Lies, a waste of money, waste of a day and a ruined holiday
Please keep in mind that the only reason I booked this tour was that it included If you choose, visit Quinta da Regaleira additional expense stroll through the exotic gardens and hear about the mysticism wrapped up in the secret wells, caves and masonic architecture. This was the only reason I had wanted to spend an entire day out of my limited time in Lisbon and was our reason for going to Lisbon. There was no option to add this when booking, or any indication that we had to go out of our way to make separate arrangements for this so we assumed that it would be slotted in along the day and those who wanted to go could pay the entrance fee and go, and those who didn't could spend the hour in the park or something...
After getting a message the day before arranging pick-up from our hotel at 7:45am, we organised an early breakfast only to be sent another message saying the pick-up time had changed to later. We had to go to the hassle of rearranging breakfast again. We neednt have bothered as the driver was nearly an hour and a half late anyway and didn't show up until after 9am in his van with barely working air-con. I called the company to see where he was and their very helpful response was that he should have picked us up aleady.
The driver, I imagine it is the same one from previous reviews, drove really slowly, wasting at least 2 hours of the day, which could have been better spent visiting at the various stops. He spent most of the time speaking with the Spanish group and only spoke in English to point out houses belonging to footballers along the road I had booked the English tour.
We were brought to a restaurant, which had rows upon rows of tables set out for expected groups, tables all set up with bottles of wine already opened. I had the vegetarian option - I'm sure it was called something else on the menu but what I got was fried greasy onions swimming in more grease and a bit of pasta. No one asked for, or drank the two bottles of red wine set on the table but we were definitely charged for them. Obviously some place where the driver got a kickback for each group he brought.
The driver gave us the itinerary for the rest of the day but, as he hadn't mentioned it, I asked when we would be visiting Quinta da Regaleira the only reason I booked this tour and he said we weren't, that there was no option of visiting it and it would take too much time.
Needless to say this completely spoiled the rest of the day for us and I am still really angry that this whole trip was a waste of a day and that we could have just got the train from Lisbon and visited Quinta da Regaleira ourselves. Also included on the description of the tour was and stroll the beaches at Guincho. I still have no idea where this is as we werent taken anywhere near it either.
We were brought to visit Cascais, Boca do inferno, Sintra town and Pena Palace and at each place were just dumped out of the van and told to meet again in an hour, no suggestions on what we might want to see while there, no background on the history of the place or any sort of context. In Sintra town were told to go and find the ticket office for Pena Palace which took up most our very brief stay trying to find it - I have no idea why they don't just include a ticket in the price of the tour. When we got to Pena Palace the amount of time we were given before we had to be back at the van only afforded us enough time to run around the Palace, take a couple of phots and run back.
If you are planning on a Sintra tour, pick another company - even if it is twice the price. The cost of lunch at silly tourist prices and the additional tickets with this bunch work out doubling the price of your day anyway, and you might actually see the places you were promised.
Feldman was a great tour guide on a beautiful tour of Sintra! He was as entertaining as he was knowledgable. He was great with our children 3 kids ages 7,4,2 and knew all the secrets to get us past the lines and into the areas we wanted to see. And not to be passed, his English was impeccable. Photo credit: Feldman
I was recently looking at my pictures from last year and it reminded of what an amazing time I had with this tour. Our guide's name was Eduardo and this guy was top notch. I had been to some of these places before, but in each site I learned something new, and he also had a great sense of humor. I would highly recommend this tour and I especially would recommend Eduardo.
With our fantastic guide Mr. André Feldman we enjoyed a wonderful daytrip to lovely Sintra with Pena Palace and magic Quinta da Regaleira. We also visited the famous coastal town of Cascais with the rock formation Hells Mouth and the most westerly point of mainland EuropeCabo da Roca. André saved us a lot of waiting time at the sights by adopting the program accordingly. We were an international group of 8 peoplein a minibus and had a fantastic day together. Thanks a lot for this great experience! We will definitely recommend this tour and also will highly recommend André!
Without a doubt, the best guided tour I have in Portugal! Our tour guide, Andre Feldman was very cheerful, entertaining and knowledgeable about the history of the places we visited. But the best parts about this tour were the little tips he shared to avoid the crowds and the timing - he always made sure that we arrive at the places before any other tourist group. We had most places to ourselves for a good 5 - 10 minutes. Definitely recommend this tour for a cultural immersion trip!
Do not hesitate in booking this tour it is worth every penny!
We had Hugo as our guide and he made the trip very enjoyable. The trip started at Sintra village and then onto to Quinta de Regaleira. One of the reasons I booked this tour was because it included a visit here where most others do not, it did not disappoint this residence is absolutely magical and Hugo gave a fantastic account of its history, I was blown away, definitely the highlight of the trip!
The stops in Cabo de Roca and Cascais were great with ample time to see the area and take plenty of photos, Hugo even stopped the van to allow me to take some fantastic shots of the waves just outside Cascais, amazing!! The tour finished with a trip to Pena Palace, and although you do not get a guided tour inside I honestly do not think you need it as the Palace is so beautiful from the outside and you can walk all around it. It was so nice to just sit, relax and admire the splendour of it all. Going to the Pena Palace in the afternoon also meant we missed the morning rush and got to spend more time at the Palace.
Thank you Hugo for an amazing day! If I ever returned to Lisbon I would not hesitate in booking a tour with Lisbon Native again!