Spotlight on Spain

Spain is a country full of history and modern delights. It is also, in essence, where Hart Travel Partners began.

I was born to an English father and a Spanish mother, and spent much of my childhood in Spain. While I was studying at university, I led my first group of teachers and students on an educational trip to Spain during spring break. That was a first tour of many, which launched my career in educational travel and eventually the founding of Hart Travel Partners. So it is a country near and dear to my heart.

Spain is as varied as its people, landscapes, and history. A mosaic of cultural diversity, Spain boasts a proud legacy influenced by the Romans, Moors, Jews, Christians and others as they crisscrossed the land throughout history.

Along with cultural diversity, examples of Spanish duende can be found everywhere. Loosely translated as a heightened state of emotion, expression and authenticity, duende most often refers to the passion Spanish people bring to all of their pursuits, including cuisine, art, architecture, sport, flamenco dance and music.

This is excellent news for educators, as it means there is almost no subject you can teach that wouldn’t benefit from a visit to Spain. Madrid, its capital city and traditional heart, is home to artistic treasures by El Greco, Goya and Velazquez, while Barcelona features a fantastic Picasso Museum.

If architecture is your interest, Barcelona allows you explore the transformational Modernist architecture of Antoni Gaudí, while historical landmarks, such as the royal sixteenth century El Escorial monastery complex and the Valley of the Fallen, a touchstone of 20th-century Spanish architecture, provide historical context.

In recent years, Spain has been best known for being in the vanguard of a culinary revolution, with famous eateries in the northeast, such as El Bulli and Arzak, gaining recognition worldwide. But even the simplest Spanish meal is cause for celebration, and there is perhaps no better way to experience this country by tasting its cuisine.

A few days in Madrid affords you the opportunity to sample typical Spanish foods, such as paella, tapas, and ham—a staple of the Spanish diet. Journey to Toledo, and you can indulge in local delights such as migas, partridge and carcamusas. From traditional food markets to high-end restaurants, the possibilities for sampling fresh and creative food, made with love, are endless!

History buffs will enjoy spending time in Córdoba, which served as the seat of the Islamic emirate of al-Andalus in the 8th century. The Alhambra, in Granada, is a complex of royal palaces, mosques, baths, and shops, and will appeal to historians and architects alike, as will the Cathedral of Seville, which beautifully reflects the fusion of Moorish and Christian cultures.

Spain is also a bustling, modern country. For example, our Business in Spain and Portugal travel program explores how Spanish companies fit into the global economy.

Because of HTP’s unique relationship with Spain, we welcome any special request or idea you may want to incorporate into your travel program. We just can’t wait to share this magnificent place with you. Contact us today to get started. Buen viaje!

Kind Regards,

Steve Hart
Hart Travel Partners