6 Days Spanish Cooking Vacations in Cordoba, Spain

  • Finca las Encinas, Calle Partido de Los Juncares, 31, 14979, Iznajar, Cordoba, Spain

Cooking Holidays in Spain

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.

Highlights

  • 4 cooking classes
  • Spanish, Andalusian, Mediterranean cuisine
  • Learn history or culture related to ingredients or recipes
  • Welcome drinks, welcome dinner, a bottle of wine with dinner
  • Personalized recipe booklet on Spanish cuisine
  • Daily breakfast and dinner of what you create
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • 4 days with instruction
  • English
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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.

Iznajar room

An en-suite twin bedroom, with private terrace, and view of wooded area.

Lucena room

The Lucerna room is an en-suite double bedroom with two levels, a high beamed ceiling, side and back garden view.

Priego de Cordoba room

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.

Zuheros room

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 Ridout

    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).

Parque Natural de la Sierra Subbetica

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.

Nearby places

  • Antequera - 40 minutes
  • Cordoba, 109 kilometers - 90 minutes
  • Costa del Sol - 50 minutes
  • Granada, 106 kilometers - 50 minutes
  • Iznajar, 7 kilometers
  • Jaen, 98 kilometers
  • Malaga, 92 kilometers
  • Priego de Cordoba, 21 kilometers
  • Rute, 14 kilometers
  • Seville, 216 kilometers - 2 hours
  • Sierra Nevada - 90 minutes
  • Zuheros, 60 kilometers
Activities
  • Boating nearby
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Fishing nearby
  • Golf course
  • Health club
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding / rental
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain walking / trekking
  • Outdoor swimming pool
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting / tour
General
  • Barbecue facilities
  • Beach nearby
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Lake nearby
  • Lounge
  • Special menu request
  • Terrace
Services
  • Bicycle rental
  • Car rental nearby
  • Library
  • Laundry
  • Parking lot
  • Tour assistance

Breakfast

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.

Dinner

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.

Spanish cuisine sample menu

Starter

  • Char-grilled wild asparagus with orange and rocket salad
  • Clams with fino and saffron
  • Chilled almond and garlic soup with green grapes

Main course

  • Sautéed prawns in anise liqueur
  • Hake with almond garlic mayonnaise with fresh tomato salsa
  • Partridge with mint and pistachio

Dessert

  • Poached pears in lavender fragrant honey
  • Fresh fig tart
  • Coffee and brandy flan

Tapas course

  • Red pepper stuffed with creamy fish
  • Baby gem with anchovy and garlic chips
  • Aubergines with coriander and honey
  • Chicken and pine nuts croquettes
  • Char-grilled wild asparagus with almond sauce

Enjoy olive mill visit and olive oil tasting, as well as winery visit and wine tasting

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

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.

Places of interest

Iznajar

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.

Priego de Cordoba

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.

Rute

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

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.

  • 4 cooking courses
  • 4 dinners of what you have created
  • 5 nights accommodation on B&B
  • Detailed recipe booklet with information on Spanish cuisine
  • Dinner on arrival day prepared by your host chef
  • Spanish VAT
  • Welcome drinks and tapas
  • Any other services not stated
  • Extra cooking sessions
  • Extra dinners and drinks where not specified
  • Flights
  • Laundry
  • Local car hire
  • Lunches
  • Outdoor activities or excursions
  • Tips
  • Tourist visas
  • Travel insurance

Driving directions from Malaga Airport (AGP)

