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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."

Top itineraries and travel advice
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Recent trip reviews for Marina

FABULOUS TWO WEEKS IN SPAIN
Spain | May 1 - May 14, 2024

Marianna
Marianna R.
Chicago, IL | Reviewed on May 15, 2024
WHAT A WONDERFUL TRIP WE HAD TO SPAIN! MARINA PUT TOGETHER A FABULOUS ITINERARY FULL OF TOURS AND CULTURAL EXPERIENCES. WE STARTED IN MADRID AND ENJOYED A WALKING TOUR WITH JAVIER AND ENDED WITH A FOOD AND DRINK TOUR AND LEARNED A LOT ABOUT SPANISH FARE. WE TOOK THE TRAIN TO TOLEDO AND HAD A DELIGHTFUL TOUR WITH MANUEL AND ENDED WITH A YUMMY LUNCH IN A CAVE. WE TOOK THE TRAIN TO GRANADA WHICH WAS A LIVELY TOWN WITH A VERY FESTIVE ATMOSPHERE. WE ENJOYED LOTS OF REMARKABLE TAPAS IN THE... Read more

WHAT A WONDERFUL TRIP WE HAD TO SPAIN! MARINA PUT TOGETHER A FABULOUS ITINERARY FULL OF TOURS AND CULTURAL EXPERIENCES. WE STARTED IN MADRID AND ENJOYED A WALKING TOUR WITH JAVIER AND ENDED WITH A FOOD AND DRINK TOUR AND LEARNED A LOT ABOUT SPANISH FARE. WE TOOK THE TRAIN TO TOLEDO AND HAD A DELIGHTFUL TOUR WITH MANUEL AND ENDED WITH A YUMMY LUNCH IN A CAVE. WE TOOK THE TRAIN TO GRANADA WHICH WAS A LIVELY TOWN WITH A VERY FESTIVE ATMOSPHERE. WE ENJOYED LOTS OF REMARKABLE TAPAS IN THE LOCAL BARS INCLUDING A HIGHLIGHT AT BAR POE. WE HAD A GROUP TOUR OF THE ALHAMBRA- AN ABSOLUTELY STUNNING CASTLE FULL OF HISTORY AND AMAZING ARCHITECTURE. WE ALSO ENJOYED A SMALL, INTIMATE FLAMENCO DANCE PERFORMED IN A CAVE. FROM GRANADA, WE DROVE TO SEVILLE BY WAY OF SEVERAL SMALL TOWNS INCLUDING RONDA, SENTINEL AND ZAHARA, ALL WITH THEIR OWN UNIQUE LANDSCAPES AND INTERESTING SIGHTS. AFTER THREE WONDERFUL DAYS IN SEVILLE TOURING THE CITY, AND ALCAZAR WTIH HELENA, TOURING AND TASTING AT AN OLIVE OIL ESTATE, AND A PAELLA MAKING CLASS WHICH WAS A HIGHLIGHT, WE WERE ABLE TO GET LAST MINUTE TICKETS TO THE CATHEDRAL AND TOURED IT ON OUR OWN. THEN, WE FLEW TO BARCELONA. WE HAD ARRANGED A TOUR OF THE GAUDI MASTERPIECES INCLUDING CASA BATLLO, PARK GUELL, AND THE ULTIMATE, LA FAMILIA SEGRADA- ALL ARE NOT TO MISS WHEN IN BARCELONA! OUR FINAL VENTURE WAS A DRIVE TO THE COAST OF BEGUR. OUR STAY AT THE PARADOR DE AIGLUABAVA WAS AMAZING. WE WERE UPGRADED TO SUITES AND ENJOYED GLORIOUS VIEWS OF THE MEDERERREAN SEA! WE DID A CATAMARAN TOUR ALONG THE COAST AND SAW CASTLES AND BEACHES ALONG THE WAY. OUR BEAUTIFUL ADVENTURE ENDED WITH A DRIVE BACK TO BARCELONA AND A VISIT TO MONTSERRAT! WE PACKED IN A LOT IN TWO WEEKS AND MADE MEMORIES FOR A LIFETIME!

