15 Day Northern Spain, Portugal & France

From

$2729

Land Only

$4039*

Air & Land

15 Day Northern Spain, Portugal & France

From

$2729

Land Only

$4039*

Air & Land


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Book By Dec 12, 2024 & Save!

2025 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $1300
Hotel Dates Embark Tour Starts Ship Land Only Air & Land
  Book By
Dec 12
Book After
Dec 12
Book By
Dec 12
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Dec 12
$3029 $3529 $4039* $4539*
$3199 $3699 $4499* $4999*
$3149 $3649 $4449* $4949*
$3149 $3649 $4449* $4949*
$3199 $3699 $4499* $4999*
$3029 $3529 $4379* $4879*
$3029 $3529 $4379* $4879*
$2729 $3229 $4129* $4629*
$3449 $3949 $4299* $4799*
$3449 $3949 $4299* $4799*
$3449 $3949 $4299* $4799*

Not Included:
Optional tours.


Additional Information:
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.


Accommodation Details:
Triples at the Artheus Carmelitas will be accommodated in a Twin and Single Room.


Entry Requirements:
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.



Is This Trip Right for You?

This moderately active trip covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking every touring day. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, cobblestone streets, stairs, steps and significant slopes. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking. There are a few long bus rides that are necessary to cover the territory. Some hotels in Porto are built in the traditional local style and have no air-conditioning. During heat waves, these hotels can become uncomfortable. This is a Classic program. For more information, click here.

Accommodation Details





Room 1


  • Requests are not guaranteed and are subject to each hotel's discretion and availability

Additional Nights

Flight Details




Escorted Package Includes

  • Flights New York-Madrid, Barcelona-New York
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 13 nights First Class accommodations
    • 2 nights Madrid
    • 1 night Salamanca
    • 1 night Porto
    • 2 nights Santiago de Compostela
    • 1 night Oviedo
    • 2 nights Bilbao
    • 2 nights Toulouse
    • 2 nights Barcelona
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • 19 meals: 13 breakfasts, 6 dinners with wine
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Services of local guides in all major cities
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring

Special Features

  • Tour the Prado Museum in Madrid and view an astonishing collection of Spanish masterpieces
  • View the Alcazar in Segovia with its soaring turrets, moats and magical towers
  • Visit the Stock Exchange, renowned for its exquisite facade and ornate gilded Arabian Hall in Porto
  • Enjoy a wine tasting in the Douro Valley
  • Attend a traditional cider pouring demonstration in Oviedo
  • Explore the Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry in Bilbao
  • Discover the stunning seaside resort of San Sebastian, called the “Pearl” of northern Spain
  • Visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, a major Roman Catholic pilgrimage site
  • Admire the Saint-Sernin Basilica in Toulouse, a major stop on the route of St. James
  • Visit the impressive fortified walled city of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

Is This Trip Right for You?

This moderately active trip covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from three to four hours walking every touring day. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, cobblestone streets, stairs, steps and significant slopes. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking. There are a few long bus rides that are necessary to cover the territory. Some hotels in Porto are built in the traditional local style and have no air-conditioning. During heat waves, these hotels can become uncomfortable. This is a Classic program. For more information, click here.

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Note: your itinerary will change depending upon the day of the week you depart. Click a day above to see what is included.

DAY 1, Wednesday - Depart for Spain
Depart for Spain

DAY 2, Thursday - Arrive in Madrid
Arrive in Madrid, Spain's energetic capital city and transfer to your hotel. Balance of the day is at leisure. Your tour begins with an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 7 PM, followed by dinner. We recommend that you select flights which arrive no later than 5 PM
Overnight: Madrid
Meals: Dinner

