The Colors of Spain & Portugal

11 Days/10 Nights

6 to 12 Guests

Preferred dates

From $4,590USD pp (double occupancy)

Spain & Portugal: A kaleidoscope of cultures and traditions

Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrival in Madrid

DAY 2: Madrid, Royal Palace and tapas crawl with Audrey

DAY 3: Toledo, Granada

DAY 4: Granada and the Moorish palace, Alhambra

DAY 5: White village of Andalucia, Ronda

DAY 6: Sevilla and the 3rd largest cathedral in the world

DAY 7: Quaint Evora, wine experience in Alentejo

DAY 8: Magical Sintra, Seaside Cascais

DAY 9: The 7 hills of Lisbon

DAY 10: Departure Day. You may choose to extend your time with us in Portugal by visiting Porto and the Douro Valley.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Relax in the care of your dedicated local tour leader
  • Be immersed in Moorish-style opulence at the UNESCO world heritage site, the Alhambra
  • Explore the heart of Andalusia, where palaces, cathedrals and quaint villages all have a story to tell
  • Savor tasty regional cuisine & wine in authentic local restaurants
  • Experience the Triana food market tour & paella cooking class in Seville
  • Enjoy an intimate Flamenco Show in Granada
  • Admire the picturesque white village of Ronda, perched on dramatic cliff tops
  • See the whimsical architecture and sprawling vistas of Sintra, a UNESCO world heritage site
  • Spend time in the Roman town of Évora, one of Portugal’s most beautifully preserved medieval towns
  • Explore Lisbon overlooking the Tagus River, with its alleyways winding between colorful, centuries-old buildings

PRICING: from $4,590USD per person (double occupancy)

The price varies according to the number of guests on tour, type of accommodation and activities chosen, because of minimum fixed costs that need to be covered. With this tiered pricing structure we are generally able to offer slightly lower pricing if there are a higher number of guests on the trip.

Overview

Madrid, Toledo, Granada, Ronda, Sevilla, Evora, Lisbon, Cascais, Sintra

Experience the wild, beautiful and contradictory lands on the Iberian peninsula. From Roman relics and Muslim palaces, Baroque cathedrals and daring modern city centers, Portugal and Spain boast a dazzling blend of civilization, culture and color. This 11-day tour is a treasure chest of cultural jewels that stretch across a wide palette.

Arrival Airport: Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport (MAD)
Departure Airport: Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS)
(Best times April/May and Sept/Oct)

 **FOR PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY**

This private tour is all about the colorful life of Spain and Portugal! Spain and Portugal provide some of the richest cultural heritage to be found anywhere in Europe. Spain is an exotic and diverse country with an ancient history and heritage. Spain will dazzle you with architectural feats and artistic treats, enrich you with historic treasures and nourish you with sherry and tapas! From charismatic cities to sleepy villages dotted with white washed houses and olive groves, Spain never fails to open up travelers’ eyes, minds and hearts. The Andalusia region is an excellent example of a unique blend of Roman, Arab and Catholic inspired influences.

Once the world’s richest and most powerful empire, Portugal is now the vibrant home to powerhouse wine regions, incredible art museums and excellent surfing. In Lisbon, there’s nothing quite like losing yourself while wandering through the Bairro Alto with a belly full of the freshest seafood and local wine, as images of medieval charm and blue painted tiles swirl in your head, only to turn a corner and catch a glimpse of the glimmering sea.

I would like to take you straight to the soul of Spain and Portugal by guiding you, not only to famous sites, but also to my favorite places off the beaten path where you can enjoy the rhythm of daily life.  Whether you love culture, cuisine, family fun or a bit of everything, private tours are hand-crafted to your unique style for an unforgettable experience of Spain and Portugal.

Day by Day Itinerary

A travel experience like no other

This sample itinerary was handcrafted by Audrey, a local expert, to inspire your next trip. It is ready to be customized to suit your interests, tastes and budget so you can connect with local cultures and experience authentic travel on your own terms and departing whenever you choose.

DAY 1: ARRIVAL MADRIDwalking tour of madrid

Arrival Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport

Private transfers will be organized based on flights and the number of guests for each transfer

Madrid, Spain’s capital, is a city so full of life and culture that it’s hard to do it justice in a few paragraphs. This big European city has its fair share of hustle and bustle, but that doesn't mean it skimps on providing visitors with an authentic Spanish experience. The Prado Museum features works by some of Spain's most famed artists, including Velázquez and Goya. The Palacio Real (Royal Palace) is open to the public and the El Rastro flea market or the upscale shops in Salamanca provide hours of shopping. But if you're drained from a long day of sightseeing, you might want to rest at an open-air cafe, especially the ones that skirt Plaza Mayor. Once your energy is restored, enjoy sampling some choice specialties at a tapas bar before hitting the club.

This evening, enjoy an included tapas tour with an English speaking guide: tapas are one of Spain’s biggest cultural exports to the rest of the world. When people around the globe think of Spanish cuisine, these little treats are right up there with paella and sangria. But not all tapas are created equal, and the concept itself can mean many different things. The Spanish capital is without a doubt one of the best places to experience traditional tapas firsthand. But when choosing where to go, the options can be overwhelming. Madrid has nearly 15,000 restaurants and bars—one for every 211 inhabitants! Let Audrey introduce you to some of the best little places that are hard to find on your own. 

