Great family trip
Spain | May 17 - May 30, 2024

Marcia
Marcia B.
Dallas, TX | Reviewed on Jun 13, 2024

I want to Thank Bea for creating a wonderful trip for us. She was such a pleasure to work with. The App they asked us to download turned out to be a very helpful tool used by most of us. Our pickups and connections worked smoothly and everything went without a hitch. I want to thank her for her hard work and providing us a great trip with wonderful lodgings. We loved most of the guides and were happy with all of the arrangements, pickups and things we saw in did. While we enjoyed all of the guides except one, some of them stood out and I would like to point those out and why we thought they were great.
17- first tour was the tapas tour -- that was so lovely -- there was food for every taste, and all of the locations were amazing. we couldn't believe the how much we learned and the presentation. Even the vegetarian, Pescatarian and children were happy. We were educated on Tapas and Cava and Vermouth -- which up to that point, we had never experienced. It flavored our entire vacation to try these things wherever we went and to have the confidence to eat off a Tapas menu throughout our visit. Our guide was Carla and we want to give her 5***** for guiding us through this experience and choosing such wonderful and varied things. It was a great start to our trip. We felt very pampered.
18 - Our trip to Monjuic was wonderful and we loved our guide Eduardo. It was our first castle of the trip and the entire experience was fun and we liked the 1/2 day . We also liked the adventure of taking the gondola to the top of Montjuic. We don't remember visiting the Olympic Barcelona, but perhaps we spent too much time in the castle. We were also a bit late arriving at our meeting point due to the train being unavailable for us.
19-- we were happy with Dani and the trip to see la Familia Sagrada and casa Mila. he was an excellent guide for us because he told us things then allowed us to explore at our own speed. He would always seem to be available when we had questions, but gave us the opportunity to see what we wanted. He was especially knowledgeable about the Family Sagrada. He had worked there at one time and the information he shared of the stages of development went back 30 years. I would also give him 5*.****
From a planning perspective, I felt that we didn't see quite enough Gaudi on this tour -- that was the only reason I came to Barcelona. I felt cheated that this was my only day to see his work. Park Guell was good and I loved it, but still missed out on so many other locations. That was probably my fault. I saw the itinerary and should have asked for more. All of our family loved Gaudi, even the children.
20 --Tossa de Mar -- we can't say enough about how much we liked this whole day and our guide Vicente. We all loved him and the tour. He gave us lots of info, was fun, good with the children and lots of personal time to explore. again 5*****.
21 -- Tarragona - we liked the town of Tarragona. Eduard was good, and very knowledgeable, but I think after Barcelona and Tossa de Mar, it paled in comparison .
21 -- Flamenco dancer -- we loved this, it was better than any of us expected. We could have easily watched for another half hour. Everyone, including the 4 year old was mesmerized. 5*****. the tapas afterwards were average bar food, I think we would have liked to go out on our own.

