Stay in historic lodgings as you journey from Lisbon to Barcelona to explore breathtaking architecture and important religious shrines, fishing villages and cosmopolitan cities, and Basque and Catalan cultures.

Starting at: $5,778 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Boats moored in the outer harbor, Porto  The rolling hills and Pyrenees Mountains of the Basque countryside  Vista from Gaudi's Parc Guell in Barcelona  The medieval Belém Tower in Lisbon  Sunset over the Douro River, Porto  Symbol of Santiago de Compostela, found throughout the city and along the Pilgrims Way  The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela  The Guggenheim Museum of Contemporary Art, Bilbao  Monument to the running of the bulls in Pamplona  The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona  Older architectural style of Barcelona  La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona  Gaudi's masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia  Interior of Antoni Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia  Gaudi's Casa Mila apartment building  Traditional <i>tapas</i> bar in Spain. Credit: Peter Horree/Alamy  Spanish tapas

Across Northern Spain and Portugal

Featuring Historic Paradores and Pousadas

17 days from $5,778 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Stay in historic lodgings as you journey from Lisbon to Barcelona to explore breathtaking architecture and important religious shrines, fishing villages and cosmopolitan cities, and Basque and Catalan cultures.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

The tour itself was excellent and quite enlightening. The addition of the local guides, the personal touches of being in a private home, brought the experience to a much more complete level giving us a piece of Spanish culture we would not have had otherwise.

- Lois C.

One of the very best Smithsonian trips we have taken! 

- John & Helen A.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Corinthia Hotel Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal

Situated a short distance from the historic city center, the Corinthia Hotel Lisbon overlooks Monsanto National Park.  The 518-room hotel features two restaurants and an indoor/outdoor lounge, indoor swimming pool, gym, spa with massage treatments, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, solarium, jewelry shop, and laundry and dry cleaning services.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, TV, and phone. 

Number of nights: 2

Pousada de Porto

Oporto, Portugal

The public areas of the Pousada de Porto were converted from a former palace built in 1742 on the banks of the Douro River, which exemplifies Portuguese Baroque architecture and has been classified as a National Monument. The 87-room hotel features pieces from various Oporto museums along with contemporary furnishings, and its amenities include a restaurant and bar; fitness center; outdoor and indoor pool; spa with sauna Turkish bath, and massage treatments; complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access; and laundry and dry cleaning service. Air-conditioned guest rooms include private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Parador de Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Considered one of the world's oldest hotels, the Hostal dos Reis Catolicós as it is also known was built by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1499 as a hospital for pilgrims. The 137-room parador is situated in the historic Plaza do Obradoiro adjacent to the famed cathedral and its architectural flourishes include a carved entrance façade, vaulted ceilings, stone archways, a Renaissance chapel, and four courtyards. The hotel features two restaurants and a bar, coffee shop, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, library, gift shop, and laundry and dry cleaning service. Air-conditioned guest rooms are furnished in historical style and offer private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Hotel Conde Luna

Leon, Spain

Located in the city center of León, the 142-room Hotel Conde Luna is close to the Cathedral, Colegiata San Isidro and the Humedo neighborhood, an old part of the city within the intact Roman city walls known for its many restaurants and bars.  Amenities include two restaurants and bar including the terrace on the tenth floor overlooking the city, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, a fitness center, spa, and laundry service.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hairdryer, minibar, TV, and phone. 

Number of nights: 1

Melia Bilbao

Bilbao, Spain

The contemporary Melia Bilbao is located in the city center close to the Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, and other cultural attractions, shops, and restaurants. Housing a collection of contemporary art, the 211-room hotel has two restaurants featuring Basque specialties and a bar; wellness center with gym, heated outdoor pool, sauna, and massage and beauty treatments; complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access; and laundry and dry cleaning service. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 3

Parador de Bielsa

Bielsa, Spain

Perched on the mountain slopes of the Pyrenees in Monte Perdido National Park, the Parador de Bielsa offers sweeping views of this mountainous region of Northern Spain from its terrace. The 39-room parador features traditional regional architecture with local stone and offers a restaurant and bar, terrace, garden, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, laundry service, and gift shop. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, TV, and phone. A Note about Air Conditioning Hotels in Spain generally adhere to guidelines issued by the government regarding the availability of air conditioning. Many lodgings provide air conditioning in guest rooms only from late April or May until late September/early October.

Number of nights: 2

Hotel Avenida Palace

Barcelona, Spain

Built in 1952, Hotel Avenida Palace stands in the heart of Barcelona and offers a good location from which to explore. The 151-room hotel is just minutes from La Ramblas, the Picasso Museum, and the museum housing the works of modern architect Antoni Gaudi. The hotel features a restaurant and bar and laundry and dry cleaning services. Air-conditioned guest rooms offer private bath with hair dryer, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone. A Note about Air Conditioning Hotels in Spain generally adhere to guidelines issued by the government regarding the availability of air conditioning. Many lodgings provide air conditioning in guest rooms only from late April or May until late September/early October.

