Summer Experiences

Spain Discovery

Journey to Barcelona, Madrid, Gibraltar and throughout Spain's storied Andalusia region to experience a land rich in history, natural beauty and unending summer sunshine.

  • Spain Discovery is a two-week cultural travel opportunity for Jewish teens to explore the Spanish cities of Madrid, Seville, Toledo, Cordoba, Barcelona, and Granada as well as the United Kingdom's Gibraltar.

    Delve into the region’s past and celebrate its modern culture as you view the art of Picasso, wander Alhambra Palace, scale the fortress of Toledo and relax along the Costa Del Sol. Along the way, you'll luxuriate in a traditional hammam (bath), get wowed at a Spanish Flamenco show and discover why many consider Spain to be the culinary capital of the world!

    As a Jewish experience, you'll learn about a unique moment in history when Jews, Christians, and Muslims coexisted harmoniously in the Golden Age of Spain -- and what followed in the Spanish Inquisition. Our experience also includes a Shabbat celebration in both Barcelona and on the Rock of Gibraltar – a special place where Jewish family identity is still defined by the Conversos legacy.

     

    Program Highlights

    For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

     

    Explore Barcelona, Cordoba, Granada, Seville, Gibraltar, Toledo and Madrid
    Wander the majestic Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens
    Learn about Spain's rich Sephardic Jewish heritage and the story of the Inquisition
    Hike in the snow-capped Sierra-Nevada Mountains and discover the mysterious "gypsy caves" of Sacramonte
    Spend a memorable Shabbat on the Rock of Gibraltar
    Enjoy an authentic flamenco show, sample delicious local cuisine and view the art of Picasso
    Tour Seville's old bull-fighting ring and the Real Madrid's stadium in Madrid
    Discover Barcelona's fantastical architecture of Antoni Gaudí

    Itinerary Snapshot

    A complete sample itinerary is available for an even fuller sense of the experience.

    WEEK #1 | Barcelona, Montserrat, Granada & Gibraltar

    Arrive to Barcelona and continue along the Mediterranean shore. Discover Gaudí's fantastical architecture, explore the Mezquita in Cordoba, tour the world famous Alhambra Palace in Granada, and scale the Rock of Gibraltar.

    WEEK #2 | Seville, Cordoba, Toledo & Madrid

    Travel through Spain's beautiful Andalusia Region, continuing the journey to the stunning city of Seville. Return northwards to explore ancient Toledo and then conclude in the trendy and art-filled city of Madrid, Spain's modern capital.

  • We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience, including the types of accommodations we use. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

    DAY #1 | Tuesday | Take Off!

    • Depart from New York
    • Spend the night in the sky en route to Europe
     

    DAY #2 | Wednesday | Hola Espana!

    • Arrive to Barcelona in the morning
    • Meet local staff – ice breakers and orientation at Gaudí’s famous Parc Güell
    • Visit Sagrada Família – the famous Church and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
    • Evening: Ascend “Jew Mountain” via funicular for a walking tour
    • Overnight: Barcelona, Spain
     

    DAY #3 | Thursday | Barcelona

    • Depart to Montserrat – the Benedictine monk mountain retreat
    • Hike in Montserrat Natural Park and visit the Benedictine Monastery
    • Relax with beach time along the Mediterranean shore
    • Evening: Spend a memorable Kabbalat Shabbat with the Jewish community of Barcelona
    • Overnight: Barcelona, Spain
     

    DAY #4 | Friday | Barcelona & Montserrat

    • Depart to Montserrat – the Benedictine monk mountain retreat
    • Hike in Montserrat Natural Park and visit the Benedictine Monastery
    • Relax with beach time along the Mediterranean shore
    • Train to Madrid for Shabbat
    • Evening: Spend a memorable Kabbalat Shabbat with the Jewish community of Madrid
    • Overnight: Madrid, Spain
     

    DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat in Madrid

    • Shabbat morning program and lunch
    • Tour the Madrid Jewish Quarter
    • Tour Madrid Synagogues
    • Havdalah service and dinner at an authentic Madrid restaurant
    • Evening: Night out on in Madrid
    • Overnight: Madrid, Spain
     

    DAY #6 | Sunday | Toledo

    • Depart to Castilla – the center of Spain
    • Stop on the way to view the Don Quixote windmills
    • Enjoy a walking tour of Toledo – panoramic view of the city from Alcazar Fortress
    • Retrace the lost history of Jewish Spain at the now transformed Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca and the Taller del Moro
    • Arrive to Madrid in the evening
    • Overnight: Madrid, Spain
     

