About Spain Savvy

Experience Authentic Spain

Behind Spain Savvy is a team of true professionals you will meet along your journey.  From the driver who meets you at the airport to your private guide; from the waiter at the restaurant we recommend to the reception staff at your hotel, we pride ourselves on teamwork to make sure you have the most pleasurable experience.  At the helm of our operations is Managing Director Sarah Gemba – an American-born resident in Spain for over 15 years and a seasoned travel adviser.  She will be your main point of contact from the moment you decide to travel to Spain until the moment you are back home unpacking your souvenirs.

Sarah Gemba

At just 10 years old Sarah boarded a plane from hometown Boston for Guadalajara, Mexico to visit a school friend and began a lifelong love affair with the Spanish language, the Hispanic culture and all things travel.

Through her alma mater Connecticut College, Sarah was able to spend two semesters studying abroad in Spain with the idea of perfecting her Spanish and learning flamenco.

Little did she know, she was slowly becoming enchanted by the city of Seville and would ultimately move here permanently in 2004, embarking on a career in cultural travel.  Since then, she has been sharing her personal discoveries with travelers of all ages and backgrounds.  Sarah worked for over a decade for a boutique study abroad company leading the travel department, in between stints at local travel agencies.  She counts among her previous and current clients many prestigious educational institutions such as Road Scholar, Union College, Princeton University, the Culinary Institute of America, as well as countless families and other private groups who have entrusted her with their travels.

Today, she brings to Spain Savvy her strong work ethic, high attention to detail, a true passion for travel planning, and the ambitious vision to make Spain THE premier destination for discerning travelers.

Sarah spends her free time enjoying nature and traveling with her Spanish husband and three children. She is an amateur foodie and loves to keep up with the restaurant scene in Seville, as well as cooking traditional meals at home.

Welcome to Spain Savvy

Staff

Michelle Quinn
Travel Designer

Michelle is an avid and passionate traveller whose tattered passport with sewn-in extra pages has seen over 35 different country stamps (and still counting). Raised in southern California and based out of Seville, Spain since 2005, Michelle draws on her own personal travel experience, local knowledge of the culture and effective research skills to craft complete, tailor-made itineraries that promise unforgettable memories. She holds a BA in Anthropology and Spanish and a Master’s degree in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language. Driven by wanderlust and a curiosity for the unknown, Michelle can often be found planning upcoming adventures to new and exciting destinations with her Sevillano husband.

Daniel Egea
Business Manager

Daniel, Sevillano, works behind the scenes to make sure everything local runs smoothly and handling all of our business operations. You may also meet Daniel on one of our cultural tours or private experiences. He is an avid Feria goer and loves to teach our clients how to cook an authentic paella. Married to an American, Daniel is passionate about bringing the best of Spain to our visitors.

Francisco Bendala
Personal Guide

Fran is a true professional and has over two decades of experience leading groups of all ages, working almost exclusively with private American clients. His knowledge of Spain and Portugal is vast and our clients always thoroughly enjoy his company on their travels.

Sara Rumbao
Personal Guide

Sara, born and raised in Sevilla, has been working with individuals and groups from North America for over two decades, and lived for a short time in the United States on a teaching cultural exchange. As a university-level professor of the Spanish language and culture and an experienced official guide, she is adept at bringing Spain alive through her explanations and presentations.

Raquel Barea
Personal Guide

Raquel, born and raised in Seville, fell in love with traveling and the English language at a young age. She has a degree in Tourism and Business from the University of Seville, is a certified official guide, and has over 20 years of experience in the tourism sector. Raquel and has spent long periods of time outside of Spain in English-speaking countries and brings an innate passion to her wide variety of tours, focusing on showing visitors the best of the past, present and future of Seville.

Cristina Expósito
Academic Director

Cristina has been working as a Spanish teacher in Seville and Madrid since 2010. She started LaCasa Sevilla as a personal project that allows her to help curious travelers how to fall in love with the Spanish language and way of life.

Chío López-Alonso
Family Travel Specialist

Chio has extensive experience working with children and families, with a focus on bilingual education and entertainment. Spain Savvy relies on her to offer specialized services to families visiting the area of Seville.

Fiona Flores Watson
Web Content Editor

Fiona is a British writer, editor and content manager based in Seville, Spain. She writes about the food, architecture and traditions of southern Spain for Lonely Planet, the Telegraph and the Sunday Times Travel Magazine, among others. As a working mother of two bilingual children, Fiona enjoys introducing them to the Spanish side of their cultural identity – Moorish castles, flamenco, the Feria and the many strange and wonderful festivals of Andalucía.

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