DAY 3, Friday - Madrid City Tour
This morning, begin with a sightseeing tour of Madrid. Drive along the Gran Via through the Opera District, Plaza de Colon and view the Royal Palace. Pass by the elegant Plaza de Cibeles and Puerta de Alcala Gate. The tour will end at the world-renowned Prado Museum, where you will be able to view works of art by famous artists such as El Greco, Velázquez, and Ribera. Spend the afternoon at leisure or, join the optional tour to Toledo, former capital of Spain and one of the oldest cities in Europe. Visit St. Tome Church with its El Greco masterpiece and Santa Maria la Blanca Synagogue with its beautiful Moorish architecture
Optional: Toledo Tour (PM)
Overnight: Madrid
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4, Saturday - Segovia and Avila en route to Salamanca
Travel across the rugged Sierra de Guadarrama to the historic city of Segovia. View the best preserved 1st century AD Roman aqueduct, symbol of the city, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and visit the fairy-tale Alcazar with its soaring turrets, moats and magical towers. Marvel at the Gothic Cathedral that took almost 200 years to complete before walking through the Jewish Quarter. Then, to stunning Avila, surrounded by imposing city walls, one of Spain's best preserved bastions with its convent that pays homage to St. Theresa, founder of the Order of the Carmelites. Drive to the lively university town of Salamanca; view the 12th century Old Cathedral, the Salina and Monterrey Palaces and the historic center of the city. Arrive at Plaza Mayor, considered Spain's most beautiful central plaza. Dinner tonight is in Salamanca
Overnight: Salamanca
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5, Sunday - Douro Valley, Delightful Porto
Depart for Portugal on your way to the Douro Valley. Travel the scenic port wine road and visit one of the biggest estates of Sogrape, producing both Porto & Douro wines. Enjoy a wine tasting before continuing to the delightful northern city of Porto with a dramatic setting on the banks of the Douro river. Later, participate in the optional Douro River Cruise with meal. Cruise along the colorful river valley, viewing the city from a new perspective. Pass by the numerous port wine cellars and under Ponte Luis I Bridge. Afterwards, have a meal of local specialties in a typical restaurant with drinks
Optional: Douro River Cruise with Meal (PM)
Overnight: Porto
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6, Monday - Porto City Tour, Santiago de Compostela
Start your morning with a sightseeing tour of Porto. Take a panoramic drive, and visit the 14th century Gothic Church of Sao Francisco with its gilded baroque columns and the Stock Exchange, renowned for its exquisite neoclassical façade and ornate Arabian Hall. This afternoon drive to Santiago de Compostela, the legendary destination for pilgrims who walked the "Saint James Road" to visit the shrine here
Overnight: Santiago de Compostela
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7, Tuesday - Explore Santiago de Compostela
This morning, take a guided tour of Santiago de Compostela, one of the most popular pilgrim destinations since the Middle Ages, and where the remains of the Apostle St. James are laid to rest. Visit the city's world-famous Romanesque cathedral and Praça do Obradoiro, a monumental square surrounded by magnificent buildings in various styles. Balance of the day is at leisure for individual pursuits
Overnight: Santiago de Compostela
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8, Wednesday - Oviedo City Tour
Depart for Oviedo, the regional capital of Asturias, a treasure trove of Spanish religious architecture. Upon afternoon arrival in Oviedo, embark on an orientation tour of the city. Walk through the historic town center, stop at the El Fontan market dating back to the 1520s and, conclude with a visit to the beautiful cathedral. Admire the detailed cloisters, intricate buttresses and the main portico with its Arabesque decorations. Balance of the day is at leisure. In the evening, enjoy a traditional cider pouring demonstration during your dinner of local delicacies
Overnight: Oviedo
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9, Thursday - Covadonga, Bilbao
Depart Oviedo and stop in Covadonga to view the Shrine of our Lady of Covadonga, located in the Picos de Europa mountain range. Continue to the culturally rich city of Bilbao to visit the gleaming Guggenheim Museum. Designed by Frank Gehry, the inspirational design utilizes flowing canopies, ship shapes, towers and flying fins. Afterward, check into your hotel with time to settle in before dinner
Overnight: Bilbao
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10, Friday - Excursion to La Rioja Region
This morning, travel through green fertile valleys and picturesque villages to the beautiful wine region of Rioja. Here, visit a traditional Spanish winery (bodega) and enjoy a wine tasting, before departing for Logroño, the capital of La Rioja region. Upon arrival, take an orientation tour of the town with its tree-studded plazas and narrow streets. Free time for lunch on your own. Perhaps, head to Laurel street, famous for its wine bars, for tapas and wine. Then, travel to the picture-perfect town of Laguardia with its medieval fortress and walled old quarter. After your visit, return back to Bilbao
Overnight: Bilbao
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 11, Saturday - Lourdes, Travel to Toulouse
Depart Bilbao and stop in San Sebastian, for a panoramic city tour. Your journey continues to Lourdes, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, that rose to international fame in 1858 when visions of the Virgin Mary were described at the Grotto of Massabielle. The town is now a major site of Roman Catholic pilgrimage and of reported miraculous healings. Visit the sacred church, sanctuary and grotto where the apparitions took place and behold the healing water spring from the grotto, believed to possess therapeutic properties. Later, travel to Toulouse for overnight
Overnight: Toulouse
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 12, Sunday - Toulouse Sightseeing
After breakfast, begin with an orientation of this regional capital. Known as the Pink City, on the river Garonne, Toulouse is known latterly for its modern aircraft and space rocket manufacturing. View the Capitole square and City Hall, which is organized around the Henry the fourth courtyard, adorned with the French king's statue. Visit the Saint-Sernin Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built from the 11th to the 14th centuries, and a major stop on the pilgrimage route of St. James. It is one of the largest Romanesque churches in Europe. Afternoon is at leisure or, join the optional Albi Tour. Travel to the historic city of Albi and visit the ancient center of the city, adorned with brick houses, and the former home of famous painter Toulouse-Lautrec. Discover the imposing Sainte-Cécile Cathedral, with its lavish interior and Berbie Palace, now a museum devoted to painter Toulouse-Lautrec
Optional: Half Day Albi Tour (PM)
Overnight: Toulouse
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 13, Monday - Medieval Carcassonne, Barcelona
The first stop today is at the fairy-tale medieval town of Carcassonne. Your guided walking tour takes you around Europe's best restored ancient fortified city with its over fifty towers and turrets, still standing today. Stroll along the cobbled streets to the St. Nazaire Basilica, adorned with magnificent stained glass and intricate carvings. Browse the shops selling medieval wares, and perhaps taste some of the local peasant stews at a café in the fortified town. Later, continue towards the Mediterranean Sea and back into Spain and the city of Barcelona
Overnight: Barcelona
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 14, Tuesday - Barcelona City Tour
This morning's tour of Barcelona begins with a panoramic drive of the old Harbor, Plaza de España and Plaza Catalunya. You will also have a chance to pass by Gaudi's iconic La Sagrada Familia, a colossal church that is legendary and still unfinished. Ascend Montjuic Hill, home to the Olympic Complex, a number of sports facilities built for the 1992 Summer Olympics. The balance of the day is at leisure to explore the many galleries, museums, and sights in this magnificent city. Perhaps partake in the optional tour to Montserrat that begins with a scenic drive past picturesque villages to Montserrat Mountain. Here, visit the Royal Basilica to see the famous 12th century Romanesque sculpture of "Virgen Moreneta." Tonight during dinner, bid farewell to your Tour Manager
Optional: Half Day Montserrat Tour (PM)
Overnight: Barcelona
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 15, Wednesday - Depart Spain
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

Book Now!
Gate 1 Travel itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
Book your Optional Tours before you travel. See more, save time, save money.
  • Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
  • Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
  • Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
  • Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
  • Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
  • The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week
Toledo Tour

Toledo is a "Museum City" of great artistic beauty. Former capital of Spain and one of the oldest cities in Europe, Toledo has magnificent examples of architecture from different periods, making it one of the leading artistic cities of the country. In Toledo visit the most famous monuments, such as St. Tome Church, which houses El Greco's 'The Burial of Count Orgaz" and the Santa Maria la Blanca Synagogue. Also admire its famous hand-crafted work, the "Damasquinado."

Approximate tour duration is 5 hours.

Day #3 01 Dec 2024 - 15 Nov 2025 $79.00
Toledo Tour Thumbnail
Douro River Cruise with meal (PM)

Join a cruise along the colorful river valley, viewing the city from a new perspective. Pass by the numerous port wine cellars and under the magnificent bridges crossing the valley. A meal of local specialties in a typical restaurant, with drinks included, highlights this tour.

Note: Depending on local conditions, you may enjoy your meal either before or after your cruise.
Approximate tour duration is 3 hours.

Day #5 01 May 2024 - 30 Nov 2025 $99.00
Douro River Cruise with meal (PM) Thumbnail
Half Day Albi Tour

Travel to the historic city of Albi, whose ancient and authentic center resembles a Tuscan city, situated on a headland on the banks of the Tarn river. Enjoy a visit to the Vieil Albi, the ancient center of the city, adorned with brick houses, and the former home of famous painter Toulouse-Lautrec. The Episcopal City of Albi is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you will discover the imposing Sainte-Cécile Cathedral, a monument which juxtaposes its defensive external architecture with its lavish internal decoration. Continue with a visit to the Berbie Palace, now a museum devoted to painter Toulouse Lautrec.

Approximate tour duration is 6 hours.

Day #12 01 Mar 2025 - 30 Nov 2025 $69.00
Half Day Albi Tour Thumbnail
Half Day Montserrat Tour

Enjoy a relaxing drive along the picturesque villages of the province to reach Montserrat Mountain. On arrival, visit the Royal Basilica, where you will see the famous 12th-century Romanesque sculpture of "Virgen Moreneta."

Approximate tour duration is 5 hours.

Day #14 16 Nov 2024 - 15 Nov 2025 $79.00
Half Day Montserrat Tour Thumbnail

Know Before You Go
Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.
Getting Ready to Go
Passports and Visas
It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.

