Grand Tour of Spain with Patsy Gaut14 days
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Expert Tour Director
Sightseeing with local guides
Personalized flight options
Tour pace: You will walk for about 2.5 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with some hills.
Overnight Flight 1 night
Day 1: Travel day
Board your overnight flight to Madrid today.
Madrid 3 nights Hotel info
Day 2: Arrival in Madrid
Included meals: Dinner
Welcome to Spain! Take some time to relax before meeting your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner.
Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Madrid
Included meals: Breakfast
Get an insider’s view of Madrid with a local guide.
• Make a photo stop at the Royal Palace, Spain’s largest royal residence
• Pass by the Temple of Debod, a reassembled temple from ancient Egypt
• View the city’s many squares, including Plaza de España, Plaza Mayor and the bustling Puerta del Sol
• Explore the Prado, a world-class art museum that began as the private collection of the Spanish monarchy and is home to the works of Goya, Velásquez and more
Enjoy a free evening in Madrid or add an excursion.
Optional Excursion - Traditional Spanish Evening $95pp* Details
On your way to dinner, walk through the illuminated streets of Madrid, taking in the local neighborhood ambiance in the evening light. Then, enjoy conversation, camaraderie and live music at one of the oldest restaurants in the city. Between traditional Castilian courses, you’ll be entertained by tuna music, an artistic tradition with its roots in Spain’s universities.
Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $105)
Day 4: Free day in Madrid
Included meals: Breakfast
Enjoy a full free day in Madrid or add an excursion.
Optional Excursion - Toledo $79pp* Details
Discover Toledo, the cliff-top city often referred to as La Ciudad Imperial (“The Imperial City”). Upon arrival, you’ll have some free time to explore. Later in the afternoon, your guided tour begins at Toledo Cathedral, a massive, Gothic structure that houses 750 medieval stained glass windows and a treasure trove of golden artifacts. Gaze upon the cathedral’s sacristy, containing masterpieces by the likes of van Dyck, El Greco, Rubens and Titian. After exploring the labyrinth of medieval alleyways at the heart of the city, you’ll visit the Church of Santo Tomé and one of Europe’s oldest synagogues, Santa María la Blanca. Please note: This tour involves some walking over uneven terrain. Also, depending on the day of the week, the sites visited are subject to change. If the Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca is closed, you’ll visit the Synagogue of El Tránsito instead.
Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)
Seville 2 nights Hotel info
Day 5: Seville via Córdoba
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Ride the high-speed train to the town of Córdoba and explore the Mezquita, a UNESCO World Heritage-protected cathedral, on a guided tour. Then, continue to Seville, stopping en route at an olive oil farm for a tasting.
Day 6: Sightseeing tour of Seville
Included meals: Breakfast
A local guide introduces you to the highlights of Seville.
• View the intricately tiled pavilion in Plaza de España
• Discover the Gothic Seville Cathedral where Columbus is buried
• Pass the whitewashed homes of Barrio de Santa Cruz
Enjoy a free evening or add an excursion.
Optional Excursion - Traditional Seville Flamenco Show $89pp* Details
Tonight, get a taste of old Seville during a live flamenco show. Flamenco is a unique and colorful Andalusian art form that combines guitar playing, singing, clapping, and dancing, and this excursion is sure to be one of the highlights of your Spanish journey. Sip an included drink as you watch the authentic performance, which allows expressive lyrics, moving instrumentals, and passionate dance to shine. After discovering why UNESCO has declared flamenco to be one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, enjoy free time to explore the vibrant Santa Cruz neighborhood.
Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $99)
Costa del Sol 2 nights Hotel info
Day 7: Costa del Sol via Ronda
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
On your way to the beaches of Costa del Sol, stop for a guided tour of Ronda, a famous cliffside town in Andalusia.
• View the staggering Puente Nuevo, an 18th-century bridge that spans a deep gorge
• Admire the town's picturesque white buildings and enter the Plaza de Toros, which was constructed in the late 1700s
• Walk by the Mondragón Palace and visit the terraced Cuenca Gardens
Day 8: Free day in Costa del Sol
Included meals: Breakfast
Spend a day on the beaches of Costa del Sol or add an excursion.
