Amber Road has scored top marks again. The tour was full of variety – so many wonderful little towns full of history, amazing stories and picturesque winding streets. Anna was the perfect guide – charming, caring, efficient and funny. We thoroughly enjoyed being with her. Local guides were good too – particularly Emanuella. Top spot was probably Ravello, but towns in Puglia (e.g. Alberobello, Matera, Ostuni and Trani) ran it close.
Comments Leave a comment
This was our second tour with Amber which was just as great as our first in Tuscany. So we can say that all the hotels were well thought out and usually located in the old districts of the cities that we visited. What makes each tour so interesting and exciting is first, Amber’s choice of our tour guide/ administrator, and in this case did Sean ever deliver the goods.Not only does he have the most extensive knowledge of his country, but he also adds a special spice by sharing his opinions which sometimes may be controversial but has the effect of always engaging the group. Often his knowledge surpasses the local guides in each city and would later add more interesting information, especially over a glass of beer and tapas, which was the case everywhere we went. The things we learnt while having a beer was fun, interesting and was instrumental in getting to know more about Spain and the people in our group. For us planning a paella meal for the group on the second day that we were together was pure genius because it was a fantastic way to break the ice (so to speak) and really start to get to interact with each other, including Sean who was the master of this ceremony and right in his element. Another great highlight was the visit to the farm raising bulls for the bullring and learning about this fascinating way of life for many Spaniards. The host made sure that we saw a demonstration up close, and we even were shown a few basic movements by the matador. Leaving for home was an emotional experience, as saying goodbye to our group seems so final. Part of us wants to stay with each other and yet we know it’s time to go back home.
What a great tour! The landscape, food & hotel accommodations were exceptional. Tiziana was the best tour guide. She was very knowledgeable, caring & funny. We would definitely recommend this tour!
Anna “piano piano” Sagaria was a Tour Manager “fantastica”. She quickly empathised with the group and ensured that we all enjoyed a memorable Tour. I would not hesitate to award the “sassi” Anna – Five Stars! Hotel location and quality were to usual Amber Road high standards. All our local guides were excellent. The Tour Itinerary provided the customary Amber Road high quality mix of relaxing experiences, cultural stimulations and wonderful Italian food. The Tour offered a collection of superb differing experiences at every visit – with personal highlights being Ravello, Matera, Lecce and Trani.
Tuscan Hill Towns was my third tour with Amber Road Tours. The beauty of Tuscany was more than I could possibly absorb. Not only were we surrounded by astounding rolling hills and vineyards, but history was all around and visible as well. I was so surprised and impressed with the remains that the Etruscans left for us to ponder and appreciate. This tour had a nice combination of various activities and something for everyone. And Tiziana pulled it all together wonderfully. Not only is Tiziana extremely knowledgeable and articulate, but she’s a ton of fun. By the end of the tour, all of us were speaking a bit of Italian, which Tiziana patiently taught us. And I think most of us came away with a greater appreciation of Tuscan wines after several tastings at vineyards in the region. All in all, this was a fabulous tour with great food, wine, shopping and people … as well as a very knowledgeable and talented tour director and local guides.
This was my second tour with Amber; the first to Sicily, and both were exceptionally informative, relaxed, and pleasurable. Amber tours are special, not merely because of the itinerary, but the selection of the tour guide/ coordinator/ administrator – the master of ceremonies — who is engaging, personable, and who has extensive knowledge of the culture, the flavors and history of his country. Most hotels are full of local charm and ambiance (with modern comforts) and are well located. Sean’s enthusiasm and knowledge often surpasses the local guides in each city, adding interesting bits of information about the intersecting cultures sprinkled with humor and a bit of chauvinism. Beyond the multiple jaw-dropping monuments of past civilizations, and gorges carved by nature, highlights included the communal preparation of the paella meal, which encouraged the group to interact with each other, a first-rate flamenco performance, a visit to a olive mill press in a picturesque landscape where a memorable lunch was served, a visit to the Picasso Museum in Malaga, a visit to a horse breeding farm, and much more. Sean is exceptionally generous with his time, beyond the scheduled activities, ensuring that everyone in the group was engaged. This was especially welcome for a woman traveling alone.
The Croatia-Bosnia tour re-affirmed our appreciation for the quality of Amber Road’s offerings. Our guide, Andrej, was professional, knowledgeable, thoughtful, very helpful and always looking out for his charges. The various stops were all interesting, and the local guides superb. Accommodations were comfortable and convenient for the group tours as well as independent exploration. The meals were outstanding. We are especially impressed, and appreciative, of the self selection Amber Road promotes that results in diverse yet cohesive groups of people with similar interests, tastes and styles of touring. The Croatia Bosnia tour was a very good combination of challenging and thought provoking content with entertaining, beautiful and educational stops.