  • Leave the airport keep right to continue towards N-340 Málaga.
  • At the roundabout, take the second exit and stay on N-340 Málaga.
  • Merge onto Avenida de Velázquez MA-21
  • Take the MA-20 slip road to Benalmádena / Algeciras / Cádiz.
  • Keep left at the fork, follow signs for Antequera / Sevilla / Granada and merge onto MA-20.
  • Use the left two lanes to take the exit towards MA-20/Almería, A-45 / Córdoba / Granada / Sevilla.
  • Merge onto A-7.
  • Use the right two lanes to take exit 241 for A-45 towards Córdoba / Granada / Sevilla.
  • Continue onto A-45 Córdoba.
  • Use the right two lanes to take exit 114 for A-92M towards Granada.
  • Continue onto A-92M Granada.
  • Take exit one towards Camacho / Salinas / A-333 / Villanueva de Tapia.
  • Turn left at the junction following the sign for A-333 Iznájar and continue until you see Lake Iznájar.
  • After crossing the first bridge over the Lake Iznájar, ignore the sign for Iznajar and continue straight ahead.
  • There should be Restaurante Casa Juani on your left, cross the second bridge passing a building merchant on your left. Find a green 47 kilometers sign, and a green petrol station on left immediately after that. Take a right turn towards A-333 El Higueral / Priego de Córdoba / Los Juncares.
  • Drive until you find a green road sign, A-333 42 kilometers on your right, and drive further for 400 meters. You will find a white sign “Los Juncares”. You should see a green bus stop or shelter on your right. Take the left turn immediately and driver up.
  • Go straight up a gradual hill for approximately 800 meters and take the second left turn (there should be an enormous oak tree in the corner with a small red square sign attached).
  • Continue for a further 190 meters and the finca is located on your right, just after passing a large car port on the right hand side of the road. On your left, you should see green and yellow communal waste bins.
  • Directly opposite the bins, there is a small Christian shrine under the big oak tree (but you may not notice it until you have passed our entrance).
  • Drive up to the car park where you should see a garage with blue doors on left.

Driving directions from Federico García Lorca Airport (GRX) in Granada

  • Leave the airport and follow the sign for A-92 Malaga, Sevilla, and Antequera.
  • Following A-92, slight right for Malaga / Sevilla.
  • Take the exit for A-333 Camacho, Salinas, and Villanueva de Tapia.
  • Turn right at the fork. Turn left at the junction following the sign for A-333 Iznajar and continue until you see Lake Iznájar.
  • After crossing the first bridge over the Lake Iznájar, ignore the sign for Iznajar and continue straight ahead.
  • There should be Restaurante Casa Juani on your left, cross the second bridge passing a building merchant on your left. Find a green 47 kilometers sign, and a green petrol station on left immediately after that. Take a right turn towards A-333 El Higueral / Priego de Córdoba / Los Juncares.
  • Drive until you find a green road sign, A-333 42 kilometers on your right, and drive further for 400 meters. You will find a white sign “Los Juncares”. You should see a green bus stop or shelter on your right. Take the left turn immediately and driver up.
  • Go straight up a gradual hill for approximately 800 meters and take the second left turn (there should be an enormous oak tree in the corner with a small red square sign attached).
  • Continue for a further 190 meters and the finca is located on your right, just after passing a large car port on the right hand side of the road. On your left, you should see green and yellow communal waste bins.
  • Directly opposite the bins, there is a small Christian shrine under the big oak tree (but you may not notice it until you have passed our entrance).
  • Drive up to the car park where you should see a garage with blue doors on left.

Arrival by airplane

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.

GPS

  • 37.297139 latitude
  • -4.277046 longitude
For information about the booking conditions, please send Finca Las Encinas an inquiry.

Testimonials

  • Review by a traveler from Glasgow, UK
    10 out of 10

    "This was a wonderful mini break, cooking in the kitchen with Chef Clive and enjoying staying in a traditional farmhouse in the mountains above Córdoba. Great location, charming hosts and beautiful food!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Andy F. and Marina
    10 out of 10

    "We booked a four-day long weekend combined with a fish cooking class in Finca Las Encinas. Maki and Clive were wonderful hosts making our stay a really relaxing and enjoyable experience. The quiet and rural environment added to this. The cooking class was an absolute highlight and we were amazed by how easy it is to prepare a fantastic Spanish dish. Thanks a lot and see you soon!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Drogheda, Ireland
    10 out of 10

    "We stayed last October when we were needing a break. This is an ideal spot. Comfortable without complication and delightfully relaxed. We lay back and enjoyed the food which is hard to beat anywhere around and the calm atmosphere. Clive mapped out a great walk for us through the olive groves that was brilliant and full of archaeological surprises. Great base from which to explore Andalusia. We had history and horse riding, swimming and sightseeing through the local villages and towns. Proper lovely. Highly Recommended by both of us."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Petronella S.
    10 out of 10

    "The hosts Maki and Clive were very welcoming, friendly and knowledgeable about the local area. Our room was immaculate, spacious, cool and tastefully rustic, during the couple of days with bad weather the underfloor heating was fab, and when it was hot there was plenty of space around the pool with comfortable beds. The views from the pool and patio where meals were served are stunning. What makes this place special is the food, absolutely faultless, Clive is an excellent chef, mealtimes are a real joy. The area is very rural and quiet, there are some pretty rural towns nearby, I think a car is essential to explore this area."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Charlotte B.
    10 out of 10

