with imported cedars from Lebanon, just as Solomon requested when constructing the First Temple in Jerusalem. Our tour of Toledo concludes with a stop at Santo Tomé, home of El Greco's most famous painting “The Burial of Count Orgaz.” Leaving Toledo, we continue on to Madrid, arriving early evening. After checking in at our hotel, you're free for dinner on your own. And remember, Spaniards dine quite late, especially in Madrid.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: Hotel Wellington

DAY 13: March 24, 2011 - Madrid, Spain

Both historic and cosmopolitan, Madrid boasts an eclectic architecture to match. This morning's panoramic city tour includes Plaza Mayor, the grand square in the heart of the city; and majestic Palacio Real (Royal Palace), a 2,800-room rococo residence that was home to the Bourbon kings from Charles III in 1759 to Alfonso XIII, whose abdication in 1931 preceded the rise of Francisco Franco. Today the palace is used only for state occasions. Among the attractions here: the oddly decorated private apartments, two-ton crystal chandelier, 140-seat banquet hall, and grand throne room. Our tour concludes at the Prado, one of the world's greatest museums of fine art, where you're free to explore on your own. Besides housing the most important collection of Spanish masters anywhere, the Prado also boasts a superb collection of works by Italian and Flemish masters. The remainder of the afternoon and evening is at leisure.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: Wellington Hotel

DAY 14: March 25, 2011 - Madrid, Spain

Today is free to enjoy Madrid as you wish. Stroll along the city's broad boulevards; see Picasso's famed painting “Guernica” at the Reina Sofia Museum; poke around the weekly El Rastro Market; visit the renowned Thyssen-Borneisza museum; or enjoy traditional Spanish tapas (appetizers) at a local restaurant. Tonight we gather for a festive farewell dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Wellington Hotel

DAY 15: March 26, 2011 - Madrid/Return to U.S.

This morning, you'll depart Madrid for your connecting flight to the United States.
Meals: Breakfast

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DAY 15: March 26, 2011 - Madrid/Barcelona, Spin

You'll take an included transfer to the Madrid airport this morning for the flight to Barcelona. Upon arrival in Barcelona, you'll transfer on your own to the hotel. After checking in, you're free to explore as you wish, at your own pace, for the remainder of your stay.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: Gran Hotel Havana

DAYS 16 & 17: March 27 & 28, 2011 - Barcelona, Spain

Enjoy two days experiencing the energy of this trendy, vibrant city on your own. Seemingly everywhere, you'll find unusual buildings with the distinctive stamp of the architect Antoni Gaudi, Barcelona's favorite son. His life's work was La Sagrada Familia, a cathedral with awe-inspiring spires that was left unfinished when he died in 1926. Another Gaudi masterpiece is La Pedrera, whose stone façade that ripples and waves around a street corner.

The city's focal point is Las Ramblas, a pedestrian boulevard packed with entertainers and merchants. Spend some time meandering there and through Bari Gòtic, the nucleus of old Barcelona. Within its cluster of Gothic buildings, mazelike streets, and public squares you'll find the Catedral, one of Spain's greatest Gothic buildings. Art lovers – and even nonaficionados – won't want to miss the city's most-visited museum, the Museu Picasso, housed in three beautiful mansions. If time remains, visit Montjuïc, a hill overlooking Barcelona's center that's dotted with fine art galleries, parks, and the main 1992 Olympic sites.
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodations: Gran Hotel Havana

DAY 18: March 29, 2011 - Return to the U.S.

Early this morning, you'll transfer on your own to the Barcelona airport for your connecting flight to the United States.
Meals: Breakfast

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Cost and Program Inclusions

Boston, New York $3,795
Philadelphia, Washington, DC $3,995
Atlanta,Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago,Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Miami, Orlando, Tampa $4,095
Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland (OR), San Francisco, Seattle $4,195
Land only (transfers not included) $3,495

Please call if your city is not listed. Land only cost does not include arrival or departure transfers. Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Single travelers please add $995. Please note that single rooms tend to be smaller than single rooms in the U.S. All prices above are guaranteed.

Business Class upgrade on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: $3,495 person in addition to the costs above. (Business Class upgrade is on a request basis and the pricing is subject to change.) Airline taxes and departure fees of $581 per person are subject to change and will be listed separately on your invoice.

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking on uneven or cobblestone streets. In addition, several of these small hotels do not have elevators. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy this tour to the fullest.