Number of nights: 3

Activity Level

Activity Level 2: Moderate


Expectations: One of our Classic Land Journeys, this tour features visits to many cities, iconic sites, hidden gems, and various regions. Although comprehensive, it's not rushed, but well paced and finely tuned. Expectations include longer touring days with many full-day motor coach excursions and seven different hotels. Many hotels are historic buildings that have been restored or renovated as hotels; although modern in most amenities, they can sometimes require additional walking to get to guest rooms (and several do not have an elevator).

Mostly full-day excursions from four to six hours, with seven afternoons at leisure. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and outdoor activities. Daily walks of up to three miles; walking over sometimes difficult terrain that includes cobblestones and city hills (especially in hilltowns), uneven pavement, stairs without handrails, and absence of elevators; longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. There are four longer coach rides of approximately three to four hours duration. 

Please note that evening dinners in Spain are typically later in the evening than we are accustomed to here in the United States. The majority of the dinners on this tour will take place at approximately 8:30 pm. 

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit and comfortable with longer days of touring (both walking tours and coach time).

Tour Extension

Barcelona Post-Program Option  3 Days, 2 Nights

Discover more of this lively, spirited city at your leisure. Your tour extension price includes:

  • Accommodations at Hotel Avenida Palace (Superior First Class)
  • Two meals: two (2) breakfasts
  • Transfer to airport
Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

The tour itself was excellent and quite enlightening. The addition of the local guides, the personal touches of being in a private home, brought the experience to a much more complete level giving us a piece of Spanish culture we would not have had otherwise.

- Lois C.

One of the very best Smithsonian trips we have taken! 

