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Donna Marie  
#1 Posted : Friday, July 8, 2016 8:44:26 PM(UTC)
Donna Marie


Posts: 239

Any commentary from anyone who has been on the 15 Day Kaleidoscope of Spain? Hotels etc??

Also, I'm torn between 9/2/17, 9/16/17 or 9/23/17..... Former will be hotter, mid or latter will be warm but less hot and as it approaches October still nice. Any commentary on time of year?

Thanks

Upcoming
15 Day Spain (9/2017)
Completed Thus far with Gate 1...
15 Day Vietnam and Cambodia
10 Day Serengeti and Beyond: African Safari in Tanzania
15 Day Moroccan Allure
14 Day Israel and Jordan
15 Day Croatia Bosnia Slovenia and Venice
15 Day Turkish Treasures
9 Day Affordable Ireland
17 Day Peru and Ecuador
16 Day Classic Thailand with Phuket
11 Day Egypt with Abu Simbel and 3 Day Lake Nasser Cruise
10 Day Greek Islander Mykonos Santorini Athens
12 Day Enchanting Italy
9 Day Israel
Mary F  
#2 Posted : Saturday, July 9, 2016 12:51:32 AM(UTC)
Mary F


Posts: 40

In 2013 we did the 15 day Kaleidoscope of Spain, Donna, from Sept 14-28. Weather was reasonable, and a bit cold and rainy in the north (Bilbao and San Sebastián). We had a great time, and met some fun people on that trip.
Be aware that the 15-day trip is an amalgam of several Gate 1 tours, beginning with the 9-day Art and Wine tour, so there was a bit of turnover among the group. I think only three couples were there for the entire 15 days, and we lost some of our favorites in Madrid and in Sevilla. This was our first Gate 1 experience, so we were unprepared for this; I see you have done many trips with them, so you may already be ready to shed and gain travelers along the way.
We just spent three weeks in Spain again on our own-- it's my favorite place in the world-- so feel free to ask any questions you might have!
Mary 
15-day Kaleidoscope of Spain
Sept 2013
13-day Turkish Treasures, Sept 2014
17-day Ecuador and Peru, Aug 2015
18-day Kaleidoscope of South Africa, Sept 2016
Italy and Sicily, April 2017
Israel and Jordan, October 2017
Annual spring trip to Akumal, Mexico
Donna Marie  
#3 Posted : Saturday, July 9, 2016 1:26:06 AM(UTC)
Donna Marie


Posts: 239

Hi Mary,

Thanks for that info - maybe I should pick the 9/2 trip then.. You say weather reasonable and it was mid Sept. so I think that cancels out 9/23 def for me then. I was checking the average temps on the grid and some places could reach 90 - but I guess that is better than rainy and cold!

No, I did not realize it was a mult-group trip whereas you are getting segments from other trips. I did Peru and Ecuador and Israel and Jordan and it was like that - a group for each country and a handful going on to the next country. But not a few - how weird.

Did you like your hotels? Good to hear it's your favorite please, now I am even more excited to visit!

FYI - I love Akumal - I go to Playa del Carmen every year; this year 3 times! I have been to Akumal once and loved it

Upcoming
15 Day Spain (9/2017)
Completed Thus far with Gate 1...
15 Day Vietnam and Cambodia
10 Day Serengeti and Beyond: African Safari in Tanzania
15 Day Moroccan Allure
14 Day Israel and Jordan
15 Day Croatia Bosnia Slovenia and Venice
15 Day Turkish Treasures
9 Day Affordable Ireland
17 Day Peru and Ecuador
16 Day Classic Thailand with Phuket
11 Day Egypt with Abu Simbel and 3 Day Lake Nasser Cruise
10 Day Greek Islander Mykonos Santorini Athens
12 Day Enchanting Italy
9 Day Israel
littlera  
#4 Posted : Saturday, July 9, 2016 2:59:29 AM(UTC)
littlera


Posts: 685

Donna, your 15 day Cambodia and Vietnam tour is also a combined tour. Probably about half the group will start in Cambodia with you. You pick up the other half when you get to Ho Chi Minh city. That subset is doing only the 12 day Vietnam tour. Check your departure date, you will find a 12 day Vietnam departing 3 days later. Those are your new tour mates.

As you know, G 1 does quite a few combined tours. We have done several. A very popular one is the 9 day River Kwai that extends to 15 days by traveling up to the Chang Mai area and taking in the sights inbetween. We did the long version of that tour, and only about half the group did the full excursion. I think all of the tours available that includes Thailand that are over 18 days are combined tours.

The combined tours accommodate folks that cannot get extra time off from work or just want a less expensive tour.

I think all the folks that only did 9 days in Thailand had time or work constraints. Not too much difference in price. It is a long way to fly for 7 nights on the ground for my taste.