    DAY #7 | Monday | Madrid

    • Experience the unique spirit of Spain in Madrid’s Central Plaza Espana and Plaza Mayor
    • View the masterpieces at the Prado Museum of Art
    • Tour of Real Madrid’s football stadium – Home of Spain’s most famous soccer team
    • Depart for Seville
    • Overnight: Seville, Spain
     

    DAY #8 | Tuesday | Sevilla

    • Travel to Seville – the center of Andalusian Spain
    • Horse show at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art in Jerez de La Fontera
    • Visit the Alcázar of Seville royal palace and navigate its natural hedge maze
    • Evening: Cruise down the Guadalquivir River through Seville
    • Overnight: Seville, Spain
     

    DAY #9 | Wednesday | The Rock of Gibraltar

    • Cool off with a morning of aquatic fun!
    • Arrive to Gibraltar in the United Kingdom!
    • Afternoon walking tour of Gibraltar’s Old Town district
    • Evening: Meet with a former Jewish mayor and enjoy a kosher dinner
    • Overnight: Gibraltar, United Kingdom
     

    DAY #10 | Thursday | Top of the Rock!

    • Ascend the Rock of Gibraltar via the cable car
    • Explore St. Michael’s Cave and get close to Gibraltar’s famous wild monkeys
    • Hike up to O’Hara’s Battery at the Top of the Rock!
    • Follow the Mediterranean Steps path down to Jew’s Gate
    • View the African Continent from Point Europa – Southernmost tip of Europe
    • Tour of the World War II Tunnels (time permitting)
    • Evening: British-style fish & chips dinner
    • Overnight: Gibraltar, United Kingdom
     

    DAY #11 | Friday | Seville & Cordoba

    • Explore Seville’s famous bull-fighting ring
    • View the tomb of Christopher Columbus and climb the Giralda Bell Tower
    • Continue northward to Cordoba!
    • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat service at the Jewish Museum
    • Overnight: Cordoba, Spain
     

    DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Cordoba

    • Shabbat morning program and lunch
    • Trace the history of Spain’s Golden Age at the architecturally stunning Mezquita
    • Explore the Casa de Sefarad Museum and the monument to Maimonides
    • Walk along the streets of Juderia – The Jewish Quarter
    • Evening: Relax at the exquisite Old Moorish Hammam “baths
    • Overnight: Cordoba, Spain
     

    DAY #13 | Sunday | On to Granada!

    • Wake up early to depart for Granada in the Sierra Nevada highlands
    • Explore the world famous Alhambra Palace
    • Stroll through the Generalife Gardens, the oldest surviving Moorish gardens
    • Enjoy tea in the Moorish quarter El Albayzín
    • Evening: Take-in a sunset view of Granada from the Mirador de San Nicolás overlook
    • Overnight: Granada, Spain
     

    DAY #14 | Monday | Sierra Nevada Mountains

    • Full-day hike in the Sierra Nevada Mountains – Ride a cable car to the summit
    • Discover the Roma “Gypsy” caves of Sacromonte
    • Evening: Enjoy an authentic and traditional Flamenco show
    • Overnight: Granada, Spain
     

    DAY #15 | Tuesday | Adios!

    • Depart for a morning flight
    • Arrive back to New York in the afternoon
     

  • You have questions? We've got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

    How will my teen travel to the program?
    An optional group flight is offered – typically from New York City. In some cases a group flight may also depart from Newark, Atlanta, Boston, or Miami. You are responsible for your transportation to the group flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets that mimic the group flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff in Europe. Learn more about our group flights.

    Where will my teen be sleeping?
    We stay in a variety of 3-star hotels, and each teen will have their own sleeping accommodations.

    How is the program staffed?
    Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local European tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are posted approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure, and you can expect a staff welcome call in the lead up to summer. Learn more about our staff team.

    What's the summer weather like?
    The weather throughout Spain is a typical Mediterranean climate – dry heat, cool evenings, and little to no rain. Temperatures will typically be in the 80s and 90s. Because of the dry nature of the heat in the Mediterranean, the sun is deceptively strong, and you should plan to bring plenty of sunscreen and a good hat for outdoor touring.

    How do you approach security?
    The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

    What's the typical group size?
    Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in Europe is 30 teens.

    What's the food like?
    Meals will be either kosher or vegetarian. Some meals will be provided according to the “pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy whatever food they wish with pizur funds. Europe draws travelers from all over the world, so there is a wide range of cuisine available.

    Will I need a visa?
    If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter any of the European countries we visit.

    For more information, check out our general FAQs.

  • BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning and self-discovery. 

    Supervised Connections

    Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work here.
     

Spain Discovery is a two-week cultural travel opportunity for Jewish teens to explore the Spanish cities of Madrid, Seville, Toledo, Cordoba, Barcelona, and Granada as well as the United Kingdom's Gibraltar.

