Adventure - Art - Culture - Juniors Abroad at George Fox


Faculty: Jillian Sokso, Nicole Enzinger
Class Meeting: Thursday, 6:30 - 9:00 PM


This course includes a three week investigation into the metropolitan centers of Spain and Portugal as well as views of more rural communities of the Iberian Peninsula. The focus of the trip will include visual art, architecture, local food culture, and agri-tourism. The trip destinations will base in Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, and Lisbon, but will include day trips to Sevilla, Toledo, Cordoba, Sintra, Cascais, Coimbra, and Aveiro, a whopping total of 11 cities/towns. To immerse in the regional culture on a more direct level, we will visit an artist or design co-op studio space, have an agri-tourism experience in Andalusia, and engage in a Catalonian cooking class.

We begin in Barcelona, home of the famed architect Antonio Gaudi, and an epicenter of modern and contemporary European art. Our Gaudi tour includes stops at Parc Guell, La Pedrera, Casa Mila, and La Sagrada Familia. Museum visits will include the Picasso Museum, MACBA (contemporary) and the National Museo of Catalonian Art. A free day to explore  this Catalonian capital rounds out our experience.

From Barcelona we will travel by coach to Madrid, where our focus will be on the greatest hits of the capital architecture: Royal Palace, Botanical Gardens, Retiro Park and the Madrid Cathedral. One day in Madrid will be spent at the Prado to take in one of Europe’s most important art collections, and another day traveling to nearby Toledo, an incredible hilltop city known for its’ Moorish architecture and winding medieval streets. 

From Madrid we will travel on, again by coach, to Granada. In Granada we will be spending time at the Alhambra fortress, investigating the history of this great city and the influences of Christian and Islamic culture and iconography on the architecture and city planning. The Granada Cathedral, Great Mosque and Royal Chapel will round out our short stay in this jewel of Andalusia. 

While in Granada we will day trip to Cordoba to visit the Great Mosque/Mesquita Catedral. On our way to Lisbon we will make a day trip to Seville, the gateway to the New World during the 15th century. Think vibrant color, orange trees and Mediterranean heat.

In Portugal we base in Lisbon’s city center and travel day trip to sites in the countryside and costal region. A gritty, charming metropolis, complete with 1920’s vintage trolleys, grand squares and a vibrant contemporary arts culture, Lisboa’s incredible affordability makes it a favorite with students. We’ll see the greatest hits of museums, castles and churches as well as sample some of the most incredible food on the Iberian peninsula. In addition to our itinerary here and three day trips up the Portuguese coast, you will have a full free day to explore the city in small groups.

A day-trip to Coimbra reveals an Arab-influenced old town that is easily navigated on foot. You will enjoy a free day to explore museums, churches, a 700 year old university campus and experience Fado, a musical storytelling genre unique to Portugal.

Historically the summer escape for Portuguese kings, Sintra is known for its’ fairytale castles, rolling hills and stunning gardens. Our trip here will include a visit to the Pena Palace and a 1000 year old Moorish Castle.

A coastal town with noble architecture and seafront promenades, Cascais is also home to the Casa das Historias Paula Rego, designed by world-renowned contemporary Portuguese architect, Eduardo Souto Moura. After spending time with Paula Rego’s work, you can visit the incredible Parque Marechal Carmona or walk the incredible pedestrianized boulevards in the old city.

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1 Travel by air PDX>>>Barcelona

Day 2 Barcelona: La Pedrera, Casa Mila, Picasso Museum

Day 3 Barcelona: National Museum of Catalonian Art, Parc Guell

Day 4 Barcelona: La Sagrada Familia, MACBA

Day 5 Barcelona: Catalonian cooking class, free afternoon

Day 6 Barcelona >>> Madrid 6 hours by coach

Day 7 Madrid- Royal Palace, Reina Sofia

Day 8 Madrid- Cathedral, Santa Cruz Museo, free afternoon

Day 9 Madrid- Royal Botanical Gardens, Retiro Park

Day 10 Madrid- day trip Toledo

Day 11 Madrid >>> Granada 5 hours by coach

Day 12 Granada- Alhambra fortress

Day 13 Granada- Cordoba day-trip, Great Mosque

Day 14 Granada >>> Lisbon, stop in Sevilla for the afternoon

Day 15 Lisbon- St George Castle, Berardo Collection, Tile Museum

Day 16 Lisbon- MUDE, Gulbenkian, Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery

Day 17 Sintra day-trip- Pena Palace and agri tourism experience 

Day 18 Cascias day-trip- Casa das Historias Paula Rego, free afternoon

Day 19 Coimbra day-trip- Se Velha Cathedral and free afternoon

Day 20 Free day choice of Lisbon exploration or Aveiro day trip

Day 21 travel by air LIS>>>PDX arrive evening