DAY 2: MADRID

This morning enjoy a private walking tour of Madrid. Our tour includes, the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) with its 2,000 rooms and its NeoClassical style that rivals Versailles. We’ll also stop in to the Palace Armory, where you’ll be able to see centuries of battle armor and tools, the Cathedral and finish at the Plaza Mayor.

After your morning tour you will have the balance of the day to explore other Madrid sites like:  the world-renowned Prado, Reina Sofia to see Picasso's Guernica, or the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. You might enjoy strolling through the Mercado de San Fernando or taking a walk through the spectacular city park, Retiro Park.

Dinner tonight is on your own. Of course you are always invited to join me at my favorite places or as I explore new and interesting restaurant finds. I also have recommendations and would be happy to make reservations for you.

DAY 3: TOLEDO, GRANADA

After breakfast today, board your mini bus with your tour manager for your first discovery of the day, Toledo. With your private guided tour you will visit the Cathedral, Santo Tomé church and La Blanca Synagogue.

Toledo is one of the Spanish cities with the greatest wealth of monuments. Known as the “city of the three cultures” because Christians, Arabs and Jews lived together there for centuries, Toledo preserves an artistic and cultural legacy in the form of churches, palaces, fortresses, mosques and synagogues. This great diversity of artistic styles makes the old quarter of the capital of Castile - La Mancha a real open-air museum, now declared a World Heritage Site.

You then continue South to the unforgettable city of Granada, which was the last strong hold of the Moorish empire in southern Spain until it finally fell to the Catholic kings in 1492. Granada (Gáranata) was once the grandest city in Spain!  Nestled at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, it is the most visited of all Andalusian cities.

Upon arrival into the city, we will check into our centrally located hotel and freshen up.

DAY 4: GRANADA

This morning is dedicated to the magnificent Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which is a breath taking Moorish palace and fortress perched on top of a steep hill adjacent to the city center. The Alhambra feels like it comes straight from ‘Tales of the Arabian Nights’, rising from the woods against the mountainous backdrop. A true tribute to the beauty of the North African architecture in Andalusia, the Alhambra contains a huge network of beautiful rooms, patios and gardens.  The palace is close to architectural perfection, perhaps also the most refined example of Islamic art anywhere in the world and not to mention the most enduring symbol of 800 years of Moorish rule known as Al-Andalus. From afar, the red towers of the fortress dominate the Granada skyline, set against a backdrop of the Sierra Nevada’s snow-capped peaks.

Entrance times may vary.

Following the visit of the Alhambra and Generalife, your local guide will take you to visit the Capilla Real, the Gothic mausoleum and burial site of Ferdinand and Isabel. The chapel has important collections of art from Spanish and Italian painters including Botticelli and Perugino.

The rest of the day is at leisure with an opportunity for great shopping at the Albycin, where you will feel like you are in a Moroccan souk. Other options are hiking up to the Sacramonte area to enjoy their winding streets and beautiful views from St. Nicholas overlook, or you can go to the Hammam. These tranquil baths are beautifully designed with Arabian decor featuring candle-lit walkways, vaulted ceilings, marble benches and atmospheric chambers.

DAY 5: RONDA, SEVILLA

Enroute from Granada to Seville, we’ll make our way to Ronda where you can enjoy an orientation walk with your tour manager exploring this beautiful town, including the dramatic gorge and the bull ring. Wind around the whitewashed streets for great pictures of ornate churches, balconied buildings and fringed parks that represent the mixed Islamic and Christian style that characterizes Andalusia. 

Historically, Andalusians chose to live in fortified hilltop towns and villages called Pueblos Blancos (white villages) to escape preying bandits. These white towns are whitewashed in the Moorish tradition and today are functioning agricultural towns that will give you insight to Andalusia´s colorful past. The romantic town of Ronda, the largest of the White Villages, is the oldest town in Spain, having been established in the 9th Century BC!

Settled by the Phoenicians around the 7th century BC, later conquered by the Muslims and finally settling under Spanish rule, Ronda has had a long and varied history marked by war, trade, and geographic wonder. Ronda is also the birthplace of modern bullfighting. Perched high in the Serranía de Ronda mountains, the old town offers dramatic views over the Rio Guadalevín. The ancient part of Ronda is separated from the new by a vertigo-inducing 328-foot river gash called El Canon del Tajo. 

Then, after some wine-tasting in the countryside, we make our way to the city of Seville, the capital of Andalusia.

DAY 6: SEVILLA

Known as Hispalis in Roman times, Seville was taken by the Moors in 712 and remained a Muslim capital until the 13thcentury. Between 1503 and 1718 Seville had a monopoly as the only trading port between Spain and the Americas, becoming extravagantly wealthy and spawning a Golden Age of arts and literature.

Explore the vibrant city of Seville with your expert local guide. Highlights include a stroll through the Jewish quarter and the impressive cathedral of Saint Mary, which is the burial site of Christopher Columbus and 3rd largest in the world. Built atop the Almohad Mosque, the cathedral preserved two parts of the mosque: the Moorish entrance court Patio de los Naranjos; and the Giralda, a minaret converted into a bell tower.

