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Spain, Portugal, France & Italy private tours since 1996
Read what our clients say…
We love to hear our guests’ feedback on their private food, wine & cultural tours with us and want you to hear too! True tour reviews from real people with great photos! Over our 25 years in business we’ve been lucky enough to create many memorable private tours for our guests. We work hard to plan, prepare and produce wonderful tour itineraries to meet and exceed expectations. Don’t just take our word for it though; see what our guests have generously shared with us about their Gourmand Breaks experience.
We take great pride in what we do and enjoy the relationships that we build with our clients, so we are delighted to share with you true reviews from real people and with great photos! We would love to welcome you on a Gourmand Breaks tour, be it in Spain, Portugal, France or Italy, and we hope to see you here soon!
”Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” Ibn Battuta
KIRBY & DANNE’ HOULE
Now that we have returned home and had a chance to reflect on our trip, we felt we had to let you know how happy we were with all aspects of your service. Both the Portugal and Spain itineraries organized by Gourmand Breaks (with the cruise inserted in the middle) can only be described as superb. From our email exchanges while planning the trip, you were somehow able to plan the perfect itinerary to suit us.
The days seemed to proceed effortlessly on our part and we had full opportunity to enjoy the daily planned activities, food and wine without any worries…The tour guides and drivers were knowledgeable, engaging and flexible to accommodate us.
Your knowledge of the areas we visited provided superior accommodation, excellent cuisine, intimate tours and access that we would not have been able to arrange on our own.In summary this was an outstanding trip and we give full credit to Gourmand Breaks for helping us experience Spain and Portugal. We now need to find some more locations to visit in the areas you service!
BRIAN & JOANNA MACDONALD+ GERRY SADVARI & ANNE MARIE BONKALO
Brian & Joanna MacDonald: We had an absolutely stress free experience on our tour. Based upon the way you had communicated with us in the months of preparation, we had confidence that everything would run smoothly, and in fact id did! We loved our guides, the accommodations you selected for us, and the tours we had. That you cared enough to meet with us during one of the tours said everything about how we were treated. Best wishes and thanks for what you did for us!
Gerry Sadvari & Anne Marie Bonkalo: We had a perfectly wonderful time in Spain thanks to you and your fabulous guides. The food, wine, cooking lessons and drives were all unforgettable. Every guide was kind,knowledgeable and patient. I cannot think of a single thing I would have changed to make it better. The (cooking) lesson and meal in Seville and Barcelona were highlights among a plethora of memorable occasions. Thank you once again.
We had a fabulous eleven days in Spain thanks to Gourmand Breaks. It was the trip of a lifetime for us. They did an amazing job putting together a perfect itinerary. We worked closely with Ursula, Joanne and their team for several months leading up to our departure. We had many questions and suggestions and she was always incredibly responsive to our emails and answered with great detail.
All of our private guides were excellent, engaging and knowledgeable, and all of the detailed planning made it a worry free trip. In addition it was very convenient to have the personalized itinerary that they created for us online accessible to us that had all the details of our trip and numerous restaurant suggestions in each town.
In addition, they were there for us if we needed anything throughout the trip. We had an unexpected train delay on a Sunday and Ursula was able to rearrange the timing for the guide meeting us so that we did not miss out on any of the sightseeing we had planned.
We had a truly unforgettable experience. And we hope to be able to plan another trip with Gourmand Breaks in the future.
Just wanted to thank you, and all at Gourmand Breaks, for our excellent vacation over the last two weeks. Every aspect of it was great; we only wish we had more time at each place to explore more.
Our accommodations were always well situated and nicely appointed. Our guides were always very knowledgeable and pleasant to work with. The itinerary was super – we so enjoyed the stops recommended and arranged by Gourmand Breaks; we were particularly delighted with the Iberico Ham farm visit and the fado performance because they were both unexpectedly (to us) delightful. Planned meals were always good; we certainly learned to love tapas, but also found the restaurants to be excellent.
We truly enjoyed the entire experience. I feel like we barely scratched the surface, nor did we experience Port drinking fully. So this means we will need to go back to Portugal.
I want to thank you and Ursula for creating a most memorable holiday for us. The pace of it, the guides, the food, the wine, and the hotels were wonderful. The personalized attention in both planning and execution sets Gourmand Breaks apart. You create unforgettable experiences that many visitors do not have. The care in selecting a good Fado restaurant, for example, meant a great deal to us. And we enjoyed planning our independent days after the excellent grounding of our guides.
If you ever wonder if what you do makes a difference, please have no doubts. Thank you again!
After a reflective week or so, we´d like to share a few thoughts about our Gourmand Breaks journey through Spain. Top line: We loved it! Barcelona was a great place to begin. Our guide gave us a real understanding of Catalonia as well as a wonderful tour of the Sagrada Famillia – the first of many marvels we saw on our trip.