Traveling with Friends or Family?
If you are traveling with friends or family who are booked on another reservation, please make sure that we are aware. On occasion, we may operate more than one vehicle on your tour departure in which case we will ensure that guests will be assigned together. This is achieved by connecting your reservations before your departure. Once you arrive in your destination, it may not be possible to make assignment changes. To check that your reservations are linked, log into https://www.gate1travel.com/reservations with your email and password, select your reservation number, and check to see that your reservations are indicated as "Traveling With" at the top right side of the display.

Trip Preparation
A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks.

Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html.

Travel Protection
Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.

Mobile Phones
Mobile networks differ from country to country. We recommend you check with your provider to see if your wireless plan will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. To avoid possible roaming charges, you may want to consider purchasing an international plan. With most major phone companies, for a modest fee, you will be able to use your domestic plan's talk, text, and data allowances just like you do at home. If you can access the internet while you travel, you can also take advantage of services such as WhatsApp or Skype.

Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another
When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally).

Example:
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555


WiFi Access
WiFi is available in most airports, hotels, and cruise lines, as well as on some flights, trains, and buses. There may be a fee for access and service quality and speed may vary greatly especially while on moving vehicles. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable, and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries.

Staying Healthy While Traveling
All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations.

There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.

  • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
  • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
  • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellent (for both active and warm destinations).
  • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.


Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways:
  • Refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance in respect for other guests who may be allergic
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cigars in the vicinity of other tour members, including in outdoor areas where smoking may be permitted but may still affect other tour participants
  • No Smoking of any kind (medical or recreational) is allowed on any transportation that is exclusively provided by Gate 1. This includes e-cigarettes, e-cigars or any other smoking device. Furthermore, some countries heavily regulate the public use and possession of cigarettes (including e-cigarettes and vape pens) which could include their complete ban. Please check the regulation for the destinations you plan on traveling to prior to departure.
  • Avoid attire with political or religious messages that may offend other travelers
  • Respect your fellow passengers. Guests come from all walks of life and varied lifestyles. Please refrain from topics of conversation which might cause offense, such as religion and politics
  • Refrain from conversation or talking on mobile phones while commentary is in progress
  • Respect the mandatory seat rotation policy on the coach
  • Make use of the available hand sanitizer on the coach to support a healthy environment
  • Seek approval before taking photographs of other tour participants
  • Respect tour departures times to avoid delay and loss of sightseeing opportunities

Climate & Clothing
Spain - Spring and Autumn: 55–75°F; Summer: 75–90°F; Winter: 35–55°F. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops).

Spain Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/europe/default.aspx#spain-weather

Portugal - Spring and Summer are usually sunny, with hot days during July and August. Autumn and Winter are typically rainy and windy, yet sunny days are not rare either. Spring and Autumn: 44–81°F; Summer: 63–86°F; Winter: 41–61°F. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops).

Portugal Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/europe/default.aspx#portugal-weather

France - Spring and Fall: 45-60°F; Summer: 60-80°F; Winter: 30-45°F. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather coat.

France Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/europe/default.aspx#france-weather

About Drones
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or "drone" technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones.

Book & Film Recommendations
Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests' recommendations.

SPAIN: Books
Tales of Alhambra by Washington Irving
Cathedral of the Sea by Ildelfonso Falcones
South from Granada by Gerald Brenan
Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia by Chris Stewart
Shadows of the Pomegranate Tree by Tariq Ali
The Last Jew by Noah Gordon
Raquel, The Jewess of Toledo by Lion Feuchtwanger
Iberia by James A.Michener
By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan
Sultana / Sultana´s Legacy by Lisa J. Yarde

SPAIN: Films
Pain and Glory (2019)
Biutiful (2010)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Volver (2006)
El Cid (1961)

Preparing for Your Trip
Reconfirming Flights
It is not necessary to call your airline to reconfirm your flights. However, we do recommend that you check your airline’s website 24 hours prior to your flight to ensure that your flights remain on schedule and that flight times are unchanged.

Seat Assignments
As a courtesy service, complimentary airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only; in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus.

Frequent Flier Programs
Passengers are responsible to contact their airline directly regarding mileage eligibility and accrual. Airline frequent flier programs determine whether to award miles in part or total based on their own rules which are updated frequently. Some discounted or promotional airfares as well as some code-share flights are not eligible for mileage accrual. Some private airfares, such as a “Gate 1 Travel Airfare”, are not eligible for mileage or may qualify for reduced mileage, even if the same airline class of service is eligible for full mileage when sold as an “Instant Purchase” published airfare. Not all published airfares are eligible for mileage. Gate 1 Travel will record frequent flier numbers when provided by the passenger prior to travel documents being issued. However, the addition of frequent flier numbers to airline records does not guarantee mileage eligibility which is at the sole discretion of each airline. Airline schedule changes may result in flights which were originally eligible for mileage accrual no longer being eligible. We highly recommend passengers to provide their frequent flier account information whenever checking in online and/or at the airport check-in desk. After travel has commenced, it is often not possible to apply for frequent mileage credit. Passengers are also responsible to determine whether previously earned mileage may be applied to flights to secure upgrades.

Known Traveler Number (KTN)
If you have a KTN number, you are normally able to join the TSA security line for expedited processing at the airport. Prior to check in, you should go online or call your airline and add your KTN number to your reservation record. In most cases, you will then see the letters "TSA PRE" printed on your boarding pass. If these letters are not printed, you will not be permitted on the TSA line. Please be aware that some airlines do not participate in the program and therefore even if there is a TSA line at the airport, you will not be given TSA PRE status. Sometimes you may not be selected by TSA (even if you entered a KTN number) and even a minor name discrepancy can result in TSA PRE being denied. It is your responsibility to register your KTN number with your airline and Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for denial of expedited security. Note: KTNs are issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after completing a background check through TSA's PreCheck® program. Global Entry members may also enjoy expedited customs processing.

Luggage & Packing
Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost.

Carry on Luggage
Missed connections and lost luggage are more common than ever. We strongly suggest you use your carry on bag for those necessities you would miss if your checked bags went astray. Items to consider, but not limited to, are prescription medicines, eyeglasses, a change of clothes, mobile phone and charger, valuables (including jewelry and cash), passport, keys, insurance cards, local contact information. Refer to the TSA website for a complete list of items and their sizes which may be carried on board. We also recommend you bring a change of clothes in your carry on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost.

E-Tickets & Advance Check-In
Review the flight itinerary included in your documents. Print and carry a copy of the air itinerary which contains the 6-digit airline "Record Locator" and e-ticket numbers. Advance online check-in is available on some airlines. If available, you may enter your name and 6-digit Record Locator or Flight Ticket Number at the airline's website, and print the boarding pass on your home printer within twenty-four hours of departure. You may check-in online, even if you plan to check luggage at the airport. Airlines without advance online check-in require you to present your identification and e-ticket numbers at the airport self-service kiosk or check-in counter. Paper tickets will be provided in the rare instance when e-tickets cannot be issued.

