This was my third time with Amber Road and once again I was impressed by the high standards of all aspects of the tour. Our tour leader, Federica was very knowledgeable,warm and helpful. When my sister broke both her arms in a fall at Otranto, Federica’s assistance was invaluable. She managed to arrange two extra nights in the beautiful Patria Hotel in Lecce as we had to abandon the last two days of the tour. Highlights for us were stunning Ravello and the Hotel Villa Maria; Matera, with its intriguing underground homes and totally relaxing thermal baths; and Trani, a laid back portside town. Best dinner was Soul Kitchen at Matera.
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Our time in Fruili and Slovenia was great. Fruili is such a hidden gem and full of amazing history and wonderful things to see. We were gobsmacked by Aquileia and its history. Slovenia is a beautiful country and again full of amazing scenery and history. As well as the most tractors per capita of anywhere in the world, which entertained us all whilst driving! The wines of the regions were also wonderful and every food experience organised by AR delivered beyond our expectations. Ljubljana is a wonderful city. Lake Bled is everything the postcards promise and swimming in the lake was ‘exhilarating’. This was our fourth Amber Road tour and as always the itinerary was meticulously thought out and full of life enriching experiences. Another bonus of the trip is always the people and a testament to that is that we organised to do this tour with friends we had met on a previous AR tour. Thank you again AR team.
Back-to-back tours! We did this tour after completing the Fruili/Slovenia tour with AR. What a contrast and what a wonderful cultural, historical and personal experience. Sarajevo still bears scars of the war but we were able to see and experience the best of it by sharing a meal with a local Bosnian family. Thank you AR this was a wonderful, honest night. The city is full of surprises and cultural experiences. Driving the Adriatic coastline to and from Dubrovnik was everything we had hoped. But more than this AR always finds so many different things to see and experiences to share that you are constantly surprised. And then there is Plitvice Lakes!!!!! This was a truly wonderful day even though it was cold and wet. The autumn colours were amazing. Then another surprise, the Istrian Peninsula with its history and wonderful food and wine. Again a great tour.
Our time in Sicily was sensational! Can’t unfortunately come up with words that even begin to do the pure unadulterated magic of the trip justice… The fact that the island is an enchanted and utterly enchanting place – idyllic, in fact.! – was reinforced at every turn. Thanks to a carefully planned itinerary, with the meticulous attention paid to even the tiniest of details, our eleven days were brimful of life enhancing and enriching experiences. It was undoubtedly as case of “we came, we saw – and we were conquered”! By Sicily and all things Sicilian! Even though I’ve been home for a week, my head and my heart are still high in the Sicilian skies (not clouds, because there weren’t any of those, either literally or figuratively speaking). Over and above their impeccable professionalism, both Mariaelena (leader) and Marco (driver) added all kinds of delightful and uniquely personal dimensions to the sights, smells, sounds, tastes and touches of Sicily. A winning combination if ever there was one, and a team in which Amber Road should take great pride and pleasure.
This was my first Amber Road Tours experience. Our guide met us at the airport and from the first moment I could tell that this was going to be a wonderful experience. She was full of enthusiasm and knowledge about each of the cities we toured. The local guides were wonderfully entertaining and knowledgeable. The food was superb. The hotels were all very different and along with the food, reflected the culture of the area. We also had a very small group of people in the tour, just 6 and we found out how wonderful that experience could be. I have found new friends who helped make memories for a lifetime.
