We enjoyed this tour very much! the guide was excellent Tammy and gave us a very thorough explanation of what we were seeing, the history surrounding it, and it's significance both historically, religiously, or politically. both cities are very significant religious/political sites, and the tour revolves around viewing the historical buildings, art work, and infrastructure of a 12th century city. we were only 12 or 15 people in our group. The walking was difficult uphill, bad weather, high elevation in Avila so if you have older folks, you may want to reconsider. The reason I didn't give this tour 5 stars: The tour was supposed to be english speaking. there was one person added last minute who only spoke Spanish. Our tour guide wasted a great deal of our time saying everything in 2 languages. The young lady also was 35 minutes late back to the bus after lunch. This gave us very limited time in Avila, so we could not see The church of St. Theresa as Mass had already started by the time we arrived. The tour clearly states that anyone who is late will be left behind. I am very glad our tour guide did not do that, but I felt it was very rude of our joiner to not have followed directions, which were explained clearly to her in Spanish. This, along with a snow storm as we drove up the mountain to Avila limited our visit to about 1 hour there. She also did not always stay with the group, causing us to look for her a number of times as we moved on. Again, not the tour's fault per say, but if we had stuck with English only it would not have impacted much or at all. We did not take the lunch option, choosing a nice sit down space very near our meeting area. we had a fabulous lunch of Paella at a restaurant that had 2 Michelan stars. The others on our tour said their lunch option with the tour was very good too.
Horrible tour. When we arrived in Avila, one of the passengers stayed on the bus, thinking we were just stopping for a bathroom break. Actually, we were supposed to start the walking part of the tour. The bus took off with the passenger and we had to wait approximately 20 minutes for its return. This made the tour guide, Kate, behind schedule. This caused her to rush through the tour, even though several us had trouble walking up hill at a fast pace. She would stop and give a 5 minute talk in Spanish, and regardless of whether the slow walking English people caught up, she would immediately speak for about a minute in English. We missed most of the information. When we arrived in Segovia, we told her we couldn't make the walk all the way up to the castle. She said fine, explore the city meet back after the other went up the hill. She didn't mention that the entire town was closed down for siesta, so we just sat for nearly two hours waiting for the others to return. Horrible, horrible tour.
This was really worth it. Would have been better with a little more time. Both Avila and Segovia are worth visiting and the aquaduct in Segovia is amazing. Our guide Katherine was good, but would like to visit more places in both towns. Bus ride was very comfortable. The only problem is that I have found that these travel agencies do not communicate with you about the time of pickup and place. As a tourist abroad, it is difficult to contact them. In my case, I could not make calls, by the time I received their mail in response to mine I was already worried. It is a simple matter for them to email you the pick up location and time they insist on pickup, but they can also give a fall back option as for all the agencies the last pickup location was their office.
The tour to Avila and Segovia was quite good. We were picked up close to our hotel and since we had requested an English speaking guide, we were split up from the main group. As a result, we ended up in a group of seven and with our very own bus. The trip to Avila was pleasant and fast in spite of the rain. Avila is a pleasant place to visit and our guide, Catherine, was quite thorough about what we were about to see. Whether it was the main church, the main landmarks or the patron saint, everything was easy to follow.
Segovia was a great experience and the little showers soon dissipated and we were able to visit the city. The cathedral was magnificent as was the castle. Walking the streets to and from the castle was a great experience. We had lunch at San Bernardino restaurant and the food was quite tasty look for their daily specials. The main aqueduct was an experience in itself. We had a chance to view it and to take plenty of pictures. The return to Madrid was smooth along the highway and we were dropped off at Plaza de Espana . Overall, it was a good experience and our guide, Catherine,and the driver were quite good and professional.
Great experience for the family. Comfortable transportation and punctual. Our guide was very enthusiastic and informative. The only change I would suggest is that it is difficult blending an English and Spanish speaking group together. Two groups in one with the guide constantly having to switch between languages does not work well.
The highlight of this tour was the luncheon. Delicious bean soup paired with the crispiest cuchinillo. Wish we had a tour guide who communicated better both in Spanish and English, plus a deeper knowledge of the historical details of the places we visited. We were extremely disappointed with the tour of the damascene factory. The manufacture of the jewelry were not really showcased and the prices in the store are outrageous. Otherwise, the tour would have been perfect!
The tour was not fun at all. Barbara, our tour guide, was very unprofessional. In the bus, she chooses the music she likes, plays it really loud and sings along with it in a loud voice. She even showed that she was so irritated when some Colombians when to the rest room. She was so impatient.
Segovia and Avila were fascinating cities . However since we had the worst tour guide we have ever experienced we learned very little of the history or culture there in. We booked an English tour . However most of the information presented was in Spanish. For every lengthy explanation of what we were seeing given in Spanish there was only offered a barebones statement of less than a minute in English Obviously not the same information as offered in Spanish. We didn't mind the Spanish but expected equal detailed information provided to us in English. When I did ask a question of the tour guide she responded that she already told us that and did not answer my question. We have toured with Viatour before and expected the usual professional tour guide who provided a cultural and historical quality tour. This tour which could have been excellent was a great disappointment due to the tour guide either lack of information, interest or ability to conduct the tour in English as we had booked
Barbara was an excellent guide on this tour and fairly translated in terms of time spent into both Spanish and then English. I never felt left out even as the only English speaking person. A very fun group of people added to the Xperience. Avila was interesting but Segovia had several interesting and historical items to see the aqueduct, Catherdhal and the castle. Would recommend this trip.