Day of Departure
Arrive On Time
Due to increased security measures, you should plan to check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time for international flights and two hours prior for domestic flights. Many airlines do not permit check-in less than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time. It is your responsibility to arrive on time for all scheduled flights. Enhanced security procedures, including passenger screening, canine inspection, and inspection of personal electronic devices, have been implemented for all flights into the United States, and therefore security procedures may take longer than normal.

Check-In
If your flight itinerary displays a flight as “Operated By” another carrier, you should check-in at the desk of the “Operated By” airline. When you arrive at the airport, check the airport monitors for updated check-in desk listings. At check-in, be prepared to provide your government issued identification (valid passport required when traveling internationally) and your e-ticket itinerary/ticket numbers to the agent. Once you've checked in and received your boarding passes and luggage claim tickets, proceed directly to the security check. Security lines are often backed up and can take time to get through. Once you've completed security check, proceed directly to your gate and check the large electronic flight screens for your flight time and departure gate for schedule and gate changes. Airport desk clerks will assist with unexpected changes. Once you are in the gate area you can relax, shop or buy a snack before your flight.

Connecting Passengers
Passengers connecting from another point within the USA should check their luggage through to their final destination. Although problems with lost luggage have been minimal, it is a possibility. Certain carriers do not allow baggage “interlining,” and luggage must be checked separately for each flight. When you check your luggage, please verify where your luggage is being sent. When connecting between flights in major airports, you may need to pass through multiple security checkpoints. Therefore, we recommend that you proceed immediately to the gate area for your connecting flight to avoid any unexpected delays which may cause you to be late. Passengers returning to the USA may need to collect their luggage at the first airport of entry and recheck their luggage for their connecting flight.

Flight Services
Avoiding Jet Lag
In order to minimize fatigue and general restlessness caused by jet lag, there are a few steps you may take including switching to your destination time zone when you board the plane, by sleeping and eating according to the new schedule, avoiding heavy eating, caffeine or alcoholic beverages before or during your flight, and by drinking plenty of water and/or fruit juice while flying. Try to sleep on overnight flights and then, upon arrival, avoid the temptation to nap until nighttime.

Airline Food
Unless you are a first or business class passenger, you will likely be treated to a pretty mediocre culinary experience. Reasons for this range from airline budget constraints to the logistics of high altitudes, low humidity and air pressure which tend to desensitize taste buds. Small galleys, tiny ovens and precooked food, plus previously mentioned cost-cuts in order to keep airfares as low as possible, add to some often pretty poor fare. Our suggestion is to stick to simple options, carry a few granola bars, and don't expect this to be your best dining experience.

Premium Economy or Business Class
Service may not be available on all flights or aircraft types, and therefore some flights within an itinerary may not include Premium Economy or Business Class seating. This includes, for example, some US domestic connections and/or short haul flights abroad. When service is not available, you will be accommodated in the best alternative class of service and seating. Please check your operating airline to determine the extra services you may receive.

US Customs & Immigration for Return Flights
In most cases, passengers with return flights that include a connection in the US will need to complete customs and immigration formalities in their first port of entry, requiring them to collect their luggage and check-in for their onward flight. However, there are some exceptions: certain airports in Canada and Ireland (Dublin), allow US Immigration formalities to be completed in the overseas airport at the gate area.

Foreign Domestic Flights
If your tour program includes foreign domestic flights, and those tickets are not included together with the e-ticket itinerary in your travel documents, you will receive those tickets at your destination from our local representative.

What to do if You Need Assistance

Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.

Emergency Assistance
The Gate 1 emergency line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676. From overseas, call: 001 215 572-7676. Outside office hours, listen to the prompts, then press 3. You will speak immediately with a representative, or you may be asked to leave a detailed message including your name, your booking number, and most importantly the telephone number where you can be reached. Your message will be forwarded immediately to a representative who will contact you at the telephone number provided.

Last Minute Schedule Changes & Flight Delays
On the day of travel, check the flight schedule and advise Gate 1 by phone, 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676, of any significant changes that might affect your arrival transfer or hotel reservation. Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for affected land services, including arrival and/or departure transfers should flights be changed without our knowledge. Gate 1 will make every effort to inform passengers of schedule changes and cannot be held responsible for changes in routing and/or the number of stops in the itinerary. Nor will Gate 1 provide compensation for changes or cancellations implemented by an airline.

Missed Flights
In the event that you miss your flight which departs as scheduled, for any reason, your airline will consider you a "no-show” and may resell your seat(s) to other customers. This will also result in the cancellation of any later flights in your itinerary. Similarly, if you voluntarily decide not to use any of the flights on your itinerary, the airline will consider you a “no show” and cancel remaining flights on your itinerary. In this case, please contact your airline immediately for assistance in getting you to your destination. Missed flights are typically fully non-refundable and you may be required to purchase new flights from the airline at your own expense. Once your alternative arrangements have been confirmed, please contact Gate 1 with your new flight details.

Missed Connection
If you are connecting from a domestic flight which is delayed for any reason, causing you to miss your international flight, ask the airline for assistance in getting you to your destination. Since all airline tickets are issued on special fares which carry restrictions and penalties if changed, it's the airline's responsibility to make alternate arrangements on your behalf as Gate 1 has no authority or control over airline activities and policies. Do not leave the airline check-in desk until an alternative itinerary has been confirmed.

Lost Luggage
If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form must be filed with the carrier before leaving the airport. Any cost to retrieve luggage will be your responsibility and you should retain receipts to submit to your insurance provider. You may be required to return to an airport to retrieve your luggage personally.

Arrival & Departure
Arrival Procedures
Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative.

Be wary of airport scammers who offer unwanted assistance. If you are arriving without a pre-arranged transfer, we strongly recommend going to the Tourist Information Desk to ask for a licensed taxi or transfer service. You may be asked to pay for the transfer at the desk prior to the trip, this will ensure you are not charged extra during the trip.

What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed
Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services.

Departure Procedures
If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally.

Transfers
Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotel's front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date.

The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or 'dead-leg'. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.

About Your Accommodations
Hotels
Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center.

Hotel Check-in/ Check-out
Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later.

Spain - Hotels in Spain are generally local or international chains of standard quality with a variety of amenities. Some hotels may be housed in historic buildings, especially centrally located hotels in cities such as Madrid, which could result in a variety of room sizes and styles.

At Your Destination
Eco & Sustainable Tourism
We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs.

Gratuities
Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience.

Suggested Tipping: Escorted Tours

Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $10 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage): US $5 per person per day, US $3 per half day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): US $5 per person per day of sightseeing, US $3 per half day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included

Spain - Gratuities are appreciated and expected for good service in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists. Restaurant bills often include a service charge.

Portugal - Tipping in restaurants is optional, as waiters earn wages in Portugal and a tip is considered a note of appreciation. It is common practice to round up the total bill to the next euro. Tipping taxi drivers and daily tips for hotel staff are not customary. However, it is important to note that in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists gratuities may be expected for good service.