This was our third trip to Italy and the best thanks to Amber Road. The planning and follow up by Lisa was excellent. The trip agenda covered a lot! The best of Tuscany and Umbria were explored with our amazing tour director Tiziana and driver Giuseppe. We had been to some of the Tuscan towns on our previous trip but the local guides provided by Amber Road made the history and art come alive unlike doing it on your own. Our group (gruppo) made for comfortable and congenital traveling companions. The hill towns are “really high hills”but we all expended the effort with good humor. This was made easier with Tiziana’s knowledgeable and engaging direction. She made you feel apart of her region. She even helped me with my Italian. The meals were amazing and sharing them with a group made them more special. Before we started this trip we didn’t know if we would like traveling in a group now we can’t wait for our next Amber Road experience!
Andalucia was my second trip with Amber Road Tours in a four month period which indicates my regard for this small boutique firm. Again, as in Sicily, the small group was both interesting and very compatible. The itinerary was perfect offering enough free time for independence and enough planned time with our remarkable guide Sean. The hotels were well centered and quite interesting…the included restaurants offered plentiful, good food. The sightseeing was interesting and gave a wonderful background to all we saw. Sean was remarkable. His knowledge and pride in his country created an exciting background to all we saw and experienced.
This was my first time traveling with a tour company and Amber Roads was definitely the right choice and I was also blessed to have the best group of tour buddies. Andrej is truly a professional at his job and made our days relaxing, informative and fun. I feel like I really got to experience the authentic Bosnia and Croatia. Excellent food, accommodations and the perfect pace. I would definitely choose Amber Roads again. I had an extra early flight out of Pula and all was arranged for me. I was even provided a breakfast to take with me. Thanks Lisa for answering questions and planning before and after travel arrangements. Andrej will be a hard act to follow.
After two months walking the Camino, we were ready to relax, unwind and be pampered and that is exactly what Sean and Amber Roads delivered. The hotels where we stayed were not only central, they were spacious, luxurious and quiet. The bus was comfortable and spacious – no need for seat rotation, we all had great views. Our driver was friendly and punctual and actually extra helpful. Our guide Sean was just the best! What doesn’t he know about Spanish history and culture? His indepth knowledge, enriched our experience. Of course the Andalucia area is spectacular as well. We saw so many historical highlights both natural and man-made, which combined with Sean’s narratives, put the cultural aspects into context. The special lunches and dinners that were arranged, were well thought out and showcased the local cusine, the locations were spectacular and the food was sumptuous. The daily itinerary was busy, yet well balanced with free time. The local guides were excellent especially our guide in Ronda named Jesus who was funny but so professional. He gave us so many suggestions as to what to do in our free time, that our time wasn’t wasted. We had a great time and not only will we be returning to Spain, we will be returning to Amber Roads.
This was our third tour with Amber Roads and it was great fun. We love the small group, minimal time travelling, lots of walking, and “off the beaten path” approach taken by Amber Roads. One of the highlights was the trip to the violin maker’s workshop in Cremona…….something so different and not an experience one would have with a large tour. The concert after was wonderful. Our local guides were very informative and Rita in Bellagio had lots of interesting personal stories about the inhabitants that made the history come to life. Federica was amazing and so accommodating. John has several food sensitivities and couldn’t eat much of the local food but Federica was very helpful making sure that he was well fed. In addition, our local boat trips were well organized. Bellagio on Lake Como and Stresa on Lake Maggiore were so beautiful. I would suggest, if one is taking this trip, to read Beneath a Scarlet Sky. It is the story of Pino Lela, a spy during the war, and, again, brings the history of the area to life.
This was our fourth Amber Road Tour and it was bellissimo. Starting with our excellent and knowledgeable guide Laura along with our competent driver Claudio, this was a trip that was sure perfection. All of the hotels were luxurious and centrally located. The pace of the tour was very good and the Veneto Region along with Alto Adige was very diverse. Starting with beautiful Venice and going all the way north to Bolzano in the Dolomite Mountains made this trip truly unique and memorable. Lake Garda was also very beautiful. Thank you Amber Road for another great itinerary and many beautiful memories.
This was our third Amber Road Tour and our first of Spain and it did not disappoint. As usual with a terrific guide Sean, we had a wonderful experience in a beautiful part of Spain. Like other AR tours we stayed in small, boutique hotels in the heart of each city. We were shuttled around in a large comfortable bus with an experienced and talented driver. A lot of our time was spent eating and drinking which I think is the best part but certainly not to be outdone by the outstanding attractions and cultural icons of Spain. Amber Road has a winning formula for mixing tourist attractions/food/hotels/free time so that there is something for everyone. Sean goes out of his way to make sure everyone is comfortable and happy. Can’t think of anything negative about this or any AR tour that we have experienced. They just get it perfect!
We have traveled to many countries, privately and with various tour companies, and found this tour to be very well organized and led by an exceptional guide. Laura was very professional, personable, calm, attentive to the needs of individuals and the group, and extremely knowledgeable about the sites and cities we visited. Laura’s guidance made this a very enjoyable and informative tour of northern Italy, certainly one of the finest guides we have ever had. I must also add that Claudio, the driver, was very professional and skilled in making this a very safe trip.
