(Options: Customized Tours, Tapas Tours, Day Cooking Lessons and Excursions)
Andalusia, Spain - 7 nights
Available year round
The Legacy of Al Andalus will enable you to discover and explore the abundant history and culture of three of the most enchanting cities in the region, Seville, Granada and Córdoba - especially in its exceptional food and wine. In Andalusia, life is lived to the fullest and eating and drinking are taken very seriously. This seven night culinary holiday offers you unrivalled gastronomy, incredible wines, food and cultural visits. Enjoy a tapas tour, take cooking lessons in an authentic Spanish farmhouse with an incredible chef, learn about ham production and taste sherries and wines - this is the tour for the serious foodie.
Andalusia is the most southernmost region of Spain in the Iberian Peninsula. Due to the succession of invasions by the Phoenicians to Romans, Andalusian history is quite different to that of other parts of Spain. But it is the Moors who have left the most striking marks on Andalusian culture and customs. They had ruled the region for almost 800 years and named Andalusia 'al-Andalus'.
The legacy of al-Andalus is visible in its landscape, artistic and cultural heritage, scientific culture, architectural monuments from the tiniest villages to the astonishingly beautiful masterpieces of Córboba, Granada and Sevilla. The Moors were particularly fascinated by the natural wealth of al-Andalus and cultivated the land with olives, citrus fruits, figs, vines, almonds, saffron.... which are still the principal ingredients in Spanish, particularly Andalusian cuisine of today.
As a result of a long and varied history with the diverse cultures that have remained in different eras, there are very few cities in the world that can compare with the seductive charms of these ancient cities, Córboba, Granada and Sevilla.
ITINERARY (*Can start on any day Monday to Thursday)
Arrival in Seville.
You will be collected from airport, bus or train station and taken to your four star hotel. Time for rest and relaxation before your evening out.
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel at 8pm for an evening tapas tour. You will be taken to four of the best bars in Seville, the city considered by many to be the tapas capital of Spain.
Today we take you to the Sierra of Aracena in the province of Huelva, a mountainous area north-west of Seville near to the Portuguese border. It is here that the finest hams in the world are made from the Iberian pig. These hams are cured in the mountain air for up to 3 years and are considered by many people to be the jewel in the crown of Spanish gastronomy. This area is situated about 90 kilometres (56 miles) from Seville. We will first visit a farm to see how the pigs are reared and then go on to see the installations of one of the best ham producers in the village of Jabugo, a mythical name in Spain for fine ham. An expert will show us around, explaining the processes involved in the production of ham and of other products which come from the Iberian pig. At the end of the visit you will be able to taste the wonderful ham along with a glass of the best fino. Afterwards, we will go on to the town of Aracena where we will have a gourmet lunch at the best restaurant in the area. We will sample the finest local produce, including fresh cheese, ham, wild mushrooms, pork from the Iberian pig, asparagus, artichokes, etc. Many of the dishes will vary according to the season. The meal will be accompanied by fine Spanish red wine and end with typical desserts. On arrival back in Seville you will be free for the rest of the day.
Today’s excursion takes you to Sanlúcar de Barrameda, the second most important sherry town, unknown to the majority of foreign visitors. It is a similar distance from Seville as Jerez and is a beautiful place at the mouth of the Guadalquivir estuary. It looks across to the Doñana National Park and out on to the Atlantic Ocean. Among the many styles of sherry wine produced here manzanilla stands out as a style of sherry made in a similar way to fino but lighter with a salty hint to it. The town is also known for very fine seafood; it is one of the best places for this in Spain. We will pass by some of the vineyards before arriving in the town, where we will start with a visit to the fantastic local market located in the old centre. We will then proceed to one of the best wineries in the town for an extended private tour. You are in for a treat as all the wines that you taste will be poured straight form the barrel, including some rare wines that are more than 30 years old! After the bodega visit we will go to one of the superb seafood restaurants along the bank of the estuary where we will indulge in langoustines, shellfish, fine fried fish, sea food and rice stews etc., all washed down with the finest manzanilla. There will be time to wander along the beach before returning to Seville when you will be free to explore the city.
Farewell to Seville. Transfer to your next accommodation. Pick up at the train station and transfer to a rural cooking retreat based in Cordoba Province.
Welcome drinks and some free time to settle in. Early evening you will have an opportunity to take a stroll around the beautiful olive groves.
Enjoy the evening with the chef in the kitchen for your first hands-on cooking session followed by a delicious welcome dinner.