Hotel Reviews
Hotel España Ramblas
Barcelona

THIS WAS OUR ONLY DISAPPOINTMENT OF OUR STAY. TOTALLY ON A DIFFERENT LEVEL THAN ANYWHERE ELSE WE STAYED. MUCH LOWER CLASS. THE STAFF WAS NOT TERRIBLY FRIENDLY AND SOME DIDN'T SPEAK GOOD ENGLISH. THE HOTEL IS DARK AND DREARY. IT IS ESPECIALLY DIFFICULT TO GET READY IN THE BATHROOMS AND APPLY MAKE UP AS THE LIGHTING IS TERRIBLE. THE LIGHTING IS TERRIBLE THROUGHOUT THE HOTEL. THE ELEVATORS SEEMED TO BE IN POOR CONDITION. THE BREAKFAST WAS LIMITED WITH STALE PASTRIES AND FEW CHOICES. THE AREA THE HOTEL WAS LOCATED WAS NOT THE SAFEST FEELING. I"M GLAD WE ONLY HAD 2 NIGHTS THERE, BUT REGRET THAT WE WERE BOOKED HERE AT ALL. IT WAS A REAL DISAPPOINTMENT AND I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND KIMKIM PLACE THEIR CLIENTS IN THIS HOTEL IN THE FUTURE. MUCH LOWER CLASS THAN THE H10'S OR PARADORE DE AIGLUBAVA.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
MOLD IN THE SHOWER ALONG THE CALKING ALONG THE FLOOR. ROOM WAS DARK AND QUIET, HOWEVER
Sallés Hotel Ciutat del Prat
El Prat de Llobregat

I HAD LOW EXPECTATIONS BECAUSE I HAD TOLD MARINA WE COULD SAVE $$ ON THE AIRPORT HOTEL NIGHT, BUT THIS HOTEL EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS. IT WAS LOVELY. LIGHT AND BRIGHT WITH A VERY HELPFUL, FRIENDLY STAFF. BREAKFAST WAS FRESH AND DELICIOUS. ROOMS WERE BRIGHT, CLEAN, AND COMFORTABLE. WOULD RECOMMEND. THE LOCATION WAS A BIT SKETCHY BUT WE DIDN'T LEAVE THE HOTEL ONCE WE CHECKED IN AND FELT SAFE AND FINE THERE.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Guided Visit of Madrid:  History, Culture & Architecture of the Capital of Spain
Guided Visit of Madrid: History, Culture & Architecture of the Capital of Spain
Madrid

JAVIER WAS GREAT. ENJOYED HIS TOUR. MAYBE WE COULD HAVE SEEN EVEN MORE IF WE HAD GOTTEN ON THE METRO AND VISITED MORE AREAS THAN JUST WHAT WAS WALKABLE

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Tapas Culinary Experience
Tapas Culinary Experience
Madrid

THIS WAS A HIGHLIGHT. FULL OF FUN, LAUGHTER, GREAT FOOD AND BEVERAGES! HIGHLY RECOMMEND. BUT.....BE SURE TO TELL YOUR CLIENTS THE PROPER START TIME! WE WERE TOLD 6PM AND WERE THERE PROMPTLY AT 6 AND NO ONE WAS THERE. TURNS OUT, IT DOESN'T START UNTIL 6:30.

Quality of Experience
Food
EXCELLENT
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Train Madrid to Toledo, Guided Visit of Toledo, Train Toledo to Madrid
Train Madrid to Toledo, Guided Visit of Toledo, Train Toledo to Madrid
Madrid

GREAT EXPERIENCE

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Guided Visit:  Alhambra & Generalife Gardens
Guided Visit: Alhambra & Generalife Gardens
Granada

ALHAMBRA WAS VERY CROWDED AND HARD TO GET A LOT OUT OF A GROUP TOUR. ANTONIO WAS THE GUIDE AND WAS VERY INFORMATIVE, BUT IT WAS HARD TO KEEP UP WITH HIM AND ALL HIS KNOWLEDGE IN THE GROUP SETTING. WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER TO HAVE HAD A PRIVATE TOUR.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Visit an Andalusian Olive Oil Estate
Visit an Andalusian Olive Oil Estate
Seville

ANOTHER HIGHLIGHT OF THE TRIP. SARA WAS GREAT! ESTATE WAS BEAUTIFUL. REALLY ENJOYED THE TOUR AND TASTING

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Flamenco Show in a Sacromonte Cave
Flamenco Show in a Sacromonte Cave
Granada

GREAT SHOW. HOWEVER, THERE WAS NO INTRODUCTION AS TO WHAT WE WERE ABOUT TO SEE. AND NO EXPLANATION. WE ENJOYED IT BUT WOULD HAVE LIKED SOME EXPLANATION. WE ALSO THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE A LARGE, STAGE PRODUCTION. HAD NO IDEA IT WAS A VERY SMALL INTIMATE AFFAIR WITH 3 DANCERS AND TWO SINGERS.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Guided Visit of Seville
Guided Visit of Seville
Seville

HELENA WAS VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE AND HAD LOTS OF INFORMATION TO SHARE. SHE DIDN'T PICK UP ON OUR QUEUS THAT WE WERE TIRED AND NEEDED A BREAK, OR TO EVEN CUT THE TOUR A BIT SHORT. `

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Traditional Andalusian Market Visit & Cooking Class
Traditional Andalusian Market Visit & Cooking Class
Seville

ANOTHER HIGHLIGHT OF THE TRIP!! WOULDN'T CHANGE A THING! LOVED IT!!