- John & Helen A.
Reading List
Small Memories
By: José Saramago
“Small Memories is a . . . nourishing last gift from a great writer.”—Washington PostShifting back and forth between childhood and his teenage years, between Azinhaga and Lisbon, this is a mosaic of memories, a simply told, affecting look into the author’s boyhood: the tragic death of his older brother at the age of four; his mother pawning the family’s blankets every spring and buying them back in time for winter; his beloved grandparents bringing the weaker piglets into their bed on cold nights; and Saramago’s early encounters with literature, from teaching himself to read by deciphering articles in the daily newspaper, to poring over an entertaining dialogue in a Portuguese-French conversation guide, not realizing that he was in fact reading a play by Molière.Written with Saramago’s characteristic wit and honesty, Small Memories traces the formation of an artist fascinated by words and stories from an early age who emerged, against all odds, as one of the world’s most respected writers.“Like a nostalgic progenitor bestowing his wealth of life experience upon a younger generation, Saramago digs deep into his peasant roots to sketch a rough outline of the little boy who would become one of the greatest Portuguese-language writers”—Portland Oregonian
Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past
By: Giles Tremlett
"An invaluable book . . . A country finally facing its past could scarcely hope for a better, or more enamored, chronicler of its present."-Sarah Wildman, New York Times Book Review The appearance, more than sixty years after the Spanish Civil War ended, of mass graves containing victims of Francisco Franco's death squads finally broke what Spaniards call "the pact of forgetting"-the unwritten understanding that their recent, painful past was best left unexplored. At this charged moment, Giles Tremlett embarked on a journey around the country and through its history to discover why some of Europe's most voluble people have kept silent so long. In elegant and passionate prose, Tremlett unveils the tinderbox of disagreements that mark the country today. Ghosts of Spain is a revelatory book about one of Europe's most exciting countries.
Spain: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions)
By: Peter Bush, Lisa Dillman
Explore Spain's rich literary landscape with some of the country's best contemporary writers. Arranged geographically, these thirty stories — many of which appear in English for the first time — transport the reader through Spain's many enchanting regions: experience a bull-run with Juan Goytisolo in Albacete, join Bernardo Atxaga in a Basque village, travel to the misty woods of Galicia with Manuel Rivas, and reminisce nostalgically with Julio Llamazares over black-and-white photos of his childhood Spain. Contributors include Nuria Amat, Bernardo Atxaga, Julián Ayesta, Carlos Blanco, Antón Castro, Agustín Cerezales, Rosa Chacel, Dulce Chacón, Rafael Chirbes, Miguel Delibes, Lucía Etxebarria, José Ferrer Bermejo, Laura Freixas, Amaia Gabantxo, Federico García Lorca, Juan Goytisolo, Julio Llamazares, José Jiménez Lozano, Javier Marías, Juan Marsé, Quim Monzó, Javier Puebla, Fernando Quiñones, Carme Riera, Manuel Rivas, Germán Sierra, Nivaria Tejera, and Angela Vallvey.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Northern Spain
By: DK Travel
Explore the historic cathedrals and architecture, stroll through wineries, and see beautiful beaches in northern Spain.Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Northern Spain.   • Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.    • Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.    • Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.    • Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.    • Area maps marked with sights.    • Detailed city maps include street finder indexes for easy navigation.    • Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.    • Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Northern Spain truly shows you this region as no one else can.Series Overview: For more than two decades, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides have helped travelers experience the world through the history, art, architecture, and culture of their destinations. Expert travel writers and researchers provide independent editorial advice, recommendations, and reviews. With guidebooks to hundreds of places around the globe available in print and digital formats, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides show travelers how they can discover more.DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: the most maps, photographs, and illustrations of any guide.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Lisbon
By: DK Travel
Tour the city of Lisbon and explore monasteries, museums, stadiums, and more. See the art, history, and culture of this unique city.Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Lisbon.   • Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.    • Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.    • Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.    • Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.    • Area maps marked with sights.    • Detailed city maps include street finder indexes for easy navigation.    • Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.    • Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Lisbon truly shows you this city as no one else can.Series Overview: For more than two decades, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides have helped travelers experience the world through the history, art, architecture, and culture of their destinations. Expert travel writers and researchers provide independent editorial advice, recommendations, and reviews. With guidebooks to hundreds of places around the globe available in print and digital formats, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides show travelers how they can discover more.DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: the most maps, photographs, and illustrations of any guide.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Barcelona & Catalonia
By: DK Travel
An unbeatable guide to the buzzing city of Barcelona and the rural region of Catalonia, packed with photos and maps, insider tips, useful advice, and information.Inspiring itineraries will help you discover the best things to do in Barcelona and Catalonia, from marveling at Barcelona Cathedral and Gaudí's Sagrada Família and Park Güell, to enjoying the sun on the Costa Brava and visiting the peaceful monasteries, such as Montserrat, in the hills of Catalonia. You'll find listings for a variety of Catalonian hotels and restaurants, as well as a guide to help you find the best tapas in Barcelona. Unique illustrations, stunning photography, and detailed maps make this guide the essential companion to your trip to the region. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Barcelona & Catalonia truly shows you this city as no one else can.
