The best tour we have ever experienced! Marielena was excellent as were the itinerary, hotels, local guides and food/drink. Great tour plan as the basic strength and Marielena implemented the role of tour director flawlessly. A joy to travel with her!
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We had a wonderful time on the Tuscany/Umbria tour, our first time to visit Italy, and would strongly recommend Amber Road Tours to others. It was great being with a small group of travelers who enjoyed each others’ company as well as the different places and things we experienced. The walking tours were interesting and informative, and we loved the gourmet food and wine that were generously provided. Our tour manager, Tiziana, was exceptional in terms of her knowledge of the places we visited, helpfulness, and all around kindness and cheerfulness.
There were many highlights on this tour but the group meals were special. Most memorable for me were those at A Ver Tavira in Tavira, our first taste of excellent Portuguese cuisine, and the wonderful Momentos in Evora. Here the host and chef came out to meet us and then appeared before every course to explain how he was about to cook it. The young staff were exceptional.
Portugal has a long and eventful history and our tour manager, Miguel Silva, was well versed and gave us detailed insight into both the history and culture. He even taught us some Portuguese. Miguel was a delightful young man who looked after us so very well, to the extent that he guided a friend and I to a special fish restaurant in Tavira and then ate with us on our free evening. From Tavira, via Evora, Lisbon and Coimbra to Porto, from the stunning cathedral in Evora, the beautiful Jéronimos Monastery and Cloister in Lisbon to the Biblioteca Joanina at the Coimbra University, this well thought out itinerary gave us an interesting and very enjoyable experience. Our comfort was ensured in the care shown by the staff in the beautiful hotels in which we stayed.
As expected, a well organised interesting tour. Our tour leader and driver were both exemplary.
We were so pleased with this tour. Laura was amazing, so knowledgeable and caring. All of the local guides were excellent. The itinerary was thoughtful – I loved the double booking to have time in the Scrovegni Chapel. There were many delightful surprises like the cicchetti lunch on Torcello and that wonderful journey up to the high plain in the Dolomites above Bolzano. Even the small stops along the way were well-planned and charming. We enjoyed our time in Moena and Belluno. The included dinner in Follina was just fantastic, as was Al Pompiere in Verona. Thank you for a wonderful trip!
Once upon a time, Portugal sailed forth and “discovered” much of the globe. Right now, that little jewel of a country with its gorgeous scenery is being discovered with a vengeance by tourists and investors, so one needs to rush to see it before it is overrun and changed. At the moment, with its unique, ancient history and complex cultural heritage Portugal remains largely unspoiled. On my FIFTH Amber Road Tour and with the genial assistance of our outstanding, well informed guide Miguel, I greatly enjoyed exploring the dramatically different towns and cities from the Andalusian-inflected far south up all the way up to Porto, which somewhat resembles Portland, OR (!) As always with Amber, our local guides were excellent, and all the elements that go into making a trip hassle-free, comfortable, and interesting had been thought through with each day arranged so that the experience was consistently stimulating and rewarding.
Your new Tour of Portugal is excellent. Starting in the south in beautiful Tavira and nearing the end with a perfect day in the Douro Valley were great bookends. Experiencing the transition from south to north provided varied and always interesting experiences. The hotel locations, always close to city centers, provided easy walking access but just enough separation. Without restating what other reviews mentioned, we do want thank our Tour Leader. Miguel could not have been better. He was well organized, knowledgeable, flexible and always available. Also, your choices for local guides were quite good. In particular, the Lisbon guide and University guide in Coimbra stood out. Thanks for adding Portugal to your Tour options. And, please, don’t change hotels in Tavira . . .attractive, historic with a great staff. Glad we arrived a couple of days early.
The trip to Sicily was wonderful and our tour guide, Mariaelena, was exceptional. Thank you so much!
Amber Road Tours does not disappoint. Our tour guide Enrique’s pride in and historical knowledge of his country was truly outstanding. I would love to see the rest of Spain. Enrique provided so many personal touches like our amazing afternoon at the Prado Museum. The hotels were great and each meal was a feast. We had a good balance between guided expeditions and free time. I appreciate the small group experience. This was, indeed, a cultural journey!
