A Sunset - Trips to Israel
SUMMER EXPERIENCES

Mediterranean Discovery

Travel to Barcelona and all over Southern Spain on a rich two-week experience, and then continue for two more glorious weeks discovering beautiful Italy and embracing your adventurous spirit in the Slovenian Alps.

The journey begins on Spain Discovery where you’ll explore world heritage sites in the cities of Madrid, Seville, Toledo, Cordoba, Barcelona, and Granada. View the art of Picasso, climb the Rock of Gibraltar, and wander through Alhambra Palace. You’ll experience what it feels like to 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!

Then keep traveling on Italy Discovery for a well-balanced combination of must-see touring, outdoor adventure, and a unique opportunity to forge friendships with fellow Jewish teens in a beautiful setting. You’ll journey back in time and explore the origins of our Western Civilization in the Italian cities of Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa, Milan, Bologna, and Verona. And then for a change of pace (and climate), travel deep into the mountainous reaches of Slovenia where you’ll canoe on a glacial lake, raft down a roaring river, explore a massive network of underground caves and enjoy the crisp alpine air hiking in the Slovenian highlands.

As a Jewish experience, on Mediterranean Discovery you’ll connect with the colorful history of the Jewish People in Spain and Italy. We visit centuries-old synagogues, celebrate the Jewish contributions to the Golden Age of Spain, explore the world’s first ghetto in Venice, confront the devastating effects of the Inquisition and Holocaust, and celebrate memorable Shabbatot with the contemporary Jewish communities of Barcelona, Cordoba, Venice and Rome.

Program Highlights

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

Explore Cordoba, Granada, Barcelona, 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
Soak in the sun on Spain’s Costa Del Sol
Navigate the canals and waterways of old Venice by gondola
Marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Explore the Tuscan countryside and the beauty of the Italian Alps
Take in the high art of Florence, home to Michelangelo, Da Vinci & Dante
Explore the treasures of the Vatican and the Jewish Quarter in Rome
Pay homage to the Roman Empire, visiting the Colosseum, Pantheon and Forum Romanum
Raft the Soca River, trek in Postojna Cave and enjoy Slovenia’s glacial Lake Bled
Test out your problem solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room
Channel your inner warrior while taking part in a gladiator-for-a-day class
Learn how traditional Italian pastas, gelato and glass are made
Scale Mt. Vesuvius, and visit the lost city of Pompeii
Connect with Italy’s fascinating Jewish history and enduring Jewish communities

How the Connection Works

As a connected experience, this program combines Spain Discovery + Italy Discovery. At the end of our travels in Spain participants on Mediterranean Discovery will fly from Spain to Italy, generally arriving around the same time as the remainder of the Italy Discovery group. Trip connections are always supervised and all-inclusive. The cost of the connecting travel from Madrid to Milan is included as part of our optional supervised flight.

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
  • Arrive to Barcelona in the morning
  • Meet your local guide and travel to Montserrat to visit the Monastery followed by ice
    breakers and orientation
  • Overnight: Barcelona, Spain

DAY #3 | Thursday | Barcelona

  • Visit the gardens and architecture of Park Güell
  • Sightseeing tour of Barcelona and the Gothic Quarter
  • Visit Sagrada Família – the famous Church and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Tour the Gothic quarter of Barcelona with a visit to the Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona
  • Photo opportunity at Barcelona’s Olympic stadium
  • Take the cable car to the top of “Jew Mountain”
  • Overnight: Barcelona, Spain

DAY #4 | Friday | Madrid to Toledo

  • Travel by train to Madrid
  •  From Madrid head to Tolede
  • Take in a panoramic view of Toledo
  • Get dropped off at the scenic St-Martin Bridge and walk to the hotel
  • Rest and preparation for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony and festive Shabbat dinner
  • Overnight: Toledo, Spain

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat in Toledo

  • Shabbat programming and group lunch
  • Sightseeing tour of Toledo through the old city and Jewish quarter
  • Tour of the Fortress Alcázar de Toledo, once used as a 3 rd century Roman palace
  • Visit the Synagogue of Santa María la Bianca which is disputably considered to be the oldest synagogue in Europe still standing
  • Overnight: Toledo, Spain

DAY #6 | Sunday | Madrid

  • Travel to Madrid
  •  Sightsee around Madrid before heading to the Royal Palace
  • Tour of the Royal Palace
  • Visit to the Real Madrid soccer stadium
  • Dinner in Madrid before returning to Toledo
  • Overnight: Toledo, Spain

DAY #7 | Monday | Heading to Sevilla

  • Travel to Consuegra
  • Visit Don Quixote’s famous windmills
  • Enjoy a Guadaluxe ecofriendly river cruise
  • Check-in to our accommodations and free time
  • Overnight: Sevilla, Spain

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Sevilla

  • Explore Seville’s famous bull-fighting ring
  • Visit Seville’s Cathedral, built in the 1500’s
  • View the tomb of Christopher Columbus and climb the Giralda Bell Tower
  • Tour of Seville: Visit the Alcázar of Seville royal palace and navigate its natural hedge maze
  • Overnight: Sevilla, Spain

DAY #9 | Wednesday | The Rock of Gibraltar

  • Check out of hotel and travel to Gibraltar
  • Arrive to the hotel for free time at the beach
  • Dinner at a local Kosher restaurant
  • Overnight: Gibraltar, United Kingdom

DAY #10 | Thursday | Top of the Rock!

  • Walking tour of the Rock Gibraltar
  • Visit the Upper Rock Nature Reserve
  • Explore St. Michael’s cave and get closer to Gibraltar’s famous apes
  • Hike up to O’Hara’s battery at the top of The Rock!
  • View the African continent from Europa – Southernmost tip of Europe
  • Overnight: Gibraltar, United Kingdom

DAY #11 | Friday | Shabbat in Cordoba

  • Check out of hotel and head to Torremolinos, Spain
  • Spend time at Aqualand Torremolinos waterpark
  • Arrive in Córdoba for free time and Shabbat preparation
  • Walk to Casa de Sefarad (House of Memories) for Kabbalat Shabbat in the courtyard
  • Overnight: Cordoba, Spain

DAY #12 | Saturday | Day of Rest

  • Shabbat morning program
  • Trace the history of Spain’s Golden Age at the architecturally stunning Mezquita
  • Walk along the streets of La Juderia – The Jewish quarter and followed by city tour of Cordoba
  • Havdalah followed by dinner
  • Relaxing at Hammam Al Andalus – a traditional Turkish bath
  • Overnight: Cordoba, Spain

DAY #13 | Sunday | On to Granada!