What a fantastic trip. This was our first tour and we chose it because we were bringing our 13 year old granddaughter with us. We have traveled abroad many times but have never done it with a tour. We couldn’t have been more satisfied. We spoke many times with Lisa in South Carolina and she was extremely helpful. Then when we met Mariaelena, our tour manager and Marco our driver we knew we had made a great choice. They were both so personable, friendly and fun to be around. We had a very small group, only six of us and we all had a great time together. Our rides in the mini bus were never boring. When Mariaelena wasn’t giving us information about the countryside or trivia facts about Italian movies and books, Marco was singing along with the opera CD’s. The city tour guides provided were excellent and what a variety of activities. We attended an excellent puppet show in Siracusa and although it was in Italian we still got the gist of it and met the performers afterwards. Our trip to the vineyards was excellent and the wine tasting was much more then we expected with excellent antipasto to accompany the wine. All the places we ate were chosen with a local flare to them and the food was all wonderful. Our trip to the salt production site was so informative and we even visited the villa of a baron. The archaeological sites were amazing and even though we had days when the temperatures zoomed above one hundred degrees we knew at the end of the day we could retire to AC in our four star hotel. Anyone who wants a great experience should try Amber Road Tours and if you are lucky you will get Mariaelena. Hoping that someday she will do a tour in France and we can go. Thanks again, Carol,Paul and Sarah
Our explorations of Andalucia under the leadership of Sean, our marvelously energetic, knowledgeable guide, were full of rewards. There is much more to that beautiful region than flamenco and paella, as our well-designed itinerary showed us. The traditional Feria in Seville is nothing like Carnaval in cosmopolitan Cadiz – but both are fascinating to learn about. One needs to visit the magical village of Ronda to appreciate its unique setting, and one finds another kind of enchantment in dining on a hillside in Granada with a view of the exquisite Alhambra shimmering in the moonlight. No point in going on and on about it; it would be a shame for anyone interested in Spain’s rich cultural heritage to pass on the chance to take this fine Amber Road tour.
My husband, 15 year old daughter & I traveled with the Tuscan Hill Towns tour in June 2017. It was an incredible trip! Beautiful! Our tour guide was excellent. She was informative, charming & professional. We truly enjoyed ourselves & felt very taken care of. Looking forward to more trips like this one. Thanks for everything!
While we have traveled extensively this is the first time we were part of a tour and it was so great to be taken care from the minute we arrived at the Palermo airport until we departed from Taormina. Transportation, hotels, restaurants, guides all ran smoothly under the expert management of Mariaelena. I think she must have also played a part in providing the great weather, she’s that good. The size of the tour and the personalites added to the enjoyment. The daily excursions were interesting and informative, and if for some reason you didn’t want to join the group, Mariaelena made sure you had a place to sit and relax. We are already thinking about another tour, perhaps Northern Italy. We highly recommend Amber Road Tours
Another great tour with Amber Road! This was an area we’d visited before but once again they showed us new and exciting things. The big party got on very well together and some interesting conversations took place. It was good to meet some previous Amber Road friends and our tour guide Frederica was a gem. Highlights, there were many – Bellagio, a jewel on a silver lake but it’s often the unexpected that makes a trip. The start of the Mille Miglia in Brescia and a chance to get last minute tickets for an opera at La Scala, a lifetimes’ dream come true! How to top that? Well, do another Amber Road tour, use the trips as a template for your return visits to Italy.
The tour ran like clockwork and was well-balanced between travel, organised activity and free time. Our tour guide Maria-Elena, was exceptional, a true angel of the universe – sensitive to all needs, caring, quick to smile and laugh and a veritable font of knowledge. Would thoroughly recommend this tour.
This is the first tour for us with Amber Road. It exceeded our expectations! Almost everything was perfect – the hotels were comfortable, centrally located, and even luxurious. The tour was paced just right between sightseeing and free time to pursue our own interests or relax. In the two lake locations we had rooms with balconies where we could sit and take in the beautiful lake scenery. Our tour director, Federica, was excellent. She was both relaxed and vigilant, making sure that we all were taken care of in whatever we needed. Mostly, the included meals were very enjoyable. Only two dinners had an entre not universally appealing and Jonathan is not letting that happen again. Even though we have traveled to almost every region that Amber Road Tours provides tours, we have not seen any of these regions in depth. One of the best strengths of the tours is that they do cover places and sights not available on many other tours. In fact, that is the main reason, we decided to try Amber Roads. We were not disappointed. We will travel again with Amber Road.