France - Gratuities are appreciated and expected for good service in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists.

About Your Sightseeing
To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Manager. On river cruises, color-coded group splits may be used for shoreside included and Optional tours. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list.

Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)
Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents.

Purchasing Tours Locally
On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional

Independent Activities - Gate 1 itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses

Currency
We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country you're visiting before you depart (except India). It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert dollars to the local currency. It's also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs don't always have letters. ATM machines will only dispense cash in local currency. Check with respective consulates to learn current currency allowances and requirements. Use your credit card whenever possible. Should you decide to carry cash, please note that exchange at banks is typically more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus. However, bank hours are limited to Mondays through Fridays and sometimes only morning hours on those days. Please note that many banks and most vendors will not accept or exchange $100 bills. We suggest to carry $20 bills or smaller. In many destinations (except Western Europe), we suggest to bring between $50 to $100 in $1 bills which may be used to pay gratuities.

Spain - The Euro is the currency of Spain.

Portugal - The Euro is the currency of Portugal.

France - The Euro is the currency of France.

Credit Cards
While credit cards are accepted in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons.

While most US-issued credit cards have the embedded microprocessor chip, there are still some that have the magnetic-strip technology. The "chip-and-PIN" cards require users to punch in a personal identification number (PIN) instead of signing for a purchase. For example, many automated ticket kiosks, such as those commonly found at train stations, gas pumps and parking garages, don't accept cards without a chip and PIN. Most cash registers are equipped to handle American cards but if you encounter difficulties, offer an alternative credit card or politely insist that the cashier keep trying to swipe the credit card. ATMs typically recognize and accept US issued debit cards. For travel to Europe, should you anticipate using ticket kiosks or purchasing train tickets locally, you may consider buying tickets and other basic purchases prior to departure.

Spain - ATMs are available in larger cities and towns. Credit cards are generally accepted, but may not be for smaller purchases or in local markets.

Shopping
Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities.

We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.

While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!

About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.

U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.

Spain - Smaller shops usually open in the morning, close in the early afternoon for siesta, and re-open in the late afternoon, Monday through Saturday. Larger stores do not close for siesta. Most stores, regardless of size, are closed on Sunday. Additionally, many cities feature permanent markets, offering another way to shop for interesting goods. Items of particular interest include porcelain, fine leather, woodwork, ceramics, and paintings. Madrid and Barcelona both feature permanent markets, including the famous La Boqueria located just off Las Ramblas in Barcelona.

Portugal - Items of particular interest include handicrafts such as handmade leather purses or clothes and glass items.

France - In Paris, stores are open from 10 am to 7 pm, Monday through Saturday. Larger stores are open Sunday from noon until 6 pm Many large department stores and designer boutiques are located in Paris. The French countryside is known for its quaint shops, farm markets and vineyards. Good buys include lace, crystal, glass, and fine wines and liqueurs.

Your Safety is Very Important
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit.

It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:

  • Always use seat belts (if provided)
  • Be aware of potentially dangerous places and situations as you would be at home. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carry your valuables concealed in inside pockets or hidden pouches. Your objective is to avoid drawing attention and to blend in with the crowd
  • Don't put all your valuables (money, credit cards, passports, etc.) in the same place (in case one wallet is stolen, you should have other valuables and identification in another safe place)
  • Do not leave valuables laying loose in your room or on the bus as Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for any loss. Use the hotel safe. Keep copies of your passports, credit card numbers and travelers checks numbers in the hotel safe
  • When possible we suggest traveling in pairs or groups when moving about independently
  • Do not pack valuables (cameras, computers, jewelry, etc.) in your checked luggage. Keep hard to replace valuables with you in your carry-on bag
  • Keep wallets safely tucked into front trouser pockets and/or wear a money pouch inside your clothing
  • Carry handbags close to your body, shoulder bags the cross-body method with the bag in front of your body
  • Credit cards are generally accepted everywhere and are safer than traveling with large amounts of cash
  • While in destination, you may encounter local wildlife. Please refrain from touching any animal as they may carry diseases or harm you.

If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.

Tourist Street Scams
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed:

  • Remain alert and cautious. Be wary of any unusual contact or commotion in crowded public places, including train stations, markets, subways and tourist sites;
  • Be especially careful when traveling independently, or leaving your tour group to explore on your own. Try not to travel alone, especially at night. Avoid narrow alleys and poorly lit streets;
  • Use only official taxis and check the change you receive from all taxi drivers and vendors;
  • Beware of pickpockets often working with an accomplice who will distract you by spilling something on you, dropping a wallet or other seemingly valuable object, or tripping and falling down in front of you;
  • Beware of aggressive street vendors who may approach you offering a demonstration which may end with you being pressured to purchase an item or act as a distraction for another pickpocket;
  • Don’t tip beggars;
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest;
  • Carry modest amounts of cash (US dollars) in small denominations so that you can avoid flashing large bills when paying for small items;
  • ATM machines can be a convenient way to carry less currency. However those machines too can be used for robbery. Be wary of anyone who can look over your shoulder when inputting PINs. Another scam involves rigging the machine with a plastic insert which makes your card retrieval difficult; the thief then removes your card after you walk away;
  • If you are confronted, do not fight back - give up your valuables. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police and keep a copy of the official report for insurance claims.


Local Emergency Phone Numbers
Spain
  • General Emergency: 112

Portugal
  • General Emergency: 112

France
  • General Emergency: 112

Languages
Spain - Spanish is the local language. Limited English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Portugal - The official language of Portugal is Portuguese.

France - French is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Electricity
Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances.

Spain - The voltage used is 220 volts.

Portugal - The voltage used is 230 volts.

France - The voltage used is 220 volts.

Code of Conduct
France - Shaking hands is the standard greeting. Closer acquaintances and friends may kiss both cheeks. The form of personal address is simply Monsieur or Madame without a surname and people may not immediately offer to be familiar on a first name basis. Casual wear is appropriate, but more stylish dress would not be out of place. Smoking is prohibited on public transport and in cinemas and theaters.

Spain - In general, casual but tasteful clothing is acceptable public attire. Personal appearance is important in Spanish culture. The Catholic faith is the dominant religion in Spain and retains a strong cultural influence. Common courtesies should be practiced. Conservative clothing should be worn when visiting religious buildings, meaning legs and shoulders should be covered. Smoking is now restricted to open outdoor spaces, such as streets or parks, that are not near children's play areas or schools.

Meals & Dietary Requests
Included meals are based on the restaurant's buffet or set menu. Beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although special diets like Vegetarian and Vegan are relatively commonplace in the USA, much of the world's menu options are more provincial. Please do not expect to find the variety of food selection outside of the local norm. Every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests selected no later than 5 days prior to departure in the passenger details section of your reservation. In addition, we recommend that you make preferences known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant. Special requests are subject to local conditions and availability and cannot be guaranteed.