It was so easy to fall in love with Andalucia. Every day the overwhelming beauty of the landscape, the magnificent architecture, the exquisite archaeological artifacts, the friendly locals, the amazing food and, of course, the wine made the tour an intensely wonderful experience. The local guides and Sean did a fantastic job providing the significant historic details and interesting facts at each location.
A few things really set this tour apart. Everyday there was one or more jaw-dropping sites/venues that literally took your breath away. The sensory overload at times simply left me saying “Wow, unbelievable” or “This is crazy”. In addition, we had the pleasure of Sean’s graciousness, taking us to sites and places beyond the scheduled tours. Sometimes we would just pull off the road to visit a small church or monastery or view some amazing scenery. Of course, he always included food in our adventures whether it was coffee with churros or other regional specialties and always tapas along with a beverage or two. He even seemed to time our arrival in Cordoba so we would be among the hundreds of locals witnessing a beautiful procession with life size images. Talk about full immersion into the culture! Everyone in our wonderful group got caught up in Sean’s contagious enthusiasm, love, and passion for his country and Andalucia. There were so many memorable moments on this tour – from the first night’s dinner overlooking the Alhambra to the last night in Seville listening to a charming trio in a square. Our time together just flew by. This was my second tour with Amber Road but certainly not my last, whether it’s back to Spain or another country. Thanks for a fabulous tour, start to finish.
We truly enjoyed our trip to Sicily. Mariaelena told us that we would better understand our parents, families, and ourselves after our visit and she was right. The sights are stunningly beautiful. There was so much charm, warmth and history everywhere. Mariaelena anticipated our every thought and wish. She did so for the entire group from start to finish. She made a wonderful trip become an unforgettable experience. Our THANKS to her and to Amber Road Tours.
This was a wonderful tour and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The sites we were shown were varied, the amount of free time just right, the length of stay in each hotel good, the organization excellent, hotels good, the group size just right. Federica is simply a fantastic tour manager – knowledgeable. a great organizer and it was a pleasure to be with her. I will be happily looking forward to travelling with Amber again
Had a wonderful time on my 5th trip with Amber Roads to Sicily. Mariaelena our guide was as knowledgeable about Sicily as she is about Tuscany. She is a very caring guide who makes sure we were all happy. All the places we visited were interesting and we learned a lot about this part of Italy. Thank you Amber Roads!
Enjoyed my 4th tour with Amber Roads and Laura our tour guide! This places we traveled to were great, food delicious and hotels wonderful!
My tour of Madrid and Central Spain exceeded my expectations. The hotel rooms were well appointed and the food was incredibly delicious. Enrique, our tour guide, and our local guides shared their knowledge of the history, architecture, and people of the cities we visited. I found the tours to be very informative. The highlight of the trip was a guided tour of the Prado Museum. Enrique provided me with a unique and informed perspective on approximately several dozen paintings. It was the richest experience I’ve had by a docent.
Very much enjoyed our first tour with Amber Road Tours. The itinerary was interesting and very informative, although it seemed physically challenging at times for some of the tour participants. Our tour director, Federica, was exceptional in every respect. Can’t say enough positive things about her and her relationships with everyone on this tour. All in all, a great experience.
This tour was my first, and recommended by our friend, Pam Montague, who also attended. The most important aspect of the tour, was our guide, Enrique. His knowledge and passion were extraordinary and the size of the group was small, so we got to go to places not normally on tour agendas. I left Spain with history of culture, art, architecture, and experienced a wide selection of incredible culinary delights! I loved the farm where we saw how cheese products were made, along with Balsamic Reduction, and the Iberian pigs that ate acorns and produced the best ham! Then we had a feast after instruction on how to properly taste wine with various cheese selections. Every day had a new adventure. The hotels were incredible and so welcome after long days of discovery. I felt safe and cared for. All stress of being in a new place was replaced with pure excitement. You even scheduled perfect weather, haha! Thank you!
A very interesting and thoroughly enjoyable tour of Andalucia led by our well informed, thoroughly entertaining and top notch guide Sean. From highlighted and spectacular sights such as the Alhambra in Granada and Cathedral in Seville to less heralded stays in Ronda and Cadiz this tour had an excellent and varied itinerary. The flamenco show, olive oil producer and bull farm provided a perspective of Spanish culture and were also quite interesting. The last section of the ride to the bull farm was a bit bumpy though! Hotels were all good quality and located in central locations for venturing on your own; of which there was a nice balance of free time and included activities. The local guides were all well versed and offered suggestions to enjoy their areas. Included meals were on balance good. Sean also added informal stops that gave us an opportunity of understand the long history of Spain as well as sample the local cuisine. Our fellow travelers were all a pleasure to travel with. We would take this tour again.
