"An unusual and great experience" El Barco de Ávila by rexvaughan

El Barco de Ávila Travel Guide: 26 reviews and 116 photos

We spent a marvelous week in Spain at the VaughanTown program meeting and talking with about 15 Spanish folks as well as an equal number of native English speakers from about 6 countries. To assist the Spanish participants in honing their English skills, we ate together, spent time just conversing, did a some short plays and had a wonderful party to wind things up. It was an extremely diverse and most enjoyable group of people which made for an unforgettable week for us. The group ranged in age from 21 to 70 and the professional backgrounds included banking, IT, insurance, Asian art, nuclear physics and on and on. It was a very convivial group so even though the hours appeared to be long, the days flew by in enjoyable activity. Also, we were housed at a 4 star hotel nestled in the Sierra de Gredos in the province of Avila about 2 hours west of Madrid. The hotel was excellent with very nice rooms including a jacuzzi tub in every one, a large and comfortable lounge with a bar and served excellent food for every meal. There was also a pool and gym in a separate building.

The schedule of the program began with breakfast at 9:00 a.m. and concluded with dinner at 9:00 p.m. The days were spent in one on one conversations, some fun and entertaining group activities, and meals together in the attractive dining room. Interspersed in the week were a few phone conversations, both one on one and conference calls, to help the Spaniards feel more comfortable on the telephone. Each of them also prepared and presented a short speech in English.

For any native English speakers, or Spanish folk wanting to improve their English, who like travel and meeting fun and interesting people, I highly reommend this program. The room and board is provided free for the English speakers so it is a great bargain. For more information, visit their website at
Another VTer, VirtualPatrick, has a great page, lots of photos from his experience there, and much detailed information about it. His page is http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/528fc/41c13/

Disclaimer:To set the record straight, it is pure coincidence that my last name and the name of this program is the same. The program is run by Richard Vaughan whom I met for the first time at the program and, so far and he and I could deterime, is not related to me. Now I was born and raised in Oklahoma and he was raised in Oklahoma and Texas so there could well be some blood relationship, but neither he nor I are familiar enough with the Vaughan geneology to know if it exists. I say all this just to assure anyone who reads this page that it is not adverisement for the program. I of course give my hearty endorsement to it but only as someone who had a great experience with the program.

  • Last visit to El Barco de Ávila: Sep 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Comments (2)

  • taigaa001's Profile Photo
    Feb 27, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Nice page and the program seems very fun. I am a Japanese who has been learning English. Also Spain is one of the countries I want to visit. Keep up good work.

  • Slapshot1's Profile Photo
    Oct 26, 2010 at 10:21 PM

    Rex, this sounds like something that Lil and I must do. Thanks for sharing this information with us.


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