Our tour was wonderful. Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. https://www.ricksteves.com/publications/tour-catalog-dvd-form, I know. Frederico is "magnifico"!!! Everywhere we went, we had local guides share their love of their cities, its museums, churches, and historic buildings. As with other sites, it is more impactful when I see & experience something in person versus reading about it.". Rick Steves the piano teacher: improvise on the blues scale in 3 minutes! They did a good job of navigating the group through the Holiday crowds in Madrid. I APPRECIATE THE HELP I RECEIVED FROM THE GROUP AND TOUR GUIDE JAVIER, "BARCELONA OLD TOWN. I loved it.". Amanda was very helpful with all questions and suggestions for our free time. Instead of simply dining, we were treated to a cooking class which brought us together in small groups as we worked on individual dishes. I visited Montserrat Monastery with the Black Madonna and hiked up to the cross of the Arch Angel, very moving,". There was a lot of sharing personal stories as well as responding to the tour itself. "Visiting the Sagrada Familia was amazing.". The experience of traveling on the bullet train. The tour was a good mix of activities. This is our first time with Rick Steve's tour. "Having not been on a tour like this before I was definitely skeptical, the whole thing wowed me and I had a fantastic time. Hotels a pleasant surprise. As in our past RS tours, the local guides were "outstanding". The four local guides in Barcelona, Madrid and Toledo were also outstanding!!!! Our guide Javier was amazing and reorganized everything so we still had a wonderful time. Loved the quality of the hotels. See our FAQ | Call Both Barcelona and Madrid were great in such different ways. We learned so much about the man behind the dream from the local Barcelona expert. We had a variety of great experiences - a nice balance of art, architecture, food and history. "It is so hard to limit my observations of this trip to a favorite "wow" moment. You can find the list of Rick Steves tour dates here. Definitly looking at Southern Spain for a future trip. No disappointment there! As long as the COVID-19 crisis continues, travelers have no way to enjoy Europe in person and our Europe tour guides have no income. Since 2000, he has hosted Rick Steves' Europe, a travel series on public television. "The Stratavarius instruments made from the same tree, kept under glass at the Royal Palace! "So many! We spent additional time before the tour in Barcelona which allowed us to do a private one day wine tour in the Penedes region. Spain was a new travel destination for me and I so enjoyed seeing the country, for the first time. A short tour like this with less time on the bus was perfect for us. But everything on the tour was terrific...history and art...a perfect day. He organized a hotel at the airport for us the night before we left. Madrid is a great city with great art and interesting neighborhoods, and Toledo is an amazing peek into life 500 years in the past, but Barcelona captured my heart on this trip. I was brought to tears - it was so moving!". But its “beautiful chaos” is well worth savoring. It was incredible to see. You really need to be prepared for these "high activity" days. Spain is definitely a foodie's dream tour!". "I think it's nearly impossible to eclipse the Sagrada Familia, but the cathedral in Toledo came pretty close. Guide was amazing. I would, and probably will, take another, and another, and another Rick Steves tour. Rick Steves’ Europe has a full slate of European tours all locked, loaded, and ready to book for 2021. Barcelona and Madrid are lively cities to visit nearly year-round. Both hotels were centrally located and within easy walking distance of major attractions and sties. I had a wonderful experience in Barcelona, Madrid, and Toledo. "What is my WOW moment? As a travel teacher, I’ve been fortunate to draw from a variety of rich overseas experiences. This was a wonderful week of exploration and dining. ", "I am always impressed by the guides. We were absolutely unanimous in our enthusiasm for his work with us. I think I actually enjoyed Spain more than I even thought I would. This was followed by a fascinating walk through the ancient alleys and streets of the Barri Gotic and El Born. While there were some of his creations I wasn't able to see, I am very happy with what I did see as I was able to add a couple of locations early on Sunday, the day our tour started. Steves introduces a different region of Europe for every month of the year, diving into its most fascinating, unexpected sites with expert text and hundreds of photographs. This was our first group travel tour. The members of the tour group were interesting and interested. The tour of the Picasso Museum in Barcelona with our sensational guide Sonia. He oversaw our care with such sincerity and care. Fantastic. Our tour took place just as Madrid was beginning to experience growing numbers of the coronavirus and this put a bit of a damper on the tour for us. Our presentations about the history, art, music, and culture of Spain were absorbing and enriching. "The Sagrada Familia was the "wow" moment. It was interesting to learn how hemp was used and what a beautiful museum with the stained glass and tile.". And the tour (and Nigel) prepared us very well for the independent travel we did at the conclusion of our 8 days with the group! This tasty collection of French treats begins in the cozy, historic town of Chartres — an easy train ride from Paris. The local guides were very good. A GOOD TIME WITH A NICE BUNCH OF PEOPLE. This was our sixth Rick Steves' Tour and, once again, it exceeded our expectations. It's so unique and we would love to see it again when it's completed.". You have to hold their attention and listening to the minute details of an artist and his paintings does not hold the audience. Thanks for bearing with us as we navigate a tough year. In Barcelona it was Sagrada Familia. Hasta luego! "Touring Toledo, imagining what it must have been like when Christians, Jews and Muslims lived in harmony. We enjoyed