The Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain (Photo © Julio Garciamoral / Pexels)Jewish Spain: A Tarnished Ornament

Dates: TBA
Prices: TBD
Prices are listed in US dollars.

Spain is a country steeped in rich history and culture, and the Jewish experience in Spain is one that cannot be missed. For centuries, Jews thrived in Spain, contributing to the country's art, science, and culture. However, this all changed in 1492, when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella ordered the expulsion of all Jews from Spain. Despite this dark period, Jewish culture has left a lasting legacy in Spain, and there are many sights to see and experiences to have that showcase the rich Jewish history of the country.

We will visit all the major cities where Jewish communities flourished including Toledo, Seville, Granada, Cordoba, and, of course, Madrid and Barcelona, too. Here lived some of Judaism’s greatest thinkers including Nachmanides, Maimonides, Yehudah HaLevi, and Ibn Ezra.

Contemplating the 500 years of life in Spain we will raise critical questions such as: When do Jews flourish? What ties do we, as a minority, have with our surrounding cultures?

Overall, a trip to Spain focusing on the Jewish experience is a must for anyone interested in history, culture, and the enduring spirit of a community that has left an indelible mark on Spain's rich tapestry.

For the itinerary and other details, please see the tabs below. On a mobile device, use the menu icon (☰) to open other tabs.

Please read Melton's comprehensive health policy HERE.
  • Jewish Spain: A Tarnished Ornament
    May 6 – 16, 2024
    (Itinerary subject to change)


    • Accommodations: 10 nights
    • Meals: All breakfasts plus six additional meals. (Please note that not all group meals will be kosher, but all will include vegetarian or fish options.)
    • Educational Programming: All entrance fees and programs as per the Melton itinerary.

    Monday, May 6 – Barcelona

    Arrival in Barcelona.

    Group gathering in the afternoon for orientation to the seminar.
    We then board our bus for a panoramic tour of the city, including Plaza España and the mountain of Montjuic, site of the Olympic Ring, the main stadium of the 1992 Summer Olympics. Passeig Maritim with its Columbus monument, the world-famous Las Ramblas, Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona’s main avenue and its Modernist houses designed by Antoni Gaudí.

    Visit Park Guell for imposing panoramic views of Barcelona and a first approach to Gaudi’s contribution to the city ́s landscape heritage.

    Return to the hotel.

    Welcome dinner at local restaurant.

    Overnights in Barcelona: Avenida Palace, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 605-607, Tel: +34 933 01 96 00

    Tuesday, May 7 – Barcelona-Besalu-Girona

    Breakfast at hotel.

    Morning visit to Gaudi’s unfinished Church of the Sagrada Familia, monument to the human spirit.

    We then head for the Ramblas area of Barcelona.

    Lunch on own at the Boqueria Market.

    Visit the Medieval Synagogue discovered in the El Call Jewish Quarter.

    Comprehensive walk through the Gothic Quarter. According to archaeological evidence, there was a sizable Jewish community in Catalonia as early as the beginning of the Common Era.

    While in the Gothic Quarter we’ll visit the Casa Adret, one of the oldest continuously inhabited houses in the Call, nowadays home to “Mozaika” a Cultural Jewish Association promoting Jewish Heritage.

    Evening activity with local members of the Jewish community.

    Overnight: Barcelona

    Wednesday, May 8 – Barcelona

    Breakfast at hotel.

    Depart the hotel for Girona, one of the most important Jewish historical sites in Spain.

    Tour medieval Girona which was famous for its Kabbalists. It was also the home of the great sage Nachmanides, who defended the Jewish faith in the 1263 Disputation of Barcelona.

    Visit the Jewish Quarter, which dates to the 12th century.

    This visit will stop for a special visit at the city ́s fascinating Jewish Museum, the Centre Bonastruc ça Porta.

    Enter Casa Cundaro in Girona and have a glimpse at a former Jewish home from the Medieval days.

    Lunch on own.

    Continue to Besalu, a picturesque medieval town that features one of the best preserved mikvaot (ritual baths) in all of Europe.

    Return to Barcelona.

    Free evening.

    Overnight: Barcelona

    Thursday, May 9 – Barcelona – Madrid

    Breakfast at hotel.

    Transfer to Sants Train Station and board the comfortable high speed AVE speed train to Madrid arriving around 3-hours later in the center of the Spanish capital.

    Panoramic tour of Madrid with several of its most emblematic sights: Puerta del Sol, Las Ventas Bullfighting Arena, Serrano Street, Colon Square, Alcalá Gate, Cibeles & Neptuno Fountains, Prado Museum & Plaza de España.

    After lunch, we will visit the Prado Museum and view the masterpieces of artists such as Velazquez, Goya, Bosch, Rubens, Titian, and other great European painters.

    Return to the hotel.

    Free evening.

    Overnights in Madrid: Hotel Catalonia Atocha, C. de Atocha, 81, 28012, Tel: +34 914 20 37 70

    Friday, May 10 – Segovia and Escorial

    Breakfast at hotel.

