Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the 9-Day Best of Spain Tour Including Madrid, Cordoba, Seville, Granada, Valencia and Barcelona. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
I have to give our bus driver and tour guide a 10 on this one. Service, service and more service. I had such a great time!!
This was a wonderful trip – one I will remember forever. Our guide was wonderful, the hotels were nice, the tours were informative and interesting, and our fellow tour companions were great. Thank you for this trip. It was also a good value.
Wonderful!! Hugo, our tour guide, was very informative; Felix, our bus driver, was careful yet arrived at all our destinations on time. The local tour guides were great - they highlighted the main attractions of each city, and gave suggestions on what we should go see on our own. We spent a lot of time on the bus, traveling between cities, but the scenery was beautiful and Hugo gave us historical and regional information as we drove by.
One thing I'd like to suggest is that travelers be given a list of attractions that are NOT included in the tour (i.e. museums, basilicas, historical buildings). We did our own research and knew what spots we would visit on our own. However, there were travelers in the group who were clueless about what to visit when the local tours ended.
Overall, I highly recommend this trip. From beginning to end, we were delighted with the service!!
I would say that the tour was generally very good. The guide that we had lack experience and seemed to get easily nervous. It would have been nice to have a documentary showing on Spain while we were on the long bus ride.
The tour was the integration of other excursions making things very confusing. The first tour was the Madrid circuit. The operator took us from the hotel to the city. At the end of the excursion, they left us in the city and the only way back to the hotel was asking people for directions, or by taxi. Luckily, we knew how to get back.
Once we left Madrid, we assumed that our guide would be with us until the end of the tour, but it was not to be. She belonged to the Cordoba, Seville and Granada circuit. We continued on our tour to Valencia and Barcelona after we changed bus, driver and guide near Madrid.
The last day of our trip, they left us at the hotel without transfer. Viator refunded the expenses incurred in hiring a taxi.
Outside these mishaps, the tour is a good value for money, and the operating agency need better communication and organization.
Tour was done in August 2014.
Pros for the tour:
1. Good Guides especially Hugo from Madrid to Valencia.
2. Well organized and everything was on time.
3. Dinner and breakfast were well laid out.
4. On time pickup on arrival and for departure towards the airport.
5. Most of Local guides were very good except the one in Granada.
1. The organizer of the tour was very rude with the exception of one lady in the Madrid office. Staff in Barcelona was terrible and had no manners.
2. Lot of time in Bus.
3. Second bus form Valencia to Barcelona had a murky odor.
Ratings of Hotels:
1. Husa Princesa in Madrid -- 4 star --- They let us check in very early on arrival
2. Hotel Melia in Seville -- 1 star -- Room had such a bad moldy smell. Wall paper was peeling off.
3. Hotel Melia in Granada -- 4 star, excellent location and good rooms.
4. Hotel ABBA -- Valencia -- 2 star, very old and dilapidated
4. Hoel Catolina -- Barcelona -- Rooms 4 star, location 5 star, Room service or any service -- 0 star. They are so busy with the tour operator travelers that they do not care for one individual.
Hope it helps.
This 9-day tour is actually 3 individual tours combined from the local travel company Julia Travel.
The Panoramic Sightseeing Tour of Madrid: While the tour itself was okay in terms of the sights we are shown (albeit briefly), our tour guide had mediocre English abilities at best, which quickly led to our sustained disinterest for the rest of the tour because we couldn't understand what was being described. Furthermore, to fill the bus, the tour is multilingual - Castilian Spanish and English. On this particular tour, English was definitely a second priority, and there were more English-speaking patrons in the group. 3 stars
This tour was followed by the 4-Day Spain Tour: Cordoba, Seville and Granada from Madrid tour. This is the best of the 3 tours. Our tour guide Cristina and driver Jose Luis were very professional, organized and friendly. They kept everyone on time, because Jose Luis always had the bus ready a good time earlier and Cristina posted a schedule in the lobby of every hotel we stayed in. Cristina introduced us to our local guides at every stop, spoke French, Castilian Spanish, and English flawlessly and had wonderfully interesting things to say as we drove through the Andalusian countryside. 4 – 5 stars.
We changed our bus in the middle of a service area for the last part of our tour: 4-Day Spanish Mediterranean Cities Tour: Valencia and Barcelona from Madrid. The bus was 45 minutes late to arrive at our service stop. Throughout the 4 days, our tourwas 45 minutes late to arrive at our service stop. Throughout the 4 days, our tour guide only spoke to us couple times, mostly to announce our arrival or estimate time to our next destination. While his language skills were reasonable - he spoke the same languages as Cristina - he failed to explain anything about the cities we were traveling to or the regions we were traveling through during the bus rides. The explanations of our schedules was poor as well. (Continuos on next review space)
We were told as a group probably once what time to arrive and never reminded. In Barcelona, we stopped at the Plaça Catalunya (after the driver and our guide were hopelessly lost for an hour) and dropped off the tourists who had joined the tour in Barcelona on the side of the street. They were told to walk to their hotel. Although the other hotel for a few in our group (including us), were actually staying in a hotel IN the Plaça Catalunya, too, the driver had NO idea where it was and got lost again and drove in circles around the city to the other hotel for the tourist class patrons. Our guide gave no indication that we were actually lost and left everyone in the dark. The two sightseeing tours we had were with the local tour guides only, and they were great. Our bus guide was nowhere in sight - unlike Cristina, who ensured everything went smoothly and no one got lost during every local tour. 2 Stars.
The communication was a little bit difficult with Julia travel before us arriving to Spain due to the hour and language difference. We tried to confirm our hotel pickups by phone multiple times, but their offices are leanly staffed so rarely is anyone on duty to ensure answering of phones. They do have local office in Madrid and Barcelona.