22 -- While we liked Cardona, we didn't care for our guide Ramon who didn't stick to the schedule that was proposed to us nor did he allow us any private time in the Castle part. He visited the Castle and the salt mine first, but we didn't get to go into the town, which sounded very interesting. We always enjoyed walking around old castle towns and seeing the Gothic and Romanesque buildings, however, we went to the castle and then the Salt mine first, and when asked about the town, he said it wasn't worth seeing Cardona because it was now closed. The KimKim schedule had us going to the town first, which is what every single one of the other guides had done. We now see the reason. He then tried to convince us to go to Montserrat, which was scheduled for a half day two days later. He said that is what he always did -- he confessed he didn't look at our itinerary. We cut the day short because we were really quite tired of this guide. He wasn't good with the children, in fact they chose to stay home the following day. We felt he was boring and repetitive and while he knew a lot, we had to hear everything a lot. We didn't enjoy our visits, but the salt mine was cool and we got to do it self guided. We couldn't give Ramon more than a 2** for his lack of following the schedule and annoying manner.
23 There were only 5 of us on this trip (as the family with children decided to stay home from the experience the day before), but those of us who wend enjoyed the visit to Girona. The guide Dulce, contacted me well in advance to find out more about us. That was the first guide to do that. We mentioned that in Girona we wanted to see the Game of Thrones sites, and she studied up on it so she knew where they were. I liked what she had to say. we also liked the Dali Museum and seeing the house. The only downside of this day was how crowded the Dali house was and the long drive. Afterwards she sent us some pictures she had taken of us. I would say Girona was one of the highlights of the trip.
24 Montserrat -- we had Jordi for this tour and we all liked him very much -- he was our kind of guide-- informative, and adventurous, he had a friend who stayed behind with my daughter who didn't feel she could walk back from the summit and was conscientious about where we were at all time. We love this type of guide. It was a great trip. 5***** for him and this was a great and spiritual part of the trip as we got a chance to light a candle for my Son-in-law's mother who died a week after their return to the USA. It was a special moment and we would like to thank the guide for giving us the private time to do this.
25 It was fun for everyone to take the fast train to Lleida. None of us had ever been on one. We liked very much having the seats that faced each other with the table in the middle -- thanks for arranging that. We played cards with the children . It all went very smoothly and the Parador Hotel Lleida was amazing. we all loved the rooms, the service the breakfast and the location. Thanks for arranging it for us. We also enjoyed the guide Jaume and the visit to La Seu Vella, the Gothic-Romanesque cathedral. we went back several times during our Llieda visit to look around some more and appreciate his introduction to the city.
26 -27 Now we come to our favorite guide of all. As much as we enjoyed the other guides, Miguel was over the top. 10********* I can't even explain how good he was except that he made sure we enjoyed every second. He knew a lot about the geology of the area, the history and spoke loudly enough that even my husband who was hard of hearing could hear. He was conscious of the interests of every person and we would rank him among some of the best guides we’ve ever used during our travel history. We felt blessed to have him for two days in Lleida (and again two days in Zaragosa with just Kim and I. He sent us an itinerary of way too many places to visit in one day, and we only made it to three each day, which was just perfect because it allowed us to explore and feel the history while he shared just the right bits with us. We often felt rushed along to match the guides timeline. This never happened with Miguel. If he had made an appointment with another guide to show us something special, he let us know in the morning what those times were so we could make choices. In addition, he would kindly tell a guide that they weren’t needed any more if he found that they weren’t as knowledgeable as he had hoped. One castle in particular that we visited was the highlight of the entire trip. Castell Montsonis. It is a castle that has always been lived in by Nobility and they have kept the castle in good condition. There was so much to see we really felt we were seeing something special and the guide Jaume was humorous and pulled all of in to the history of the Castle, which even had a dungeon with chains.
28 We thought Zaragoza was a beautiful city and enjoyed our visit, but would have liked to have more time there! Our Guide, Leyre, was excellent and we liked visiting both the old town, the Cathedral de Pilar and the palace de Aljaferia. The guide directed us to the TUBE where we found a great restaurant to eat, with enough time remaining to make it to the Palace in time for our tour with her. We enjoyed the day and the train ride was again very pleasurable.

Hotel Review
Parador de Lleida
Lleida

This is a beautiful hotel, located close to many activities, restaurants and the Castle. The Restaurant serves the best Breakfast that we had while traveling. The rooms were beautiful and the beds super comfortable.

Authenticity & Character
Location
walking distance to restaurants
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
super comfy beds.
Activity Reviews
Exclusive Tapas Culinary Experience
Exclusive Tapas Culinary Experience
Barcelona

Our first tour was the tapas tour -- It was so lovely -- there was food for every taste, and all of the locations were amazing. we couldn't believe the how much we learned and the presentation. Even the vegetarian, Pescatarian and children were happy. We were educated on Tapas and Cava and Vermouth -- which up to that point, we had never experienced. It flavored our entire vacation to try these things wherever we went and to have the confidence to eat off a Tapas menu throughout our visit. Our guide was Carla and we want to give her 5***** for guiding us through this experience and choosing such wonderful and varied things. It was a great start to our trip. We felt very pampered.

Quality of Experience
Food
Everything -- every restaurant was unique and wonderful with beautiful presentations and Vermouth, wines and Cava
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Private Old Town, Montjuïc Hill & Castle Visit
Private Old Town, Montjuïc Hill & Castle Visit
Barcelona

Our trip to Monjuic was wonderful and we loved our guide Eduardo. It was our first castle of the trip and the entire experience was fun and we liked the 1/2 day . We also liked the adventure of taking the gondola to the top of Montjuic. We don't remember visiting the Olympic Barcelona, but perhaps we spent too much time in the castle. We were also a bit late arriving at our meeting point due to the train being unavailable for us.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Barcelona & Gaudí;  An Architecture Walk
Barcelona & Gaudí; An Architecture Walk
Barcelona

We all loved Gaudi -- we were happy with Dani and the trip to see la Familia Sagrada and Casa Mila. Dani was an excellent guide for us because he told us things then allowed us to explore at our own speed. He would always seem to be available when we had questions, but gave us the opportunity to see what we wanted. He was especially knowledgeable about the Family Sagrada. He had worked there at one time and the information he shared of the stages of development went back 30 years. The only downside was that the day was too short and I didn't see enough Gaudi! The visit to the park Guell was self guided, but I think we could have used some more guidance. We separated and found we all saw different things.

