Our first Amber Road Tour to Milan and the Lake area…..we had a fabulous time and we loved our tour director Federica….her knowledge and enthusiasm for the area were contagious and she always had our back. We were lucky with great weather, wine and food. I was amazed how many little towns were toured on this trip with lots of surprises.
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We had never heard of Amber Roads but could find no negative comments on travel rating websites, so we booked our trip. We were hardly disappointed and now confirmed fans! This was a great excursion from start to finish. A pleasant young man met us, as promised, at Palermo’s airport. The accommodations in the central historic area were spacious. Our permanent guide, Saverio, was fantastic: always cheery, funny, caring and extremely well-informed about Sicily’s history and culture. We should highlight that Laura, the local Palermo expert, was exceptional, but all the local experts were very good. All of the transportation on the tour was comfortable, baggage transfers were handled seamlessly and quickly. Hotel accommodations were very good, the included breakfasts suitable for a variety of tastes. Extensive was the information about the many archeological/historical sites that we visited. Our group numbered 15 which was perfect… congenial, interesting people. The Sicilians we came in contact with were uniformly friendly, warm and helpful. The meals, whether with the group or on our own were almost always very good to excellent and the group meals varied in cuisine. And the wines!!! Without a doubt, we will use Amber Roads for future travel. Bravo!
The Milan and Lombardia tour was a great compliment to the 4 other tours of Italy we have taken with Amber Road and we will remember this area of our favourite country for its incredibly scenic beauty. We were very impressed by all of the hotels on this tour and the experience of eating breakfast while listening to a live harp performance in Milan was over the top. Our tour manager Federica was a wonderful host: warm and attentive, funny, and generous in sharing her vast knowledge of the area.
The recent Tuscany Umbria trip was our first Amber Tour trip and it will not be our last. The trip itinerary was well thought out provided an excellent visit to this lovely part of Italy. Tiziana is a wonderful and caring tour leader and was always there to assist and answer questions. Local guides were excellent. We especially enjoyed the balance of free time to pursue our special interest and guided group time.
The Milan and Lombardia Tour was excellent! The hotels and their locations met our expectations; the range and pace of activities were excellent and included meals were very good — consistent with other Amber Road Tours we have taken. Federica was an excellent trip leader-very knowledgeable, helpful, cheerful, and ‘watchful over our group’. The combination of interesting venue and excellent tour director made this tour an extremely pleasant holiday.
The Andalucia tour was fantastic and exceeded my expectations! All aspects were very good: the sites, the cultural experiences, Sean the guide, and the other tour members. Really enjoyed the little bull fighting demo (and guest participation!) and lunch at the bull farm. We could not have had a better guide than Sean – a very knowledgeable and passionate individual with a great sense of humour. Enjoyed the unplanned tapas session outside the Cadiz market! All in all definitely going to look at some other Amber Road tours!
This was my first Amber Road Tour and I suspect it won’t be my last. I was impressed by the well crafted itinerary: a thoughtful balance of group activities and free time. I especially enjoyed the expert tour guides, the Moorish palaces, the Andalusian horses (my favourite) and the Flamenco dancers. What an interesting bunch of people in our group too. I felt very comfortable as a single person on this tour.
Sean is so proud of his heritage and knowledgeable about Spanish history and culture. He went out of his way to resolve any glitches that came along. Value for money it was a winner.
We enjoyed the tour. The itinerary was interesting. Laura was a wonderful guide!
I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of Sicily. It was well organized, we visited very interesting spots, the local guides were terrific, and our leader Saverio Renda was outstanding – patient, knowledgable, unflappable, good-honored and kind. The accommodations were first rate, the food was excellent, and the wine flowed. This was my first tour, and it made such a strong positive impression on me that I will try the Amber Roads tour to Andalusia soon.
I enjoyed the varied countrysides, the hotels (especially the one in Ronda on the edge of a precipice), the small/exquisite stained glass windows tucked away in inaccessible spaces that were hardly noticeable in several churches and cathedrals, the Flamenco dancers, the Spanish horse show, the bull farm and the “bull fights” with the female calf! Most of all, I appreciated Sean, who provided not only details about cities and monuments, but also shared the soul of Spain with us, through his insights.
I thoroughly enjoyed our tour and appreciate Amber Road’s ability to provide excellent quality by attending to all the parts that contribute to making their tours top rate. The generous assistance of Lisa Sample with our plans before and after the tour is something I have only experienced with Amber Road Tours. Their itineraries seem to be the right mix of everything. They attract people on their tours who contribute to making it such a pleasant experience. Of course, Sean is the one who made the magic happen. I am grateful for his ability to make all we learned and saw real and come alive, adding depth by being the person he is.