Granada was delightful. Our expert guide maneuvered us gracefully through the crowds and took us on a memorable and knowledgeable tour of the Alhambra – the second marvel of our trip. We loved the hotel in Seville. Our guide, Paloma, was terrific. Her tour of the cathedral was excellent and we had such a good time with her afterwards. We loved the flamenco show and the manager made us feel welcome when he sought us out at the end of the performance to thank us for coming. And, of course, the scent of orange blossoms lingers in our memory. Elena, our guide in Cordoba, was very good and clearly at home. Strolling through the old town with her made us feel like locals, as she knew many folks along the way. Her knowledge of the Mezquita was extraordinary and her commentary greatly enhanced our visit to this magnificent sight – the third marvel of our trip.
And then came Madrid. The many neighborhoods, museums, the vitality, Retiro Park and the oh-so-friendly people won us over. The Prado art collection was yet another marvel and Olga´s insight was impressive. We loved tapas-hopping with her afterwards and were particularly pleased with the places she picked. We loved our guide in Toledo. His English was excellent and he knew the city so well. After our tour, he took us to a small but terrific local restaurant where we had a lunch menu for twelve euros, including a glass of wine! Segovia was a great side trip, too. We arrived early enough to have a quick visit of the cathedral and to marvel at the Roman aqueduct. We wandered through the old town, visited the Alcazar and even went through a local history museum. But the highlight was lunch at José Maria where we had the famous ´cochinillo´ What a treat!
Then came San Sebastian. Wow! … a perfect ending. We loved the hotel and the view from our room was mesmerizing. Once again, our guide was delightful, helping us appreciate the city´s history and taking us to just the right places. Then we had a spectacular pinchos- hopping jaunt with her that was a lot of fun. Bilbao was another memorable day trip. A great driver in his very comfortable car took us to the market downtown and drove us around a bit before dropping us off at the museum. The building is fantastic – another marvel! And thanks again for our lunch at Nerua ¦ one of the best meals we had on the trip. The driver took us back to San Sebastian via the coast, stopping for a few minutes to let us have a look at the port in Getaria. It was a beautiful drive. We have to thank you.
From beginning to end, our journey was very well-paced, encompassing and exciting on so many levels. In general, we loved traveling by fast train – and getting a feel for the topography of Spain along the way. The car and driver parts of our journey were top-notch and so comfortable. The guides were spot-on. Thank you for all your efforts on our behalf.
BURNIE BRIDGE & JOHN SELBO
John and I will be returning home early tomorrow and before we leave I wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed the services that Gourmand Breaks provided throughout our trip. Each of the three guides were very good: knowledgeable, flexible, genuine and personable, each in her own way. They added so much to enrich our stay.
The lunch you arranged for us in Salamanca was very enjoyable. I finally had the clams I had been wanting to try and they were delicious. The winery tour and lunch yesterday were of course absolutely delightful and the setting could not have been more spectacular. It was perfect! We also loved the tapas, the museum visits, the art gallery stops, and the city tours along the way. The wheelchair service worked quite well for me; even when I didn’t need it, it was good to know it was available.
Ursula, thank you again for your care and kindness in assisting us with what has been a most enjoyable vacation. The Douro river valley is unbelievably beautiful and we are returning home with many lovely memories. I expect that there will be a next time! We are already thinking about where we might go.
CHRISTINE PARRIS & ALEX SZMAN
The holiday you arranged for us was absolutely fabulous – the guides were two very informative, interesting and entertaining ladies. Our chauffeur was always on time, the car spotless and he too was entertaining and full of information. The food and wine at both restaurants was beyond belief – we were very disappointed to not taste the last chicken dish at one because we had eaten too much of the preceding delicious dishes and wanted room for the scrumptious desert! We loved the terrace at Casamar, the innovative food, the well chosen wine and the service which could not be faulted – I also love telling people back home that we actually ate a Gin & Tonic for dessert!
The wonderful food tastings along our travels were also well chosen and a lot of fun – we especially loved the wonderful Scottish lady and her delicious cheeses! The hotel in the Costa Brava was ideally placed – the setting spectacular! and the lovely beach below which we took advantage of on our free day. We fell in love with Llafranc and would very much love to revisit that area again – we would love to have Gourmand Breaks arrange another holiday for us in the near future – and will certainly recommend you to anyone thinking of a gourmet food and wine experience in the areas you specialise in.
Once again, thank you so much for your prompt replies and attending to all my itinerary revisions.
JOHN & DEBORAH QUINNEY
Just a quick note to say thanks very much for organising another fantastic holiday for us in Spain & Portugal. We are very happy and have many new wonderful memories. It was also good to see Miguel again – he looked after us very well and added to our experience significantly.
Bye for now. If / when we are heading back this way we will be back in contact with you and Gourmand Breaks. Thanks again!
I have finally been able to sit down and catch my breath since we have been home. I wanted to let you know that we had a wonderful time while were in Spain and Portugal. Everything that you planned for us was top notch and we could not have been happier.
All of your guides and drivers were everything that one would love to tour around with. It was so nice that you were checking in with us to see how we were making out and fixing anything that need to be taken care of. This was truly our most enjoyable vacation to date.
Thank you so much for putting this vacation together for us and letting us experience a truly remarkable time. I´m sure in the future we will be getting in touch with you to plan another vacation. Cheers!