Regarding our trip to Sicily, we want you to know that we had the time of our lives. Our tour guide Mariaelena was the best. She was so accurate informing us of our itinerary each day. She also made sure that the single people on the tour were not left out. For example when we were on our own for some of the meals, she made sure that she came and included them. We can’t say enough about the dedication to making everyone on the tour happy by Mariaelena. Even when we passed a town our Grandparents came from, she made sure to have Julio the bus driver slow down so we could get a picture. We felt the itinerary was perfect and we saw so much of Sicily, that was great. We will definitely consider using Amber Road Tours for our future trips. Mariaelena said she is from Tuscany but she knew more about Sicily than most Sicilians living there.
The Bosnia/Croatia tour this spring for us was a logical extension of the Friuli/Slovenia tour we greatly enjoyed last year. The two tours were developed by Sonya and Jonathan, with local assistance from their tour manager, Andrej Vatovec, who, as a native Slovenian steeped in the history, life and culture of former Yugoslavian provinces, led the successive Amber Road tours. Clearly, there is nothing that can substitute for direct experience in the physical environs and personal contact with native people. Such was especially the case in Sarajevo, where a sharp awareness of past mindless conflicts and recent war invades one’s consciousness. A novel highlight and unique experience of our Sarajevo stay was the Ramadan meal that we shared with a young hospitable native family. In contrast, Croatia and its extended Adriatic Sea coast offered visitors a cornucopia of places of ancient historical significance and cultural interest as well as vacation venues. The venues selected in Croatia for visiting by Amber Road were spot on for a variety of reasons, enhanced by fluent, knowledgeable local tour guides – often displaying a sense of humor. The outstanding venues included Dubrovnik, Split, Plitvice Lakes and the Istrian Peninsula that included Poreč and Pula. Additional novel asides along the way included a boat ride and oyster sampling at the oyster farm on the Bay in Ston, and a visit to a family winery and wine tasting at Misal. Designated hotels with amenities and restaurants were excellent. Andrej’s great organizational and planning skills assured success of the tour. Finally, we thank him for giving attention to special personal needs and preferences.
Just returned home from our second tour with Amber Road and to date, it was one of the best trips we have ever taken. Once again, the accommodations, group lunches and dinners were outstanding. We were introduced to local specialties along with wines of the region. These meals were leisurely and allowed time to socialize and get to know all of our traveling companions and Tiziana, our group leader. We were afforded more than ample free time in each town and always bumped into some of our group and found ourselves sharing a gelato or glass of wine while passing time. Each local guide did a wonderful job filling in all the details on each town, church or museum, adding their local flair making it more interesting. Our group of 13, along with Tiziana, was very compatible making the trip more enjoyable. We would love to travel again with this group in the future. We look forward to our next Amber Road tour!
Our Amber Roads tour “Tuscan Hill Towns” was superb. And our guide Tiziana was wonderful – that is an understatement. Thank you for your kindness in making these arrangements, particularly since I had to cancel twice before I made it. The tour for us exceeded our expectations. We will join another Amber Road tour next year. For us, short (7 days), with 3 nights per hotel is ideal. Thank you also for recommending the Hotel Pierre in Florence. The manager and reservation manager treated us very well. Until next time.
It is hard to think of anything that wasn’t excellent about this tour. I had never heard of Amber Road tours and as the one to suggest going to a group of friends felt uncertain of the result. However all expectations and more were met. Our guide Andrej could not have been more helpful, entertaining, and quietly working in the background to ensure all went smoothly. We had little knowledge of Slovenia and having Andrej as a guide gave great insight. Apart from that the food and accommodation was varied and excellent as were the wines. The grand finale of Lake Bled was perfect. Thanks to Lisa and Andrej and we certainly will consider Amber Road Tours again.
Great trip. Particularly impressed with the knowledge, enthusiasm, and language ability of every regional guide and – of course – our tour leader Frederica. I also appreciated that we stayed multiple nights at each hotel – time to explore and also rest.