We will also take in the Alcazar de Sevilla, the oldest royal palace in Europe.

The original nucleus of the Alcázar, that you will visit today, was constructed by the Moors in the 10th century as a fortified governor’s palace and is still in use today as a residence for the Spanish royal family. It is a spectacular complex of palaces, courtyards and gardens from various periods and in complementing architectural styles – all in all a dazzling trip back in time.

With a flair for drama, its own traditional dance and flamboyant modern architecture, Seville displays Spain’s most noticeable local pride. Nowhere is as quintessentially Spanish as Seville, a city of capricious moods and soulful secrets which has played a pivotal role in the evolution of flamenco, bullfighting, baroque art and Mudejar architecture.

Included Flamenco show: take in the passion and seduction of the art-form known as Flamenco at your included show. Flamenco is an art form that was born, and thrives, here in Spain. Spaniards start dancing when they can barely walk, and they dance every day. The stomping of the feet, the twirling of the body, and the drama of the music are simply part of their culture

DAY 7: EVORA, LISBON

This morning, we will set out for Lisbon with a stop in the town of Évora, capital of Portugal's south-central Alentejo region and a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the city's historic center stands the ancient Roman Temple of Évora (also called the Temple of Diana).

One of Portugal’s most beautifully preserved medieval towns, Évora is an enchanting place to delve into the past. Inside the 14th-century walls, Évora’s narrow, winding lanes lead to striking architectural works: an elaborate medieval cathedral and cloisters; the cinematic columns of the Templo Romano (near the intriguing Roman baths) and a picturesque town square, once the site of some rather gruesome episodes of the Inquisition. Aside from its historic and aesthetic virtues, Évora is also a lively university town.

After visiting the sites with your tour manager you will also have a little time to shop for amazing cork products before continuing onto Lisbon.

This evening enjoy an included Fado show:  Fado music is a form of Portuguese singing that is often associated with pubs, cafés, and restaurants. This musical genre officially originated in Portugal around the 1820's, though it is thought to have much earlier origins. Fado is known for how expressive and profoundly melancholic it is. In Fado music, the musician will sing about the hard realities of daily life, balancing both resignation and hopefulness that a resolution to its torments can still occur. It can be described by using the Portuguese word “saudade,” which means “longing” and stands for a feeling of loss. 

DAY 8: SINTRA, CASCAIS

This morning, we leave the bustle of the city and meet the most stunning places around Lisbon on your private guided tour of Sintra and Cascais.

With its rippling mountains, dewy forests thick with ferns and lichen, exotic gardens and glittering palaces, Sintra is like a page torn from a fairy tale. In addition to its UNESCO World Heritage–listed center, Sintra-Vila is dotted with pastel-hued manors folded into luxuriant hills that roll down to the blue Atlantic. Leaving Lisbon’s western suburbs and climbing into Sintra feels like crossing over into another world. This town is in a green mountainscape of palaces, country estates, parks and a medieval castle. In the center sits the Palace of Sintra, which  was a residence for the Portuguese royalty.

No royal medieval residence is in a better state of preservation in Portugal. Royalty lived here on and off from the 1400s to the 1700s, and each successive occupant added a bit of their own personality. 

The day continues onto Cascais, a delightful Portuguese fishing town situated on a beautiful coastline. This coastal resort lies just outside of Lisbon, yet this pleasant town is a world away from the commotion of the bustling capital and has retained the charm of its fishing past with its daily catch still being auctioned and the colorful boats bobbing in the harbor. Home to stunning sun-soaked beaches, such as the surfer's destination Guincho beach, and picturesque ocean views, Cascais is truly a spectacular holiday destination full of heritage and history.

DAY 9: LISBON

Often overlooked for its popular European cousins, Lisbon specializes in lulling tourists into its laid-back charm. Perched atop seven hills, overlooking the Tagus River, its alleyways wind between colorful, centuries-old buildings. Fanciful St. George's Castle peeks out to the skyline, lending an Old World-mystery to the burgeoning cosmopolitan city. And despite the modern sleek buildings that are slowly rising throughout the city, village life holds strong. But there's more to Lisbon than lazing about in coffee shops nibbling pastéis de nata (custard tarts) all day, from exploring the various neighborhoods to taking in the view from the Santa Justa elevator, Lisbon's coastal capital is rich with opportunity.

This morning, enjoy a walking tour of Lisbon with your local expert guide followed by a Portuguese tart-making class.

“Lisbon, more than anywhere in Portugal, has an international feel. You’ll find restaurants serving food from former colonies like Mozambique, Brazil and Angola right next to those serving traditional Portuguese dishes”.

DAY 10: DEPARTURE DAY

Private transfers to the airport for your international flights. On this day you may choose to extend your time with us in Portugal by visiting Porto and the Douro Valley. 