We greatly enjoyed the tour. Our tour guide Anna Sagaria was excellent. She was very considerate and efficient in dealing with our dietary needs and mobility problems. We particularly enjoyed our four night stay on the Amalfi Coast – the hotel was excellent, as were the other hotels elsewhere.
This was our second tour with Amber Road, and it didn’t disappoint! Our Tour Manager, Laura, was all that a leader of 18 diverse people should be….extremely knowledable of the area and its history, always enjoyable to be with, and most importantly, unflappable. The hotels were all beautiful and unique, the included dinners were very good, and the cities and towns chosen for this tour couldn’t have been better or more interesting. We adored the bustling city of Verona, filled day and night with people of all ages, and the slightly slower paced town of Bolzano nestled under the Dolomite Mountains and home to the incredible archeaological discovery, the 5300 year old Ice Man, Otzi. We also appreciated the fact that we stayed in each hotel for more than a day or two (a lot less packing and unpacking), and that there was free time built in to pursue our own interests, and to choose our own restaurants.
Finally, a special thank you to Amber Road Tours for always finding the less beaten path and for always going above and beyond for us, the travelers.
We loved our tour of Sicily 2 years ago with Amber Road, and thought that no one could exceed our tour guide Aldo in the areas of expertise, humor and attention to detail. We were wrong! Tiziana was absolutely wonderful! She was a fountain of knowledge, a wonderful teller of stories, and no question asked from our “gruppo” went unanswered. We toured the hill towns of Tuscany & Umbria, and enjoyed the combination of walking tours along with adequate time on our own to explore. The hotels selected for our stay were each unique in their own way, and all wonderful. Our group of 19 bonded from the start, and I’m sure we will remain connected now that we are back in the US. Having two excellent experiences with Amber Road Tours, we are already planning a 3rd. Thank you Jonathan & Sonya for putting together such an enjoyable experience for us, and to Tiziana who was a stellar guide. Oh, and also to Giuseppe, for his expertise in driving us along narrow and winding roads, always with a smile on his face!
The tour was excellent. Laura was a wonderful guide. The hotels were great, especially and first in Venice and the last in Follina (I found the hotel, its service and its decor to be top-notch). The first and last group meals, and the one in Verona, were excellent. With the exception of the local guide for the Bolzano walking tour who was a substitute due to scheduled guide’s illness, the local guides were excellent, especially the one in Padova. There was a lot of walking and stairs, which was fine for me.
A well conceived and organized tour of the Tuscany and Umbria regions, with a manageable small group, comfortable accommodations, and good food, that visited many of the most attractive sites in that part of Italy. Careful, skillful, considerate, good-humored driver, Giuseppe, did his best not to jostle passengers on the not always so smooth Italian roads. Immensely charming, delightful, attentive, and informative tour guide, Mariaelena, made it a truly unforgettable experience. Surely, the best tour guide ever. Nice dinner hosted by owners Jonathan and Sonya. Standout local guides Eleonora in Lucca and Marco in Spoleto, and excellent presentation by Antonella at the Brunello winery near Montalcino.
The tour exposed us to the colorful towns and villages of predominantly Tuscany and Umbria, traveling through majestic valleys and mountainsides.Our guide, Mariaelena, was kind, professional, experienced, and had a deep fund of knowledge of the geography and history of the territory. The food was marvelous. Best tour I have been on, first time I have traveled with Amber Road.
This was our fifth tour with Amber and our first trip outside of Italy. We found the itinerary a great combination of unusual, out of the way places and the more traditional towns like Bilbao and St. Sebastian. The hotels were wonderful and accessible for exploring on our own and the planned meals were all great. Sean proved to be a very conscientious guide with a good knowledge of all things Basque and Spain in general. The small group allowed us to spend time with our fellow travelers and meet people from diverse parts of the world. We truly enjoyed their company throughout the 12 days.
My first time with Amber Road and I loved it. Our tour leader Saverio was fantastic, funny, helpful and kind. The local guides were all very good. It was a very small group so we all got to know each other quite well. Thanks to Amber Roads and to Saverio, tour leader extraordinaire.
This was our 4th Amber Road Tour and although Northern Spain is different it was every bit as good as our previous tours to Italy. The winning combination of exceptional hotels conveniently located, a knowledgeable and helpful Tour Guide and small groups of friendly people from different countries made this another wonderful experience. We also appreciated the support of Lisa Sample in planning our trip before and after the Tour. We look forward to our next Amber Road Tour.
This was our third Amber Roads tour. As usual, the tour exceeded our expectations. Tiziana, our guide, was knowledgeable as well as delightful. We’ve traveled with other tour companies, but have found none that compare. We are looking forward to our next experience.