(Options: Full Day Market Visit, Custom Tours, Tangiers Excursions)
Estepona/Marbella, Spain - 5 nights
Available year round
Explore the beautiful and impressive white washed villages (los pueblos blancos) of Andalusia while also partaking in healthy, hands-on organic cooking classes at a beach villa in an open kitchen facing the beautiful blue Mediterranean Sea. Your hostess not only speaks Arabic, French, English and Spanish, but is a passionate cook and advocate of healthy, organic food.
She is a regular guest/contributor on the ‘Talk Radio Europe’ show and has also has written columns in business magazines and online and is also an advanced Toastmaster speaker, often invited as a guest speaker to give chats in English and Spanish networking clubs and schools. During your lessons you will learn dishes from Lebanon, France, Spain and North Africa. Her love and passion for cooking will become apparent as she teaches you nutritional and healthy dishes that are also delicious!
You will stay in a charming boutique hotel in the heart of the Old Town of Marbella. The 150 year old house has been fully refurbished and its 4 suites have been decorated with the finest Asian style. Soft music, birds singing, the sound of a fountain and as well the sound of silence, makes the hotel an oasis of tranquility and peace. From the top terrace guests can relax and enjoy stunning views from the Sierra Blance, Old Town (XIV Century) and Arab Walls (IX Century).
Arrival at Malaga airport before lunch.
We stay in Malaga for a historical and cultural tour including the Picasso museum and the wine museum, then a stop to the oldest bodega for an aperitif followed by a typical lunch. Malaga is famous for the delicious small fried fish and sweet wine.(the feria of Malaga around the 19th August).
After lunch we continue our tour, then onto Marbella to a charming boutique hotel in the old town around 5pm. Tapas dinner around 8pm.
Today is your first cooking class. Your instructor will meet you at the hotel at 9.30am. Spanish 'churros and chocolate' in the ever so charming Plaza de los Naranjos (oranges square) not far from the hotel, then to the colorful local Marbella market full of great produce and wild seafood followed by a cooking class in her house located right on the beach in an open kitchen facing the sea.
After lunch, you will discover the charming and famous places in Marbella and around.
Evening tapas/dinner in a typical restaurant before the Flamenco show which starts at 10:30pm (both places are near the hotel).
Azahara & Ronda
Full day excursion (1 hour drive) through beautiful mountains and national parks. The first stop is in Azahara, a picturesque village perched on a high rocky mountain peak located in the middle of the Sierra del Pinar National Park. Visit an olive oil mill dating from the 18th century (1755). Demonstration of how the olives are pressed, you will enjoy a delicious green colored olive oil tasting with home made bread. The shop also sells lots of beauty products made from their own olive oil.
Second stop to Ronda, the most charming and ancient village in Andalucia. Ernest Hemingway lived in Ronda for many years - describing it in 'Death in the Afternoon’ a study of the bullfight and his bestseller ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ about the Spanish Revolution. Other famous authors who wrote of Ronda include Orson Wells (there’s a statue of him in the town and a road named after him). Hollywood superstar Cary Grant and Ava Gardener`s Spanish passion with a bullfighter. Not to be missed the 18th century traditional "Feria Goyesca" on the first weekend of September, it is unique and very beautiful. (If you plan to attend, tickets are extra and difficult to get.)
Visit to an Organic Vineyard, one hour guided tour + 4 excellent wine tastings and tapas. Next onto a ham producer where an expert will explain the famous Iberian acorn-fed ham process and the art of curing, cutting and tasting.
Lunch in the best restaurant in the area, followed by a guided tour of Ronda. The last stop of the day will be to an ancient wine museum to taste the great Moscatel naturally sweet wine.
Back to the hotel around 7pm with dinner in a chiringuito (beach restaurant) in Marbella, 10 minute walk from the hotel.
Ojen & Monda Villages
Cooking class at 11am followed by lunch at 2pm.
After lunch and on the way to Ojen you will stop for coffee in the Refugio de Juanar, originally a private hunting lodge and retreat of King Alfonso XIII in the heart of the Sierra de las Nieves (biosphere reserve). Then onto Ojen village with a visit to the Olive Oil Museum and Wine museum where you will have a tasting session with tapas. Ojen is a 20 minutes drive from Marbella. The picturesque village of Ojén used to be famous for aguardiente, the production of the anise liqueur, which many Spaniards drink each day with their morning coffee.
Our next village is Monda with a tour and dinner served in a 12th century Arabian castle-hotel sumptuously decorated in Moorish style and offers superb cuisine.
Cooking class at 11am followed by a delicious lunch at 2pm.
After lunch we visit one last beautiful village, Mijas (1/2h from Marbella). You will have a historical tour then a visit to a wine museum followed by tapas and wine tasting in the same museum (as an early dinner).
*Summer cooking classes from June to end of September are in the evening, starting at 5pm with dinner at 8pm. If you are having an evening cooking class, Mijas program will be in the morning from 12am.