WELCOME DRINKS, DINNER
Priego de Córdoba
After breakfast, you will arrive at the home of award-winning olive oil, Priego de Córdoba. It is a delightful and picturesque town known as the “Baroque Jewel” in Andalusia. Its glorious Baroque architecture and national monuments such as Iglesia Asunción, a Baroque church with breathtaking white stucco work and statuary, and Fuente del Rey, the 16th century fountain with 139 water spouts, are only a few of the examples. We will take a stroll around the narrow streets of “Barrio de la Villa”, or the Arab Quarter, covered with colourful geraniums and well-tendered plants. Also you will have a chance to participate in Olive Oil Tasting - taste the different types of “juice of the olive fruits” and learn about this extraordinary tree. Priego de Córdoba gives its name to one of the nine Spanish olive oil Denominations of Origin approved by an official regulatory body. We will then stop at a typical Andalusian tapas bar for lunch with fino. Back to the Finca, relax and attend your second cooking session followed by dinner.
BREAKFAST, TAPA LUNCH, DINNER
After breakfast, you will travel through delightful olive groves of the southern Campiña and the rich farmlands of the north to visit one of the world’s most magnificent architectural monuments, Mezquita (the Mosque-Cathedral) in Córdoba. You will learn about the history of different cultures - the Moors, Jews and Christians, who influenced this exquisite city. You will see a typical Cordovan street, the Callejón de las Flores whose balconies and walls are decorated with hanging pots of bright-coloured geraniums in summer. Have a cup of mint tea the Moroccan tea salon and then free time to wonder around the World Heritage site, the Judería, or old Jewish quarter. Lunch stop at a popular tavern offering some of the most celebrated regional cuisine.
Back to the Finca, rest and into the kitchen for your final cooking session followed by dinner.
BREAKFAST, TAPA LUNCH, DINNER
Granada, dominated by the snowcapped peaks of Sierra Nevada, is one of the greatest and most memorable destinations in Spain. We will visit another World Heritage site, the exquisite Moorish Alhambra Palace and garden guided by an expert. It was once a palace-fortress of the Nasrid Sultans who ruled the last Spanish Moorish Kingdom in Granada. You will have a chance to walk around the maze of narrow alleyways in the old Moorish quarter of Albaicín district before settling in at a traditional Grenadian bar for tapas lunch. There will be a plenty of opportunities to do shopping before making our way back to the Finca to revitalize.
Later in the evening, a special farewell dinner will be served by your hosts.
BREAKFAST, TAPA LUNCH, DINNER
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport, bus or train station in hopes that you will return for a visit in the future.
*The content or order of the itinerary may change depending on dates, availability of services or activities, local festivals/holidays, weather constraints, etc. *Menus are samples and may vary according to the season
A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 6 participants.
(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your party. Please inquire.)
HOW TO ARRIVE
Closest Airport: Sevilla Airport is about 20 minutes from Sevilla center
Closest Train Station: Sevilla Santa Justa train station is 10 minutes from Sevilla center
*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.
Double Room (Suite Upgrade)/US$3175 (Suite upgrade refers to second location only)
Extra Cooking Session at Second Location/US$150
Extra Night/Half Board at Second Location/US$125
Extra Night/Full Board at Second Location/US$155
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation
*Please inquire about supplements for Holy Week and April Feria (Fair)
After availability is confirmed, a non-refundable 30% deposit and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due in full 75 days before your arrival date.
*Available year round on request
*Please inquire about other itineraries or lengths of stay
*Recommended time to travel is March through October
First Portion of Tour:
*Three (3) nights' accommodations at a four star hotel in Seville
*Gourmet lunches and gourmet dinners (excluding those evenings where dinner is on your own)
*All wine and drinks with the included meals
*All cultural excursions
*Arrival transfer on Day One from Seville airport, train or bus station
*Train transfer from Seville Santa Justa Train Station to Antequera Santa Maria Train Station on Day Four (leaving Seville at about 12:50pm, then transfer to the cooking retreat (Antequera Santa Ana Train Station, NOT Bobadilla)
Second Portion of Tour:
*Pick up from Antequera Santa Ana Train Station on Day Four (arriving Antequera Santa Ana at about 2:15pm), then transfer to the cooking retreat (Antequera Santa Ana Train Station, NOT Bobadilla)
*Welcome drinks upon arrival
*Four (4) nights' accommodation in a Spanish finca (farmhouse)
*Three (3) lunches
*Four (4) dinners
*Three (3) hands-on cooking sessions
*Departure airport transfers or train transfers (Malaga or Granada Airports only, OR Antequera Train Station including the old station, and Antequera Santa Ana for AVE services)
*Escorted excursions including olive oil tasting
*Dinner includes a bottle of wine per 2 people plus water
*Recipe booklet and a surprise gift
*If going back to Seville or departing to any other destinations not listed above, please consult with us well in advance for advice and/or to coordinate the logistics.
Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Doris B., Niles, Michigan
"I had a great time at both locations and look forward to another adventure in the near future. I'm looking forward to making the dishes I learned."
Cheryl and Geoff, United Kingdom
"We could not have hoped for more."
This exciting region is depicted below. You can also access Google MapsTM by clicking HERE.
*In some cases mapping may give clients a general sense of location due to changes in venue. Please inquire about specific location.