What's Included

What's Included

  • Unwind for 10 nights at charming, locally owned accommodations that offer Spanish and Portuguese hospitality, comfort and local character (standard rooms with daily breakfast included):
    • 2 night in Madrid 
    • 2 nights in Granada
    • 2 nights in Seville
    • 1 night in Evora
    • 3 nights in Lisbon
  • Private guided tours with local expert guides and skip the line entrance tickets:
    • Madrid, the Royal Palace
    • Toledo, Cathedral, Santo Tome Church and La Blanca Sinagogue
    • Granada, Alhambra, Generalife and Royal Chapel
    • Sevilla, Cathedral and Royal Alcazar
    • Evora, Chapel of Bones 
    • Sintra, National Palace
  • Enjoy hand-picked experiences:
    • Taste the local wines of Ronda and Alentejo
    • Take a cooking class on the famous Portuguese custard tarts
    • Experience the sensuous magic of a Flamenco show and soul-stirring Fado
    • Peruse a local market followed by a private cooking lesson where you learn to make Salmorejo and Paella
    • Sample Spanish wines on a private tour of the world’s largest vineyard.
    • Taste the diverse flavors of “tapas” in the south and “pintxos” in the North
  • Private transfers (pick up and drop off) at Venice Marco Polo airport
  • Private transportation throughout the itinerary
  • The services of your host, Audrey, fluent in Spanish and English 
  • Gain insider access to the Spanish and Portuguese way of life
  • Enjoy leisure time to choose your own optional experiences
  • Sample regional cuisine at carefully selected restaurants with local wines
  • Rest assured that we will never guide you into a tourist trap shopping experience or surprise you with hidden fees.
  • Taxes & Fees: Local VAT taxes and government fees, City Tax, gas, highway tolls, city access licenses and permits, parking fees

NOTE: In the grand European traditions, I believe that dinner is a celebration of good food and wine, a celebration of culture and a celebration of family and friendship. Hosting this celebration is one of the joys of being a tour manager.  I guide you to your favorite dish … or help you choose something you’ve never tried before. I choose the perfect wines and throw in some local delicacies to broaden your palate and surprise you a bit. When we are at a cooking lesson or a wine tasting, rest assured that you'll go home with new knowledge that will increase your appetite for more. On every tour, I have included dinners as a group as well as nights on your own. Of course, you are always invited to join me at my favorite places or as I explore new and interesting restaurant finds. I also have a lot of recommendations and would be happy to make reservations for you.

What's Not Included

  • Passport fees, visa fees, immunization costs, entry clearing fees (when applicable)
  • Optional enhancements like room upgrades
  • Additional sightseeing, activities and experiences outside of your itinerary
  • Early check-in or late check-out from hotels
  • Personal charges such as laundry, phone calls, SIM cards or room service
  • Lunches, dinners and drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), unless specified in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Your international airfare
  • Porterage: Please note that you'll need to carry your own luggage up and down stairs at hotels and across cobblestone.
Extend your trip

DAY 1: On to Porto

This morning we'll be transferred to the train station to take the 2.5 hour train to Porto.

Our 5-star hotel is in one of the most prestigious areas of Porto, the Ribeira historic district. The rooms are created out of old houses, with varying sizes, with an atmosphere that is at once vintage and contemporary, luxurious and romantic.

After your orientation, you'll have the afternoon to enjoy the city.

Tonight, we enjoy an included port tasting and dinner. The city is proud of its heritage and port production is still the heartbeat of modern life. All of the major port producers continue to age their wines within the vast cellars of the district. ​

DAY 2:  A Day in Porto

We spend our morning on a walking tour of Porto. Ribeira is one of the oldest districts in Porto dating back to the Middle Ages. Situated on the northern bank of the Douro River, this area is characterized by narrow, winding streets and crammed with restaurants and cafes all housed in the traditional architecture. From the Ribeira District, we’ll head to the iconic Ponte Luis I Bridge that spans the Douro River; connecting Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. This feat of engineering has stood since 1886 and the wrought-iron work resembles the detail used in the Eiffel tower. The quaint, baroque Clérigos Church and Tower is situated on the highest point of the old city and, after climbing the 250 steps of the tower, visitors are rewarded with fantastic 360 degree panoramic views of the city and Vila Nova de Gaia. 

The rest of the day and evening is at your leisure. 

DAY 3: Full-Day Excursion to the Douro Valley

Just an hour and a half away from Porto, you can find the Douro Valley, one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world. Stunning landscapes of green and golden slopes covered with vineyards, wine estates spreading along the riverbanks and the birthplace of the well-known port wine. We’ll spend a relaxing day as we travel along the banks of the Douro River, enjoy an included gourmet Michelin star lunch on the river, and, if you are traveling with us in September, participate in stomping the grapes.

We'll be back in Porto at the end of the day for dinner at your leisure.

DAY 4: Back to Lisbon

Today, we travel from Porto to Lisbon via train. We'll spend our last evening with an included cruise on the River Tagus and enjoy our included dinner.

Important Notes

HOW DO WE PRICE YOUR CUSTOM PRIVATE TOUR PACKAGE?

Custom itineraries are developed as a tour package and we charge a planning fee. We handle all the logistics for your land arrangements to make your vacation run flawlessly from arrival to departure. Pricing is determined by the number of people in your private group, choice of accommodations, meals, planned activities, expert local guides, local ground transportation, length of stay and additional options chosen.