Quality of Experience
Food
DELICIOUS PAELLA, SOUP AND SPINACH/CHICKPEAS DISH
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Catamaran Sailing along the Costa Brava
Catamaran Sailing along the Costa Brava
Spain

THIS WAS FINE BUT NOT GREAT. THE AREA WHERE YOU START THE TOUR WAS A BIT DINGY AND CROWDED. THE STAFF ON THE BOAT DID A GREAT JOB. IT'S NOT A HIGH CLASS EXPERIENCE. THERE WERE LOTS OF YOUNG KIDS ON BOARD. THE FOOD SERVED WAS FINE. NOTHING GREAT.

Quality of Experience
Food
Private Tour of Barcelona & La Sagrada Familia
Private Tour of Barcelona & La Sagrada Familia
Barcelona

WE ARRANGED THIS FOR OURSELVES AND THOROUGHLY ENJOYED THE DAY

Local specialist: Marina Courtaut

Travelling Solo in Spain
Spain | Feb 24 - Mar 9, 2024

Narelle
Narelle P.
Australia | Reviewed on Mar 31, 2024
Travelling as a solo 63 year old woman was at first daunting, but with having Marina (or Maria on weekends) at my finger tips for advice/recommendations or help, made the trip a wonderful experience. Prior to departure, the itinerary was suggested and worked through with myself and Carmen, and from there I felt I had a solid plan for my trip to Spain. The hotels were all good, with helpful staff and well located. I had the autonomy to navigate my way to train stations, meeting spots, and... Read more

Travelling as a solo 63 year old woman was at first daunting, but with having Marina (or Maria on weekends) at my finger tips for advice/recommendations or help, made the trip a wonderful experience. Prior to departure, the itinerary was suggested and worked through with myself and Carmen, and from there I felt I had a solid plan for my trip to Spain. The hotels were all good, with helpful staff and well located. I had the autonomy to navigate my way to train stations, meeting spots, and hotels, which provided me the right amount of free time and organised time.

I didn’t keep a record of all the guides names, but highly recommend the chocolate walking tour and tapas tour in Barcelona and flamenco dancing in Seville.

Hotel Reviews
Andante Hotel
Barcelona
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Palacio de Santa Inés Hotel
Granada
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
NH Collection Amistad Córdoba Hotel
Córdoba
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Pestana Plaza Mayor Madrid
Madrid
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Alcázar
Seville
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Guided Visit:  Alhambra & Generalife Gardens
Guided Visit: Alhambra & Generalife Gardens
Spain

Very experienced and knowledgeable tour guide.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Tapas Culinary Experience
Tapas Culinary Experience
Barcelona

This was really fun!! Great choice of restaurants and lovely wines.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Barcelona Chocolate Experience
Barcelona Chocolate Experience
Barcelona

This was fun. Our guide, whose name I’ve forgotten was great. I had this guide for the tapas and chocolate walking tours!!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Guided Visit of Barcelona
Guided Visit of Barcelona
Barcelona

Our guide Adrian was very professional and super organised. Great tour.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Exclusive Panoramic Seville Walking Tour
Exclusive Panoramic Seville Walking Tour
Seville

Loved Seville and loved this walking tour with Alejandra of White Umbrella Tours.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Tapas & Flamenco Experience
Tapas & Flamenco Experience
Seville

This was a stand out. Only mend the guide, but we had a ball and the flamenco dancing was memorable.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Private Guided Visit of Córdoba
Private Guided Visit of Córdoba
Córdoba
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Local specialist: Marina Courtaut
Marina
Marina Courtaut
Local specialist in Madrid | Replied on Apr 01, 2024

Hi Narelle, thank you for taking the time to write your trip review! I am pleased to hear you had a great time in Spain and I will pass along your kind words to all the team 😊 Wish we work together on another adventure in the future! Warm regards from Espiritu Travel, Marina

Cultural Portugal
Portugal | Jan 14 - Jan 20, 2024

Nidhi
Nidhi S.
Fresh Meadows, NY | Reviewed on Jan 21, 2024
We had an amazing time in Portugal. Our local specialist, Marina, helped us plan an itinerary that was very specific to our needs. We were exposed to so many different cultural parts of Portugal, seeing both urban culture in Lisbon and historical culture in Porto. We were constantly in awe of the beautifully colored buildings. We were able to immerse ourselves into the food culture with a private cooking class. Taking the ceramic tile class helped us get hands on with the art/ history of the... Read more

We had an amazing time in Portugal. Our local specialist, Marina, helped us plan an itinerary that was very specific to our needs. We were exposed to so many different cultural parts of Portugal, seeing both urban culture in Lisbon and historical culture in Porto. We were constantly in awe of the beautifully colored buildings. We were able to immerse ourselves into the food culture with a private cooking class. Taking the ceramic tile class helped us get hands on with the art/ history of the country. Wine tasting in Douro Valley was absolutely beautiful, filled with breathtaking views. It was such a wonderful experience and I was so happy with our trip. Can't wait to come back.