Optional Excursion - A Day in Gibraltar $125pp* Details
Make your way along the Costa del Sol to Gibraltar, a pocket of British culture in the Mediterranean. This overseas territory of Great Britain is most famously home to the iconic Rock of Gibraltar. Today, you’ll get a close-up look during a visit to the Gibraltar Nature Reserve, established in 1993 to protect native wildlife. Here, get to know the resident population of semi-wild Barbary macaques while keeping an eye out for the many species of migratory birds that use the rock as a resting place. Then, take in sweeping views of the ocean (and Africa on a clear day) as you journey to sites such as St. Michael’s Cave, Spur Battery, and Europa Point Lighthouse. End with an included lunch and pint at a local pub and some free time in town before transferring back to Costa del Sol. Please note: As Gibraltar is a territory of the United Kingdom, you must show your passport to enter. Make sure you have yours with you before this excursion departs.
Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $135)
Granada 1 night Hotel info
Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Granada
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Travel farther into Andalusia for a guided tour of Granada
• Explore the Alhambra, the Moorish sultans’ last stronghold in Spain
• Admire the blend of Western art and Islamic design
• Stroll through ornamented courtyards
Valencia 2 nights Hotel info
Day 10: Valencia via Guadix
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
On the way to Valencia, stop in the cave district of Guadix, where nearly half of the residents live underground.
Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Valencia
Included meals: Breakfast
Discover Valencia on a guided sightseeing tour.
• Enter the Fallas Museum to see traditional papier-maché floats made in honor of St. Joseph’s Day
• Pass the City of Arts and Sciences, a symbol of Spain’s modernist architecture
• View Valencia Cathedral during a walk through the Old Town and stop for a tasting of the decadent beverage known as horchata
Barcelona 2 nights Hotel info
Day 12: Travel to Barcelona
Included meals: Breakfast
Pass through Peñíscola, a seaside fortress, on your way to Barcelona.
Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Barcelona
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Follow a local on a guided tour of the Catalonian capital.
• Step inside La Sagrada Família, Gaudí’s famous masterwork-in-progress
• Drive along Passeig de Gràcia, past Gaudí’s “house of bones”
• Stop at Montjuïc, where the 1992 Olympic Games took place, and stroll Mirador de l’Alcalde Park
• Pass Plaça d’Espanya and view the soaring monument to Christopher Columbus
Enjoy a free afternoon in Barcelona or add an excursion.
Say goodbye to your group at tonight’s farewell dinner.
Optional Excursion - Park Güell & La Pedrera $85pp* Details
On today’s excursion, discover the magnificent works of Antoni Gaudí, the famed Spanish architect known for his bold, distinct designs. Casa Milà is the first stop. Take a guided tour of this building, popularly known as La Pedrera, which was built by Gaudí between 1905 and 1910. Everything about the building is visually unique, from the wave-like stone structure and grandly designed roof to the apartment that reflects the style of the 20th century bourgeois. Next, you’ll head to Park Güell, also designed by Gaudí. Your guide will lead you through the park, which contains stunning buildings, intricate stonework, and colorful mosaics. At the top of the park, marvel at the brilliant views of Barcelona.
Must be booked 20 days before departure
Day 14: Departure
Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)
If you are not staying in Barcelona on the tour extension, board your flight home.
Passport & visa requirements
- In order to enter Spain and Gibraltar (a British colony), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
- We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
- There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
- If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact your destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
- You will walk for about 2.5 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with some hills.
- Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
- You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as getting in and out of trains.
- If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
Transportation & arrival information
- Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead arrive in Madrid and depart from Barcelona. A Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
- Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead for an additional cost.
- A train ride from Madrid to Córdoba is included in the price of your tour.
- All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
- Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.
- Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
- One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.
- Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.
Clothing & packing tips
- We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
- A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
- You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
- It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
- There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Spain.
- At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
- If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
- If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to My Account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
- In Spain, breakfast like a local with just a pastry and coffee. Then, tuck into a three-course lunch featuring a Spanish staple like savory seafood paella or grilled meat and fried potatoes. Dinner is less hearty than lunch and is served late, between 9pm and midnight. Snack on small plates called tapas any time of day.
- Cuisine in Spain's southern Andalusia region is heavily influenced by surrounding countries, and has many Arabic elements. Kebabs are popular, and desserts are often prepared with almonds, honey and cinnamon. Be sure to try Serrano ham, which is considered a regional delicacy, as well as the famous chilled soup known as gazpacho.
- Catalan cuisine, which can be found in Barcelona, is markedly different from food in other parts of Spain. Nearly every restaurant will offer pa amb tomàquet—toasted bread with tomato and olive oil. Fresh seafood, hearty meat dishes, cheeses and locally grown vegetables, such as wild mushrooms, are culinary mainstays.