  • Check out of hotel and travel to Granada
  • Arrive to Granada and admire the stunning Alhambra Palace from the neighboring hill El
    Albayzin
  • Sightseeing tour of Granada
  • Free time and dinner at hotel
  • Sunset view of Granada from the Mirador de San Nicolas
  • Overnight: Granada, Spain

DAY #14 | Monday | Sierra Nevada Mountains

  • Full day hike in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Hike through the magically colorful Red Canyon trail
  • Ride the cable car to the summit for breathtaking views
  • Stroll the streets of Granada and discover the Roma caves of Sacromonte
  • Dinner at Cuevas los Tarantos
  • Walking panoramic tour of the Alhambra palace and fortress
  • Overnight: Granada, Spain

DAY #15 | Tuesday | Adios!

  • Walking tour of the city of Malaga
  • Travel to the Malaga Airport for our flight to Italy
  • Arrive to Italy and check-in to our accommodations

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Buon Giorno Italia!

  • Meet your local staff and the rest of the group at the airport
  • Walking tour of Milan – Ice breakers and orientation
  • Photo stop at Sforza castle and head to Piazza Duomo (Cathedral Square) and admire all of
    the historic monuments along the way
  • Overnight: Milan, Italy

DAY #17 | Thursday | Romeo, Juliet & Venezia

  • Wake up and smell the fresh air of the Italian Alps before departing for Venice
  • Walking tour of Verona’s sights
  • Stand under Juliet’s balcony at Juliet’s house
  • Say goodbye to our bus and enter the water-filled streets of the Venice old city
  • Learn about the Venetian history of the word “ghetto” at the Jewish Museum
  • Overnight: Venice, Italy

DAY #18 | Friday | Waterways of Venice

  • Ride through the canals of Venice by traditional gondola
  • Travel by boat to Murano and Lido Island
  • Visit a traditional Venetian glass-making factory and learn about Venice’s famous blown glass
  • Enjoy free time at the beach on Lido Island
  • Return to our hotel to prepare for Shabbat
  • Experience Shabbat service at the Spanish Synagogue in Venice
  • Shabbat dinner at a local restaurant
  • Overnight: Venice, Italy

DAY #19 | Saturday | Shabbat in Venice

  • Shabbat programming and group lunch
  • Walking tour of Venice including St. Mark’s Square and the Basilica
  • Visit Doge’s Palace, a gothic style palace that has become a Venice landmark
  • Group dinner and Havdalah
  • Overnight: Venice, Italy

DAY #20 | Sunday | Rafting in Slovenia

  • Check out of our hotel and set off for Slovenia
  • Rafting down the Soca – one of Europe’s most beautiful rivers
  • Travel through the Slovenian mountains to our hotel
  • Overnight: Gora, Slovenia

DAY #21 | Monday | Adventures in the Backcountry

  • Take a boat ride to tiny Bled Island in the middle of the crystal blue lake
  • Climb up to the breathtaking Bled Castle
  • Enjoy an afternoon at the beach
  • Test out your problem-solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room
  • Overnight: Gora, Slovenia

DAY #22 | Tuesday | The Countryside

  • Cool off navigating underground through the Postojna cave system
  • Cross back into Italy and travel towards Florence via the Tuscan countryside
  • Stop in Bologna – Explore the city and visit the Gelato Museum for a tour and tasting!
  • Arrive to the Florence region and check-in to our accommodations
  • Overnight: Montecatini Terme, Italy

DAY #23 | Wednesday | Firenze

  • Travel to Florence stopping along the way for pictures at the panoramic view from Piazzale
    Michelangelo
  • Spend the day walking around Florence on a beautiful sightseeing tour
  • Tour the Great Synagogue – one of the world’s most beautiful synagogues
  • The Art of Florence – View Michelangelo’s David Statue at the Galleria dell’Accademia
  • Climb to the top of the Campanile Tower for a stunning panoramic view
  • Free time for shopping in Florence
  • Overnight: Montecatini Terme, Italy

DAY #24 | Thursday | Piza

  • Travel to Pisa – Climb the leaning Tower of Pisa and explore the Square of Miracles
  • Travel south along the coast towards Rome
  • Channel your inner warrior with a “Gladiator for a Day” training
  • Check-in to our central Rome accommodations
  • Dinner at a local restaurant
  • Overnight: Rome, Italy

DAY #25 | Friday | The Ancient Empire of Rome

  • Explore Vatican City in the heart of Rome – St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel
  • Walk in the footsteps of the Roman Empire at the Coliseum and the Forum Romanum
  • Prepare for Shabbat
  • Celebrate Shabbat at the Synagogue “Comunita Israelitica di Roma”
  • Overnight: Rome, Italy

DAY #26 | Saturday | Shabbat in Rome

  • Shabbat morning program
  • Walking tour of the Jewish Quarter – the oldest continually settled Jewish community outside Israel
  • Visit the historical Panthenon, a former Roman temple
  • Free time at the Rome’s famous Spanish Steps
  • Overnight: Rome, Italy

DAY #27 | Sunday | Pompei and Mt. Vesuvius

  • Check out of hotel and head to Pompeii
  • Guided tour of Pompeii – The preserved ancient Roman city
  • Drive up to Mount Vesuvius and peer into the volcano’s crater
  • Return to Rome in the evening for a final dinner party and group session
  • Overnight: Rome, Italy

DAY #28 | Monday | Ciao Italia!

  • Depart for a morning flight
  • Arrive at 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 supervised flight is offered – often from New York City. In some cases, a supervised flight may also depart from Newark. You are responsible for your transportation to the supervised flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff in Europe. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in a variety of 3-star hotels. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

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 sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
The weather throughout Spain, Italy and Slovenia 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?

As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. All food provided by BBYO Passport experiences in Israel are kosher. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. 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.

How the Connection Works

As a connected experience, this program combines Spain Discovery + Italy Discovery. At the end of our travels in Spain participants on Mediterranean Discovery will fly from Spain to Italy, generally arriving around the same time as the remainder of the Italy Discovery group. Trip connections are always supervised and all-inclusive. The cost of the connecting travel from Madrid to Milan is included as part of our optional supervised flight.

The journey begins on Spain Discovery where you’ll explore world heritage sites in the cities of Madrid, Seville, Toledo, Cordoba, Barcelona, and Granada. View the art of Picasso, climb the Rock of Gibraltar, and wander through Alhambra Palace. You’ll experience what it feels like to 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!