CATH GLOVER & GERARD DYSON
Thank you for all your efforts in making our trip a memorable one. You have a great set up at your company and I feel as though I would always like to do trips in this way. We definitely wouldn´t have had as good a time without yourself and the guides along the way. It breaks up that alone time and they know all the secret places to visit with ease and the language barrier! It has been a wonderful mix of food, wine and history.
Would have no hesitation in recommending Gourmand Breaks to friends travelling in the future to Spain. Great memories and wonderful vacation.
MARGARET & PHIL ROETERDINK
Well, we´ve been back home now for about 2 weeks, and our Spain/Portugal trip is starting to seem like a bit of a dream. Firstly we would like to thank all the team at Gourmand Breaks for making this one of the best holidays we have had, and for all the care and attention you have all shown us prior, during and after our time away. We were extremely impressed with the warmth and knowledge of all of the guides and their willingness to share some of their own stories so that we almost felt like we were being shown around by friends. Also being taken to the little out-of-the-way places, which would not be covered in a group tour, made the whole experience more interesting and personal.
All of the hotels were of a very high standard, centrally located and with very helpful and friendly staff. It is hard to pick any one in particular but, Madrid was a great finishing touch to our trip. It was a pity we didn´t have better weather and a bit longer in Salamanca to make the best of the city, but, maybe another time.
The whole itinerary was excellent, well planned and thoughtfully put together. We had a marvellous introduction to Spain & Portugal and look forward to one day returning to see more of these fabulous countries.
We have, and will continue, to speak highly of the great times we have had on this holiday and we will take every opportunity to recommend Gourmand Breaks as an agency to assist in putting together a memorable holiday. Thank you once again for helping make this a memorable experience.
LACEY & JOEL CAMEY
We really enjoyed our trip to Spain. After experiencing Barcelona it was great to drive around wine country.
The rural hotels were cute and so comfortable and inviting. The Emporda and Penedes wines were lovely, everyone was so friendly at all the venues. A last minute change to one of the winery visits on one of the days was no problem and actually meant the day turned out to be about Cava – it was great!
Thanks again for your help planning this trip.
DEBORAH & JOHN QUINNEY
We were met by our driver Mario, who was on time and very helpful & friendly. The drive to Granada was comfortable and smooth. Mario looked after us well. When we got into our Hotel in Granada we loved it! Fantastic position close to the main street and square, plus a lovely view out to the Alhambra palace. I think I will always remember Granada and it will always remain one of my favourite places. The visit to the Alhambra was a highlight of course. Our guide Reyes was very good and we had a very memorable visit.
Then onto Barcelona. The trip was smooth, again with the assistance from Mario who was punctual and helpful as always. We loved our well located hotel in Barcelona too. Very good sightseeing walking tour, and what a wonderful visit to the Sagrada Familia. Another very very memorable experience, this time with guide Irma – who added a lot of interesting commentary and helped us get around quickly and easily (avoiding the queues and crowds). The Cooking Class and visit to the Boqueria was a lot of fun too.
Our hire car was delivered to our hotel on time. The in-car GPS in the BMW was quite easy to use and behaved itself (not sending us into tiny alleyways only fit for pedestrians and horses in historic villages). Historic Besalu was very good, and our tour of Girona with Anna was excellent. We really liked Girona … The meal at Divinum was incredible – we really enjoyed it – thank you so much for this!! Our countryside hotel was a charming establishment – and we grew to like it a lot. The staff were lovely and they made us very welcome. It was a good base to explore the area and we enjoyed our day trips to the wineries and picnics etc. We also loved Pals, Peratallada and Palau-Sator. Finally, onto another really good hotel and restaurant [Penedes Wine Region] – a good finish to our trip with some super wineries nearby. This was a very interesting hotel and we were sorry to leave after our short visit!
Thanks again, you managed to put this trip together so well. We saw and experienced so much in a fairly short timespan. Such great memories. Clearly, I am of the view that there is great benefit and value derived by having somebody like you and your team provide expert input and to coordinate the multiple service providers that are required to make such an itinerary really work.
MEI & STEPHEN CHENG
We enjoyed Portugal… the places, food/wine & people.. have been wonderful. Special mention of guide in Lisbon, Ana & chauffeurs Bruno, Jorge (George´s?) & Joaquim… all were very professional, informative & pleasant & it was lovely to be chauffeured around in Benz(s)… tres chic.
The prearranged dinners & the Fado dinner & lunch at Cascais were delicious. We so enjoyed having Miguel [chauffeur] with us for Douro & first day in Porto… he is amazing… so passionate & enthusiastic to show us his country. We loved the private wine tastings & lunch in Douro Valley & what a treat to stop & eat at that fabulous 1 Michelin star restaurant in that lovely hotel in Amarante.
Porto was so lovely too.. we loved the dinner you arranged & the last night went to a wonderful seafood restaurant that Miguel recommended. Likely that we will want to return to Portugal in the not too distant future. Will also happily refer your company to friends who are thinking of visiting Portugal or Spain & wish, like us, to have a private tour. So Joanne, thank you for arranging this wonderful trip… Gourmand Breaks has certainly exceeded our expectations & thank you for your personal attention.
