Spain was a "trip of a lifetime" for me; one I've wanted to go on for over 50 years! So a dream that was a long-time coming. But it met my expectations.
My contact through Zicasso was this travel agent and her company. We had a couple mishaps (missed/miscommunicated train connections; a Tapas Tour/Flamenco Show in Seville that was misbooked--by the provider, not by our agent.) But our agent made it 'Right' by reimbursing us appropriately and providing us with a Tapas Tour/Flamenco Show in Granada that exceeded ALL our expectations and was probably a LOT better than the one we missed in Seville!
All the hotels (mostly 4*, one that was 3*) that she arranged were exceptional boutique hotels that were in perfect locations and provided us with memories that will last a lifetime.
The tours that she arranged ranged from 5* (on a 1-5 scale with 5 being exceptionally good) to 4*. The 5* tours were the tour guide in Toledo (SO good and accommodative--really exceptional), the Triana Mercado Tour and Cooking Class in Seville (the absolute highlight of our Seville stay and probably the highlight of the trip for my grandson), the Cordoba Tour (again, extremely good with a very knowledgeable guide), the Granada Tapas Tour and Flamenco Show guide who took us places we would never have found on our own and--for the tapas--we revisited later during our trip because they were so enjoyable and a great value, and finally the Alhambra Tour, again with a very knowledgeable, eager to please guide.
I would definitely use Zicasso and this travel agent again.
See all of the above. The lodgings at which we stayed that we loved were: The hotels in Madrid, Toledo (our absolute favorite by far--I wish we had more time here, just 2 nights), Seville (I think I would prefer staying in Cordoba next time though this was a very nice, charming, historic establishment), Ronda, and Granada (perfect location and very, very nice but if I had more money and go back, I will stay at the Parador there or at Hotel America.) EVERY place we stayed had staff that were wonderful to us and I would highly recommend.
My favorite places were Segovia (absolutely LOVED this town and would stay here for a couple nights and take day trips to Avila and Salamanca from here), Toledo, Cordoba, and Granada. Would love to revisit some day.
Stay in Segovia and Toledo rather than Madrid. Though I was glad to stay in Madrid this time as we had ample time to explore all 3 famous Art Museums, the Retiro Park, the Botanical Gardens, the Cathedrals crypts, and the Plaza Major and Plaza del Sol. Just don't really need to see them again.
Stay in Cordoba--really, really loved this town. Seville just didn't 'do it' for us as so many rave about it and we spent the longest time here. Do a day trip to Jerez de la Frontera for the famous Horse Show as I wasn't able to do it this trip. Would probably do an Olive Oil Tour as well but would do it from Cordoba.
Ronda was really nice but you don't need 2 nights here; I would rather have stayed longer in Toledo and Granada.
Stay longer in Granada. LOVED this town!
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