Then keep traveling on Italy Discovery for a well-balanced combination of must-see touring, outdoor adventure, and a unique opportunity to forge friendships with fellow Jewish teens in a beautiful setting. You’ll journey back in time and explore the origins of our Western Civilization in the Italian cities of Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa, Milan, Bologna, and Verona. And then for a change of pace (and climate), travel deep into the mountainous reaches of Slovenia where you’ll canoe on a glacial lake, raft down a roaring river, explore a massive network of underground caves and enjoy the crisp alpine air hiking in the Slovenian highlands.

As a Jewish experience, on Mediterranean Discovery you’ll connect with the colorful history of the Jewish People in Spain and Italy. We visit centuries-old synagogues, celebrate the Jewish contributions to the Golden Age of Spain, explore the world’s first ghetto in Venice, confront the devastating effects of the Inquisition and Holocaust, and celebrate memorable Shabbatot with the contemporary Jewish communities of Barcelona, Cordoba, Venice and Rome.

Program Highlights

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

Explore Cordoba, Granada, Barcelona, 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
Soak in the sun on Spain’s Costa Del Sol
Navigate the canals and waterways of old Venice by gondola
Marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Explore the Tuscan countryside and the beauty of the Italian Alps
Take in the high art of Florence, home to Michelangelo, Da Vinci & Dante
Explore the treasures of the Vatican and the Jewish Quarter in Rome
Pay homage to the Roman Empire, visiting the Colosseum, Pantheon and Forum Romanum
Raft the Soca River, trek in Postojna Cave and enjoy Slovenia’s glacial Lake Bled
Test out your problem solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room
Channel your inner warrior while taking part in a gladiator-for-a-day class
Learn how traditional Italian pastas, gelato and glass are made
Scale Mt. Vesuvius, and visit the lost city of Pompeii
Connect with Italy’s fascinating Jewish history and enduring Jewish communities

How the Connection Works

As a connected experience, this program combines Spain Discovery + Italy Discovery. At the end of our travels in Spain participants on Mediterranean Discovery will fly from Spain to Italy, generally arriving around the same time as the remainder of the Italy Discovery group. Trip connections are always supervised and all-inclusive. The cost of the connecting travel from Madrid to Milan is included as part of our optional supervised flight.

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
  • Arrive to Barcelona in the morning
  • Meet your local guide and travel to Montserrat to visit the Monastery followed by ice
    breakers and orientation
  • Overnight: Barcelona, Spain

DAY #3 | Thursday | Barcelona

  • Visit the gardens and architecture of Park Güell
  • Sightseeing tour of Barcelona and the Gothic Quarter
  • Visit Sagrada Família – the famous Church and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Tour the Gothic quarter of Barcelona with a visit to the Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona
  • Photo opportunity at Barcelona’s Olympic stadium
  • Take the cable car to the top of “Jew Mountain”
  • Overnight: Barcelona, Spain

DAY #4 | Friday | Madrid to Toledo

  • Travel by train to Madrid
  •  From Madrid head to Tolede
  • Take in a panoramic view of Toledo
  • Get dropped off at the scenic St-Martin Bridge and walk to the hotel
  • Rest and preparation for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony and festive Shabbat dinner
  • Overnight: Toledo, Spain

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat in Toledo

  • Shabbat programming and group lunch
  • Sightseeing tour of Toledo through the old city and Jewish quarter
  • Tour of the Fortress Alcázar de Toledo, once used as a 3 rd century Roman palace
  • Visit the Synagogue of Santa María la Bianca which is disputably considered to be the oldest synagogue in Europe still standing
  • Overnight: Toledo, Spain

DAY #6 | Sunday | Madrid

  • Travel to Madrid
  •  Sightsee around Madrid before heading to the Royal Palace
  • Tour of the Royal Palace
  • Visit to the Real Madrid soccer stadium
  • Dinner in Madrid before returning to Toledo
  • Overnight: Toledo, Spain

DAY #7 | Monday | Heading to Sevilla

  • Travel to Consuegra
  • Visit Don Quixote’s famous windmills
  • Enjoy a Guadaluxe ecofriendly river cruise
  • Check-in to our accommodations and free time
  • Overnight: Sevilla, Spain

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Sevilla

  • Explore Seville’s famous bull-fighting ring
  • Visit Seville’s Cathedral, built in the 1500’s
  • View the tomb of Christopher Columbus and climb the Giralda Bell Tower
  • Tour of Seville: Visit the Alcázar of Seville royal palace and navigate its natural hedge maze
  • Overnight: Sevilla, Spain

DAY #9 | Wednesday | The Rock of Gibraltar

  • Check out of hotel and travel to Gibraltar
  • Arrive to the hotel for free time at the beach
  • Dinner at a local Kosher restaurant
  • Overnight: Gibraltar, United Kingdom

DAY #10 | Thursday | Top of the Rock!

  • Walking tour of the Rock Gibraltar
  • Visit the Upper Rock Nature Reserve
  • Explore St. Michael’s cave and get closer to Gibraltar’s famous apes
  • Hike up to O’Hara’s battery at the top of The Rock!
  • View the African continent from Europa – Southernmost tip of Europe
  • Overnight: Gibraltar, United Kingdom

DAY #11 | Friday | Shabbat in Cordoba

  • Check out of hotel and head to Torremolinos, Spain
  • Spend time at Aqualand Torremolinos waterpark
  • Arrive in Córdoba for free time and Shabbat preparation
  • Walk to Casa de Sefarad (House of Memories) for Kabbalat Shabbat in the courtyard
  • Overnight: Cordoba, Spain

DAY #12 | Saturday | Day of Rest

  • Shabbat morning program
  • Trace the history of Spain’s Golden Age at the architecturally stunning Mezquita
  • Walk along the streets of La Juderia – The Jewish quarter and followed by city tour of Cordoba
  • Havdalah followed by dinner
  • Relaxing at Hammam Al Andalus – a traditional Turkish bath
  • Overnight: Cordoba, Spain

DAY #13 | Sunday | On to Granada!

  • Check out of hotel and travel to Granada
  • Arrive to Granada and admire the stunning Alhambra Palace from the neighboring hill El
    Albayzin
  • Sightseeing tour of Granada
  • Free time and dinner at hotel
  • Sunset view of Granada from the Mirador de San Nicolas
  • Overnight: Granada, Spain

DAY #14 | Monday | Sierra Nevada Mountains

  • Full day hike in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Hike through the magically colorful Red Canyon trail
  • Ride the cable car to the summit for breathtaking views
  • Stroll the streets of Granada and discover the Roma caves of Sacromonte
  • Dinner at Cuevas los Tarantos
  • Walking panoramic tour of the Alhambra palace and fortress
  • Overnight: Granada, Spain

DAY #15 | Tuesday | Adios!

