Learning a new language, really learning it, requires time, effort and fun.
That’s right, fun. And not just fun in the classroom—stories and songs and games—but fun outside of the classroom—more stories and songs and games . . . and exploration and adventures, too.
In the classroom, we’re led by native speakers: experienced teachers with a thorough curriculum and an understanding that what we really want to gain is a knowledge of and an enthusiasm for all things Spanish—the beautiful language, the rich culture, the gorgeous countryside.
Outside the classroom, we’re led by a pair of dynamic Overland leaders. Enthusiastic and energetic, your Overland leaders will lead you on hikes out of the villages and up into the mountains. Great hiking and great camaraderie every afternoon . . . and on the weekends, too.
Imagine a summer filled with fun and friends, language and exploration. Imagine yourself in the Pyrenees with us as you discover the beauty and variety of Spain.
My favorite part of the trip was making 11 amazing friends and getting to experience one of the most beautiful places in the world with all of them.
- Leah Watt, Lake Hill, New York
Fall in love with Spain!
Day 1: Trip Start in Barcelona
We’ll meet in Barcelona and spend the day getting to know each other before making our way to the Pyrenees, our home for the next three weeks.
Days 2-6: Language Class, Hikes & Exploration in Torla
The following day we’ll head to Torla, a small village situated along the Rio Ara in the Ordesa Valley. We will meet our Spanish teachers and tour the village, getting an introduction to the language, culture and history of the area. In the mornings, we will attend Spanish class. Interactive and fun, classes will emphasize speaking skills and cover grammar and vocabulary. One class will take us to a nearby farm where we’ll spend time with local goat farmers and learn how to make cheese. In the afternoons, we’ll hike in the Ordesa Valley, passing waterfalls, rolling green meadows and an abandoned village. The hikes will start small and build to our first weekend excursion.
Days 7 & 8: Weekend Hiking Trip in Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park
On the weekend, we’ll take a break from classes to explore the mountains. We’ll hike through the deep canyons of Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park—reaching about 7,000 feet—where we’ll spend the night at a mountain hut. The next morning, we’ll explore the dramatic glacier-carved landscape around the hut before hiking back to Torla, admiring the canyon’s high walls and waterfalls along the way.
Days 9-13: Language Class, Hikes & Exploration in the Tena Valley
Next, we’ll head to the beautiful Tena Valley, our home base for the second half of the trip. We’ll continue to hone our language skills through morning classes and explore the valley by foot every afternoon. One day, Spanish class will take the form of a guided excursion. With our teachers, we’ll visit a monastery dating back to the Middle Ages. Spanish language learning through a lens of local history and culture is the focus. Each afternoon hike offers something different—a new view, landscape and opportunity to tackle a challenge and grow as a group.
Days 14 & 15: Weekend Hiking Trip in the Tena Valley
On our second weekend, we’ll head out for another excursion in the mountains. We’ll spend a full day hiking to a mountain hut situated on the edge of a gorgeous alpine reservoir—just a stone’s throw from the French border. The following day, we’ll explore the rocky landscape around the hut before returning to our accommodations in the heart of the Tena Valley.
Days 16-18: Language Class, Hikes & Exploration in the Tena Valley
For our final days together in the Pyrenees, we’ll resume our normal weekday schedule and continue to explore, hike and build confidence in the Spanish language through activities. As a final challenge, we’ll hike to a nearby summit for spectacular panoramic views. From this spot, we will view all of the places we’ve visited over the past week and reflect on our time spent discovering the beauty of the Spanish Pyrenees.
Days 19 & 20: Trip End
On our last full day together in Spain, we’ll return to Barcelona for our final dinner, where we’ll celebrate three incredible weeks of fun, friendship and accomplishment.
15 nights in private group accommodations in the Pyrenees with private group rooms.
2 nights in alpine huts with toilets, sleeping bunks and no showers.
2 nights in a hostel in Barcelona with private group rooms. Itinerary may vary by group and is subject to change.
Improve your Spanish, hike in the Pyrenees and experience Spanish culture.
Students going on Language & Hiking Spain should prepare for:
- Full days of outdoor activities led by two caring Overland leaders
- Day hikes to viewpoints and mountaintops
- 12 days of Spanish class for 4 hours each day
- A fun, supportive and wholesome Overland experience
We expect you to arrive to your trip fully prepared for all activities.
Preparing for the Hiking
On Language & Hiking Spain, you should be prepared for day hikes in the Pyrenees Mountains on well-established trails through alpine environments. The terrain of the Pyrenees ranges from gentle and rolling to steep and rocky and can be challenging at times. You may reach an elevation higher than 8,000 feet for portions of the hikes in the Pyrenees. In the month before your trip, you should break-in your hiking boots (wear them a lot!) and complete the pre-trip training (see below). Once on your trip, you'll find that enthusiasm and a positive attitude will help to make the trip a success for you... and for everyone in your group.
- 4 weeks before your trip: three 30-minute hikes or walks in your boots.
- 3 weeks before your trip: three 1-hour hikes or walks in your boots.
- 2 weeks before your trip: three 90 minute hikes or walks in your boots with a backpack loaded with 10% of your body weight.
- 1 week before your trip: three 2-hour hikes or walks in your boots with a backpack loaded with 20% of your body weight.
Preparing for Class
Overland's language programs require dedication to learning a language and enthusiasm about experiencing a new culture. Your classes will be conducted exclusively in Spanish and you will speak Spanish outside of class for approximately two hours per day. Your group will be divided into smaller language classes upon arrival; the classes will focus on speaking and listening comprehension in order to accommodate a range of skill levels. We require you arrive with at least one year of classroom instruction, or the equivalent experience (time spent studying abroad, for example), in Spanish.
Preparing for an Overland Experience
Overland trips are wholesome, structured experiences with high expectations of each student’s behavior. You are expected to be enthusiastic, positive, helpful and supportive of your trip mates and your leaders. We ask that you leave your cell phone and electronics at home (cameras are always welcome), so you can fully engage with your group and your trip. Arriving ready for a challenge—and prepared to contribute to an enthusiastic group—will go a long way toward creating a successful trip. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss preparing for your Overland trip!