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DJKuulA  
#1 Posted : Monday, November 4, 2019 6:15:03 AM(UTC)
DJKuulA


Posts: 0


We're looking at this tour. Any thoughts on the optional excursions from those who've done it? Are any of them skippable, or especially not to be missed?

littlera  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, November 5, 2019 4:18:13 PM(UTC)
littlera


Posts: 685


There is little in the optionals that will not greatly enhance your experience. A couple are tapas lunches with tours included.


The one I was not happy with (same venue, but another tour company) was the flamenco show. Not so good for us.

Randy and Deanie
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DJKuulA  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, November 5, 2019 4:47:16 PM(UTC)
DJKuulA


Posts: 0


Thanks. We booked the Flamenco show, since it's at night and there's a good chance that we'd just hang out in the hotel otherwise. (Hopefully the new performers are better. :) )


Do you happen to remember whether there's time to visit the Guggenheim Bilbao if you take the San Sebastian side trip? The description in the itinerary isn't clear about whether you'd only get to view the museum from outside, or if it'd be possible to do a quick walkthrough and still join the San Sebastian excursion.



littlera  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, November 5, 2019 8:13:12 PM(UTC)
littlera


Posts: 685

I can't answer this as my tour was with Insight and we did not go to Bilbao. It's on the list, but we are pretty booked up and Spain again maybe 2022. My recommendations for your other optionals are based on feedback from other travel sites and knowledge that not signing up will leave big chunks of days without any organized activity. Doesn't mean you can't organize alternate activities, though.


We have been to Toledo and the UNESCO Royal Alkazar. Both are must visits for sure.


Edited by user Tuesday, November 5, 2019 8:19:08 PM(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
DJKuulA  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, November 6, 2019 4:36:08 PM(UTC)
DJKuulA


Posts: 0


Ah, when you said "other tour company" I somehow read it as a different company of Flamenco performers. :) We've never done an Insight tour. Generally speaking, how would you compare Gate 1 with Insight? (Feel free to PM if you don't want to post that answer.)


We've been on a couple of Gate 1 tours now and have enjoyed all the optionals. The only one we didn't do was the Can-Can-type show in Paris, and the only reason we skipped it was because it was almost $200 per person. The folks in our group who went all had a good time, though. San Sebastian sounds great, but the Guggenheim is probably the top thing on the entire itinerary for my wife, who's a designer and very into architecture. We definitely want a chance to walk through the building.


This will be our longest-ever vacation by far, not counting visiting relatives in China. And seven hotels in two weeks is a far cry from staying with family! We're gonna need to take full advantage of the traditional Spanish siesta, I think. :)



littlera  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, November 6, 2019 6:16:49 PM(UTC)
littlera


Posts: 685


First, don't worry about the Guggenheim. You will definitely visit - t is the main reason to visit Bilbao. If you read the tour highlights on the tour page it says you visit it. This means go in. If it was just a pass-by it would say "view."


If you want to know about Insight vs. Gate 1 look no further than my booking history: Insight, 1 tour. Gate 1, 20 tours with 4 more booked currently. Gate 1 is a MUCH, MUCH better VALUE and the tours with Gate 1 are as good or better. G1 hotels are better located (usually) and much more is included. Insight tour leader sits down with you on bus and does HARD sell for optional tours on day 1. Almost everything is extra cost. 15 years ago we had to spend $700 each on optionals to make it an actual tour. We did Balkans with G1 recently and I think there were no optionals. I looked at longer (18day) Insight tour with similar itinerary. There was about 27 optional tours! More than one per day.


The only thing great on Insight is they take about 1/3 of the seats on bus giving massive leg room. That's it.

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
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