Local specialist: Marina Courtaut
Marina
Marina Courtaut
Local specialist in Madrid | Replied on Jan 23, 2024

Hi Nidhi, thank you so much for taking the time to write this wonderful review and for your feedback, which I will make sure to forward to our team of local guides! I'm so glad you and enjoyed your trip to Portugal and got to discover the gastronomy and culture of this magnificent country. It was my pleasure to help you with this trip and I will be more than happy to work with you again in the future for your next adventure! Best regards from the Espiritu Travel family!

5 days in Dominican Republic filled with some of the best things the country has to offer
the Dominican Republic | Jan 5 - Jan 9, 2024

Levin
Levin G.
Bellevue, WA | Reviewed on Jan 14, 2024
It is going to be difficult to name all the people involve in this trip who made the experience unforgettable. This is the third time I've booked my trip through kimkim. I typically book via kimkim when I am running short on time to plan my trip or to book accommodations and activities. This time, I had my 5 days in Dominican Republic filled with activities all throughout and then some. All the people involve in the trip were some of the nicest people I've met, but I'm only going to limit my... Read more

It is going to be difficult to name all the people involve in this trip who made the experience unforgettable. This is the third time I've booked my trip through kimkim. I typically book via kimkim when I am running short on time to plan my trip or to book accommodations and activities. This time, I had my 5 days in Dominican Republic filled with activities all throughout and then some. All the people involve in the trip were some of the nicest people I've met, but I'm only going to limit my review to 2 people that made the trip even better.

I had the most amazing driver in Mr. Cochi. There were many times he would stop along the way and had me sample some of the country's best snacks and if the ride was going to take hours he'd ask me if I want a cup of coffee for the trip.

And the other person who I'd like to give a proper thanks is the awesome trip specialist who planned my entire trip, Marina. Although I didn't have time to create an itinerary for myself, I still had very specific preferences for the trip to the Dominican Republic. Marina was patient with me throughout the weeks of trip planning. She made sure that the activities I wanted to do were tailored with the distance and time to my accommodation and the limited days I had. Each day was perfectly executed, but it wouldn't be possible without Marina's recommendation and detailed trip planning. Kudos to her and kudos to everyone else who made the trip unforgettable.

Local specialist: Marina Courtaut
Marina
Marina Courtaut
Local specialist in Madrid | Replied on Jan 15, 2024

Hi Levin! Thank you SO much for writing such a detailed review and for your kind words! It has been a true pleasure helping you plan your trip to the Dominican Republic and I am so glad to hear you had such a fantastic trip 😁 The Dominican Republic is a true paradise and I am glad you got to discover the island as much as possible. I will share your kind words with all the team! I look forward to helping you plan another adventure in the future! Warm regards from the Espiritu Travel family, Marina

Trip to Lison and madeirs.
Portugal | Nov 7 - Nov 15, 2023

S
Steve W.
United Kingdom | Reviewed on Nov 16, 2023
It was tricky for me to decide where to go and what to do when we decided to go to Lisbon and Madeira. I contacted three different travel speacialists and from the start Marina and Kimkim were easily the most proactive and helpful to me and straight away made me feek like they wanted to help and not just throw a "standard" itinerary at me. The personalisation and the platform used made a real difference and was so useful throughout the trip. Also, when I decided to cancel a couple of things... Read more

It was tricky for me to decide where to go and what to do when we decided to go to Lisbon and Madeira. I contacted three different travel speacialists and from the start Marina and Kimkim were easily the most proactive and helpful to me and straight away made me feek like they wanted to help and not just throw a "standard" itinerary at me. The personalisation and the platform used made a real difference and was so useful throughout the trip. Also, when I decided to cancel a couple of things it was no bother and everything was supported out promptly, whether by Marina or by someone else when Marina was not working. It made no difference that the company is based in the US and that Marina was based in Spain and that I am based in Madrid! It just all worked really smoothly. Thak you so much.

Hotel Reviews
The Cliff Bay
Funchal

Amazing hotel. Great view. Fabulous food. Faultless really.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Portugal Boutique Hotel
Lisbon

It was a decent hotel. The breakfast tables were tiny and the noise from all the night time clear up outside was not helpful if you left your windows open. Otherwise, really good location and nice staff.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Get to Know Lisbon with a Local
Get to Know Lisbon with a Local
Lisbon

Definitely do this. Really good.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Hike Madeira: Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo
Hike Madeira: Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo
Portugal

Great walk and amazing viws. Didnt need a guide but all the same it was helpful that we took a differenct route to most others who would hav ehad to have done a trip that went back the same way. Our guide had left a car at an alternative location the night before.

Evening of Fado
Evening of Fado
Lisbon

Really average food and felt very touristy. Not the best evening to be honest.

