Beyond the Classroom: Excursions that Amaze

GEO Segovia allows students to learn through organized experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. Each week, a portion of class time is spent on walking tours to historical sites throughout Segovia. Short class excursions, day trips, and a weekend excursion allow students to see, experience, and feel rich history of Spain first hand. Note: Not all of the following excursions are offered in any one term.

Here's a selection of excursions offered beyond Segovia:

La Granja de San Ildefonso – Situated 11 kilometers from Segovia capital, at the foot of the Guadarrama mountain range, this historically important city includes the Palacio Real de San Ildefonso, the summer home of King Felipe V, with its Versailles-inspired gardens and fountains. La Granja is also home to the Real Fábrica de Cristales, which once made all the crystal for the royal family of Spain.

Museums of Madrid – This excursion includes the famous El Prado and Reina Sofia museums.  El Museo del Prado features one of the world’s finest collections of European artwork, and holds the single best collection of Spanish art. Here you will see the work of Goya, El Greco, Rubens, Titian, Velázquez, and more. Reina Sofia is Span's national museum of 20th-century art.  Highlights of the museum include excellent collections of Spain's two greatest 20th-century masters, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. The most famous masterpiece in the museum is Picasso's painting Guernica.

El Escorial and Valley of the Fallen – The sixteenth century El Escorial complex is one of Spain´s most unique examples of Renaissance architecture, mirroring of the ideas and will of King Felipe II. The Valley of the Fallen, a monument intended to commemorate those who died during the Spanish Civil War, was ordered to be built by General Franco. The monument boasts the largest granite cross in the world, and houses the graves of both Nationalist and Republican soldiers, along with that of General Franco. 

Medieval Route –This excursion includes visits to two castles – Coca and Cuéllar or Turegano and Pedraza castles – each with their own important history and architectural styles. The excursion also includes visits to a 16th century monastery, the Herrero winery, and a prehistoric cave.

Toledo – Known as the “Imperial City” and as the “City of the Three Cultures” Toledo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its extensive cultural and monumental significance. Monument visits include the Isabelline style Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes, El Transito medieval synagogue and Sephardi museum, boasting one of Spain´s most splendid examples of Mudéjar architecture, and the Church of Santo Tome, which showcases El Greco´s “El Entierro del Señor de Orgaz” painting.

Valsain Mountains – Spain´s Sierra de Guadarrama national park is not only a historic Spanish Civil War battle site, but was also King Carlos III’s royal fishing and hunting grounds. It was here, too, that Ernest Hemingway situated his famous novel For Whom the Bell Tolls  This excursion gives students an excursion to channel their outdoorsy sides, while learning  about Spain's past.

Ávila and Salamanca – Ávila is one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Spain. It is World Heritage monument with the Spain's most well-preserved medieval city walls. The Celtic Iberians were the first to leave their mark in Ávila, which is seen in the stone boars around town. In addition, Santa Teresa and San Juan de la Cruz, the renowned poets and mystic writers, were born here. Salamanca, an ancient Celtic city whose historic center has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, includes the oldest university in Spain and the third oldest university in Europe.

Andalucía – This weekend excursion to southern Spain includes visits to Córdoba, Sevilla, and Granada**. Students visit important monuments including the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Mezquita,  one of the most  world's accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture, the Alcázar of Sevilla,  the amazing El Alhambra of Granada, and various neighborhoods illustrating Spain's historical cultural evolution. 

*Only offered Fall and Spring terms

**Two of the three cities will be visited.