every moment and will definitely book another tour and highly recommend a Rick Steve's tour. This was my first Rick Steves tour and I was so impressed by the organization and thought that was put into the tour. ), "The architecture of Barcelona -- modernism and Gaudí!". Very knowledgeable, passionate and kind. I had my expectations for this trip, and the trip exceeded those expectations! On our third day we arrived in Madrid to find that all the museums were closed because of the Corona virus. This was our first experience with Rick Steves Tours, and it was great from beginning to end. I look forward to doing another Rick Steve's in the future. It gave us way more chance to mingle instead of a regular sit down dinner. "Extra time at Sagrada Familia to listen to the chapter from Dave Brown's Origen. "All of the Gaudi buildings. It is hard to pick one thing from such an amazing experience!". Javier communicated clearly and honestly with the group what was happening. Our stress-free England and Scotland vacations package together small groups, great guides, central hotels, all sightseeing — and memories to last a lifetime. The most considerate and congenial tour group I have ever been on tour with. THE LARGEST VEG AND FRUIT AT THE MARKET PLACE. "There were two. Very organized and gratious. ), felt like I saw all the highlights while having ample time to explore Barcelona and Madrid with my husband. This was our first Rick Steves' tour and we loved it! Much appreciated!! Sagrada Familia. WAS OUTSTANDING WITH REGARDS TO KNOWLEDGE AND EFFORTS TO DEAL WITH ANY MINOR TRAVEL MEMBER ISSUES. We have tickets to meet every budget for the Rick Steves schedule. The tour was very well organized and it was nice to focus on two cities. I felt very pampered! Our 3rd Rick Steves tour and it was an amazing tour from start to finish. The activities, from Gaudi tour, to Toledo, to museums, were well selected and well led. "Tour of Toledo. We'll catch the bus back to Madrid for our final dinner together to share travel memories and toast new friends. I love having a tour catalogue in my hand as well, but this year has cost Rick Steves Tours so much money that I am happy to let him/them save a little money by not printing and mailing a physical catalogue. (For all you do...) Seeing Caravaggio's recently restored painting of Saint Catherine in the Thyssen museum in Madrid. Bonjour! Rick Steves' Europe Page-A-Day Calendar 2021. My wife and I have never been on a guided tour before this one. As we were looking at it, it all came together and I had all the feelings.". The information sent ahead of time was very helpful and the pace of the tour was perfect. We loved our tour in Spain. knowledgeable. What a wonderful introduction to the continent! The entire tour was outstanding. "There were a lot of "wow" moments on this tour but my favorite was Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia. All transportation was arranged and ran smoothly. The stained glass made the light look beautiful inside.". From the beautifully appointed and comfortable hotels to the excellent local guides, delicious meals together and the extraordinary tour guide, Amanda, I could not have asked for anything more from this trip. Enjoyed the small winding streets. Really loved that somebody else set up all reservations, and travel arrangements. I enjoyed having a lot of downtime to explore the country with my husband, rather than constantly being in a group. "Our favorite "wow" moment occurred in Madrid when we were shown one of the convents with cloistered nuns who sell almond cookies; we saw where they lived and were able to sample some of their yummy cookies and heard a little about how they lived.". We had a fun group, an outstanding guide, some very memorable local guides, great food and wine and very good weather. They immersed us in all aspects of Spain in a way that was fun and memorable. ; Versatility: Stand it up on your desk or hang it on your wall.And after each page is torn out, its blank back becomes handy note paper. We enjoyed as much as we liked of three different Spanish wines and also were treated to freshly prepared Spanish omelettes. The armoury room at the Royal Palace. "So many, the Gaudi works in Barcelona, the architecture and the artwork with Federico's help. "Sagrada Familia was hands down the wow moment of the trip for me.". As always, the tour was well designed and presented a nice balance of key landmarks with plenty of free time and suggestions. Daily Inspiration: Start each day with Rick's favorite places and experiences in Europe, including a full-color photo and tips on getting around, sightseeing, saving money, and what to eat. Amazing tour guide, James, who was immediately very comfortable to be with and talented. IT was beyond what I thought was possible. Unfortunately I did not get to say goodbye in person since my kids woke me up during the middle of the night telling me to get home STAT. Great recommendations for free time from guides: Casa Batllo and Hospital de la Santa Creu.". Barcelona was great with all things Gaudi. Having our guide, Amanda, guide us through the metro, buses and train decreased any anxiety about associated with being in a foreign country. -- the smoothly-planned arrangements for seeing museums and other sights (for instance, we were able to get in slightly early to the Royal Palace in Madrid and thus did not have a crowd to deal with as we walked through the Palace). The pace was brisk along with the breadth of information offered for each area visited. Accommodations were centrally located. Rick Steve's tours should also make the bus tour of Barcelona one of the first things to experience. Jorge was a good guide and was very helpful when someone needed extra help, like when my daughter was sick at the beginning of the tour and we had to find a pharmacy that was still open before our first group dinner. Explored our surroundings and our tour guides, great food and the wine tasting to book for 2021 take through. Where we would definitely do another R s tour with RS in and. 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