Anthony Morrissey, Australia, November 2016
I liked Aveiro . I took the boat trip the people were very friendly and helpful .
I visited the Saint Joana ? Museum and convent I was very impressed one of the best visits in the tour .
Whilst all the guides and people I met were proud of their nation I thought the hike in Sagres highlighted one persons love to protect what is a fragile environment both the cliffs, the vegetation and the way of life of the local fishermen .
Not forgetting the Sea Bass and that lovely hotel .
Rita thank you for organising this Tour for me .
Byron Turnoff, USA, November 2016
Our trip was great. I think the best feature was the preprogrammed GPS. It worked very well. We also lucked out on the weather. I can only guess that you had something to do with that too.
We have a friend who is a travel agent and I showed her the travel materials you planned for us along with your Portugal Book. She said it was very impressive and very comprehensive. I am not sure if you also work with travel agents here in the States but if so, I will give her your contact information.
Only one problem occurred and it was our fault. When we went to get the car, we actually walked up to the corporate offices for Eurocar. In the upper right hand corner of the voucher was an address and I didn’t read the lower left hand side of the voucher with the correct pick up address which was very close to our hotel. I think I looked in the upper right hand corner because the evening before we went to the Fado show and the address was in that upper corner. My wife and I actually laughed at our stupidity and we ended up having a good walk out of the ordeal.
Portugal is a beautiful country and we were glad we took all of your suggestions (the transponder, the pre-programmed GPS, etc.) that helped up travel all around.
We had a great time and we were very pleased with Portugal Trails and your services. Everything went exactly as planned.
Thank you for your assistance. If I have any friends planning a trip to Portugal or Spain, I will advise them to contact you. If you ever get to South Florida, please let me know, I would enjoy sharing what I know and maybe we could get together.
Cliff and Sandra, Canada, November 2016
I wanted to write to express our appreciation for the excellent trip that you put together for us, and on such short notice. We have had a wonderful holiday, and Portugal Trails in no small way made that possible.
The route was great, and gave us flexibility to stray to places that we wanted to explore. The country is magnificent, with much history and natural beauty, and we experienced both. All of the extra arrangements that you made on our behalf, such as tours or tastings, worked smoothly, and added to our experience.
We did have one small discomfort with one of the places that we stayed, and I will send you our feedback on that in a separate email. I did not want to let that take away from the excellence of the service that you provide.
In fact I was at a birthday party the other night and gave your email and web site to a friend who is planning to visit Portugal and Spain in the spring. I have recommended you highly.
Again, thanks for everything. Our experience was beyond our expectations.
Cliff and Sandra”
Duane Thompson, Canada, November 2016
I just want to let you know that we had a wonderful time in portugal and to thank you and portugal trails. The itinerary allowed us to see many great places and sights throughout the country and having the car to travel with was perfect. Your instructions, guide book and gps all helped make everything work well. I would like to mention that purchasing the toll transponder was definitely the best way to go.
Before leaving home I had thought that I would just avoid the main toll highways so that we could see more of the country side but after the first day of travel I realized that this would have been almost impossible. Also thank you for the wine, cookies and soap. They were a nice addition.
Kirsten, USA, November 2016
Portugal Trails was an amazing way to travel and we will be writing some great reviews on TripAdvisor and Facebook! You made it so easy to get around the country and the places we stayed were amazing! We actually tried to follow all your suggestions in each place we visited and all were spot on!
The guides you contracted for us were great. The only exception I would say was the Porto guide, who was fine, just did not give us the whole time we were booked for. The others were outstanding and went above and beyond to help us understand and appreciate the places we were visiting. It’s so important to understand the history of a country to appreciate all that you are seeing. Guide books alone cannot give you the heart that the guides did for us!
All the hotels were lovely and the staff helpful. Hard to choose a favorite, but we absolutely loved the Valverde! Our least favorite would be Hotel Moliceiro because the staff were not as helpful and did not speak english with the exception of one lady. The breakfast was not as good as all the other hotels. Minor problems in the scheme of things.
We remarked many times that we wished every country we visited had a Portugal Trails for their country! Thank you again for making our trip so memorable! Portugal is a beautiful country and we will return some day! Thanks to you we feel like we really got a good taste of the places and people! We also have a new appreciation for port! 🙂
Thank you again!
Peter, Karin, John and Patricia, Canada, November 2016
So sorry that I have been so late in getting a response back to you. Our trip was so action packed that we did not have much time for reflection. And then when we got home our lives quickly went back to normal with all the things to do to catch up and prepare for Christmas. Anyway, here are some comments for you.
1. Portugal Trails was an excellent company to deal with and I would highly recommend it to any traveller to Portugal.
2. Your personal management of our file, Vanessa, was superb. You are a great travel agent!
3. All of the planning and preparation by internet in advance of the journey was easy and successful. Your systems work well and are very accommodating and responsive to the customer.
4. One of the main highlights of the trip for us was the outstanding hotels that you booked for us. We wanted something unique, special and out of the ordinary and you certainly gave that to us. While every place was exceptional, the convent at Evora and the Pousada do Castelo in Obidos were the most memorable experiences.