Electricity & air conditioning
- Spain operates on the European standard 220-240 volts and uses Types C, E or F plugs with two small, round pins.
- We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
- The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
- Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
- Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
- There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
- Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
- Spain is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).
- When it’s noon in New York, it’s 6pm on tour.
- You will use the euro in Spain.
- Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
- We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
- You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
- Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
- International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
- At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
- We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD/CAD to $10USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver.
- If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide.
- Tips can only be paid in cash.
Purchasing excursions on tour
- Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
- Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for excursions.
- Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
- Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.
See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.
Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.
OVERALL THE TOUR WAS GOOD. HAD A GREAT GROUP. HOTELS HAD NO AIR CONDITIONERS MEALS EXCEPT BREAKFAST WAS POOR. RESTAURANT CHOICES WERE NOT GOOD. FOOD WAS SOMETIMES RAW, TASTELESS. OVERCOOKED, WE WERE ONCE OFFERED AN APPLE AND A ORANGE FOR DESSERT. DONT KNOW IF THESE PLACES ARE PREVIEWED AHEAD OF TIME, BUT THEY SHOULD BE. WAS SUPPOSE TO HAVE SHARED BEDS ONE HOTEL ONLY HAD 1 BED AVAILABLE AND THE OTHER PERSON HAD TO SLEEP ON A HARD FOLD OUT COUCH. FOR A TRIP THAT COST ALMOST $4000 YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE TO SLEEP ON A COUCH!
Dear Latonya, We're glad that overall you enjoyed your tour of Spain. We're also glad to learn that you appreciated the company of your group members. We regret that there were a couple aspects of your journey which didn't meet your expectations, such as some of the included meals as well as one of your hotel accommodations. A member of our Quality Control team has reached out to learn more about your experience. If you would like to discuss it further, please give us a call back at 1-800-597-0350. We want you and every traveler to come away from tour feeling positive about their experience. Regarding your meals, we will be sure to communicate your displeasure with the offerings to our Operations team. Our Operations team works diligently with our restaurant partners to carefully design delicious and well-rounded meals for our travelers, and we regularly use customer feedback to reevaluate them on an on-going basis. Regarding one of your hotel accommodations, we regret that the room configuration did not meet your expectations. A twin room requires two beds, and some of our hotel partners do consider a pull-out bed a bed, particularly when availability is limited. We understand your frustration, and this is something we're working to address with our hotel partners for future departures. Please do give us a call back with any questions you may have at 1-800-597-0350. Thank you for sharing your feedback, Latonya. We greatly appreciate it. We hope to welcome you on tour again.
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | December 05, 2016
Discovering the highlights of Spain with Roberta
This was another awesome experience with GoAhead. Everything was well organized and we believe the trip was an outstanding value. We slept well every night with this action packed itinerary - and the accommodations were excellent. Every hotel was impeccably clean and provided convenient access to sites, shopping, and restaurants. Barcelona 1864 Aixample was particularly well-located and the staff was great! We've done several tours with GoAhead, but the Tour Director really made this trip something special. Her personal attention and complete dedication to making the trip special for everyone was amazing. Roberta needs to be recognized for daily going above and beyond. While on tour, we were celebrating my 50th birthday. Roberta had some surprises for me - just to make my day extra special. The sites we visited are some of the best we've experienced. The Spanish people were friendly and welcoming. The food was excellent - we love tapas and pintxos: a great concept! As for the provided meals - they were excellent except for Granada. That one needs to be revisited, but still - 5 of the 6 were great! We absolutely will use GoAhead again. There is a great balance between organized activities and independent exploration - we get to experience some things that we'd never do on our own. The travel group was large (30) but we still all got along and had a wonderful time. I wish the groups were a little smaller so that you could really get to know each other a little better. But, even with this large group / Roberta found a way to build a team spirit. She's a gem and made our trip to Spain one that will never be forgotten!
Dear Traveler, First of all, happy belated birthday from all of us at Go Ahead! What a fantastic way to celebrate! We’re thrilled to learn that you enjoyed your time in Spain. We’re also glad you feel that the itinerary was well-planned and thoughtfully designed. We appreciate the feedback on your accommodations, and we will be sure to convey your positive impressions of them to our Operations team. It’s wonderful to know that your Tour Director’s efforts stood out to you and that her personal attention to detail enhanced your experience. We certainly appreciate our Tour Directors, and it’s always good to hear that our travelers do, too! Thank you for your comments regarding the balance of free time and guided time. We strive to strike a comfortable balance for our travelers, which is largely made possible by the optionals we offer. We appreciate your feedback on the size of the group, and we will be sure to share it with our team internally for consideration moving forward. Again, we’re delighted that you had a great time, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | November 15, 2016
Excellent Tour Director!! Beautiful tour.