This was our fourth or fifth tour with Amber Road and this time we took our sons and their wives for their very first encounter with Italy. All I can say is that I thought there was no way the tours could be improved over previous years, but somehow they just get better and better. The food, the hotels, the itineraries, the tour directors, the transportation all seem to significantly improve each year. Quite simply, Amber Road is the absolutely best way to tour Italy, Everything has been vetted beforehand so there are no surprises. Great restaurants, wonderful side trips, no hidden costs, superb tour buses and incomparable dialog about the area, the history, the wines, the people. Nothing could be more enjoyable – yet I know when we return on our next Amber Road tour, it will be even better than the one we just completed. Somehow the Amber Road people seem to know just the right number of churches to visit, the right amount of exposure to history and museums so that no matter what your interests are, you are enormously comfortable with the planned itinerary – and if you are not, you are always free to opt out on a planned event and spend some additional time shopping or enjoying the local wines at the always plentiful sidewalk cafes. Each of the local guides that we had were absolutely incredible. Well educated, easy to understand and importantly, always entertaining. There are not enough superlatives to describe our tour and the fact that we can’t wait to sign up for yet another Amber Road experience should be proof enough that they are simply the greatest.
Our first taste of Amber Road Tours was a memorable experience, made all the more invigorating and educational by the fantastic efforts of Anna our tour guide. The group of 14 was treated to exceptional hospitality and service throughout the trip which was very well planned with a perfect balance between group activities and individual free time. The local guides were all terrific, however a special mention must go to the brilliant fellow (John-Paul I think) at Castel de Monte and Alberobello – he had us all captivated with his unique theatrical approach. Ravello was just stunning, like being in a dream. Lovely boutique hotel despite the many steps to and fro. Matera and Trani were the other two stand-out highlights amongst many other wonderful southern Italian experiences. And the food of course – how could you not love it! This was definitely a small group tour of the highest standard with a well considered and relaxed pace including a nice diversity of activities and special villages. We would highly recommend Amber Road to any traveller wanting to be seduced by the charms of Southern Italy without being herded through places following a silly umbrella!
An excellent look at the Moorish culture, Christian rulers, amazing architecture and artwork, flamenco, sherry, bullfighting, Andalusian/Spanish horse and bull breeding. Foodies will marvel at the bounty of seafood and fish, not to mention the variety of inexpensive tapas, wines and beer available around every corner. The paella cooking class was loads of fun; Caleta Beach in Cadiz offered an opportunity to spend some relaxing beach time; climbing down to the bottom of the Tajo Gorge in Ronda was rather challenging; and mile after mile of some of the 70 million olive trees in Andalucia really helped explain the economy of the region. I so appreciate that we spent so little time on the bus during this trip. Fellow travelers and a knowledgeable, gentle and fun guide, Sean, who loves his country and delights in sharing it with others, made this trip stand as one of the best of the many tours we have taken. Sean was very giving of his time, often accompanying some of us for non-included meals and tapas. Included meals were varied, tasty and expansive. Try the tinto de verano — much better than sangria!
What a great trip! Thoroughly enjoyed seeing Basilicata and Apulia through the eyes of our wonderful host, Anna. She was amazing. Not only her knowledge of the area but also her ability to bond with all of us and to make sure everything went smoothly. She was able to connect to all the restaurants and make sure that the guests with food issues were well taken care of. That in itself, is impressive! We loved meeting our new folks from Australia and Great Britain, as well as Virginia and also sharing this experience with other members of our Italian Conversation “Gruppo”.
When asked at the farewell dinner what part of the trip we all liked the most: Trani, Lecce and Matera along with Paestum came through as the best parts of the tour. Thank you also to Amber Road Tours for suggesting our fabulous hotel in Naples, the Palazzo Decumani – gorgeous location, friendly helpful staff, and great, comfortable rooms.
