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Highlights
  • Delve into France’s medieval history at Avignon’s Papal Palace and on the narrow streets of fortified Carcassonne.
  • Examine the exquisite interiors and lush gardens of the Alhambra, a magnificent Moorish palace.
  • Contrast the proud cultures of several Spanish cities including Barcelona, Madrid and Seville.

On this voyage from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic through the Strait of Gibraltar, study the rises and falls of empires and examine the spectacular architectural and artistic record left behind. Roman theaters, opulent Moorish palaces and medieval cathedrals beckon you inside to learn the stories of emperors, sultans and popes.

Countries
Cities & Attractions More
Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport
Ship Name
  • MV Aegean Odyssey

29
Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
90% Recommend

4.6 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 1
Value
4.6 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.6 Lodging
4.4 Transportation
4.5 Meals
4.4
Voyages to Antiquity: Exploring History’s Grandeur in France and Spain

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Road Scholar .

S

Does Not Recommend

They take advantage of the elderly May 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
I had high hopes for Road scholar. However, when I was diagnosed with cancer I got no sympathy from Road Scholar. The agents and management kept saying you should have purchased insurance. But the insurance was extremely expensive and would not have covered the cancellation fee either. I ended up attending anyways because I didn't want to lose my money. I felt sick the entire time and could barely complete the activities. The group leader was wonderful. But the program was very strict and I felt that they over charged for everything. They demonstrated shocking behavior for a non profit that is supposed to be all about education and supporting the elderly. Yet they constantly are sending catalogs and pushing expensive programs. I highly recommend taking your money elsewhere. They do not respect their customers and only care about money. They took advantage of a cancer patient and according to the others on my trip this is common.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

S

Does Not Recommend

A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT August 2017

3.0
  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 3.0
I would have enjoyed this trip much more if I felt I was being treated as an adult, the educated, enthusiastic traveler that I am.
Unfortunately, I took a fall and broke my arm near the end of the trip. I was shocked at the very insolent, uncaring attitude of Road Scholar. I received two calls from the insurance program my husband was encouraged to pay for for the trip (we usually use Travel Guard who is great). Both calls were very negative. Neither expressed concern about my condition and both apparently had called to state that ROAD SCHOLAR
WOULD NOT PAY FOR ANYTHING! WOW! A WAKEUP CALL FROM HELL. I WILL BE SHOUTING THIS FROM THE ROOFTOPS SO NO ONE ELSE
HAS THIS EXPERIENCE. DO NOT PURCHASE ROAD SCHOLAR INSURANCE -- IT IS A BOONDOGGLE!
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

LG

Does Not Recommend

Don't go! March 2017

2.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
  • Value 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
I took a four day bridge class at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. The class was mediocre. And I came home with over 50 BED BUG BITES! Please beware.

Operator Road Scholar

TCtssvawmc

Recommends

Excellent coverage of major cities and Guizhou Province January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar (also known as Elderhostel) offers hundreds of tours worldwide, using local tour companies, sometimes universities. I have taken RS tours to Africa, China, and France and look forward to more. This was my first "tour" of China, but my 20th visit, with the rest on business. Our guide, Mei Mei, was one of the finest I've seen on tours. We started with Beijing and continued to Xian and then to Guizhou Province for a week in this fascinating area, which was new to me. We were able to meet the people in the villages, thanks to our guide, and enjoyed the chance to see and photograph such a variety of places in China. Hotels were excellent and appropriate to this type of tour (usually centrally located and very fine). Meals were family style and always good. Road Scholar makes its tours educational and doesn't push shopping as so many commercial ones do. Touring in China is very safe. You do have a lot of walking and RS tells you this in the tour, but it seems that a great deal of the walking is in those huge airports! I recommend Road Scholar and always turn to their catalogs to choose my next trip.
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Operator Road Scholar

WE

Recommends

A peaceful and green country with lots of history revealed by motor coach travel. January 2017

4.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 3.0
  • Meals 3.0
The trip was a good overview of the country. The Road Scholar guide was very knowledgeable. The motorcoach was very comfortable. The accommodations and meals were fine. Couldn't ask for a better overview of the place.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

Itinerary

Day 1: In Transit

In Flight

Day 2: Welcome to Nice, France!

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Best Western Plus Hotel Massena Nice

Afternoon: At 5:00 PM, meet in the hotel lobby for the program orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Welcome dinner in the hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

Day 3: Nice, France; Embark Aegean Odyssey

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room. On this program, breakfasts will be buffet-style with breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee and tea. Water will be served at every meal on this program.