  • Walking tour of the city of Malaga
  • Travel to the Malaga Airport for our flight to Italy
  • Arrive to Italy and check-in to our accommodations

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Buon Giorno Italia!

  • Meet your local staff and the rest of the group at the airport
  • Walking tour of Milan – Ice breakers and orientation
  • Photo stop at Sforza castle and head to Piazza Duomo (Cathedral Square) and admire all of
    the historic monuments along the way
  • Overnight: Milan, Italy

DAY #17 | Thursday | Romeo, Juliet & Venezia

  • Wake up and smell the fresh air of the Italian Alps before departing for Venice
  • Walking tour of Verona’s sights
  • Stand under Juliet’s balcony at Juliet’s house
  • Say goodbye to our bus and enter the water-filled streets of the Venice old city
  • Learn about the Venetian history of the word “ghetto” at the Jewish Museum
  • Overnight: Venice, Italy

DAY #18 | Friday | Waterways of Venice

  • Ride through the canals of Venice by traditional gondola
  • Travel by boat to Murano and Lido Island
  • Visit a traditional Venetian glass-making factory and learn about Venice’s famous blown glass
  • Enjoy free time at the beach on Lido Island
  • Return to our hotel to prepare for Shabbat
  • Experience Shabbat service at the Spanish Synagogue in Venice
  • Shabbat dinner at a local restaurant
  • Overnight: Venice, Italy

DAY #19 | Saturday | Shabbat in Venice

  • Shabbat programming and group lunch
  • Walking tour of Venice including St. Mark’s Square and the Basilica
  • Visit Doge’s Palace, a gothic style palace that has become a Venice landmark
  • Group dinner and Havdalah
  • Overnight: Venice, Italy

DAY #20 | Sunday | Rafting in Slovenia

  • Check out of our hotel and set off for Slovenia
  • Rafting down the Soca – one of Europe’s most beautiful rivers
  • Travel through the Slovenian mountains to our hotel
  • Overnight: Gora, Slovenia

DAY #21 | Monday | Adventures in the Backcountry

  • Take a boat ride to tiny Bled Island in the middle of the crystal blue lake
  • Climb up to the breathtaking Bled Castle
  • Enjoy an afternoon at the beach
  • Test out your problem-solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room
  • Overnight: Gora, Slovenia

DAY #22 | Tuesday | The Countryside

  • Cool off navigating underground through the Postojna cave system
  • Cross back into Italy and travel towards Florence via the Tuscan countryside
  • Stop in Bologna – Explore the city and visit the Gelato Museum for a tour and tasting!
  • Arrive to the Florence region and check-in to our accommodations
  • Overnight: Montecatini Terme, Italy

DAY #23 | Wednesday | Firenze

  • Travel to Florence stopping along the way for pictures at the panoramic view from Piazzale
    Michelangelo
  • Spend the day walking around Florence on a beautiful sightseeing tour
  • Tour the Great Synagogue – one of the world’s most beautiful synagogues
  • The Art of Florence – View Michelangelo’s David Statue at the Galleria dell’Accademia
  • Climb to the top of the Campanile Tower for a stunning panoramic view
  • Free time for shopping in Florence
  • Overnight: Montecatini Terme, Italy

DAY #24 | Thursday | Piza

  • Travel to Pisa – Climb the leaning Tower of Pisa and explore the Square of Miracles
  • Travel south along the coast towards Rome
  • Channel your inner warrior with a “Gladiator for a Day” training
  • Check-in to our central Rome accommodations
  • Dinner at a local restaurant
  • Overnight: Rome, Italy

DAY #25 | Friday | The Ancient Empire of Rome

  • Explore Vatican City in the heart of Rome – St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel
  • Walk in the footsteps of the Roman Empire at the Coliseum and the Forum Romanum
  • Prepare for Shabbat
  • Celebrate Shabbat at the Synagogue “Comunita Israelitica di Roma”
  • Overnight: Rome, Italy

DAY #26 | Saturday | Shabbat in Rome

  • Shabbat morning program
  • Walking tour of the Jewish Quarter – the oldest continually settled Jewish community outside Israel
  • Visit the historical Panthenon, a former Roman temple
  • Free time at the Rome’s famous Spanish Steps
  • Overnight: Rome, Italy

DAY #27 | Sunday | Pompei and Mt. Vesuvius

  • Check out of hotel and head to Pompeii
  • Guided tour of Pompeii – The preserved ancient Roman city
  • Drive up to Mount Vesuvius and peer into the volcano’s crater
  • Return to Rome in the evening for a final dinner party and group session
  • Overnight: Rome, Italy

DAY #28 | Monday | Ciao Italia!

  • Depart for a morning flight
  • Arrive at 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 supervised flight is offered – often from New York City. In some cases, a supervised flight may also depart from Newark. You are responsible for your transportation to the supervised flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff in Europe. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in a variety of 3-star hotels. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

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 sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
The weather throughout Spain, Italy and Slovenia 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?

As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. All food provided by BBYO Passport experiences in Israel are kosher. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. 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.

How the Connection Works

As a connected experience, this program combines Spain Discovery + Italy Discovery. At the end of our travels in Spain participants on Mediterranean Discovery will fly from Spain to Italy, generally arriving around the same time as the remainder of the Italy Discovery group. Trip connections are always supervised and all-inclusive. The cost of the connecting travel from Madrid to Milan is included as part of our optional supervised flight.

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

Mediterranean Discovery

Travel to Barcelona and all over Southern Spain on a rich two-week experience, and then continue for two more glorious weeks discovering beautiful Italy and embracing your adventurous spirit in the Slovenian Alps.

Mediterranean Discovery

Travel to Barcelona and all over Southern Spain on a rich two-week experience, and then continue for two more glorious weeks discovering beautiful Italy and embracing your adventurous spirit in the Slovenian Alps.

The journey begins on Spain Discovery where you’ll explore world heritage sites in the cities of Madrid, Seville, Toledo, Cordoba, Barcelona, and Granada. View the art of Picasso, climb the Rock of Gibraltar, and wander through Alhambra Palace. You’ll experience what it feels like to 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!