 Lisbon Roots, Food & Cultural Walk
Lisbon Roots, Food & Cultural Walk
Portugal

Lovely guide and very informative.

Sintra Heritage Hike: Hidden Secrets
Sintra Heritage Hike: Hidden Secrets
Portugal

It was quite good. Dont bother though if you don tlike queues. The palace was horrendously busy and this is low season.

Introducing Funchal - Food & Cultural Tour
Introducing Funchal - Food & Cultural Tour
Madeira

We did not do this trip in the end.

Local specialist: Marina Courtaut
Marina
Marina Courtaut
Local specialist in Madrid | Replied on Nov 17, 2023

Hi Steve, WOW! Thank you so so much for your kind words and for taking the time to write your trip review and your kind words! It has been a true pleasure helping you plan your trip to Portugal 😁 I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your guide tours, I will make sure to pass your words on to our guides! Again, thank you SO much for your feedback as this helps us improve daily. I will be more than happy to work with you again in the future for your next adventure! Best regards from the Espiritu Travel family!

All of our guides were so knowledgeable and v...
Portugal | Oct 19 - Nov 1, 2023

Jenni
Jenni J.
Ladera Ranch, CA | Reviewed on Nov 15, 2023
All of our guides were so knowledgeable and very personable. Made our trip so much more enjoyable. Read more

All of our guides were so knowledgeable and very personable. Made our trip so much more enjoyable.

Hotel Reviews
Hotel Regina
Barcelona

Breakfast was amazing and service was topknotch!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
One Shot Tabakalera House
San Sebastian
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Exe Almada Porto
Porto
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Four Views Baia - Adults Only
Funchal, Madeira

Beautiful! Loved Madeira! Loved the hike and our guide was the best!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Review
Barcelona & Gaudí;  An Architecture Walk
Barcelona & Gaudí; An Architecture Walk
Barcelona

Our guide was so friendly and helpful. Answered all of our questions. Went the extra mile.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Marina Courtaut
Marina
Marina Courtaut
Local specialist in Madrid | Replied on Nov 15, 2023

Hi Jenni, thank you so so much for taking the time to write your trip review and your kind words! It has been a true pleasure helping you plan your trip to Portugal and Spain. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your guide tours, I will make sure to pass your words to all the team! I hope you created lovely memories for a lifetime discovering Spain and Portugal, its gastronomy, and its people! I will be more than happy to work with you again in the future for the next adventure! Best regards from the Espiritu Travel family!

Trip to Portugal and Spain 2023
Portugal | Oct 13 - Oct 25, 2023

S
Sharon L.
Central Falls, RI | Reviewed on Oct 30, 2023
We were very impressed with KimKim service. The team's response was quick and answered our questions right away. Upon are arrival, with dinner reservation at Fada, which we truly enjoyed ,even with out much sleep. Our first city was Lisbon, and our guide Filipa was great she took us around the city, even though we had jet lag she kept our attention. Next day was a trip to Sintra, with our guide Paulo. That day it was pouring rain and windy, but we made the best of it. We felt very safe... Read more

We were very impressed with KimKim service. The team's response was quick and answered our questions right away. Upon are arrival, with dinner reservation at Fada, which we truly enjoyed ,even with out much sleep. Our first city was Lisbon, and our guide Filipa was great she took us around the city, even though we had jet lag she kept our attention. Next day was a trip to Sintra, with our guide Paulo. That day it was pouring rain and windy, but we made the best of it. We felt very safe with Paulo, as he made the day very personal, by stopping at his wife cafe, called Bristol, for coffee and local pastry. After we visited the Pena Palace we drove towards Sintra Cascias Natural Park for some dramatic views of the coastal Cliffs, of Cabo de Roca. Then off to Cascias fishing town, and on the way we stopped again at this small place, where he knew the owner/chef and ordered some local food for us to taste. Paulo made that day very special to us. Next, we had a driver take us to Porto where we stayed Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel. It was in a great location next to the Douro River, in the historic section, with an outstanding breakfast. The following day it was very stormy, but Celia, our tour guide, was ready to go and so were we. She took us all around the historic section of UNESCO World Heritage to admire the Romanesque, Gothic, Neo classic monuments and Baroque to mention a few. The Lello bookshop was worth visiting, but tickets should be purchased ahead of time, to avoid the lines. After being soaked to the bones, we had a reservation for a wine tasting that evening and got to try different port, which we enjoyed. Next Day we headed off to wine tasting, in the Douro Valley to a privately owned winery. It was very relaxing sitting talking, with the owner, of the vineyard , tasting the Porto and pairing it with food, which was cooked on site. The following day we then flew to Sevilla, and had tickets for a Flamenco show that evening. We did have a little trouble finding the correct venue, as we didn't realize that there were more than one place to go,. However, we found it and glad we got to see the performance. Next day, Andres took us on a walking tour around the Sevilla Cathedral a 15th century Roman Catholic Church the home to the tomb of Christopher Columbus. Then we walked to the orange tree filled Santa Cruz neighborhood known, as the Jewish quarters with its narrow streets. We visited the Alcazar a monument included in the UNESCO World Heritage site. Following day we took a day trip to Cordoba and meet up with Isabel, for a walking tour, she was great. She took us to the breath taken Mezquita ( Mosque Cathedral of Cordoba) a pagan temple that was converted into a green mosque of the Ummayad caliphate, which later was converted into a Catholic Church. It was well worth the train ride, as it was magnificant to see. Again, walked around winding streets of the Jewish Quarters. In the historic neighborhood of the Cordoba Synagogue. Off again, onto the train, to our final destination Barcelona. Once there, we were on own, as everything was within walking distance. First, we went to Guell Park and is well worth visiting. We debated about buying tickets, for Casa Batillo, but at last minute we did and we were very glad, it was a very different experience and enjoyed every minute of it. Finally our last day of our trip, we had tickets ahead of time, for the Sagrada Familia. We spent most of the day there as it was amazing, something worth seeing. Our last hotel was in a great location, very good breakfast, but was bare bones, not like all the other hotels. However, we really enjoyed our trip and appreciate all the help Marina, Marta and the KimKim team provided. I would use KimKim again for my next trip. Sharon