This letter is long overdue and I apologize for that. We were on your Sicily tour in May with Mariaelena and had a superb experience. She has to be one of the most warm and caring individuals that we have ever met. She greets you with a smile in the morning and it continues all day into the night. We had an unfortunate medical emergency in Noto and she was with my wife holding her hand when they stitched her up in the hospital in Siracuse. She was extremely knowledgeable and you could tell that she had a deep love of Sicily and especially all of the people that she dealt with during the tour. The trip was well planned out with all of the hotels located centrally in the cities we visited. The hotels were all charming and each one had their own character. The local guides who assisted Mariaelena were all excellent. This was our first trip with Amber Tours and our tenth trip in Europe and we were so pleased with this tour and would most certainly use Amber Road Tours again.
We found this to be a superb tour. The itinerary provided an excellent combination of beautiful scenery and historical and cultural fascination. The pace was just right and the tour leader, Andrej, added much value with his deep local knowledge and organising skills which made everything run smoothly.
We have just completed our second tour with Amber and we will be back. We had not realised when booking the tour that it was scheduled for only the second time but it worked beautifully. Nicely paced, varied and interesting. We felt we had a good overview of rural and urban of Portugal and balance of the two at the end. Miguel was an excellent guide. Knowledgeable, attentive, charming, thorough and with a great sense of humour. Amber’s formula works and we really enjoyed the company of our group.
Excellent tour and excursion. Despite that there were just two men and the rest women, (and I was one of the men) we had a wonderful time. Our tour manager Mariaelena was lively, efficient, much fun, informative and caring for everyone in the group. Sicily is beautiful and the history (provided by local tour guides) was amazing. We stayed in beautiful hotels in great locations as we traveled around the island. We saw many historic ruins which had wonderful backgrounds, etc. We will always remember this trip as being one of our best and hope we can do others in the future. We like the idea that everything is well planned for us to have a good time. Also, the smaller group allowed us to get to know the others in the group better.
This was our 4th trip with Amber Road Tours…obviously we love them! Federica was our amazing guide through this beautiful area of Italy. She was so astute as to the needs of each of her travelers. She was knowledgeable about every sight, and could answer any question easily. She made it a point to get to know each traveler and see to their comforts. The tour included some beautiful sights…this is one of the only trips that actually take you to The Last Supper in Milan. Loved seeing the gardens and palazzos, and the countryside that is so different from other parts of Italy. The food was excellent and the hotels were wonderful…most with lake views. We would highly recommend Amber Road Tours to see this part of Italy.
We just completed our 4th trip with Amber Road & it was definitely another winner! From South to North, we enjoyed wandering along the coast & inland. We wish we had arrived in Tavira 2-3 days in advance rather than 1 day since the hotel was SUPERB & the area was interesting and relaxing. We have a preference for small towns, but also really liked Lisbon & Porto. The Douro River Valley was a wonderful day with great memories of scenery, wine & food. Our Tour Director, Miguel, was OUTSTANDING – really good at sharing his country’s history, culture & current events. He was also fun, engaging & attentive to all travelers’ needs. Even the “technical”/”comfort” stops were made interesting by choosing out-of-the way & unique locations. The group meals were perfect – top-notch, out-of-the-ordinary & delicious. Our favorite hotels were Pousada Convento de Tavira and Quinta das Lagrimas/Coimbra.
Thank you for offering the tour to Portugal and we are already dreaming of our next adventure with Amber Road Tours.
Wonderful tour! We packed so much into 12 days and learned a lot about all aspects of Portuguese life. Cities and villages, seaside and rivers, churches and palaces, cathedrals, universities and castles, ceramics, cork, songs and wine. Good mix of modern hotels and hotels in older buildings. And the food was equally varied, with the memorable highlight of Jorge’s (in equal parts chef and showman) superb meal at Momentos in Évora. All of this was beautifully orchestrated by Miguel, our indefatigable tour guide, who showed us his country with humour, charm and unfailing efficiency.