Quality of Experience
Gaudi is amazing and all of his work. Would have like to have seen more.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Dani, our guide had great knowledge, was easy to hear even in the many crowds of people in Familia Sagrada.
Private Costa Brava Day Trip: Tossa de Mar and Panoramic Boat Ride
Private Costa Brava Day Trip: Tossa de Mar and Panoramic Boat Ride
Barcelona

Tossa de Mar -- we can't say enough about how much we liked this whole day and our guide Vicente. We all loved him and the tour. He gave us lots of info, was fun, good with the children and lots of personal time to explore. He found a nice place to have lunch - we really enjoyed our day.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Dani let us explore on our own, yet was there to guide us when we needed it. What I liked the most about him was that he had a great sense to know when we needed direction, wondered where to go -- all of a sudden he would be there.
Transport
Half Day Trip to Roman Tarragona
Half Day Trip to Roman Tarragona
Barcelona

Tarragona - we liked the town of Tarragona. Eduard was good, and very knowledgeable, and those of us who loved Roman history really enjoyed it. It was a short drive and we are glad we went. The Roman ruins were great and we liked walking around the town. We didn't get to walk into any of the ancient ruins or the castle, only view them from outside.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Flamenco Night
Flamenco Night
Barcelona

Exceeded expectations. We could have easily watched for another half hour. Everyone, including the 4 year old was mesmerized. 5*****. The singer was exceptional. The tapas afterwards were average bar food, but with excellent service.

Quality of Experience
Cardona Castle & Salt Mountain Cultural Park
Cardona Castle & Salt Mountain Cultural Park
Barcelona

-- While we liked Cardona, we didn't care for our guide Ramon who didn't stick to the schedule that was proposed to us nor did he allow us any private time in the Castle part. He visited the Castle and the salt mine first, but we didn't get to go into the town, which sounded very interesting. We always enjoyed walking around old castle towns and seeing the Gothic and Romanesque buildings, however, we went to the castle and then the Salt mine first, and when asked about the town, he said it wasn't worth seeing Cardona because it was now closed. He then tried to convince us to go to Montserrat, which we were scheduled for a half day two days later. He said that is what he always did -- he confessed he didn't look at our itinerary. We cut the day short because we were really quite tired of this guide. He wasn't good with the children, in fact they chose to stay home the following day. We felt he was boring and repetitive and while he we knowledgeable, we had to hear everything repetitively. We didn't enjoy our visit to Cardona. The salt mine, however was self guided. We couldn't give Ramon more than a 2** for his lack of following the schedule and annoying manner.

Quality of Experience
The guide.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Privately Guided Day Excursion to Girona
Privately Guided Day Excursion to Girona
Barcelona

There were only 5 of us on this trip (as the family with children decided to stay home from the experience the day before), but those remaining enjoyed the visit to Girona. The guide Dulce, contacted me well in advance to find out more about us. That was the first guide to do that. We mentioned that in Girona we wanted to see the Game of Thrones sites, and she studied up on it so she knew where they were. She scored. I liked what she had to say and what she showed us. We also liked the Dali Museum . The only downside of this day was how crowded the Dali house was and the long drive. Afterwards she sent us some pictures she had taken of us. I would say Girona was one of the highlights of the trip.

