We are just back from an extraordinary two weeks in Greece, thanks to Jacoline and all her planning. Without a doubt, we could not have planned this on our own.
To begin with, all 4 of the hotels selected for us were spectacular, unique in their own ways and specific to the locations. Perviolas on Santorini was one of the most exquisite properties we have ever stayed at. The guides that Jacoline found for us in Athens, Crete and Santorini were terrific, each one sharing with us insights and perspectives we otherwise would never have discovered. Biking around ancient ruins in Athens, a walking, back street, food tour also in Athens and a vineyard tour in Crete will each stay with us forever. We also followed several of her recommendations for special experiences, perhaps the highlights of which were the morning and lunch we had with a master bee keeper in the mountains of Crete and the stunning drive through a gorge on Crete to an amazing slow food taverna called Dounias. We also loved our daylong private sail off Chania.
There were a few hiccups worth mentioning. When we checked into the Grande Bretagne in Athens, having been promised a room with a view of the Acropolis, we were disappointed to find that the room was on the third floor with a barely-visable view of the Acropolis. The hotel accomodated our request for a change and put us on a top floor with a true, open view of the Acropolis. When we arrived at the airport in Crete at 8pm, we went to the Herz counter to retrieve our rental car but they didn’t have a reseravation for us. Bruce has elite status with Herz so they were able to find us a car after a 1 hour wait. We later learned from Jacoline’s team that the confirmation they sent us should have been for Enterprise.
But not withstanding the glitches, we would highly recommend Jacoline for anyone traveling to Greece. Our trip was multi-faceted and rich with experiences, we continue to pour over our photographs and tell our stories to any who will listen! We imagine we will be telling them for ever.
Thank you Wendy — we could not have done this without Jacoline, which means we could not have done this without you.
All we have to do now, is plan our next WOW trip.
Jacoline (& Evan) arranged the perfect itinerary for our first trip to Greece. The trip was perfectly paced in terms of allowing us time to relax and unwind as well as to enjoy all the culture and history that Greece has to offer. We were very specific about wanting to avoid major tourist spots and Jacoline recommended the perfect places & time for us to visit while not missing out on some amazing historical sites. All the recommendations from the hotels to the restaurants & every local guide were absolutely perfect. Jacoline is also very detailed in her feedback on the hotels so you know exactly what to expect. The time and consideration that went into listening to what we wanted to do on our trip and then providing lots of options for us to consider was really appreciated. Jacoline creates a very bespoke itinerary and if you listen to her recommendations you won’t be disappointed! We would highly recommend Jacoline and Evan for any trip planning. You could tell every booking was double checked and we had the best tables at the restaurants, great rooms and amazing guides.
Travel specialist Jacoline was available and responsive throughout our planning and trip. Her suggestions regarding where and when to visit allowed us to minimize crowds while seeing the iconic places we desired. The accommodations she suggested were top-notch and the expert guides she found were universally terrific.
Jacoline was flexible as my family underwent many changes during trip planning – she understands the difficult nature of coordinating schedule for a far-flung group of adults.
Jacoline is a superb travel planner, and we benefited greatly from all the work we did together and that she and her staff did on our behalf to come up with a full, responsive itinerary for our three-plus-week land tour of Greece before and after our charter boat sail through the Cyclades Islands in the Aegean Sea. She even provided many recommendations for restaurants and islands along the way. She provided an excellent custom guide (piglet) for our trip, several books on current affairs in Greece, a map of the Cyclades Islands, and more. Our WOW Moment was just that, a greatly appreciated respite from the travel. Our first time in a spa, and our first time having a couples massage together. When Loukas, our driver picked us up from Euphoria Retreat, he said our faces looked very different. Yes, we felt so relaxed and rejuvenated. Thanks, Wendy.
Jacoline and Evan were great. They were constantly in contact and adapting our itinerary to make it fit our needs. I would use them again in a heartbeat!
Jacoline arranged a great electric bike tour of Athens that got us to see everything very efficiently. We also had an AMAZING underground food tour that was so fantastic and took us to the small shops in the city where we wouldn’t have gone otherwise.
I was also 6.5 months pregnant during the trip and she made sure that all of our accommodations/activities were pregnancy safe/approved.
My trip was excellent. Jacoline was spot on with her recommendations in accommodations and restaurants. She’s flexible, very responsive and easy to work with. She will build you the trip you are looking for—within a very exclusive or more modest budget. We had very exclusive accommodations in terms of privacy and service—a property that was close but with a feeling of remoteness, plus a wine tour of Santorini, and a Private dinner recommendation at the Vasilicos Santorini.
