SUMMER EXPERIENCES

MEDITERRANEAN DISCOVERY

Travel to Madrid 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.

Your journey begins on Spain Discovery where you’ll explore world heritage sites in the cities of Madrid, Seville, Toledo, Cordoba, 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 enjoy a traditional hammam (bath), be wowed at a Spanish Flamenco show and discover why many consider Spain to be the culinary capital of the world!

Continue your travels 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 Western Civilization in the Italian cities of Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa, Milan, Bologna, and Verona. 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. You’ll 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 Madrid, Cordoba, Venice and Rome.

Program Highlights

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

Explore 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
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
Take in the gorgeous views of Italy with new friends
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 #3. At the end of your 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. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

DAY #1 | Sunday | Take Off!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised flight (optional)
    Spend the night in the sky en route to Europe

DAY #2 | Monday | Hola Espana!

  • Arrive in Madrid in the morning
  • Meet & greet with your local guide at Retiro Park for a group picnic
  • Take the afternoon train to Cordoba
  • Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant

Overnight: Cordoba, Spain

DAY #3 | Tuesday | Cordoba

  • Tour through the Jewish Quarter in Cordoba
  • Experience the Hammam Al Andalus – a traditional Turkish bath
  • Enjoy a group dinner

Overnight: Cordoba, Spain

DAY #4 | Wednesday | Sierra Nevada Mountains 

  • Travel to the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Hike through the magically colorful Red Canyon trail
  • Tour through the Sacromonte Museum and enjoy a beautiful sunset at the viewpoint
  • Enjoy dinner and a traditional Flamenco Show 

Overnight: Granada, Spain

DAY #5 | Thursday | Granada to Gibraltar

  • Morning walking through through Granada 
  • Depart for Ronda for to tour the old city before an afternoon transfer to Gibraltar
  • Enjoy a group dinner in Gibraltar

Overnight: Gibraltar, Spain

DAY #6 | Friday | Top of the Rock and Shabbat in Gibraltar

  • Explore Gibraltar on a Sightseeing tour- including the Rock of Gibraltar caves by cable car
  • Head back to the hotel in the afternoon to prepare for Shabbat
  • Welcome Kabbalat Shabbat with the local community in Gibraltar

Overnight: Gibraltar, Spain

DAY #7 | Saturday | The Day of Rest

  • Shabbat morning program
  • Free afternoon on the beach
  • Havdalah followed by dinner

Overnight: Gibraltar, Spain

DAY #8 | Sunday | Gibraltar to Seville

  • Travel to Seville!
  • Explore Seville’s famous bull-fighting ring
  • Tour through the Giralda tower
  • Enjoy a sunset cruise and dinner on the Guadalquivir River

Overnight: Seville, Spain

DAY #9 | Monday | Seville-Toledo- Madrid

  • Travel to Consuegra to visit the famous windmills of Don Quixote 
  • Transfer to Toledo for a sightseeing tour and then off to Madrid
  • Finish your day with a group dinner in Madrid

Overnight: Madrid, Spain

DAY #10 | Tuesday | Tour through Madrid

  • Morning sightseeing tour of Madrid including Santiago Bernabeu 
  • Spend time in the Royal Palace
  • Enjoy free time
  • Final group dinner

Overnight: Madrid, Spain

DAY #11 | Wednesday | Adios!

  • Head to the airport for flight to Italy
  • Arrive in Milan
  • Meet up with the rest of the group and meet with local staff
  • 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 #12 | Thursday | Venice’s Ghetto Origins

  • Depart for Venice
  • Stop to swoon under the balcony of “Juliet’s House” in Verona
  • Say goodbye to the 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
  • Wander through the historic Jewish Quarter and navigate Venice via traditional gondolas

OVERNIGHT: Venice, Italy

DAY #13 | Friday | The Waterways of Venice

  • Set sail for the islands of Murano and Burano
  • Experience a traditional Venetian glass-making factory
  • Travel to Lido Island and enjoy beach time and swimming in the Adriatic Sea
  • Return to the main island of Venice and prepare for Shabbat
  • Attend Kabbalat Shabbat services at the Spanish Synagogue in the Venice Ghetto
  • Learn about the contemporary Jewish community of Venice over a traditional Shabbat dinner

OVERNIGHT: Venice, Italy

DAY #14 | Saturday | Shabbat in Venice

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch with the Jewish community
  • Venice on foot! – Explore Piazza San Marco, including the Basilica and Ducale Palace
  • Group night out on the town in Venice