Tour dates are booked on a first come, first served basis. Space is not held until a signed Liability Waiver and Release, Guest Registration Form and initial deposit are received. Audrey works with multiple clients at any given time, so you might be in the running for dates already selected by another private group.

Please note: 

  • It takes time to create quality. Ideally, we’d begin planning your trip six months in advance, or three months if you’re not travelling during high season.
  • In a world of constant changes, please note that our quoted costs are merely informative, as all services have to be confirmed at the time of the booking. Quotes are valid up to 15 days from the date they are sent and they may require modifications.
  • Hotel availability and prices cannot be guaranteed until they are booked and may not be fully protected at the time of the quote. Some hotel rates fluctuate almost every day.
  • While pricing across custom itineraries can vary, our bespoke trips typically start at $350 per person per day, inclusive of accommodations, private excursions, transfers and our dedicated planning services.
  • Our custom vacation plans will not be itemized, and we only accept full-service planning when hotel reservations are part of the itinerary. If you are unable to stand/walk for 3 consecutive hours, cannot carry your own luggage, cannot walk for extended periods of time, have trouble walking up and down hills, or require a special diet, this trip may not be for you. Please contact Audrey if you have any questions.

Prepare for Your Trip

European travel in general involves a lot of walking, much more than we are used to in the US. Most of our tours include city walking tours, visits to hilltop towns and villages, and meandering through cobbled streets. Keeping active and incorporating long walks into your busy schedule in the weeks before your departure will make your vacation much more rewarding.

  • Don’t Overpack: A challenge even for some experienced travelers! Wash or dry clean some clothes during your travel. Some hotels and villas we choose offer laundry and dry cleaning services and towns and cities have laundry mats. Most also provide hair dryers. Toiletries and cosmetics can also be purchased at your destinations. Please contact us if you need some assistance.
  • It is your responsibility to obtain the required documents to travel to Europe, please verify with your own country's travel laws and government agencies. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your return date. 

The first day on tour is your arrival day into the city in which we meet. So you would be flying the day before from the United States or Canada if you are not taking the option of spending a few days on location prior to start of your tour. When making flight arrangements, please allow sufficient time to claim luggage and clear customs in order to join the tour on time. 

General Information

  • Air Conditioning: Hotels and mini-buses/vans used are air-conditioned for your comfort. European air conditioning should be considered as a climate-control system; most have three settings for the fan, plus a "cool" setting. Very few of the European systems actually have a temperature setting. In general, the amount of cool air that is produced from a European air conditioning system may be less than what you may have in your own home. Some hotels in Europe do not operate their air conditioning systems on a year round basis, but only during certain months of the year.
  • Mobility: All of our tours involve walking and require our guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility. You must be able to walk up and down hills, on uneven surfaces and stand for extended periods of time.
  • Itinerary Changes and Price Flexibility: We pledge to make every effort to operate all pre-designed tours as advertised. We reserve the right to alter or curtail the itinerary, or substitute sightseeing, hotels, and/or transportation as deemed necessary.
  • A note on accommodations: There is frequent confusion over the terminology used for hotel rooms. A “double” room is recognized as meaning a room with a double bed, which may be two single beds pushed together. A “twin” room is a room with two single beds. A “single” room tends to be smaller than double or twin rooms. Triples are usually two-bedded rooms plus a roll-away cot and not recommended for comfort. Some properties offer 1 double and 1 single bed, or 1 double and 1 pull out sofa
  • Holiday and Museum Closures: Museum visits and personal shopping time may be disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances or the many state, religious and civic holidays locally observed.
  • NO SMOKING: Sorry but there will be no-smoking allowed in the vehicle or during guided tours. Italy, France and Spain have banned smoking in all public buildings, including hotels and restaurants (enclosed spaces only, with the exception of sitting outdoors while eating). Some hotels may be able to provide smoking rooms if necessary. You will need to let us know ahead of time.
  • Currency and Exchange Rates: The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany. Currency can be exchanged at banks, exchange bureaus and at most of the hotels listed on your itinerary, though you will get a better exchange rate at the banks. Major credit cards are widely accepted. Travelers’ checks are less accepted, especially by local merchants; expect to pay a fee for using travelers’ checks. Foreign currency is not accepted.
  • Your Credit and Other Bank Cards Abroad: Before your departure, we recommend you contact your bank before departing on your vacation to inform them of your travel plans to ensure that your ATM, credit and debit cards will work and continue to work while you are abroad. The banks have automated security measures in place that flag transactions outside your normal spending patterns. Failure to do so may result in a temporary freeze being placed on your account.
  • VAT: Many countries levy Value Added Taxes (VAT) on consumer goods and services. (The tax rate may be higher for luxury items and lower for basic goods.) As a rule, if you are not a resident of the country (or of the country’s intergovernmental economic community, e.g., the European Union) in which the purchase is made, you may be entitled to a VAT refund and should inquire about the refund policy where you shop.
  • Electrical Current: The electrical current in France, Italy and Spain is 220 V, 50 Hz, AC. If your electrical devices do not conform to this standard, you may need to bring the appropriate converters and adapters.
  • Even though tips to staff and restaurants are included, it is suggested that you put aside approximately $100 (US) in combined gratuities for your driver & Tour Director for your trip (and any voluntary additional restaurant gratuities are at your discretion).