Quality of Experience
Girona is a great town -- we could have spent more time there. Glad we went.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Darci was funny, caring, thoughtful and communicative.
Transport
Half Day Excursion to Montserrat
Half Day Excursion to Montserrat
Barcelona

We had Jordi for this tour and we all liked him very much -- he was our kind of guide-- informative, and adventurous, he had a friend who stayed behind with my daughter who didn't feel she could walk back from the summit and was conscientious about where we were at all time. We love this type of guide. It was a great trip. It is such a spiritual place, both the mountain and the Monastery. We got a chance to light a candle for a special person who died a week after returning home. It was a special moment and we would like to thank the guide for giving us the private time to do this.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
We had two guides and because of this we were able to split up. Some of us wanted to climb, others did not, so this worked out perfectly -- everyone was attended to.
Transport
Private Family Visit of Lleida
Private Family Visit of Lleida
Lleida

25 It was fun for everyone to take the fast train to Lleida. None of us had ever been on one. We liked very much having the seats that faced each other with the table in the middle -- thanks for arranging that. We were new to fast trains and played cards with the children . It all went very smoothly and the Parador Hotel Lleida was amazing. we all loved the rooms, the service the breakfast and the location. Thanks for arranging it for us. We also enjoyed the guide Jaume and the visit to La Seu Vella, the Gothic-Romanesque cathedral. We went back several times during our Llieda visit to look around some more and appreciate his introduction to the city and especially the explanation of all of the yellow and red striped flags.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Loved the fast train -- what a great way to travel. The train station in Barcelona was a bit confusing to navigate, but still went smoothly. Definitely needed the 30 minute advance arrival that KimKim recommended.
The Route of the Castles of the Sió
The Route of the Castles of the Sió
Lleida

Now we come to our favorite guide of all. As much as we enjoyed the other guides, Miguel was over the top. 10********* I can't even explain how good he was except that he made sure we enjoyed every second. He knew a lot about the geology of the area, the history and spoke loudly enough that even my husband who was hard of hearing could hear. He was conscious of the interests of every person and we would rank him among some of the best guides we’ve ever used during our travel history. We felt blessed to have him for two days in Lleida (and again two days in Zaragosa with just Kim and I). He sent us an itinerary of way too many places to visit in one day, and we only made it to three each day, which was just perfect because it allowed us to explore and feel the history while he shared just the right bits with us. We often felt rushed along to match timelines from other guides. This never happened with Miguel. If he had made an appointment with a host to show us something special, he let us know in the morning what those times were so we could make choices in order to make the appointments. In addition, he would kindly tell a guide that they weren’t needed any more if he found that they weren’t as knowledgeable as he had hoped. One castle in particular that we visited was the highlight of the entire trip. Castell Montsonis. It is a castle that has always been lived in by Nobility and they have kept the castle in good condition. There was so much to see we really felt we were seeing something special and the Host guide Jaume was humorous and pulled all of in to the history of Castle Montsonis , which even had a dungeon with chains. On the 2nd day with Miguel, we had our most picturesque day. Went into the edge of Pyrenees mountains following the river where there were many Castles on the mountain tops. Everywhere you looked there were old castle towns or lookout towers and Hermitages. We felt like we stepped back into history. I took way too many pictures, it was so beautiful and we loved feeling we were part of history, in addition we got to see what we all labeled as Rapunzel's tower and even got to climb to the top on a very narrow winding stairway. It was fun even those too nervous to climb.

Quality of Experience
Castell de Montsonis
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Miguel was over the top the best guide we had and both drivers were great and we were very comfortable -- plenty of room
Transport
Train Lleida to Zaragoza, Privately Guided Visit of Zaragoza, Train Zaragoza to Lleida
Train Lleida to Zaragoza, Privately Guided Visit of Zaragoza, Train Zaragoza to Lleida
Lleida

Zaragoza was a beautiful city and we enjoyed our short visit, but would have liked to have more time there! Our Guide, Leyre, was excellent and we liked visiting both the old town, the Cathedral de Pilar and the palace de Aljaferia. The guide directed us to restaurants in the TUBE where we found a great restaurant to eat, with enough time remaining to make it to the Palace in time for our tour with her. We enjoyed the day and the train ride was again very pleasurable.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
we loved the train -- it was a painless way to travel and some of us had a flawless connection where they were picked up in Barcelona and taken to the airport
Local specialist: Beatriz De Pablo Rocha
Beatriz
Beatriz De Pablo Rocha
Local specialist in Madrid | Replied on Jun 17, 2024

Hi Marcia! Wow!!! Thank you so, so much for your super detailed feedback! Definitely really, really helpful. I'm sure you already did, but I will make sure I share all your comments with your guides along the way :) Being a small part of such a great family trip has been truly a pleasure, and I hope you created lovely memories during this time. Sending you my best regards! Bea.