Departure after breakfast and transfer to the airport/train station.
*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
1. FULL DAY TOUR WITH FISH MARKET VISIT AND COOKING CLASS DESCRIPTION (minimum 2 persons required to run this tour)
- Fish market visit, meeting at 9:30am
- Visit to an olive oil shop followed by a tasting of the best extra virgin olive oil in the world (and you can purchase some if you'd like to take home with you).
- Cooking Class in a beachfront home followed by lunch
- After lunch, you will go to an organic vineyard followed by wine tasting (1 hour road from where the cooking class takes place through beautiful mountains). Excellent wine!
- After the vineyard, visit of Ronda, the most beautiful village in Andalucia-
2. FISH MARKET VISIT AND COOKING CLASS DESCRIPTION (minimum 2 persons required to run this tour)
This fish market visit is an educational tour where you will learn the difference between farm-raised fish and wild fish
- Meet your guide at 9:30am at the colorful Marbella market that has great produce and seafood followed by a visit to an olive oil shop specializing in the best extra virgin olive oil in the world, with tasting
- This is followed by a cooking class with your guide/instructor at her beach front house
Sample of the menu depending of the season
- Welcome drink of green tea and fresh mint
- Starter: Water melon gazpacho (summer)
- Aperitive will be served at 1:30pm with Andalucian nibbles
- Main dish: Seafood TAPAS (wild fish and shellfish) or seafood PAELLA with vegetables or WHOLE BAKED WILD FISH in salt.
- Dessert: Tortilla fruits with almonds
3. COOKING CLASS AT A BEACHFRONT HOME (minimum 2 persons required to run this tour)
A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to 8 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.)
FIVE NIGHT PROGRAM
FULL DAY TOUR WITH FISH MARKET VISIT AND COOKING CLASS
Based on Two Persons/US$340 (based on clients having their own vehicle)
FISH MARKET VISIT AND COOKING CLASS/US$195
COOKING CLASS ONLY/US$145
*Please inquire about lower pricing for more than 3 persons
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation.
After availability is confirmed, a 50% 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 upon request
(Note: Sunday and Monday most of the interesting places are closed)
FIVE NIGHT PROGRAM
*Five (5) nights' accommodation with breakfast
*Welcome drink of Cava (Spanish sparkling wine)
*Three (3) cooking classes including the fish market visit
*English speaking escort / driver
*Five (5) dinners
*One (1) lunch (Ronda)
*All culinary excursions: bodegas - wine tasting – tapas – vineyard – museums
Airfare and personal expenses are not included.
Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Debi B., St. Pete Beach, Florida"For my 60th Birthday present to myself, I decided to take a risk...something we seem to do less of as we get more settled. I went to Marbella Spain and took an Active Gourmet cooking class...travelled by myself and had the most amazing time anyone could imagine. We went to markets in the morning, bought and learned about the fresh fish, cooked an amazing meal each day in a beautiful estate on the Mediteranean Sea, with the most engaging, friendly, knowledgable woman,Rashida, who made you feel so welcome. I went from a guarded cook to a confident in the kitchen "chef", and after all the prep, we ate a wonderful meal together. I have made several of the meals for family and friends and plan on making more of them... It was a memory of a lifetime."
Eric H., New York City, New York"Thank you for the wonderful cooking instruction during our recent trip to Spain. The whole group loved learning more about selecting the freshest seafood and learning techniques to prepare the dishes to bring out the best of each ingredient. My wife and I have been back from Spain for less than a week and already we're planning a dinner party to showcase our new found recipes and techniques. No doubt, all of our guests will be as impressed with the results as we were."
Sarah and Nick L., London, England"We had a wonderful time with you at the class. You make everything so fun and interesting and taught us so well that it seemed easy on the day AND it still seemed to make the dishes easily again at home TOO ;) Quite an accomplishment on your part!! It was so inspirational that we have started experimenting with the dishes and the ingredients you introduced us to. We had a wonderful time spending the day with you and it has made a real difference to our enjoyment and ability to prepare andalusian food ourselves at home. Thank you again so much!."
Isabel"I thank you so much for making both events so enjoyable for our guests... the feedbacks we got from the guests that participated in your cooking school was wonderful, and quite a unique experience for them all. I know that your husband was around for the first group, and the people enjoyed meeting him. Once again, thank you! and thank you for the special effort you made in meeting up with the groups in Marbella and taking them to the fish market, it made the visit very special for them, and they enjoyed that too...All the best."
Pixie G., Colorado"I can't tell you how much I enjoyed your cooking class. Not only did I learn lots of new tips, but your enthusiasm has reinvigorated my desire to cook creatively! I didn't know the difference between farmed raised fish and wild fish until the class I took with you. You also got me thinking more healthy again. Thank you."
Bonnie L., Larchmont, New York"Rashida was warm, welcoming and went out of her way to accommodate us. She couldn't have done anything better."
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.