Saranjan Tours

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Camino Santiago 2018



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Painting in Spain 2018

Farm Tour Portugal

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El Transcantábrico


2018 pricing & schedules

El Transcantábrico

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2018 pricing & schedules

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Do you do walking tours?
Yes. For example, see Camino de Santiago Walking through Andalucia. We can also arrange walking tours in the Costa Brava, the Pyrenees, etc.

Can you get me a good deal on hotel reservations?
We provide hotel reservations only in conjunction with a tour package. Unfortunately, there is simply not enough margin in hotel reservations to make this feasible for us otherwise.

Where is the calendar of scheduled tours on your web site?
There isn't one. If you are like most of our customers, your travel dates typically don't fit a tour operator's predefined calendar. You also often prefer a different mix of options than what you can get from a fixed package. You are not in search of the lowest price--you simply want the best customized travel experience available. We don't typically do tours on a predefined calendar, with a few exception where the tour is only economically possible at specific dates, or when the tour is arranged around a special event. We will arrange your tour when you want it, where you want it. Your schedule, your personalized tour. You get the benefit of our in-depth knowledge of Spain and Portugal, and we focus on arranging the best travel experience you can get anywhere.

Where are the cheap tours?
If you're looking for the cheapest accommodations in Spain, Saranjan probably can't help you, unless you have a really large group. But if you want a high quality custom tour experience, you're in the right place. You can typically reduce the cost of a Saranjan Tour by rounding up a group of people to travel together. Some tours can only be organized at a reasonable price for a minimum of 4 people. We can arrange tours for one or two people, of course, but this usually comes at a much higher cost. We have experience with groups of any size and composition, such as alumni groups, family groups, and other affinity groups. With our network of guides and our extensive contacts with trustworthy service providers, we can arrange itineraries, hotels, services and places that we know provide the best value for demanding travelers.

We are going to be stopping in a Spanish city during our cruise. Can you arrange for a one day or one half-day tour?
Probably not, unless you are willing to pay a very high premium for the service. Because of the time and cost involved in scheduling such a tour with high quality guides, we normally provide tour services only in conjunction with a multi-day tour package.

Can I run with the bulls at the Fiesta de San Fermín in Pamplona?
That depends on how fast you can run... and on how sure your footing is on street pavement... and on how clever you can be in dodging the horns and other runners' elbows... and whether you trust that your insurance can come through... If you do want to try, or just watch how it's done, we can arrange it (except for the insurance if you decide to run). But note that after March it becomes extremely difficult to find any accommodation in Pamplona.

Do you go to Morocco?
Saranjan works with colleagues in Morocco to offer day tours to Tangiers, Marrakech, Rabat, and Fez. Whether you want hotels and a walking guide, or point to point private escorted services, we can help make a trip to Morocco feel secure and adventurous.

Are there any unspoiled beaches left in Spain?
Yes, and even small hotels in paradise and rental villas to match--the Tropical Coast, the Coast of Light, and Green Spain (the North). Note that we only handle hotel reservations or villa rentals when they are included in complete custom tour packages.

Our Wine Club wants to do a tour of Spain. Can you help?
Yes, with visits to small-scale, authentic producers of the highest rated wines. Contact us for details.

A particularly nice dessert in BurgosWe are serious about food. What would you recommend?
Our tours that include Bilbao or San Sebastian feature some of Spain's best dining and 4-star tapas. All our tours feature fine dining and superb regional wines. The Transcantabrico train journey across the North of Spain includes meals in local restaurants that feature typical foods of each of the region traversed by the train.

Do you do one day wine tours only?
Yes, as add-on or in conjunction with other tours. We can also offer a similar service in La Rioja, from Bilbao or San Sebastián, and in Ribera del Duero, from Madrid.

I don't like to pack and unpack every day. What do you recommend?
We can arrange tours that return to the same hotel for several nights. Note however that due to the distances this might not be feasible if you want to cover several regions. There is one way to see several regions without unpacking though: On the Transcantabrico train journey across the North of Spain, you unpack only once for seven nights in your cabin with a private bathroom. The train does not move while you are sleeping.

I can't find Spain on the map!
Believe it or not, you're not alone! Find Europe, then look at the Southwest corner.

What is the climate like in Spain in the Spring?
Think of Iberia as an outstretched bull's hide. The heart is Madrid; draw a sword through the heart: to the North is cool, to the South is warm.

Basting the lambWhat meals are included in your typical tours?
A full breakfast daily and lunch or dinner with wine in distinctive regional restaurants.