Wow is the right word for our tour in Sicily. We are a bit skeptical by nature, so it’s tough to make us happy. Amber’s Sicily tour did achieve this impossible task. Local guides were interesting to listen to, excursions were comprehensive enough yet not boring, enough time to explore and soak in everything local on our own. We’ve heard a few reports that some rooms are better than others, but we thought it was quite good enough, always in the very center of everything, great for exploring. Tour itinerary was very well thought through, we saw quite a bit of Sicily, probably all the important sights. And (very important!) probably tried all the important Sicily foods and wines! I thought I don’t like pasta… Boy, was I wrong. We were 17, from Australia, UK and US, it was a lot of fun, not sure if we ever traveled with a better group. But in spite of all the above (and I quote from one of previous comments) the main reason everything was so enjoyable was our fantastic tour guide Mariaelena. Professional, passionate, knowledgeable, efficient, funny, friendly, warm – I run out of epithets. I guess we really liked our time in Sicily.
WOW! Our first tour with Amber Road delivered way more than expected, and we expected much. We were 19 including two Australians and two Brits. All our dealings with Amber Road were extremely professional and promptly responsive. The hotels were comfortable to sumptuous. The lakes hotels all afforded lakeside views with balconies. On the last hotel on Lake Maggiore we had a corner room looking to the lake, with marble and wood and two bathrooms, his and hers. The meals were at top restaurants with gourmet level food. In Mantua we ate at the best restaurant in the city and in Stresa our farewell dinner was at a Michelin guide restaurant. The itinerary was intelligently designed and beautifully routed that it flowed with ease, so important. Our guide, Federica Wagner, was a jewel. She was informative, available for all our needs, particularly to several on our tour who turned out to have special needs that could have impinged on the rest of us. But she handled even this with aplomb and efficient care. Most of our fellow travelers were just lovely. All in all, this is now one of the best tours we have ever had. We are now in the process of selecting our next Amber Road adventure.
Another great May in Italy with Amber! What did I like best? The violin maker was unique, the amazing museums of Milan and seeing La Scala. Actually the best part could be the beauty of Lake Como and my fabulous room with a view of the mountain range. I loved Freddie’s [tour manager Federica] sense of humor, the fabulous food and the surprise of finding antique race cars in Brescia. Best is hard to define with a great group of people, a new region to explore and having history come alive.
Thanks Amber Road (Jonathan, Sonya, Lisa) and our wonderful Tour Leader, Federica Wagner, for a terrific fifth tour. Federica was a joy to travel with; our hotels – especially those overlooking Lakes Como and Maggiore – were lovely; the restaurants for group meals and the activities were well chosen as usual and our travelling companions were most congenial. We can’t wait to do another trip with you!
Another fabulous Amber Road tour. We hadn’t visited this region since 1980 so it was wonderful to see the new Milan. The many lakes we visited, the breathtaking accommodations, always delicious food, fun fellow travelers including Aussies and Brits have us trying to decide where we will travel next with Amber Road.
Andalucia was my first Amber Road tour but I was so pleased that I am planning two more in 2018. Quite simply, Amber Road is a Class Act ! Our guide Sean was knowledgeable, fun, organized and kind to all. The hotels were in great locations and among the best in town. Included meals were at great restaurants. Perhaps even more fun were impromptu meals of tapas and beer/wine where the food just kept coming. I particularly like that Amber Road caters to English speaking non-Americans. The Aussies on our trip were fun and brought a different perspective on the world. I had worried that traveling alone might be a little depressing. I need not have worried. Sean made sure everyone felt included and had a great time
This was the first time I have ever taken a tour and I was delighted! Our week in Tuscany included all that was promised and even more. The entire experience was well planned with a nice balance of time together and time to explore on our own. Our group consisted of 14 fabulous people who all became fast friends immediately. The main reason everything was so enjoyable was our fantastic tour guide Mariaelena. She is the perfect guide balancing her limitless knowledge of all that we explored together with funny stories, friendship and laughter. This experience has changed my life and I can’t wait to go on another Amber tour with Mariaelena!!