Edited by user Saturday, July 9, 2016 3:56:39 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Randy and Deanie
Up next:
14 Day Treasures of Sri Lanka. 3/21
14 day Classic South Africa with Victoria Falls 11/20
12 day Kaleidiscope of Scotland 7/20
11 day Classic Colombia 3/20
Been there, done that:
14 day Majestic Balkans 5/19
16 Day Spiritual Southern India 11/18
14 Day Holland. Germany,Luxembourg & Belgium with Paris. 5/18
15 Day Indonesia: Java & Bali 10/17
13 Day Classic Costa Rica with Tortuguero and Manuel Antonio 2/17
18 Day Nepal & Bhutan 9/16
13 Day Kasbahs and Deserts of Morocco 5/16
15 Day Classic India with Ranthambore 11/15
11 Day Classic Baltics 6/15
11 Day Kaleidoscope of Guatemala and Honduras 1/15
13 Day Kaleidoscope of Ireland 9/14
14 Day Israel and Jordan - 5/14
15 Day Kaleidoscope of Thailand with River Kwai 11/13
16 Day China with Tibet and 3 Day Yangtze River Cruise  5/13
8 Day Classic Ecuador and Amazon Adventure 10/12
13 Day Turkish Treasures 5/12
10 Day Affordable  Peru  10/11
16 Day Affordable Bangkok, Cambodia and Vietnam 10/10
15 Day India's Majesty with Nepal  10/08
10 Day Greece with cruise 3/04
Donna Marie  
#5 Posted : Saturday, July 9, 2016 4:39:49 PM(UTC)
Donna Marie


Posts: 239

Yes, I figured the Viet/Cam may be two separates - like a couple of others I took. But, Mary mentions "a few" different groups. That's the odd part.... oh well. She loved it and I am still doing it and it looks like a good one.

I am so grateful to you both for input; I made my decision and will go back to my original of depature to capture the warmth and outdoor experiences to their fullest!

Donna

Upcoming
15 Day Spain (9/2017)
Completed Thus far with Gate 1...
15 Day Vietnam and Cambodia
10 Day Serengeti and Beyond: African Safari in Tanzania
15 Day Moroccan Allure
14 Day Israel and Jordan
15 Day Croatia Bosnia Slovenia and Venice
15 Day Turkish Treasures
9 Day Affordable Ireland
17 Day Peru and Ecuador
16 Day Classic Thailand with Phuket
11 Day Egypt with Abu Simbel and 3 Day Lake Nasser Cruise
10 Day Greek Islander Mykonos Santorini Athens
12 Day Enchanting Italy
9 Day Israel
Mary F  
#6 Posted : Saturday, July 9, 2016 9:00:30 PM(UTC)
Mary F


Posts: 40

Oh gosh, I just wrote you a long response, Donna, and then it disappeared with "access denied" when I tried to post it. :(
As near as I can figure, the 15-day tour is a mix of the 9-day Art and Wine, the 7-day and 11-day Crown of Spain, and the 12-day Kaleidoscope. We had people leaving in Madrid and Sevilla and gained a whole bunch in Madrid. When we toured the city there, we had two full bus loads. Our poor tour manager really had his hands full!
Some of your hotels are the same as ours. The one in Bilbao is really wonderful. I highly recommend the trip to San Sebastián-- it is a gorgeous city and the food is amazing.
The hotel in Sevilla is right across the street from a mall, where there is an El Corte Inglés departments store-- they have good prices on wine, deli items like olives, and souvenirs like saffron and turrón (Spanish nougat candy). Very handy, and we got a few bottles of wine and some snacks for our room so we could "pre-party" before dinner, haha.
In Barcelona, your first hotel is in a great location. Within walking distance is a fun tapas restaurant, Cerveceria Catalana, on Carrer de Mallorca. We liked it so much we went twice last May when we were in Barcelona for a week. Your last hotel is close to the beach, but not much else, although the metro system is very user-friendly.
I can't tell you about the other optionals, as we didn't do them. We made reservations to tour the inside of the Sagrada Familia instead of going to Montserrat, and are very happy we did that-- the Basilica is not to be missed and I'm not sure when there is another block of time available to do it. (Just went to Montserrat in May, and we were somewhat underwhelmed by it.)
I see you make your plans well in advance, as do we-- the anticipation is so much fun!
Mary 
15-day Kaleidoscope of Spain
Sept 2013
13-day Turkish Treasures, Sept 2014
17-day Ecuador and Peru, Aug 2015
18-day Kaleidoscope of South Africa, Sept 2016
Italy and Sicily, April 2017
Israel and Jordan, October 2017
Annual spring trip to Akumal, Mexico
LuvToTravelWorld  
#7 Posted : Sunday, July 10, 2016 11:37:06 AM(UTC)
LuvToTravelWorld


Posts: 681

I did the Spain, Portugal, and Morocco trip in Sept. one year. It was quite rainy in the extreme south of Spain, other wise the weather was great.
Sharon ~ Florida, USA
LuvToTravelWorld
https://youpic.com/LuvToTravelWorld

Next: Vietnam&Cambodia 2017, Russian Cruise 8/17, Baltics 8/2017
Done (and rated): 
17 day Discovery China&Tibet 10/16 3 1/2*
Ethiopia, on own, & 10 day Tanzania 6/16 5*

10 day Copper Canyon and Mexico 12/15, 3 1/2*
11 day Guatemala/Honduras 1/2015, 4*
14 day Greece 9/2014, 3* 
7 day Dubai 2013 11/2013, 4* with
15 day Thailand, Angkor Wat, Cambodia 11/2013, 5*
11 day Ecuador and Amazon 5/2013, 4*
10 day Costa Rica w/ Tortuguero, 11/2009, 4*, & 2/2013, 3*
10 day Affordable Peru, 5/2012, 5*
15 day France, 9/2012, 3 1/2*
15 day Turkey , 9/2011, 5* 
15 day Egypt/Nile Cruise, 2/2009, 4*
Globus trips..... Scotland Highlands, Norway, U.K., Ireland, Alpine Countries, Italia, Spain, Morocco, Portugal
 Independently toured South America- Chile, Argentina, Iquazu
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