By land…we offer the best special interest and educational programs in English available on the Iberian Peninsula. We develop your private program according to your group leader specifications and the trip’s special focus always including the best local gastronomy, our favorite wines and the most expert guides which all combine to give your participants their most memorable trip to Spain or Portugal.
By air….we offer competitive fares for domestic flight tickets and can also arrange group air contracts, private jet charters, helicopters service and even some hot air ballooning.
By sea….we offer the best services in all the ports of Spain, Portugal and Gibraltar, including the islands. From top lecturers, to special interest programs, to private venues to that special event/meal that you need to organize.
Private Land Tours
For more than thirty years, we have been planning in-depth land tours to see the best of Spain and Portugal and meet our clients’ specific needs too. Ours is the most personalized service to attain the best itinerary for you, the most comfortable and historic hotels, top guides and local experts, and of course the best regional cuisine and wines. All of these aspects, plus our extensive access to private homes and collections, make your tour a guaranteed success. (See our client list)
It truly was a great journey, the details thoughtfully arranged and of course Mervyn was universally adored. I do know what goes into making this kind of experience happen, and your kudos are well earned. -Maryann Jordan, Deputy Director, Seattle Art Museum
Private Shore Excursions
We offer private shore excursions from all Spanish and Portuguese ports, as well as Gibraltar. These are experiences planned especially for your family, friends or small group. Take the opportunity to get away from the mass tourism of the ship and visit each area in a more close-up and intimate way with top English speaking local guides and drivers.
It was a great day! Isabel and Lenora were fabulous. We had a total of 54 people and they all loved it…The meal was great and I have had nothing, but good comments about the Lisbon Virtuoso Crystal Cruise Shore Event. – Brian T. Robertson, CTC
Special Services/ Events
We are pleased to offer our clients such varied services as gala dinners at private venues, logistics and onsite supervision for conferences, special events and competitions, etc. Our longstanding relationships with top suppliers, experience with high level groups in English (we are American owned and operated) and extensive knowledge of local gastronomy allow us to handle your event from beginning to end.
There are not enough words – in any language – to thank you enough for all you have done to make this tour a superior, memorable experience for everyone. You are the ultimate in knowledge, efficiency and fun! Looking forward to working with you again! – Helen Fouche, Smithsonian Associates
Meetings and Incentives
Our staff (including former corporate meeting planner, airline executives and hotel managers) is uniquely qualified to handle these important events. Whether you are arranging a symposium for a major university, an incentive trip for a corporation, or just a small company meeting, our experience and attention to detail and budget transparency all guarantee a productive and enjoyable event.
…We were so pleased with our partner Valesa Cultural Services in Madrid, so I wholeheartedly recommend they assist with your plans…. – Deborah Fiori, Director of Events, Princeton University
Activities just for groups
Wine & Gastronomy Competitions. In La Rioja wine region. Among the vineyards, enjoy an amazing day that includes a blind wine tasting and a cooking contest. We also recommend paella cook-offs and wine mixing sessions for more than one day in this area and on the island of Mallorca.
Sailing Competitions in Tenerife and Mallorca Want to have a race with a beautiful boat on the sea? We will sail with beautiful Black Jack Sailboats from Porto Colon through a predetermined circuit, as though sailing in the great boat races. Afterward we can enjoy a leisurely sail and possible whale watching.
La Rioja Wine Region. Learn to mix your own wine! At Valesa we can arrange your own private session with a professional winemaker, for a view into mixing different grape varieties into one smashing wine. Wine mixing competitions for your group can be lots of fun, and of course you will taste them all before the expert declares the winner.
Trekking and Walking tours. Whether you are passionate hikers or amateurs wanting to have a country stroll, Spain, Portugal and Morocco each offer a variety of unusual terrains- Roman paths, volcanic mountain trails, Pyrenees routes focusing on flora and fauna, Basque Country walks along the coast and in nature reserves, and much more!
Basque Sport Demonstration. Experience the “fastest sport in the world”, the Cesta Punta or Jai Alai in a show where you will see how the players shoot the ball at speeds of over 150 km/h (90mph). At the end of the exhibition, the bravest souls will be given the opportunity of learning more about this sport with the help of the professionals in a short training.
Visit an Octopus market and learn how to prepare this unusual delicacy. Located in southern Portugal, this market visit and demonstration will always be a memorable stop on any trip and combines nicely with special visits to cork forests, local wineries and of course the cultural highlights along the way.
Your own Zarzuela operetta performance, and even a touch of bullfighting….without the gore. Just 10 minutes drive outside of Madrid, at the Palacio de Negralejo overlooking their golf course. These are just a few of our favourite typically Spanish activities here.
Private flamenco lessons with local performers. Enjoy a few hours with local artists in a private dance studio, while surrounded by the city’s best dancers who all converge at one of Madrid’s longest standing schools of dance. In addition to your private performance and special lecture about the art of flamenco, this private flamenco lesson is a guaranteed highlight for many groups.
Citroen 2CV Rally in the Basque Country. A different and original way of discovering the Province of Guipuzcoa, with a road book and a camera, since the itinerary visits among others, San Sebastian, Getaria and a txakoli (wine) cellar.
Digital Photography in Granada. Gain a very personal view of Granada on a photographic “safari” through some of the city’s most interesting alleyways, streets and squares with an English resident who has been photographing the city for many years. He will share with you not just his love and knowledge of this wonderful place but also some of the techniques for getting the best results from your digital camera.
4×4 Jeep Tours. Whether you are on the moonlike terrain of Tenerife’s El Teide National Park or in the charming Arrabida National Park near Lisbon or in the mountainous part of Mallorca , we can arrange fun excursions for your group out in the countryside. The Teide’s volcanic scenery is full of mystery and contrasts, and includes the highest peak in Spain at 3.718 meters high (over 11,000 ft). The Arrabida Mountains are just outside of Lisbon and offer most beautiful views over the Atlantic, wild beaches and rich vegetation, as well as a nice combination with wine tasting at one of our favourite spots. And of course the islands are always an attraction for our groups, with private tours and visits that guarantee a memorable stay. In Mallorca we can even arrange rallies in the mountains with mountain bikes!
Ham, olives, wine and food, food, food Anywhere in Spain we can arrange fabulous tapas tours and in-depth culinary touring for your group. Excursions from Seville to visit Spain’s top ham region and learn about what makes our ham the best on earth. Educational ham and wine tasting sessions where local experts teach us how to get the best out of Spanish delicacies (including olive oil too!), and combine these with other foods. Cookings classes and market visits with local experts in private venues. And finally your participation in the grape and olive harvests are all included in our short list of favorite activities for groups.
The whole hotel … Ask us about smaller hotels where your group can take over the whole property. Especially for groups with fewer than 50 people, we can offer this privileged and exclusive experience at hotels with Michelin starred restaurants, private wineries, converted castles and historic rural hotels.