Morning: Enjoy a panoramic coach excursion of Nice to include the Promenade des Anglais, lined with Belle-Epoque buildings, the Quai des Etats-Unis, the harbor, the impressive Russian Orthodox cathedral and, finally the residential district of Cimiez. Next, enjoy a walk through the narrow streets of old Nice. Admire two Baroque churches: Sainte Reparte and Sainte Rita before strolling the Cours Saleya with its famous flower market.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own. Or, if you prefer, the ship offers a welcome lunch buffet following embarkation.

Afternoon: After lunch, transfer to the port to embark the Aegean Odyssey. Take some time to settle in to your cabin, freshen up, and relax. Following embarkation there will be a safety briefing provided by the ship’s staff followed by a brief orientation to the ship by your Road Scholar Group Leader. This is preliminarily scheduled for 5:00 PM, but your Group Leader will confirm timings once on board the ship.

Dinner: Aboard the ship, you may choose from either the Marco Polo Restaurant or the Terrace Café. The former serves a variety of á là carte items while the café is buffet-style. Menus are inspired by fresh local ingredients. Wine is complimentary with dinner in both dining areas. Water is served at all meals on this program.

Evening: At leisure. Most evenings aboard ship are free to enjoy as you like whether it’s attending a shipboard guest lecture or listening to live music in the Charleston Lounge. The ship departs Nice in the evening and arrives into Cannes in the middle of the night.

Day 4: Cannes, France; Monte Carlo

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship, breakfast will be buffet-style with breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, hot dishes, juice, milk, coffee and tea and served in the Terrace Café.

Morning: This morning the ship will provide transfers to either St. Paul de Vence, a charming medieval village nestled in the hills above Cannes or to Monaco & Monte Carlo where you can enjoy a short guided walking excursion throughout the old town. Enjoy free time in either locale or elect to remain in Cannes.

Lunch: Aboard the ship or explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities provided in your first Information Packet. Your Group Leader of the Shore Excursion team on board will be also happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: Aboard the ship or explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure. The ship will overnight in Cannes.

Day 5: Cruising the French Riviera Coast

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: At sea. In the morning, as the ship makes its way to Marseilles, you will pass close to the coast of Monte Carlo and then continue along the beautiful coastline of the Cote d'Azur passing Nice, St. Tropez and Antibes.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: At sea. Take advantage of the ship's well stocked library that has a wide selection of volumes covering classical history, literature, art, architecture, and philosophy. The frequently updated collection also includes an extensive reference section as well as modern and classic novels.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: The ship arrives to Marseilles in the evening.

Day 6: Marseilles, France

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Aegean Odyssey

Activity note: Heavy walking for one or more hours over uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Explore the Provençal countryside on this full-day field trip to Avignon with its papal legacies. Your adventure starts with a 90-minute drive to Avignon which rose to glory in the Middle Ages, when a series of French born Popes fled Rome and made the town a base from which they ruled Christendom until 1407. Enjoy views of the Rhone River and Avignon's much-sung-about bridge, Pont St. Benezet. The highlight of your visit is an expert-led visit of the Pope's Palace.

Lunch: At a local restaurant featuring three-course set menu.

Afternoon: After lunch, there will be a short time to explore Avignon independently before returning to the ship in Marseilles.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Evening departure for Sete, for tomorrow's visit to Carcassonne.

Day 7: Sete, France / Carcassonne

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: From the port of Sete, it is an hour's drive through the quintessentially French Languedoc countryside to Carcassonne. Founded by the Romans, the fortified city of Carcassonne became the largest walled stronghold of the Middle Ages and its remarkable towers and ramparts are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lunch: At a local restaurant featuring a three-course set menu.

Afternoon: En route back to Sete, visit Narbonne, a once prosperous sea-side city of the Roman Empire, now located almost 10 miles from the ocean. In the 5th century Narbonne was a Visigoth capital and in the Middle Ages an important Episcopal center, as can be seen in several superbly preserved monuments. Enjoy a walking excursion to see some of these including a portion of the Via Domitia, the Roman road which connected Italy to Spain.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Early evening departure for Barcelona. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.