OVERNIGHT: Venice, Italy

DAY #15 | Sunday | Rafting in Slovenia

  • Depart Venice in the morning and set off for the Slovenian backcountry
  • White water rafting down the Soca – One of Europe’s most beautiful rivers!
  • Travel through the Slovenian mountains to Kranjska Gora deep in the Slovenian mountains

OVERNIGHT: Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

DAY #16 | Monday | Adventures in the Backcountry

  • Take a boat ride to tiny Bled Island in the middle of the crystal blue lake
  • Make a wish! Ring the island’s legendary wishing bell
  • Visit Ljubljana – Slovenia’s capital – Take in the views from a castle towering over the city
  • Test out your problem-solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room

OVERNIGHT: Ljubljana, Slovenia

DAY #17 | Tuesday | The Italian 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 to explore the city
  • Arrive in the Florence region and check-in to accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Montecatini, Italy

DAY #18 | Wednesday | Florence, Italy

  • Explore Florence – the Duomo, Piazza San Lorenzo and the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)
  • Climb to the top of the Campanile Tower for a stunning panoramic view of Florence
  • The Art of Florence – View Michelangelo’s David Statue at the Galleria dell’Accademia
  • Tour the Great Synagogue – One of the world’s most beautiful synagogues
  • Depart to Montecatini

OVERNIGHT: Montecatini, Italy

DAY #19 | Thursday | Pisa, Italy

  • Travel to Pisa – Climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa and explore the Square of Miracles
  • Travel south along the coast towards Rome
  • Get oriented to the seven hills of Rome from Palatine Hill
  • Recount the legend of Romulus and Remus –the founding story of Rome
  • Channel your inner warrior taking part in a “Gladiator for a Day” training
  • Check-in to accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Rome, Italy

DAY #20 | Friday | The Ancient Empire of Rome!

  • Walk in the footsteps of the Roman Empire at the Coliseum and the Forum Romanum
  • Explore Vatican City in the heart of Rome – St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel
  • Stand beside the massive Arch of Titus and view a depiction of the Temple Menorah that is believed to have been carried off to Rome from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services and dinner at the Oratorio di Castro Synagogue

OVERNIGHT: Rome, Italy

DAY #21 | Saturday | Shabbat in Rome

  • Shabbat programming and lunch
  • Walking tour of Rome’s Jewish Quarter – The oldest continually settled Jewish community outside Israel
  • Continue exploring Rome on foot – stop at the Pantheon Temple and Fontana di Trevi

OVERNIGHT: Rome, Italy

DAY #22 | Sunday | Pompeii & Mt. Vesuvius

  • 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 #23 | Monday | Ancient Tivoli

  • Travel to Tivoli– the ancient hilltop resort town of the Roman Empire
  • Relaxed beach time in the afternoon
  • Return to Rome in the evening for a final dinner party and group session

OVERNIGHT: Rome, Italy

DAY #24 | Tuesday | Ciao Italy!

  • Depart from Rome on a supervised group flight in the morning
  • Arrive back to New York City 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 the New York area. You are responsible for your transportation to and from this location. 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. 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 are the typical group dynamics?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in Europe is 30 teens. Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two, and most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from various locations across North America which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting. On some programs, we might have multiple parties from the same area register together. In this case, we are unable to inform families when this occurs and though we are always willing to share the group dynamics of the current registrations, we typically have a good idea of the general group make up after our cancellation deadline.

Note: There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

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.  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 #3 . 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. Learn more about how connections work.

TBD + TBD

An unsupervised connection
TBD Days | Current 9-12th Graders

Connection Dates
Dates TBD | TBD #3
Dates TBD | TBD #4

Connected Program Cost
Land Costs: TBD (Pre-One-Day-Only Super Deal or Early Bird Pricing)
Flight Cost: TBA

SIGN UP*

TBD + TBD

An unsupervised connection
TBD Days | Current 9-12th Graders

Connection Dates
Dates TBD | TBD #3
Dates TBD | TBD #4

Connected Program Cost
Land Costs: TBD (Pre-One-Day-Only Super Deal or Early Bird Pricing)
Flight Cost: TBA

SIGN UP*

TBD + TBD

An unsupervised connection
TBD Days | Current 9-12th Graders

Connection Dates
Dates TBD | TBD #3
Dates TBD | TBD #4

Connected Program Cost
Land Costs: TBD (Pre-One-Day-Only Super Deal or Early Bird Pricing)
Flight Cost: TBA

SIGN UP*

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

We know you'll love a BBYO Passport experience. But don't just take our word. Check out these real reviews from our past travelers and families.