Delve into the region’s past and celebrate its modern culture as you view the art of Picasso, wander Alhambra Palace, scale the fortress of Toledo and relax along the Costa Del Sol. Along the way, you'll luxuriate in a traditional hammam (bath), get wowed at a Spanish Flamenco show and discover why many consider Spain to be the culinary capital of the world!

As a Jewish experience, you'll learn about a unique moment in history when Jews, Christians, and Muslims coexisted harmoniously in the Golden Age of Spain -- and what followed in the Spanish Inquisition. Our experience also includes a Shabbat celebration in both Barcelona and on the Rock of Gibraltar – a special place where Jewish family identity is still defined by the Conversos legacy.

 

Program Highlights

For a more detailed view of the program, check out the Program Itinerary

 

Explore Barcelona, Cordoba, Granada, Seville, Gibraltar, Toledo and Madrid
Wander the majestic Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens
Learn about Spain's rich Sephardic Jewish heritage and the story of the Inquisition
Hike in the snow-capped Sierra-Nevada Mountains and discover the mysterious "gypsy caves" of Sacramonte
Spend a memorable Shabbat on the Rock of Gibraltar
Enjoy an authentic flamenco show, sample delicious local cuisine and view the art of Picasso
Tour Seville's old bull-fighting ring and the Real Madrid's stadium in Madrid
Discover Barcelona's fantastical architecture of Antoni Gaudí

Itinerary Snapshot

A complete sample itinerary is available for an even fuller sense of the experience.

WEEK #1 | Barcelona, Montserrat, Granada & Gibraltar

Arrive to Barcelona and continue along the Mediterranean shore. Discover Gaudí's fantastical architecture, explore the Mezquita in Cordoba, tour the world famous Alhambra Palace in Granada, and scale the Rock of Gibraltar.

WEEK #2 | Seville, Cordoba, Toledo & Madrid

Travel through Spain's beautiful Andalusia Region, continuing the journey to the stunning city of Seville. Return northwards to explore ancient Toledo and then conclude in the trendy and art-filled city of Madrid, Spain's modern capital.

We have provided the following sample itinerary to give you a better feel for this experience, including the types of accommodations we use. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

DAY #1 | Tuesday | Take Off!

  • Depart from New York
  • Spend the night in the sky en route to Europe
 

DAY #2 | Wednesday | Hola Espana!

  • Arrive to Barcelona in the morning
  • Meet local staff – ice breakers and orientation at Gaudí’s famous Parc Güell
  • Visit Sagrada Família – the famous Church and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Evening: Ascend “Jew Mountain” via funicular for a walking tour
  • Overnight: Barcelona, Spain
 

DAY #3 | Thursday | Barcelona

  • Depart to Montserrat – the Benedictine monk mountain retreat
  • Hike in Montserrat Natural Park and visit the Benedictine Monastery
  • Relax with beach time along the Mediterranean shore
  • Evening: Spend a memorable Kabbalat Shabbat with the Jewish community of Barcelona
  • Overnight: Barcelona, Spain
 

DAY #4 | Friday | Barcelona & Montserrat

  • Depart to Montserrat – the Benedictine monk mountain retreat
  • Hike in Montserrat Natural Park and visit the Benedictine Monastery
  • Relax with beach time along the Mediterranean shore
  • Train to Madrid for Shabbat
  • Evening: Spend a memorable Kabbalat Shabbat with the Jewish community of Madrid
  • Overnight: Madrid, Spain
 

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat in Madrid

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch
  • Tour the Madrid Jewish Quarter
  • Tour Madrid Synagogues
  • Havdalah service and dinner at an authentic Madrid restaurant
  • Evening: Night out on in Madrid
  • Overnight: Madrid, Spain
 

DAY #6 | Sunday | Toledo

  • Depart to Castilla – the center of Spain
  • Stop on the way to view the Don Quixote windmills
  • Enjoy a walking tour of Toledo – panoramic view of the city from Alcazar Fortress
  • Retrace the lost history of Jewish Spain at the now transformed Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca and the Taller del Moro
  • Arrive to Madrid in the evening
  • Overnight: Madrid, Spain
 

DAY #7 | Monday | Madrid

  • Experience the unique spirit of Spain in Madrid’s Central Plaza Espana and Plaza Mayor
  • View the masterpieces at the Prado Museum of Art
  • Tour of Real Madrid’s football stadium – Home of Spain’s most famous soccer team
  • Depart for Seville
  • Overnight: Seville, Spain
 

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Sevilla

  • Travel to Seville – the center of Andalusian Spain
  • Horse show at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art in Jerez de La Fontera
  • Visit the Alcázar of Seville royal palace and navigate its natural hedge maze
  • Evening: Cruise down the Guadalquivir River through Seville
  • Overnight: Seville, Spain
 

DAY #9 | Wednesday | The Rock of Gibraltar

  • Cool off with a morning of aquatic fun!
  • Arrive to Gibraltar in the United Kingdom!
  • Afternoon walking tour of Gibraltar’s Old Town district
  • Evening: Meet with a former Jewish mayor and enjoy a kosher dinner
  • Overnight: Gibraltar, United Kingdom
 

DAY #10 | Thursday | Top of the Rock!

