API students participate in several excursions per session designed to help familiarize them with areas of their host city, country, and surrounding region. The following is a listing of all excursions for API Barcelona programs. All excursions are subject to change.
Costa Brava means ‘Rugged Coast’ – with outcrops of the Pyrenees forming wild sea-cliffs. Secluded coves hide between the unkempt rocks, where tenacious pines cover the slopes right down to the mouth of the Mediterranean and sweeping sandy beaches provide a retreat. Located on the Girona coast, at halfway between the city of Barcelona and the French border, Tossa de Mar is an ancient fishermen’s village with an important historical background, that has been transformed during the last 50 years into an emblematic tourist destination of the Costa Brava area. Girona, founded by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago, is an exceptional old town that hosts one of the best preserved Jewish quarters in Europe, framed in a monumental ensemble of temples, towers, houses and walls along the River Onyar. Its wealth in medieval times produced many fine Romanesque and Gothic buildings that have survived repeated attacks and sieges through the centuries. Girona’s old town, narrow alleys and fascinating medieval stairs appear around every corner making it one of Spain’s hidden jewels.
POBLET AND CALÇOTADA
This is arguably one of Spain’s richest regions both in historical, architectural and gastronomical terms. Walled medieval towns such as Montblanc still retain their original cobbled feel, and the land is dotted with numerous small villages. Formerly part of the powerful kingdom of Aragon and Catalunia, all three Cistercian monasteries along the route were built within 25 years in the mid 12th Century. Today, many of Spain’s top wine producers have recognized the value of the soil for making sparkling wine.
With an almost uninterrupted history as an important center of power for more than two millennia, Rome is as close to eternal as it gets. The “Eternal City” was once the administrative center of the mighty Roman Empire, governing a vast region that stretched all the way from Britain to Mesopotamia. Today, it remains the seat of the Italian government and the world’s biggest open air museum.
Seville, capital of the Andalucía region of southern Spain, is an unique example where history, tradition and modernity merge in an incomparable city. The core of Islamic Seville includes the area on the East bank of the Guadalquivir where the Cathedral, the Christian Alcázar, and the medieval quarter known as the Barrio Santa Cruz are located today. To explore the city’s narrow streets and smell the orange blossoms in Spring while mingling with people at a cafe is definitely an unforgettable experience.
Spain’s capital blends the modern with an important cultural and artistic heritage. Three of the most important art galleries in the world (the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museums) are all located in the center of Madrid. All this, combined with the momentum of a society that is dynamic, liberal and welcoming, has turned this metropolis into one of the western world’s great capitals.
Montserrat is regarded by many Catalans as the most important spiritual and cultural center of Catalonia. The 14th century Benedictine Monastery is where the monks worship Catalonia’s Patron Saint, the black Madonna of Montserrat. As you travel up the mountains, you will have a chance to admire the breathtaking views from the Shrine located 2100 feet above sea level.
One of the most intriguing cities in the world, Paris is full of amazing museums, architecture, music, fashion and beauty. One of the great cultural and intellectual centers of the West, it is felt by many to be the heart, soul, and imagination of France. Innumerable monuments built to reflect the glory of France and its rulers stand testament to the city’s rich history. The Louvre, a former palace and current home to the world’s largest art collection; Notre Dame, a grandiose jewel of the gothic era; the Eiffel Tower, a turn of the century masterpiece; and Montmartre, an artist’s haven, are only a few examples of Paris’ highlights
Tarragona’s biggest lure is the wealth of ruins in Spain’s second most important Roman site, including mosaic-packed museums and a seaside amphitheater.