Debra Gaines and Alberta Piche, Canada, April 2015
“Good Day Cristina,
I want to thank you so very much for taking such good care of me before Debby arrived.
The guided hike with Bruno was amazing…he was excellent and showed me the small villages along the coast. Hiked to a very pristine beach that I got to dip my toes into. He was very attentive and never tired of my questions. Very gracious and I highly recommend that he continue on your roster of guides.
The road book was very well thought out and presented all the highlights and great as a testament to your work.
The wine tour, the Fado dinner were highlights I would not have wanted to miss. Except the GPS is okay with directions to the Winery, as opposed to written directions.
The transfers worked very well to and from hotel, and bus stops. George was just like family in his greetings and I was so happy to see his face in the bus depot. Thank you for all the details you provided. My single adventure was awesome, and the Quinte on the top of the hill provided all the necessities. The owner and the staff were very attentive, and even came down in the evening to pick me up after dinner. Very personalized service.
Debby and I had an amazing trip, all your planning paid off, The GPS had some glitches but I think
Debby told you about them..updates for Braga and Aveinda. We put 1,500 KMs on the car!!!!
The guides were so kowledgeable about all the history , and Nuno was so gracious and we hiked 22 KMs and I was thrilled that 11 KM on the El Camino…which is what I have dreamed about.
The lodgings, esp the Psoudas will provide long lasting memories.
Your dedication and commitment to make sure your customers have a perfect trip speaks to Portugal Trails as the best supplier for self-guided trips to Portugal. I will recommend you and your company to anyone that wants a great experice!
I will get the picture to you and send from home.
Take care, Happy Summer…I am sure you will be very busy with travellers from all over the world.
Bill Baptista, USA, April 2015
The whole trip went GREAT! (though poor Matt was sick for 10 of the days, hurt to drink even water, we left Fado dinner before even getting dessert and thus did not see the show though grew up listening to such music at family events).
Drivers – each of the drivers you selected were professional and on time.
Hotels – each of the hotels were what we expected, a “3” star type. Though on the last day in which we got up at 0400am
to get out to the airport to return to USA we had no hot water for our showers!
Group Tours – each one was quite enjoyable. The Inside Lisbon tour we actually got to sample some cheese, deer meat, another sausage meat and a glass of wine which we did not expect being part of that tour.
Lunch – the lunch at the winery was wonderful but the lunch during the drive tour in Madeira was just as good if not better!!
At the table waiting for us was a bottle of both red and white wine along with a bottle of water. It was a four course lunch like at the winery. Both lunches were wonderful. The meal itself at the Fado dinner was also very good.
Your choice of having a free day after taking a group tour worked out real well.
Adding Jenny was not a problem and no one was surprised as their records showed 2 plus one. I gave the voucher and then Jenny just paid her own way. She got her room in each hotel we stayed at as well and also paid for right to breakfast at the hotel.
Train – this was only concern all trip as leaving Lisboa for Evora we did not know what line to be standing at. Luckily one man heard our conversation approached us and said to follow him and he actually stayed until we got on the correct line.
I actually contacted one employee at a train that stopped and asked for assistance and was told different company, wrong line but did not advise me where to go.
We also did not pay for the cable car as the driver, Benny (Benny dos Ramos 00351-963-672-387 of Madeira Tourism Driver), said her boss told her to buy our tickets for us. I was expecting to pay. Matt and I did the sledging back down the hill. Benny was terrific both days, second day we stopped and had samples of different ports as well which again was unexpected and wonderful!
The Madeira tours were exceptional!!!
Only activity we added on our own was in Porto and it was the 55 min. boat tour of the 6 bridges. It included a port sample at 3 different locations. One such location we saw educational films about the valley and the making of the port wine in the region.
Matt took all photos with his cell phone so will forward photos when I get them from him.
The trip was worry free, we were made to feel very welcome by all.