5. The tours of both Lisbon and Porto were excellent. The guides were knowledgeable and personable. In particular we really enjoyed our walk with Rita in Lisbon.
6. The transportation/transfers were top notch. Vehicles were on time, clean and comfortable. The drivers were extremely courteous and catered to our needs. A special thanks to Anna for meeting us right at the train in Lisbon on our return and escorting us to the parked vehicle. The train ride from Porto to Lisbon was fast, comfortable and very convenient.
7. Unfortunately we did not have enough time to see all of the sights that you had recommended but we did many of them. All were good recommendations and we enjoyed them thoroughly. We could have easily used another 3 or 4 days on this route to get everything in and to have more time to just relax and soak it all up. Alas, that is life. So much world to see and so little time to see it. But a good reason to come back to Portugal again soon. Next time we want to go up the Doura valley for sure.
8. The Guide Book is an excellent initiative and we relied on it a lot. The basic format, layout and approach are really good. We did have a bit of a problem with navigation though, particularly in the towns and cities. In some cases the maps in the book showed different routes than those programmed in the GPS. And the GPS, while good on the open road, had a lot of trouble in urban areas where turns were very close together. After a few days, we stopped using the GPS and just followed the instructions/maps in the Guide Book. And we sometimes got lost but helpful locals got us to where we needed to go. In Porto, where we got totally lost, a good Samaritan we met at a gas station drove his car as an escort to get us to the Yeatman.
9. The food we ate everywhere was very nutritious and tasty – perhaps too many yummy pastries that made it hard to avoid over eating. And of course, the wine, port (and even the ginja) were delicious.
10. Overall we found Portugal a great country to visit – perhaps the hidden treasure of Europe. The scenery is beautiful, the country is steeped in history with well-preserved sites and yet the the amenities for travellers are totally modern. We were particularly impressed with the apparent prosperity in both cities and countryside and the obvious cleanliness and care with which properties were kept. And all of the Portuguese people we met were friendly, courteous and helpful. We never felt concerned for safety or taken for granted.
11. Thanks for passing our donation to the charity in Estoril. That was a very kind initiative which speaks volumes to the civic mindedness of yourself and Portugal Trails.
Peter and Karin, John and Patricia”
Pat Penner and David West, Canada, November 2016
Just a quick note as we’re at the airport right now. Thanks so much for organizing such a varied and interesting trip in your beautiful country! I feel as though I learned a lot about the country and the wonderful people who live here.
Everyone we met related to your company and all of the facilities and tours were excellent. A special remembrance to our walking guides – Sophia, Roderigue, Carla and the wonderful staff at the Hotel Britania.
Thank you again for the welcome gifts – we are taking them home to enjoy!
All the best and thank you again,
Pat Penner and David West”
Ron and Suzan Boudreau, Canada, November 2016
“I wanted to let you know we were very pleased with the trip you arranged on our behalf. Thank you for the gifts on arrival. The soap and cookies were put to great use. The wine returned with us to Canada. We had the opportunity to try many of your recommended restaurants and all but one exceeded our expectations. Our winery visit from Evora was wonderful. However, our greatest joy came from the many services you contracted for us. The drivers, guides and equipment were excellent. Thanks for the Fado evening. It got going at around 2:00 am. It was terrific.
Thanks again, Ron and Suzan Boudreau”
Seth Kaplan, USA, November 2016
I wanted to give you feedback on our trip which was absolutely wonderful. We had a much easier time communicating in northern Spain and found the locals to be congenial. We were the only guests at the hotel in Santillana and bonded with Raphael, the inn keeper. We ultimately felt that we were staying with a friend, not just paying for a room. Patty, our guide in Santiago, was a delight and was helpful in recommending stores and restaurants frequented by locals. I have a tendency to second guess itineraries after our trips but would not have changed any part of our vacation. Let me know how I can do a review on-line for your company as we have done in the past. Thanks again for your help.
Linda Schilling, USA, October 2016
I wanted to send a note to let you know how much we enjoyed our trip. All the plans you made for us went like clockwork…except when the clutch went out on the car as we were heading to Cascais toward the end. You may have heard about this as we called the helpline for advice and to help us communicate with the tow truck driver. Avis provided another car and all turned out well.
We enjoyed the posadas very much, especially the one in Obidos. The rooms and service at both Obidos and Porto were exceptional, Sagres lacked services…seemed to be short staffed…but had a great view. The hotels were very nice. Our 1/2 day city tours were most interesting and we found the guides to be very pleasant and knowledgable, particularly Patricia Longa in Santiago and Miguel in Lisbon. Karla, the nature guide in Sagres was delightful and her walk was most enjoyable. Of course, the beaches and coastline are beautiful and the historic palaces, churches and fortresses were fun to visit.
We loved the food and wine overall. The golf courses had lovely views although were not as well kept as we had expected. Nonetheless, we enjoyed playing.
Thank you so much for making these arrangements …we will not hesitate to recommend Portugal Trails to others. Thank you also for the gifts… those cookies were great…we enjoyed them throughout the trip!