    Early departure for Segovia, a microcosm of the story of Jews in Iberia from Roman times until the Expulsion.

    Visit the former Great Synagogue, nowadays housed in the Corpus Christi Convent.

    See also Segovia ́s fabulous Roman Aqueduct, and the “Great Dame of Spanish Cathedrals” and the fairytale Alcazar Palace.

    Time-permitting we may visit the Jewish cemetery on the slopes opposite Segovia.

    Lunch on own, at leisure.

    Visit the XVI C. El Escorial Monastery & Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site where most Spanish Kings are buried.

    Before heading back for Madrid, we will stop at the imposing Valley of the Fallen, a controversial monument that required over 20,000 prisoners for its construction and which boasts a massive cross 150 meters (about 492.13 ft) tall.

    Return to Madrid.

    Festive Kabbalat Shabbat & dinner at Madrid Reform Jewish community.

    Overnight: Madrid

    Saturday, May 11 – Madrid

    Breakfast at hotel.

    This Shabbat we will stroll the main streets of Madrid’s oldest quarter & the Literary area, the original site of Madrid, called “Austrias,” with its small plazas and narrow streets.

    Visit the Plaza de la Villa, home to the city hall and the 15th century Tower of Los Lujanes, the site of the original Arab shuk of Madrid.

    Then we visit the 17th century Plaza Mayor, the center of historic Madrid, sight of festivals and bullfights, but also the place where Jewish history marks the great trauma of the many auto-da-fes that took place at this site.

    After this we will continue towards the grounds of the impressive Royal Palace, the official residence of the King of Spain.

    Return to the hotel.

    Havdalah followed by free evening.

    Overnight: Madrid

    Sunday, May 12 – Toledo – Cordoba

    Breakfast at hotel.

    Depart for Toledo, the center of which remains much as it was in the 16th century and begin with a panoramic overview of the city.

    Explore the city, including the San Roman Visigothic museum, the Jewish Quarter, the Samuel Halevi Abulafia Synagogue (later a church known as Nuestra Señora del Tránsito), and the Santa Maria La Blanca Church (formerly the Grand Synagogue).

    Lunch on own.

    Continue by bus on tor Córdoba, the capital of the Moorish Kingdom of al-Andalus.

    Group dinner at Casa Mazal, Sephardi Restaurant.

    Overnight in Cordova: Las Casas de la Judería de Córdoba, Calle Tomás Conde, 10, 14004, Tel: +34 954 41 51 50

    Monday, May 13 – Cordoba, Lucena and Granada

    Breakfast at hotel.

    Early morning exploration of the fascinating and famous Cathedral- Mosque, La Mezquita de Cordoba, with its 1,000 colored columns.

    Visit the Jewish Quarter, including Plaza Tiberias and the Yehuda Halevi Square. Continue to the small Moorish-styled building known as the Maimonides Synagogue.

    Visit Casa de Sefarad, dedicated to the history of the Sephardic Jews who lived in Córdoba and Spain before the Inquisition and their expulsion in 1492.

    Depart for Lucena, a town that during the period of Muslim rule was known as “The Jewish city.” By the 12th century Lucena ("Eliossana") had become the cultural center of Andalusian Jewry.

    Visit the “Pearl of Sepharad” with its Jewish Necropolis.

    Transfer by bus on to Granada.

    Time-permitting and upon arrival, we will head for the San Nicolás Lookout coming face to face with the stunning Alhambra Palace

    Free evening

    Overnight in Granada: Hotel Catalonia Granada, Av. de Madrid, 10, 18012, Tel: +34 958 277 960

    Tuesday, May 14 – Granada - Seville

    Breakfast at hotel.

    We are now in Granada, the last stronghold of the Moors before it fell to Isabella and Ferdinand in 1492.

    The kaleidoscope that is Spain: Tour of the Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the most significant and well-known Islamic complex in Spain.

    After lunch, we will allow for free time to explore the Realejo, the former Jewish Quarter and the site of the original town bearing the name Garnata al-Yahud.

    Afternoon bus transfer to Seville.

    Free evening.

    Optional: attend a flamenco music and dancing show to get a feeling for this quintessential Andalusian art form.

    Overnights in Seville: Hotel Zenit Sevilla, Edificio Zenit, C. Pagés del Corro, 90, B, Tel: +34 954 34 74 34

    Wednesday, May 15 – Seville

    Breakfast at hotel.

    Full day exploring Seville, a city shaped by many cultural influences. Some traditions place Jews in Seville from earliest times.

    Begin with the sight of the iconic Plaza de España, an impressive plaza built for the IberoAmerican Exposition of 1929.

    Tour the Alcazar, the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe and a superb example of Mudejar architecture (this palace is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.)

    Visit the Santa Cruz neighborhood, formerly Seville's Jewish Quarter, once known as La Juderia, with its winding alleyways and remnants of Jewish life found within the contemporary city.

    Visit the 12th century Great Cathedral, burial place of Christopher Columbus, and La Giralda, whose bell tower became the city's symbol.