The purchase of TRAVEL INSURANCE is strongly recommended to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. A Protection Plan can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.

To discuss the details and customization options, click below to schedule a call with Audrey!

What Audrey's clients are saying...

Custom Italy Tour Package

Jean and Alan

Denver, CO

We highly recommend Audrey and here’s why: she planned the vacation exactly the way we wanted it. Every detail was planned out, up to personal drivers and personal tour guides. We didn’t have to worry about anything. She provided additional info for places to eat and things to see and she was always there if we had a problem or question while on our trip. The Personal Guides were outstanding-very friendly and knowledgeable and the tickets to bypass the lines were exceptional. Hotels were centrally located for easy walking and all very clean and friendly. We really enjoyed Audrey taking us to the Venice that most tourist don’t get to see, especially our “Venetian Bar Crawl with wine and Cicchetti”. We were fortunately very lucky to have Audrey as our driver-guide from Rome to San Marino and eventually to Venice. She was a wealth of knowledge about the history of the area we were driving through. It was such a pleasure to work with Audrey: our trip was OUTSTANDING because of the care and personal attention she gave to us from our initial planning to our final itinerary.
View Jean & Allan's private tour package
(Customized Itinerary Package to Italy with Audrey as driver-guide from Rome to Venice)

Monteriggioni

Kelly and Dave

Brampton, ON, Canada

My husband and I just completed a tour of Italy arranged with Travels with Audrey. Everything was perfect, I mean, really perfect! I’m sure Audrey even arranged the weather!! The hotel recommendations were impeccable, as were the restaurants, and each of our guides along the way was extremely knowledgeable, personable and such a pleasure to spend time with. It was a trip completed at our pace, acknowledging our wishes, but with some gentle (and much needed) guidance. We feel we’ve not only gained a real knowledge and understanding of the sights we’ve seen, but a real appreciation for the rich history of Italy and the lives of its inhabitants today. Some olive oil and a few pieces of ceramic have been picked up along our travels, as well as about 2,500 photos, but more than that, our lives have been enriched by our experience, and we’ve gained a new friend. From the bottom of our hearts, thank-you Audrey! 
View Kelly & Dave's private tour package
(Customized Itinerary Package to Italy, with Audrey as driver-guide in Tuscany and orientation walk in Venice)

itineraries for family vacations to italy

Jay C and family

Littleton, CO

My family and I recently traveled to Italy with Audrey. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and all agreed that Audrey enhanced our trip way beyond anything we could have organized ourselves. Audrey is well networked with local hotels, guides and transportation services. What that meant for us, is that we got the best rooms in the hotels with views, we travelled in Luxury Mercedes vans and mini-buses with friendly, knowledgeable drivers. Our Guides to the many venues enriched our tours with their vast amount knowledge and enthusiasm. And they could get us in to venues skipping lines that were blocks long. Amazing! All of Audrey’s contacts respect and adore her and make sure her clients get the best service. We went to many of the most well-known sights and places, such as Florence, Rome, the Vatican and Tuscany. However, we also went to many off the beaten track places that Audrey knew that were wonderful, such as lunch and wine tasting at the Chianti winery, a private dinner prepared by our own chef in Rome and to some Greek ruins that were incredible in southern Italy to mention a few. I highly recommend Audrey. She is a warm gracious woman who works very hard for you and keeps your group organized. She saves you hours of logistics time, because she knows the regions and people well. Paying the money up front in the beginning was scary, but we had heard about her and took the risk. She really took care of us. Our family all agreed that our small group tour was far more satisfying than a larger tour could have ever been for not much more money.
View Jay C's & family private tour package details
(Private Customized Tour for a family vacation to Italy with Audrey as tour manager)

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Bill & Gail / Lil & Tom

Dallas, TX / Tulsa, OK

We just took a tailored two week trip with our best friends.  Audrey developed our travel plan to Edinburgh, London, Normandy and the Loire valley.  It was a DREAM TRIP.  The hotels were all very good and the food was superb.  The best thing about the trip was the personal guides that Audrey set up for us; they were extremely knowledgeable, personable and entertaining.  Audrey drove us around in France and was our guide in the Loire.  A great trip! 
View Bill, Gail, Tom & Lil's private tour package details and what they consider to be most valuable about my service
(Private Customized Tour to Edinburgh, London and France. In France with Audrey as driver-guide)

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Marti and family

Ann Arbor, MI

I would like to thank you for making our family vacation so special. Everything went without a hitch, from the tour guides, to the dinners you planned. We LOVED everything! The special personal chef night was fantastic, just perfect! I know traveling with toddlers is not always easy but you made it seamless. I really appreciated you giving them places to go that the girls would enjoy, and the hotel with the pool, great choice. You know that I chose to book with you because you were our guide five years ago and we really enjoyed ourselves then. I’m so happy we found you again. Booking with you was easy and I will not hesitate to recommend you to all my friends and family.
View Marti's private tour package details
(Private Customized Tour to Italy with Audrey as tour manager)