Spain - Meal times in Spain are later than in many areas. Lunch is not served before 1:30 pm and dinner is not served until 9:00 pm. Some restaurants in the main tourist areas may open earlier. In Spanish culture it is considered bad manners to leave food uneaten, so take this into account when ordering. A waiter can explain portion sizes to help avoid this.

Holidays
On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants.

Holidays - Spain

Holidays 2024

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Epiphany
Feb 13: Carnival
Mar 29: Good Friday
Mar 31: Easter
May 1: Labor Day
May 30: Corpus Christi
Aug 15: Assumption of Mary
Oct 12: Spain Hispanic Day / Fiesta Nacional de Espana
Nov 1: All Saints' Day
Dec 6: Constitution Day
Dec 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec 25: Christmas Day

Holidays 2025

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Mar 3: Carnival
Apr 18: Good Friday
Apr 20: Easter
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 19: Corpus Christi
Jun 10: Portugal Day
Aug 15: Assumption of Mary
Oct 12: Republic Day
Nov 1: All Saints' Day
Dec 6: Constitution Day
Dec 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec 25: Christmas Day

Holidays - Portugal

Holidays 2024

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Epiphany
Mar 29: Good Friday
Mar 31: Easter
Apr 25: Liberation Day
May 1: Labor Day
May 30: Corpus Christi
Jun 10: Portugal Day
Aug 15: Assumption of Mary
Oct 5: Republic Day
Nov 1: All Saints' Day
Dec 1: Independence Restoration Day
Dec 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec 25: Christmas Day

Holidays 2025

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Mar 4: Carnival
Apr 18: Good Friday
Apr 20: Easter
Apr 25: Liberation Day
May 1: Labor Day
Jun 10: Portugal Day
Jun 19: Corpus Christi
Aug 15: Assumption of Mary
Oct 5: Republic Day
Nov 1: All Saints' Day
Dec 1: Independence Restoration Day
Dec 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Dec 25: Christmas Day

Holidays - France

Holidays 2024

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Mar 29: Good Friday
Mar 31: Easter
Apr 1: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day
May 8: WWII Victory Day
May 9: Ascension Day
May 19: Whit Sunday
May 20: Whit Monday
Jul 14: Bastille Day
Aug 15: Feast of the Assumption
Nov 1: All Saints' Day
Nov 11: Armistice Day
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: St. Stephen's Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

Holidays 2025

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Apr 18: Good Friday
Apr 20: Easter
Apr 21: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day
May 8: WWII Victory Day
May 29: Ascension Day
Jun 8: Whit Sunday
Jun 9: Whit Monday
Jul 14: Bastille Day
Aug 15: Feast of the Assumption
Nov 1: All Saints' Day
Nov 11: Armistice Day
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: St. Stephen's Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

8 Day Affordable Spain, January 2024
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Affordable Spain was great - first time of my now 54 G1 trips that I have taken the Affordable option (but really they all are!), but it was a winner - all the benefits and inclusions of a Classic tour just taken in the off-season, with fewer crowds and so great to escape the frigid NE winter with warmer temperatures for a week. A circle tour that starts and ends in the capital Madrid, which makes for easy flight connections. I have been to Spain several times, but loved revisiting places like Toledo and the Alhambra in Granada, without the high season hordes of people. And the one new place for me on this tour, Cordoba, I just loved - the Mezquita de Cordoba is amazing to see. A very well paced tour with a visit and walking tour of a major city or sight each day, and then also enough free time to be able to explore more and to find interesting places for lunch and dinner on days they are not included. The hotels were all excellent and well located, and rooms were spacious and modern - breakfasts were buffet style and delicious and plentiful and loved the added Spanish touches like hot chocolate and churros! Finally - our group of 31 was driven safely and courteously by the very personable Manuel and led with style and perfect organization by our tour manager Ana, who was lovely and helped make everything run flawlessly. Thanks as always and for me now a January Affordable trip will become a regular occurrence!

Lorraine P.
8 Day Affordable Portugal, January 2024
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This was my first complete vacation tour. It was amazing and Alex , our tour guide was beyond fantastic. We had a fabulous time, learned a lot and had tons of fun. The group was amazing and we felt safe, attended to and it could not have been a better experience. I have told many friends about this tour and that they should experience the same with Gate one. Please give Alex a huge thank you and if possible a huge bonus - he was the best person and tour guide I have ever experienced. He is a gem.

Allen R.
8 Day Affordable Portugal, December 2023
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This was my first Gate 1 trip and I didn't know what to expect. Our tour manager was fantastic (César) and our bus driver was very punctual and professional (Alex or Alejandro). César went out of his way to ensure the entire group was comfortable and got along well together. This was truly an outstanding first-time experience. Looking forward to future travel opportunities and will let others know about my wonderful trip because of Gate 1. The ability to add hotel days at the start and end of the trip were a huge bonus to explore the city independently.

Jennifer L.
13 Day Affordable Portugal & Spain, December 2023
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It was great! Our tour manager, Catia, was 5 star all the way. She was so knowledgeable and organized everything beautifully. The drivers and additional site guides were so fun and made the trip exceptional. All the hotels and meals were wonderful. I especially liked that the hotels were all so centrally located so walking was convenient. The "on our own time" was perfect. Thanks, and hope to go on another trip with Travel Zone again.

Barbara V.
10 Day Affordable Spain, November 2023
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I just wanted to sing the praises our tour manager and driver for my recent trip to Spain. I feel like I hit the jackpot with this dynamic duo. I know I'm misspelling their names, Ai-maya and Timo, but I just want to make sure they get credit for being so wonderful. Both have fantastic personalities that make you feel part of a family and not just part of a tour. I've taken quite a few group tours over the years (with Gate 1 and other companies) and this one is favorite because of all of their hard work ... so I want to make sure I recognize both for being so amazing. Cheers to these two ... and of course, beautiful Spain!

Lisa G.
13 Day Affordable Portugal & Spain, November 2023
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Estefania was the absolute best travel guide for our entire tour. She was organized, friendly, very knowledgeable and took EXCELLENT care of our group. We hand some schedule changes and she handled everything efficiently and smoothly. She added some "WOW" moments for our group (pastries, tapas and an aerial gondola ride down Montserrat) that made us feel special and very lucky indeed. We all became great friends and by the time the trip was over, it was hard to say goodbye to everyone, and most especially Estefi. She is just such a wonderful person and guide, we LOVED HER. Let me know what other tours she will be in charge of in the future and we will be sure to sign up. Gate1 Travel, you've got a rare diamond in Estefi!! She is nothing short of amazing!

