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.
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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.
Thank you Amber Roads for a wonderful tour! This was our first tour ever and it will be hard to follow up this one with any other company! This was also our first time to Italy and we had a wonderful introduction to the history and culture of Italy. Our tour only had 8 people so we were really spoiled. Our guide, Tiziana, was wonderful and shepherded her “gruppo” everywhere with such great humor and finesse! We were sad to say goodbye at the end of the tour! We had a nice balance of activities and free time and during some our down time on the bus or at meals, Tiziana shared a lot about her country and it’s customs which enriched our visit. This tour included a wonderful hike in the Ligurian hillsides which was so fun because it ended with olive oil and wine tasting and then a relaxed lunch. Such a fun day! The town of Lucca was charming and we especially enjoyed visiting the carrera quarries and attending the opera in Puccini’s hometown. Genova was also a nice surprise. Our hotels were lovely and our local city guides were excellent as well. We would highly recommend this tour and tour company and hope we can go on another of their tours. This is the way to go! I think our guide Tiziana, definitely swayed my somewhat skeptical husband who was reticent to travel to Italy “on a tour”! Brava Tiziana! ❤️?
This was my second trip with Amber Road, and as so many others have indicated, plans for the next are in progress. Sicily was so interesting historically, geographically, and culturally! I suspect most people have no idea how many times it has been conquered by various invaders. Mariaelena was an amazing guide; her personal attention to each of us excellent, as well as her great sense of humor and knowledge of each area. I love the pace of Amber Road Tours. Sure, you can book a relatively inexpensive trip that may take you all over Italy, but it won’t feel like a vacation or that you really come away with an appreciation for the area you’ve covered. These tours are like a mini-immersion (my first was the Tuscany tour last autumn). Accommodations and meals are superb as well. Coordination of every aspect is excellent.
This was our second Amber Road Tour and we enjoyed it every bit as much as the first. Travelling in a small group is important to us and Amber has been excellent in keeping the group number to a size which allows for a good mix of companions without crowding. Sean, our tour guide, was helpful, good humoured and a fountain of knowledge; our tour bus was comfortable and Jose’, our driver, very good . The hotels we stayed at were in the best possible location, historically or architecturally interesting, and made us feel very privileged to be staying there.
In all, we very much enjoyed the balance of new and interesting experiences and free time and look forward to our next tour!!
This was our 6th tour with Amber Road and our first one outside of Italy. Once again, it was the perfect combination of the quality we have come to enjoy coupled with the delight of unexpected surprises. Increasingly we tour with repeat Amber Road travelers adding to a spirit of camaraderie over shared travels and an ease at joining into a new adventure together. In our experience, this was the first time everyone had traveled with Amber Road at least once (many multiple times). We were a lively compatible group from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the US. The pace, sites visited, food, and fabulous hotels were well selected and we were guided expertly and convivially by our leader, Sean. We were anticipating our time in Bilbao and San Sebastian ahead of time but an added delight was the sailing of the Ria Arousa Estuary and our time in Oviedo. While we were visiting Ribadeo, a couple stopped to welcome us, telling us that they had never seen a tour group in their town and were delighted we were there! Thank you for another wonderful holiday and a brilliant itinerary.
This was our fourth tour with Amber Road and the memories still linger. Let your imagination take you back a few centuries. Andalucia embodies the classic image of Spain from flamenco dancing and bullfighting to lively nightlife and ancient architecture. Our tour guide Sean’s singular background and easy conversation made our days with him a pleasure. He was passionate about his country, very knowledgeable and gave us an insight into Spanish life, history and traditions. The hotels were charming and in excellent locations. The tour provided a perfect balance of planned events and time on your own. The awe-inspiring visits to the Alhambra Palace in Alhambra and the Mezquita in Cordoba were spectacular, but so were the stunning Tajo Gorge in Ronda, the white town of Setenil de las Bodegas, beautiful seacoast city of Cadiz, and the Alcazar and Plaza de Espana in lovely Seville. We packed so much on our trip – flamenco, sherry tasting, bull farm, paella class, olive oil mill, an equestrian school, and delicious meals and wine with a great group of travelers. Thank you for creating such an inspired itinerary, which most people don’t get to experience. Hemingway was enchanted with this region and you too will fall under its spell.