 

Your journey begins on Spain Discovery where you’ll explore world heritage sites in the cities of Madrid, Seville, Toledo, Cordoba, 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 enjoy a traditional hammam (bath), be wowed at a Spanish Flamenco show and discover why many consider Spain to be the culinary capital of the world!

Continue your travels 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 Western Civilization in the Italian cities of Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa, Milan, Bologna, and Verona. 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. You’ll 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 Madrid, Cordoba, Venice and Rome.

Program Highlights

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

Explore 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
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
Take in the gorgeous views of Italy with new friends
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 #3. At the end of your 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. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

DAY #1 | Sunday | Take Off!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised flight (optional)
    Spend the night in the sky en route to Europe

DAY #2 | Monday | Hola Espana!

  • Arrive in Madrid in the morning
  • Meet & greet with your local guide at Retiro Park for a group picnic
  • Take the afternoon train to Cordoba
  • Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant

Overnight: Cordoba, Spain

DAY #3 | Tuesday | Cordoba

  • Tour through the Jewish Quarter in Cordoba
  • Experience the Hammam Al Andalus – a traditional Turkish bath
  • Enjoy a group dinner

Overnight: Cordoba, Spain

DAY #4 | Wednesday | Sierra Nevada Mountains 

  • Travel to the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Hike through the magically colorful Red Canyon trail
  • Tour through the Sacromonte Museum and enjoy a beautiful sunset at the viewpoint
  • Enjoy dinner and a traditional Flamenco Show 

Overnight: Granada, Spain

DAY #5 | Thursday | Granada to Gibraltar

  • Morning walking through through Granada 
  • Depart for Ronda for to tour the old city before an afternoon transfer to Gibraltar
  • Enjoy a group dinner in Gibraltar

Overnight: Gibraltar, Spain

DAY #6 | Friday | Top of the Rock and Shabbat in Gibraltar

  • Explore Gibraltar on a Sightseeing tour- including the Rock of Gibraltar caves by cable car
  • Head back to the hotel in the afternoon to prepare for Shabbat
  • Welcome Kabbalat Shabbat with the local community in Gibraltar

Overnight: Gibraltar, Spain

DAY #7 | Saturday | The Day of Rest

  • Shabbat morning program
  • Free afternoon on the beach
  • Havdalah followed by dinner

Overnight: Gibraltar, Spain

DAY #8 | Sunday | Gibraltar to Seville

  • Travel to Seville!
  • Explore Seville’s famous bull-fighting ring
  • Tour through the Giralda tower
  • Enjoy a sunset cruise and dinner on the Guadalquivir River

Overnight: Seville, Spain

DAY #9 | Monday | Seville-Toledo- Madrid

  • Travel to Consuegra to visit the famous windmills of Don Quixote 
  • Transfer to Toledo for a sightseeing tour and then off to Madrid
  • Finish your day with a group dinner in Madrid

Overnight: Madrid, Spain

DAY #10 | Tuesday | Tour through Madrid

  • Morning sightseeing tour of Madrid including Santiago Bernabeu 
  • Spend time in the Royal Palace
  • Enjoy free time
  • Final group dinner

Overnight: Madrid, Spain

DAY #11 | Wednesday | Adios!

  • Head to the airport for flight to Italy
  • Arrive in Milan
  • Meet up with the rest of the group and meet with local staff
  • 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 #12 | Thursday | Venice’s Ghetto Origins

  • Depart for Venice
  • Stop to swoon under the balcony of “Juliet’s House” in Verona
  • Say goodbye to the 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
  • Wander through the historic Jewish Quarter and navigate Venice via traditional gondolas

OVERNIGHT: Venice, Italy

DAY #13 | Friday | The Waterways of Venice

  • Set sail for the islands of Murano and Burano
  • Experience a traditional Venetian glass-making factory
  • Travel to Lido Island and enjoy beach time and swimming in the Adriatic Sea
  • Return to the main island of Venice and prepare for Shabbat
  • Attend Kabbalat Shabbat services at the Spanish Synagogue in the Venice Ghetto
  • Learn about the contemporary Jewish community of Venice over a traditional Shabbat dinner

OVERNIGHT: Venice, Italy

DAY #14 | Saturday | Shabbat in Venice

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch with the Jewish community
  • Venice on foot! – Explore Piazza San Marco, including the Basilica and Ducale Palace
  • Group night out on the town in Venice

OVERNIGHT: Venice, Italy

DAY #15 | Sunday | Rafting in Slovenia

  • Depart Venice in the morning and set off for the Slovenian backcountry
  • White water rafting down the Soca – One of Europe’s most beautiful rivers!
  • Travel through the Slovenian mountains to Kranjska Gora deep in the Slovenian mountains