Then keep traveling on Italy Discovery for a well-balanced combination of must-see touring, outdoor adventure, and a unique opportunity to forge friendships with fellow Jewish teens in a beautiful setting. You’ll journey back in time and explore the origins of our Western Civilization in the Italian cities of Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa, Milan, Bologna, and Verona. And then for a change of pace (and climate), travel deep into the mountainous reaches of Slovenia where you’ll canoe on a glacial lake, raft down a roaring river, explore a massive network of underground caves and enjoy the crisp alpine air hiking in the Slovenian highlands.

As a Jewish experience, on Mediterranean Discovery you’ll connect with the colorful history of the Jewish People in Spain and Italy. We visit centuries-old synagogues, celebrate the Jewish contributions to the Golden Age of Spain, explore the world’s first ghetto in Venice, confront the devastating effects of the Inquisition and Holocaust, and celebrate memorable Shabbatot with the contemporary Jewish communities of Barcelona, Cordoba, Venice and Rome.

Program Highlights

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

Explore Cordoba, Granada, Barcelona, 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
Soak in the sun on Spain’s Costa Del Sol
Navigate the canals and waterways of old Venice by gondola
Marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Explore the Tuscan countryside and the beauty of the Italian Alps
Take in the high art of Florence, home to Michelangelo, Da Vinci & Dante
Explore the treasures of the Vatican and the Jewish Quarter in Rome
Pay homage to the Roman Empire, visiting the Colosseum, Pantheon and Forum Romanum
Raft the Soca River, trek in Postojna Cave and enjoy Slovenia’s glacial Lake Bled
Test out your problem solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room
Channel your inner warrior while taking part in a gladiator-for-a-day class
Learn how traditional Italian pastas, gelato and glass are made
Scale Mt. Vesuvius, and visit the lost city of Pompeii
Connect with Italy’s fascinating Jewish history and enduring Jewish communities

How the Connection Works

As a connected experience, this program combines Spain Discovery + Italy Discovery. At the end of our travels in Spain participants on Mediterranean Discovery will fly from Spain to Italy, generally arriving around the same time as the remainder of the Italy Discovery group. Trip connections are always supervised and all-inclusive. The cost of the connecting travel from Madrid to Milan is included as part of our optional supervised flight.

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
  • Arrive to Barcelona in the morning
  • Meet your local guide and travel to Montserrat to visit the Monastery followed by ice
    breakers and orientation
  • Overnight: Barcelona, Spain

DAY #3 | Thursday | Barcelona

  • Visit the gardens and architecture of Park Güell
  • Sightseeing tour of Barcelona and the Gothic Quarter
  • Visit Sagrada Família – the famous Church and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Tour the Gothic quarter of Barcelona with a visit to the Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona
  • Photo opportunity at Barcelona’s Olympic stadium
  • Take the cable car to the top of “Jew Mountain”
  • Overnight: Barcelona, Spain

DAY #4 | Friday | Madrid to Toledo

  • Travel by train to Madrid
  •  From Madrid head to Tolede
  • Take in a panoramic view of Toledo
  • Get dropped off at the scenic St-Martin Bridge and walk to the hotel
  • Rest and preparation for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony and festive Shabbat dinner
  • Overnight: Toledo, Spain

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat in Toledo

  • Shabbat programming and group lunch
  • Sightseeing tour of Toledo through the old city and Jewish quarter
  • Tour of the Fortress Alcázar de Toledo, once used as a 3 rd century Roman palace
  • Visit the Synagogue of Santa María la Bianca which is disputably considered to be the oldest synagogue in Europe still standing
  • Overnight: Toledo, Spain

DAY #6 | Sunday | Madrid

  • Travel to Madrid
  •  Sightsee around Madrid before heading to the Royal Palace
  • Tour of the Royal Palace
  • Visit to the Real Madrid soccer stadium
  • Dinner in Madrid before returning to Toledo
  • Overnight: Toledo, Spain

DAY #7 | Monday | Heading to Sevilla

  • Travel to Consuegra
  • Visit Don Quixote’s famous windmills
  • Enjoy a Guadaluxe ecofriendly river cruise
  • Check-in to our accommodations and free time
  • Overnight: Sevilla, Spain

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Sevilla

  • Explore Seville’s famous bull-fighting ring
  • Visit Seville’s Cathedral, built in the 1500’s
  • View the tomb of Christopher Columbus and climb the Giralda Bell Tower
  • Tour of Seville: Visit the Alcázar of Seville royal palace and navigate its natural hedge maze
  • Overnight: Sevilla, Spain

DAY #9 | Wednesday | The Rock of Gibraltar

  • Check out of hotel and travel to Gibraltar
  • Arrive to the hotel for free time at the beach
  • Dinner at a local Kosher restaurant
  • Overnight: Gibraltar, United Kingdom

DAY #10 | Thursday | Top of the Rock!

  • Walking tour of the Rock Gibraltar
  • Visit the Upper Rock Nature Reserve
  • Explore St. Michael’s cave and get closer to Gibraltar’s famous apes
  • Hike up to O’Hara’s battery at the top of The Rock!
  • View the African continent from Europa – Southernmost tip of Europe
  • Overnight: Gibraltar, United Kingdom

DAY #11 | Friday | Shabbat in Cordoba

  • Check out of hotel and head to Torremolinos, Spain
  • Spend time at Aqualand Torremolinos waterpark
  • Arrive in Córdoba for free time and Shabbat preparation
  • Walk to Casa de Sefarad (House of Memories) for Kabbalat Shabbat in the courtyard
  • Overnight: Cordoba, Spain

DAY #12 | Saturday | Day of Rest

  • Shabbat morning program
  • Trace the history of Spain’s Golden Age at the architecturally stunning Mezquita
  • Walk along the streets of La Juderia – The Jewish quarter and followed by city tour of Cordoba
  • Havdalah followed by dinner
  • Relaxing at Hammam Al Andalus – a traditional Turkish bath
  • Overnight: Cordoba, Spain

DAY #13 | Sunday | On to Granada!

  • Check out of hotel and travel to Granada
  • Arrive to Granada and admire the stunning Alhambra Palace from the neighboring hill El
    Albayzin
  • Sightseeing tour of Granada
  • Free time and dinner at hotel
  • Sunset view of Granada from the Mirador de San Nicolas
  • Overnight: Granada, Spain

DAY #14 | Monday | Sierra Nevada Mountains

  • Full day hike in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Hike through the magically colorful Red Canyon trail
  • Ride the cable car to the summit for breathtaking views
  • Stroll the streets of Granada and discover the Roma caves of Sacromonte
  • Dinner at Cuevas los Tarantos
  • Walking panoramic tour of the Alhambra palace and fortress
  • Overnight: Granada, Spain

DAY #15 | Tuesday | Adios!

