My wife and I visited Portugal for 11 days in September 2018 to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. This was the best vacation trip I have ever had in my life! We had never worked with Zicasso before and we had never taken a trip where we relied on and arranged for transportation, day trips, accommodations, etc. through an in-country travel agency. Our travel planner and the folks at her company did a phenomenal job. Everything worked perfectly. At the trip planning stage our travel planner was charming, enthusiastic and knowledgeable in helping us plan our trip. We spent 5 nights in Porto and 6 nights in Lisbon. All the arrangements were seamless, from pick up at the airport, to travel to Porto, to meeting our guides for city tours and day trips, to travel to Lisbon, to hotel arrangements. Everything was top shelf and exactly (or better) than promised. All of the people that guided us on our trip were great. They were all very friendly, funny, and engaging. These are people who enjoy what they do and we enjoyed seeing them and spending time with them each day. Using this travel planner and her team we were able to see so much more than we would have on our own. Our guides knew where to go, what time to go, where to park, where to get the tickets and what attractions were worth seeing. They made recommendations for restaurants, museums, and walking tours for the days we toured on our own. Truly an outstanding experience.
First, let me say that the entire trip was outstanding and it is very difficult to pick out what we enjoyed most. But let me give you a few highlights. We really enjoyed Porto. The tour and wine tasting in Gaia was delightful. Our guide took us on a day trip to the Douro Valley where we visited a winery and had a picnic lunch that was magical. The day trip with our guide to Geres National Park was full of nature and fun, including our guide completely surprising me with a birthday cake at lunch on my birthday! On the way to Lisbon, our guide took us to Tomar and the Convento de Christo, where the tour, the architecture, and the information about the Templars was fascinating. Our guide took us to Sintra to see the Quinta da Regaleira, he took us to a delightful wine tasting in the Alentejo region and we visited Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of mainland Europe, to see the cliffs. We took a sunset sail on a 43 foot sail boat that was both beautiful and exciting. And we will never forget our driver as she laughed and maneuvered the van through the streets of Alfama on the way to our Fado dinner. I could go on, but it was all wonderful.
We have discussed this topic since our return. No matter how hard we try, we never seem to be able to sit still on vacation and just chill out. We would not want to have missed any of the things we did, so we thought it would have been great to add about three days onto the end of our trip and visit the Algarve and perhaps just sit on the beach or enjoy a swimming pool and reflect on what we had just experienced.
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