If there were a rating that was higher than five stars, I would give that rating to this travel company. The trip was fantastic, we felt well taken care of at every step of the way. The company was careful to listen to our interests, and design a trip for us that we would enjoy; they were responsive and flexible, when we wanted an earlier pickup than they recommended, they quickly agreed; when we were tired and wanted part of a day off, they immediately agreed.
There were so many amazing parts of this trip, it is hard to narrow down the most memorable parts. Certainly the government owned inns in historic buildings were a delight, one meal in one of them was especially memorable (wild boar). The mountain town built in and around huge boulders was amazing, these boulders sometimes formed the roof, and sometimes a wall of a house, and one house was in the crack between two boulders that were touching each other. The guides were excellent, both in suggesting places of interest and in telling us the stories associated with each place. We learned a lot about Portuguese history, food, and culture, all delivered with humor and warmth by our guides. One guide helped us confront an unexpected setback, when we had bought a ticket to see a monastery and a palace, only to find that there was a strike of government employees and that a major part of the tour was no longer possible that day. She negotiated with the director of the palace/monastery, and he personally gave us a tour of the place, showing us things that would not have been on any regular tour, including models of the statues that were later built and the internal workings of the bells and the clock on the church.
I also have to commend the company for its ability to deal with any of our travel anxieties, from how to get from place to place, to how to negotiate the airport for our return flight.
The personalities of the main employees were delightful, making the entire trip fun, and exposing us to the real portugal, the people.
We might have stopped in a couple fewer cities, and stayed a bit longer in others, but that is about all I would change.
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