Over the past several years, we have traveled to Greece, Croatia, France, and Turkey and have found the best way to plan a trip is to utilize the services of a travel agent within the country to which we are traveling. When my husband and I decided to travel to Spain this summer with my sister and brother-in-law, we began by searching the internet for a reputable travel agency in Spain. This is how we discovered Zicasso. Zicasso linked us to two travel agencies in Spain (both seemed excellent) and we opted to continue our planning with our travel agency.
Right from the start, I could tell that our travel agent at this company understood the kind of trip we wanted. She went on to exceed all of our initial impressions. We spent three weeks traveling to Barcelona, Granada, Nerja, Ronda, Cadiz, Sevilla, Cordoba, Toledo, and Madrid. Our initial contact with our agent was through emails. She was always immediate in her responses as we worked through all of the initial decisions. She offered suggestions and guidance but always listened. The hotel choices she offered were always exactly what we had in mind. The most impressive piece was after we had booked the trip and finalized the itinerary, a thick envelope arrived at my home. Inside were separate packets (each in its own labeled plastic pouch) that included all of the details for that city... sturdy maps with all of the important locations we would need highlighted, a typed history of the city, a typed list of sights and highlights we might want to see, restaurant suggestions, etc., etc.
In addition to the city packets, there was a booklet of tear-out vouchers for all of the hotels, an envelope of other vouchers for transfers, show tickets, tours, museum access cards, train tickets...in short everything we needed and all so thoroughly organized. All of the information for the trip was then organized into a master day-by-day itinerary that broke down hotel information as well as any special events we had planned for that city along with a notation as to whether a voucher or ticket was needed for a particular event.
Our agent understood the exact balance we wanted for planned excursions and time on our own. We used a combination of domestic flights, rental car, and high-speed trains to travel around the country. We took care of the flight on our own but our agent took care of all the other travel, including transfers to and from airports and train stations. When our agent discovered that my sister has celiac disease, she sent a sheet of information that would be helpful when ordering gluten free meals in Spain! I cannot recommend this company highly enough. It is the best travel agency we've ever worked with and we do quite a bit of travelling. I am so glad that I found Zicasso and will use them to find travel agents in other countries in the future! Both Zicasso and this travel agency have my highest recommendation. Thank you for a wonderful trip!
It's hard to pick a favorite because the trip was so varied. We loved Barcelona and would like to go back there one day so that was high on our list. The Alhambra in Granada is a must-see. Nerja was beautiful and relaxing. Sevilla is a beautiful city with so much history and architecture (and some of our favorite restaurants!). The beach in Cadiz was beautiful. And the museums in Madrid were among the best in the world.
The only thing we would have done differently was reverse the entire order, beginning in Madrid and ending in Barcelona. This had nothing to do with our the travel agency or the pre-planning but we had a few days of rain in Barcelona and an uncharacteristically hot heat wave in Cadiz, Spain, and Cordoba. If we had reversed the order, we would have had perfect weather all the way through but there's no way this could have been predicted.
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