Hotel Reviews
PortoBay Marquês
Lisbon

Great location and an amazing breakfast. The front desk staff was extremely helpful. I would stay there again the next time.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Very helpful and friendly
Cleanliness & Comfort
Andante Hotel
Barcelona

Location was great, breakfast very good, however the night staff not so friendly or helpful

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
H10 Casa de la Plata
Sevilla

Great location, breakfast good

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel & World Heritage Site
Porto
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Evening of Fado
Evening of Fado
Lisbon
Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Get to Know Lisbon with a Local
Get to Know Lisbon with a Local
Lisbon
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Private Day Excursion to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril
Private Day Excursion to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril
Spain

Paulo was Great! We really enjoyed being with him! I would recommend him anyday1

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Very personal took time for us to make sure we enjoyed our day
Transport
Private Transfer {{start_location}} to {{end_location}} via Coimbra
Private Transfer {{start_location}} to {{end_location}} via Coimbra
Portugal

Not any fault of the driver, but the car company picked someone that has never been to Coimbra. He had no idea where to go. He did call back to his colllegaue to get some info, so he dropped us off at the University. Communication was a little troubling, but we managed. He dropped us off and we asked that he wait for us, as we just wanted to look around maybe take a few pictures and we would be right back. However, we could't find him anywhere, so had to make a few calls. We never got to see anything in Coimbra, so disappointing. I do not blame the driver as he was doing his job of driving us.

Quality of Experience
Driver should have some idea where to drop off people to walk around.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Privately Guided Visit of Porto
Privately Guided Visit of Porto
Porto

Celia was very good guide. Would recommend her again.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Day Excursion to Douro Valley, Wine Tasting & River Cruise
Day Excursion to Douro Valley, Wine Tasting & River Cruise
Porto

Gustavo was an excellent guide. We loved the views of the Vineyards from up above. He was patience when we wanted to stop for pictures. Again, would us chime again

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Flamenco Experience
Flamenco Experience
Spain

We loved seeing the show

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Guided Visit of Seville
Guided Visit of Seville
Seville

Andreas was great answered all of our questions.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Day trip to Córdoba
Day trip to Córdoba
Seville

Isabel was great! So knowledgeable for suck a young lady. We would use her again.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Marina Courtaut
Marina
Marina Courtaut
Local specialist in Madrid | Replied on Nov 02, 2023
Hi Sharon, WOW! thank you so so much for taking the time to write such a detailed trip review and your kind words! It has been a true pleasure helping you plan your trip to Portugal and Spain. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your guide tours, I will make sure to pass your words on to our guides! Thank you for letting me know about your stop in Coimbra, I am sorry to hear you could not see much of the city. I hope you created lovely memories for a lifetime discovering Spain and Portugal,... Read more

Hi Sharon, WOW! thank you so so much for taking the time to write such a detailed trip review and your kind words! It has been a true pleasure helping you plan your trip to Portugal and Spain. I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your guide tours, I will make sure to pass your words on to our guides! Thank you for letting me know about your stop in Coimbra, I am sorry to hear you could not see much of the city. I hope you created lovely memories for a lifetime discovering Spain and Portugal, its gastronomy, and its people! Again, thank you SO much for this impressive feedback on your trip, I will be more than happy to work with you again in the future for the next adventure! Best regards from the Espiritu Travel family!