The Pilgrim's Guide to Santiago de Compostela
By: Brand: Italica Press
"The Pilgrim's Guide to Santiago de Compostela" presents the first complete English translation of Book Five of the Liber Sancti Jacobi or Codex Calixtinus. This twelfth-century guidebook traces the route from southern France to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. The medieval Christian world knew three major pilgrimage sites - Jerusalem, Rome, and Santiago de Compostela. Between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries Santiago de Compostela was by far the most popular. Pilgrimage to Compostela was a once-in-a-lifetime human adventure. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims came year after year through France and across the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela near the Atlantic shores of Galicia. In his study of the road to Santiago, Professor William Melczer discusses Relics and Pilgrimage The Origin of the Cult of St. James Myth and Historical Reality The Iter Sancti Jacobi The Liber Sancti Jacobi Pilgrimage without Ideology The Iconography of St. James. This book also includes extensive commentaries and notes that highlight historical, geographical, art-historical, hagiographic, and general cultural matters along the route traced by the Guide. Illustrated, introduction, gazetteer, hagiographical register, bibliography, index.
Portugal - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: Sandy Guedes de Queiroz
Culture Smart! Portugal will help you to navigate this multifaceted society. It gives insights into different aspects of life, from sleepy seaside towns to modern, trendy cities, so that you can experience firsthand how this society, which protects family and privacy so fiercely, is eager and proud to show visitors everything the country has to offer. Portugal is a small country that has had a huge cultural and political impact on the modern world. Portugal is now on the radar of world travelers and multinational corporations alike, and this has made its people more receptive to change and more modern in their outlook. This adventurous spirit is evident in the urban and cultural renewal that has swept the country, in harmonious contrast with its historic and traditional backdrop. Portuguese idiosyncrasies can be both confusing and enchanting. While rising to the challenges of the times, they have managed to maintain their values intact, preserving the history and traditions that give their country its flavor.
Spain - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: Belén Aguado Viguer
For many, Spain conjures up images of rapacious conquistadors, the unworldly Don Quixote, brave bullfighters, fiery flamenco dancers, and brilliant artists. All true enough—but how does the reality conform to these stereotypes? The Spanish people are certainly distinctive. Visitors are often astounded by their vitality, entranced by their friendliness, and driven mad by their frequent indulgence of their friends and relatives. They tend to be proud, passionate, spontaneous, generous, and loyal; they can also be procrastinators, individualistic to a fault, suspicious, and, not least, very noisy! Spain has had a major impact on European and world history. This is the nation that enjoyed a golden age of enlightenment, that discovered America and gathered in its riches, and that left the great legacy of its culture and its language, today spoken by over four hundred million people. In the early twentieth century, Spain suffered a bitter civil war and a stultifying dictatorship, from which it emerged in the late seventies to become again an integral part of Europe and the international arena. Culture Smart! Spain explores the complex human realities of modern Spanish life. It describes how history and geography have created both regional differences and shared values and attitudes. It reveals what the Spaniards are like at home, and in business, and how they socialize. It prepares you for their boundless energy and widespread religious devotion; and offers practical tips on how to behave and make the very most of your visit. The better you understand the Spanish people, the more you will be enriched by your experience of this vital, warm, and varied country—where the individual is important, and the enjoyment of life is paramount.
Spain: The Root and the Flower: An Interpretation of Spain and the Spanish People
By: John A. Crow
This is the late John A. Crow's classic study of the cultural history of Spain and its people, which he last updated in 1985 but which seems as fresh and pertinent as when he first wrote it. Crow devoted a lifetime to Hispanic studies and here provides a historical interpretation of Spanish civilization from its earliest beginnings to the present. The scope of this study is remarkable and includes chapters on Roman Spain, the Jews in Spain, the Moors, life in medieval towns, and the Golden Age of Spain, plus a view of Franco's legacy.
Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire
By: Roger Crowley
In Empires of the Sea and City of Fortune, New York Times bestselling author Roger Crowley established himself as our generation’s preeminent historian of the great European seafaring empires, and the go-to author for post-Crusade clashes of East and West. Now, in Conquerors, Crowley gives us the epic story of the emergence of Portugal, a small, poor nation that enjoyed a century of maritime supremacy thanks to the daring and navigational skill of its explorers—a tactical advantage no other country could match. Portugal’s discovery of a sea route to India, campaign of imperial conquest over Muslim rulers, and domination of the spice trade would forever disrupt the Mediterranean and build the first global economy. Crowley relies on letters and eyewitness testimony to tell the story of tiny Portugal’s rapid and breathtaking rise to power. Conquerors reveals the Império Português in all of its splendor and ferocity, bringing to life the personalities of the enterprising and fanatical house of Aviz. Figures such as King Manuel “the Fortunate,” João II “the Perfect Prince,” marauding governor Afonso de Albuquerque, and explorer Vasco da Gama juggled their private ambitions and the public aims of the empire, often suffering astonishing losses in pursuit of a global fortune. Also central to the story of Portugal’s ascent was its drive to eradicate Islamic culture and establish a Christian empire in the Indian Ocean. Portuguese explorers pushed deep into the African continent in search of the mythical Christian king Prester John, and they ruthlessly besieged Indian port cities in their attempts to monopolize trade. The discovery of a route to India around the horn of Africa was not only a brilliant breakthrough in navigation but heralded a complete upset of the world order. For the next century, no European empire was more ambitious, no rulers more rapacious than the kings of Portugal. In the process they created the first long-range maritime empire and set in motion the forces of globalization that now shape our world. At Crowley’s hand, the complete story of the Portuguese empire and the human cost of its ambition can finally be told.Praise for Conquerors “Excellent . . . Crowley’s interpretations are nuanced and fair.”