Planning with Kimkim results in a very memor...
Feb 17 - Feb 26, 2023
Planning with Kimkim results in a very memorable trip! My siblings and I as well as our spouses were delighted with the experience. I planned a ten trip to Spain with Yuri and his knowledge was invaluable. Because Kimkim has so many great contacts and activities to choose from we were able to tailor the trip our interests. The resulting trip had the ease of a formal tour group but the privacy of handling arrangements ourselves. We visited Seville, Granada and Barcelona. All of our transportation was handled smoothly and comfortably.
Hotel Gravina 51 in Seville was such a luxurious experience. The facility is gorgeous and so well maintained. Although the bathroom is a bit small it was so well appointed I didn't mind that a bit. My bathroom at home is even smaller and not nearly as nice! The staff was very charming and the daily breakfast offerings were extensive, creative and well-prepared, perhaps the best meals we had in Spain. In Seville the highlights were our tour of the Alcazar, a Flamenco show and our cooking class. Our guides Penelope and Pilar were well versed on the history of Seville and insightful, passionate and just delightful to spend time with. Our cooking class with Ana at Fresh Cooking Spain was also a real pleasure. Her facility is gorgeous. We had fun preparing traditional Spanish foods and enjoyed eating them on her beautiful terrace.
In Granada we stayed at the Parador, right on the grounds of the Alhambra and this was also a great experience. My main quibble there was that we had twin beds, something Americans don't experience much. It was wonderful being located on the ground of The Alhambra. It is a bit of a hike going down into the town center but it was just what we needed to work off some calories. Our guide of the Alhmabra, Edu, was thoughtful and intelligent. Clearly Yannat Tours and Kimkim have a gift for discovering talent. The Alhambra and Generalife gardens are not to be missed, such a remarkable layered history. We also had two tours with Food Sherpas. We did not enjoy these tour guides as well. We weren't as impressed by the Food Sherpa guides in Granada. The guide for the market took us to two nice spots but she didn't seem to know much about food. The guide that did the wine tasting was a bit arrogant and I didn't feel that the wines she chose were very well representative of Spanish wines. Although all four were from Spain one of them was a Merlot, and another was an Albarino that was not from Rias Baixas.
We stayed at the Hotel Regina in Barcelona. The room product was a little rundown and there wasn't much sound proofing so one heard everything the neighbors were doing or talking about. The location is very convenient however and the breakfasts were good. In fact on the day that we left early in the morning for our balloon ride they prepared fabulous to go bags for us. They did not charge extra for this service and it was so considerate that they accommodated us in this way. The balloon trip was the highlight of our trip! The pilot was so skilled that none of us felt any anxiety. The views were spectacular, I can't describe how breathtaking it was when we rose above the clouds and saw the
Pyrenees! However our visit to Montserrat was cut very short. Our balloon ride ran longer than expected so all we were able to do was take the gondola to the top and then walk to the bus for the trip down. It was disappointing to not see anything in the monastery and we did not have lunch as stated in the itinerary. Perhaps the tour tries to cram too much in? I would recommend separating the two activities. But again I can't stress enough how much we loved the balloon! Our architecture tour was also a highlight. Our guide educated us on Guadi and his contemporaries and Sagrada Familia is a wonder. She also gave recommendations on things to visit on our own. This city is so gorgeous and has so much to offer.
We had to drop two activities from our plan and in the end this was a good thing. I would encourage anyone planning a trip like ours to build in plenty of time to explore on their own. We found the Spanish people to be so warm and welcoming and always felt safe walking on our own. I only wish Google Maps was easier to use for walkers. I heartily recommend planning a tour with Kimkim and look forward to exploring another country with their expert planning and guidance!
The theater is a gem, small and intimate and beautiful. It was so fun to walk in to our seats on the front row. Pilar is outstanding!
Here as in other sites we visited with a tour it is such an advantage to have skip the line access.
Our guide was not very knowledgeable about food, disappointing.
We were not as impressed with our guide as she is in herself.
Our balloon ride was the highlight of our trip, heartily recommended1
Our guide taught us a lot about Guadi and his contemporaries and gave us recommendations for see on our own.
Our guide Penelope is a treasure!