* Based on Double Occupancy – INCLUDES AIRFARE
Single travelers please add TBD

Your Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities
  • 13 nights’ accommodations: 5 nights in Deluxe hotels; 8 nights in First Class
  • 24 meals: 13 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 10 dinners
  • Regional wine with dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
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Host Lecturer

H. Rosi Song,
Associate Professor and Major Adviser Ph.D.,
Brown University
H. Rosi Song, PhD

H. Rosi Song specializes in the literature, intellectual history, and culture of contemporary Spain. She is the co-editor of a collection of critical essays entitled Traces of Contamination: Unearthing the Francoist Legacy in Contemporary Spanish Discourse (Bucknell UP, 2004). She has also co-edited a special issue and a cluster for the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies on the aesthetics of camp and the Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies on the 'movida'. Her articles have appeared in Romance Notes, Hispamérica, Revista Iberoamericana, Hispania, Hispanic Journal and recent collections on contemporary Spain such as Casa encantada: lugares de memoria en la España constitucional (1975-2004) (Vervuert, 2005) and Border Interrogations: Crossing and Questioning Spanish Frontiers from the Middle Ages to the Present (Berghahn Books, 2008). She teaches courses on modern and contemporary Spanish narrative and culture, detective fiction, and film.

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Hotel Tivoli Lisboa

Av. Da Liberdade, 185
1269-050 Lisbon, Portugal
Phone: 011-351-21-319-89-00
Fax: 011-351-21-319-89-50

Well located in the heart of Lisbon on the city's main avenue, Hotel Tivoli Lisboa blends traditional Portuguese hospitality with contemporary amenities. The hotel features several restaurants and bars, including a rooftop grill and a whiskey bar, outdoor swimming pool, and gym facilities. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, Internet connection, mini-bar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Pousada dos Loios

7000-804 Evora, Portugal
Phone: 011-351-266-73-00-70
Fax: 011-351-266-70-72-48

A former 15th-century convent lovingly converted into a hotel, this building features fine architectural details including decorative arches, a marble staircase, a cloistered garden, and frescoed walls and ceilings. Small but comfortable guest rooms have been converted from a monastic cell, but you won't need to sacrifice your comfort to enjoy it, because your room is fully equipped with modern amenities, including air conditioning and private bath with hair dryer. The pousada has no elevators.


Parador de Carmona

Alcazar S/N 41410 Carmona
Sevilla, Spain
Phone: 011-34-95-414-1010
Fax: 011-34-95-414-1712

Converted from a 14th-century Moorish castle and overlooking the scenic plains of Carmona, this hotel features an Andalusian Courtyard with Moorish columns and a fountain, a stone vaulted restaurant, swimming pool, and garden. Your room is equipped with a private bath with hair dryer, air conditioning, satellite TV, phone, radio, and minibar.

Parador de Ronda

Plaza de Espana, S/N
294000 Ronda, Malaga, Spain
Phone: 011-34-95-287-75-00
Fax: 011-34-95-287-81-88

Originally a medieval town hall, this parador boasts a stunning location on a cliff overlooking a dramatic gorge. It features gardens with footpaths and sweeping vistas of the gorge and surrounding mountains. Your room is equipped with air conditioning, private bath with hair dryer, cable TV, phone, radio, safe, and minibar.

Parador de Úbeda

Plaza de Vázquez Molina, S/N
23400 Úbeda, Jaén, Spain
Phone: 011-34-953-75-03-45
Fax: 011-34-953-75-12-59

Located in the main square in historic Úbeda, this parador is a former 16th-century Renaissance palace that has been converted to an intimate and lovely lodging. A beautiful inner courtyard highlights the parador's public rooms; other amenities include a restaurant featuring Andalusian specialties and a bar. High-ceilinged guestrooms have air conditioning, private bath with hair dryer, phone, TV, and minibar. There is no elevator.

Wellington Hotel

Valazquez 8
28001 Madrid, Spain
Phone: 011-34-91-575-44-00
Fax: 011-34-91-576-41-64

This old-world style hotel is located in a quiet residential area of Madrid. Fully air-conditioned rooms feature private bath with hair dryer, phone, TV, safe, and minibar. In the hotel is a swimming pool with terrace, sauna and massage, and hair salon, along with a restaurant, grille room, and snack bar.

Silken Gran Hotel Havana

Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 647
08010 Barcelona, Spain
Phone: 011-34-933-417-000
Fax: 011-34-933-417-001

Located in the heart of Barcelona, the 145-room Gran Hotel offers a good location from which to explore. Hotel amenities include a restaurant, coffee shop, lounge and piano bar, newsstand, front-desk safety-deposit box, and laundry service. Soundproofed guest rooms are fully equipped with air-conditioning, private bath with hair dryer, phone, TV, radio, and mini-bar; 24-hour room service is at your disposal.

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