In one of the last #ExperienceOfTheWeek episodes of 2021, we travel back to Portugal where we recently had a great time interviewing André, the founder of Nomadinspiration tours. If you want to learn more about how the season looked like in Portugal this year, what are some of the great spots you should not miss on your next trip, and why booking a private tour can be more authentic than planning your itinerary on your own, André has some tips for you. Let’s get into it, shall we?
Q1: Hi André, how are you doing?
Hello Ivana! And thank you very much for having me here doing this interview with you. I am doing well, trying to adapt to these new days in tourism.
Q2: Tell us more about Nomad Inspiration. Where did the idea come from?
So I worked in tourism, in Portugal, for 7 years. I was at college taking a degree in Political Science, which is quite interesting…but not for me, I did not feel the passion that I have to feel for things, normally.
I have stopped college and started my way in different jobs, experimenting. Then out of the blue, I had the chance to grab a job in business/tourism as a driver, that’s where I learned a lot of the things I know. A few years later I did some courses and started my own tourism company where I received thousands of people every year, and showed them what I love most, my country Portugal.
Q3: Portugal is an amazing destination and I bet there are dozens of things to show to fellow travelers. How big is your team? Are you all locals?
We were 4 people, now is just me, we did some adjustments and we felt this way would be better. So now I can put my ideas 100% and explore them with my guests. I do private tours only. I am local, I was born in Alfama, Lisbon the oldest neighborhood of Portugal. I try to bring my guests the best and most authentic of Portugal, this way not only they love Portugal, but we also create a connection that holds as friends.
Q4: Your selection of experiences is literally endless – you offer everything from multi-day trips to food & wine tours. What are the most popular activities among travelers who come to you?
One of the best attractions is Serra da Estrela and Historical Villages. It is a 10 days tour, at one of the most beautiful, authentic, traditional places of Portugal. Among day tours, it is the Mysteries of Regaleira in Sintra tour. This tour is amazing, everybody that comes to Lisbon (the capital) has to pass Sintra. In this particular tour, we visit the historical city center of Sintra, taste some awesome treats; then we visit one the craziest, but one with the most intriguing history and concept, Quinta da Regaleira, with its Iniciatic well, the palace, and the gardens. I just know that everybody loves that tour.
Q5: Today many people travel and plan their itineraries on their own. Why would you recommend booking one of your experiences to our travelers?
You can plan itineraries and travel by yourself, but in my experience, there is nothing better than a local that knows the best restaurants, the best and most hidden places, views, even shops or small coffee places. And of course, the exchange of knowledge and culture is something that does not have a price. We offer the best experience with all the comfort, our cars are high end Mercedes Benz vans so you can have all the safety and comfort in the world.
Q7: The travel industry is in uncharted waters right now but we all hope travel will rebound soon. What does the situation in Portugal look like right now? How was your summer season?
It is indeed living a one of a kind situation. Here in Portugal, we were seeing an increase in tourism every year, and 2020 in particular, was to be a year of great numbers. But the reality was different, we were in lockdown for 2 months and then things gradually started to open, but our summer season was not what we expected. We had almost no tourists, so a lot of companies closed due to the crisis, despite the help our government gave to the sector. At this moment, Portugal is one the best countries to visit, because we maintain our Covid-19 numbers down, but still, winter is coming and fewer people will come here. Hopefully, 2021 will be a better year for everyone.
Q8: Last but not least, what is your favorite destination in Portugal that you’d take your friends to see or experience? Tips from a true local are always worth it 🙂
The center north of Portugal, specifically the ancient historical villages of Belmonte (the oldest jew village of Portugal), Monsanto (considered the most Portuguese village, is so beautiful and remote. Also Sortelha, Manteigas – these are all little villages that you can find close to the highest mountain of Portugal, Serra da Estrela. In these places, you will find gastronomy that is traditional and simply delicious. The flavors and the way of cooking are from the old days – the wood ovens, local plants, local cattle – it is an amazing part of Portugal to explore.
Book some of the most popular experiences by Nomadinspiration here:
West Coast Tour Private