Suzanne H.
8 Day Affordable Portugal, November 2023
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Optimo!! Very organized. The tour guide, Francisco, was excellent. Responsive to every inquiry and went above and beyond. Our driver, Ugo, was courteous, professional and extremely skilled driving in very narrow streets. Our guide in Porto, Marta, was very knowledgeable and friendly. Her passion for sharing her beautiful hometown with us came across as she pointed out landmarks and attractions. The optional tour of Sintra was great. A beautiful town of castles and spectacular scenery. The accommodations were very comfortable and convenient for exploring on our own. Above and beyond the sights and attractions we visited, surprises like our stop at the Christ the King statue and Ugo getting us natas in Belem, hot out of the oven, were special moments that enhanced my experience with Gate1. This was my first time in Europe and my first time talking a tour of any kind. At the recommendation of one of my sisters who has used Gate1, I looked into this trip. I am extremely satisfied with the experience and value that Gate1 provides. I would not hesitate to recommend Gate1 travel to friends and family.

Raymond C.
8 Day Affordable Portugal, November 2023
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just a quick note about our recent trip to Portugal. Carla was our tour guide and she was exceptional!! Her knowledge, communication, sense of humor and just caring about every traveler went way beyond! This is our 3rd trip with Gate1 ( we had always used other tour companies on previous trips, Viking, Grand Circle etc) but Gate1 far exceeds all these tour companies. We recommend to all our family and friends! Basically what sets you apart are your tour guides!! We can't wait for our next trip with Gate 1!!

Brenda T.
8 Day Affordable Portugal, November 2023
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We loved Portugal. Our guide, Adrianna, was so welcoming and very well versed in every aspect of the the history, politics, education and economics of Portugal. My husband and I love really learning about the places that we visit and Adrianna did a fantastic job of explaining the history and background of everything we viewed. We would also like to compliment, Vincent, our bus driver. Gate 1 seems to have a way of finding bus drivers who can make the buses bend around corners and operate like much smaller vehicles. This 8 day tour was more of an appetizer than a longer trip would have been. We went in 4 days early and stayed 2 days after the end. It allowed us to arrange a few more in depth tours of Lisbon and Porto. All in all we thing that we got a great deal of insight into Portugal. Both of us oved every minute of our trip.

Joan S.
8 Day Affordable Portugal, November 2023
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Our Portugal Gate 1 Tour was fantastic. Miquel was endearing, super organized, super knowledgeable, and super engaging. He kept the whole group upbeat and fascinated with Portugal, its history and culture, it's folkways and food. Miquel's "mojo" kept the rain away, too! That's why our Douro River cruise was so remarkable and memorable. Louie was a skillful bus driver. Portugal is beautiful and Miguel, as well as local guides in Lisbon and Porto, made its history come alive. This was a lovely, compatible, friendly group of fellow travelers, led and inspired by Miquel and that always makes a Gate 1 tour special.

Francine C.
13 Day Affordable Portugal & Spain, November 2023
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They were 13 unforgettable days, full of history and culture of the Iberian Peninsula. From Lisbon to Barcelona, every day was an experience and a journey through time. Portugal is beautiful and its people are friendly and hospitable. Spain is full of culture and history, with monuments, parks and museums that describe the passage of time. The landscapes, buildings, and places we visited transported us back in time, and everything was masterfully presented by each tour guide. Eva, Isabela, Monse, Juan, Egui and José, all of them, in an excellent and professional manner, presented relevant details of the facts and historical details of each area we visited. The performance of the tour manager, Daniel, was exceptional, and not forgetting the bus drivers, who diligently took us to different places and took care of us in safe manner. The hotels were in perfect locations, close to everything, easy access, and good quality service. I can't put into words how much we learned and fun we had, the places we visited, the people we met and shared, and the atmosphere we had. Everything was beautiful and exceeded all our expectations. We left Spain and Portugal, with a sweet taste in our mouths, and dreaming of returning, because Spain and Portugal are beautiful. Thank you Gate 1 and Daniel, for designing such a spectacular tour with high quality service.

Teresa C.
10 Day Classic Portugal, October 2023
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I want to tell you that Rui was one OUTSTANDING guide. He was friendly, knowledgeable, funny, passionate about his country and very professional. Communication was efficient & reinforced verbally & written with daily schedules. I just can't say enough about him! He made me love Portugal & want to return!

Patricia H.
15 Day Classic Spain & Portugal, October 2023
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Our trip to Portugal and Spain was beyond expectations. The architecture, history and scenery were spectacular. I am a Gaudi fan and was in awe of Sagrada Familia while in Barcelona. Our tour manager, Victor kept everything running smoothly and on time. He went out of his way to accommodate everyone and kept us laughing.

Paul R.
8 Day Portugal & Spain Vineyards, Palaces, Gardens & Ports Walking Tour, October 2023
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I want to say that the walking tour in Portugal/Spain was INCREDIBLE. It exceeded my expectations in every way, and was one of the most unique agency-run trips I've ever taken. The guides were so knowledgeable and full of positive energy. The activities were also unique -- tour of artist's studio, boat tour of the Camino de Santiago, etc. It rained the entire time and even that didn't detract from this amazing experience. I can see how this trip might not be right for a lot of the, say, typical Gate 1 consumers; I do hope that Gate 1 continues to offer more active/adventurous trips in the future, despite it not being the right fit for some of your clientele. I think this type of tour can attract a younger, more adventure-seeking crowd and I know? my same-age friends (40-somethings) will be interested in these types of trips.

Jennifer W.
8 Day Portugal & Spain Vineyards, Palaces, Gardens & Ports Walking Tour, October 2023
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This was our 11th Gate 1 trip, and I must say that it exceeded our expectations. Our first walking tour took us from Portugal to Santiago de Compostela and was an unforgettable journey filled with incredible sights and experiences. The guides, Rosana and Clara, were absolutely wonderful, offering insightful knowledge, genuine warmth, and unwavering support throughout the walking tour, which I also consider to also be a pilgrimage as we walked along some of the same paths as are walked by pilgrims doing El Camino Portuguese ending at the amazing Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Their passion for the route and dedication to ensuring everyone had a meaningful experience truly made the trip extraordinary. We encountered some bad weather along the way, but Rosana and Clara went the extra mile to ensure that we were safe and enjoyed our journey notwithstanding the weather. The breathtaking landscapes, the cultural immersion, and the camaraderie among fellow travelers made this walk/pilgrimage an enriching and soul-nourishing adventure. Thank you for an incredible journey of discovery and personal growth! We highly recommend this walking tour, and plan to do other walking tours with Gate 1 in the very near future.

Jose L.
8 Day Affordable Portugal, October 2023
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I wanted to acknowledge our tour manager Caetano. He went above and beyond, always went the extra step and gestures. He was the best at providing assistance, suggestions, solving challenges, finding answers and was truly interested in his passengers and their wellbeing. His English was superb and he was so funny!!! Coach driver Paulo was also outstanding, polite, funny and very professional. They made us all feel comfortable, safe and that we got our money's worth. Actually I feel I more than did. I would so recommend this tour, although it should be mentioned that walking, hills and steps can be an issue for some. This was probably my favorite tour so far.