Do you include entrance fees?
Yes, entrance fees are included in all our tours--from Granada's Alhambra to Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum.

What category of hotels do you stay in?
Paradors and Pousadas, the elegant deluxe hotels found in former palaces and monasteries. We also stay in first-class ultra-modern city hotels and first-class family-owned inns in the countryside.

Can you help with arrangements if I want to stay in Spain or Portugal before or after your tour?
Yes, in conjunction with any of our packages you can purchase a City Break program for one or more cities in Spain or Portugal, or we can make arrangements for your hotel and other services in any city if you want to extend your stay before or after a tour.

I have never been to Spain or Portugal. How should I choose my destination?
Explore this Web site for ideas, then call us to chat with our knowledgeable staff who will help you choose the right program for you.

I like to travel in October or November. Where is the best destination?
Barcelona and Andalucia, with their long autumns and mediterranean climate.

Can I take my cell phone with me and will it work in Spain or Portugal?
You can find answers to this and other practical questions in our pages of practical tips for Spain and Portugal.

Why do Spaniards eat dinner at 10pm?
Because that is the tradition. Spaniards like to have a walk, usually with their family, before dinner, and to dine late.

I want to walk the pilgrimage route to Santiago, from the Pyrenees, all 500+ miles; can you help me to arrange this?
We arrange shorter walking tours along the Camino de Santiago, but if you want to walk the whole distance, you might want to get in touch with an organization that provides support to pilgrims. See our web page with some practical tips for the Camino de Santiago and several useful links.

Traditional dress in SalamancaWhat physical condition is required for your tours?
Our custom tours are geared to the wishes and capabilities of the individuals. Note that many historical sites and wine cellars have no or limited accommodation for accessibility, but some do. For more detailed information on physical requirements for our custom designed itineraries, or to set up a custom tour to fit your requirements, do not hesitate to contact us.

When I search the Internet, or I contact hotels directly, I can find prices lower than those you quote me for some of those services. How do you justify charging me more?
Let us consider an analogy. When you go to a restaurant, you know that what you are being charged is more than the price of the raw materials. And yet you pay for it, because you know that you are paying for the convenience of having someone else plan, select, prepare and serve the meal. Tour operators design and plan tours that will appeal to their customers, find accommodations and services, and select from a choice of services those that are the most likely to be provided with the most success. They constantly evaluate service providers and maintain contact with them to ensure the best possible travel experience. This involves a whole network of contacts and services that implies considerable work, time and money spent by your travel agent, the tour operator, local tour service agents or guides, and the local service providers. Tour operators also take into account seasonal price changes, unpublicized surcharges, availability issues and the vagaries of currency exchange rates. For example, a hotel may quote one price in response to a general inquiry, but a different price when you actually try to book a desirable room for a particular date. When tour operators quote you a price and you sign on the dotted line, they assume, within limits spelled out before you sign, some of the risk that prices and exchange rates will vary by the time the services are provided. They are also prepared to spend time and money looking for reasonable alternatives if a service provider fails to deliver for whatever reason. Nothing prevents you from planning, assembling, and tracking all this yourself, just like nothing prevents you from assembling your own meal. Sometimes, however, you just want to pay the professionals to do it, and just relax and enjoy.

Do you work with travel agents?
Most of our customers are in fact travel agents who are using our services as destination specialists on behalf of their own customers. If you are not a travel agent, we will of course be happy to deal with you directly. However, if a travel agent made the initial contact to set up a tour for you, our policy is to continue the relationship through that agent.

Can you recommend a travel agent?
We may have worked with a travel agent in your area. Contact us if you need a referral. If you already have a travel agent, we can work with him or her, of course. Just give us their contact information in the travel agent box of the contact form, or ask them to get in touch with us directly. Just tell your agent to look us up at "" or give him or her the contact information from our contact page.

Is it safe to travel in Spain?
As almost everywhere, including back home, travelers to Spain and Portugal have to be careful with their money, travel documents and other belongings. The U.S. State department publishes detailed Consular Information Sheets for travel in Spain and Portugal. These sheets contain up to date information for safe travel in Spain, as well as information on required travel documents, etc.

Private or group escorted tours, custom affinity tours and customized independent travel packages are available to all destinations. Customized packages typically include airfare, car rental, train vouchers, and all hotels, villa and apartment rentals in connection with the custom tour.


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Copyright © 2016 Saranjan, Inc. All rights reserved