I joined this tour with two of my close friends after an exhaustive online search for a small group tour. We could not have been more pleased with our experience with Amber Road. Every step of the way, the company provided us with the info we needed to make sure our vacation was as memorable as possible. Upon meeting our tour guide Mariaelena at the Florence airport, we immediately knew we were in good hands. From that point until the day we were dropped off at our hotel in Florence, everything was taken care of. Mariaelena was marvelous – she is not only incredibly knowledgeable about Tuscany and Umbria but is just as passionate about making sure every one of us was comfortable and having a great experience. Her laughter was infectious and her teasing relationship with our amazing driver, Tiziano, kept us in stitches on our bus rides. The itinerary was very carefully put together to minimize time on the bus and allow us to really get to know the towns and villages. The hotels, restaurants and attractions we visited were fantastic! Even when we were “on our own”, Mariaelena always had great suggestions for where to eat and what to do and she seemed to magically appear even when we weren’t expecting to see her. In each town/city, we had a local guide. Some were better than others but all of them brought very detailed knowledge that you would not get otherwise. We had only 7 people on the tour so we had a small “mini-bus” which was very comfortable. Even in Florence with the huge crowds, we had tickets for the major attractions and were able to avoid waiting in long lines. We met Jonathan and Sonia (the owners) twice – once for dinner and then for breakfast as we were leaving Spoleto. It’s great that they try to meet with all of the tours that come to that region so that they can hear (and see) first-hand how their customers feel. We look forward to doing another tour with Amber Road in the future.
I absolutely loved this tour and the places that were visited. This was a wonderful introduction to both Spain and the Andalucia area. There are too many highlights to mention, but I will make an exception. Sean is a marvellous tour director and his love and passion for Spain is totally infectious.
First time in Italy, referred by my sister, who took the Tuscany tour. She loved the small group and experiences offered, and my spouse and me were not disappointed!! Wonderful tour guide!!!! We learned so much. All accommodations are unique and excellent. We loved Italy with Amber Road tours!!!
Wonderful tour-Who would not love such a beautiful country with such magnificent architecture- great food and wine and love the tour guide with a wonderful sense of humor- passionate about Spain and of course a charming brogue when he speaks English -Sean is a pleasure to be with,
The group we traveled with was cohesive, accomplished, energetic, looked out for each other, were very friendly and lots of fun but our tour leader, MariaElena Ciacci, deserves the credit for being a wonderful young woman and largely responsible for making the tour a wonderful experience and outstanding success.
This was our second trip with Amber Road Tours and we were not disappointed. Sean was an excellent, courteous, upbeat tour guide who helped us understand the history, culture, art and the natural beauty of this region. Our accommodations were centrally located with comfortable rooms and the planned meals were also interesting with regional specialties we might not have tried otherwise. The cooking demonstration with hands on participation was an especially fun evening in Caceres. The organic farm with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and cheese tastings in a beautiful setting was also one of the highlights. We are looking forward to our third trip with Amber in the spring of 2018.
Well organized program with varied and thoroughly interesting itinerary from start to finish. Sean was an excellent and convivial guide, well versed in all things Spain: which he willingly shared during our visit. Local guides were all very informative and responsive. All lodging was conveniently located and accommodations were very comfortable. Provided meals were very good with the chef prepared meal and organic farm lunch particularly enjoyable. Sean also suggested a picnic lunch which was a nice interlude on a beautiful sunny afternoon.
Fantastic trip. Excellent choice of hotels, superb meals and wonderful tours. There was a good balance between organised time and free time. Federica, our tour guide, was amazing. Knowledgeable and personable. Unfortunately I had a fall three days before the end of the tour. Federica spent hours at the hospital with me and was most helpful and supportive in every way possible. My only regret was that I was unable to continue the end of the tour. I would recommend this tour and the professionalism of Amber Roads.
This was our first trip to Europe and our first tour with Amber Road Tours (absolutely not our last!!!). I would not have done it any other way! AR had us staying in wonderful hotels, eating great food, and learning about the Fruili Venezia Giulia/Slovenia region. I loved visiting the smaller areas and getting to interact with the ‘real’ people of the areas we visited. Our tour manager, Andre, was exceptionally knowledgeable and entertaining and it was great having him there 24/7 to answer my endless questions. Having the small tour group to travel with, allowed us to spend time and get to know everyone. This greatly increased the enjoyment factor for us. Leaving the planning, coordinating, and driving to AR definitely made it the most relaxing vacation we have had so far in our travels. I look forward to doing more AR tours!
We are seasoned travelers and almost went on our own. It would have been a mistake because this tour did it all. Our tour guide, Saverio, was outstanding. He was so knowledgeable, exuberant, fun and without question focused on this being the best vacation. It was filled with wonderful, incredible sites, good food and very good accommodations. We always were in the center of things. We had plenty of free time, but being in a small group that really enjoyed each other, we spent a lot of time together. Alessandro, our tour driver, was excellent. We always knew he would provide excellent, safe service, getting us to our next stop. Overall excellent trip and we are planning to take another. This is the way to go.