When our son traveled to Bilbao, Spain to study abroad for a semester ( Jan. 2013 ), my husband and I decided we would plan a trip to Spain to visit him. We knew we wanted to see Bilbao, but we also wanted to see some of the other highlights of Spain, so we contacted Zicasso to help with an itinerary.
We received emails from two separate travel companies, but in the end decided on these Spain travel specialists out of Madrid. Samuel, the owner of this Spain travel company was our point of contact throughout the process. Samuel was professional, trustworthy and extremely thorough with every detail of our trip. We emailed constantly before, during and after our trip which we completed in May. We had a "wish list" of things to do and he met and surpassed all of our expectations.
We spent 12 days in Spain, four days each in various places. The first four days were spent in the beautiful city of Bilbao visiting our son and his host family. We explored the northern countryside of Spain; the Rioja wine region as well as a day in southern France. We then took a train to the exciting city of Madrid, taking in the history and culture of that area. Finally, after a second train ride, we arrived on the southern coast and the Mediterranean in Andalusia. All three regions were very different and gave us a wonderful sampling of the country of Spain.
By using Zicasso, and then ultimately connecting with this Spain travel company, our trip was a huge success. These Spain travel specialists took all of the guess work out of planning. They made all of the arrangements, made wonderful suggestions, made sure we were always taken care of and made it to all or our destinations. We had some guided tours and then there were days when we were on our own. The guides were all professional, fun and full of information about their country. We loved our trip and will be talking about it for years to come.
Aside from seeing our son who we hadn't seen in four months, we both agree the most memorable part of the trip was not any one place, but rather the country itself and the people we met along the way.
Along with meeting Samuel in Madrid, there were three guides who were part of our trip at various times, Pancho, Rosana, and Nacho . . . they were all warm, engaging and friendly. They speak English, but our son speaks Spanish, so the conversations were lively in both languages. Also, our son's host family was very inviting. We spent a lot of time getting to know them and their family, and learning about Bilbao and the Basque people.
One truly spectacular day was hiking El Cielo in Nerja. Nacho was our guide and we hiked to the top. All along the way, we talked of family, our different cultures, the plant life along the hike, etc . . . we hiked to a 5000 ft. summit above the clouds. It was fabulous. The next day, we were with Nacho again exploring another area, but the best part of that day was when he brought us home to meet his wife and daughter, who was just seven months old. He shared his bonsai expertise ( he has many bonsai trees) as well as a Spanish Omelet his wife had made for us. Those were the moments we'll cherish:) Oh, and the wine is pretty great!
The only thing we would have changed is that we would have liked to know that one of the days we were in Madrid was a holiday. Unfortunately, everything is closed during these holidays, so we were unable to take in some of the sights we had planned to do, like the museums. The other days we were in that area, we had scheduled activities so that one day ( the holiday ) was our only free day, and we couldn't get in to see anything. Still, the trip as a whole was worth every moment and with the holiday being the only bump in the road, it was a great success thanks to Samuel and this Spain travel company.
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