Felicia & Tal, USA, September 2016
We are back in New York after the most incredible trip. You did an amazing job from start to finish!!
Highlights were the walking tour with Margarita in Lisbon and the tasting at the Lisboa Wine Bar, where I discovered the Serra Cheese and Green Wine, Pena Palace, Tasquinha do Oliveira (Tal LOVED it) in Evora as well as the Convento Do Espinheiro, Vintage House Douro was incredible as was a boat ride down the river, and we loved the city of Porto. Valverde Hotel was the perfect place for our last night in the country!
Everything went so smoothly thanks to your planning. And, to top it all off, it was an engagement celebration! Tal proposed just as we were leaving for the airport on the way from NY to Lisbon, so the week was even more special.
Including a few photos, and if there is anywhere you guys ask for trip-goers to leave testimonials I’m absolutely happy to do so.
Thank you so much again,
Felicia & Tal”
Linda Robeson, USA, September 2016
“Marta, thank you for planning such a wonderful trip for us. Thank Ana, as well, she is such a dear young lady that is just so sweet.
We enjoyed all of the hotels you set up. The Britania is fabulous for Lisbon, Vinci Porto is great for Porto, and Evora hotel was good for our needs.
Some feedback that you can use for Evora Olive hotel is that our room was small, but comfortable and having the garage was just perfect. Breakfast was really good too. A great deal for the $. Everyone was very kind everywhere we went. Portugal people rock!
Thank you again so much.
We also visited Merida in Spain and Badijoz, I highly recommend Merida to anyone interested in ruins for roman culture from long ago. It is a bit of a hike in the car, but great for our needs. The roads in Portugal were so well maintained, we were impressed. The rental car people LOVE you, and said that specifically.
Thanks again, Best, Linda
Anyone desiring to travel to Portugal that I know of in our circle of friends will be referred specifically to you.
Anne, Norway, September 2016
I would like to thank you for the great arrangement you organized for me and my friends in Cascais/Sintra/Porto. The trip became a real success for all of us. Everything ran smoothly and we did not encounter any problems at all. This was the first time my friends visited Portugal, except from Lisbon, and they all loved it!
All the drivers were so punctual, polite and took us safely to the various destinations.
I would particularly like to mention our guides to Sintra and the Douro valley. They were both highly professional, knowledgable, friendly, nice and gave a lot of themselves. I don’t think they could be very much better!
I stayed at the Pousada in Porto a few years ago, when we learned to know your agency, so I knew it would be good, This was confirmed again and we all got rooms with front view.
The road book is a very good and helpful tool, and we followed several of the recommendations. Just a pity that time is running too fast, and we did not have time to visit all the places or see all highlights. Maybe next time:-)
So, in conclusion, you confirmed how professional you are, and I cannot come to think of anything that could have been better! I will definitely recommend your services and I am sure my friends will too. With your help we all got a really memorable week! Thank you!
Linda Street, USA, August 2016
We arrived home yesterday afternoon and I want to thank you for putting together a remarkable trip. Portugal has changes so much since our last visit and everything was wonderful. We did leave out a couple of the places as we were late starters in the morning (unlike us as both Brian and I NEVER sleep in) but I must admit is was wonderful to just relax and do things at our leisure. Your suggestion for the “degustation lunch” was a real treat and so glad we didn’t miss it. Altogether the afternoon at the winery was wonderful.
The only hotel we were not excited with was the final one in Lisbon. They were charming and the location could not have been better but the room was small
and we were pleased we were only there for 2 nights. If we were in Lisbon longer we would prefer a better hotel. Our guide Marta was fantastic, besides being a most knowledgeable and smart lady who knows Lisbon and its history like the back of her hand, she was so pleasant to be with and we highly recommend her.
Please pass this on to her agency.
In fact we only have good things to say about every guide we had and in general the people of Portugal.
We will return with our family and hope its soon.
