The Delphi day trip was very enjoyable and informative. Our guide was pleasant and knowledgeable and was happy to answer questions.
We booked the trip to Delphi as a day tour because we had already pre-booked 5 days of accommodation in Athens. If we were doing it again we would book a tour of at least 3 days through Mycenae, Epidaurus, Nafplio and Meteora as well ad Delphi and the lovely mountain villages around it. Delphi in one day via coach is 2/3 coach time for 1/3 sightseeing time.
The tour operators did a good job within the time and distance constraints, including the need to get the group back into Athens before an evening protest blocked the city centre.
The driver was very polite and the shuttle was in very good order.
We had a small concern in that we were told to be at the pick-up for a scheduled 0700 departure. However, when we arrived at the meeting point at 0645 the driver was there and had already enquired for our whereabouts. This made us wonder if he would have still been there at 0700.
All in all the trip to the airport was pleasant and quick, everything that we would expect from a shuttle service. We would recommend, but counsel travellers to take the precaution of being at the meeting point early.
This tour was our second with the local operator Dark Rome who we would highly recommend. The skip the line access made a huge difference to ouyr experience.
Our Vatican guide was David who was enthusiastic, informative, a bit cheeky (in a good funny way) and excellent at leading and shepherding a group with diverse interests and abilities in an extremely crowded environment.
Taking in the Vatican and its precincts in a half day tour is ambitious, and information overload is a real risk. David really distilled the mountain of content into a good concise and interesting experience.
Our Rome and Colosseum tour was the first with the local operator Dark Rome. Initially, we were somewhat nonplussed with the throng of people milling without much guidance to join their respective groups. However, the planets aligned and the Dark Rome folks got all of us away before our scheduled times.
Our guide was the fabulous Claudia. Although our group size was more than we expected at 28, she was amazingly inclusive, informative and considerate. When a sunny or shady spot would make the group more comfortable, she knew where it was and pointed it out. Clauida's narratives helped to make all of the history of the Colosseum and its precincts very accessible and relateable.
The skip the line experience meant that we had all of the half day in tour content and not in queueing. We would highly recommend this tour.
We booked the Florence full-day tour option with lunch. We had different guides for the morning and afternoon tours. Each tour had about 20 participants.
Our morning tour guide was a very cordial and informative fellow with a vague resemblence to the late Peter Sellers (a bonus). We thoroughly enjoyed the tour and the walk through the various precincts. We particularly liked the square with the foundling home.
Only 6 people took the lunch option, although the lunch was very nice and we would recommend it. The food and service were both good and well worth the price difference.
Our afternoon guide was was a delightful lady who was passionate about Florence, its history and its art. This really came to the fore at the Uffizi Gallery where she gave a very engaging account of the development of art through the exhibits on display.
The only minor concern we had with the morning and afternoon tours was that we had to wait up to 20 minutes in queues at Academia and the Uffizzi. While this is much better than the very long queues that idividuals face, it doesn't beat true skip the line tours.
We would recommend both the morning and afternoon tours, but advise travellers to be prepared for waits at the major museums.
Marco and Alex were fabulous guides on this amazing (long) day tour.
This tour was a full day from Florence comprised of about 3 hours of coach travel and 7 hours at Cinque Terra.
Alex provided most of the commentaries en route which were intersting but not overwhelmingly continuous. The tour included walking, train and boat legs between the villages. The walking was somewhat demanding due to steepness of the alternative route after landslides had blocked part of the usual walking tracks. Marco was excellent in leading a goup with diverse capabilites, and in maintaining their interest and good humour. His narratives on the villages and the sights was very engaging and enlightening.
The villages themselves were lovely and we would consider (and recommend) few days based in any one of them to explore the area in more depth.
The included lunch was very nice, and the venue provided amazing views to the village and coast below.
The views of the coastline and villages throughtout the day were nothing short of spectacular.
We would highly reccommmed this tour to anybody wanting to get a overview of Cinque Terra, but be warned that the appetiser may leave you wanting the rest of the meal.
Milan was a very pleasant surprise. This half day tour really set the scene for our four days here.
We covered a number of sights on foot and by coach including the Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, La Scala, the Castello Sforzesco and the Last Supper.
Although this was only a half day tour the pace was comfortable, and the commentaries were informative and engaging. In addition to the main highlights the commentaries included contextual information "in passing" throughout the old city.
We would highly recommend this tour to anybody making a first visit to Milan as it really provided us with a great appreciation of the city, its history, and what it has to offer to visitors.
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