WES ALBINGER & CHARLES PIERCE
We’ve been back for over a week now and have had time to reflect on our memorable sixteen-day trip to Portugal. Thank you!
We both appreciate the marvelous trip you put together, combining a wonderful itinerary with memorable events, great hotels, excellent guides and professional, courteous drivers.
And lastly, we thank you again for our impressive dinner at the Yeatman. We know we had the trip of a lifetime because of your efforts.
JOANN & DARRELL CLAY
Once again, as we travelled home, we were asking ourselves when we could return to Spain and Portugal … we had a wonderful trip, and your attention to detail and customer service was amazing. We did have the most wonderful food and wine experiences, and several times people we met were amazed at the charming places you were able to arrange for us. We followed many of your restaurant recommendations on our free days. We had a wonderful dinner in Lisbon.
Every guide we had was excellent and very attentive to the fact that Darrell was somewhat limited in his walking ability. We always feel like we have a very good history and culture introduction to each city. You did such an excellent job of choosing our wine experiences. We appreciate the contrasts from the very large scale to the small family run wineries and from very modern production to very traditional production.
KAREN & MARVIN SINGER
Our experience on our Gourmand Breaks trip to Spain and Portugal lived up to the rave reviews we had received from previous travelers with this company. Communication between Joanne, Ursula and the two of us was excellent before, during and after the trip. Information was clear and we were so impressed by the attention to every detail. The hotels were unique, well-situated and the service was impeccable. The personal guides were extremely knowledgeable and flexible. We enjoyed gourmet meals accompanied by outstanding regional wines. Gourmand Breaks will ensure that travelers benefit from a most special total cultural immersion.
KRISTI & ROB PECKHAM
Quick note to let you know that Kristi and I are now back home and to thank you for making our trip so memorable, perfectly planned and executed! You exceeded our expectations with an itinerary that matched exactly what we were looking for in experiencing local cuisine, wine, history and culture, while also allowing time for us to wander and explore on our own (armed with very helpful information the talented guides provided us with).
Sonia in Barcelona, Olga in Madrid, Maria Reyes in Granada, Paloma in Seville, Maria in Cordoba and Paula in Lisbon are all extremely knowledgeable, personally engaging, ´fantastic to be with´ people. Jose Antonio was remarkable as well – a true gentleman who made our journeys truly relaxing and informative. And Jorge´s insights in our drive to Sintra and Cascais were excellent. We could go on and on…
MARILYN & MICHAEL MUFSON
This is a thank you note, and love letter, to Gourmand Breaks for designing the 40th anniversary trip of our dreams. Our expectations were very high, but Madrid and Andalusia, and your caring attention to detail, exceeded them! As close to a perfect vacation as we´ve ever had together, and we´re talking 40 years!
First of all, we loved our guides – Olga, in Madrid: In addition to expertly guiding us through the magnificent El Prado Museum, she introduced us to sizzling prawns in garlic at Cervantes, which became our favorite tapas place! Paloma, in Seville, guided us through Barrio Santa Cruz, and the Reales Alcazares. We easily fell in love with Seville. In Cordoba, we were introduced to Marie Jose, whose passion for her city and its history was infectious. We spent hours with Marie. Obviously, we hated to say goodbye. While in Seville, Gourmand Breaks arranged for us to see a thrilling Flamenco show. The dancers, musicians and singers were truly artists. Not to be missed! We loved the all the hotels Gourmand Breaks selected for us. My favorite was in Granada. The room was stunning, but best of all was the lovely, private patio. Our first night, someone rang our bell at about 11. Enter a lovely young woman carrying a tray of delicious fruit. As if we weren´t already charmed out of our minds! Downstairs, next to the restaurant, was a beautiful courtyard where we enjoyed relaxing and people watching. We ordered simple appetizers but out of the blue were treated to a five course feast straight from heaven. The best paella we´ve ever tasted, served with such panache! The wait staff were heavenly, too.
And then there was the patio/balcony in Ronda with a magnificent view of the white houses on the cliffs on the other side of the gorge. Breathtaking! And in Seville, the courtyard outside of our room where we spent enchanted evenings lounging on couches, dining on tapas and inhaling the scent of orange trees. In addition to our superb hotel meal in Granada, our favorite restaurants (suggested by Gourmand), were Viridiana and Alabaster, both in Madrid, both unforgettable.
As a special treat, Gourmand arranged for us to see an opera, at Teatro Zarzuela, upon our return to Madrid. Not only were the lead performers exceptional, the staging was outstanding, with circus performers such as jugglers and a man on stilts, all in colorful costumes. Fortunately, a small screen at the top of the proscenium provided English translations! It was great fun to be in an audience of local people, many of whom had brought their children along. I´ve never been an opera buff, but this trip may have converted me!
