I've taken two tours both from Cosmos. The tour of England, Scotland and Wales i enjoyed tremendously and the one to Italy nearly as much though the tour guide wasn't as good and the crowd was a bit more reclusive in the evenings. The first time i was on my own and i felt safer traveling in a group. The Italian tour found us on our last day in Florence and we were tired after two weeks on tour and a week in London before that so we didn't appreciate Florence as much. We did the Uffizi and the Accademia. The Uffizi was neat but most of the paintings that i really wanted to see were not available as they were still being restored from a bomb that exploded outside the gallery about 3 years before that i think. I enjoyed seeing the David much much more. Didn't see the Medici chapels or the Pitti Palace or go over the Ponte Vecchio. I need to go bqack to Florence LOL

I am now to the point where if i am going to be just in main cities, i will travel on my own. But i'm still planning to take a tour of Scotland with a friend this fall as she wants to see a bit rather than go independently. We are going Globus this time, with the central hotels in the cities. But this trip is also combined with independent stays in London and Manchester area. Next year i am considering a tour of Portugal and yes, i know some of you have been there on independent trips and loved the place. But again, if i'm on my own as i might be, i would rather go with a tour and have company. I think i would also be more discerning of the optional tours, some of which are good value and some of which are not. Now if i was with a traveler who was a bit more brave than i, and willing to rent a car, i'd go independent. But until then, I am open to either tours or independent city stays.