Day 8: Barcelona, Spain

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: This morning we explore Barcelona on an expert-led coach overview of the city which takes in some of Antoni Gaudí's most important works. We will see the impressive, unfinished Sagrada Familia church and if we are unable to visit the inside, we will enjoy a visit to Casa Mila (commonly known as La Pedrera). Enjoy a stroll along Las Ramblas and take in the sights and sounds of La Boquería Market.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own in Barcelona.

Afternoon: Continuation of the full-day excursion.

Dinner: Aboard the ship or explore local fare on your own.

Evening: Early evening departure for Valencia. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.

Day 9: Valencia, Spain

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Enjoy the charm of Valencia's squares and hidden corners on a walk through this fascinating city. Admire its architecture from the charming Plaza de la Reina with its stunning cathedral to the modern City of Arts and Sciences, a feat of contemporary design. Admire La Lonja, constructed in the mid-15th century and considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture.

Lunch: Aboard the ship or explore the menú del día at a tapas restaurant or two.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of Valencia.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.

Day 10: At sea

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: At sea. Treat yourself to one of many spa services offered by the ship. Or, simply relax poolside enjoying the late spring sunshine.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: At sea. Find your way to one of the ship's lounges for a conversation with fellow travelers.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.

Day 11: Málaga, Spain

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Enjoy a coach ride through the Andalucían countryside from the port of Málaga to Granada. Here you will experience the majesty of the Alhambra, a Moorish citadel and palace. It is the most renowned building of the Andalusian Islamic historical legacy. Together with the adjoining gardens and orchards of El Generalife, this remarkable site is considered an architectural culmination of Nasrid art undertaken in the 13th and 14th centuries and has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1984.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Continuation of the full-day excursion to Granada.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Midnight departure for Tangier. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.

Day 12: Tangier, Morocco

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: This morning discover Tangier, a city founded by Carthaginian colonists in the early 5th century BC. Visit its medina, or old town, filled with markets of all kinds and kasbah, the city's ancient fortifications. There will be time to visit the Kasbah Museum housed in the former sultan's palace, among other dignitaries. It has many interesting archaeological findings as well as a beautiful garden.

Lunch: Aboard the ship or explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.

Day 13: Seville, Spain

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: At sea. This afternoon cruise the Guadalquivir River, the second longest river with its entire length in Spain.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: The ship overnights in Seville. Free evening to prepare belongings for disembarkation.

Day 14: Disembark Seville, Spain

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Meliá Sevilla

Activity note: The Barrio de Santa Cruz is largely cobbled.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Disembark the ship and enjoy a guided visit of Seville, the capital and largest city of Andalucía. Explore its oldest neighborhood, the Barrio Santa Cruz. Meander its labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys that open onto beautiful plazas. During medieval times, this neighborhood was the Jewish quarter and it is home to many of Seville's oldest churches. Visit its cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral – and the third largest church – in the world. In 1898 it became the final resting place of Christopher Columbus. Next, visit the spectacular moorish Alcázar Royal Palace and gardens -- the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe. Originally a fort built by the Almohad Dynasty, it is one of the best remaining examples of Mudéjar architecture.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own. Ask you Group Leader for suggestions.

Afternoon: Check-in to hotel and enjoy some time for relaxing before heading out with your Group Leader to explore nearby Maria Luisa Park and the impressive Plaza de España, built for the World Expo in 1929, and a fine example of typical Sevillan architecture and incorporating traditional Andalucían ceramic tile.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 15: Seville, Spain / Córdoba

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Meliá Sevilla

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Enjoy the rolling plains of the Andalucían countryside during this morning's transfer to Córdoba. Today's full-day field trip will include the Mezquita, a medieval Islamic mosque that was converted into a Catholic cathedral. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble and granite. Next, explore Córdoba's Jewish quarter where this population flourished between from the 10th century until their expulsion from Spain in 1492. Its historic synagogue built in Mudéjar style is a memorial to the nearly 500 years of peaceful coexistence of Christians, Jews and Muslims in this city. There will also be time to visit the Alcázar, formerly a Visigoth fortress before falling to Umayyads conquerors and much later – after its expansion – it served as one of the primary residences of Isabel I and Ferdinand II.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Following lunch, the coach departs Córdoba by mid-afternoon for the return trip back to Seville.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 16: Train to Madrid, Spain

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Meliá Galgos

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Following check-out, we transfer to Seville's Santa Justa station to board a high-speed train to Madrid departing in the mid or late-morning. The roughly 300 mile journey takes approximately 2 1/2 hours.

Lunch: On your own, likely on the train or at the station.

