We were impressed with the well-planned trip presentations of the two travel agencies provided by Zicasso. Having never been to Spain, it was helpful to have pictures and detailed descriptions of sights, cities and activities in the proposals. Both were excellent in their communication, knowledge and professionalism. It was a tough decision, but we went with the agency that we felt better understood our travel style.
This travel company was the right choice! Our travel specialist was enthusiastic and responsive to all our needs, in both planning and during travel. We had an on-the-spot change in one of our hotels and our agent immediately responded and helped. A few questions came up during our trip and our agent was always available to answer them. It was like having a "Spanish friend" who knew how to troubleshoot any issue.
We prefer staying in artful boutique hotels within walking distance to most major sites since we like "walking a city" to get a sense of the neighborhoods and locals. We also enjoy off-the-beaten path, unique experiences, art, architecture, poetry and food. Our agent fulfilled all our expectations, with some delightful surprises. A few examples: I told our agent that I was a fan of Spain's famous poet-writer Federico Garcia Lorca and he chose a Granada hotel that had Lorca as a theme. We're jazz lovers and in Sevilla, our lovely hotel was centrally located and a few blocks from a great jazz club and fabulous restaurant. He truly customized our trip!
This agent knows places to go in Spain. He recommended a 14th century convent that was converted into a hotel and said it would be a "memorable" experience. And it was!
My husband and I give this company "6 Stars" out of 5!
The sub-cultures in Spain were very interesting...from the Basque country of northern Spain to central Madrid and southern Andalusia. Most fascinating was the Islamic influence from the 8th-15th centuries in the architecture of southern Spain, such as the World Heritage Sites of Cordoba's Mezquita Mosque and Granada's Alhambra Palace.
Another World Heritage Site, Toledo, in central Spain was fascinating. Known as the "city of three cultures" because Christians, Arabs and Jews lived together for centuries, and this cultural triptcyh is reflected in the art and architecture. It was a reminder that co-existence is possible.
The dramatic white-hill town of Ronda with its steep gorge and sprawling hills took our breath away.
A food highlight was a private pinxtos (tapas) tour in San Sebastian. We went to five top restaurants with Michelin quality food and dazzling presentations with wine pairings. We also had the world's best cheesecake (really), a hybrid of creme brulee and cheesecake. Unforgettable gastronomic high!
I would plan further ahead than the 2 1/2 months before our trip. Since we were traveling during off-tourist season, late September to mid-October, we thought our spontaneous decision to visit Spain wouldn't pose too many challenges in accommodations. We were mistaken. Some of the first choice hotels were fully booked, especially those with sea views.
Each review is written by a verified traveler who was matched by Zicasso to the reviewed agency. Traveler must have purchased and traveled.
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