Italy off the beaten path

Kathy and Rich

Ann Arbor, MI

We had a family adventure with 13 of us, ages 1 to 67 years old, related as brothers, sisters, in-laws, cousins, and grandchildren.  Audrey spent two weeks with the whole gang as our Tour Manager and then my husband Rich and I stayed on another week with Audrey to see sites in Northern Italy with her as our driver-guide. The whole trip was AWESOME.  We made marvelous memories together.  Audrey was terrific at meeting the needs of this diverse group.  She took us to special spots that we had visited with her 5 years before.  That is one of the reasons we selected her to help guide us and she far exceeded our expectations.  She also added many new treasures to enjoy and share with each other.  Audrey is organized, knowledgeable, fun, flexible, curious, thoughtful, energetic, discreet, adventurous, and sentimental. We enjoyed Audrey’s tour and her company as she shared her favorite spots with us along the way.  We ate things that surprised us  and went to places that we would never have found on our own. Audrey was our constant guide and friend.  Tomorrow night I am meeting with the family to begin planning a trip with Audrey to France in the fall!
View Kathy's private tour package details
(Private Customized Tour for a family vacation to Italy and Audrey as tour manager, followed by 7 days of a Private Customized Guided tour of Northern Italy with Audrey as driver-guide)

Italy off the beaten path

Janet and Tim

Seattle, WA

After some research online we found and liked Audrey’s website and decided she would be a good fit for the kind of tour we had in mind, which entailed the availability of Audrey as our driver-guide who confidently drove us around well-known and lesser-known regions of Italy allowing us to discover little known locations and enjoy wonderful food and delicious wines along the way. The best part of it was the complete ability to let the trip just happen, without having to worry about anything. From driving itineraries to hotels, private guided tours in Rome and the Vatican to wine tastings and suggestions for places to eat, Audrey took care of it all for us. I would absolutely recommend Travels with Audrey, especially if you are looking for a private tour and do not want the hassle of planning or driving in a foreign country.  Audrey introduced us to parts of Italy we did not know existed! Our understanding and appreciation for Italy are now so much deeper that we would like to go back and re-visit some of those areas. By far the most notable experiences included observing the truffle hunting dogs at work in Umbria.
View Janet & Tim's private tour package details
(Private Customized Tour to Italy with Audrey as driver-guide)

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Angela and family

TX, USA

My family just got back from a 10 day trip to Spain with Audrey and it was AWESOME!!!! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to travel again without her! Audrey took care of everything…hotels, transportation, obtaining tickets to sites, shows, etc., which left us to just enjoy our trip! We had told her in advance which activities and cities we were interested in and she made it happen. She was even able to squeeze in some extra activities (like wine tasting!) while we were there. Audrey is so nice, and easy to talk with. We really enjoyed her company and her love for the country. If you want to have a great vacation without any worries, you have to use Audrey!
(Private Customized Guided Tour for a family vacation to Spain with Audrey as tour manager)

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Beth and family

Dallas, TX

WARNING! You may never be able to travel without Audrey again. We have used Audrey’s services twice in the past, once to Italy and once to Spain. Our most recent trip was to Spain. This trip exceeded our expectations in many ways. First of all, individual travelers are different and have different needs. Audrey takes this into account and tailors the trip to the specific personality of the group. For example, our group had a mixture of adults, young adults and teenagers. Audrey arranged the transportation so that we were never rushed in the morning, had ample time to eat breakfast and set off to a day of sightseeing feeling rested and excited about the day. We visited all the typical tourist spots, but also had intimate “one of a kind” trips to a vineyard, sherry bodega, cooking class and olive oil factory. The longer drives were broken up by timely stops in unique towns. All this adds up to a one of a kind experience that really allows you to feel the culture of the country. We left the hotel planning up to Audrey and each hotel was centrally located, unique and clean. Audrey has extensive knowledge about the countries that she offers and a love for travel and the people. You cannot go wrong with a trip with Audrey. Try her once, and like us, you will be back for more. 
View Beth's & family private tour package details
(Private Customized Guided Tour for a family vacation to Spain with Audrey as tour manager)

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Laurian & Gerald

Grand Junction, CO

We had a lovely time on this trip, thank you for your expertise in organizing it! Initially we were unsure about using a tour organizer without a personal recommendation and had the usual concerns about cost and quality.  We have had reasonable experiences in the past using the web to find tour organizers and, in this respect, the testimonials on your site were very helpful. We didn’t have to worry about the many specifics of doing what we wanted to do, in consideration of the fact that we had a very specific and peculiar itinerary: it was wonderful to have someone personalize our tour. Two things were very useful.  First, the identification of good quality yet small hotels that were well-located.  It would have been difficult to do this ourselves based on web searches.  Second, your arranging the tours and specific activities for us so we didn’t have to search for those.  In most cases, these activities were also located near our hotels, so the whole experience was very low hassle! Our best experiences were in Granada with Antonio as guide to the Alhambra and with the flamenco show there, which was excellent, though designed for tourists. The winery in Portugal was a great find! Everything was very high quality. In closing, we would absolutely recommend your services to others.
Thanks again!

