Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

We were hesitant to use a planner for our trip to Spain for the first time because we were leery of the cost. After our initial zoom meeting with Pablo, we felt reassured by his connections and relationships with local businesses, which in turn actually resulted in some discounts. There is no way we could have come close to duplicating the same experience simply from lack of knowledge. I can’t imagine the time we would have needed to invest researching and probably would still not have come close. The itinerary was very clear about what steps to follow, private car services were so convenient and although we probably could have managed taking taxis and the subway, there was zero stress involved.

I would absolutely recommend Pablo — we had a magnificent time in Barcelona and Madrid. One of our favorite things was a paella-making class with Chef Josh, also our day trips to Toledo. There wasn’t a single activity that I would not recommend or would have removed from our itinerary. We had a very minor issue that involved contacting Pablo with a question and he immediately responded. His expertise was highly appreciated and I would absolutely recommend his planning services.

We just returned from a trip to Barcelona, Spain from March 17-21, 2024. Pablo was FANTASTIC to work with in planning our trip. He helped with all aspects of our trip, including dinner reservations ranging from 3 people at a high-end restaurant, 6 people at a mid-range restaurant and a reasonable restaurant for 10+ diners. I was able to easily reach Pablo while I was in Spain when I had questions. Pablo was also able to accommodate us when my son jumped into our plans at the last minute. Mateo was our guide for a Tapas Food Tour and also for a day outing to Montserrat. He was GREAT! I would highly recommend requesting Mateo to be your guide. Matteo graciously offered to be a resource for our son (who is studying in Barcelona) once my husband and I left the country! We would insist on having Matteo as our guide when we return to Barcelona!

Pablo did a lovely job of arranging fantastic experiences for my husband and me in Barcelona and San Sebastian. Our guides were wonderful — so personable, kind, and professional. We particularly loved our time with Eli in San Sebastian tasting pintxos and txakoli, and exploring the coast. It felt like spending time with an old friend. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the Madrid portion of our trip — which included our WOW Moment :( — due to airline strikes, but Pablo and his team worked quickly to help us adjust our plans, offering full refunds, and even making a valiant effort to try and pull together a WOW Moment for us with less than 24 hrs’ notice in San Sebastian.

Photo of travelers Ann Wilkinson and her husband in Serralves Foundation in Porto.

Ann Wilkinson and Wayne Amedee at the Serralves Foundation in Porto.

We had a wonderful trip to Spain and Portugal, 3 weeks in late September into October, thanks to Pablo Calvo and his colleague Catarina. Pablo engaged us promptly and was very responsive through the planning and the trip itself.

Right off the bat, I want to acknowledge Wendy’s oft-repeated mantra. Having the right fixer for the unexpected is invaluable. On my first day of the trip, I had a dental emergency. I asked Pablo for help in finding a dentist. Within a few minutes, he had made an appointment for me with a reputable clinic in Barcelona. Everything was in order and my situation was resolved!

Our hotels in Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastián, Porto and Lisbon were top tier. The guides and drivers in various locations were exceptional. We made day trips to Toledo, Figueres, Basque Country (both in Spain and France), Bilbao, Sintra. We loved visits to palaces and art museums, particularly enjoyed gardens and sculpture of the Serralves Foundation in Porto, thrilled with Gaudi architecture in Barcelona. Visiting the Guggenheim in Bilbao was a treat. We took a “urban street art” tour and visited many contemporary art museums, our area of interest. We also loved the Fado performance in Lisbon as well as a Jorge Palma concert at the Casa da Musica in Porto. Needless to say, the food was divine everywhere we went.

An exceptional day was a visit to a family-owned Iberian pig farm in the Basque Highlands. The family was delightful. The farm was beautiful and we were treated to the many types of pork products produced by the farm. The owners were 13th generation of the family on this land, literally spanning hundreds of years. Amazing.

A rare disappointment was our hotel in Marialva in the Douro Valley. Though highly recommended, the hotel was understaffed and poorly maintained.

We so looked forward to our WOW Moment, scheduled for the last day of the trip. However because it was an outdoor activity and there was a terrible storm that day, the WOW Moment was cancelled.

I was particularly grateful for the very efficient 24/7 line that we could call or text. That staff was very responsive and took care of issues like changing dinner reservations, adjusting pick-up times, sending us duplicate digital tickets to some venues which required tickets. They were terrific!

A couple of hiccups but, all considered, a marvelous trip.

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