USA, August 2016
We are back home in Oregon adjusting to the 8-hour time change and telling everyone how wonderful our trip to Portugal was. Cascais was an excellent choice for our last stop in Portugal and not one that we would have selected on our own. It worked especially well for meeting our friend, who flew from Budapest to meet us our last weekend. We loved all of the cities we visited and felt happy with the amount of time we had allocated to each, but would have savored more time especially in Porto, our favorite location.
Thank you so much for your knowledgeable assistance in planning the trip. It was definitely very helpful to have the hotels, rental car, GPS, guides, and airport transfers all coordinated through your office. The guides we had in Lisbon and Porto were both excellent. We particularly enjoyed the young woman in Porto because of her academic studies in architecture, which is one of our areas of interest. The drivers who met us at the the airport and train stations were all top notch. The car we rented was a Volvo, which Mariette really liked since she drives a Volvo here at home. The rental car return went smoothly. Even though the taxi rolled into our car in Porto, Avis said everything was covered by our insurance.
Here is a quick impression of each of our hotels:
Inspira Santa Marta – Clean and well run, very good breakfasts, but the location was not very close to places we wanted to visit.
Pestana Vintage Porto – Fabulous location, incredible view from our room, very helpful staff, our favorite hotel. No parking on site.
Oslo Hotel – Central location makes walking in Coimbra possible. Noisy street traffic. Free valet parking. Crowded breakfasts.
Posada Castelo de Obidos – Historic castle in a stunning setting. Very difficult to reach driving a car. Our room the first night was dark and smelled moldy. We switched the next two nights to a much nicer but smaller room with bigger windows. The staff was very nice.
M’Ar De Ar Aqueduto – Beautiful modern hotel, but popular with bus tours. Helpful, informed staff. Rooms with private patios were especially nice. The swimming pool was small for a hotel this size, so it was frequently overcrowded at popular times.
Pestana Cidadela Cascais – When we first checked in we were “upgraded” to a room that smelled very, very heavily of smoke and room deodorizer. Despite multiple requests for a different room, the front desk staff was not helpful or willing to find another room. They even tried to say that all the rooms smelled like that. After two hours it was housekeeping that actually recognized that the room smelled horrible and who identified another vacant room. After telling you of our ordeal we received a mystery gift of sweets in our room, but not an apology from hotel management. Not the level of service I would expect from a five-star hotel.
Our greatest difficulty during the trip was with the GPS directions. On multiple occasions the device sent us down impossibly narrow roads or dirt roads through fields when there were better ways to reach the specified destination. Once it sent us to the wrong town altogether. We ended up using Google maps as a back up, and then not knowing what to do when the GPS would give one set of directions and Google maps a different set. I don’t know how to rectify the situation, but it is quite vexing for a driver who does not speak Portuguese to get stuck with bad or incomplete directions in the middle of the countryside.
There were a couple of other times where we wished we had received more information. Several of the sites that you had identified for us to visit or suggested as possible stops required advance reservations, which was not mentioned in the roadbook. So when we arrived at the location we were not able to visit the winery or the cheese museum because we had not made reservations in advance. We also would have loved to have seen the Nossa Senhora da Agonia festivities in Viana Do Castelo (not mentioned in the guidebook), but unfortunately we arrived in town on August 21 the day after the festival ended.
Most of all I wanted to thank you for you kindness and your professional attention to detail. You always followed through promptly on every request I made, no matter how insignificant it may have seemed.
Sending My Very Best Wishes,”
Nerolie & David Gleeson, Australia, July 2016
Tonight is our last night in Portugal and we are sad to leave. We have had a tremendous time meeting people, trying new foods and driving over those incredible roads. The scenery was breath-taking especially the Douro Valley.
We have sent a message to our agent Elizabeth (Liz) Rooney at East Burwood Travel in Melbourne Victoria saying how well arranged our tour was and information supplied was exceptional. Also praising your involvement. So, let’s hope there is more travel sent your way. She is one of the managers of the very busy travel agency.
We received a text late this afternoon altering the time of departure of our flight tomorrow. It is now 13.05. It hadn’t changed on line when we looked. before.
We will be in touch with the driver tomorrow to let them know..