Jacoline was a great partner in helping to plan our 10th anniversary trip to Greece. She took the time to listen to our travel preferences and recommended hotels, restaurants, and experiences that matched those preferences. She also made some great suggestions (a ceramics workshop, an e-bike trip, and lunch at Peskesi) that we wouldn’t have considered. We had a relaxing time away from the crowds in Santorini and spent a magical five days in Crete. Our final evening spent dining with a view of the Parthenon. One of our best trips together!
Our family trip to Greece was filled with high expectations as we wanted to experience as much of the country (food, culture, nature, history) as possible within 12 days. Another challenge was finding the right mix of activity and adventure for our adult children (30-35 years old) but suitable for us older adults (65-75). Jacoline Vinke did an amazing job crafting a customized trip which included everything we wanted and MORE!
We started in Athens with a customized tour of the Acropolis and a bike adventure through the more picturesque neighborhoods with a special stop at Panathenaic Stadium for my daughter (a marathoner) to take a victory lap.
From Athens to Santorini, with a stay at the fabulous Aria Suites boutique hotel. We would never have found this place! The staff was so accommodating and genuine! A special private kayaking adventure to explore the beautiful volcanic beaches and a sunset cruise were the highlights (along with the food and hospitality). Oh, and a winery tour where we saw vines that were over 300 years old (unheard of here in the U.S.)
Next to Crete (to Rethymno): What a beautiful setting Jacoline hand picked for us. (I think this was our favorite of all hotels along the way). From this historic property, we explored monasteries, natural treasures, and of course the wonderful Cretan food and people via ebike tours and foodie tours led by the most personable and knowledgeable guides.
From Rethymno to Chania via car: An amazing ending to the perfect trip. Our hotel was the highlight as it overlooked the port city activity but was intimate and personal. (The staff were amazing)!
Jacoline and her staff assistance at Trufflepig could not have been more accommodating to our needs but most importantly they took a truly creative approach to craft a perfect vacation for our family.
Jacoline and her staff did a great job arranging an amazing trip to Santorini, Athens, and Amsterdam for us in celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary. During the planning stages of our trip, Jacoline provided us with very detailed questions and options to help plan the perfect trip in relation to budget, lodging and what we specifically wanted to do/see. Based on our answers, she was able to come up with an itinerary that was right up our alley and that had everything we needed done for us. I like to plan vacations sometimes too, but having an expert just take the reigns…allows you to relax and feel as though everything is just “taken care of”…it was really a treat and a trip we will never forget! Thank you Jacoline!
Wow is the right word. I am a travel junkie, but nothing I have done approaches the quality of experience we had in Greece with Jacoline. The best itinerary ever, and the best agency we’ve dealt with, and we’ve had some pretty good ones. Blows all others out of the water by a lot.
I cannot discern whether she is that perceptive in understanding our wants or needs, or whether we happen to have extremely similar travel values, but her itinerary exactly fit our desires and hopes. It was incredibly detailed and thoughtfully planned around everything – the weather, the crowds, a balanced mix of culture, history, activity, and downtime, and everywhere incredible food. Almost every local expressed admiration for the trip she planned for us – an international, well-traveled Greek family started asking us for tips.
I don’t want to spill any secrets, but here are a few examples:
When we were in Mycenae, with an incredible guide talking about how the area merges history and myth, I couldn’t stop wondering how such a fascinating historic site could be so quiet; only a handful of people were there. Then as we were leaving I saw a wall of humanity coming towards us, and I looked up to see the phalanx of parked buses: Our tour was timed to end just before the bus tours began.
Jacqueline’s itinerary took us off the beaten path. We did not encounter a single other American tourist the entire time we were there. We laughed with locals, danced in a square, celebrated during village celebrations, cooked with a grandma. We are active folks and loved swimming to caves, snorkeling over ruins, kayaking, and hiking. We left with a much greater appreciation of Greece’s culture and its people. And the food! We have been fortunate enough to eat at well-known restaurants in many countries, and we could not have been more impressed with the many places Jacqueline suggested. The cherry tomato I had on the grandmother’s porch will stay with me forever.
On our way back to the airport Jacoline recommended a restaurant on the way and booked a table for us. One dish, in particular, was as good, or better, than what I’ve had at some of the best restaurants in the world. The owner showered us with attention. An incredible experience, and one that could have only happened because of Jacoline. We are now forever spoiled. Thank you!