OVERNIGHT: Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

DAY #16 | Monday | Adventures in the Backcountry

  • Take a boat ride to tiny Bled Island in the middle of the crystal blue lake
  • Make a wish! Ring the island’s legendary wishing bell
  • Visit Ljubljana – Slovenia’s capital – Take in the views from a castle towering over the city
  • Test out your problem-solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room

OVERNIGHT: Ljubljana, Slovenia

DAY #17 | Tuesday | The Italian 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 to explore the city
  • Arrive in the Florence region and check-in to accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Montecatini, Italy

DAY #18 | Wednesday | Florence, Italy

  • Explore Florence – the Duomo, Piazza San Lorenzo and the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)
  • Climb to the top of the Campanile Tower for a stunning panoramic view of Florence
  • The Art of Florence – View Michelangelo’s David Statue at the Galleria dell’Accademia
  • Tour the Great Synagogue – One of the world’s most beautiful synagogues
  • Depart to Montecatini

OVERNIGHT: Montecatini, Italy

DAY #19 | Thursday | Pisa, Italy

  • Travel to Pisa – Climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa and explore the Square of Miracles
  • Travel south along the coast towards Rome
  • Get oriented to the seven hills of Rome from Palatine Hill
  • Recount the legend of Romulus and Remus –the founding story of Rome
  • Channel your inner warrior taking part in a “Gladiator for a Day” training
  • Check-in to accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Rome, Italy

DAY #20 | Friday | The Ancient Empire of Rome!

  • Walk in the footsteps of the Roman Empire at the Coliseum and the Forum Romanum
  • Explore Vatican City in the heart of Rome – St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel
  • Stand beside the massive Arch of Titus and view a depiction of the Temple Menorah that is believed to have been carried off to Rome from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services and dinner at the Oratorio di Castro Synagogue

OVERNIGHT: Rome, Italy

DAY #21 | Saturday | Shabbat in Rome

  • Shabbat programming and lunch
  • Walking tour of Rome’s Jewish Quarter – The oldest continually settled Jewish community outside Israel
  • Continue exploring Rome on foot – stop at the Pantheon Temple and Fontana di Trevi

OVERNIGHT: Rome, Italy

DAY #22 | Sunday | Pompeii & Mt. Vesuvius

  • 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 #23 | Monday | Ancient Tivoli

  • Travel to Tivoli– the ancient hilltop resort town of the Roman Empire
  • Relaxed beach time in the afternoon
  • Return to Rome in the evening for a final dinner party and group session

OVERNIGHT: Rome, Italy

DAY #24 | Tuesday | Ciao Italy!

  • Depart from Rome on a supervised group flight in the morning
  • Arrive back to New York City 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 the New York area. You are responsible for your transportation to and from this location. 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. 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 are the typical group dynamics?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in Europe is 30 teens. Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two, and most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from various locations across North America which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting. On some programs, we might have multiple parties from the same area register together. In this case, we are unable to inform families when this occurs and though we are always willing to share the group dynamics of the current registrations, we typically have a good idea of the general group make up after our cancellation deadline.

Note: There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

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.  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 #3 . 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. Learn more about how connections work.

TBD + TBD

An unsupervised connection
TBD Days | Current 9-12th Graders

Connection Dates
Dates TBD | TBD #3
Dates TBD | TBD #4

Connected Program Cost
Land Costs: TBD (Pre-One-Day-Only Super Deal or Early Bird Pricing)
Flight Cost: TBA

SIGN UP*

TBD + TBD

An unsupervised connection
TBD Days | Current 9-12th Graders

Connection Dates
Dates TBD | TBD #3
Dates TBD | TBD #4

Connected Program Cost
Land Costs: TBD (Pre-One-Day-Only Super Deal or Early Bird Pricing)
Flight Cost: TBA

SIGN UP*

TBD + TBD

An unsupervised connection
TBD Days | Current 9-12th Graders

Connection Dates
Dates TBD | TBD #3
Dates TBD | TBD #4

Connected Program Cost
Land Costs: TBD (Pre-One-Day-Only Super Deal or Early Bird Pricing)
Flight Cost: TBA

SIGN UP*

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

MEDITERRANEAN DISCOVERY

Travel to Madrid 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 Madrid 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.

Your journey begins on Spain Discovery where you’ll explore world heritage sites in the cities of Madrid, Seville, Toledo, Cordoba, 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 enjoy a traditional hammam (bath), be wowed at a Spanish Flamenco show and discover why many consider Spain to be the culinary capital of the world!