Knowing that Ursula, Joanne and their team were looking after us was very reassuring. We knew that, were anything to go awry, they would see to it that things were set right again. We will be talking about our Spain trip for years to come, and plan to do it again with our grown children and their families! We eagerly look forward to another brilliant vacation with Gourmand Breaks
BRENDA & CHRIS WICKER
We are two very blessed people for having worked with you on this trip, and there is not a moment we would take back. Thank you very much for making this honeymoon/ anniversary more than memorable, and very special thanks to everyone we spent time with during our visit that made us feel like welcome family. To say that we will keep you in mind for our next vacation is an understatement.
CATH GLOVER & GERARD DYSON
I knew that booking our tour with Gourmand again would not disappoint! I was great to travel to Italy with you as well, you have so many fabulous places to visit and stay. We enjoyed our travels throughout the country. Being the foodies that we are, Modena and Bologna were just fabulous. We do love the smaller places where you can just wander and find some hidden gems. Our stand outs: Bologna B&B such a wonderful couple full of pride and wanting to please, Masi winery, our favourite wines, vineyard and story and Ca la Bionda, Borgo san Felice and our tours from there, cheese and balsamic tours, Antico and dinner meeting chef, driving up lake Garda and the lunch stop and views magnificent….
NANCY ANDERSON & CHARLIE SCHOLZ
You did an excellent job of finding the very best wineries with the most interesting philosophies of winemaking. Each one was unique and each one was impressive. The wines were all above average and most were top notch. We do so appreciate having these places chosen for us, as we would not have known where to start. Each region has its own charms, and we loved them all. We hope to experience more in coming years.
Without exception, the restaurants were excellent! The food was imaginative and well prepared and presented. The servers, and in some cases the chefs, were friendly and helpful. It was wonderful to be able to experience such good food in such delightful venues. On our own we ate at a couple of places I would highly recommend, though you already know about them as they were on your list.
Everything was beautiful (at the Priorat Hotel) including the views! The people were very welcoming, charming and helpful. Breakfast on the terrace was a delight each morning. I hope to return to this place as the area has much to be seen and experienced. [Penedes Hotel] A spectacular property! WOW! Too bad we did not get to stay longer! I really liked the whole Penedes area, and Vilafranca seemed like an interesting small town to visit.
We appreciated the little book with all the info, addresses, etc. But I must say it was difficult at times to find our way. The GPS gets you close, but maps would help. Indeed, I think we would not have done as well as we did without the research I did prior to the trip. I bought a Michelin map of Catalonia and I Googled directions from each site to the next and printed the maps. I do not know how others fare with this kind of itinerary, but for us, it was challenging. I am glad we did it, as it was a kind of learning experience, but perhaps I am just a bit too old for this much adventure. Nevertheless, we have stories to tell, and we had a wonderful time. I would do the whole trip again! It was great, and I am so glad we did it! Thanks so much for all you did for us. It was great to meet you!
My daughter and I have just spent a very memorable week being introduced to Catalan food and learning to cook this delicious regional cuisine. Every arrangement made by Gourmand Breaks was excellent, and totally lived up to the Company´s claims and our expectations. The luxury tour was of the highest quality in interest and of service throughout. From the friendliest chauffeur to the very knowledgeable (English speaking) tour guides at each location, and very comfortable accommodation we enjoyed an experience to treasure.
ANGELIQUE & MARK
We had a fabulous time! And couldn´t believe we got into Can Roca thanks to your connections, lunch was sublime.
Thank you again for arranging a wonderful trip!
BO & GAIL MATTHEWS
It was so good to meet with you and Ursula, and we appreciate the time and effort you put into arranging a tour for us. It certainly makes it easier for us to market your country and the many experiences it has to offer.
We loved Girona and our room in the hotel was so spacious and comfortable, and the staff very accomodating. The winery really is a beautiful place and the natural wine tasting was interesting and fun. Peratallada village was spectacular, and we really enjoyed the felling of stepping back into Medieval times, and also the fantastic authentic lunch we had here of Catalan cuisine.
BOB & DANA GOLDEN
We really enjoyed our customized wine tour with you…Thank you so much for all your assistance …. We appreciated your attention and great service…. We loved all the wineries that we visited in Priorat, Ribera del Duero and La Rioja, thank you once again!
BOBBI & CLIFFORD MALZMAN
We have just returned from a fantastic journey to Barcelona and the Priorat wine region. Joanne from Gourmand Breaks helped us to plan a variety of details. She arranged a fantastic driver and luxury car up to Priorat and her connections in the wineries are amazing. We were greeted by owners and wine makers and treated to vineyard tours and amazing wine tastings.
In Barcelona Joanne set us up with a wonderful, fun, intelligent guide on day 1 who gave us a comprehensive lay of the land before we were free for 3 days to amble about checking museums, monuments, restaurants and shopping off our list. Irma, our guide, took us through the unbelievable Sagrada Familia and explained the history and details of this not to believed Gaudi basilica.
Joanne secured our restaurant reservations and our trip went completely smoothly. I can´t wait to return to Barcelona, it is a fantastic destination. If you are planning a trip to Spain or Portugal I highly recommend Joanne and her company to make your arrangements.