    Farewell dinner with guests from the small local Jewish community.

    Overnight: Seville

    Thursday, May 16 – Departure

    Breakfast at the hotel & check out.

    Bus transfer to Seville airport.

    Departure flight to the U.S.A or Portugal extension (details to follow.)

  • Avi Ben Hur will lead this tour. Melton travel is open to adults of all ages.

    We are so pleased that you are interested in travelling with Melton! As you may know, Melton provides the educational content for its tours, but is not a travel agency. Gil Travel Agency (“Gil”) is the travel logistics provider for this tour and is responsible for the collection of all deposits and other fees. Because Melton does not collect any travel deposits or fees, it is not responsible for any financial loss associated with a cancellation of this seminar for reasons beyond Melton’s control, including COVID.

    We encourage you to read Gil’s Travel Protection Recommendation thoroughly, advising that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance that covers both “cancellation for any reason” and for “COVID-related” reasons. Even where your destination does not presently restrict travel due to COVID, we still recommend you purchase a policy with such coverage.

    Thank you for your understanding. We look forward to travelling and learning with you,
    The Melton Travel Team

    Currently this trip is fully booked. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please let us know by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Need to Know

    • Group rates are per person based on double occupancy and a minimum of 20 fully paying participants. Should the number of participants drop below the minimum listed above, we may adjust the cost of the trip to reflect the additional expense of operating the program.
    • Tour prices are per person in U.S. dollars. All hotel accommodations, motor coach transportation, special dinners, sightseeing, admissions, luggage handling and the services of local guides, drivers, and the tour guide/educator are included.
    • A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is due upon registration. If the seminar is cancelled, the registration fee will be refunded. The final balance will be due by February 6, 2024.
    • All cancellations must be submitted in writing. Up to 91 days prior to departure: $500 per person deposit paid at registration is non-refundable. 90-61 prior to departure: 50% of the trip cost is non-refundable. 60 days or less prior to departure – no refunds. There will be no refunds for unused services.
    • Hotel Accommodations: The tour price includes all hotel accommodations, in hotel rooms with private bathrooms. Our standard is to provide the best available hotels while considering value. Although the level of the accommodations may differ slightly from hotel to hotel, we are committed to your comfort.
    • Meals are included as indicated in the itinerary. Participants can order kosher meals at prices set by our local agents.
    • A Melton educator will be with the group throughout the tour.
    • All gratuities are included.
    • Baggage: The Travel Agent and/or Tour Operator shall not be held responsible for any damage to or loss of luggage/personal items. All damage/loss must be reported at time of incident and documented in writing by local authorities for submission to the insurance company. With regard to airline baggage allowance, different carriers have different regulations for business and coach, please check with your individual carrier with regard to permitted number of pieces, weights and dimensions. The tour operator is not responsible for fees levied by any air carrier for the transport of personal belongings of any kind.
    • Porterage at hotels. Please note that room service is not included.

    Not Included:

    • Flights and personal insurance 
    • Personal expenses, including meals or drinks not mentioned in the itinerary, unless specified

    We will be pleased to assist you in any and all flight arrangements, including additional travel plans, through our partners at Gil Travel. Please contact Julian Banegas (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 215-568-6655, Ext. 377) with your flight requests.

  • Please note that Gil Travel will obey all protocols/restrictions in place regarding COVID.

    We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. Melton is not responsible for cancellation of this program for reasons beyond its control. Your comprehensive travel insurance should cover both "cancellation for any reason" and "COVID-related cancellation". This latter policy is being offered by a number of insurance companies. We refer you to a list published by Forbes magazine, showing those companies that offer this new policy.

    Please note that such policies may require registration for the policy within 14-21 days of your registration for the seminar.

    Gil Travel recommends RoamRight Travel Insurance.

    For more information on the available plans or to enroll, visit  RoamRight Travel Insurance  or contact RoamRight at 1-866-891-6614 and reference Gil Travel.

    Please Note: To be eligible for the waiver of pre-existing medical condition exclusion, the protection plan must be purchased within 21 days from the time you make your initial trip deposit, the entire non-refundable amount of the trip must be insured, and you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. However, the travel protection plan itself can be purchased any time prior to departure.

    Additional Information

    • Airline Security Measures: Your name must match the name on your tour reservation and airline ticket, or you may be denied boarding. It must also be exactly as it appears on your passport. Please make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the date of your return home.
    • If you are traveling from an airport outside the jurisdiction of the U.S., you will need to determine what travel documentation and identification is required for that particular airport.
    • Due to heightened security regulations, certain items such as a metal nail file, pocketknife, cigarette lighter or tweezers, and some liquid, gel, or aerosol items may not be permitted in your carry-on luggage. Please call your airline prior to departure to obtain current information on non-permissible carry-on items and recommended airport check-in times. You may also wish to visit the U.S. Transportation Security Administration website at to obtain more information on acceptable identity documentation and prohibited luggage items.
  • For more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    T: 1–646–921–0747, Ext. 4