We just completed a Spain/Portugal tour plann...
Spain | Oct 12 - Oct 26, 2023

Steven
Steven L.
Kaneohe, HI | Reviewed on Oct 27, 2023
We just completed a Spain/Portugal tour planned by Kimkim. What seemed like a sparse itinerary at first turned out to be one of the best trips we have taken. We had no issues with any of the arrangements, transportation, hotels and tours. Our idea of a tour is not the types where the company picks you up in the morning and takes you to all the tourist spots and returns you to the hotel at the end of the day. This tour felt like we were on our own and yet able to experience the... Read more

We just completed a Spain/Portugal tour planned by Kimkim. What seemed like a sparse itinerary at first turned out to be one of the best trips we have taken. We had no issues with any of the arrangements, transportation, hotels and tours.

Our idea of a tour is not the types where the company picks you up in the morning and takes you to all the tourist spots and returns you to the hotel at the end of the day.

This tour felt like we were on our own and yet able to experience the locales and really learn about each. Place. The guides they use had great knowledge and enthusiasm. It felt like we were in a friend’s hometown who was showing us their favorite spots.

Marina was on point, efficient and responsive and the reason we chose Kimkim. Now that we have completed the tour, wow just wow. We will definitely use Kimkim again in future trips.

Steve and Amelia

Hotel Reviews
Hotel Astoria
Barcelona

Good location, close to many good restaurants.

Authenticity & Character
A we
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
One Shot Tabakalera House
San Sebastian

We actually stayed at the hotel Zenit Convento. Marina switched the hotels due to construction in the area for the original hotel. Only issue we had was with the room keys which were very spotty when trying to open the door. Amazing breakfast, best on the trip I. Terms of quality and selection.

Authenticity & Character
Modern clean design.
Location
Good location within walking distance of restaurants and shopping areas.
Staff
Very service oriented and friendly
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hesperia Bilbao
Bilbao
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Exe Almada Porto
Porto

Great staff, very helpful and friendly

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Lisboa Prata Boutique Hotel
Lisboa

Quirky, charming hotel

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Tapas Culinary Experience
Tapas Culinary Experience
Barcelona

Boris our guide was great, funny and charming.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Guided Visit of Barcelona
Guided Visit of Barcelona
Barcelona

Leona was great, her personality was genuine we connected well with her.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Day Trip to Montserrat & Penedès Region Wine Tasting
Day Trip to Montserrat & Penedès Region Wine Tasting
Barcelona

The tour was great and the one thing that detracted was the fog we experienced in Monserrat. Did not expect too much from the cava tour but that was fantastic!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Day Excursion to the Basque Countryside: Meet the Traditions
Day Excursion to the Basque Countryside: Meet the Traditions
San Sebastián

Diego was one of the best guides on the tour, we meshed really well, can honestly say that we have a new friend in Spain.

Quality of Experience
Got to see things you just don’t get to see on a regular tour. The sheep farm/cheese tour was amazing!
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Foodie Experience in Porto
Foodie Experience in Porto
Porto

Marianne was great, we got to experience many of the foods on our wish list in a serving size that was not overwhelming, perfect.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Privately Guided Visit of Porto
Privately Guided Visit of Porto
Porto

Manuel has great local knowledge, this walking tour with the things he pointed out made the experience so much better than us aimlessly walking around.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Douro Valley Excursion with Wine & Olive Oil Tastings & River Cruise
Douro Valley Excursion with Wine & Olive Oil Tastings & River Cruise
Porto

Great way to se the Douro valley area with a mix of activities including a boat ride! We visited two wineries, I would have skipped the second large winery. The first smaller one was way better, we felt a little rushed and the owner who was so interesting and engaging had more to offer.

Quality of Experience
Food
Great local Portuguese fare , our type of food while traveling
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Miguel was great! Even gave a “free” tour to those who within earshot on the boat ride portion.
Transport
Get to Know Lisbon with a Local
Get to Know Lisbon with a Local
Lisbon

Our guide’s Steve knowledge level is off the hook, with a delivery method that was more story telling than history.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Private Day Excursion to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril
Private Day Excursion to Sintra, Cascais & Estoril
Spain

Paulo or guide was another we meshed with really well and now we have a friend in Portugal!

Quality of Experience
Got to see some real local spots, restaurant we went to is as local as it gets, just what we wanted.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Marina Courtaut
Marina
Marina Courtaut
Local specialist in Madrid | Replied on Nov 12, 2023

Hi Steve and Amelia,
Thank you so much for such a lovely review! It was a real pleasure for me to help you plan this wonderful trip to Portugal and I am glad you enjoyed your trip :) I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your guide tours, I will make sure to pass your words on to our guides! I hope you created lovely memories for a lifetime discovering Spain and Portugal, its gastronomy, and its people! I look forward to working with you on your next travel adventure :) Best regards from the Espiritu Travel family!