Our tour guide was charming and ridiculously handsome! We visited a very modern and fascinating organic winery. We spent time wandering the cobbled streets of Pals, a rather perfectly restored medieval village which boasts some great eateries … If the door to the church is unlocked it is worth poking your nose inside, parts of it date back to the 10th century.
Stopped for a delicious lunch of local produce and a great Empordan wine from the Peralada winery not too far away. We really needed a walk to shake off some of the calories we had gained from the super lunch and moved on to Calella de Palafrugell for a wander along the front. A pretty, but rather sleepy little hollow (at this time of year) with old fishing boats pulled up on the sand and a few locals taking their afternoon stroll. On return to Girona we had time to explore the town´s exquisite cathedral and to wander the well preserved Jewish Quarter and museum. Crossing the river on one of the many foot bridges allows a view of the cathedral at dusk that I will always remember.
CATHY & LAURA GOULD
The tour Laura and I took in May this year with your company out of Barcelona and through the Girona area out to the Costa Brava Coast was a highlight of our trip … thank you.
And Cathy posted on our Facebook Page:
What an amazing day we had organised by Gourmand Breaks ! Thank you so much … it really was the highlight of our long weekend trip to Barcelona in May. Alex, the ever courteous, delightful driver picked us up from our apartment and whisked us north to the area around Girona and onto the Costa Brava coast for the afternoon. The day was full of Spanish delights, villages, food, wine, beaches, people and a little shopping ! Nothing was too much trouble and all with so much fun and laughter. Thank you all of you for a truly special day Laura and I shared … memories to last a lifetime.
CHAD & ALLISON LETSON
This was the best trip that either of us has ever been on. The quality of the accommodations, food, and sites was astounding. Every question that we had about the tour or what to expect was quickly answered by you. We never felt like we were alone or without help. I am still amazed that you were able to include all of our ideas and wishes into a cohesive vacation.
And a comment from Allison on our Facebook Page:
Just returned on Sunday from our two week customized Honeymoon in Spain! Could not have imagined a better Honeymoon! Thank you Gourmand Breaks for such great planning and our very knowledgeable tour guides. We felt like a King and Queen the whole two weeks!
CLAUDINE LANGAN & CHUCK RUBIN
Thank you very much for organizing our introductory trip to Spain! We would highly recommend your services to anyone who wants to hand over the planning of a trip to an expert with an eye for finding delicious and unusual things to see, do and taste.
The logistics were all extremely well organized and the choices of accommodation and restaurants were terrific. All the drivers were excellent and the cars comfortable. Our guide in Granada was terrific: pleasant, informative, and took her time and allowed us the time to take it all in. The two winery tours in Priorat were fantastic, each very different from the other but the personal touch of the first and the elegance of the second were terrific. The Iberico Ham production tour/tasting in Andalucia and the cooking class in Barcelona were highlights as well. Using Gourmand Breaks made it very easy for us to discover a country we had never been to. Thank you!
…. Wineries: Cordoniu, great tour. Costes de Siurana, stunning wines and setup. Delightful picnic at Terra Remoto. Abadia Retuerta, great tour in the jeep followed by a fantastic tasting menu…… The private guides of cities were excellent, private guides are the best way to enjoy the city. We loved the hotels, especially the castle, with stunning views, setting, room and restaurant.
ERIN & MICHAEL REININGER GROUP
We had an AMAZING trip and want to thank you for all your help. The hotels were fabulous, the excursions unforgettable, and the overall trip itinerary was fantastic. Thanks for bringing a personal touch to our trip. Your on call availability made our trip more comfortable and helped with any questions that arose. Thank you, thank you, thank you :) You are true professionals!
ESTHER SCHORR GROUP
From our Facebook Page:
Love. love loved the grape stomping day with you guys!!! What a lovely outing and of course, great wine! Thanks a bunch (Pardon the pun)
The trip itinerary has been superb. Carlos and Anna were very knowledgeable and the castle hotel was a great location. We had a wonderful dinner at Celler de Can Roca, lovely restaurant, people and fantastic food!!
GABRIELLE GUGLIOCCIELLO & MICHAEL CAMARRA
We had such a wonderful time! We learned a lot from Gemma and Edgar (who are excellent hosts!) and really enjoyed their guidance and knowledge, and yes – we were lucky enough to have the restaurant yesterday make us a plate from the mushrooms we collected! It was delicious, as was the rest of the restaurant´s menu.
We can´t thank you enough for planning such a thoughtful itinerary for us. We will definitely be recommending this to friends! (And we would love to try other options for tours through you on a future vacation.)
GWENN & PHIL WEISS
Thanks Yvonne and Gourmand Breaks team! Our gourmet tour of Barcelona was definitely the highlight of our European vacation.
JAMIE & WAYNE GAABO
Love you guys!!! We think about our trip back in June every day, our meal and El Celler de Can Roca, and we´re still cooking Tapas, Pintxos, and Paella. We´ve even found some of the Pares Balta wines locally… Our trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience… and we can´t wait to make it a twice-in-a-lifetime event. Thank you for the experience!
