At the end of 2019, we began working with this travel agency to plan what was to be a "milestone" birthday trip to Spain and Portugal in March 2020 for my husband. Little did we know that we would not take this trip until September of 2021. Our original departure date was to have been March 18, 2019; we had to cancel the trip four days before departure due to the pandemic. We were uncertain of what to expect from the agency since the trip was paid in full. To their credit, and much to our relief, they assured us that they could re-book the trip for a later date. As it turns out, the agency would re-book this trip three times before we were finally able to travel, demonstrating an exceptional level of integrity, commitment, and service.
Our long-awaited trip was spectacular!! The itinerary was carefully crafted and customized based on our needs and interests. My husband taught photography for many years and continues to enjoy the hobby; routes, stops, and destinations were selected with this in mind. The support we had from our travel company before and throughout our trip was outstanding. Communication by phone, text, and email was always timely. The agency utilizes a travel application which we downloaded onto our phones; this included our full itinerary, names, and contact information for each of our drivers and guides, tickets and vouchers for all our hotels and activities, QR coded for convenience, plus other helpful information (restaurants, etc). The agency checked in with us several times during the trip to see how things were going (the answer was always GREAT!), they even arranged for the two COVID tests we needed to have during the trip. Everything went perfectly, as planned.
Our itinerary included many fun and interesting tours and activities.
In Portugal, we enjoyed a private boat tour of the Algarve coast and the coastal caves, and an all-day trip exploring the Vicentine Coast.
A two-night stay at a beautiful hotel in the Douro Valley was the perfect opportunity to relax and just enjoy the scenery.
A winery tour and Porto wine tasting was a highlight as was the tour of a family-owned Albariño Cellar in Galicia.
In Seville, we enjoyed a "foodie" tour that included a tasting of traditional-style tapas as well as a full-tasting menu of contemporary-style Spanish dishes.
In Santiago de Compostela we had the opportunity to visit the roof and tower of St James Sanctuary, access to which is limited to only a few fortunate visitors. The view of the Basilica and of the city of Santiago de Compostela is exceptional, and photo opportunities abound.
Some of the most enjoyable moments we had were interactions shared with our drivers and guides, and the people we met on our journey.
For the 11-day Portugal portion of our trip, our travel planner booked the same driver. This was genius on the part of the agency, and it made our trip much more special and unique. Our guide was a native of Lisbon, with a warm and engaging personality and in-depth knowledge of his country, and quickly became a friend and traveling companion. He showed us scenic spots, landmarks, and local restaurants that we would not have ventured into on our own. We speak no Spanish or Portuguese so having someone with those language skills, as well as excellent English, opened doors for us that we would have missed.
Each review is written by a verified traveler who was matched by Zicasso to the reviewed agency. Traveler must have purchased and traveled.
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