Afternoon: Upon arrival to Madrid's Atocha station, coach transfer to hotel for check-in. There will be time for settling in and refreshing before the evening's flamenco performance.

Dinner: Enjoy an introduction to Flamenco with a brief lecture and demonstration followed by a tapas dinner and a Flamenco show.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 17: Madrid, Spain

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Meliá Galgos

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Morning panoramic sightseeing visit of Madrid including Paseo de la Castallaña, Madrid's chic modern district, the Paseo del Prado, also known as the Triangle of Art, the Plaza de Cibeles and Town Hall, La Gran Vía, Madrid's theatre district, and Almudena Cathedral. Next, visit the Prado Museum which holds one of the world's finest collections of European art. The magnificent building, conceived and designed in 1785, first housed the collection of the Spanish crown. It opened to the public as Spain’s national art museum in 1819. With thousands upon thousands of paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings, other works and historic documents, only a small portion of these vast collections are on display at any given time. Highlights include masterpieces of the French, German, and Italian schools, early Flemish works, and the finest collection of works by Spanish grand masters such as El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, and many more. One of the most famous paintings in the museum is “Las Meninas” -- the family of King Felipe IV -- by Velázquez.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of Madrid.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare belongings for tomorrow's departure.

Day 18: Departures

Meals: Breakfast

In Flight

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Transfer to Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) for departures. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 5,495

Price Per Day:

$ 305 per person
 
  • Select Custom Arrangements to get to and from Road Scholar-provided airfare for your program
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Ship Name

MV Aegean Odyssey

Ship Stats
  • Ship’s tonnage: 11,563
  • Length: 461 feet
  • Beam: 67 feet
  • Draft: 20,5 feet
  • Cruising speed: 18 knots
  • Passengers decks: 7
  • Stabilizers: 2
  • Passengers cabins: 216
  • Passengers - lower beds: 386
  • Ship’s registration: Panama
Ship Description

Classically elegant, but far from stuffy and formal, premium class MV Aegean Odyssey offers passengers every comfort at sea, with a relaxed, congenial atmosphere and the highest calibre of personal service.

Carrying an average of 350 passengers, Aegean Odyssey’s ideal size is perfectly suited for coastal cruising to the small inlets of the Mediterranean that larger ships cannot reach. It also allows her to navigate rivers, such as Spain’s Guadalquivir River and Gironde River in Bordeaux for a unique combination of ocean and river cruising.

Aegean Odyssey features generously-sized suites and staterooms, including a special level of accommodation entitled 'Balcony Class' in categories A through D, which offers spacious staterooms with charming balconies and additional amenities including priority sightseeing boarding.

With tastefully understated interiors, Aegean Odyssey combines the best of traditional elegance with all the modern conveniences of a first-class ship.

Deck & Cabin Plans

Observation

Trip Includes
  • 16 nights of accommodations
  • 7 expert-led lectures
  • 13 expert-led field trips
  • 1 hands-on experience
  • 1 performance
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes
Meals Included:

16 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 15 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Accomodations

Best Western Plus Hotel Massena Nice: 1 night  Nice

The 4-star Hotel Massena Nice, a Best Western hotel, is short stroll to the Old Town including the Promenade des Anglais, Saleya Courts and the flower market.

 

Aegean Odyssey: 11 nights  Ft. Lauderdale

The Aegean Odyssey offers boutique-style cruising at its best. In contrast to the massive vessels cruising to and from major ports, it is a midsized ship adapted for island and coastal cruising. The Aegean Odyssey can visit smaller, less crowded harbors and sail closer to the coast enabling you to really appreciate the magical views.

 

Meliá Sevilla: 2 nights  Seville

Located in the heart of Seville opposite the Parque de Maria Luisa and Plaza España and very close to the University (Old Tobacco Factory), the Alcazar, the Barrio de Santa Cruz district, the Cathedral and the Archive of the Indies, the new Meliá Sevilla is the perfect choice for your business and leisure trips, thanks to its excellent location in the city centre, its fully equipped and comfortable facilities and the quality of its services.

 

Meliá Galgos: 2 nights  , Madrid

Located in the chic Barrio Salamanca, close to the main Paseo de la Castellana, the Meliá Galgos is a recently renovated 4-star hotel. It is surrounded by a wide variety of restaurants, cafés and shops, and there are two metro stations nearby providing easy access to all areas of the city.

Start City
Nice
End City
Madrid

Trip ID#: VoyExpRoa

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