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If you have a passion for good food, why not try cooking courses with your partner or friends and learn the basic skills of cooking or brush up your existing talent with a professional chef in a casual manner. This culinary vacation in Cordoba is not a learn to cook course, it is intended solely to enjoy a few days of cooking some sensational dishes that you have always wanted to see how are prepared, have a bit of fun, and add an experience of a lifetime to your memory book.
Finca Las Encinas offers comfortable rural accommodation, fine cuisine, and cooking courses, for those who appreciate good food and fine wines. It is thought that Finca Las Encinas has over 200 years old. It has been sympathetically reformed to the highest specifications, while keeping much of the original rustic features. Located on a vast private land full of protected oaks and fruit trees, it is set amongst the endless olive groves that have remained unchanged since the Roman times.
Finca Las Encinas is situated in a tranquil hamlet, tucked away on the edge of a stunning nature park Parque Natural de la Sierra Subbetica, and it is centrally located in Andalusia, approximately equal distance from Cordoba, Granada, and Malaga, which makes a perfect base to combine the relaxation and joy of the cultural and historical wealth of this stunning area. Whether you want to unwind, explore the heart of Andalusia, or do the cooking courses for a culinary retreat, your stay at Finca Las Encinas will be an unforgettable experience. Guests will be provided with several bedrooms options, in order to match the best accommodation.
An en-suite twin bedroom, with private terrace, and view of wooded area.
The Lucerna room is an en-suite double bedroom with two levels, a high beamed ceiling, side and back garden view.
This is an annex suite, with open-plan double bedroom or lounge, complete bathroom, private entrance, and private terrace with view of the wooded area.
Relax in an en-suite twin bedroom, with rustic original beams, view of the pool and the surrounding olive groves.
Finca Las Encinas offers cooking courses to small groups of people (up to four people). Hands on cooking courses will be led by a friendly, informative, and professional chefs. Historical and cultural backgrounds of ingredients or recipes are also discussed during the classes. Additionally, traditional and modern culinary techniques are taught. Cook together three-course menus (or five tapas recipes may also be available).
You will cook seasonally, using the freshest ingredients picked directly from the organic vegetable garden or fruit trees, or sourced from the neighbouring farms. The specialty of the chef is Spanish, Andalusian, and generally Mediterranean cuisine. Enjoy sampling what the participants have achieved at the end of the day.
Clive was born and bred in Cardiff, Wales, in the UK. He has been a professional chef for almost 20 years, since he started as a trainee chef at a French restaurant whose maste chef is an elite graduate of Cordon Bleu school in France. After having trained there for 6 years while studying at a local catering college, he went on to work at a few prestige restaurants in Cardiff and London, in order to expand his vision and develop new styles of cooking. Clive has worked as a successful head chef (specialising in French-Mediterranean cuisine, with a touch of Eastern taste in several parts of UK).
The Subbetica region is bounded by Iznajar to the south, Zuheros to the north, Lucena to the west, and Almedinilla to the east, covering over 30,000 hectares. It has a rich historical, archaeological, cultural and natural heritage that is to be appreciated by the visitors of all kinds. Please note that other popular tourist destinations such as Antequera (40 minutes), Costa del Sol, including Malaga, Ronda, Mijas (50 minutes), Cordoba (90 minutes), Granada (50 minutes), Sevilla (two hours), and Sierra Nevada (90 minutes) are easily accessible from the finca.
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Breakfast is served between 08:00 and 10:00, and it consists of a choice of freshly squeezed fruit juice, a variety of home-baked bread, locally cured ham, local cheeses, seasonal fruits, home-made jam and marmalade, and coffee or tea.
Using the finest freshest local produce as much as possible (a lot of the vegetables used are grown on their grounds), regional specialties, classic Mediterranean cuisine and chef's original recipes are served in a dinner party style. Two or three-course dinner is served from 20:00, barbecues are also available in summer. If you have any special dietary requirements, please inform Finca las Encinas in advance.
Your host can organize these self-guided trip for you. During an olive oil tasting you can learn and be educated under the guidance of an award winning professional taster who works for the Protected Denomination of Origin, while the wine tasting helps you discover the lesser known denominations of wine of Spain. Look, smell, and taste five different types of wine at one of the oldest wineries in Spain.
Outdoor activities that are available in this area are: bird watching, canoeing and kayaking, cycling, fishing, golf, hiking and walking, horse riding, hot air ballooning, paragliding, sailing, swimming, and much much more. There are a few outdoor pursuit specialists in the area and should you need any assistance in booking, please do not hesitate to contact Finca Las Encinas before your visit.
Iznajar is a pretty lakeside village sitting at the top of the rock with the eighth century Moorish fortress overlooking the reservoir called the Lake of Andalusia and the church quarter that dates back to 16th century. Enjoy fishing, sailing, hiking, or have a lazy day out at the Valdearenas beach.
This is the capital of Subbetica and is said to be the least-known Baroque wonders of Andalucia. This picturesque town sits at the foot of the highest mountain in the province of Cordoba, the 1600-meter La Tiñosa. You would find many architectural treasures including the magnificent national monument called King Fountain. Do not forget to stroll around the narrow alleys of the Barrio de la Villa, particularly when the flowers are in bloom.
Well-known for its anis (anise-flavored liqueur), Rute is a picturesque whitewashed town on a hill overlooked by the delightful mountain range. There are a few museums that are worth visiting such as Anise and Cured Ham. It is also a home to the internationally renowned Donkey Sanctuary ADEBO.
Zuheros is one of the most popular Subbetica villages particularly among keen hikers and painters, as there are plenty of well-signed footpaths in the beautiful nature park. La Via Verde de la Subbetica or Green Way of the Subbetica is one of the most stunning routes. The route was once used to transport olive oil by train to other parts of Spain and it has now been lovingly restored for the use of hikers and cyclists. Another popular route is a hike to a cave with Neolithic cave paintings. You may find some of the best goat cheeses and olive oil of the region in the village square.
Please book your flight to arrive at Federico García Lorca Airport (GRX) or Malaga Airport (AGP). From either of the two airports, you can rent a car to get to the location.