  • Ascend the Rock of Gibraltar via the cable car
  • Explore St. Michael’s Cave and get close to Gibraltar’s famous wild monkeys
  • Hike up to O’Hara’s Battery at the Top of the Rock!
  • Follow the Mediterranean Steps path down to Jew’s Gate
  • View the African Continent from Point Europa – Southernmost tip of Europe
  • Tour of the World War II Tunnels (time permitting)
  • Evening: British-style fish & chips dinner
  • Overnight: Gibraltar, United Kingdom
 

DAY #11 | Friday | Seville & Cordoba

  • Explore Seville’s famous bull-fighting ring
  • View the tomb of Christopher Columbus and climb the Giralda Bell Tower
  • Continue northward to Cordoba!
  • Evening: Kabbalat Shabbat service at the Jewish Museum
  • Overnight: Cordoba, Spain
 

DAY #12 | Saturday | Shabbat in Cordoba

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch
  • Trace the history of Spain’s Golden Age at the architecturally stunning Mezquita
  • Explore the Casa de Sefarad Museum and the monument to Maimonides
  • Walk along the streets of Juderia – The Jewish Quarter
  • Evening: Relax at the exquisite Old Moorish Hammam “baths
  • Overnight: Cordoba, Spain
 

DAY #13 | Sunday | On to Granada!

  • Wake up early to depart for Granada in the Sierra Nevada highlands
  • Explore the world famous Alhambra Palace
  • Stroll through the Generalife Gardens, the oldest surviving Moorish gardens
  • Enjoy tea in the Moorish quarter El Albayzín
  • Evening: Take-in a sunset view of Granada from the Mirador de San Nicolás overlook
  • Overnight: Granada, Spain
 

DAY #14 | Monday | Sierra Nevada Mountains

  • Full-day hike in the Sierra Nevada Mountains – Ride a cable car to the summit
  • Discover the Roma “Gypsy” caves of Sacromonte
  • Evening: Enjoy an authentic and traditional Flamenco show
  • Overnight: Granada, Spain
 

DAY #15 | Tuesday | Adios!

  • Depart for a morning flight
  • Arrive back to New York in the afternoon
 

You have questions? We've got answers! Our most frequently asked questions for this program are answered below. Additional program-wide FAQs are also available. Contact us to learn more.

How will my teen travel to the program?
An optional group flight is offered – typically from New York City. In some cases a group flight may also depart from Newark, Atlanta, Boston, or Miami. You are responsible for your transportation to the group flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets that mimic the group flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff in Europe. Learn more about our group flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
We stay in a variety of 3-star hotels, and each teen will have their own sleeping accommodations.

How is the program staffed?
Each group is accompanied by a team of madrichim (counselors), a local European tour leader, and a bus driver. Staff names are posted approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure, and you can expect a staff welcome call in the lead up to summer. Learn more about our staff team.

What's the summer weather like?
The weather throughout Spain is a typical Mediterranean climate – dry heat, cool evenings, and little to no rain. Temperatures will typically be in the 80s and 90s. Because of the dry nature of the heat in the Mediterranean, the sun is deceptively strong, and you should plan to bring plenty of sunscreen and a good hat for outdoor touring.

How do you approach security?
The safety of the teens under our care is our guiding consideration. Learn more about our organization’s approach to safety & security.

What's the typical group size?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in Europe is 30 teens.

What's the food like?
Meals will be either kosher or vegetarian. Some meals will be provided according to the “pizur” system – an allowance for purchasing your own meal at a local eatery. Participants can buy whatever food they wish with pizur funds. Europe draws travelers from all over the world, so there is a wide range of cuisine available.

Will I need a visa?
If you travel with an American, Canadian, or EU passport – good news! – you don’t need a visa to enter any of the European countries we visit.

For more information, check out our general FAQs.

BBYO makes it easy to combine two experiences for an extended summer of adventure, learning and self-discovery. 

Supervised Connections

Connecting travel arrangements are available between programs, and staff supervision is provided during the connection. Learn more about how connections work here.