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Marina Courtaut

Can you think of a better way to live adventures than traveling?
When we travel we open our minds to new experiences and learn new cultures by making the destination we visited our home for a short time. My job as part of the Espiritu Travel team is to ensure that after your trip, you will always remember that destination as another one of “your home”. I am passionate about designing trips that include the highlights of Spain and Portugal, including small places that go beyond the conventions and show the authentic culture of the place.

I am Spanish by birth but my father is from France so my heart is divided. My passion for traveling came from my parents, who have shared their trips around the world with me. Since then, I haven't stopped, always looking for authentic experiences that help me understand the culture of the place I visit. I have had the opportunity to live in the state of Michigan, in Amsterdam and in Paris, and I have traveled through many of the corners of the world and in my country Spain, the cradle of the Flamenco Art.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"We specialize in trips to Spain and Portugal as well as Cuba. In both countries, we have our own offices so we can create all types of tailor-made trips; culture, art, history, culture, architecture, gastronomy, outdoor activities, nature-based, small groups, off the beaten track"

How did you get involved in travel?

"Since I was little, I've had the opportunity to travel through wonderful places and I was always amazed at the exchange of cultures that occurred while traveling, whether traveling as part of a group or solo. I decided to start my career as a professional in the world of travel at the age of 19 when I started studying the Tourism degree in Madrid. Since then, I have worked in different roles in the tourism industry: in travel agencies, as a tourism consultant, and in hotels. In addition, I studied the Master “International Tourism Management”. As part of the Espíritu Travel team, I continue my trip through the tourism industry as a local Travel Specialist in Spain and Portugal."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"It is difficult to choose an experience of all the lived one while traveling ... it is like choosing a favorite song, so difficult!

But if I had to choose one I think it would be the one I lived during the Holy Week in Malaga, it was not the first time I visited Malaga but it was the first time I saw a procession. Malaga is a beautiful coastal city in southern Spain.

I was shocked with the magic of the city during these holidays, especially when the processions happen at night. The city is silent and the music of the orchestra touches you in a magical way accompanied by the light of the torches carried by the brotherhoods.

Regardless of the religious character of this party, it is moving to see how the Spanish live Holy Week."

Marina is part of the following groups: Portugal Travel Agents, Spain Travel Agents
Valencia's historic Plaza de la Virgen
Family-friendly Spain: Barcelona & Valencia - 6 Days

There's fun for the whole family on this relaxed 6-day tour of eastern Spain. Starting in Barcelona, you'll ascend Mount Montjuic via cable cars, take a sunset sail around the harbor, and wander the cobbled streets of the Gothic Quarter. After a day trip exploring the wonders of surrounding Catalonia, you’ll head down the coast to finish your trip in Valencia, where all ages can marvel at underwater wonders in Europe’s largest aquarium and sample the city’s signature dish of paella.

Colorful views of the city
Best of Paris & Barcelona - 8 Days

Enjoy the top offerings of Paris and Barcelona — from historic sites to culinary delights — on this 8-day trip. You'll start your trip in the City of Lights for a visit to the artistic Montmartre neighborhood and a wine & cheese tasting in a medieval cellar. Continue to Spain to see impressive Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture and feast on traditional Catalonian fare.

The Alhambra and Generalife, Granada
Discover the Flavors of Southern Spain - 12 Days

Explore the highlights and flavors of Spain with visits to the cities of Madrid, Granada, Málaga, Cadiz, and Seville on this 12-day trip. You'll enjoy private tours of the historic old towns, visit ancient religious sites, and taste Spain's best culinary offerings. Start the trip in Andalusía to see the Alhambra in Granada, visit Málaga to learn to cook in a traditional finca, then wrap up the trip in Seville to enjoy a flamenco show.

Underground cellar for storing wine
Epic Wine & Culinary Trip Though Spain - 12 Days

If food and wine are your passions, then this unparalleled 12-day trip through the heart of Spain's Basque Country has your name on it. You'll see Barcelona's highlights — including the Sagrada Familia — as well as the coastal towns of the Bay of Biscay. Tour family wineries, visit shepherds, and hop from pintxos bar to pintxos bar, grazing until your heart's content.

Caleta de Famara in Northeastern Lanzarote
Ultimate Canary Islands Tour & Madrid - 8 Days

This 8-day trip covers the archipelago's three easternmost islands. Traveling by road and ferry, you'll discover historic villages, orchards, forests, mountains, beaches, volcanoes, and vineyards to understand just what makes this region of Spain so unique. There will be plenty of free time to explore each isle's capital—especially in the evenings—to round out this fun adventure. End the adventure in Madrid to experience the magic of a flamenco show.

Sunset in Palma de Mallorca
Highlights of Spain and Portugal - 19 Days

This 19-day itinerary allows you to visit three different regions of Spain, including Madrid, Basque Country, and Catalonia, as well as the Balearic Islands and Portugal. Throughout the adventure, you'll enjoy great food, wine tours, a flamenco show, historic Gothic architecture, and even make time for a bit of island-hopping in Ibiza and Mallorca. You'll also fly into Portugal to explore the cities of Porto and Lisbon, as well as the wine region in the Douro Valley and the famous palace of Sintra.