—The Christian Science Monitor “In a riveting narrative, Crowley chronicles Portugal's horrifically violent trajectory from ‘impoverished, marginal’ nation to European power, vying with Spain and Venice to dominate the spice trade.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “Brings to life the Portuguese explorers . . . perfect for anyone who likes a high seas tale.”—Publishers Weekly “Readers of Crowley’s previous books will not be disappointed by this exciting tale of sea battles, land campaigns and shipwrecks. . . . Crowley makes a good case for reclaiming Portugal’s significance as forger of the first global empire.”—The Daily Telegraph “Crowley has shown a rare gift for combining compelling narrative with lightly worn academic thoroughness as well as for balancing the human with the geopolitical—qualities on display here. The story he has to tell may be a thrilling one but not every historian could tell it so thrillingly.”—Michael Prodger, Financial Times “A fast-moving and highly readable narrative . . . [Crowley’s] detailed reconstruction of events is based on a close reading of the works of the chroniclers, notably Barros and Correa, whose accounts were written in the tradition of the chronicles of chivalry.”—History Today
The Basque History of the World: The Story of a Nation
By: Mark Kurlansky
From Mark Kurlansky, the bestselling author of Cod, Salt, Birdseye, and Paper—the illuminating story of an ancient and enigmatic peopleStraddling a small corner of Spain and France in a land that is marked on no maps except their own, the Basques are a puzzling contradiction—they are Europe's oldest nation without ever having been a country. No one has ever been able to determine their origins, and even the Basques' language, Euskera—the most ancient in Europe—is related to none other on earth. For centuries, their influence has been felt in nearly every realm, from religion to sports to commerce. Even today, the Basques are enjoying what may be the most important cultural renaissance in their long existence, as displayed by new cookbooks like chefs Alexandra Raij and Eder Montero's The Basque Book and restaurateur Jose Pizarro’s Basque.Mark Kurlansky's passion for the Basque people and his exuberant eye for detail shine throughout this fascinating book. Like Cod, The Basque History of the World, blends human stories with economic, political, literary, and culinary history into a rich and heroic tale.Among the Basques' greatest accomplishments:   • Exploration—the first man to circumnavigate the globe, Juan Sebastian de Elcano, was a Basque and the Basques were the second Europeans, after the Vikings, in North America    • Gastronomy and agriculture—they were the first Europeans to eat corn and chili peppers and cultivate tobacco, and were among the first to use chocolate    • Religion—Ignatius Loyola, a Basque, founded the Jesuit religious order    • Business and politics—they introduced capitalism and modern commercial banking to southern Europe    • Recreation—they invented beach resorts, jai alai, and racing regattas, and were the first Europeans to play sports with balls “A delectable portrait of an uncanny, indomitable nation.” –Newsday“Exciting, Illuminating, and thought provoking.” –The Boston GlobeEntertaining and instructive… [Kurlansky’s] approach is unorthodox, mixing history with anecdotes, poems with recipes.” –The New York Times Book Review
A Traveller's History of Spain
By: Juan Lalaguna
During its "golden age," Spain was a political giant whose influence spanned the world from Germany to the Western Pacific. Rich on American gold and silver, Spain was able to send the Armada against England, defeat the Turks and challenge France for the hegemony of Europe. This book will unlock the secrets of Spain's vibrant and colorful past, its people and culture for the interested traveller. It takes the reader on a journey from the earliest settlements on the Iberian Peninsula, through the influences of the Romans, the Goths and the Muslims, the traumas of expansion and the end of the Empire, right up to the present.
A Traveller's History of Portugal
By: Ian C. Robertson
A definitive concise history of Portugal, from its earliest beginnings right up to the politics and life of the present day.It was not until the twelfth century that Portugal became a country in its own right, having been a Roman colony and then having suffered both Barbarian and Islamic invasions. The golden age of discoveries, the reign and foresight of Henry the Navigator, and great seamen such as Vasco da Gama led to the founding of Portugal's empire and wealth. Troubled times followed: in 1755 Lisbon was virtually leveled by the "Great Earthquake, " and the country had hardly recovered its former prosperity when it was overrun by Napoleon's troops at the start of the Peninsular War, to be followed not long after by the Miguelite civil war. The middle decades of the nineteenth century saw the Port Wine trade flourishing, and further expansion into Africa. During the last quarter of the twentieth century, ever since the bloodless revolution of 1974 overthrew the right-wing dictatorship of Salazar, the country has regained its stability, and now takes its rightful place in the European Community.
Road to Santiago (Directions)
By: Kathryn Harrison
Displaying her "real talent for conjuring far-flung times and places," Kathryn Harrison tells the mesmerizing story of her 200-mile pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. In the spring of 1999, Kathryn Harrison set out to walk the centuries-old pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela. "Not a vacation, " she calls it, "but a time out of time." With a heavy pack, no hotel reservations, and little Spanish, she wanted an experience that would be both physically and psychically demanding. No pain, no gain, she thought, and she had some important things to contemplate. But the pilgrim road was spattered with violets and punctuated by medieval churches and alpine views, and, despite the exhaustion, aching knees, and brutal sun, she was unexpectedly flooded with joy and gratitude for life's gifts. "Why do I like this road?" she writes. "Why do I love it? What can be the comfort of understanding my footprint as just one among the millions? ... While I'm walking I feel myself alive, feel my small life burning brightly." Throughout this deeply personal and revealing memoir of her journey, first made alone and later in the company of her daughter, Harrison blends striking images of the route and her fellow pilgrims with reflections on the redemptive power of pilgrimages, mortality, family, the nature of endurance, the past and future, the mystery of friendship. The Road to Santiago is an exquisitely written, courageous, and irresistible portrait of a personal pilgrimage in search of a broader understanding of life and self.
Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim's Route into Spain