JANET & DOUG LUCKHURST
We had a wonderful time. You and the company organized everything so perfectly. We knew we were in good hands.
Thank you again for teaching us about the culture, architecture, art and people of Spain. We will relive our memories forever.
JOE & SUE KAZDA
Seville was our favorite city, much to do and lots of good places to eat, drink and be merry. Ham processing tour and port wine tasting were interesting and informative and a nice surprise for us….. cities, tours, Gourmand tour guides and people we met were fantastic. The settings were perfect for people watching too.
Everything has gone very smoothly. Thanks, your responsiveness is one reason why we like Gourmand so much.
JOHN & DEBORAH QUINNEY
Just a quick note to say thanks very much for organising another fantastic holiday for us in Spain & Portugal. We are very happy and have many new wonderful memories. It was also good to see Miguel again – he looked after us very well and added to our experience significantly.
Bye for now. If / when we are heading back this way we will be back in contact with you and Gourmand Breaks. Thanks again!
KELLY PARSONS GROUP
Jarrett, Jeff, Sunnyie, and I had a lovely time in Barcelona… the cooking class was most certainly a highlight of the trip for us. (We´ve already tried the recipes at home!) We also very much enjoyed our walking tour with Bego. She very easily made Catalonia come to life with great insight to the history of the community and modern day reflections on politics.
After our day we felt we better understood the local culture from many aspects, and we would do it all over again in a heartbeat! Thanks for setting up everything and hiring the best!
Just wanted to thank you for putting together a very lovely trip. We enjoyed the wineries and hotels. All was great. Peter was a wonderful driver for us too. He was so very nice and helpful. …….We had a fabulous time with them and if we would change something it would be to spend more time at their place. We had such a wonderful time!
LARA & BRETT SILVERMAN
Thanks again for putting together such a wonderful tour for us. It was so spectacular and memorable!!
We truly enjoyed our trip with Gourmand Breaks. Your company put us in contact with artisans that we never would have found otherwise and allowed for a smooth (and packed!) honeymoon adventure.
We learned a lot about Spanish wine, cheese, olive oil, grain and honey, and now bring that knowledge back with us and into our cooking. It was a hands-on experience that we will never forget.
We have so many fond memories of our honeymoon trip with you through Catalonia, and we recommend your services whenever we can. Thank you!!!
MARY VITELLA & DAVID SEAGO
We are now home after a fantastic vacation. Our dinner at El Club Allard was very memorable as our first course was comprised of a business card with their name embossed on it that was actually made of potato which we dipped into a very sweet onion custard. Very interesting…
Everything along the way was always on schedule and all of the hotels and guides were lovely.
MIKE & ANNE ROSENTHAL
We recently had the fortune of utilizing Gourmand Breaks as our travel planner for a 26-day vacation in Portugal and Spain.
We were so impressed with the individual planning and flexibility that they exhibited and their patience in working with us over a 6-year period. Due to a number of health issues the actual trip was continuously postponed, and they never lost interest in working with us.
On several occasions even during the actual vacation modifications were required and were dealt with seamlessly without any inconveniences. The drivers, guides, selected hotels, tours and food were all of the highest standards and the ease of completing this complicated vacation to 14 different locations was extraordinary. Last minute add-ons to popular locations were dealt with promptly and efficiently.
Such great experiences with you guys …. We loved our visits in Lisbon, Granada, Seville and Barcelona. The guides were great and explained all the historical and foody aspects of all the cities we visited.
Lisbon was a blast with some great food and wine tastings. Barcelona was, well, buzzing and the food ….. divine!
The Alhambra is well worth a visit and even though it´s hot in Southern Spain in Summer it´s great sightseeing even though on a slower pace!
SARAH GARNER AND JANE HARDIN
We thank you for all the excellent logistics, transportation, accommodations and planning.
We enjoyed San Sebastian so much! We had a remarkable time in Spain, and loved the diversity of the tour and professionalism of everyone we met. Thanks a million!
and, on our Facebook Page:
Just back from an awesome, CUSTOM tour in Barcelona, Girona, San Sebastian and Bilbao. An outstanding itinerary that really fit our travel needs! If Spain or Portugal are your destinations Gourmand Breaks are the folks to do it for you.
The itineraries were great and the guides so friendly. Catalonia is such a fantastic area, so much to see! The countryside is wonderful and we really enjoyed the winery visits. Girona and Besalu was a great tour and such nice places, we got some great old style photos of the 2, as well as of the Medieval villages and beautiful Calella de Palafrugell. Can Roca was an experience in its self ……. Amazing! Thank you so much for your assistance and advice planning our trips.
KRISTIE SHAH & FAMILY
Thank you for putting together a wonderful trip for me and my family. It was a great experience learning about all the food, culture and history of Spain. I do believe my mom was able to purchase all the things she needed to make a paella at home. Thanks once again!
SHERYL KOTZER & TERRI MACLEAN
We just landed in Toronto and are already missing Spain and Portugal. What a wonderful experience, we can’t thank you enough for making everything so perfect for us !! We’re already talking about a repeat performance !!!!! Thank you again !!! Sheryl.