Continue your travels 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 Western Civilization in the Italian cities of Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa, Milan, Bologna, and Verona. 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. You’ll 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 Madrid, Cordoba, Venice and Rome.

Program Highlights

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

Explore 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
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
Take in the gorgeous views of Italy with new friends
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 #3. At the end of your 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. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

DAY #1 | Sunday | Take Off!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised flight (optional)
    Spend the night in the sky en route to Europe

DAY #2 | Monday | Hola Espana!

  • Arrive in Madrid in the morning
  • Meet & greet with your local guide at Retiro Park for a group picnic
  • Take the afternoon train to Cordoba
  • Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant

Overnight: Cordoba, Spain

DAY #3 | Tuesday | Cordoba

  • Tour through the Jewish Quarter in Cordoba
  • Experience the Hammam Al Andalus – a traditional Turkish bath
  • Enjoy a group dinner

Overnight: Cordoba, Spain

DAY #4 | Wednesday | Sierra Nevada Mountains 

  • Travel to the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Hike through the magically colorful Red Canyon trail
  • Tour through the Sacromonte Museum and enjoy a beautiful sunset at the viewpoint
  • Enjoy dinner and a traditional Flamenco Show 

Overnight: Granada, Spain

DAY #5 | Thursday | Granada to Gibraltar

  • Morning walking through through Granada 
  • Depart for Ronda for to tour the old city before an afternoon transfer to Gibraltar
  • Enjoy a group dinner in Gibraltar

Overnight: Gibraltar, Spain

DAY #6 | Friday | Top of the Rock and Shabbat in Gibraltar

  • Explore Gibraltar on a Sightseeing tour- including the Rock of Gibraltar caves by cable car
  • Head back to the hotel in the afternoon to prepare for Shabbat
  • Welcome Kabbalat Shabbat with the local community in Gibraltar

Overnight: Gibraltar, Spain

DAY #7 | Saturday | The Day of Rest

  • Shabbat morning program
  • Free afternoon on the beach
  • Havdalah followed by dinner

Overnight: Gibraltar, Spain

DAY #8 | Sunday | Gibraltar to Seville

  • Travel to Seville!
  • Explore Seville’s famous bull-fighting ring
  • Tour through the Giralda tower
  • Enjoy a sunset cruise and dinner on the Guadalquivir River

Overnight: Seville, Spain

DAY #9 | Monday | Seville-Toledo- Madrid

  • Travel to Consuegra to visit the famous windmills of Don Quixote 
  • Transfer to Toledo for a sightseeing tour and then off to Madrid
  • Finish your day with a group dinner in Madrid

Overnight: Madrid, Spain

DAY #10 | Tuesday | Tour through Madrid

  • Morning sightseeing tour of Madrid including Santiago Bernabeu 
  • Spend time in the Royal Palace
  • Enjoy free time
  • Final group dinner

Overnight: Madrid, Spain

DAY #11 | Wednesday | Adios!

  • Head to the airport for flight to Italy
  • Arrive in Milan
  • Meet up with the rest of the group and meet with local staff
  • 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 #12 | Thursday | Venice’s Ghetto Origins

  • Depart for Venice
  • Stop to swoon under the balcony of “Juliet’s House” in Verona
  • Say goodbye to the 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
  • Wander through the historic Jewish Quarter and navigate Venice via traditional gondolas

OVERNIGHT: Venice, Italy

DAY #13 | Friday | The Waterways of Venice

  • Set sail for the islands of Murano and Burano
  • Experience a traditional Venetian glass-making factory
  • Travel to Lido Island and enjoy beach time and swimming in the Adriatic Sea
  • Return to the main island of Venice and prepare for Shabbat
  • Attend Kabbalat Shabbat services at the Spanish Synagogue in the Venice Ghetto
  • Learn about the contemporary Jewish community of Venice over a traditional Shabbat dinner

OVERNIGHT: Venice, Italy

DAY #14 | Saturday | Shabbat in Venice

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch with the Jewish community
  • Venice on foot! – Explore Piazza San Marco, including the Basilica and Ducale Palace
  • Group night out on the town in Venice

OVERNIGHT: Venice, Italy

DAY #15 | Sunday | Rafting in Slovenia

  • Depart Venice in the morning and set off for the Slovenian backcountry
  • White water rafting down the Soca – One of Europe’s most beautiful rivers!
  • Travel through the Slovenian mountains to Kranjska Gora deep in the Slovenian mountains