Recent trip reviews for Marina

Amazing trip to Portugal · Portugal - Oct 18 - Oct 29, 2021

Traveler: Amanda D. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

We had an amazing time in Portugal!  Marina was wonderful; we absolutely could not have planned this trip without her help. While we were in Portugal, the support we received from Karin was also so helpful.  I will definitely use KimKimin in the future.

Some of the highlights included: 
-Porto was a favorite! Thanks to Nelson, the day trip to Duoro Valley was one of the best activities/days that we had on our trip. Nelson went above and beyond to ensure we enjoyed the day, learned more about... read more

We had an amazing time in Portugal!  Marina was wonderful; we absolutely could not have planned this trip without her help. While we were in Portugal, the support we received from Karin was also so helpful.  I will definitely use KimKimin in the future.

Some of the highlights included: 
-Porto was a favorite! Thanks to Nelson, the day trip to Duoro Valley was one of the best activities/days that we had on our trip. Nelson went above and beyond to ensure we enjoyed the day, learned more about Portuguese history and culture, and saw sights we may have missed otherwise.  I honestly cannot say enough good things about Nelson; he was absolutely wonderful.  

-Also the tour of Porto with Sara was great.  Sara did a great job taking us to some unique points in the city.  Additionally, she assisted us with restaurants and other recommendations in the city.  Sara is really lovely.  

-The day trip to Sintra was also a fantastic experience.  Sintra is magical and Marta was wonderful.-The Lisbon walking tour was also very good.  This tour helped us understand so much about the history of Portugal as well as see a lot of the city.  Our tour guide Filipa had a great personalityand kept the tour interesting. 

-Lagos is absolutely beautiful!  While we enjoyed the Catamaran, we really enjoyed the Sunset experience with Pedro.  This activity allowed us to see the surrounding areas outside of Lagos and understand just how much more there is to see and do in the Algarve region.  Pedro really did a great job; he was very personable and made the whole experience really fun.

Other:
-It would be good to mention that flat shoes are required for pretty much all of the streets in Portugal. :)
-The Tivoli hotel in Lagos did not meet expectations.  While the rooms were clean, the service and the breakfast were lacking.  For example, every time we went to get towels for the pool, the front desk did not have any available. This is not a hotel I would stay at in the future. 

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

I don't have words to respond to this review! Other than wow and thank you so much for taking the time to write such detail. I am so pleased that you had such a fabulous time, it is what our team always strives for. I really appreciate your comments about the Tivoli hotel, I will make a note of that! It certainly was a pleasure to help you plan your trip to Portugal and look forward to helping you plan another trip in the future. Marina :-)

Great 3 week trip to Spain · Spain - Oct 10 - Oct 30, 2021

Traveler: Amanda A. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Marina worked extremely hard to put together a last minute trip to Spain. We were traveling with our 6 yo son, and she was able to incorporate family friendly activities and tour guides that included fun stories and activities for kids. Great communication, friendly, responsive, and professional. We had a great trip and highly recommend Marina and Karin. Thank you!

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Amanda, thank you for this review and for posting all these great photos! :) I am so please you had a blast and have left Spain with lovely memories of your family trip. It certainly was a pleasure to help you plan this trip and look forward to helping you plan another trip in the future. Marina :-)

Our trip was absolutely wonderful, and it's h... · Portugal - Oct 18 - Oct 31, 2021

Traveler: Kay L. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Our trip was absolutely wonderful, and it's hard to say what our favorite part was. Marina was absolutely fantastic in helping us plan our trip, and responded quickly and kindly when we asked for changes. A few standouts...4x4 adventure near Porto, Douro Valley wine tour, day in Coimbra, Knights Templar tour in Tomar, lunch at the olive tree farm near Evora. Overall an absolutely amazing trip! Thank you again to Marina, and to Karin for serving as POC for one week.

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Kay, thank you for taking the time to do the review! I am so pleased that you had such a fabulous time, it is what our team always strives for. It was my pleasure helping you plan your trip to Portugal and look forward to working with you in the future. Marina :-)

Anadalucia 2021 · Spain - Oct 23 - Oct 30, 2021

Traveler: Chris C. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Marina put together a great itinerary that met my goal of lots of active time out of the cities, while still seeing the cultural highlights in each place I stayed. All of the guides were very good, but a Rachel who was our guide for Caminito del rey was truly outstanding.

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Chris, thank you for taking the time to do the review! I am pleased to read that you had such a great time in Spain. It has been my true pleasure helping you plan your trip to Spain. I look forward to working with you in the future. Marina:-)

Marina was great! · Portugal - Oct 4 - Oct 17, 2021

Traveler: Amanda R. - Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Marina designed an amazing trip for us! She really understood what we were looking for and went out of her way to deliver. She was also very easily accessible during our trip to help us navigate any hiccups or last minute changes. Would definitely book with Marina again!

Marina Courtaut profile photo
Marina Courtaut, local specialist, responded to this review:

Amanda, thank you for taking the time to do the review. It was my pleasure helping you plan your family trip to Portugal and I am thrilled that you had a fantastic time in Portugal. I look forward to working with you in the future. Marina :-)