By: Jack Hitt
When Jack Hitt set out to walk the 500 miles from France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, he submitted to the rigorous traditions of Europe's oldest form of packaged tour, a pilgrimage that has been walked by millions in the history of Christendom. Off the Road is an unforgettable exploration of the sites that people believe God once touched: the strange fortress said to contain the real secret Adam learned when he bit into the apple; the sites associated with the murderous monks known as the Knights Templar; and the places housing relics ranging from a vial of the Virgin Mary's milk to a sheet of Saint Bartholomew's skin. Along the way, Jack Hitt finds himself persevering by day and bunking down by night with an unlikely and colorful cast of fellow pilgrims -- a Flemish film crew, a drunken gypsy, a draconian Belgian air force officer, a man who speaks no languages, a one-legged pilgrim, and a Welsh family with a mule. In the day-to-day grind of walking under a hot Spanish sun, Jack Hitt and his cohorts not only find occasional good meals and dry shelter but they also stumble upon some fresh ideas about old-time zealotry and modern belief. Off the Road is an engaging and witty travel memoir of an offbeat journey through history that turns into a provocative rethinking of the past.
Prince Henry the Navigator
By: Sir Peter Russell, Peter Russell
Henry the Navigator, fifteenth-century Portuguese prince and explorer, is a legendary, almost mythical figure in late medieval history. Considered along with Columbus to be one of the progenitors of modernity, Prince Henry challenged the scientific assumptions of his age and was responsible for liberating Europeans from geographical restraints that had bound them since the Roman Empire’s collapse. In this enthralling account of Henry’s life―the first biography of “The Navigator” in more than a century―Peter Russell reaps the harvest of a lifelong study of Prince Henry. Making full use of documentary evidence only recently available, Russell reevaluates Henry and his role in Portuguese and European history.Examining the full range of Prince Henry’s activities, Russell discusses the explorer’s image as an imperialist and as a maritime, mathematical, and navigational pioneer. He considers Henry’s voyages of discovery in the African Atlantic, their economic and cultural consequences, and the difficult questions they generated regarding international law and papal jurisdiction. Russell demonstrates the degree to which Henry was motivated by the predictions of his astrologer―an aspect of his career little known until now―and explains how this innovator, though firmly rooted in medieval ways of thinking and behaving, set in motion a current of change that altered European history.
Journey to Portugal: In Pursuit of Portugal's History and Culture
By: José Saramago
When José Saramago decided to write a book about Portugal, his only desire was that it be unlike all other books on the subject, and in this he has certainly succeeded. Recording the events and observations of a journey across the length and breadth of the country he loves dearly, Saramago brings Portugal to life as only a writer of his brilliance can. Forfeiting the usual sources such as tourist guides and road maps, he scours the country with the eyes and ears of an observer fascinated by the ancient myths and history of his people. Whether it be an inaccessible medieval fortress set on a cliff, a wayside chapel thick with cobwebs, or a grand mansion in the city, the extraordinary places of this land come alive. Always meticulously attentive to those elements of ancient Portugal that persist today, he examines the country in its current period of rapid transition and growth. Journey to Portugal is an ode to a country and its rich traditions.
Alentejo Blue
By: Monica Ali
Following her National Book Critics Circle and Los Angeles Times Book Award-nominated, bestselling debut, Brick Lane, Monica Ali's splendid Alentejo Blue "rewards readers with characters who etch themselves into one's memory" (People). Set in a small Portuguese village, Alentejo Blue is a story of displacement and modernization told through the lives of the locals and of people who are just passing through. The residents of Mamarrosa whose ancestors occupy the graveyards are restless and struggle to make a living. They watch as tourists and expats move in. Monica Ali's characters are profoundly sympathetic. Her understanding of their dreams, desires, and disappointments is rare and moving. Alentejo Blue is evidence that Monica Ali is one of the most gifted voices of her generation.
The Sun Also Rises
By: Ernest Hemingway
The quintessential novel of the Lost Generation, The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway's masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful writing style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway's most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions. First published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises helped to establish Hemingway as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.
Baltasar and Blimunda
By: Jose Saramago
From the recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature, a “brilliant...enchanting novel” (New York Times Book Review) of romance, deceit, religion, and magic set in eighteenth-century Portugal at the height of the Inquisition. National bestseller. Translated by Giovanni Pontiero.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Paper Folded)
By: Smithsonian Journeys
Swiftmaps is proud to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to bring a new and exciting World Map series to the American marketplace. Featuring eye-catching bold and vivid colors complemented with rich vintage tan ocean tones that will make this the perfect reference piece --- sure to stand-out and highlight any home or business wall. The precise detail and digital accuracy shows color-matching visual shaded 3D relief and other physical features without sacrificing the maps readability. Now printed on high-quality 80 lb. paper and professionally FOLDED in a compact 8x10 inch size. FEATURES: 1) Africa centered allowing viewers to see continents complete and intact 2) Clearly labeled country and city names for easy location 3) Latitude and longitude indications 4) Shaded relief of ocean and land topography 4) Desirable Miller Projection. The Smithsonian Journeys wall map series serve not only as a handy reference piece, but as an eye-catching accent for any room or office. NOTE: each map is professionally folded to 8x10 inches and when unfolded the map is 24 inches high and 36 inches wide.
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Smithsonian Journeys includes an on-tour Provided Insurance Plan through Travel Guard with the price of your tour. This travel insurance plan includes On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only, not including U.S. Territories). Travel must be more than 100 miles from the Insured’s primary residence.

