This is the first time we (my husband and I) used a travel agent to fully book our holiday itinerary. I usually do the research to book everything myself but I didn’t have the time and since it's our first time visiting Spain, thought we would give travel agent route a try. We were given 2 companies through Zicasso and decide to go with this agency as I thought our agent was giving me a bit more of direction on what could be missed and what we shouldn’t miss based on our discussion.Our original plan was either to do Madrid and Barcelona or just head to Seville and Cordoba. In the end, we decided we wanted to go to San Sebastian (as we are total foodies) and Barcelona. It was advised by the travel agent, if we could, we should not miss Madrid. I didn’t want to break the trip up too much trying to see too many cites when we only had 8 nights. We did end up with one night in Madrid, 3 nights in San Sebastian and 4 nights in Barcelona. We were glad we got a day in Madrid, the tour of Prado and Habsburg district was fantastic. We arrived in the late morning to enjoy the city a bit on our own before our tour in the late afternoon and ended with a delightful light meal at our guide's recommendation near where we ended our tour. This would have been missed had the agent not encourage us to visit Madrid.
Unfortunately, I had injured myself a month prior to our trip and could not manage long walks and asked our agent's help in finding scooters in each city. He did a bit of research and found companies in each of the cities and took care of the all the bookings and delivery to the hotels. We had a slight problem in San Sebastian with the type of scooter they sent but I emailed the agent and he took care of contacting the company and try to sort, even responding to my email on Sunday.
We always felt we had someone in the same country and same time zone that could help if we were in a bind that knew the details of our trip to assist and tweak as needed. I think we would have had a great trip to Spain planning on our own but using this agency made it a fantastic trip. Everything was seamless, the drivers were all professional and on time, the guides were fantastic and the hotels were great. Would not hesitate to use them again for our next trip to Spain...maybe back to Barcelona after Sagrada Família is completed. I would highly recommend this company.
All the tours were memorable and having private tours made a big difference. The guides were wonderful; we felt like we had a distant colleague at each of the cities, where we knew no one, who welcomed us and showed us around. We learned a lot about each places and never felt rushed and were at very good pace. We also had enough free times to wonder on our own and explore.
Great moments: Going to Prado to see Velázquez, Greco, Goya etc...; walking though beautiful San Sebastian and eating our way through the Pintxos bars where we didn't have to point at food on the counter but eating what was best at each bar by someone who knew what to order; Rioja winery tours and visiting the town of LaGuardia with locals trying to help us find rosary (that was a priceless moment belonging in a scene from a movie); all the amazing architecture and art in Barcelona and our food tour that included such variety of food (did a lot of gift shopping while on this tour) and finally, a memorable meal a Michelin Star restaurant.
Couple things we would have done differently, would like to have dined at one of the Michelin Star to just experience that in the Basque region. We did Barcelona as the last city due to the hotel we really wanted to stay being fully booked during the earlier part of the week. This hit our San Sebastian stop as first part of our trip ( Sun – Tue) the problem is that if you want to hit any of the Michelin star restaurants, they are mostly closed Sunday – Tuesday, which I was not aware when deciding. Our cooking class, due to schedule issues ended up being a private class, we had fun and ate very well but would have enjoyed a group class....cooking and eating is very social.
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