Best Way To See and Plan Your Trip To Portugal
Portugal | Oct 7 - Oct 14, 2023

J
Jacqueline R.
New Milford, NJ | Reviewed on Oct 15, 2023
The walking tours with Filipa and Celia were informative and fun. They both helped us see the numerous areas through a local and historical eyes. The day trip to Sintra etc.. with Nuno was wonderful. His personality made the trip very enjoyable. His knowledge of the area made each stop fascinating. The day trip with Paulo was again phenomenal. His personality and knowledge made the day so much fun. The trip with Rui to the Douro valley also was lovely. These driver/ tour guides have such a... Read more

The walking tours with Filipa and Celia were informative and fun. They both helped us see the numerous areas through a local and historical eyes. The day trip to Sintra etc.. with Nuno was wonderful. His personality made the trip very enjoyable. His knowledge of the area made each stop fascinating. The day trip with Paulo was again phenomenal. His personality and knowledge made the day so much fun. The trip with Rui to the Douro valley also was lovely. These driver/ tour guides have such a beautiful personality that makes the drives fly by and we learned so much about the history and importance of each place we visited.
The stop at the winery in Douro, WOW. Rafael brought the vineyard to life. His love of the vineyard and what he does was seen throughout the day. The food and wine was delicious and amazing, but again it was such a lovely experience due to Raphael,
As far as Marina, she was extremely professional. When there was a hiccup , the group made sure it was rectified quickly. The app was a wonderful way to communicate in a quick manner.

Local specialist: Marina Courtaut
Marina
Marina Courtaut
Local specialist in Madrid | Replied on Oct 17, 2023

Hi Jacqueline,
Thank you so much for such a lovely review! It was a real pleasure for me to help you plan this wonderful trip to Portugal and I am glad you enjoyed your trip :) I will pass on your kind words to all the team. I hope you created lovely memories in Portugal which are the best souvenirs from a trip. I look forward to working with you in the future. Warmest regards from all Espiritu Travel family, Marina

A relaxing time in Sao Miguel
the Azores | Oct 8 - Oct 12, 2023

Noelle
Noelle F.
Chicago, IL | Reviewed on Oct 15, 2023
We had a very relaxing time in Sao Miguel. The weather cooperated (sort of) for most of our time here. Highlights for us were the hotel (Terra Nostra) in Furnas, and our private tour of Set Ciudades with Natacha. We had 24 hour access to the thermal pool and Botanical garden, which was wonderful. The restaurant was also top notch. Read more

We had a very relaxing time in Sao Miguel. The weather cooperated (sort of) for most of our time here. Highlights for us were the hotel (Terra Nostra) in Furnas, and our private tour of Set Ciudades with Natacha. We had 24 hour access to the thermal pool and Botanical garden, which was wonderful. The restaurant was also top notch.

Hotel Review
Terra Nostra Garden Hotel
Furnas

This hotel is solely focused on relaxation and high quality service. We loved having 24 hr access to the thermal pool and botanical garden, which allowed us to use both without the crowds. The restaurant was also excellent - we at there for almost every meal and were never disappointed.

Authenticity & Character
The grounds and the restaurant are wonderful. The rooms are clean.
Location
Access to the botanical gardens is wonderful.
Staff
Service is clearly a focus for this hotel - it shows in all of the interactions we had.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Sete Ciudades Jeep & Hike Adventure Full Day
Sete Ciudades Jeep & Hike Adventure Full Day
São Miguel Island

Natacha was just amazing. She took the time up front to understand what we were looking for and then modified the tour as appropriate. Given the unpredictable nature of the weather on Sao Miguel, she maximized our day to take advantage of the "breaks" in our overcast day, and we really got to know a lot about the culture of the Azores as well as the physical beauty.

Quality of Experience
The whole day was great
Guides, Drivers and Staff
We really hit it off with Natacha - she clearly loves Sao Miguel and showed us so many things.
Transport
Whale Watching in the Azores
Whale Watching in the Azores
São Miguel Island

Caveat for this review - our tour was eventually cancelled (hence the 3 stars). That said, I will definitely try a whale watching tour with this company if I return to Sao Miguel. The staff is very professional, clearly focused on conservation and learning about the animals. The briefing was very thorough and the focus on safety is also very clear. We suited up and actually went out of the marina into choppy water (we were told that up front). The swells were bigger than anticipated (8-10 ft - my estimate), and the captain very quickly turned us around for safety reasons.

Quality of Experience
Nothing in the companies control - the weather wasn't great on the day I went
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Clearly very knowledgeable and committed.
Transport
Local specialist: Marina Courtaut
Marina
Marina Courtaut
Local specialist in Madrid | Replied on Oct 17, 2023

Hi Noelle,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write your trip to the Azores review! I am glad you enjoyed your stay at Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, I am sure it was nice to relax after your trip to Spain :)I will pass on your kind words to Natacha. I am sorry you could not see the whales due to the weather and I hope you can come back to the Azores to see these magnificent animals. My warmest regards, Marina from the Espiritu Travel family :)