OVERNIGHT: Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

DAY #16 | Monday | Adventures in the Backcountry

  • Take a boat ride to tiny Bled Island in the middle of the crystal blue lake
  • Make a wish! Ring the island’s legendary wishing bell
  • Visit Ljubljana – Slovenia’s capital – Take in the views from a castle towering over the city
  • Test out your problem-solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room

OVERNIGHT: Ljubljana, Slovenia

DAY #17 | Tuesday | The Italian 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 to explore the city
  • Arrive in the Florence region and check-in to accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Montecatini, Italy

DAY #18 | Wednesday | Florence, Italy

  • Explore Florence – the Duomo, Piazza San Lorenzo and the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)
  • Climb to the top of the Campanile Tower for a stunning panoramic view of Florence
  • The Art of Florence – View Michelangelo’s David Statue at the Galleria dell’Accademia
  • Tour the Great Synagogue – One of the world’s most beautiful synagogues
  • Depart to Montecatini

OVERNIGHT: Montecatini, Italy

DAY #19 | Thursday | Pisa, Italy

  • Travel to Pisa – Climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa and explore the Square of Miracles
  • Travel south along the coast towards Rome
  • Get oriented to the seven hills of Rome from Palatine Hill
  • Recount the legend of Romulus and Remus –the founding story of Rome
  • Channel your inner warrior taking part in a “Gladiator for a Day” training
  • Check-in to accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Rome, Italy

DAY #20 | Friday | The Ancient Empire of Rome!

  • Walk in the footsteps of the Roman Empire at the Coliseum and the Forum Romanum
  • Explore Vatican City in the heart of Rome – St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel
  • Stand beside the massive Arch of Titus and view a depiction of the Temple Menorah that is believed to have been carried off to Rome from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services and dinner at the Oratorio di Castro Synagogue

OVERNIGHT: Rome, Italy

DAY #21 | Saturday | Shabbat in Rome

  • Shabbat programming and lunch
  • Walking tour of Rome’s Jewish Quarter – The oldest continually settled Jewish community outside Israel
  • Continue exploring Rome on foot – stop at the Pantheon Temple and Fontana di Trevi

OVERNIGHT: Rome, Italy

DAY #22 | Sunday | Pompeii & Mt. Vesuvius

  • 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 #23 | Monday | Ancient Tivoli

  • Travel to Tivoli– the ancient hilltop resort town of the Roman Empire
  • Relaxed beach time in the afternoon
  • Return to Rome in the evening for a final dinner party and group session

OVERNIGHT: Rome, Italy

DAY #24 | Tuesday | Ciao Italy!

  • Depart from Rome on a supervised group flight in the morning
  • Arrive back to New York City 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 the New York area. You are responsible for your transportation to and from this location. 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. 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 are the typical group dynamics?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in Europe is 30 teens. Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two, and most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from various locations across North America which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting. On some programs, we might have multiple parties from the same area register together. In this case, we are unable to inform families when this occurs and though we are always willing to share the group dynamics of the current registrations, we typically have a good idea of the general group make up after our cancellation deadline.

Note: There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

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.  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 #3 . 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. Learn more about how connections work.

TBD + TBD

An unsupervised connection
TBD Days | Current 9-12th Graders

Connection Dates
Dates TBD | TBD #3
Dates TBD | TBD #4

Connected Program Cost
Land Costs: TBD (Pre-One-Day-Only Super Deal or Early Bird Pricing)
Flight Cost: TBA

SIGN UP*

TBD + TBD

An unsupervised connection
TBD Days | Current 9-12th Graders

Connection Dates
Dates TBD | TBD #3
Dates TBD | TBD #4

Connected Program Cost
Land Costs: TBD (Pre-One-Day-Only Super Deal or Early Bird Pricing)
Flight Cost: TBA

SIGN UP*

TBD + TBD

An unsupervised connection
TBD Days | Current 9-12th Graders

Connection Dates
Dates TBD | TBD #3
Dates TBD | TBD #4

Connected Program Cost
Land Costs: TBD (Pre-One-Day-Only Super Deal or Early Bird Pricing)
Flight Cost: TBA

SIGN UP*

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

We know you'll love a BBYO Passport experience. But don't just take our word. Check out these real reviews from our past travelers and families.

 

Your journey begins on Spain Discovery where you’ll explore world heritage sites in the cities of Madrid, Seville, Toledo, Cordoba, 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 enjoy a traditional hammam (bath), be wowed at a Spanish Flamenco show and discover why many consider Spain to be the culinary capital of the world!

