I am planning a last-minutes trip to Spain. Looking for tour guides for Madrid, Barcelona, and Toledo. Any suggestions? Thank you.
In Barcelona, Rick recommends:
The Barcelona Guide Bureau is a co-op with about 20 local guides who give themed tours as well as private, customized tours (check website for prices of themed walks; customized tours-€102/person for 2, €53/person for 4, Via Laietana 54, tel. 932-682-422 or 933-107-778, www.barcelonaguidebureau.com).
José Soler is a great and fun-to-be-with local guide who enjoys tailoring a walk through his hometown to your interests (€225/half-day per group, mobile 615-059-326, www.pepitotours.com, firstname.lastname@example.org). He and his driver can take small groups by car or van on a four-hour Barcelona Highlights tour (€425) and can meet you at your hotel, the cruise port, or airport.
Cristina Sanjuán of Live Barcelona is another good, professional guide who leads walking tours and can also arrange cruise excursions (€155/2 hours, €20/each additional hour; €195 extra for a car for up to 2 people, €220 extra for up to 6; tel. 936-327-259, mobile 609-205-844, www.livebarcelona.com, email@example.com).
In Madrid try:
Frederico, Cristina, and their team are licensed guides who lead city walks through Madrid. They specialize in family tours of Madrid (prices per group: €155/2 hours, €195/4 hours, €235/6 hours) and to nearby towns (with public or private transit, tel. 913-102-974, mobile 649-936-222, www.spainfred.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Stephen Drake-Jones, a British expat, leads walks of historic old Madrid almost daily (12:00 and 20:00). A historian with a passion for the Duke of Wellington (the general who stopped Napoleon), Stephen founded Madrid’s Wellington Society and has been its chairman for over 30 years. For €65, you become a member and get a 3.5-hour tour with three stops for drinks and tapas (€10 more for fine wines). On his themed tours, eccentric Stephen sorts out Madrid’s Habsburg and Bourbon history, plus the Spanish Civil War and Hemingway’s Madrid. He likes wine, a lot--if that’s a problem, skip the tour (for details on his other tours, see www.wellsoc.org; mobile 609-143-203, email@example.com).
Other good licensed local guides include: Inés Muñiz Martin (a third-generation Madrileña, €120-180/2-5 hours, 25 percent more on weekends and holidays, mobile 629-147-370, www.immguidedtours.com, firstname.lastname@example.org), and Susana Jarabo (with a master’s in art history, €200/4 hours; extra rental charge to tour by bike, scooter, or Segway; mobile 667-027-722, email@example.com).