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Tom and Dom (father and son)

Denver, CO

Dominic and I came back from our two week trip to Portugal and southern Spain.  It was a great father & son trip and we had a great time!  From Lisbon, to Evora to Seville to Cordoba to Granada and finally Madrid, we had a great time.  I would highly recommend the private car with driver and local guides that Audrey arranged for us.  It was the best way of seeing the sites without any crowds, exactly the way Audrey envisions and offers in her tours. What a great way to see more of the country.  The food recommendations Audrey provided us with in the various towns came in very handy and were very accurate.  The accommodations she chose far exceeded our expectations. The prepaid tickets arranged by Audrey for the Bullet train and the Prado saved us a lot of time. We enjoyed ourselves and look forward to booking any future trip that will measure up to this one and highly recommend Travels with Audrey.
View Tom's private tour package details
(Customized Itinerary Package, father and son vacation to Portugal and Spain)

private tour of scotland

Mike and Ellen

Indianapolis, IN

Our trip to Scotland was magical. With the help of Travels with Audrey we were able to enjoy a stress free trip in a country that prides itself on being laid back. The visit was centered in the Highlands, we had certain requests that were not only met but exceeded. The driver assigned was fabulous. An Irish chap who was the friendliest and most accommodating chap you can imagine. He was familiar with the territory and found the most interesting little spots to stop for a “lovely picture and maybe a cup of tea or coffee before we get on our way”.The variety of Hotels, Castles, Guest Houses and B & B’s made for an exciting time. The Distillery tours (2) were fun and informative and tasty. The scenery of the Highlands and the roads ventured to make the most of the tour made for a great journey. We had only one variation where a ferry could not be guaranteed to run, the driver was able to modify that on the run and found us an alternative town, Oban, that was one of the highlights of the entire trip. All in all from Edinburgh and St Andrews to the Isle of Skye to Oban and Sterling it was a couple of weeks that will live in our fondest memories.
(Customized Itinerary Package to Scotland and London, England)

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Gregg & Maureen / Coleen & Don

IL & NJ

Just want to say thank you once again for a most fabulous tour. The fact that you designed it to suit our very specific interests was phenomenal. Everything went very smoothly. You knew just what arrangements were necessary to accomplish everything in the time we had available. We were very pleased with the transportation, restaurants, sites, guides, etc. The whole trip could not have gone better.  Our tour realized the dream my wife and sister in law wanted to fulfill: following the footsteps of their father as a paratrooper during the 2nd World War. We met many great people and have wonderful memories. I will always cherish the “down” times when Maureen and I had a sandwich and a beer at a sidewalk cafe in Paris and a beer at a sidewalk cafe in Berlin with Frau Vogel. Looking forward to future travels!
View photos of their experience
(Private Customized Guided Tour with Audrey as tour manager, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany). 

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Tony, Dan and family

Atlanta, GA

We were fortunate enough to have had Audrey De Monte serve as Tour Manager for our 10 day family trip to Europe. The tour was a 10-day multi generational family tour (grandparents to teen age grandchildren) of the cities of Paris, Venice and Rome. Audrey was extremely well organized and always provided multiple suggestions to make sure that everyone was having a great time. She knew the cities well which enabled us to get access to great reasonably priced restaurants that served authentic local food which was not an easy task for such a large group. She kept our group on time and always offered suggestions for other activities when we had free time. She made this family trip a very precious memory for all and for that we are grateful. Thank you Audrey!
View photos of their experience 
(Private Customized Tour for a family vacation to Paris, Venice and Rome, with Audrey as tour manager)

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Terry and Bill

Toronto, ON, Canada

We would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to Travels with Audrey for organizing our personalized tour of Paris, France – from the pick up at the dock in Lyon to the train station – to the pickup in Paris to drop off at our hotel – we felt very special for the efficiency and courtesy provided by Audrey’s personnel.We enjoyed our excursions to Versailles; the Louvre and Notre Dame – instructions provided were well illustrated and we had no difficulty is locating the meeting centers. Our hotel was quaint and close to the downtown core – we were able to walk around visiting various sites with ease and comfort.Would highly recommend Travels with Audrey to friends and family who may consider visiting France.
Many thanks!

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Eleni, Anne and family

Toronto, Canada

My family and I just returned from a vacation to Italy, planned by Audrey. I had never been to Italy before, and I didn’t know where to begin planning. Audrey’s knowledge of Italy is incredible. We gave her some ideas, and our budget, and she planned the most amazing trip for us! Each step was perfect. The hotels were beautiful, and we loved private tours of Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and Florence. The cooking class she set up in Sorrento was one of the highlights! We kept raving about how flawless and easy each part of the trip was! And Stresa, a place we never even knew about, was breathtaking! If it wasn’t for Audrey, we would have never gone there! She planned every detail, right down to the train tickets. Audrey, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. You made our trip perfect and memorable. We will definitely be booking with you again!
(Customized Itinerary Package for a family vacation to Italy)

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Contact

Travels with Audrey LLC
Audrey De Monte

+1.720.339.2364 (USA)
+1.805.430.8112 (Fax)
+39.331.416.4316 (Italy)

9249 S Broadway
UNIT 200 #209
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129