Flavia M.
8 Day Affordable Spain, October 2023
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I want to express my sincere gratitude for the best experience of my life! Carmen our tour guide was a wealth of knowledge and made our trip an absolute joy. She has the charisma and detail oriented attitude that made our trip so enjoyable the time flew and we were sad to part ways!! Jose our driver was also a wonderful host and we appreciate so much his patience and willingness to accommodate our every whim! We will be looking to book another trip soon with carmen as our guide! We made wonderful friendships you can't find a better tour guide in the world. Thank you!

Rosaisela R.
16 Day Iberia, October 2023
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Our trip thru Spain and Portugal was outstanding. We started in Madrid, traveled west to Portugal. Visited Porto then headed south to see the Miracle of Fatima and continued to Lisbon while stopping to see other places as we traveled. We traveled back to Spain and visited Granada, Seville, Valencia, and Barcelona among other places. Both countries were filled with interesting places and the city guides did a great job. Our primary tour manager Cesar was excellent and it was obvious he was an experienced travel guide as he handled any concerns or issues with professional courtesy while offering a reasonable resolution to the situation. During the bus rides the information he offered on each country and places we visited was comprehensive. His command of the English language allowed him to make nuance and colloquial references that resonated very well with the group. Many of the members of our group were bi-lingual and he was able to converse with them in Spanish if necessary. His humor was the highlight of his way of managing the group and presenting information. Hats off to Cesar he is a wonderful ambassador for Gate 1 and for the countries of Spain and Portugal.

Edward O.
8 Day Affordable Portugal, October 2023
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The itinerary of 8 Day Affordable Portugal is well designed. It covers the essential cities and places in a short time. I have done the 10 day Classic Portugal before and it is also a gem. Our tour manager Francisco was outstanding in managing the trip and providing in depth analysis. His passion for Portugal was very evident. He planned a surprised side trip for us which made the trip even more memorable. We came away with an appreciation of all things: the history, the beauty, the culture, the language, and most of all, the wine and the food. I would recommend this trip to anyone who is interested seeing Portugal. I could not accomplish seeing all these if I was doing on my own in 8 or 10 days.

Helen C.
11 Day Douro River Cruise with Lisbon, October 2023
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Let me start with the forecast of rain all week. Thought I could stay home as I had insurance. What a silly thought! Sonia, the cruise director, made sure we all had a good time. Loved that she announced "dear passengers of the Douro Cruiser;" made me feel special and part of the family. Her chant of We Choose to be Happy, helped get that positive spirit going. And then, she was excellent in all she did! She loved her boat and the crew. The river was high and Captain Jesus made sure we were all safe. All the other crew members did their jobs and made us welcome. The passengers on the boat banded together with the positive spirit to ensure a good time. Best trip!

Kathleen S.
10 Day Classic Portugal, October 2023
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The most amazing of ALL my 30+ Gate One trips! Guide was very informative and itinerary was well designed to see Portugal! Hotels were excellent and location perfect!

Charles L.
8 Day Portugal & Spain Vineyards, Palaces, Gardens & Ports Walking Tour, October 2023
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THIS TRIP WAS FANTASTIC! I LOVED ALL THE HOTELS! THE MEALS WERE GREAT ALFONSO WAS BY FAR A GREAT GUIDE! THE WALKING THRU THE COUNTRYSIDE AND THRU THE VINEYARDS WAS WONDERFUL. MY TRANSFERS WERE RIGHT ON TIME!! IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY SO I WAS SERENADED IN SPANISH AND PORTUGEESE TO 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY' OUR PLAN B ON THE ONE DAY IT RAINED VERY HARD..CLARA ARRANGED FOR US A TRAIN RIDE AROUND THE ISLAND! THAT WAS FUN! THIS WAS MY '47' TRIP WITH GATE 1 AND THEY JUST KEEP GETTING BETTER!! AND I HAVE 9 MORE BOOKED!!!!

Linda G.
11 Day Crown of Spain, October 2023
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I am a travel agent and have traveled to over 40+ countries and have had many tour guides throughout my years. But I was VERY IMPRESSED with Jaoquin! He is one of the best I have ever had! I want to let Gate 1 know that he is top notch and I hope he is being well taken care of. Not only is he personal, and knows English very well, but was so willing to help everyone in our group with anything they needed. He would even go above and beyond the normal protocol to help us! He is super impressive! I am excited to bring more groups to Gate 1! Thanks!

Thomas E.
10 Day Classic Portugal, October 2023
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I have the most amazing trip. Portugal was a beautiful country. It was very interesting. I've learned so much about their culture and all those gorgeous churches that we visited. The walking was so good. I've never done a vacation like that before. I'll put it this way I had a trip of a lifetime specially, being with my sister,Brother in law And my husband of course. The group that we were in with the most amazing group we got along so well, and makes the trip so much smoother. We have the most amazing nicest. Patient kind wonderful Tour guide her name was a Odeth, she took us to the most wonderful places. Recommended a lot of beautiful restaurants and she spoil us. I'm planning for my next trip with Gate 1 Again, thank you for the wonderful experience. I couldn't tell you enough how wonderful it was.

Cecil M.
8 Day Art Cities of Spain, October 2023
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We had a fantastic trip and I must say that our tour leader, Aline, was a delight. I call her "the Amazing Aline"! She gave us so much history and shared all her knowledge of the area and the beautiful buildings, architecture, culture, agriculture while also managing all 38 of us which was no easy task, especially with all of the other crowds of tourists. I likened it to "herding cats". We had marvelous experiences with her. Our group was especially cohesive and we have kept in touch after the tour ended. I don't know how she had the time to keep us so organized, but she did, and with great humor and patience. She even provided us with a lovely snack when she was aware that we would have little time for an actual lunch stop, and even after reminding us that we should pick up our own snacks for this portion of the trip. It was a tasty treat of local foods. On those occasions when we were on our own for lunch or dinner, Aline gave us very good suggestions of where to find good restaurants - there were so many good establishments close to our hotels. Our bus driver, Jose, was an excellent driver. Between Jose and Aline they must have been in very close communications because he was always exactly where he needed to be to pick us up. Thank you, Gate 1, for one more excellent and memorable vacation!

Grace M.
10 Day Classic Portugal, October 2023
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I want to let you know what a fabulous tour trip which my wife and I had in Portugal with Gate 1. I believe that this was our fifth tour with Gate 1 and it did not disappoint. The tour gave us a comprehensive view of this beautiful country, both cities and regional towns. Our trips through the countryside also provided us with a closeup look at the geography of Portugal. Our fellow travelers began as strangers and emerged as friends -in-travel. This entire experience did not happen by accident. Our tour guide, Rui, was the magician who transformed us into La Familia, as he called us. Besides having an encyclopedic knowledge of his country, its history and its people, Rui was a master of human relations who seemed to meet the needs of all of us. We truly admired his seamless skills. Thank you for a wonderful life- experience and thank you for letting us travel with Rui. We (and you) are lucky to have met him!

Loretta M.

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