  • Walking tour of the city of Malaga
  • Travel to the Malaga Airport for our flight to Italy
  • Arrive to Italy and check-in to our accommodations

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Buon Giorno Italia!

  • Meet your local staff and the rest of the group at the airport
  • Walking tour of Milan – Ice breakers and orientation
  • Photo stop at Sforza castle and head to Piazza Duomo (Cathedral Square) and admire all of
    the historic monuments along the way
  • Overnight: Milan, Italy

DAY #17 | Thursday | Romeo, Juliet & Venezia

  • Wake up and smell the fresh air of the Italian Alps before departing for Venice
  • Walking tour of Verona’s sights
  • Stand under Juliet’s balcony at Juliet’s house
  • Say goodbye to our bus and enter the water-filled streets of the Venice old city
  • Learn about the Venetian history of the word “ghetto” at the Jewish Museum
  • Overnight: Venice, Italy

DAY #18 | Friday | Waterways of Venice

  • Ride through the canals of Venice by traditional gondola
  • Travel by boat to Murano and Lido Island
  • Visit a traditional Venetian glass-making factory and learn about Venice’s famous blown glass
  • Enjoy free time at the beach on Lido Island
  • Return to our hotel to prepare for Shabbat
  • Experience Shabbat service at the Spanish Synagogue in Venice
  • Shabbat dinner at a local restaurant
  • Overnight: Venice, Italy

DAY #19 | Saturday | Shabbat in Venice

  • Shabbat programming and group lunch
  • Walking tour of Venice including St. Mark’s Square and the Basilica
  • Visit Doge’s Palace, a gothic style palace that has become a Venice landmark
  • Group dinner and Havdalah
  • Overnight: Venice, Italy

DAY #20 | Sunday | Rafting in Slovenia

  • Check out of our hotel and set off for Slovenia
  • Rafting down the Soca – one of Europe’s most beautiful rivers
  • Travel through the Slovenian mountains to our hotel
  • Overnight: Gora, Slovenia

DAY #21 | Monday | Adventures in the Backcountry

  • Take a boat ride to tiny Bled Island in the middle of the crystal blue lake
  • Climb up to the breathtaking Bled Castle
  • Enjoy an afternoon at the beach
  • Test out your problem-solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room
  • Overnight: Gora, Slovenia

DAY #22 | Tuesday | The Countryside

  • Cool off navigating underground through the Postojna cave system
  • Cross back into Italy and travel towards Florence via the Tuscan countryside
  • Stop in Bologna – Explore the city and visit the Gelato Museum for a tour and tasting!
  • Arrive to the Florence region and check-in to our accommodations
  • Overnight: Montecatini Terme, Italy

DAY #23 | Wednesday | Firenze

  • Travel to Florence stopping along the way for pictures at the panoramic view from Piazzale
    Michelangelo
  • Spend the day walking around Florence on a beautiful sightseeing tour
  • Tour the Great Synagogue – one of the world’s most beautiful synagogues
  • The Art of Florence – View Michelangelo’s David Statue at the Galleria dell’Accademia
  • Climb to the top of the Campanile Tower for a stunning panoramic view
  • Free time for shopping in Florence
  • Overnight: Montecatini Terme, Italy

DAY #24 | Thursday | Piza

  • Travel to Pisa – Climb the leaning Tower of Pisa and explore the Square of Miracles
  • Travel south along the coast towards Rome
  • Channel your inner warrior with a “Gladiator for a Day” training
  • Check-in to our central Rome accommodations
  • Dinner at a local restaurant
  • Overnight: Rome, Italy

DAY #25 | Friday | The Ancient Empire of Rome

  • Explore Vatican City in the heart of Rome – St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel
  • Walk in the footsteps of the Roman Empire at the Coliseum and the Forum Romanum
  • Prepare for Shabbat
  • Celebrate Shabbat at the Synagogue “Comunita Israelitica di Roma”
  • Overnight: Rome, Italy

DAY #26 | Saturday | Shabbat in Rome

  • Shabbat morning program
  • Walking tour of the Jewish Quarter – the oldest continually settled Jewish community outside Israel
  • Visit the historical Panthenon, a former Roman temple
  • Free time at the Rome’s famous Spanish Steps
  • Overnight: Rome, Italy

DAY #27 | Sunday | Pompei and Mt. Vesuvius

  • Check out of hotel and head to Pompeii
  • Guided tour of Pompeii – The preserved ancient Roman city
  • Drive up to Mount Vesuvius and peer into the volcano’s crater
  • Return to Rome in the evening for a final dinner party and group session
  • Overnight: Rome, Italy

DAY #28 | Monday | Ciao Italia!

  • Depart for a morning flight
  • Arrive at 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 supervised flight is offered – often from New York City. In some cases, a supervised flight may also depart from Newark. You are responsible for your transportation to the supervised flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff in Europe. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in a variety of 3-star hotels. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

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 sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
The weather throughout Spain, Italy and Slovenia 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?

As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. All food provided by BBYO Passport experiences in Israel are kosher. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. 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.

How the Connection Works

As a connected experience, this program combines Spain Discovery + Italy Discovery. At the end of our travels in Spain participants on Mediterranean Discovery will fly from Spain to Italy, generally arriving around the same time as the remainder of the Italy Discovery group. Trip connections are always supervised and all-inclusive. The cost of the connecting travel from Madrid to Milan is included as part of our optional supervised flight.

The journey begins on Spain Discovery where you’ll explore world heritage sites in the cities of Madrid, Seville, Toledo, Cordoba, Barcelona, and Granada. View the art of Picasso, climb the Rock of Gibraltar, and wander through Alhambra Palace. You’ll experience what it feels like to 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!

Then keep traveling on Italy Discovery for a well-balanced combination of must-see touring, outdoor adventure, and a unique opportunity to forge friendships with fellow Jewish teens in a beautiful setting. You’ll journey back in time and explore the origins of our Western Civilization in the Italian cities of Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa, Milan, Bologna, and Verona. And then for a change of pace (and climate), travel deep into the mountainous reaches of Slovenia where you’ll canoe on a glacial lake, raft down a roaring river, explore a massive network of underground caves and enjoy the crisp alpine air hiking in the Slovenian highlands.

As a Jewish experience, on Mediterranean Discovery you’ll connect with the colorful history of the Jewish People in Spain and Italy. We visit centuries-old synagogues, celebrate the Jewish contributions to the Golden Age of Spain, explore the world’s first ghetto in Venice, confront the devastating effects of the Inquisition and Holocaust, and celebrate memorable Shabbatot with the contemporary Jewish communities of Barcelona, Cordoba, Venice and Rome.

