This was an excellent tour. There was only 3 of us on the tour and our driver/guide, Urban was very entertaining and informative. He regaled us with stories and ancedotes on the way to the various sites. He would provide us with both an official version of events at the sites, but he would then add to it with his own thoughts and views and this was very interesting and added an extra touch of personalisation to the tour. To be honest, probably due to the very small size of the group, it really did not feel like a tour at all, but more like being taken round the local sites by a knowledgeable friend. The pace was just right and each of the sites visited was interesting and added something to the trip and your knowledge of Viking history. The stop at the farm to enjoy some coffee and cake before walking through the ruins was especially good as i was not expecting to enjoy such hospitality. Sigtuna is a vey nice little town, but maybe it is just a little bit too touristy, but sti very nice . All in all it was a really good tourand although it may seem quite expensive it really is wotrth the money. I just hope they keep the small group formula, as i don'tthink it would work nearly so well if it was scaled up to be a tour catering for a full bus load of passengers as you would miss that personal touch that really makes this tour
This trip is something of a mixed bag. Obidos is a fantastic place to explore with its narrow streets and the time here was just right. Nazare is a nice village, but the lunch is dire, the restraurant does not overlook the sea and the service is very slow. You could probably buy better in one of the other restaurants nearby. The church at Batalha is worth seeing and again the time here was just right.
Fatima should be the jewel in the crown of this tour, but for me it was the biggest let-down. You are taken firstly to a horrible factory shop selling really tacky touristy rubbish trading on the Fatima name. Why we are made to endure 20 minutes in this hell-hole I really do not know.
Fatima itself is very disappointing. I expected to see a shrine that has been venerated and left exactly as it was when Our Lady appeared to the shepard children. Instead they have turned it into a tourist attraction witrh a massive modern church and a garish vewing area at the shrine. We were given an hour and 15 minutes and I was bored by 20 minutes.
The tour guide was also a very no-nonsense older lady and her school-teacher like ways did not go down well with everyone, especially as she seemed to favour the Brazilian contingent in our party over everybody else. I spent the tour listening to a very disgruntled elderly American genetleman who was at pains to let me know what he thought of her.
All in all, the tour takes you to places that you probably should visit, just to say that you have been there, but it probably could be scaled back a bit and I felt that it was a bit pricy for what you got. However, it was a nice coach so it wasn't all bad.
Would I recommend it? Probably not in its present form and at its current price, but if they dropped the factory tour and the awful lunch and dropped the price accorindly then yes I would recommend it as there are some nice sights on this trip. Do not get your hopes up too high and you will probably find this tour ok.
This is actually two half-day trips rolled into one full day trip and as such it suffers from feeling quite rushed. The morning tour tries to cover too much by doing Zanse Schans, Volendam and Markem. I would have liked more time at Zanse Schans to explore the windmills and it could easily have combined a trip to both the chesse making factory and the clog makers here. They also use a double deck coach, so there are probably too many people on the tour and it feels like one of those City Sightseeing Tours with taped commentary. It would have been nice to have had a little more time at Markem, but as stated beore it seemed a bit rused at all the places. The afternoon tour on the other hand, seemed to drag a little in that you visited Delft, The Hague and Madouradam. The visit to the Delft pottery factory was very brief, although this did allow for more time in Delft itself. It would have been good if the guide had pointed out one or two of the places of interest in Delft itself, so that best time could have been made of the visit. I would have also liked to have had a walking tour of the Hague and this could have been done by losing some time at Marorodam and in Delft. All in all, not a bad tour and worth doing as it does do what it says in that it gives you a taste of the Netherlands in a day. Personally though, I would rather have had a larger taste rather than the bite-size chunks that you gain on this tour.
It is quite useful for the public transport element, and it will give you you discounts for some museums. However, the musuems bit is not as generous as it seems as some of the museums are free anyway. Turns out it is totally useless for the City Sightseeing tours, despite the fact it says you will get a discount
In all, it promises much but fails to deliver on all its promises. Probably just about value for money, but nowhere near as good as other cards such as the Paris Pass.
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