In addition, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment from unforeseen events, such as missed flight connections, lost luggage, and cancelled plans. There are many plans you can consider. For your convenience, you may visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1.800.208.6142 to learn more.

Terms and conditions

Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engage travelers in the mission of the Smithsonian – “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s 19 museums, National Zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys expert, tour director and local guides throughout the tour
  • All gratuities for the expert, tour director, on-tour guides and drivers
  • On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. residents only)
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • Transfers and luggage handling abroad (for air inclusive guests)
  • All on-tour transportation including flights within the itinerary, unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary
  • Airfare to/from your departure city, airline taxes, surcharges, and fees, which are subject to change until final payment is made (for air inclusive guests only)

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s); and any other travel documentation fees as required
  • Optional travel insurance, including cancellation/delay/lost baggage insurance (learn more at TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys)
  • Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors, a-la-carte orders
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operator in making any individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour
  • Airline baggage and other airline fees and associated taxes, unless noted in Tour description
  • Transfers and baggage handling abroad when purchasing “land only” package
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included
  • Airfare from your hometown to your departure city (for air inclusive guests only).

Registration

To submit a reservation request, please use our secure online system at SmithsonianJourneys.org or contact a Cultural Travel Specialist, at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time). Submitting an online request does not guarantee space on a tour.  You will be notified by a Reservation Specialist of your status once your request has been received and processed.  Please note: No new registrations can be accepted within 30 days of most tours. Some tours are more restrictive; please see individual tour pages for these exceptions.

To complete your reservation, the following information is required.
In accordance with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program, for all international tours, passport information is required, including the following:   Full name as it appears on your passport, Date of birth, and Gender (for further information, please visit www.tsa.gov).

For tours that include round-trip international airfare: If you provide incorrect information to the ticketing agent, or if you use a different passport than originally cited, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Payments

A deposit of $500 per person for a land tour reservation, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on a tour.  All payments may be made by credit card or check to the tour operator.  Deposits are applied to final payment of the tour price.

Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure, unless otherwise noted.  Balance is due upon invoicing.  If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration

Any registration received within 95 days (180 for Alaska) of departure is considered “on-request” and is subject to specific confirmation. Some tours are more restrictive. Payment in full must be made immediately by credit card, or by check sent by overnight mail to the tour operator, before confirmation is possible.

Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full. Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the tour within the designated late registration period for that tour.

For additional information, please contact a Cultural Travel Specialist, at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu and SmithsonianJourneys.org.

A Note about Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing a room/cabin. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a presumptive minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.   Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.).  Details and costs will be advised prior to departure.

Wait List

If the tour of your choice is fully subscribed, you may choose to be placed on a waitlist by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu. Individuals on the wait list will be contacted if space becomes available and can inquire about tour status by contacting a Reservation Specialist. If you choose to withdraw from a wait list, please notify us.  

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Following enrollment, a participant’s withdrawal from the tour for any reason, including, but not limited to, illness, injury, family engagements, work-related issues, or geopolitical concerns, etc., will be deemed a cancellation. Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.

Per person cancellation fees are based on date of written notice to Smithsonian Journeys. Tour operator will refund on the following basis:

  • Cancellations within 7 days of booking:  Full Refund (unless it is within final payment date, 95 days before departure)
  • Cancellations after 7 days of booking:  Full Deposit Retained
  • Cancellations made within final payment date, 95 days before departure:  No Refund
  • Cancellation by Smithsonian Journeys:  Full Refund or Credit

Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.

If your flights are delayed or if for any reason you are prevented from joining the tour on the scheduled departure date and time, or if you choose to leave the tour early, we cannot provide a full or partial refund or credit toward a future tour.

Smithsonian Journeys reserves the right to cancel any tour due to low enrollment and when a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning is issued for the destination.

Air Service

For tours that include round-trip international airfare, rates are based on economy class from designated departure cities as shown.  Airfares from other cities are available upon request.  Airline upgrades at additional cost may be available on request for the international portion of your flight.  If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense.  For tours that include round-trip international airfare, the tour operator  will be happy to help with arrangements. Please note that seat assignments for your international flights is usually done at airport check-in. The tour operator is unable to guarantee any seat assignments.

When planning our tours that include international round-trip airfare, the tour operator contracts with those airlines that they feel provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates that enable us to offer you the best possible travel value. Please note that frequent flyer mileage credits are issued at the discretion of the airline(s) and may not be available for the flights on your tour. If you prefer to make your own airline reservations, “land only” pricing is available on most of our tours.

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

International and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time. Tours can also be canceled due to low enrollments. If you make your own airline reservations, we recommend that you do not purchase nonrefundable tickets or tickets with high penalties for changes. 

We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased independently in conjunction with a tour.

Travel Insurance- Cancellation/Delay/Lost Baggage

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.  Learn more at TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys.

Travel Documents and Information

Participants are responsible for obtaining any documents required for their participation in the tour such as a valid passport, all visas, vaccination certificates, and any other documents. If your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, we will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation.  Failure to obtain documents does not negate the terms and conditions, and any extra costs incurred for rerouting or delay due to travel without the necessary documents will be the participant’s responsibility. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

For all international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens on all tours. The U.S. Department of State will no longer add visa pages into U.S. passports beginning January 1, 2016. The decision to discontinue this service was made to enhance the security of the passport and to abide by international passport standards. Beginning January 1, 2016, applicants in need of additional pages in their valid passports must obtain a new passport. For more information on how or where to apply, please visit Travel.State.Gov/ApplyEarly or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778/1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TTD).