Program Highlights

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

Explore Cordoba, Granada, Barcelona, 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
Soak in the sun on Spain’s Costa Del Sol
Navigate the canals and waterways of old Venice by gondola
Marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Explore the Tuscan countryside and the beauty of the Italian Alps
Take in the high art of Florence, home to Michelangelo, Da Vinci & Dante
Explore the treasures of the Vatican and the Jewish Quarter in Rome
Pay homage to the Roman Empire, visiting the Colosseum, Pantheon and Forum Romanum
Raft the Soca River, trek in Postojna Cave and enjoy Slovenia’s glacial Lake Bled
Test out your problem solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room
Channel your inner warrior while taking part in a gladiator-for-a-day class
Learn how traditional Italian pastas, gelato and glass are made
Scale Mt. Vesuvius, and visit the lost city of Pompeii
Connect with Italy’s fascinating Jewish history and enduring Jewish communities

How the Connection Works

As a connected experience, this program combines Spain Discovery + Italy Discovery. At the end of our travels in Spain participants on Mediterranean Discovery will fly from Spain to Italy, generally arriving around the same time as the remainder of the Italy Discovery group. Trip connections are always supervised and all-inclusive. The cost of the connecting travel from Madrid to Milan is included as part of our optional supervised flight.

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
  • Arrive to Barcelona in the morning
  • Meet your local guide and travel to Montserrat to visit the Monastery followed by ice
    breakers and orientation
  • Overnight: Barcelona, Spain

DAY #3 | Thursday | Barcelona

  • Visit the gardens and architecture of Park Güell
  • Sightseeing tour of Barcelona and the Gothic Quarter
  • Visit Sagrada Família – the famous Church and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Tour the Gothic quarter of Barcelona with a visit to the Ancient Synagogue of Barcelona
  • Photo opportunity at Barcelona’s Olympic stadium
  • Take the cable car to the top of “Jew Mountain”
  • Overnight: Barcelona, Spain

DAY #4 | Friday | Madrid to Toledo

  • Travel by train to Madrid
  •  From Madrid head to Tolede
  • Take in a panoramic view of Toledo
  • Get dropped off at the scenic St-Martin Bridge and walk to the hotel
  • Rest and preparation for Shabbat
  • Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony and festive Shabbat dinner
  • Overnight: Toledo, Spain

DAY #5 | Saturday | Shabbat in Toledo

  • Shabbat programming and group lunch
  • Sightseeing tour of Toledo through the old city and Jewish quarter
  • Tour of the Fortress Alcázar de Toledo, once used as a 3 rd century Roman palace
  • Visit the Synagogue of Santa María la Bianca which is disputably considered to be the oldest synagogue in Europe still standing
  • Overnight: Toledo, Spain

DAY #6 | Sunday | Madrid

  • Travel to Madrid
  •  Sightsee around Madrid before heading to the Royal Palace
  • Tour of the Royal Palace
  • Visit to the Real Madrid soccer stadium
  • Dinner in Madrid before returning to Toledo
  • Overnight: Toledo, Spain

DAY #7 | Monday | Heading to Sevilla

  • Travel to Consuegra
  • Visit Don Quixote’s famous windmills
  • Enjoy a Guadaluxe ecofriendly river cruise
  • Check-in to our accommodations and free time
  • Overnight: Sevilla, Spain

DAY #8 | Tuesday | Sevilla

  • Explore Seville’s famous bull-fighting ring
  • Visit Seville’s Cathedral, built in the 1500’s
  • View the tomb of Christopher Columbus and climb the Giralda Bell Tower
  • Tour of Seville: Visit the Alcázar of Seville royal palace and navigate its natural hedge maze
  • Overnight: Sevilla, Spain

DAY #9 | Wednesday | The Rock of Gibraltar

  • Check out of hotel and travel to Gibraltar
  • Arrive to the hotel for free time at the beach
  • Dinner at a local Kosher restaurant
  • Overnight: Gibraltar, United Kingdom

DAY #10 | Thursday | Top of the Rock!

  • Walking tour of the Rock Gibraltar
  • Visit the Upper Rock Nature Reserve
  • Explore St. Michael’s cave and get closer to Gibraltar’s famous apes
  • Hike up to O’Hara’s battery at the top of The Rock!
  • View the African continent from Europa – Southernmost tip of Europe
  • Overnight: Gibraltar, United Kingdom

DAY #11 | Friday | Shabbat in Cordoba

  • Check out of hotel and head to Torremolinos, Spain
  • Spend time at Aqualand Torremolinos waterpark
  • Arrive in Córdoba for free time and Shabbat preparation
  • Walk to Casa de Sefarad (House of Memories) for Kabbalat Shabbat in the courtyard
  • Overnight: Cordoba, Spain

DAY #12 | Saturday | Day of Rest

  • Shabbat morning program
  • Trace the history of Spain’s Golden Age at the architecturally stunning Mezquita
  • Walk along the streets of La Juderia – The Jewish quarter and followed by city tour of Cordoba
  • Havdalah followed by dinner
  • Relaxing at Hammam Al Andalus – a traditional Turkish bath
  • Overnight: Cordoba, Spain

DAY #13 | Sunday | On to Granada!

  • Check out of hotel and travel to Granada
  • Arrive to Granada and admire the stunning Alhambra Palace from the neighboring hill El
    Albayzin
  • Sightseeing tour of Granada
  • Free time and dinner at hotel
  • Sunset view of Granada from the Mirador de San Nicolas
  • Overnight: Granada, Spain

DAY #14 | Monday | Sierra Nevada Mountains

  • Full day hike in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Hike through the magically colorful Red Canyon trail
  • Ride the cable car to the summit for breathtaking views
  • Stroll the streets of Granada and discover the Roma caves of Sacromonte
  • Dinner at Cuevas los Tarantos
  • Walking panoramic tour of the Alhambra palace and fortress
  • Overnight: Granada, Spain

DAY #15 | Tuesday | Adios!

  • Walking tour of the city of Malaga
  • Travel to the Malaga Airport for our flight to Italy
  • Arrive to Italy and check-in to our accommodations

DAY #16 | Wednesday | Buon Giorno Italia!

