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 ”