If I could give them more than 5 stars, I would!! This travel agency was a fantastic company to work with!! I had a difficult itinerary (I wanted to visit 3 Spanish cities and 3 Portuguese cities in 2 weeks), and they worked tirelessly to provide me different options until they found a routing that would work with minimal extra transportation. I am an extremely picky customer (a perfectionist) and they NEVER stopped revising/tweaking the itinerary until I was perfectly happy. They were also very patient with my hundreds (!) of questions. :-). I also really liked that they had a New York office, so that I could call and talk to someone about options early in the process. Everything about the trip went as smooth as possible! All of the tour guides were wonderful and the drivers were extremely professional and always early. There were lovely "welcome gifts" (e.g., wine, salts, olive tapenade) waiting in my hotels when I first got to Spain and then to Portugal, and representatives checked in on me the day I arrived to both countries. Special touches like these, along with extremely efficient and responsive planning, and great hotels, drivers, and tour guides are what make this a wonderful company. I highly recommend this company (and Zicasso, who provided them for me!).
I am SO glad that we resisted early efforts by other travel agencies to only see Spain this trip and to save Portugal for another visit. It's difficult to get overseas with a family, and there are so many other places on our bucket list, that I'm thrilled we took the time to enjoy and visit both countries during our 2-week trip. They are both beautiful places, with good food and warm people, but they are unique in their own ways (with different languages and culture). I highly recommend that if you have 2 weeks, you visit both countries.
Our itinerary, which worked out great, was as follows:
Fly into Madrid (3 mights), train to Seville (2 nights), driver to Algarve coast (2 nights), driver to Lisbon (3 nights), driver to Porto (3 nights), flight to Barcelona (3 nights), fly home from Barcelona.
I am also glad we opted to go (for our "beach days") to the Algarve Coast in Portugal instead of Costa del Sol in Spain. It was breathtakingly beautiful, even more so that I had seen in pictures. I urge other travelers to check out the Algarve coast for a day or two. Definitely take a 3-hour boat cruise along the coast to see the amazing craggy cliffs, secluded beaches, caves, and stunning blue-green waters.
I would have allotted an extra day in Porto, which is a must-see city. It was so charming that I wish we had had more time to explore it (maybe 3 days instead of 2).
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