Cristina, thanks again for putting this all together. I will be setting down with friends from down the block who want to go to Portugal next year and I will show them my road book, guidebook and what you did for us. Granted, in this day and age one can most likely book hotels, tours online and possibly save money but it was great to have it all done, drivers all set up, etc…You putting it all together was worth any extra we paid!
I think I covered it all but if you have any questions, comments, feel free to contact me.
As you may have gathered early on, I was very apprehensive about doing business with your company, sending thousands of dollars to a company I have never heard of though I did read about Portugal Trails on Trip Advisor.
The final reason to proceed was (I reached out to several travel agents asking if they had heard of your company) when a travel agent advised me as follows “I checked with the Portuguese Tourist Office in New York and they told me it was a very reliable travel company, therefore you will be in good hands”. Well, as it turned out we were in very good hands and feel very fortunate to have booked with your company and having worked with Cristina.
Bill Baptista ”
Sue and Mike Lyon, Australia, April 2015
Thank you so much for our beautiful gift and for organising such a wonderful holiday. Our driver from the airport was very helpful. the day tour with Andreia was the best walking tour we have ever had and we could not recommend her highly enough. we have fallen love with Lisbon and look forward to the rest of the holiday you have organised for us.
Sue and Mike”
Kelsey Holt, USA, March 2015
My trip was awesome. Your suggestions were excellent. I did alter some of my free time but I did fit in all of the places you suggested. I did go to the Belem area and had the famous pastry but i only got to see the monastery and other monuments at night when they were closed.
Porto was beautiful and the tours I did were awesome. Everyone was nice and I made a few friends along the way.
Lagos was gorgeous and had a bit of nice weather. Rained a bit when I was there but got some warm weather. Boat trip was fun but they did charge me when I got there. I was under the idea it was already paid for. Saw some of the museums while there.
When I got back into Lisbon I went to the restaurant you suggested O Talho. It was delicious! Good choice.
The accommodations were nice I especially liked the one in Lagos. Thanks for all your help. I wouldn’t have had as good a trip if I planned it.
The road book was very handy and helpful for places to see.
Julie Coopersmith, USA, March 2015
We had a wonderful trip through Portugal and so enjoyed it- thank you for helping us with planning it and finding us great places to stay.
We left the GPS with the hotel in Porto as we did not realize we could leave it in a mailbox in the airport-we thought we had to take it to the post office and it might not be opened. The Concierge in Porto said he would put it in the mail for us so I so hope that is OK.
It was great to have the GPS and to have options as we drove through the country. We chose to leave Coimbra a day early as we realized that we would be better rested if we stayed in 1 place longer, and as interesting as the castles and side trips were, we were more interested in being in Porto and getting more of a solid feel for the city. We appreciate your flexibility and being able to change our itinerary while we were there and not being charged for it.
All the people in every single hotel/pousada you booked us at could not have been more gracious. We do not eat “traditional Portuguese” food and were able to be pointed towards really good options in each city. Also, they our guides were timely and interesting and able, based on what we already did, to show us other sites. Finally, thank you so much for helping with getting our daughter Sydney to Spain, esp after her first flight was cancelled.
Again, thank you so so much…we will absolutely recommend you when we know of others going to Portugal,
John Gale & Jill Mooney, Canada, October 2014
“John and I are home again and engaged in many local family and friend events as well as working and volunteering in our community. However, playing it out in the backs of our minds are memories of the wonderful experiences we had last month in Portugal. We loved the entire country and were so happy we had decided to stay within its boundaries for our first visit to Europe in many decades. We want to thank you for all your help and the fabulous travel aids (our itinerary, the GPS, the prearranged accommodation and site guides, the welcoming package, and the airport assistants etc.) that made our time exciting and pretty much stress-free.
We really had an amazing time and have recommended PortugalTrails to friends and acquaintances. John wanted to make sure you got the GPS back!!! We mailed it from the airport….even that was an easy process!”