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Reviews are compiled and evaluated by an independent third party, BazaarvoiceTM, the No. 1 provider of customer reviews. Reviews are never edited or deleted unless the content does not comply with EF and Bazaarvoice's™ terms and conditions, which prohibit the use of such things as personal information and inappropriate language.
Phenomenal Experience!Amazing tour! I did not expect to learn nearly as much as I did; when EF says that their mission is to help students become global citizens, they really mean it. Our tour guide was fun and informative, and we were really able to interact with and explore almost every city we visited to the fullest extent. Just wish we were given a bit more free time -- our itinerary was packed!
Awesome!Our group of 25 had a wonderful experience on our Madrid to Barcelona tour this June, 2017!
Our students made the most of each opportunity, and helped each other through the unexpected. Our tour director was fantastic, extremely knowledgeable and flexible! Spain itself, was, as always, fabulous beyond words.
My suggestion, which was similar from the teachers from other schools, and the rest of our group, is to remain faithful to the attempts to get groups to Madrid in the morning for arrival (we arrived around 8, which was absolutely perfect), and then remove one day from the Madrid side of things to add another day to Barcelona. Each time we've done this one, we've felt not enough time in Barcelona to do all there is in that extremely culturally rich city.
Again, wonderful experience and EF helped with all kinds of problems-- homesick kid who ended up having a great time, student who lost passport on the way out of the US and had to meet us two days later, and tour director stuff, like arranging special activities, transportation, and recommendations for us! Great job!
Definately would do again!The ease and lack of stress of planning this trip (for my part) was wonderful. Communication was up to date. The trip itself was very educational to the day trips, wide variety of cultural experiences and the different types of food. Highly recommended.
Maybe my best trip everI tagged along with our grandson and son-in-law for an amazing trip in a spectacular country. Our tour guide was absolutely the best and all the local guides were outstanding. Great learning experience for the students and adults.
The bus rides through the countryside were one of my favorite things. Spring in Spain is amazing!
So enriching!I chaperoned a trip with our high school students from Madrid to Barcelona and was very happy with how the whole trip went. Our tour guide was incredibly helpful and kind and made sure everybody was on time and where they needed to be at all times. Our students loved every stop and had a great time. It was a huge learning experience and was worth every penny!
My Amazing Experience In Spain!This was such an eye opening trip, especially when it came to seeing and understanding the culture of the many regions in Spain, old and new. Everything was amazing, the visits, the cities, and the events! My only negative was that our group dinner's weren't the best, some of the restaurants had glasses that were dirty, as well as dirty utensils. Some places also didn't cater well to vegetarians, like our hotel in Burgos that gave the 3 vegetarians in our group only peas for dinner.
But all in all, this trip is worth the money, and the memories I've received made the trip even more worth it!
A Beautiful Country yet Unsatisfactory TourThe tour of the many cities was breathtaking and I enjoyed most of the places that we visited. There were a large amount of cathedrals, and we could have used our time for something else. Most of the dinner was extremely unsatisfying. The lunch we chose was amazing but we were given some very short time frames for lunch and shopping some days. We rushed ourselves to finish lunch in time. Other than that, the tour was amazing and super fun. Our tour guide was lovely and made the trip especially special.
Great experienceI loved that the first three days are spent in Madrid. It allowed kids to learn about the city as well as catch up on their rest a little after the long flight. I also feel this is such a great opportunity for students to begin using their language skills and learn more about the places we have studied. The next few days with the tours in Segovia, Burgos, Bilbao and San Sebastian also left the students with a sense that they had explored those areas sufficiently.
However, Pamplona is a stop on the trip, and we were barely able to spend any time there because of the long bus transfer to Barcelona. Also, our hotel was so far outside of Barcelona that we only got to experience the city on our final day, when it looked like we would have 1 1/2 days to really explore, and it did not feel like enough in either of those places.
Overall the trip was great and the kids learned so much, but it would have been nice to really enjoy and explore those last two important stops on the tour.
Below ExpectationIn all respect, I was not expecting a whole lot from the tour, but I did expect to have air conditioning in our living spaces for the duration. One of the our accommodations had no air conditioning and was located above a bustling sidewalk AND the main street of the town. I could have forgave the noise outside of the window if I did not have to keep the windows open the entire time during our stay because to close them would have meant an inhospitable environment. Due to those arrangements I received very little sleep (on top of the already little sleep I was getting) and I lagged the rest of the trip. The food was sub-par and to have one of the reservations fall through during the trip was extremely unprofessional. Also, please consider using a different airline. My party and others experienced multiple cancellations and delays on our excursion racking up excess expenses and unnecessary stress. When asked to focus on the overall experience, it was a fine trip, but when I come home and all I can mention is the flights and the bad food and the no air conditioning, it is not what one wants to remember on a trip like that.
Pleasantly SurprisedThis being my first student tour, I was nervous and skeptical. However, my fears have now been put to rest. The students loved the tour and this is what it is about. They learned a great deal of information and learned to appreciate the differences that exist among the people of different cultures. They also were able to appreciate the many similarities. The days were packed with interesting experiences that were related to the student interests.
Pros: A knowledgeable tour director who was organized, helpful, comical and friendly. Our tour director certainly understood teenagers and was able to interact with them appropriately while teaching them at the same time. Our tour director was always easily approachable with our concerns. The tour director paid attention to every detail of the trip (such as dietary restrictions, etc.)
The tour plan itself was perfect. The cities visited were planned out very well.
The hotels were clean and provided a varied and substantial breakfast everyday.
2 of the 4 hotels in particular were exceptionally nice.
The bus transportation for all but one city (see below)* was perfect. The bus drivers were professional and safe drivers.
The flights were well planned.
The tour guides for the specific cities and places were extremely knowledgeable and interesting. They were responsive to all of the students' inquiries.
Could be improved:
Although the hotels were all clean, one hotel was located way too far away from the city without any mode of public transportation to the city itself. The time spent in the bus to and from the city *(especially when the bus driver took his 30 minute rest period at the exact time when we were to be picked up at night) resulted in wasted time on 2 evenings. The pick up time had been planned, but we were left waiting on the street for the bus to arrive, 2 nights in a row. This was NOT the fault of the tour director. The tour director planned appropriately and confirmed the pick up time each day. It was the fault of the bus company.
Some of the triple rooms for the students were much too cramped.
The electricity going out in the middle of the night in one hotel, resulting in no air conditioning and students not being able to sleep, is inexcusable.
The food was of average quality with small portions. The selection for vegetarian students must be improved. Lettuce and tomato and Spanish tortilla everyday gets old very quickly.
The students mentioned that the actual amount of time for free time (for shopping, ect.) was too rushed. They would prefer a larger amount of time for free time at once instead of smaller amounts of time more often.
Overall, the areas of concern and need for improvement were minor in comparison to the entire tour itself. As my title suggests, I was pleasantly surprised with the oraganization and professionalism of the tour. It is planned for students as a learning experience and that is exactly what it was. This EF tour provided a safe and clean learning experience.