My daughter, her fiance, and I took three private tours with Lisbon Explorer--"Taste of Portugal", "Hidden Lisbon", and "Around Alfama". We were fortunate enough to tour with Paolo--much celebrated on this board. And now we know why.
He is, quite simply, the best tour guide we've ever had (and we've had some great ones!). Paulo has it all--knowledge, scholarship, humor, artistic sensibility, refined taste in food and wine, wit and charm. He spins a tale like no one else. We stood gripped as he described the destruction wreaked by the 1755 earthquake and the ensuing tsunami; we were in tears from his dramatic recounting of the tragic events of Rossio Square; we were drooling as he told the history of Pasteis de Nata and how they are made, which made our first bite of these divine pastries even more luscious. (I don't even LIKE pastries, but I'm still dreaming about these!)
We decided to book private (rather than group) tours with Paolo, and we were very glad we did. This allowed us time to share a typical Portuguese lunch between tours (with Paolo again regaling us with the history of the food, how it is made and how to consume it). And it also gave us time to set our own pace and have a few merry stops along the way to taste Ginjinha (which Paolo ordered "with fruit"--the best way to have it) and other local delicacies.
Antonio (who works in the office and handles correspondence) is also first-rate. I decided to go with Lisbon Explorer and not another group after my first email exchange with Antonio. He replies with blinding speed to inquiries. He has perfect English, he listens carefully to what you say, and he took a lot of time to plan the best tours for our little family. One morning, while touring with a different guide (we couldn't get the in-demand Paolo), there was a small problem with hotel pick-up. Though this had nothing to do with him, Antonio was rushing to the rescue, along with his wife, when our guide finally arrived. It was comforting to know that in case of any difficulties, Antonio and Lisbon Explorer were always there to help.
Lisbon Explorer is a full-service tourism company that takes excellent care of its customers. If you can afford it, I recommend springing for a private tour with Paolo, for we've never experienced anything like it. If not, then I'm sure Paolo also does very well with groups and would impress your clients/friends as he did my family.
If you are reading this, Paolo and Antonio, then let me say thanks--thanks from the heart-- for making our short stay in Lisbon so unforgettable.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.