Fast paced tour, saw everything we wanted to see. Great introduction/overview of Spain. Loved all the tours/cities. Hotels were mainly very good. Food average for the most part (arranged dinners) - with a couple exceptions (Madrid). This is our third tour with GoAhead. The tour director - Luis - was Amazing. He handled everything with ease and competence. Our group had a few little mishaps - that he smoothed out completely. One included myself and an injury - which he quickly helped us deal with - to a very good conclusion. Being in a foreign country and not knowing how/where to seek medical attention, helping with interpreting to medical professionals, and how to handle the wrinkle it puts in your trip. Luis was outstanding. Made what could have been a disaster - just a minor blip. Not to mention recommending restaurants, and all the other little suggestions along the way. Being knowledgeable and informative about the area. It has increased our confidence in GoAhead tours.
Dear Christine, We’re delighted to learn that your third Go Ahead tour was amazing. We regret, however, that you experienced a minor injury on tour. We’re glad you were able to speak with one of our Customer Service Representatives about this upon your return, and one of our Quality Control members also reached out to you to follow-up and see how you’re doing. If you would like to connect, please give us a call back at 1-800-597-0350. It sounds like your Tour Director’s efforts enriched your experience and also made you feel safe and secure when the unexpected happened, such as your injury. This is why we love traveling with our Tour Directors – they add an extra layer of comfort! We’re so glad this experience gave you confidence in Go Ahead, and we’re fortunate that you are a part of our travel community. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | October 21, 2016
Olive Oil on IceCream!!
Another great GoAhead tour. Got to see all the sights, some extra surprises thrown in and our tremendous TD Leonor made this a great time. We had a relatively small group of 16 and we met some great people that we would love to travel with again in the future. Some inside jokes were a part of this experience that everyone joined in on and made some of the bus rides memorable in different ways. The olive farm tour, which one would think would be relatively mundane, turned out to be a visit, that for me, and many others, was a highlight. Who would think orange injected olive oil drizzled on chocolate icecream would be so good! The simplest of things, as bread lightly toasted, with diced tomato and garlic on it then a splash of extra virgin olive oil is now something that will be included in our life at home! Now to plan our next tour.................? So many great choices!
Grand Tour of Spain with Leonor
This summer we took our second tour with Go Ahead, this time to Spain with Leonor as our TD. Surprising significant tour highlights include a visit to Hacienda Basilippo for olive oil tasting, tour of Gibraltar, Zambra Flamenco in caves, Sagrada Familia y Park Guell, and an impromptu unscheduled group visit to El Nacional in Barcelona for psychic drink analysis. Hehe. But the cherry of this experience, was really in Leonor's personal attention and care. Through Leonor, we learned a lot about Spanish history, food, and pop culture. I.e Iberico ham, Spanish royalty, bull riding, tapas, and more. Leonor really went the extra mile in terms of offering unscheduled walks, (Marbella, Valencia, Barcelona), making recommendations, etc. I thought our first tour of Italy two years ago was marvelous, but now I understand Go Ahead Tours in a new way. My husband and I are looking forward to travelling with GAT again. This experience was truly exceptional! Thank you.
Hi April! We’re so glad you and your husband had an exceptional time on tour. It’s wonderful to learn that your Tour director added value and quality to your overall experience. We’re pleased to know that she went the extra mile for your group, and we will be sure to share your feedback with her and her supervisor. Thank you for choosing Go Ahead, and we hope to welcome you on tour again soon!
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | August 30, 2016
Amazing Tour of Sapin
Everything from organization, communication,itineraries and the high level of professionalism - this was a wonderful experience. Every day, every tour was obviously well planned and still gave ample free time to explore on your own. The tour director, Roberta was world class: knowledgeable; personable; caring and lots of fun. I enjoyed every minute of this tour. Already I have shared the GoAhead link with several of my co-workers and friends.Thank you.
Hi Cheryl-Ann! We’re so pleased that you had a wonderful experience from start to finish. We will definitely share your feedback regarding the balance of the itinerary with our Product Development team. Our team strives to ensure that we offer a variety of ways in which travelers experience their destination, and we’re glad you felt that this tour achieved that. Thank you for the kind words about your Tour Director. We will also be sure to share your thoughts with her. We appreciate that you recommended us to your friends and co-workers, and we hope to welcome you on tour again soon.
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 22, 2016
Great tour BUT.....
We just returned home from Spain and it's sad that it's over. Our tour director was amazing and the fastest walker ever so be prepared to walk a LOT, and fast, a lot of the time. We saw more then I imagined possible and it was beyond my expectations. Sadly, the hotels provided were not the best. It started strong in Madrid but from there, all the way through until Barcelona, the hotels were not within walking distance of anything to do, the breakfasts were lacking, and the beds felt like sleeping on sheet rock. I expected much better accommodations for the amount we paid. My whole group felt the same way and it caused a few sleepless nights. Not good when you're already getting less sleep to be up at 6:00 am many mornings. Seville was the WORST. The hotel was on a back alley and the bed was impossible to sleep on without covering it with pillows :( The included meals were a mix of good and bad. The restaurants were holes in the wall for the most part. Some of the food was good and some wasn't. We chose some and some was chosen for us....It really was hit or miss. As for the tour itself, AWESOME! As long as you can walk miles and miles a day and have a good tour guide, like we did, it is a once in a lifetime chance to see almost all of Spain. We had plenty of time for the most part. We stayed an extra day in Barcelona and that was key. You don;t have enough time unless you extend. Local tour guides were good and Luis was wonderful making sure we had it all, saw it all, and never got lost. I am so glad we went and will use, Go ahead again and just hope that they will spend a few more dollars on hotel choices ( most were under 50 euros a day according to the sign in the lobbies) and do more research on where they pick for included dinners. We're really not picky, thank God, but sleep is not over rated and neither is food, so here's hoping they read this and step it up a bit! :) Overall, I give it a 8 but it could easily have been a 10.
Hi Pam! We’re thrilled that you enjoyed your tour of Spain. We’re also glad to that your Tour Director did an amazing job. We regret to hear that your accommodations did not meet your expectations. In terms of hotels, we choose them based on a combination of criteria such as reputation, value, location, and availability. We will be sure to pass along all your feedback to our Operations team for consideration as we evaluate this tour in the future. Despite your concerns with the accommodations, we’re pleased that your tour was enjoyable overall. We’re also glad that you stayed an extra day in Barcelona, as there’s so much to see in this beautiful city. Thank you for your valuable feedback, and we look forward to welcoming you on your next Go Ahead tour!
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 12, 2016
A Great Tour Except
A Great Tour Except We took Go Ahead Tour's Great Tour of Spain (14 day June 9, 2016 to June 22, 2016). For the most part the tour was enjoyable and a good experience. We chose Go Ahead primarily due to the itinerary which was excellent. Our tour leader Rafi did a great job as did our bus driver and we recommend both of them highly. Rafi was friendly and personable and did everything he could to make the tour enjoyable. Our tour group of 17 persons, a surprising mixture of ages, proved to be quite compatible and a joy to travel with. The reservation process was easy and our questions were satisfactorily answered. We even received a pre-trip call on things we needed to know and to answer any questions we might have. We wanted to arrive a few days early in Madrid and remain in Barcelona a few extra days after the tour concluded. As Go Ahead could not confirm what hotels we would be staying at in Madrid and Barcelona we decided to book the pre and post-tour hotels on own. Although this involved changing hotels at the beginning and end of the tour (somewhat of a nuisance) we were glad we did. Go Ahead's choice of hotel in Madrid was far from the main tourist area. This was a problem with some of the other hotels in the other tour cities as they were not within walking distance of the main tourist area. The quality of the hotels also varied. The hotel in Seville was reminiscent of my college European backpacking days and the hotel in Malaga was a resort style first class hotel near the beach. Go ahead provides no definite information regarding hotels until a few weeks prior to the start of the tour. Included tours were mostly very good, but all too often times rushed. We especially liked the tour of the Rock of Gibraltar and an opportunity for a relaxing change of pace on the Costa del Sol. The high speed train ride from Madrid to Cordoba was a nice added experience. Buffet breakfasts were uniformly good and a cut above most mid-priced American hotels. Dinners provide by Go Ahead were mostly good although not memorable. The paella served in the Valencia restaurant was forgettable. Wine was served with each dinner with the opportunity for a second glass if desired. One restaurant actually charged for a second glass which we feel should not happen on a tour provided dinner. Now for the rub. An optional excursion in Madrid which we had pre-booked and paid for (Traditional Spanish Evening) was canceled due to too few persons signing up. The excursion was scheduled for day 3 of the tour June 11, 2016. We were told that we would receive a refund for the total paid by the two of us. I am writing this on August 4, 2016, over seven weeks since the canceled excursion and over five weeks since the tour ended. I have made two phone calls to Go Ahead weeks apart trying to get information regarding when to expect the refund. The first agent indicated the refund had to first go through their European offices and would take a few weeks and I should call in about two weeks if no refund was received. The second agent indicated that she would check with finance. There has been no call back and no refund. The agents I spoke with on both occasions were both polite but resolved nothing. Would I book with Go Ahead again? Perhaps. Fair price and good customer service up until the refund difficulty. Great tour guide and bus driver. Sub-par to excellent hotels, some poorly located. A mixed bag regarding meal quality. Excellent itinerary. Much depends on how Go Ahead handles my refund and their explanations regarding this area of their service. Addendum A day after submitting this review I received a phone message from Go Ahead that they were looking into my refund request and my refund would soon be processed. The refund delay was attributed to not receiving a tour report. On August 7 a refund was posted to my credit card. I appreciate Go Ahead’s final prompt handling of the refund. I only wish it had taken less effort to achieve it.
Dear Traveler, Thank you for your detailed review. We’re so glad that overall your tour was enjoyable and that you enjoyed your Tour Director. It’s also wonderful to hear that your tour group was a joy to travel with. We’re pleased to learn that you found the reservation process to be smooth and that you felt prepared prior to tour. Regarding hotels, our Operations team works very hard to arrange the best accommodation options for our travelers. You are correct that we are only able to provide details about accommodations until a month or so prior to tour, and the reason for this is travelers are able to sign up for the tour until shortly before departure. Our hotel partners require the most up-to-date reservations, so that they know precisely how much space to hold. We regret to hear that you felt some of the accommodations could have been better, and we will be sure to share this with our Operations team. We take your feedback very seriously. We’re glad you enjoyed the included tours, especially the Rock of Gibraltar. We regret that you felt a bit rushed on tour. The pace of our tours vary; typically, however, the more ground a tour covers the quicker the pace. We do our best to balance the pace while still including many of the highlights in the itinerary. We appreciate you letting us know that you felt somewhat rushed, and we will be sure to let our Product Development team know so that they can determine how we can avoid this in the future. We’re glad that you found most of the breakfasts and dinners to be good, but we regret that you feel there is still room for improvement with the meals. Regarding your refund, we apologize it took so long to be processed. Our Director of Quality Control reached out to explain what had caused the delay because we understand the lengthy waiting period was frustrating. Again, we sincerely apologize that it took so long to process, but we are very glad that you are all set now. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any further questions regarding this. Thank you again for your thorough review. We truly appreciate that you took the time to let us know about your experience, and we will be sure to use your feedback to improve the itinerary for future departures. We hope to welcome you on tour again!
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | August 10, 2016
Rafeal Lugo, tour director
Rafa was wonderful (the train from Madrid to Cordoba was an amazing feat!), Also, all local tour guides were very good.
Hi Wanda! Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | June 23, 2016
Seriously-BEST tour director
First of all I want to say I enjoyed the way this tour company gives you time together as a group and plenty of time on your own!!! We were blessed with the BEST tour director EVER! Paz, was a informative, organized, friendly, extremely knowledgeable, and has a good sense of humor. She knew the inside and outs of all the places we went.
Hi Gladys! We’re glad you feel this tour strikes a good balance between group activities and independent time. We’re also pleased to hear that your Tour Director enhanced your experience with her expertise, helpful tips, and warm personality. Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again.
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 01, 2016
Grand Tour Indeed!
I had only been to Barcelona and wanted to discover more about the beautiful country of Spain. Boy was I in luck to be escorted for 12 days by the best tour guide ever... Roberta G. Roberta made sure that every day was joyful, informative, and fun. Together with 20 other travelers, I walked charming streets of historic cities such as Granada, Toledo, and Ronda. We relaxed by the pool in the luxurious and sun-soaked town of Marbella on the famed Costa del Sol. And we soaked up the local culture at a flamenco show and every time we ate. Speaking of meals, the food provided by Go Ahead was top notch. From paella and tapas to decadent desserts and fine wine, each dining experience created fond memories. When it was time to go home, I was sad to leave Spain and the new friends I made on tour. Lucky for me, I will always have my photos and my colorful memories. Thanks Go Ahead -- and thank you Roberta -- for providing an unforgettable journey!
Hi Ralph! We’re thrilled that you enjoyed this itinerary and that your Tour Director contributed to the success of your experience. It sounds like your Tour Director’s enthusiasm and knowledge made this a tour to remember! We’re happy you had so many wonderful experiences, such as strolling the charming streets of Granada and lounging in a pool in Marbella. A flamenco show is a must during any tour of Spain, and we’re so glad you were able to witness this aspect of their beautiful culture. It’s great to know that you delighted in all of the delicious food. Paella is one of our favorites! Thank you for your fantastic review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | June 09, 2016
Happy with the tour.
My review of this tour would be excellent if I had not encountered little problems in this tour. The problems can be fixed, so Goahead start working with this small issues to avoid loosing customers. The number one problem is poor meals. I have no idea who is selecting this restaurants, but I can assure you that they are doing a poor job. At the end Goahead is the looser because customers look for other tour Co's to do their tours. Second; two hotels had an extra charge for security boxes. This should not be tolerated by Goahead. Or Goahead should pay for this expense. We go on tours to have fun and a good time, not to have aggravations in the hotels. But over all, not counting this small issues; this is an excellent tour. It is worth every penny that is pay. I would also like to mention that Fraviccio, the tour director is an outstanding tour director and Goahead should use him in every opportunity that he is available.
Dear Aida, First of all, we’re glad that you enjoyed the tour overall. We are also happy to hear that your Tour Director was a great resource for you throughout your trip. Regarding meals, we regret that you were not impressed with the selection. We certainly don’t want this to be the case. We value your feedback very much and will be communicating it to our Operations team while we reevaluate our meal selections. Regarding security boxes, we can understand how this would be inconvenient. However, this policy is entirely out of our control and purely remains at the discretion of the hotels. That said, we will be sure to take a look at this practice and reevaluate the accommodations. Again, we thank you very much for sharing your experience, as it helps us to continuously improve our tours. We hope to welcome you on tour again!
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | June 14, 2016
Olé, Muy Bien!
The Grand Tour of Spain was an amazing tour that exceeded my expectations! The culture, history, cuisine and people were simply incredible! I tremendously enjoyed each of Spain's unique regions and cities visited and all of the excursions. What a way to learn and experience the highlights of Spain! My first Go Ahead tour was a very positive experience with all aspects handled in a friendly, professional and orderly manner by everyone from the Tour Consultant, Tour Director, Local Guides to the Bus Drivers. Our Tour Director Fabrizio was absolutely wonderful and his passion about Spain was contagious! All of the Local Guides were extremely knowledgeable as well. Overall, the accommodations were better than expected. As with any group outing, there were unexpected situations, but all was handled without missing a beat. I anticipate another Go Ahead tour in my future!
Hello! We're glad this tour exceeded your expectations. Spain is certainly an amazing destination with a fascinating culture and history! We're thrilled that your first experience with Go Ahead was an exceptional one and that all aspects of working with us were positive and professional. Thank you for sharing your experience, and we hope to welcome you on tour again!
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | May 27, 2016
This was my first trip to Spain and what a great way to see the country. The entire experience from booking the trip until my departure was incredible. Our tour director Fabrizio was outstanding. He was very knowledgable about Spain and took care of everything along the way. All the local guides in each city were outstanding as well. The accommodations were top notch, better than other tours i've been on. It has been several years since i had been out of the country and this has rekindled the flame to see more. I look forward to traveling with Go Ahead again.
Hi Robert! We’re happy to hear you enjoyed your first trip to Spain. It’s wonderful to know that your whole experience from booking until departure was positive and that your Tour Director was a great resource for you. We’re thrilled to learn that this tour has encouraged you to travel more, and we look forward to welcoming you on tour again soon!
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | May 25, 2016
Spain tour review
Tour director Fernando was good. The Food quality could have been better.
Hello! Thank you for your review. We’re glad one of our team members was able to speak with you regarding your feedback. We will be sure to communicate your feedback to our team, so that we may consider it for future evaluation of this tour. If you would like to discuss your experience further, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-597-0350. We hope to welcome you on tour again!
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | May 05, 2016
Spain was amazing! A big country for Europe so it took all of 2+ weeks to see and experience it all. Great planning for tours, so nice to walk past the lines and go right in. Tour guides, Rafa & local guides, all so knowledgeable & thoughtful- so much more information than found in a book. Perfect amount of free time for roaming and discovering on your own, organized meals were very good and references by Rafa for free time meals was greatly appreciated. My second tour with this company and won't be my last!
