“This was as our excellent tour manager Janet described it "an exciting adventure". It certainly was not a relaxing holiday as we covered large distances staying in 8 hotels over the 14 days. I have given it four stars rather than 5 as I think the balance of the holiday was not quite right and Great Rail admin let the group down on a couple of occasions. I see that one of the problems areas has already been addressed in next year's itinerary as the trip to Madrid has been replaced. [don't get me wrong Madrid was wonderful but there was too much travelling for very little time in Madrid]. The hotels were good and our fellow passengers were great company. We really appreciated the smaller size of the group. The food in my opinion was variable but never poor. The day we were supplied with 3 breakfasts will stay in my memory for a while! There seemed to be a lot of alcohol on this trip what with the port wine tastings and wine with evening meals. One of the totally unplanned highlights has to be the wedding at Bom Jesus do Monte and the opportunity to hear the quartet practicing inside. Other highlights include the port wine tasting at the "museum", the visit to the vineyard, the tour of the cellars and meal at Taylors.
We did enjoy the trip but feel that it would benefit from restructuring to make the beginning and end less travel intensive. There was less time available to "do our own thing" as we are used to on Great Rail Holidays and which we enjoy.