Continue your travels 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 Western Civilization in the Italian cities of Rome, Florence, Venice, Pisa, Milan, Bologna, and Verona. 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. You’ll 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 Madrid, Cordoba, Venice and Rome.

Program Highlights

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

Explore 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
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
Take in the gorgeous views of Italy with new friends
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 #3. At the end of your 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. The actual program may vary slightly. An updated itinerary including confirmed accommodations is distributed 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the program.

DAY #1 | Sunday | Take Off!

  • Depart from New York City on a supervised flight (optional)
    Spend the night in the sky en route to Europe

DAY #2 | Monday | Hola Espana!

  • Arrive in Madrid in the morning
  • Meet & greet with your local guide at Retiro Park for a group picnic
  • Take the afternoon train to Cordoba
  • Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant

Overnight: Cordoba, Spain

DAY #3 | Tuesday | Cordoba

  • Tour through the Jewish Quarter in Cordoba
  • Experience the Hammam Al Andalus – a traditional Turkish bath
  • Enjoy a group dinner

Overnight: Cordoba, Spain

DAY #4 | Wednesday | Sierra Nevada Mountains 

  • Travel to the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Hike through the magically colorful Red Canyon trail
  • Tour through the Sacromonte Museum and enjoy a beautiful sunset at the viewpoint
  • Enjoy dinner and a traditional Flamenco Show 

Overnight: Granada, Spain

DAY #5 | Thursday | Granada to Gibraltar

  • Morning walking through through Granada 
  • Depart for Ronda for to tour the old city before an afternoon transfer to Gibraltar
  • Enjoy a group dinner in Gibraltar

Overnight: Gibraltar, Spain

DAY #6 | Friday | Top of the Rock and Shabbat in Gibraltar

  • Explore Gibraltar on a Sightseeing tour- including the Rock of Gibraltar caves by cable car
  • Head back to the hotel in the afternoon to prepare for Shabbat
  • Welcome Kabbalat Shabbat with the local community in Gibraltar

Overnight: Gibraltar, Spain

DAY #7 | Saturday | The Day of Rest

  • Shabbat morning program
  • Free afternoon on the beach
  • Havdalah followed by dinner

Overnight: Gibraltar, Spain

DAY #8 | Sunday | Gibraltar to Seville

  • Travel to Seville!
  • Explore Seville’s famous bull-fighting ring
  • Tour through the Giralda tower
  • Enjoy a sunset cruise and dinner on the Guadalquivir River

Overnight: Seville, Spain

DAY #9 | Monday | Seville-Toledo- Madrid

  • Travel to Consuegra to visit the famous windmills of Don Quixote 
  • Transfer to Toledo for a sightseeing tour and then off to Madrid
  • Finish your day with a group dinner in Madrid

Overnight: Madrid, Spain

DAY #10 | Tuesday | Tour through Madrid

  • Morning sightseeing tour of Madrid including Santiago Bernabeu 
  • Spend time in the Royal Palace
  • Enjoy free time
  • Final group dinner

Overnight: Madrid, Spain

DAY #11 | Wednesday | Adios!

  • Head to the airport for flight to Italy
  • Arrive in Milan
  • Meet up with the rest of the group and meet with local staff
  • 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 #12 | Thursday | Venice’s Ghetto Origins

  • Depart for Venice
  • Stop to swoon under the balcony of “Juliet’s House” in Verona
  • Say goodbye to the 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
  • Wander through the historic Jewish Quarter and navigate Venice via traditional gondolas

OVERNIGHT: Venice, Italy

DAY #13 | Friday | The Waterways of Venice

  • Set sail for the islands of Murano and Burano
  • Experience a traditional Venetian glass-making factory
  • Travel to Lido Island and enjoy beach time and swimming in the Adriatic Sea
  • Return to the main island of Venice and prepare for Shabbat
  • Attend Kabbalat Shabbat services at the Spanish Synagogue in the Venice Ghetto
  • Learn about the contemporary Jewish community of Venice over a traditional Shabbat dinner

OVERNIGHT: Venice, Italy

DAY #14 | Saturday | Shabbat in Venice

  • Shabbat morning program and lunch with the Jewish community
  • Venice on foot! – Explore Piazza San Marco, including the Basilica and Ducale Palace
  • Group night out on the town in Venice

OVERNIGHT: Venice, Italy

DAY #15 | Sunday | Rafting in Slovenia

  • Depart Venice in the morning and set off for the Slovenian backcountry
  • White water rafting down the Soca – One of Europe’s most beautiful rivers!
  • Travel through the Slovenian mountains to Kranjska Gora deep in the Slovenian mountains