Thanks again for the wine/port, that finished a great night, the biscuits that were delicious and the soap that smells great in our luggage.
Thanking you also for all you for the way you have helped make our stay so memorable.
Nerolie & David Gleeson”
Bob and Bev Mackenzie, Canada, July 2016
We have just arrived home after completing our visit to Portugal with trips to France and Iceland.
We wanted to let you know that our Portugal vacation was a big success. We would like to thank you for your help with the itinerary. The Portugal Trails written documentation was very complete and highly valued. Your tips regarding the car rental, transponder and road tolls were very helpful. The GPS was accurate ( with one or two exceptions which lead to quite an adventure!! — we saw more of rural Portugal than we counted on.)
The hotels and guides were very good. We visited every destination listed in the Road Book and tried many of the suggested pasties and desserts.
It was a treat to be in Lisbon for the Euro Cup. We were able to celebrate the victory in Praça
do Comércio with hundreds of happy revellers. The music played in the square was the loudest I have ever heard!
I enjoy photography and took more than 2500 photos. We sent some of the best home by email— and already have prompted several of our friends to consider Portugal for their next travel vacation. We won’t hesitate to recommend Portugal Trails to them.
Bob and Bev Mackenzie
John and Linda Joy, USA, July 2016
Linda and I could not have had the trip we enjoyed without your guidance. The accommodation upgrades, tour guides, (Sofie in Lisboa, Elizabeth in Porto, and Carla in Sagres), the castles suggestions, beaches, restaurants, wine, port and cheese tastings, our Fado night in Lisboa was incredible and the GPS worked so well everywhere except in the location you mentioned. Of course we found the winery using the scenic route. Portugal is such a special place and you helped us appreciate your country. The whole Portugaltrails team is to be commended for the first class tour company that you are! Please pass these pics to our/your guides.
John and Linda Joy”
Manoj Raheja, Canada, July 2016
Our trip was fantastic and we really enjoyed everything. I would definitely recommend your company to my friends and family. I’ll share this on trip advisor…
Just wanted to provide a few more detailed feedback pts to help you guys
– We loved the car and driving around and the GPS pre-populated journeys made everything very easy
– While we loved all the cities – if we did it over – we might spend one night less in lagos and one more in Lisbon (maybe this gets achieved by doing Pena Palace the first time round vs. coming back twice)
– The walking tour in Lisbon was exceptional; great guide
– All the hotels were great (Lisbon the best) and lagos hotel is beautiful and rooms were just ok
– The fado music is Lisbon was amazing – service at restaurant was good – but the food was just ok
– The restaurant you helped me book for my wife’s bday was stunning and delicious – so thank you for that!
Just wanted to provide those so you can keep improving your service but as I said – your service was excellent and I wish it was global because I would use you again to plan my trips if I could…
Marion, USA, July 2016
We arrived home to the US from our wonderful holiday in Portugal! Thank you so much for arranging a great tour. My only complaint is that there was too little time, and too much on the itinerary to do! We were so busy I had to buy souvenirs at the airport, not in the towns. Shopping? When??
I fell in love with Portuguese food — in a coastal town on our way back up to Lisbon, we had the most delectable bean and cuttlefish stew. The fabulous walking tour of Lisbon with a tasting of cheeses, wine, and later pastries — the fresh breads, the sweets, the fried sardines we ate from the head down, the Fado music, Douro, Port, and the Vintage House Hotel – it was all so good.
I would have skipped the Ville Gale Lagos in particular, because it was too much like a factory for my taste, but my daughter loved it’s big resort feel with its abundance of swimming pools, while my husband and I loved the beach that was in walking distance. We opted to take a snorkeling trip from the dive shop, which took us to a beautiful little beach with a group of wonderful people.
I hope to come back and stay a bit longer some day, but there was enough to explore for a lifetime of trips. I found the Portuguese people we met to be so friendly and warm.
I wish I had time to write more. But thank you for helping us on very short notice! And thank you for our gifts. The delicious cookies were eaten throughout the trip, the port is sitting on our table, and our soap is divine.