We had a thoroughly enjoyable time on our 4th Globus tour - this time to Lisbon and Northern Spain. It IS quite a fast-paced tour in that there are three stops of just 1 night and 4 stops of 2 nights but, during the days and evenings, there were times for rest, shopping and further sightseeing if required. Our tour guide, Kaye, was quite good but not of the calibre of our previous tour guide. For example, she did not alert people each day about ensuring that they had all their belongings until one of the tour members left passports in the hotel and we had to turn the bus back 15-20 minutes into our journey. There was also no assistance from the tour guide nor the coach driver on and off the coach for less mobile tour members which was disappointing considering that there were two 80 year olds on this tour. Otherwise, however, Kaye ensured that everything ran smoothly and that all bookings were accurate.
The hotels varied from very good to one being mediocre (Santiago de Compostela). The biggest criticism of most of the hotels is that they were not all that close to the main part of the towns we were visiting which meant a taxi ride or a reasonable walk after a long day of touring. The breakfasts at each hotel were absolutely delicious with a huge selection to choose from. The tour included 4 dinners and 1 lunch and these varied from being satisfactory to being very good but, in each of these, we were lucky to experience the local cuisine of the region.
The optional tours were great, in particular the half day tour to Biarritz and Saint-Jean-de-Luz in France from San Sebastian, Cascais from Lisbon and Montserrat from Barcelona. This tour seemed to attract people who had travelled quite widely; this was largely due, I believe that, apart from Lisbon and Barcelona, it included lesser known areas of Spain and Portugal. These areas are stunning though and well worth the trip. We were very pleased that we did a tour of Lisbon, Porto and Northern Spain rather than attempting to do it ourselves as we saw so many different and interesting sights with Kaye and local tour guides who were very good.
There was not a HUGE amount of walking so it did cater for older as well as younger people and we had both on this tour of 37 travellers - 6 Australians, 2 English and 31 Americans. We all agreed that we could never have managed to fit in anywhere near as much by attempting to do it by ourselves. Also, the local people in northern Spain do not understand English well so it was good to always have Kaye to communicate our needs. We believe that we had excellent value for money with hotels, all breakfasts, 5 lunches/dinners, an informative tour director and great local tour guides at every stop and our main luggage being transported from our room to the coach and vice versa seamlessly at each stop. We paid for transfers to and from the airports and these, although a little on the expensive side, took the stress out of having to organise these ourselves. We travelled in taxis both ways to and from the airports.
We would thoroughly recommend the tour for anyone who is looking at a lesser known region which is known for its beauty and its food. This is the 5th booking we have made with Hannah at Global Journeys and, as always, Hannah was professional, organised, approachable and thoroughly reliable with great attention to detail. We would not hesitate to book with Hannah at Global Journeys again. Thanks Hannah for everything in making this another fabulous trip for us!