Madrid’s history is as compelling as it is unique. It is the only European capital with Islamic roots; still visible in its Arab walls and Mudejar architecture. The historic capital of the Spanish Empire, whose vast palaces were funded by New World gold, it remains the centre of modern Spain, and has a turbulent history marked by conflicts from Napoleon to Franco and the Civil War. Explore Madrid’s fascinating history, exceptional collections of Old and Modern masters, and spectacular architecture on this new study tour, which includes day trips to Toledo, Chincon and Segovia.
World-class art galleries, including the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza
Toledo, the Visigothic capital where three cultures once lived in a peaceful state of convivencia
Spanish royal power: the palaces of Madrid, the Escorial and their gardens
Segovia’s awe-inspiring Roman aqueduct and Gothic cathedral, and the charm of the Middle Ages in Chinchon’s beautiful plaza
The Iberian Peninsula’s ancient past in Madrid’s superb archaeological museum
Detailed lecture series, providing extensive context for the city and its art
Local experiences, from the best markets to tapas bars and performing arts centres
Days 1–3: Walking tour of early Madrid, visits to the history museum and archaeological museum. El Retiro park’s grand gardens and a thrilling Flamenco performance.
Days 4–5: The power of the Habsburgs at Madrid’s Palacio Real. Excursion to Toledo.
Days 6–7: Background lecture, full day in the Prado. Day trip to Escorial palace and Segovia.
Days 8–9: A wealth of art at the Thyssen- Bornemisza, the Reina Sofia and Espacio Miro. Performance at Circulo Bellas Artes on the art deco rooftop terrace with its spectacular views.
Days 10–12: Sunday markets, the Sorolla Museum’s lush Belle Epoque. Excursion to medieval Chinchon, with a wine-tasting.
Start & Finish
The tour begins and ends at our hotel in Madrid. Emirates, Etihad, Qatar and Cathay Pacific all offer suitable connections to Madrid from most Australian cities. Contact us for quotes and bookings.
A detailed itinerary for this tour will be available in the coming weeks. To receive a copy of the published itinerary once available, please register your interest below and we will be sure to email you a copy. If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 02 9235 0023.
A practicing painter and expert on the art of Spain, with degrees from the University of Sydney and the National Art School.
Elena Ortega is a practicing painter who regularly exhibits her work, has a Bachelor of Arts from Sydney University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the National Art School, where she is currently undertaking a Masters. She has won numerous academic prizes for her study in art history and theory, including a scholarship to the London Royal College of Art.
Elena is a host at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, where she enjoys sharing her enthusiasm about art, and teaches Spanish language, culture and society at WEA, Sydney. She lived in Granada for a number of years and loves this region, immortalised by Ernest Hemingway and Gerald Brenan, but she has also spent time living in Madrid and Barcelona – as well as her native Zaragoza, of course!
In order to avoid unnecessary transfers and allow for individual exploration, we select comfortable, centrally-located hotels wherever possible. Designed to provide in-depth intellectual stimulation for the independent traveller. Study Tours feature: daily background lectures; guided site visits; longer walking tours of historical cities and use of public transport for short journeys; time for individual exploration; and, self-contained accommodation where possible, allowing you to live like a local.
What is included in the tour price?
Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:
Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate public transport is also used for short distance travel on some tours
All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
Services of tour leader throughout tour
All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
Local guides at some sites
Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.
What is not included in the tour price?
Open-age tours do not include the following:
Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required
Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.
If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:
More than 60 days before departure: $500*
60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due
*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.
Unused Portions of the tour
We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.
Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.
Will the tour price change?
If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.
Will the itinerary change?
Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.
Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.
Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller.