Day Tours in Europe: by Bus, on Foot, and Your Take on Local Guides: 2010
There are hundreds of European day tours available by bus and on foot. Many of these are small independent operators offering a great value. But quality varies, all are an important commitment of time, and you want to choose wisely. Which ones are the best value and why?
Have you hired a guide in Turkey or Morocco? Right now we're particularly interested in getting your feedback about day tours in Turkey (especially Istanbul) and Morocco (especially Tangier). If you've had a good experience hiring a Turkish or Moroccan guide, we'd like to hear about it. Please include the guide's name and contact information. Thanks!
- Please don't post questions here. Use our Travelers Helpline.
private tour of Berlin
The Berlin Expert, Jeremy Minzberg, is a top notch private guide who knows as much about Berlin history as he does about the current scene. See the monuments and traces of the Prussian,Nazi and communist eras,as well as the hippest neighborhoods, the best restaurants, and out of the way sites filled with unusual, wild and moving stories. This is the way to get an intimate, fascinating peek into this hopping city. It will transform your experience. He is worth every penny!
New York, NY USA Thu 12/23/2010
Suprised by our Guide-Sky Tours Rome
we booked a tour with Sky Tours Rome which we felt was not so expensive, it turned out we had booked a guide for one whole day as a private tour with an Eco car. The guide and price was very fair and we loved the tour. We saw the Vatican, Ghetto, colosseum and much more in an 8 hour tour with hardly any walking since the car can drive and park any place. well worth it www.skytoursrome.com
London, Tue 12/21/2010
Romania Private tour with Compass Travel Romania
We took the Romanian Rhapsody Tour in late October. It simply was one of the best journeys ever. Romania was our 56th country.
We'd like to recommend Romania as one of the most vibrant places we've ever been to. We sure think Rick should have this place listed amongst his destinations.
Our focus was the folklore and rural traditions and Romania has them in abundance. The tour operator suggested we visit Maramuresh on a Sunday and that was memorable.
We covered a good 1,300 miles in 12 and half days after having spent two days on our own in Bucharest.
Below is our itinerary
John and Vivian March
Los Angeles, CA USA Mon 12/20/2010
Berlin Walking Tour
We could not have had better guides in Berlin than Jeremy and Cooper. For 2 days they guided us on foot and via public transportation to see the highlights of East and West Berlin. During a pre-tour briefing Jeremy ascertained our interests and customized our tour. We learned the history and developed a great appreciation for the city while avoiding the heavily touristed areas. His knowledge and visual aids gave us an in depth perspective not available through a standard pre-packaged tour. We highly recommend the "Berlin Expert." http://www.theberlinexperts.com/
Diane & Herbert
Charleston, SC USA Sun 12/19/2010
Ring of Kerry Tour
I highly recommend the Deros Ring of Kerry tour that leaves from Killarney. It was well worth the money paid, especially since I went in December and we were the ONLY bus on the route. We also had some gorgeous views with the blazing winter sun descending over the mountains as we came down back into Killarney.
Memories to last a lifetime!!
Seattle, WA USA Fri 12/10/2010
Tour of Pompeii with Anna Maria Esposito
While in southern Italy, we couldn't book Gaetano Manfredi so instead, we toured with Anna Maria Esposito, i.e. Pina, and she was GREAT! We toured the National Archeological Museum in Naples with her a few days before Pompeii and the combination turned out to be perfect. Both sites would have been overwhelming without an experienced guide. She supplied an outstanding combination of history, relevance and local savvy!
BELLAIRE, TX USA Wed 12/08/2010
The best tours of Rome, and the Vatican!
We had gone on 3 tours with Roman Candle Tours and they were all great! We were given very precise meeting point for each tour where the guide and rest of the group were waiting. All of our groups were small, the largest being 10 people and we had no difficulties hearing and understanding each of the guides as all spoke perfect English! Our tour leaders were all very passionate about each of the sites on tour and everything was very well explained. Would highly recommend Roman Candle Tours!!
Richmond Hill, Ont Canada Fri 11/26/2010
Mad Max Cotswold tour
My wife and I loved this tour and would recommend it to anyone going to England. Chris, our guide, was knowledgeable, thoughtful, and entertaining. The villages and scenery were stunning.
Madison, WI USA Tue 11/23/2010
My wife and I took the St.Andrews and the Fishing Villages of Fife tour and loved it. If you are in Edinburgh, Scotland, this tour we feel is a must. The scenery was beautiful and the villages were charming. Billy, our guide, has a wonderful sense of humor and a thorough knowledge of the area.
Madison, WI USA Tue 11/23/2010
A trip to remember to Rome - Angel Tours
We travel every holiday we get, a few months back we booked with Angel Tours who are in Rick's book. Everything was made easy, the website was cunningly simple, we paid with our chase account to Angels USA chase bank. They answered our calls everytime, we never got the answer machine we spoke to a man with a nice clear Irish brouge. Email replies came within the hour from the same Irish guy. Our guides in Rome with Angel Tours spoke perfect english, as they are all from Ireland, we found them to be as well organised as the webiste, emails and booking. We passed a 2 hr line to the Vatican Museums and a 1 hr line to the Colosseum. Our kids never complained but spoke often about the guides, especially Angel Kenneth. At the end of tours we felt very tired but not at all ever bored. The guides are very well mannered, educated and fun. check them out the work only through word of mouth www.angeltoursrome.com
Mike L Waring
USA Sat 11/20/2010
Wine Tour in Tuscany with Donatella
Wine Tour in Tuscany is the BEST!!!! We just had the greatest day of visiting Tuscany. From small wineries that produce to Chianti to meeting the locals. Donatella is great to work with the whole way. She gives you a true local experience that you will not find on your own. We considered renting a car but we would have never had the experience that we had with Donatella!!! This tour is a MUST if you like wine and want a great Tuscany experience. I cannot wait to go back and go on another wine tour!!
Pittsburgh, PA USA Thu 11/18/2010
Richard Nahem of Eye Prefer Paris Tours (http://www.eyepreferparis.com) was our Paris Angel. My friend, who was celebrating her 60th Birthday, and I took off for Paris with great excitement, but speaking very little French. Richard arranged a wonderful taxi service (hard to come by) and gave us great tours of the Marais and St-Germain-des-Pres. In his warm, friendly way, he gave us the history of the areas as he showed us stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, the most amazing chocolatier and macaroon shops, great restaurants, as well as arranging a special tour of the Louvre. He helped us get oriented and feel at ease exploring Paris. I highly recommend Richard as a guide and can't wait to get back to Paris and see our Paris Angel again.
Fairfax, VT USA Mon 11/15/2010
Rome Fiat 500 tour with Angels
We had a tour of Rome once with Angel Tours which was more than we expected, this year we will do their Fiat 500 tour and Christmas day tour which we did before. I am not sure if you can ask questions here?
*Editor's note: Questions are to be posted on the Traveler's Helpline only. Thank you. ETBD*
Dublin, ireland Sat 11/13/2010
Vatican and Sistine Chapel tour
We visited Rome this Oct. Using your recommendation we reserved a tour of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel with Roman Odyssey. We were a group of four joined by four others and our small group made it easy to move around and to hear him. Our guide was from St. Paul, MN which was nice for us we are from the Minneapolis metro area. As an art history doctorate student he was able to make the art and history come to life as we moved from room to room and area to area.
Karen and John Prew
Chaska, MN USA Thu 11/11/2010
new rome free tour
My wife and I were recently in Rome and took the New Rome Free Walking Tour our first night in town. Our most excellent guide was Andrea (male). We visited the three major attractions as mentioned in the other posts, Spanish Steps, Pantheon and Trevi Fountain but also other smaller churches with hidden secrets in each. One of the more spectacular sights was a flat ceiling painted to look like a 3-dimensional dome. You won't be able to tell the difference. It was amazing. We would never have gotten to see this on any other tour. Andrea was not only informative but also very passionate about the eternal city and the use of licensed vs. unlicensed guides. You owe it to yourself to take this free tour. I urge you to do this before booking with any other guides.
The tour is totally free but if you don't feel compelled to tip at the end then there is something wrong with you. After our tour was over Andrea stayed behind and gave us many tips on where to go in the city knowing full well that we had already hired a driving service the next day. He has so much insight. One of the places he recommended was a drive down a street called Via Picolomini (?), where as you drive away from St. Peters Basilica you observe an optical illusion as the dome appears to get larger instead of smaller. Our driver said that he had heard about it from colleagues but had never experienced it. He was so impressed that he turned around and did it again and said that he would show his daughters the next time that they were in the city.
My wife and I were so impressed with Andrea that we hired him as a private guide for a tour of the Coliseum and the Forum. We kept passing other guides and local officials along the way who all knew Andrea. He even helped us navigate the subway to avoid taxi charges. We told him that we could only afford 3 hours but his reply was "I not a bureaucrat". He stayed with us for 4-hours and did not charge us extra. If I haven't convinced you to take the tour yet let me say one last thing. We hired a private guide for the Vatican who wasn't licensed. She couldn't go into Sistine Chapel with us or could not even speak inside. While she was quite knowledgeable about the Vatican in general, we missed way too much by not having someone available to point out all of the unique and hidden aspects of the chapel while inside. Andrea was so considerate and passionate that after our tour of the coliseum he pulled out a photo of the Sistine Chapel and showed us all the hidden details that our unlicensed guide failed to tell us about.
If you don't take the free walking tour before you hire any other guide service in Rome you are missing the boat. This is by far the best thing you can do in Rome without spending all your Euros!
this is what i found on a famous website and is totalt true
you cahttp://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g187791-d1549786-r84851665-New_Rome_Free_Tour-Rome_Lazio.htmln read more on
saint petersburg, russia Tue 11/09/2010
Madrid/Spain Tour Guide - Madrid Museum Tours
My wife and I recently returned from a memorable trip to Spain. Since we had not been for many years, we hired Madrid Museum Tours for three days of sightseeing. Owner Hernan Satt took exception care of us. His walking tour of Madrid, especially his unbelievable knowledge of the Prado, was a highlight. We found him to be knowledgeable, thoroughly professional and creative in terms of showing us both touristic and off-the-beaten path sights.
McLean, VA USA Mon 11/08/2010
Prague Tours - Praguewalker.com
In early October my family and I spent a week in Prague visiting my son who is studying at FAMU. We had heard from a friend who had taken a Praguewalker tour that they were a great resource and that the architectural tour they took was fantastic. It was only later after sending Katerina Svobodova an inquiry (with an almost immediate response from Katerina) and then buying Rick Steves book on Prague that I noticed that he recommends them as a tour company. I can see why he does. Katerina and the tour guide (Lucy) were at every step responsive to emails and phone calls as well as shifting schedules. We had actually been in Prague for two days before our tour and our guide simply adjusted our tour to accommodate what we hadn't seen. It was great! Lucy was extremely knowledgeable about every place we went, patient with our slow pace at times when we were taking photographs, and just a joy to be around. I would book another tour with them in a heartbeat.
Portland, OR USA Sun 11/07/2010
Great Paris Guide
I recently went to Paris with my sister and hired Richard Nahem of www.eyepreferparistours.com to take me on an insiders tour by a local. I had been to Paris once before and seen al the tourist things and wanted to see the real Paris and some of the interesting neighborhoods.We chose the charming St/ Germain des Pres area and Richard was warm, friendly and so knowledgeable. Not only did he know the history of the area but his knowledge of modern day culture and practical things about the city was impressive and so helpful. Richard is a foodie like me- he used to be a chef in New York- ad he took us to this department store with the most incredible food and gourmet department i had ever seen. he also took us to a patisserie that had the best macaroons in Paris and we sat in cafe munching on them with coffee and we felt like real Parisians. I highly recommend using Richard and his tours and we were so happy with our first one we did another one of a great area called the Marais, which is where richard lives and is his specialty. I feel like i have a new friend in Paris now.
San Francisco, CA USA Tue 10/26/2010
We traveled through Madrid last summer and used www.madrid-museum-tours.org and their guide Hernan. We took a day trip to Segovia and Avila with him. He was very informative and gace us thorough tours of both places. In addition he stopped by two additional places on the way home that we had not even asked for. I would highly recommend him as a guide.
W Palm beach, FL USA Sun 10/24/2010
Taxi tour of Amalfi Coast
We took Rick Steve's advice and contacted Carmello Monetti before leaving for Sorrento Italy, to schedule a day tour of the Amalfi Coast. Carmello's warm and outgoing manner made that day one of our favorite memories! He stopped at fruit stands, every photo op we could ever want (and would never had been able to do on a bus tour), and played Dean Martin songs on the way home. His Mercedes taxi was spotless and he doesn't smoke and was happy to turn the air conditioning on or off as we wanted. He was honest and made sure we weren't taken advantage of while shopping. We mentioned that we didn't have time to see the Blue Grotto and he took us to The Emerald Grotto on the way (same thing and less expensive). He gave us time alone in each city along the coast and arranged lunch at the Ristorante Garden while he visited with friends outside. Carmello is the last of the respectful Italian gentlemen and makes you feel like part of his family. Despite his non-stop inventive English, he manages to convey a lot of history with photocopies. I would take Rick's book along too. Just relax and let him do his thing on the way there-he has a lot of info to share and will let you do as you wish on the return. We will never forget his charm and his funny songs "Ay Carmello, Cha-Cha-Cha"!
Spring, TX USA Sun 10/24/2010
Florence Tour - Giuseppi Migliorni
We just returned from Italy and found the BEST guide through Rick Steves Italy book. His name was Giuseppi Migliorni, he and his wife Paola operate Florence Tour, and they can be found at www.florencetour.com. Giuseppi picked us up at our hotel in his very comfortable van and gave the most wonderful tour of Tuscany. He is very knowledgeable, helpful, and kind. You can't go wrong with Giuseppi and Paola.
Norcross, GA USA Wed 10/20/2010
Tuscany Wine Tour (Donatella)
We recently took a tour with Wine Tour in Tuscany. After reading all the rave reviews about Donatella, we were dismayed when another guide arrived to give us the tour. However, at this point it was too late to do anything about it. The plan was to visit 2 wineries, have lunch, and visit San Gimignano. The first winery we went to was closed. The included lunch was quite mediocre, with no choice for appetizers, and limited to a choice from the less expensive pastas on the menu. After lunch there was no time to visit San Gimignano. All in all, the worst tour of the trip. An email to Donatella voicing our displeasure was not answered.
Hamilton, Ontario Canada Tue 10/19/2010
Rome's Bob's Limo and Roman Odyssey Tours (John) Excellent
We were extremely pleased to be taken care of so professionally by both companies. Marco with Bob's Limo was prompt, personable, and very accommodating on the way to the Vatican from the port of Citavecchia. John (MN) with Roman Oddysey was extraordinary with his vast knowledge,and care to take us through the throngs of people afterwards to our waiting car. They were messaging each other! Amazing!
FL USA Wed 10/13/2010
Professor Furio from Madrid Museum Tours
Our group had a wonderful visit of Madrid with Professor Furio from Madrid Museum Tours. I would highly recommend them.
Groton, CT USA Tue 10/12/2010
Guided tour of Napoli, Pompeii & Herculaneum - Giuseppina (Pina) Esposito
I lived in Italy for over six years yet never visited Naples. My wife and I started our most recent two-week Italian vacation with three days in Naples. We contacted Giuseppina (Pina) Esposito who is a licensed guide, has a Ph. D. in Greco-Roman Art History & Archaeology and, finally yet importantly, is a native of Naples. We told Pina we wanted to see Naples through the eyes of a Napolitano and she did not disappoint us during our day in Naples nor the following day at Pompeii and Herculaneum. Her command of the English language, personal knowledge of Naples and her Greco-Roman Art History & Archaeology degree afford her the unique opportunity to provide her guests with an exceptional behind the scenes look at areas normally off-limits to the public. She arranged for transportation to Pompeii and Herculaneum and when we mentioned purchasing a cameo as a gift, she took us to one of the last shops where the cameos are hand-carved on the premises. We met one of the artisans who had been with that shop for over 65 years. Pina is a wonderful and delightful guide; she is informative and able to engage her guests, making them a part of the history of Naples, Pompeii and Herculaneum. We would, without reservation, use Pina in the future and highly recommend her services.
Gainesville, FL USA Tue 10/12/2010
Provence wine and cooking tour
We just returned from a week in Provence where we enjoyed a one day tour with Olivier Hickman's Wine Uncovered (www.wine-uncovered.com) listed in Rick Steve's guide to Provence. The morning half was a cooking class conducted by Sabine Suter at her beautiful farm house just outside of Vasion la Romaine, named La Grange Vieille. My wife and I are strictly amateur cooks, but the class was a lot of fun and very informative. There were only four of us in the class, and Sabine is an excellent teacher. After eating all the wonderful food we prepared for lunch along with excellent wine from Sabine's father and brother's vines which surround the farm house, Olivier picked us up for our winery tour. Olivier is indeed passionate (as described by Rick) and knowledgeable about wines and particularly the Cotes du Rhone wines. He introduced us to several fantastic and very affordable wines, and also educated us on the French wine system. We highly recommend this tour. It's a day well spent in Provence.
Reynoldsburg, ohio USA Sat 10/09/2010
Walks of Italy
We discovered Walks of Italy just before leaving on our two-week trip. Immediately we booked a Twilight Tour of Rome and Tour of Vatican City but we were hestitant to commit to much more than that without having personal experience with the tour company. Our first night in Rome, we met up for the Twilight Tour and it was a great introduction to the city. It gave us unique perspective on several of the most famous sites in Rome and also presented history (and misconstrued history) on each location. In talking to Jason during that tour, we discovered that he might be able to assist on a day trip to Naples and Pompeii. He arranged a small tour (5 people) with our guide Illaria who met us at the train station in Naples and gave us a wonderful perspective of the Archaelogical Museum of Naples and the site of Pompeii itself. Finally, we enjoyed an afternoon tour of Vatican City with Jay. I don't know how anyone could attempt to see the Vatican without a knowledgable tour guide. The lines alone are daunting, as are the immense collections of art. Jay was very knowledgable and provided great information that was relatable to all in our group, even those of us who didn't have much background in art history. I will definitely hang onto the information for Walks of Italy and recommend them to friends and family. Someday I hope we can return and use their services again ourselves!
Littleton, CO USA Sat 10/09/2010
Guides Versus Drivers
First of all, kudos to Justin at Roman Odyssey tours for our fantastic Vatican tour in early September. We had another great day out with Through Eternity touring the Forum and Coliseum the next day when Roman Odyssey added our group to theirs (actually, Rick Steves' son was along as a guest on that tour which was a nice surprise). These types of tours just about guarantee a knowledgeable, intelligible guide but that is not always the case without specific recommendations. We were on a cruise and joined a tour arranged by a fellow passenger which involved a driver and van for 12 people touring the area around Monte Carlo and Nice. It was a fun day out but we were surprised when the driver (who chatted away the whole time we were driving) left us at the various places and arranged to meet us in two hours after we were through touring on our own. He made out like a bandit on that one - 700 euros for the day and not too much effort. I think the best way is to have a driver and a guide when the situation warrants, but, of course, this can be an expensive proposition without enough people to share the cost. The local drivers can be fun but sometimes hard to understand as well. English speakers work the best for us and it is worth determining this ahead of time.
Seatlle, WA USA Thu 10/07/2010
Our tour of Pompeii with Gaetano Manfredi was the perfect choice for our group of eight. He arranged for a driver (Daniele) to pick us up at the port in Naples and deliver us to Pompeii. The hours spent with Gaetano were magical to say the least. His passion brought Pompeii to life for all of us. He moved us along at a brisk pace around other tour groups, answered our questions and used shortcuts to make the best use of our time. There were lots of tour guides leading groups but we felt especially lucky to be with Gaetano. Afterwards Daniele took us on a tour of the Amalfi coast and a great dinner in a family run restaurant high in the hills of Positano. Not only was the view amazing but the meal served was authentic, tasty and reasonably priced. I highly recommend having Gaetano Manfredi arrange a perfect day for you!
Ottawa, Ontari CANADA Wed 10/06/2010
D-Day Battle Tours
Being a retired history professor, I had certain expectations about a Normandy tour. Those expectations were not only met but greatly exceeded by the day my family and I spent with Mr. Ellwood von Seibold and his D-Day Battle Tours. Not only does Mr. von Seibold have a professional grasp of the facts as a serious student of the conflict and the European Theater of the war, but his weaving of personal stories from both the Allied and German perspective throughout the day's narrative made for a very exciting "you are there" experience. I learned a great deal from the day's activities, but perhaps even more important, was the sense of being with someone who truly respects and admires those who gave their all during those bloody but glorious days in 1944. This is the one must take tour for the Normandy battlefront.
Cleburne, Texas USA Sun 10/03/2010
Rome and Vatican Tour-Antonia
Best day tours of Rome ever experienced lead by Antonio Palladino. His passion for history and sharing his love of so much fascinating in depth and interesting knowledge of Rome's foundation and evolution have inspired us to learn more when we get home. We didn't feel like customers...we felt like we got to share time with our favorite teacher and wished we could visit his classroom (Rome) every day. The best tour we were ever on! Google him to contact him via his website...
Las Vegas, NV USA Thu 09/30/2010
Ancient Rome Walking Tour
Roman Odyssey tours is the best! Ask for Jeb. He lead our private tour of 4 throughout Rome. Saw all the highlights plus extras we didn't expect. Very knowledgeable, personable, keen, engaging and approachable. He answered every question posed and was keen that we were keen. We asked to stop for lunch and he took us to a great wine bar with full kitchen, oh what a fabulous lunch, guided us in purchasing paintings in the square, took us to the "best gelato" in Rome etc. Our 5 hours tour turned into 7 wonderful hours. If you need a tour, you can't go wrong with Roman Odyssey and ask for Jeb.
Calgary, AB USA Thu 09/30/2010
Best Birthday in Rome with Epic Rome Tours
Unfortunately we don't have any feedback on Turkey, just Rome. Fifteen of us recently made the trip to Rome to celebrate my 50th birthday. Our experience in Rome was one of highlights of any traveling experience I have had and I have travelled allot. This was mainly down to Epic Rome tours. Alex and James were our guides for our entire trip and they did an outstanding job. Each tour was delivered as if their life depended on it and they were generally just a pleasure to be around. We will be spreading the word about them so we can't really say any more of that. I hope we will be able to return again. Rome is magical anyway but with guides like these it becomes Epic.
Toronto, Ont Can Tue 09/28/2010
Siena, Italy wine tour
My wife and I took a one day tour with Anna of Tours By Roberto in September and had a great time. She took us to two vineyards, a hilltop town and lunch. She picked us up at our hotel in Siena. She was very knowledgeable about the history of the area and we learned a lot about wine. We would highly recommend hiring her for a tour when in Tuscany. Their website is: http://www.toursbyroberto.com/index.html
portland, OR USA Mon 09/27/2010
Christina, Tour Guide in Rome
Just returned from two weeks in Italy and took Mr. Steves' recommendation for a tour guide in Rome. We hired Cristina Giannicchi. She took us through the Vatican the first half of the day and Ancient Rome in the afternoon. She's fabulous - knowledgeable, articulate, energetic, and entertaining. Background in archaeology and art restoration. She'll customize tours too. I'd recommend her to anybody.
Cody, WY USA Sun 09/26/2010
My wife, my child (10 years) and I were in Istanbul beginning of the agust. Before going to istanbul friend of mine who has been there recommend a person who name is Erkan is perfect travel expert that I have ever seen in my travel life. I just sent e-mail to him what to do in Istanbul. He created an itinerary according to our desire. It was fabulous tours of istanbul and our guide who was Funda was knowledgeable and polite. Erkan offerd us some regular group tour but we would like to be independet that's why we got private istanbul tours. We visited all the major sights in istanbul like Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Musem and more. Also we did bosphorus cruise and visiting undiscovered place with our guide Funda in istanbul. I highly recommend Erkan www.privateistanbultours.com if you would like to go istanbul. Also, we did daily Ephesus tours from istanbul as well. If you have time, do not leave from Turkey without visiting Ephesus. It was fascinating.
Texas, USA Sat 09/25/2010
Tour Guides - Rome
My wife and I enjoyed several days of tours in Rome. We got our guide from Rick's recommendations. The guide Larissa Alaverez covered an extensive itinerary, while providing diversions from the tours with local topics and spots of interest. We toured the usual list of must see sites in Rome (Navona's square, The Pantheon, Trevi fountain Capitoline Hill, The Roman Forum, and Colosseum) and then a more off the beaten path tour of ancient underground Rome. Larissa provided just the right amount of information in a colorful way to fill our imaginations, but she also had the great ability to keep the tour fresh, at just the right pace, while leaving us thoroughly satisfied with the day. Her willingness to volunteer interesting modern Roman items of interest along the tour route allowed us to experience the best of both ancient and modern Rome. We highly recommend her for any tourists travelling to Rome. Thanks Larissa.
Pleasanton, CA USA Fri 09/24/2010
Reifenstein Castle Temp Closure
Travel Alert: Reifenstein Castle in Vipitano closed until Spring 2011. Phone is disconnected as well. Bridge to castle is under repair.
Orlando, FL USA Fri 09/24/2010
Jimmy is the man for Vatican Tours
I tool my honeymoon in early September and had a brilliant tour with Jimmy. If I could go back I would probably do the very same tour with him again, he is not only brilliant guide and clearly lots of knowledge, he delivered it in a way that made the group enthralled from first minute till last. Roman Empire Tours and jimmy thank you
Bermuda, Bermuda Wed 09/22/2010
Vatican Tour- Emma
Our tour of the Vatican with Emma as our guide was the highlight of our trip. Emma was fantastic. Such an accomplished individual. My wife and I will certainly recommend Eternity Tours to our friends.
Norman, Okla. USA Tue 09/21/2010
Driver for Day Trip from Vienna
I traveled with my mother to Vienna and we hired Johann Lichtl to drive us to Mauthausen Concentration Camp and then to Melk to visit the abbey. On the way back to Vienna we drove through the Danube Valley. Johann isn't just a driver for a day. He is exceptionally nice and informative. He points out sites of interest along the way, gives you as much information as possible, walks you to the entrance of the sites and is the most helpful driver. If you want to avoid the time and hassle of the trains and transportation connections to go to Mauthausen and Melk, then Johann is the guy for you. Johann would be great to have Johann drive you around the Danube Valley so that you have more time to explore all of the little gems along the way.
San Francisco, CA USA Sat 09/18/2010
We took a private tour in Ephesus with Emre of About Ephesus. He was great and knowledgeable. Highly recommend him.
Los Angeles, CA USA Thu 09/16/2010
Best Tours in Europe
Our group just got home after a trip to Europe, we used Context in Paris, London Walks in the UK and Angel Tours Rome in Rome. All gave a top standard service, Angel Tours got us into sites without standing in lines and all the guides we used spoke native English.
USA Mon 09/13/2010
Prague Walker tours
Our experience with Prague Walker tours in Prague, Czech Republic was fantastic! We were travelling with 6 adults and 2 young children, and Katerina and our tour guide Irena were fantastic with accomodating our needs. We did the four hour Prague at a glance tour and it was well worth the money we spent. It was a very memorable day for us, and I'm so happy we arranged our tour through this small, but well run company.
Chicago, IL USA Sun 09/12/2010
Walks of Italy Tour
I highly recommend Jason Spiehler with Walks of Italy Tours! He gave the most amazing, energetic, and informative tour of Rome.
Lafayette, LA USA Tue 09/07/2010
England, london, Normandy Guide
We used Simon Good to tour London and Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Bath (two days of touring). Excellent tours, wonderfully informative. A top Blue Badge guide I would highly recommend. Lucky for us he also had an 8 person van and could accomodate my group. Use him!! You will be extremely happy
Dublin, Ca USA Tue 09/07/2010
We loved Jason Spiehler's Walks of Italy for our day in Rome. He was so knowledgable and entertaining. Worth every penny.
Lafayette, LA USA Fri 09/03/2010
Best Driver/Guide in Rome
Had the best driver/guide we have ever had in Rome. Gianluca Strano (Luke the Driver) was outstanding. He really knows the city and the best places and times to visit. He is absolutely first rate. He really looks after every detail. He can be reached at www.lukethedriver.com.
Oak Hill, VA USA Tue 08/31/2010
Amsterdam Red Light Tour
Highly recommend Randy's Red Light Tour in Amsterdam. It is not "X" rated as some might think.
OR USA Tue 08/31/2010
The Berlin Expert, Jeremy Minsberg is AMAZING!
My cousin and I traveled to 5 different countries over the span of 16 days and this truly was THE highlight of our trip! Jeremy Minsberg is an amazing, knowledgeable guide that made the tour individualized to what we wanted (even with the little guidance we gave him about what we wanted- since we didn't really know what we wanted because it was our first time in Berlin!). We had blast, learned a ton, and left feeling like we had a very different view on Berlin than what we got from tour books. I cannot recommend The Berlin Expert enough! Thanks, Jeremy!
St. Paul, MN USA Tue 08/31/2010
City Tour of Volterra
My family and I went on a tour of Volterra, Italy led by a very sweet American-born woman, Annie Adair. Her amazing story and her passion for Volterra made everything she informed us about more interesting. It was also very nice to have a tour in English. I highly recommend this tour if you are visiting Volterra. Our family thoroughly enjoyed the tour.
Minneapolis, MN USA Mon 08/30/2010
My family and I came to Italy for the first time and while there's lots of information on the web about other cities there's not a lot of private tours that seem to be offered in Venice. I was lucky enough to find Sabrina who was great and showed us all the best sites downtown. She showed us all the cafes that were the best prices, said hi to all the gondolier drivers and even got us a deal on some murano glass! Her email is email@example.com. Be advised of course as Venice is the most expensive city in Italy that even with good advice prices are always high. But it's a beautiful city with a lot to offer and it doesn't smell like everyone says.
Boston, MA USA Sat 08/28/2010
A big"thumbs up" for Mike Rijken of winesafari.net
We connected with Mike Rijken through the tourist information office in Avignon. He's a pro, a really talented wine and food guy. We all enjoyed our afternoon Chateauneuf du Pape adventure with him. He can handle big tours or small ones. Check out his site www.winesafari.net
San Francisco, CA USA Sat 08/28/2010
Heart of Burren Walks
If you're anywhere near the Burren district in Ireland, you owe it to yourself to take the Heart of the Burren Tour with Tony Kirby. Tony is a passionate tour guide who seems to be an expert in botany, geology, and history. His tour is incredibly educational and fun. He explains the regions unique floral diversity along with interesting topics such as transhumance. (He'll tell you what that is.) It's supposed to be 2 hours long, but it turned out to be closer to 3. He's a delightful and bright guy.
New York, NY USA Thu 08/26/2010
Cooking Classes -Rome
There is a great cooking class in Rome that's much cheaper than the others I'd seen so far. It was excellent! Only 50 euros per person and lasts about 4 hours. The chef Andrea is wonderful. I found them at www.cookingclassesinrome.com
Los Angeles, CA USA Mon 08/23/2010
WALKS OF ITALY
Just returned from a two week vacation in Italy. During our stay we used six different tour agencies and WALKS OF ITALY WAS BY FAR THE BEST! Jason has tour guides that are passionate, knowledgeable and truly enjoy sharing that knowledge with the client. We never felt rushed and at the end of each tour could not wait until the next tour with them. Consider yourself lucky if you have the opportunity to visit Italy. You are even luckier if you can experience all the sites with WALKS OF ITALY.
Croom, MD USA Sun 08/22/2010
Rome tours - Samina and Jason
Use Walks of Italy! After seeing numerous posts on this site about Jason Spiehler and his new company, we booked both the Ancient Rome (ruins) and Vatican tours and were not disappointed. We had Samina for the first and Jason himself for the second, and both were absolutely wonderful people and gave wonderful tours. We could have seen these same sights ourselves and never fully realized what we were truly looking at. They had such a wealth and depth of knowledge; I noted several times that people on other tours actually lingered near our group at certain spots to listen to Jason instead of their own guide! HIGHLY recommended!
Pleasanton, CA USA Sat 08/21/2010
Rome Tour with Children from Port - Michael
Michael Keris with Roman Odyssey Tours gave us a wonderfully entertaining, educational and fun 6 hour customized tour of Rome from Civitavecchia (NCL cruise). Our boys ages 9, 10, 12 say Rome was their favorite city because of him. Michael definitely is a teacher, and knew all sorts of interesting info to share, including where to eat quick and cheaply, where to buy souvenirs for a good price. Our driver, Sam, was courteous, friendly and promt. Would love to tour with them again. If looking for an educational experience, you can't go wrong with Michael.
Sarah Barlage Bilott
Crescent Springs, KY USA Fri 08/20/2010
Antiqua Tours in Rome
We had two great tours in Rome with Antiqua Tours. On our first night in Rome we went on a Rome by the Glass tour with Sarah, a certified Sommelier and it was fantastic. We tasted a variety of wine and amazing food over the course of the evening, while visiting 2 wine bars in the historic center. I don't think we could have had a more ";Roman";experience. We also booked a private tour of the Vatican with VIP tickets, which allowed us to skip the line, which was LONG that day. I felt I covered at least two semesters of art history with our guide, a lovely Italian girl who is working on her PhD in art history, I forgot her name though.
CO USA Thu 08/19/2010
Walking Tour of Prague
In late July my wife, two children (7 & 9) and I visited Prague and, through another guest at the hotel where we stayed, learned of praguewalker.com. One phone call to Katka, the owner of praguewalker, had us scheduled for a private four hour walking tour the next morning with a wonderful guide, Wendy. The tour was excellent with Wendy being extremely knowledgeable, informative and gracious. She kept us very entertained and kept the pace of the tour such that the kids did not complain a bit (tough to accomplish after four hours with kids that age). After over a month traveling through Europe the tour with Wendy will always be one of our cherished memories so we certainly recommend praguewalker.
Vancouver, BC Canada Tue 08/17/2010
Walks of Rome
In June my friend and I toured Rome with Jason from Walks of Italy. I cannot tell you what a wonderful experience we had. We saw more of Rome in 2 days than most people do in a week and did not feel rushed at all. He made everything so interesting and had an answer for any question we asked. I would highly recommend Walks of Italy and look forward to having Jason guide us around Rome again in the future!
Chicago, Il USA Tue 08/03/2010
Romaround Tours in Rome
Romaround Tours in Rome Although not a complete scam, we did find Romaround Tours to be less than honest when offering tours of the Colosseum in Rome. They misrepresented the cost to get into the Colosseum without the tour. They made it sound more expensive than it was. They also compared the price you would pay them to a combo price available for entrance to the Colosseum, and Palatial Hill and Forum. Be careful and check on line before you go for the actual fees.
Nottingham, NH USA Mon 08/02/2010
great colosseum and vatican Sky Tours
We booked a last minute flight to rome for a short week-end and found this great small hotel near campo dei fiori hotel smaraldo, we didnt book any tours but the guy at the reception raccomended to go with skytours rome, he gave us their contact details and we rang my wife and I took both the Ancient Rome and Vatican tours with them. For the Ancient Rome tour it was only 8 or 10 people in the group we didnt stand in any line Kenneth did a great job of explaining the history behind everything along the way as well as answering our questions. If it wasent for the guide I dont think we would have enjoyed the colosseum or the other archelogocal site as you dont really understand what you are looking at For our Vatican tour it was only 6 in our group we passed a very long line as they had a reservation made with the vatican Julia was great and knew a lot about the history of the Vatican and made the tour quite interesting. I would definitely recommend sky tours rome due to the small group size and the great tour guides.
Tiber Tours Rome-justin
We met Justin Southern, our guide, one night while dining near Piazza Navona. Me and my wife like to do things on our own, and so we never booked a tour. But Justin was eating at the table next to us and we started talking to him and found out he has been working as a guide for 4 years in Rome. If he had been trying to sell us a tour, we probably wouldn't have done it, since Rome is filled with people hawking tours to you. But Justin seemed to just be a friendly and conversive guy. We took his business card and ended up booking a 4-hour tour of the city center with him. My wife and I both agree that it was one of the best experiences of our trip. Justin was professional, funny, smart, and easy to get along with. We wish him the best of luck.
San Diego, CA USA Sat 07/24/2010
Walking tours of Paris
My wife Jodi and I recently spent a glorious week in Paris. Per the recommendation of a friend in the travel industry, we contacted Richard Nahem about walking tours. Richard is an American who has lived in Paris for the past 5 years. We initially booked a 3 hour walking tour in the Marais district. He took us through the neighborhood, and he was both very knowledgeable about the historical elements and very engaging. He took us to many of the old mansions that the Marais is famous for, and in particular showed us the beautiful courtyards that are often hidden behind those huge doors. He was very helpful in pointing out terrific food spots and to the joy of my wife, great shopping places.He listened to what we wanted to achieve in our tour, and discovered what our interests were. After our tour was finished we went back through the Marais with much greater purpose, and had a fantastic afternoon! We enjoyed ourselves so much that we booked another tour with Richard later in the week, this time in and about Montmartre. It was equally fun and informative. I would highly recommend Richard Nahem to anyone who is planning on touring Paris. He can be contacted at eyepreferparistours.com.
Atlanta, GA USA Tue 07/20/2010
Private Tour of Tuscany
On our first trip to Italy in 2005, we didn't want to bother with a car so we hired Gianni of Tours Around Tuscany (toursaroundtuscany.com) to take us on an all day exploration of the area and we can honestly say that it was the highlight of our trip. It was a little pricey but worth every penny. He picked us up in Siena and we spent the day at a castle tasting wine, lunch at a wonderful, 'locals only' restaurant over-looking the golden hills, in mid-size towns wandering down cobbled streets, and in tiny towns no bigger than a city block. Through it all, Gianni kept up a running commentary of anything from the local heirarchy of which women get to be first in line at the bakery in the mornings (oldest to youngest) to the wars between Florence and Siena. He's from Siena and obviously loves what he's doing. September, 2009 we made a trip back to Siena and hired Gianni to take us to some of the other towns around Tuscany and once again it was the hit of the trip. If you're looking to spend a day getting to know the essence of Tuscany with a native Tuscan who enjoys talking, laughing, eating, and sharing his beautiful countryside, you won't be disappointed.
Waukesha, WI USA Sun 07/18/2010
Wine tour in tuscany
This past Spring my husband and I went on an all day wine tour with Donatella Nonni from Wine Tour in Tuscany. Prior to the tour, Donatella was very good at communicating and making sure she understood our likes/dislikes/allergies. She picked us up from our hotel in Sienna, drove us through the Tuscan countryside with 3 tastings at different wineries, educated us on the Chianti Classico, fed us a full tuscan lunch at a great restaurant in a tucked away village, and dropped us off at our hotel in Florence. She was delightful and easy to talk with. Her tours are private and will cater to your every whim. We loved it and would love to take another tour with her in the future.
Alexandria, VA USA Tue 07/13/2010
Rome in a Fiat 500 vintage car
We had a driving tour in an old Fiat 500 car through Angel Tours in Rome. The car is tiny, the roof folds back with the wind screaming in as you race around Rome with an Italian guide. We saw some great sites but mostly laughed at our pics on our facebook page, its a real experience.
Donna and Peter
CA, USA Mon 07/12/2010
Lauterbrunnen day trip
In Luaterbrunnen Switzerland, we had a really good day with Miriam Wette who owns Flying Wheels. The weather wasn't too great and I saw her ad posted at the Hotel Staubbach. She picked us up, took us to a river gorge with roaring water, took us for fruit cake (which we know as a tart), took us to Brienze for a short walking tour along the lake, then into the woodcarving museum. It was a great day! Miriam smiles so much, is so happy, ones' spirits just automatically lift. Flying Wheels refers to her electric bikes which sound like a whole ton of fun, especially for older legs, like mine. If we return, I want to take advantage of her electric bikes. I cannot imagine much more fun than tearing along Alpine roads and trails without killing myself pumping.
Vacaville, CA USA Fri 07/09/2010
Mountain Villages from Nice--Med-Tour
In April I enjoyed an all-day tour of 6 French villages, leaving from my Nice hotel. We visited 4 mountain villages plus Antibes and Cannes. We even visited a perfume factory. Our driver was excellent; the tour was efficient yet leisurely, with 8 people in a van. MedTour. My hotel had a brochure and made the reservation for me. It cost about $100.
Napa, CA USA Tue 07/06/2010
Monetti Taxi tour of Amalfi Coast
We just returned from three weeks in Italy. One week was spent in a rented villa near Sorrento with 3 generations of our family, including three children ages 15, 9 and 2. We hired Carmello with Monetti Taxi in Sorrento (recommended by Rick Steves)for a day-long tour of the Amalfi coast. It was one of the best days of our trip! Carmello was wonderful with the children and had much information to share. We arranged this before we left home by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). We recommend him to anyone going to this area of Italy.
Acworth, GA USA Mon 07/05/2010
Amalfi Coast tours
My husband and I took the advice of earlier recommendations posted here and hired Mariano Fiorentino of Pleasant Travel to drive us around the Amalfi Coast road in mid-June, 2010. We cannot recommend him highly enough. He communicated with us in detail beforehand about a suggested itinery and we could express our interests (ex. not shoppers but interested in churches and photos ops) which he incorporated into the day. We saw more than we ever expected, all with narrative and history and down time for coffee and the most fabulous and inexpensive lunch just past Positano in Praiano. He gave us space to wander the cities and filled us in on people important to the area not just places. Please don't hesitate to use him. We consider that day the highlight of our trip. By the way, you don't want to drive the 57km with 1200 hairpin turns yourself!!
Columbus, OH USA Mon 07/05/2010
Tangier-Morocco, Local Guide Nezha - the best!
My wife, four friends and I just returned from a trip thru Portugal, Spain and Tangier-Morocco using Rick Steves' guide book. We contacted Nezha via email: email@example.com before leaving home and she emailed me immediately with our itinerary for the "private Tour" which included the catamaran from Tarifa. In Tangier we spent the afternoon with local guide Nezha. What a treat - the kind of travel experience that fits so well with the Rick Steves philosophy. My wife and I both feel privleged to have spent some time with Nezha and look forward to going back for a longer stay in Morocco, it was very smooth, All-in-all a great trip. go to Morocco and have a great time...we did!!
In Federal Way, WA USA Sat 07/03/2010
Tours from Lisbon
We used a company from Lisbon last year "Tours for You" for a 5 day private tour. They were very professional, arranged our hotels, and provided us with a wonderful nationally certified guide (Ines). I highly recommend their services. Their website is www.toursforyou.pt.
Laguna Niguel, CA USA Mon 06/21/2010
Great drivers in Italy-Driver in rome
We would use driverinrome.com again without a doubt. The two drivers we used were the best ever!!!!! They were both flexible, dependable and knowledgeable.
Boca Raton, FL USA Mon 06/14/2010
Essence of Rome: The must see sights - Private Tour
We took the “Essence of Rome: The must see sights" private tour on Tuesday, the 25th, which was our first full day in Rome, and it was one of the best decisions we made. We arrived on Monday and were fairly overwhelmed with the size and confusion that is Rome. Following the tour, we had a logistical perception of the city which allowed us to accomplish more than we could have without it. Our tour guide, Brandon, was wonderful. He was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the subject matter, he gave proper insights that we could have never gotten on our own. He made it interesting with his anecdotal comments and perspectives and provided the proper pace, which in turn provided sufficient time at each site. The ability to skip lines (especially at the Coliseum) was huge, in that we saved enormous amounts of confusion and time. I would highly recommend the tour and I would highly recommend Brandon as a tour guide. It was one of the highlights of our Italy trip. The only downside was that it was lot to do in one day, but we knew that going in and prepared as best we could. Even so, we were pretty tired at the end.
Philadelphia, Pa USA Mon 06/14/2010
Frog's House- Guide St. Jeannet France
We recently returned from a trip to Nice, France and while there used Benoit Couvreur of the Frog's House bed and breakfast in St. Jeannet as a guide for a private day tour of the French Riviera area. Benoit is a wonderful guide, very knowledgeable, excellent English and fun to be with. We were able to set our own schedule for a reasonable rate. Find the reference to Benoit and the Frog's House on page 401 of Rick's guide to Provence and the French Riviera.
George and Colleen Smith
San Antonio, TX USA Sat 06/12/2010
You can save a lot of money by avoiding a guided tour and taking the train to Reims where you can visit the cathedral and then walk to a major producer. With research you could probably visit smaller producers via bus or taxi. Otherwise you could pay about 150 euros/person for the privilige.
Arrington, TN USA Fri 06/04/2010
If you go on the 820 train from Paris, you will find a mob waiting to board the bus from the train station. It takes forever to load and you will then also wait in line a long time at the Gardens to purchase an admission ticket. I recommend you buy your admission ticket in advance from a train boutique in Paris and also take a 15 euro cab to the Gardens from the train station. It will save you lots of time and give you more mob-free time at the Gardens. You can take the bus back for 2 euro at the bus stop near the roundabout 5 mins walk from the Gardens.
Arrington, TN USA Thu 06/03/2010
Fantastic tour with Roman empire Tours
thanks to Alex from Roman Empire for sensational tour of the Vatican. So insightful and lighthearted. We wanted to do more but did not have the time. Roman Empire Tours were really worth it.
Freeman, Ny USA Tue 06/01/2010
Paris Champagne Tour
This company has class. When our tour was canceled at the last minute due to illness of the guide we were presented with 2 fine bottles of French champagne as "compensation." We will use them next time we are in Paris.
Arrington, TN USA Mon 05/31/2010
Giovanni Angel Tours in Rome Italy
Our guide Giovanni with Angel Tours was the best guide we have used in a long time. He entertained the kids, spoke perfect english and gave us a tidy little private tour of the vatican during our trip in Rome. All the vatican staff knew him well, and by his name as we passed the line to enter the museums.
USA Thu 05/20/2010
Tours in Bath and Edinburgh
Just returned from stops in Bath and Edinburgh.
The Mad Max Stonehenge Tour from Bath was great, except that the coach was cramped and uncomfortable since the 16-passenger coach that was mentioned has been changed to fit 20 (4 seats per row instead of 3). Paul was a great driver/guide, though, and the tour was a highlight of the trip.
The Rabbies Highlands Tour from Edinburgh was much more comfortable in a true 16-seat coach, but the tour itself was my biggest disappointment of our trip. The Highlands were beautiful, but I wish we'd had a mix of stops and our driver seemed distracted. Perhaps he'd had a fight with his wife that morning.
Seattle, WA USA Tue 05/18/2010
Our best guided tour ever,was with Jeremy Minsberg,in Berlin.His warm enthusiasm,broad knowledge of history and culture,and a genuine love of sharing, taught us more about ourselves and Berlin than we could have ever imagined.He's a real people person,appealing equally to our 22yr old daughter,as well as to us. Check him out at www.theberlinexpert.com
Toronto, Ont Canada Sat 05/15/2010
Seville Walking Tour- David
If you visit Seville for the first time, then I can thoroughly recommend that you book a walking tour with Really Discover Seville www.reallydiscover.com We joined this informal and fascinating tour at the start of our four days in this beautiful city. Only taking small groups, David, our English guide is both charming and knowledgeable. Being a local resident, he not only inspired us to look beyond the usual sights but was so helpful in telling us about where to find the tastiest and often the best value food in Seville. We loved it and my only other advice to you, is to book it as early in your visit as possible.
Manchester, UK Tue 05/11/2010
Rome Driver Guide-Eco CityTours
The driver guide we had with Eco City Tours picked us up at our hotel, took us through Rome on a tour which lasted 7.5 hours in total. He was a young Dutch man who spoke perfect English, his knowledge was outstanding and his sense of humor took the tour to another level. The car is a small electric car which we found comfortable as we got out so many times to walk along the route. The sites he took us to visit just blew us away each time. Ask for Remco www.ecocitytours.com
USA Sat 05/08/2010
The Best Amalfi Coast Day Tour- Carmelo
We just returned from a week long stay in Piano Di Sorrento a suburb (if you will) of Sorrento. We had the great pleasure of an Amalfi Coast tour with Carmelo Monetti. Carmelo comes highly recommended by Rick Steves and now we know why. Carmello truly loves sharing his knowledge of the region. He has great sense of humor and genuinely wants you to have a memorable tour. His tips on shopping and eating are invaluable. For unforgettable day, book a tour with Monetti Taxi 17. Ask for Carmelo personally. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego, CA USA Thu 05/06/2010
Bad tour (Through Eternity) in Rome
We used Through Eternity in Rome and it was not a very good experience. We took their Vatican tour and the guide did not take us into the Basilica saying that guides were not allowed into the church. We saw countless other guides going into the Church and asked to join one. The guide told us only people with permits and visas to live in Italy can do the tours in the church. I felt like we had been duped. In the museum the tour was only ok. I felt like the guide spoke more about himself than about the Vatican. My sister booked this tour, so I had no control. I would not have chosen them and I would not recommend them. Waste of money and time. We have limited time in Italy. We are on our way to Venice and I hope the guides will be more knowledgeable and use time better.
Dublin, Ireland Sun 05/02/2010
Madrid Museum Tour: Prado & Reina Sofia Museums w/Susana Jarabo
We spent a delightful morning with Susana Jarabo email@example.com touring two museums in Madrid this year. We found her in Rick Steves Guide Book and she was an excellent guide with a great personality.
Mount Laurel, NJ USA Sat 05/01/2010
Alhambra Tour: Miguel Angel, www.alhambratours.com
Miguel Angel took us through an enjoyable morning touring the Alhambra recently. He was most pleasant and extremely professional.
Mount Laurel, NJ USA Sat 05/01/2010
Day in Tuscany with www.florencetour.com
We just returned from a beautiful trip to Italy. During one of the days we were in Florence we booked Guiseppe from www.florencetour.com to take us into the beautiful Tuscan countryside. I had asked for castles, wine, lunch and beautiful views as I am a wedding photographer wanting to just shoot away! I was not disappointed. We got just that! The beautiful landscape coupled with Guiseppe's vast knowledge of all the monasteries, castles, villas, history of the Etruscans and Chianti wine area added to the beauty and intrigue of the area. I would highly recommend Paola and Guiseppe for anyone looking for a relaxing day trip out of the city of Florence. I had found their name in my Rick Steve's Italy book and their communications overseas in setting up the prefect trip was impeccable. Very happy. Thank you Guiseppe and Paola. Sincerely - Michele, Doug and my sister in law Andrea
Griswold, CT USA Fri 04/30/2010
Original Best Tours and the Artviva Festival
Rick was spot on when including this outfit. We just got back and wanted to recommend the best of tuscany tour and the festival with artviva aka the original best tours. We could not have had a more special welcome to Italy than having the privelege to meet such interesting people as the Prince Corsini and the writer Lisa Clifford. we were not expecting at all the possibility to learn about wine in such company and to be able to hear about life in Italy first hand. The countryside tour to siena was great, there was only one other couple in our tour and everything was better than we expected, the food was good, the wine was good, the views fantastic. we visited a leather factory in the end and the people were lovely. Make sure you look up www.italy.artviva.com if planning a trip to Italy.
Chicago, USA Fri 04/30/2010
Best of Tuscany Tour
The Best of Tuscany Tour (Walkabout Pass) was absolutely wonderful and I would highly recommend it if you have limited time and would like to see bits of Tuscany with a great guide (thanks Becky!!!) It leaves Florence at 8:30 and spends 12 hours taking you about the countryside with lots of info from the guide- stopping in Siena for a few hours (including a stop at the Piazza del Campo and entry into the Duomo with a local guide), lunch at a farm outside San Gimignano (probably one of the highlights of my entire 10 days in Italy! The wine seemed to flow freely, and we had beautiful views and great food), a stop in San Gimignano itself (they will point you towards the World Champions of ice cream on the PIazza della Cisterna), and ending the day in Pisa before taking you back to the train station in Florence around 8:30 (we had plenty of time to catch our 9:10 train back to Rome, and they even stowed our luggage on the bus so we didn't have to check it at the station!) All of this cost only 80 euros per person! I am so glad I booked this tour for our last day in Italy so we could just soak up a little bit more before heading home. Highly recommended!
Chicago, IL USA Wed 04/28/2010
Rome Tours and Tuscany
We used Through Eternity Tours in Rome for The Forum/Colusseum, Palentine Hills, and The Vatican Museum/ St. Peters tours. They were highly recommended to us by friends who were previously in Rome. We could not be happier with the guides and the service. They all worked overtime to make our experience complete.
Cypress, CA USA Wed 04/28/2010
Walking Tours of Paris
My wife, daughter and I wanted our trip to Paris to be an interesting and fun experience. We did not want the humdrum tour buses and mob of tourists. By a fickle finger of fate we learned from a local French teacher about Richard Nahem, a former New Yorker who resides in Paris and gives walking tours. We visited his blog at http://www.eyepreferparis.com and contacted him at http://www.eyepreferparistours.com to sign up for a walking tour. In the pre-trip planning he asked about our interests and tailored a tour for us. On our first day we took a walking tour and visited the Montmartre area and the beautiful Catholic church build on the highest hill in Paris. We then walked along the narrow streets and Richard told us interesting stories of architecture and life from 600 years to WW II. He was humorous, captivating, knowledgeable, and tuned into our interests. We had so much fun we signed up for another tour which took us to the Marais area. This is a neighborhood that the aristocrats lived in before they moved to be close to the royalty at Versailles. It was fascinating. It was so much fun we signed up for another tour that took us to the St. Germain des Pres area. Richard showed us where Julia Child lived, the market she shopped in, the wine shop that delivered cases of her favorites, and so many other places of interest and historical significance . He showed us fascinating architecture and told us stories of things that happened in that neighborhood. In all of our tours Richard made the streets of Paris come alive with stories and scenes from the past. Thanks to him our trip to Paris was very interesting and lots of fun.
St. Louis, MO USA Mon 04/26/2010
Paris Photo Tours with Randy Harris
Hi all! Just wanted to give a little input for Paris, as I see most of these reviews are for Italy. First of all, Photo Tours in Paris is easily the best tour of Paris, simply because Randy is an American living in Paris who understands what it's like to be a tourist in a foreign city, and he's also very knowledgeable about photography. He knows how to tailor a tour (which can go anywhere from one hour to several days) to fit YOUR needs based on YOUR level of understanding about photography. I am not kidding about that, he's friendly, on time, and very smart. The cool thing about the tour is that it's relaxed; he sets out a route ahead of time but then tailors it to what you want to see. A lot of ground is covered in the regular tour, which is three hours. The best part about the actual tour is that Randy shows you sights you may have seen before, but through different angles and perspectives that you might not have thought about. He explains all settings on the camera, includig aperture, F-stops, AV, etc., and is definitely not stingey with information about what's helped him to learn more! There's no fancy jargon here, folks, just a great guy who does either group or private tours. I would definitely recommend his day or night tour. Happy Travels!
Here is the website: http://www.phototoursinparis.com/
and currently he is rated number 3 out of 799 things to do in Paris on Tripadvisor.com:
Bellingham, WA USA Mon 04/26/2010
Apartment rental in Madrid
We rented an apartment from Carlos and Jen Galvin on the Calle Gobernador in Madrid. You can see Carlos w/ Rick on his Madrid DVD. The location is great, very close to the museums, palace, Atocha Renfe station and the metro. Plenty of markets, tapas, bars etc. near by. Quiet at night. Highly recommended.
Swansea, MA USA Sun 04/18/2010
Driver guide in Rome
Eco City Tours in Rome met my family at the airport, took us to our hotel, then after a short break drove us around the city to see the sites. We also did the Vatican and Colosseum with them during our two day stay. The driver and guides spoke perfect english, and seemed to enjoy their time with us as much as we enjoyed our time with them. Rome was the perfect holiday for all of us and I would recommend a week there at least.
wi USA Sun 04/18/2010
Why are criticisms of false reviews deleted? All I asked is why Roman tour companies are constantly being promoted here, with no verification system.
If you want to continue to delete my posts because I point out that a company RS is dealing with is mis-using this page, I will simply write a negative review for every company that receives a positive one here. Maybe that will help.
Beverley Hills, 90210 USA Sat 04/10/2010
Private tour of Normandy -same price as big bus!
Sabine Le Duault is a lovely local Parisienne who runs a private tour service for people who really want to see Paris (*and the area) through the back door. She was delightful and flexible - and customized our DAY TOUR OF the D=DAY Beaches. No other tour was able to customize the day for both the Americans and the Canadians in our group. She also invites people back to her quaint home for a meal of delicious local food. THE BONUS is that the price was very similar to what we would have paid for the Big-Bus trip (with no customization). We will definitely use Sabine's services again - and do not hesitate to recommend her. ~Salut! www.paris-authentique.com
Bothell, Wa USA Sat 04/03/2010
walk tour of prague
we recently hired a tour guide thru prague-walker.com and had a wonderful experience.the tour was a half day walking tour of old town,lesser town,jewish quarter and the castle area.we were there this past jan.09 and i would recommend this company.very knowledgeable,personable and easy to talk with.enjoy your trip to prague.
san miguel, gto mx Fri 04/02/2010
American Driver/Guide in Paris
Just met an amazing sightseeing guide in Paris - He's American, but has been living in France for something like 20 years... He picked us up at the hotel, and drove us through the Loire Valley in his minivan, where we got to visit the fabulous Renaissance castles of Chenonceau, Chambord, and Chaumont (his personal "favorite" suggestions). he was such an interesting person to have as a guide! He grew up in the US, but his parents were French, and they taught him the language while he was young, and he later moved to France and Married a French woman. When he gives his tours he has a wealth of knowledge on local customs, and such an interesting perspective on life in France - I'm sure we would never have learned any of the stuff he told us - from a French guide... It was such a great tour that we decided to hire him the next time we go to France - for a tour to Normandy, and the WWII invasion beaches - as he said it was his most popular excursion. We found him online: http://www.americandriverinparis.com
Taos, NM USA Sun 03/28/2010
Superb private-guide Morocco
You must contact Jamal Jamali in Morocco for the very best attentive care. We have traveled through several countries and never before had such personal involvement and help. Jamal arranged our private tour including a camel ride for the kids, personal guide for the Moroccan museum and Sultans Palace, and even he himself took us for a private(look-see) in one of the oldest Mosques. His email is: firstname.lastname@example.org Jamal stayed in contact with our private driver and guide to ensure our safety and that our wishes were being met" unbelievable! Be sure and email him before your trip! Jamal Jamali provides tour experiences. I've been on two tours with Jamal. The first was in Tangier where we traversed along the gran mountain & Hercules Caves , visiting ruins and taking in the spectacular vistas, and then descended deep into the Red Marrakesh. The second tour was a relaxing weekend gateway from urban life to Taroudante, Agadir (four and a half hour drive from Marrakesh). Both trips were thoroughly enjoyable experiences, and I plan on booking trips with Jamal again. Happy traveling!
Beverly Hills, California (CA),
USA Wed 03/24/2010
Driver guide in Eco tourism Rome
We agree, using a driver guide is the way to go especially one which has passion and a special type of energy for the city. We booked Eco City Tours Rome for an airport pick up, then a whole day tour of the Vatican, Colosseum and central sites of Rome. The car was Eco friendly which allowed us to drive almost any place and closer than other cars can get to the sites. Our guide Ken from Scotland was so funny, we all loved him on all our tours that day. We ate near the Vatican in a place Ken knew well, its called Spinosi, the owner was real "Italian" she fed and entertained us non stop, often insisting that we finish the pasta she gave us without asking if we wanted it or not. The whole experience between tours with Ken and Spinosi was a good find.
USA Tue 03/16/2010
Rome and beyond with RomeCabs
I see a lot of valuable information here on travel related companies and I'm very particular about quality and value (getting your money's worth). So I'd like to share my experiences in Rome since it seems to be such a hot topic.
My first visit to Italy was in Rome in May 2005, and I didn't mind doing the Coliseum/Vatican tours independently at my own (slow) pace with my Rick Steve guide books (I never travel without them!). But aside from the obvious attractions, there were many other amazing places I didn't know about without a knowledgeable local guide, or had access to by public transportation - and I never dare drive in Rome! I found out about RomeCabs (Romecabs.com) through Trip Advisor, and so far I've been on multiple tours with Stefano Costantini (owner of RomeCabs) over the yeas. My favorites have been touring the Etruscan places like Cerveteri and Tarquinia, Tivoli, Medieval towns outside of Rome like Vulci and Volterra, and off the beaten path places in Rome that are a schlep to get to on foot or difficult and even impossible by public transportation. I found his tours to be a great value because in less than 1 day we covered more places that it would've taken me 3 days to do on foot and on public transportation. When you consider the expenses of hotel, meals, taxis, buses, trains, etc...you really save more than just time booking a tour. Just not having to worry about buses, taxis, and the legwork (not to mention me getting lost half the time!) it's more than worth it!! But what I like most about Stefano Costantini aside from his great and informative tours - he's a lifelong local of Rome and very knowledgeable on everything from history to culture, food, restaurant recommendations, travel tips, you name it - it's his enthusiasm for sharing his county, city, and culture with his "guests", who like us, often become friends. On every occasion he went far and beyond the call of duty to ensure we had a fabulous time. He's articulate, knowledgeable, speaks great English, punctual, professional, trustworthy, and a whole lot of FUN!!! I look forward to our next trip to Italy and another tour with Stefano.
I also agree with Geraldine's post from Rome. I've heard many complaints about fake reviews on travel forums - either positive fake reviews posted by companies themselves to boost their popularity, or fake negative reviews against legitimate companies by scrupulous competitors. It's a shame because most people post their honest experiences, and fake reviews takes away from that. And I'm not sure there's a concrete way to establish what's legitimate and what's fake without tangible proof. I can only suggest you use your common sense and do a bit of extra homework when choosing a touring company (or even a hotel or restaurant) and not rely only on one source's reviews. Many touring companies are also on twitter, FaceBook or YouTube, so it's worth searching for them there too.
NYC, NY USA Fri 03/12/2010
Mont st. michel daytour
I had always wanted to visit Mont St. Michel, and this trip we finally decided
to do it. We hate packing and unpacking, so we tried to find a tour that would
allow us to use our Paris hotel as a base. An Internet search put us in touch
with www.westcapades.com, and we emailed our queries . She took care of everything, and before we
left home we had all the necessary tickets and materials in hand.
On the morning of the tour we rose very early, took the Metro to the train
station, and boarded the train to Rennes. Upon our arrival, we were met by a
gentleman holding a sign with our names ! He turned out to be our guide, Marc,
and he was wonderful throughout the day. We boarded our spotless, modern van
with two other couples (that's right...no crowded bus on this tour) and we were
off. First stop...the beautiful town of Dinan. Set on a hilltop near a river,
this ancient walled city was wonderful to visit, although if you are not a good
walker, it's not for you. Have an apple tart in Dinan...an area specialty and
rightfully so. After a leisurely visit to Dinan, we drove to Mont St. Michel.
Marc was the perfect host and guide...he even provided us with books and
pamphlets to supplement his thorough and enjoyable commentary.
Mont St. Michel is just as amazing as it appears, and we had plenty of time to
explore it, although again, if you are not a good walker, it's not for you.
When we had seen it all, Marc was waiting to take us to our next stop. The
drive through the countryside was almost as interesting as the visit to Mont St.Michel.
We arrived at St. Malo with plenty of time to have a good dinner (local Mussels
and fries...a regional specialty) . The entire town is encircled by a wall with
a walkway on top, and we walked it all, enjoying the wonderful water views and
sea air. We again boarded our van for the trip back to Rennes, said goodbye to
Marc, got on the train, and were back in our Paris hotel in time to have a good full night's sleep.
I highly recommend Westcapades.com and the Mont St. Michel Day Tour. They took
really good care of us, and the tour itself is very well planned. It is a quite good price, and you get your money's worth and more. We'll never forget this wonderful day !
San Francisco, CA USA Wed 03/10/2010
Berlin walking tours
In Berlin, there are really good 4 hour walking tours in English. You hit all the important spots, and they go on year-round. My tour had us in 19 degrees F snow. But it still was nice since the tour group was really small. But prices will be 15 Euros or less. www.berlinwalks.com is the site for the tour we used. Highly reccomended. Also, our tour guide was an East Berliner, so she brought a really nice historical perspecitve to the tour.
Indiana, PA USA Sat 02/27/2010
If you are lucky enough to be in Madeira, I found a wonderful Taxi driver who provided my group of four with a delightful and informative day exploring the island. Daniel was recommended on another website and does a great job as a driver and tour guide for a reasonable rate. He has a website and can be contacted at email@example.com His wife Eusebia handles the scheduling and you will get a very quick reply.
CT USA Fri 02/26/2010
Rome Tour Scams
We got totally scammed at the Colisuem, we had a tour sold to us by a young girl of about 20 from the US, she seemed really nice. But the guide, a blonde body builder gave a very dumbed down tour to a group of about 37 people. We know our history inside out and let me tell you this guy was only playing to the crowd who didnt seem to enjoy his tour anyhow. As we left we saw other guides more or less doing the same thing. Stay well clear of these street style tours in Rome.
CA, USA Sun 02/21/2010
Rome Guide - Ron in Rome
Our family group of four has just returned from Rome where we spent a wonderful day touring with Ron, of roninrome.com. Ron met us at our hotel, gave us a lesson in using the Rome buses (pointing out sights and giving us history lessons as we drove along), and started the day with a visit to a Roman market. (That was an eye-opening highlight of the day! Our supermarkets are terrible by comparison.)Then we had a wonderful tour of the highlights of the Vatican museums (Miles and miles of unbelievably great art.), a relaxing lunch at a local trattoria, and an afternoon tour of St. Peters and the Sistine Chapel. By the time we returned to our hotel (more history lessons along the way!)we were exhausted, but happy. We could not have done so much, or learned so much in one day without Ron. His company is well worth his reasonable fees and we highly recommend a day, or more, in Rome with him.
Corrales, NM USA Tue 01/19/2010
Driver/Guide for Amalfi/Naples area
I highly recommend driver/guide Mariano Fiorentino (contact him at pleasanttravel.com, his family business)for the Campania area. Mariano took four of us and lugguage (he has a very comfortable van) on a driving tour along the Amalfi Coast, to Paestum, and delivered us to the Naples train station at the end of the day. He is a friendly, endlessly helpful man, who went above and beyond requirements to make our day enjoyable. (Just one example: not only did he find a travel agent for us to buy our train tickets, in case there were lines at the station, he didn't leave the train station until he had helped us get our luggage on board and found our seats.) He is local and knowledgeable about his home region, and it was special to hear him talk about his family and life among the lemon groves of the Amalfi coast. You can feel totally confident using Mariano's services. His fees are reasonable and he will make you feel welcome and well taken care of.
Corrales, NM USA Tue 01/19/2010
Tours of Romania
We are impressed! We returned from an 12 day trip to Romania (took in October 2009) and I was amazed. What a learning experience that was ! We are long-time independent travelers and this is the third time I used an on-line travel agency. The name of the Romanian tour company is Tours of Romania in Bucharest, Romania: www.tours-of-romania.com This company did come well recommended.
Our tour guide was Andrei Nicolau, a seasoned traveler himself who often likes to compare various places in Romania to others abroad. Andrei has a superior knowledge of the country and is able to bring Romania to life in a very special way through both his stories and the places (and some of them real special) he likes to include in his tours. Unlike some other guides we met, Andrei Nicolau delivers a sophisticated yet easy to understand version of the country's history with a special focus on the recent years' changes in both Romania and the ex Soviet block. We felt very luck to have met a tourguide who had eye witnessed episodes of the Anti Ceausescu revolt in Bucharest and able to passionately describe those memorable days. Andrei has a great sense of humor and his English skills are just fantastic. He is very easy to listen to.
Andrei will go above and beyond to accommodate travelers the best way possible and respond to special requests and interests. Just as an example as I am interested in spinning and weaving Andrei took us to a couple of homes in the area of Maramures to meet local women making carpets in their homes.
The Romanian Rhapsody is a well balanced tour. We customized it by adding extra villages in Maramures and a day in Bucharest due to our flight schedule. We found this private tour of Romania to offer a great deal of value as it kept us two nights in a row in no less than three locations/areas -- that is Maramures, Bucovina and Sigisoara. It kept the balance between town/cities and countryside villages and we believe adding a day in Bucharest only made justice to a wonderful and vibrant city.
The hotels were all well chosen, most of them four star located in the heart of town and cities and enabling us to go on walks on the early evening right before dinner. We stayed at the Berthelot Hotel downtown Bucharest which a brand new four star with excellent service and then: Imparat Romanilor Sibiu -- a four star Transylvanian renaissance palace with a great charm located right in the heart of the Old Sibiu. In Maramures we stayed with a local family in the village of Iza and they could not be friendlier and more personable. We enjoyed talking to them during our dinners there. Their home was beyod expectations when it came to the facilities and athmosphere. For our days in Bucovina area we opted for Hotel Passiflora which is a rather new traditional Bucovina four star hotel in a village which offered great hiking oportunities while the hotel restaurant served us very tasty local meals we loved the rooster peasant style soup). Once back to Transylvania we enjoyed Hotel Sigisoara in the Upper Town of the UNEsco Sigisoara. Our last accommdaotion was in Sinaia mountain resort in the four star Palace Hotel with our room facing the park.
Our Romania tour came with no less than 16 meals out of which three were dinners and two were lunches. We thought this to be a very good deal taking into account very few tour companies barely include any lunches and/or dinners. We have enjoyed the dinner with foklore show in Bucharest which we chose to take on the day before last rather than on the arrival day. The best dinners were the Maramures home cooked ones with incredibly different menues from one night to the next. For the meals which were not included, Andrei gave excellent reccomendations and joined us for a couple of dinners -- the cellar restaurant in Sibui was particularly good.
Amongst the highlights of the tour were meeting with the locals in Maramures and the folklore show there. We admired the wonderfully embroidered costumes there people wore. The entire Maramures two day program was special from the very beginning -- a blend of culture and traditions which happily! are still alive in this forgetten corner of Europe. We have also enjoyed the egg painting demonstration in Bucovina in the home of the local artist herself. She could not be more personable and eager to please us with her knowledge and charm.
A note on Bucharest Romania's capital: this city IS different from many others we have visited in our many travels. Before arriving we read travelogues and travel articles, checked various forums and found out Bucharest is not even comparable to Budapest, Prague or Vienna. Well, it is not, simply because it is just different. It is one of a kind. Having been to all three of the above we found the Romanian capital to offer and incredible array of architecture with the styles of the early 20th century quite well represented and to have a sophistication we would have never though of. It's a vibrant and very cultural city (the Treasury Gold Collection was out of this world).
Our Romanian Rhapsody Romania private tour with Andrei Nicolau was way beyond expectations. It was a great learning experience filled with a new adventure each day. We would reccomend Romania with Andrei as a tour guide without any hesitation. You may get in touch with Andrei via the web site: www.tours-of-romania.com
Laurie and Tom Calhoun
Baltimore, MD USA Sat 01/16/2010
Our family joined Angel Tours for the free Pantheon tour which runs every day and is featured in the National Geo Traveler. The tour was 40 mins long with a Scot guide who entertained us all the time with factual key information. we thought this church was well worth the visit, in fact its not to be missed. What a pity we didnt have time to visit again on our own to take more pics.
USA Tue 01/12/2010
Private Guided Tours-Paris
Sabine Le Duault is a local tour guide in Paris. Sabine guided us for 2 days during the New Year’s holiday of 2009/10. Our tours included many of the important sites in Paris and included visits to sites outside of Paris including Chateau de Vaux-Le-Vicomte, Chateau de Versailles and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres and the town of Chartres, France. Sabine finished our two days of tours by welcoming us into her home in Chevreuse, France for a glass of wine and fine company. She made each of those days special for us by both providing knowledge of the sites and some free time to explore them on our own. She made sure to nourish our stomachs with stops at two great Persian eating establishments. I would highly recommend Sabine to others visiting Paris who would like a personal tour of the area.
Chicago, IL USA Mon 01/11/2010
This past summer we booked 4 tours with three different companies in Rome. Since we had never been in the city, we decided it would be best to book through different companies based on what we read here and in the book and also from personal friends experiences in Rome. However to play it safe in case a tour was not great, we had "back up" by booking with different companies. We booked an Ancient City tour and Wine Tour with Antiqua Tours, a Real Rome City Walk with Presto Tours, and a Vatican with Context Tours. All of our tours were excellent. Each guide was very educated in his/her field, well spoken, and engaging. Our groups were small, I can't really complain about any of our tours. I really don't think one can visit Rome for the first time WITHOUT a guide, to be honest. All of the tours were wonderfully informative and really gave us the context we needed for our free time in the city. We especially loved our wine tour with a young man named Ettore from Antiqua Tours. While the other tours were amazing, this tour was more "off the beaten path." and we loved the wines and cheeses selected. It was more "real" Rome than tourist Rome. Really, the only difference in our tours was the price.
NYC, NY USA Sat 01/09/2010