Questions about this trip

I am postponing my trip to Egypt based on when multiple news reports have said Egypt will get the vaccines. I am now looking at Spain because of when the EU will get vaccines. I have a few questions about this trip.

In Sintra is there time to goto Pena Palace? It says people goto the National Palace and have free time. Pena Palace is more famous so I am wondering if there is enough free time to go there. How much time do we have in Gibralter? Is there time to go in the Michael's Cave and the WW2 tunnels? Those are the main sights in Gibralter. In Seville do we goto Jerez? A horse show is mentioned. Jerez is the most famous city in that area for horse shows so I am wondering if people goto Jerez.


  • Sorry to sidetrack your thread, Spencer, but would you mind posing what you've read about Egypt?

  • edited December 2020

    Which trip Spencer? There is a land tour and a boat tour. We did the boat tour and the horses were in Andalucia. I’ve been to Jerez and it is not far away, but I don’t know that anyone went there, and I don’t remember that there was sufficient time to do that as a side trip. We did tunnel our way through Gibraltar. Lots of monkeys.

  • edited December 2020

    Hi Sealord. Sorry for not being more clear. I am referring to the land tour. I knew nothing about Gibralter so after seeing it on the itinerary I looked it up and saw that there are siege tunnels, WW2 tunnels and the cave. Since those are the main attractions, I am wondering if the free time includes enough time to see them.

    BKMD, I did not save the links about Egypt. The gist of what I read is that South Africa's leaders admit they will be lucky if they get the vaccine in 2021 and Egypt will get some doses in May and not before then. Other websites expanded on that and said that the quantity Egypt gets in May will be less than the quantities given to wealthier countries prior to then and less than the amount wealthier countries receive in May. Much less. I am sure that overtime every country will receive what they need but I prefer to goto a country like Spain since it will receive the doses it needs before Egypt.

  • spencerwhittier - We did the Spain and Portugal land tour in 2014. In our tour there was no 'free' time to visit the siege tunnels or WW2 tunnels in Gibralter. The Gibraltar itinerary was all scheduled. We did visit Jerez, tour stables, grounds, and see a horse show during the visit (as well as a sherry winery). That said the tour itinerary isn't the same as it was in 2014.

  • edited December 2020

    No, you can't see the Pena Palace. There is free time in Sintra (maybe an hour or a little more), but the Pena Palace is quite a ways from the town and the adjacent National Palace of Sintra. There is no way you could get to the Pena Palace, see it, and get back to the bus, even if you took a taxi and had him wait with the meter running). The Pena is on a hilltop behind the hill that's above the town. I suspect the tour doesn't go there because of a lack of bus access. Access to the town and the National Palace was hard enough for the bus - quick drop off and pickup.

    The itinerary changed this year (not for the better IMHO). Last year the tour went to Jerez on the way to Gibraltar (horse training and Sandeman sherry bodega for lunch). This year you get free time in Gibraltar, which we didn't have in 2019. Our Gibraltar experience consisted of a drive around the peninsula and a visit to the natural caves that are open as a tourist trap. Unclear what the experience will be with the new itinerary. I note that you don't get lunch on the new itinerary, so part of your free time on Gibraltar is clearly intended for you to get lunch on your own.

  • Ken and Smiling Sam, based on your comments, the current tour does not appear to be as good as it was when you both took the trip. Is there a different company and/or different tour that you suggest?

  • Whatever you do, don’t go with OAT

  • British thanks for the heads up. What were some thing that you didn't like about OAT?

  • You might look at Abercrombie & Kent. We almost went with them, but changed to Tauck when A&K upped their prices 20%. They are small group luxury, but pricey. Their tour includes Barcelona, which we ended up doing on our own after the Tauck tour.

  • On my Tauck China trip a few years ago, we kept running into an A&K group, including on the 4 day Yangtze cruise. Their trip was virtually identical to ours for roughly 50% more. I believe their group was about 18. That was the main difference, and there are a number of threads on the pros and cons of small group vs large group tours.

  • Take a look at Tauck’s small ship option. We thoroughly explored Gibraltar, and the itinerary has two days in Barcelona. I would recommend Spring or Fall, however, cuz the summer is ‘hot’. They do the trip on the Wind Surf which is actually our favorite ship. It carries a little more than three hundred people ... not all Tauck.

  • OAT. Several are often in the back of beyond, their insurance is more than double that of a Tauck. Day one of their tour begins when you leave home, bot when the tour begins. Not all the itineraries are included, you have to pay for some. Worst of all, since the Pandemic they hive been treating their customers terribly, refusing to return fully paid up tour’money when they cancelled. If you look them up right now on the BBB there are over 600 complaints in the last three years, most this year. Tauck has 4. I would never travel with them again for even more reasons.

  • Regarding A and K, we also encounter them on our China tour on the ship part of the tour. They did not carry on to Hong Kong like we did. We had 24 on our tour, not much difference for such a big price. Also ran into a A and K group on our K and T tour last year.
    Spain. ..when I was in Madrid a couple of years ago, I bumped into a Tauck group while I was visiting the Prado.

  • edited December 2020

    Joycesw was supposed to go to Jordan & Egypt when her trip was cancelled in 2013 due to the the Arab Spring unrest. She got tired of waiting for Tauck to start up again so went with A&K in Sept 2019 (that was her last trip :'( ) They paid a competitive price, but I believe it was a special deal because it was at the end of Aug/early Sept when it was REALLY HOT!!! there. Actually Jordan was a separate A&K extension trip offered that merged into the Egypt trip. It was a similar but different itinerary. After seeing Petra Instead of flying from Aqaba to Aswan on a charter like Tauck, they returned to Amman and flew commercial to Cairo, spent a day or two there, then flew commercial to Aswan. They cruised to Luxor then flew to Cairo for another day or so. She said they were quite comparable to Tauck- food, lodging, management, and TDs, but again during normal times it would probably cost a bit more than Tauck.

  • kfnknfzk -

    If you are fortunate to have Patricia H. as your director, you are in for a real treat.
    By far the best due to her compassion, knowledge, fluency and remarkable sense of humor.

    Not to mention her smile.

    Also on our tour Patricia did her own flamenco rendition at the start of a long bus segment.

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