OVERNIGHT: Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

DAY #16 | Monday | Adventures in the Backcountry

  • Take a boat ride to tiny Bled Island in the middle of the crystal blue lake
  • Make a wish! Ring the island’s legendary wishing bell
  • Visit Ljubljana – Slovenia’s capital – Take in the views from a castle towering over the city
  • Test out your problem-solving skills as you decipher codes in the Escape Room

OVERNIGHT: Ljubljana, Slovenia

DAY #17 | Tuesday | The Italian 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 to explore the city
  • Arrive in the Florence region and check-in to accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Montecatini, Italy

DAY #18 | Wednesday | Florence, Italy

  • Explore Florence – the Duomo, Piazza San Lorenzo and the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge)
  • Climb to the top of the Campanile Tower for a stunning panoramic view of Florence
  • The Art of Florence – View Michelangelo’s David Statue at the Galleria dell’Accademia
  • Tour the Great Synagogue – One of the world’s most beautiful synagogues
  • Depart to Montecatini

OVERNIGHT: Montecatini, Italy

DAY #19 | Thursday | Pisa, Italy

  • Travel to Pisa – Climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa and explore the Square of Miracles
  • Travel south along the coast towards Rome
  • Get oriented to the seven hills of Rome from Palatine Hill
  • Recount the legend of Romulus and Remus –the founding story of Rome
  • Channel your inner warrior taking part in a “Gladiator for a Day” training
  • Check-in to accommodations

OVERNIGHT: Rome, Italy

DAY #20 | Friday | The Ancient Empire of Rome!

  • Walk in the footsteps of the Roman Empire at the Coliseum and the Forum Romanum
  • Explore Vatican City in the heart of Rome – St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Sistine Chapel
  • Stand beside the massive Arch of Titus and view a depiction of the Temple Menorah that is believed to have been carried off to Rome from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE
  • Kabbalat Shabbat services and dinner at the Oratorio di Castro Synagogue

OVERNIGHT: Rome, Italy

DAY #21 | Saturday | Shabbat in Rome

  • Shabbat programming and lunch
  • Walking tour of Rome’s Jewish Quarter – The oldest continually settled Jewish community outside Israel
  • Continue exploring Rome on foot – stop at the Pantheon Temple and Fontana di Trevi

OVERNIGHT: Rome, Italy

DAY #22 | Sunday | Pompeii & Mt. Vesuvius

  • 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 #23 | Monday | Ancient Tivoli

  • Travel to Tivoli– the ancient hilltop resort town of the Roman Empire
  • Relaxed beach time in the afternoon
  • Return to Rome in the evening for a final dinner party and group session

OVERNIGHT: Rome, Italy

DAY #24 | Tuesday | Ciao Italy!

  • Depart from Rome on a supervised group flight in the morning
  • Arrive back to New York City 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 the New York area. You are responsible for your transportation to and from this location. 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. 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 are the typical group dynamics?
Although it varies from year to year, our average group size in Europe is 30 teens. Some teens choose to sign up together with a friend or two, and most teens choose to come on their own. Either way, our participants will have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of peers from various locations across North America which makes exploring a new place together even more exciting. On some programs, we might have multiple parties from the same area register together. In this case, we are unable to inform families when this occurs and though we are always willing to share the group dynamics of the current registrations, we typically have a good idea of the general group make up after our cancellation deadline.

Note: There will be a way for teens to communicate with each other before the program in late spring.

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.  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 #3 . 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. Learn more about how connections work.

TBD + TBD

An unsupervised connection
TBD Days | Current 9-12th Graders

Connection Dates
Dates TBD | TBD #3
Dates TBD | TBD #4

Connected Program Cost
Land Costs: TBD (Pre-One-Day-Only Super Deal or Early Bird Pricing)
Flight Cost: TBA

SIGN UP*

TBD + TBD

An unsupervised connection
TBD Days | Current 9-12th Graders

Connection Dates
Dates TBD | TBD #3
Dates TBD | TBD #4

Connected Program Cost
Land Costs: TBD (Pre-One-Day-Only Super Deal or Early Bird Pricing)
Flight Cost: TBA

SIGN UP*

TBD + TBD

An unsupervised connection
TBD Days | Current 9-12th Graders

Connection Dates
Dates TBD | TBD #3
Dates TBD | TBD #4

Connected Program Cost
Land Costs: TBD (Pre-One-Day-Only Super Deal or Early Bird Pricing)
Flight Cost: TBA

SIGN UP*

 

PROGRAM REVIEWS

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