Hi Sally! We’re thrilled you had a fabulous second tour with us. It sounds like your Tour Director and local guides were very helpful and knowledgeable -- you’re right that they are better than a guide book! We’re also pleased to know that you feel the tour was well-planned. Thank you for your review, and we look forward to welcoming you on another tour soon!
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | April 27, 2016
good value for the price of the tour, stress free tour. Exactly what I needed. Everything was well planned, transportation, meals, local tours. Hotels were nice, the only one that needs improvement is in Seville, rooms were small and noisy, all the others were nice. Our tour director Luis was excellent, well informed, nice, patient, he went out of his way to make our tour fun and safe. I would highly recommend Luis to my friends
Hi Esthela! We’re delighted that you would describe your tour as “stress-fee.” It is our hope that all our travelers are able to relax and take in their new environment without having to worry about the details that come along with trip-planning. We’re also pleased to learn that you feel all the tour logistics ran smoothly. We appreciate your feedback on the hotel in Seville, and we will be sure to share this with our Operations team. It sounds like your Tour Director added a lot of value and joy to your experience, and we’re glad to hear it. Thank you for your review, and we look forward to welcoming you on tour again!
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | August 25, 2016
Best Tour Director!
This was an awesome tour. It was more than I expected. Our Tour Director Luis was fabulous. Not only was he able to grant all of our wishes,make suggestions on where to eat or places to visit on our free time, he made sure we were all safe. Our Bus Driver Oscar picked us up in Cordoba and stayed with us until Barcelona. He was amazing, thoughtful and kind to all of us, besides driving the bus he cared for our luggage. We saw the most awesome places in Spain. The week before Easter was phenomenal with the floats in Savilla and the Fallas in Valencia. It was a breath taking experience. Each city had it's splendor. When you thought you saw it all, the next City had something more to impress you with. Well worth the experience and more. Marissa from Go Ahead was exceptional in making our flight arrangements. The flexibility was prefect. I am looking forward to booking my next trip to Rome with Go Ahead next year.
Hi Julianne! We’re so glad this tour exceeded your expectations! It sounds like your Tour Director and bus driver went above and beyond to ensure you had the best time possible. We’re happy to hear it! We’re also pleased to learn you enjoyed all the amazing experiences on tour and that each new destination topped the last. We will be sure to communicate your feedback about Marissa. Thank you for sharing your experience, and we look forward to welcoming you on tour in Rome soon!
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | April 21, 2016
La Rambla with Luis
Our tour director was outstanding, in some cases better than the local guides. His ability to maintain his composure in stressful circumstances, such as during "Las Fallas" is enviable. For a first experience in Spain, this tour is excellent.
Hi Frederick! We are so happy with the way you describe your Tour Director. It really sounds like he made a lasting impression and a great impact on your tour! We're, of course, thrilled that you feel this is an excellent itinerary, and we think so too! Thank you for your review, and we hope to welcome you on tour again soon!
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | March 29, 2016
Great last minute trip
Tour guide - Luis - did a great job as did the guides we had in different cities. The guides in Ronda, Gibralter and Granada were exceptional. Hotels were good - I liked the old hotel in Sevilla even with the hard beds! The food on the included dinners was not very good. It was as if they were trying to Americanize the food. The food I ate on my own - was generally very good. Were too rushed a few places: Toledo being one, but generally had plenty of time to explore on our own which I thoroughly enjoyed. Since this trip was really a last minute alternative for me (having two trips cancelled), I was not as prepared for this trip as I would normally have been. As a result, not as good a tour as the first two I have taken with GoAhead - already planing my next trips with GoAhead. The excursion to Morrocco was cancelled and I regret missing that but Ronda turned out to be a good trip. Carlos was a great bus driver.
Dear Terry, Welcome home! We are thrilled that you enjoyed your time with us in Spain, and look forward to welcoming you onto your next Go Ahead tour! We regret to learn that the meals provided on this trip did not meet your expectations. We work hard to select restaurants and menu items that are reflective of the local cuisine, and that our travelers will enjoy. We maintain very precise records of how these components are rated by our travelers, and are keen to make changes where necessary to enhance the on-tour experience. We are a company that puts the safety and well-being of our travelers above all else. While our goal is to run as many trips as possible, there are cases in which we choose to cancel certain optional excursions in the interest of safety. If you have any questions about this policy, please feel free to contact us in the office at 1(800) 597-0350. We will be sure to keep your comments in mind when evaluating this tour moving forward, and we thank you for taking the time to write this thoughtful review.
Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | December 28, 2015