  • Meet your local staff and the rest of the group at the airport
  • Walking tour of Milan – Ice breakers and orientation
  • Photo stop at Sforza castle and head to Piazza Duomo (Cathedral Square) and admire all of
    the historic monuments along the way
  • Overnight: Milan, Italy

DAY #17 | Thursday | Romeo, Juliet & Venezia

  • Wake up and smell the fresh air of the Italian Alps before departing for Venice
  • Walking tour of Verona’s sights
  • Stand under Juliet’s balcony at Juliet’s house
  • Say goodbye to our bus and enter the water-filled streets of the Venice old city
  • Learn about the Venetian history of the word “ghetto” at the Jewish Museum
  • Overnight: Venice, Italy

DAY #18 | Friday | Waterways of Venice

  • Ride through the canals of Venice by traditional gondola
  • Travel by boat to Murano and Lido Island
  • Visit a traditional Venetian glass-making factory and learn about Venice’s famous blown glass
  • Enjoy free time at the beach on Lido Island
  • Return to our hotel to prepare for Shabbat
  • Experience Shabbat service at the Spanish Synagogue in Venice
  • Shabbat dinner at a local restaurant
  • Overnight: Venice, Italy

DAY #19 | Saturday | Shabbat in Venice

  • Shabbat programming and group lunch
  • Walking tour of Venice including St. Mark’s Square and the Basilica
  • Visit Doge’s Palace, a gothic style palace that has become a Venice landmark
  • Group dinner and Havdalah
  • Overnight: Venice, Italy

DAY #20 | Sunday | Rafting in Slovenia

  • Check out of our hotel and set off for Slovenia
  • Rafting down the Soca – one of Europe’s most beautiful rivers
  • Travel through the Slovenian mountains to our hotel
  • Overnight: Gora, Slovenia

DAY #21 | Monday | Adventures in the Backcountry

  • Take a boat ride to tiny Bled Island in the middle of the crystal blue lake
  • Climb up to the breathtaking Bled Castle
  • Enjoy an afternoon at the beach
  • Test out your problem-solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room
  • Overnight: Gora, Slovenia

DAY #22 | Tuesday | The Countryside

  • Cool off navigating underground through the Postojna cave system
  • Cross back into Italy and travel towards Florence via the Tuscan countryside
  • Stop in Bologna – Explore the city and visit the Gelato Museum for a tour and tasting!
  • Arrive to the Florence region and check-in to our accommodations
  • Overnight: Montecatini Terme, Italy

DAY #23 | Wednesday | Firenze

  • Travel to Florence stopping along the way for pictures at the panoramic view from Piazzale
    Michelangelo
  • Spend the day walking around Florence on a beautiful sightseeing tour
  • Tour the Great Synagogue – one of the world’s most beautiful synagogues
  • The Art of Florence – View Michelangelo’s David Statue at the Galleria dell’Accademia
  • Climb to the top of the Campanile Tower for a stunning panoramic view
  • Free time for shopping in Florence
  • Overnight: Montecatini Terme, Italy

DAY #24 | Thursday | Piza

  • Travel to Pisa – Climb the leaning Tower of Pisa and explore the Square of Miracles
  • Travel south along the coast towards Rome
  • Channel your inner warrior with a “Gladiator for a Day” training
  • Check-in to our central Rome accommodations
  • Dinner at a local restaurant
  • Overnight: Rome, Italy

DAY #25 | Friday | The Ancient Empire of Rome

  • Explore Vatican City in the heart of Rome – St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel
  • Walk in the footsteps of the Roman Empire at the Coliseum and the Forum Romanum
  • Prepare for Shabbat
  • Celebrate Shabbat at the Synagogue “Comunita Israelitica di Roma”
  • Overnight: Rome, Italy

DAY #26 | Saturday | Shabbat in Rome

  • Shabbat morning program
  • Walking tour of the Jewish Quarter – the oldest continually settled Jewish community outside Israel
  • Visit the historical Panthenon, a former Roman temple
  • Free time at the Rome’s famous Spanish Steps
  • Overnight: Rome, Italy

DAY #27 | Sunday | Pompei and Mt. Vesuvius

  • Check out of hotel and head to Pompeii
  • Guided tour of Pompeii – The preserved ancient Roman city
  • Drive up to Mount Vesuvius and peer into the volcano’s crater
  • Return to Rome in the evening for a final dinner party and group session
  • Overnight: Rome, Italy

DAY #28 | Monday | Ciao Italia!

  • Depart for a morning flight
  • Arrive at 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 supervised flight is offered – often from New York City. In some cases, a supervised flight may also depart from Newark. You are responsible for your transportation to the supervised flight departure city. Flight arrangements will be released in the spring. Families are also able to book their own tickets using miles or points that correspond to our supervised flight itinerary or book separate flight itineraries entirely and make arrangements to meet our staff in Europe. Learn more about our supervised flights.

Where will my teen be sleeping?
The group stays in a variety of 3-star hotels. When booking our accommodations, we request for each teen to have their own sleeping accommodations in a shared living space.

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 sent out approximately 3-4 weeks prior to your departure as part of the pre-trip preparation email series. Staff are asked to make welcome calls to families before departure. Learn more about our staff team.

What’s the summer weather like?
The weather throughout Spain, Italy and Slovenia 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?

As a travel-based program, our meals take a variety of forms and may include hotel buffets, restaurants, specially catered meals and allowance funds for participants to purchase a meal on their own. All food provided by BBYO Passport experiences in Israel are kosher. Some meals that we provide outside of Israel may be certified kosher, but most meals are not. When a meal is served in a public buffet format (e.g. hotel breakfast), we will always ensure that there are vegetarian or pescatarian options available, but we will also not restrict teens from eating the food of their choice. Some meals may be provided via an allowance system whereby teens will be given cash to purchase the food of their choice. Such meals are typically arranged in an area where there are multiple restaurant options, and teens can choose the food of their liking. In situations where time is of the essence, staff may choose to facilitate meal orders on behalf of teens using their allowance funds, including non-kosher orders. When the group eats at non-kosher restaurants with a pre-ordered menu, the options will only consist of vegetarian or pescatarian dishes. Participants with special dietary situations (i.e. lactose intolerance, gluten-free, kosher, etc.) should contact us in advance to be sure we can accommodate your needs during the program. 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.

How the Connection Works

As a connected experience, this program combines Spain Discovery + Italy Discovery. At the end of our travels in Spain participants on Mediterranean Discovery will fly from Spain to Italy, generally arriving around the same time as the remainder of the Italy Discovery group. Trip connections are always supervised and all-inclusive. The cost of the connecting travel from Madrid to Milan is included as part of our optional supervised flight.

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

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