Just wanted to add my thanks to Sheryl’s note. What an amazing time we had! All of the guides and drivers were wonderful as were all of the hotels and restaurants. I have only one thing I would have changed…I would have loved to stay longer at the Yeatman! Fantastic!!! Terri.
SUE STEIN & DEBRA SELL
We are back in the Bay area, almost adjusted to the jet lag and time change and still remembering our great time in Barcelona and the Costa Brava. The holiday was much too short and we want to return to spend more time in each place.
Both Sonia and Esther were amazing people and guides. (Esther is officially the best driver in the world.) (Sonia was the perfect guide to the Sagrada Familia.) Mas Pou was fantastic and I would definitely return there. We’ve been spoiled by being in the area during the winter and the peace and quiet. We enjoyed that so much.
Our only regret was that after a “snack” at La Pineda we then had an 8-course lunch. We just couldn’t eat all the amazing food.
Thank you for another wonderful trip!
LES KORSH & TAMI SEGAL
Our trip was fabulous and you had everything lined up perfectly with the guides and restaurant recommendations. Our highlight was the winery! I think we could have stayed there all day. I told my husband I felt like we were on the reality show Bachelor and I had this incredible date with my husband.
Thank you for being so patient with us. We will be forwarding on your contact when our friends wish to travel to Spain.
We loved our walking tour of Madrid and the tapas was amazing. We enjoyed our day in old Toledo. Barcelona was fantastic and, our guide took us to some great spots that we would never have found on our own. We thoroughly enjoyed the visit to the Perelada winery and tasting the wines and the guided visit in Girona was so very interesting. Our chauffeur throughout was excellent.
TRACY & ANDY SIKLOS AND LAURIE & GEORGE SCHNARR
Everything was fabulous, we were so well taken care of and it was such a luxury to have everything arranged. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and invaluable in taking us around and orienting us to the area. The restaurant suggestions and hotel bookings made for such a memorable trip as we were really able to experience the area as an insider, not just a tourist.
Would recommend your company to our friends. Thank you again for everything you´ve done, your customer service is very high and we really enjoyed working with you and meeting you!
Thank you so much for the wonderful tour! We really had a great time and everybody was very happy! The guides were also very professional and extremely friendly. The combination of sightseeing and food was absolutely perfect!
ZENNI & HARRISON FAMILIES
I cannot tell you how much the Zennis and Harrisons are missing our time in Spain and have been reminiscing about the trip daily this past week! I can honestly say that we all feel that our trip to Spain was the best vacation we have ever taken. You and your team’s attention to detail was amazing. From the moment we started planning the trip together, I knew choosing Gourmand Breaks was the best decision for our group. That decision was reinforced daily on the trip. The transportation, accommodations, guides and tours were all top notch, but the shining star of the trip in my opinion was the food! The unique restaurants, wine tastings and market visits were my favorite times. Our lives are so busy as a family, and mealtime is some of the only times we are all actually together in the same room. The meals on our trip were my favorite time because it allowed us all to relax and fellowship together. I have recommended your business to several friends and I long for the time when we can plan another trip together!
SONIA & VINCE MASCOLO
After having a wonderful experience touring Spain with Gourmand Breaks in 2016, we decided to take the plunge of travelling to Europe from Australia with our 8 month old daughter – and we never thought twice about once again reaching out to Ursula and Jamaica at Gourmand Breaks to help us out.
Thankfully for us, Gourmand Breaks had since added Italy to their tour destinations. They gave us an idea of the areas they travel to and what a possible itinerary would look like. As always they then customised it for us based on our requirements. We began in Barcelona. In 2011, we had spent three days in Barcelona, and had left quite underwhelmed. Once we returned with Gourmand Breaks, we quickly realised how much the city had to offer. With our lovely guide, we had a wonderful experience in Barcelona – definitely highlighted by our amazing private guided tour of Sagradia Familia.
We then rejoined Gourmand Breaks in Northern Italy, travelling from Verona and ending in Bologna. With Ursula and Jamaica knowing the foodies that we are, and catering for our daughter as well, we had a truly life changing experience – who knew travelling with an 8 month old could be such an experience! Our experiences were highlighted with an amazing lunch and tour at a culatello farm in Emiglia Romagna, near Parma; spending hours in the car with our knowledgeable and amazing driver Giuseppe across the countryside of Piedmont and Emiglia Romagna; more amazing lunches in Alba (where we managed to crash a wedding :)), Positano and Naples; as well as an astonishing tour of the hidden beauty and idiosyncrasies of Naples with our amazing tour guide. We could go on and on – but we were asked to keep this “short and sweet”.
Essentially, these ladies are worth every dollar. You simply cannot have the same experience if you try to do it yourself or use a generic tour company. They take you to all the hidden gems where often locals will remark “how did you find this place?” And everything is made so easy, which is saying a lot when travelling on the other side of the world with a baby. If you are thinking of booking with Gourmand Breaks, do it!! You won’t regret it – take it from us, we’ve done it twice and we will do it again!!
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