For more information about traveling to destinations abroad, we recommend the “Learn about your destination” section on the U.S. Department of State travel website www.travel.state.gov.  For medical information, we recommend contacting the Centers for Disease Control at (877) FYI-TRIP or www.cdc.gov/travel

Physical and Medical Considerations

To enjoy the travel experience, participants should be in good physical and mental health. All tours require an element of walking (up to two miles per day over uneven terrain) and of climbing stairs, often without handrails. Participants should have sufficient stamina to keep pace with an active group of participants on long days of touring. If you have any questions about your ability to participate in a tour, please call us at 855-330-1542. Any physical condition, diet, or special request for accommodation must be identified in writing on the Personal Information Form when the reservation is made. Some tours have additional information regarding physical and medical considerations, which may be discussed with the Reservation Specialist at 855-330-1542.

Please be aware that health care standards, facilities, and services abroad may be different or even inadequate for treating certain health conditions.  It is essential that you inform us in writing (on the provided Personal Information Form) of any existing condition for which you may require medical attention or accommodation during the tour. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the needs of our participants; however, services of a personal nature cannot be expected or guaranteed. By forwarding the deposit for pre-registration or registration in full, you affirm that you do not have any physical or other limitations that would create a hazard for yourself or other participants or would require adjustments to the tour for other participants.

Itinerary or Tour Modifications

Smithsonian Journeys strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, at our sole discretion, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute elements of the tour.  These elements include, but are not limited to:  hotels, staff, speakers, experts, and services for any stated in the itinerary.

Every effort will be made to carry out the tour as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary has been sent to you. Please note that weather and other conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise tours. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule.

Hotel Accommodations

Smithsonian Journeys chooses hotels based on a combination of location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and tours in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used.  Tour prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bath.

Singles and Roommates

Hotel rooms are always reserved for single participants, however, the number of single rooms available on a tour may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you register early. Please note that a single supplement will most likely apply for a single room.  If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room/cabin, we will do our best to find someone of the same gender and smoking preference to share with you. If you are matched with a non-smoking roommate, it is mutually agreed that you cannot smoke in your hotel room/cabin. When a roommate cannot be found, a single supplement will be charged. Please note that the single rooms in many foreign hotels may be smaller than those to which you are accustomed.

Children

All tours except family journeys, are designed for adults. Some may be suitable for children 16 and older. Regardless of age, children must pay full price unless otherwise noted, moreover, a parent or guardian must accompany those under 18.

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel after the tour. Our tour operators will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability.  . For participants using air, only post tour extensions are offered. Tour operator may be able to assist land only participants with pre-tour arrangements.

Should you decide not to participate in certain parts of the tour or use certain goods included in the tour, no refunds will be made for those unused parts of the tour or goods.

Dispute Resolution

If a complaint arises, the participant should first inform a member of the on-tour staff, so that the staff can attempt to rectify the matter. If the issue remains unresolved, the individual should submit the complaint in writing to Smithsonian Journeys within 30 days of the completion of the tour.

The Smithsonian Journeys staff will make a good faith effort to resolve any dispute.  In the event that the parties are unable to resolve the dispute, the parties may agree to use a method of non-binding Alternative Dispute Resolution to resolve the dispute.  In the event that the parties are unable to agree on the method of Alternative Dispute Resolution to use, or in the event that either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of that alternative dispute resolution method, such efforts shall not constitute a waiver by either party of the right to file suit.

Photography and Video

Participants on tour may be photographed or recorded (audio and video) for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian authorized third parties.  This content may be used in marketing publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys without compensation to the participant. Participants who prefer that their name, voice and/or image not be used must notify us in writing prior to the beginning of the tour.

Smoking Policy

 For the comfort of all participants, we ask that there be no smoking during all group activities, including excursions and meals. On certain cruises, there is no smoking aboard the ship. Your pre-tour bulletins will provide further information.

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

Smithsonian Journeys tours are organized and administered by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of designated tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer participants a wide array of educational travel opportunities. The tour operator acts only as an agent for the respective suppliers by making arrangements for transportation, accommodations, and other services. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator shall be held liable for personal injury, death, property damage or accident, delay or irregularity arising out of any act or omission of these suppliers. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of tour participants.

The Smithsonian Institution and its designated tour operator also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the tour announced, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at any time (including, but not limited for inappropriate, or offensive behavior) when such action is determined by tour staff to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant.

Dates, schedules, tour details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication on the website, in the brochure or catalog, are subject to change and revision.

AS A CONDITION OF ACCEPTANCE OF ANY APPLICATION, EACH APPLICANT MUST AGREE TO THE STATEMENT SET FORTH BELOW:

The undersigned has read carefully the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer set forth above, the schedule of activities for this tour, as well as the terms and conditions of application and participation as set forth in the tour materials, and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour materials. The undersigned further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including but not limited to the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour staff or others. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the tour, the undersigned, on behalf of himself, his dependents, heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, agrees to release the Smithsonian Institution, its Regents, officers, employees, representatives or agents, the United States, and the tour operator and its officers, employees and agents, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this tour, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of tour staff or other related persons or entities. In addition, by registering for this tour, the applicant certifies that he or she is mentally and physically capable of full participation in this tour. By registering for a Smithsonian Journey, the participant agrees to the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer and the Terms and Conditions herein.