    "My friend and I had a great time with Clive and Maki. The Finca was gorgeous and it was delightful to learn to cook Spanish cuisine using produce from the gardens! It was unseasonably cold and rainy for early May so we weren't able to use the pool but we did explore the surrounding towns (Priego de Cordoba was a highlight) and Clive gave us a tour of the farm on our last morning. Both Clive and Maki were incredibly friendly and made us feel very welcome. Highly suggested."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Jessica R. from Brackley, UK
    10 out of 10

    "It truly felt like mum and I had lived with a family for a week. Clive and Maki were so accessible for advice, for stories, recommendations and just sharing their day with us. We tended to head off after breakfast (I think I was early to bed so I could wake up for this!) after taking direction and then return for a late afternoon laze in the hammock by the pool with a book and beverage. Location is removed from all you go on holiday to escape. Instead, star gazing, sunrises, sunsets, peace, tranquility, community abound."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Copenhagen, Denmark
    10 out of 10

    "I stayed at Finca Las Encinas at the end of March as part of a horse-riding holiday - I was a solo traveller and I couldn't have asked for a warmer welcome and happier stay. The hosts, Clive and Maki and their son are so relaxed, friendly and keen to see guests enjoy their time. For me, it felt like a home from home. The food is exceptional - like visiting a fantastic restaurant each night. Clive is clearly a master chef and the two guests doing the cookery class were rightly proud of their creations! Dinners were a very jolly and celebratory affair and I was very touched that they made me a special paella and cake on my birthday. The rooms are cosy and comfortable, the views are beautiful and the pool is lovely. Although you are right in the countryside (part of the charm) it doesn't take long to get to other places in a car. I would thoroughly recommend Finca Las Encinas and hope to go back sometime!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Opal from Alabama, USA
    10 out of 10

    "I would recommend this trip to anyone who wants the food experience of a lifetime. You don't have to be an experienced cook to enjoy all that Finca Las Encinas has to offer. Even if all you're looking for is a place to find beauty and peace, I would book a trip here and enjoy all that Clive, Maki, and Cei have to offer."

    Finca Las Encinas website, edited

  • Review by Gaynor and David from Wellington, New Zealand
    10 out of 10

    "It was an absolutely fantastic experience. The food was the best we have ever ever tasted. Combined with the glorious setting, the charm of your finca, the pleasure of the cooking lessons, the superb organisation of our sightseeing and your thoughtful care of us made for an unforgettable, magical experience that we will treasure for the rest of our lives. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for giving us the chance to be part of the Andalusian way of life and taste the delights of Andalusian cuisine."

    Finca Las Encinas website, edited

  • Review by Paul from Sussex, UK
    10 out of 10

    "It was like staying with friends who knew a lot about cooking, and who were willing to share their knowledge with you. Thanks for the holiday, it has given me more confidence in my cooking, and inspired me to try new things."

    Finca Las Encinas website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from UK
    10 out of 10

    "This place is absolute heaven and the hosts Clive and Maki (not forgetting the gorgeous Cei, cheeky Lassie and Smokey) could not have been better. The rooms are beautifully decorated with all amenities you could want in such a getaway from it all place. The cookery course was second to none, Clive is extremely experienced and professional and made us feel very welcome and was also encouraging. The menu he picked was absolute perfection, even to the point where we had to question if we had actually cooked it ourselves! It was definitely fine dining Andalucian style.The breakfast was awesome and typical for this area which we loved, they were always great hosts, offering drinks at all times. We had such a great time that we would love to come back. We also attended a superb olive oil tasting that Maki organized and their knowledge of where to go was brilliant, along with their directions. Iznajar was stunning especially my swim in the lake. This was our third cookery course and without a doubt the best! You guys have hit the jackpot where you live and how you run your beautiful business. I hope to see you again as soon as I possibly can! Brilliant!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Sue B. Brighton from UK
    10 out of 10

    "We stayed in the suite at Las Encinas for a couple of nights in September and were very well looked after. The room was spotless, spacious, and had everything you could need. The house is stunning and around the pool was very well styled and cared for. Clive's food was spectacular - tasty, fresh, and presented beautifully. Maki was delightful, very welcoming, and helpful with suggesting places to visit. Their 2 dogs were also welcoming and very willing to join us on a walk around the village. The local towns were charming and elegant. We enjoyed our stay very much."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from England, UK
    10 out of 10

    "Maki and Clive are perfect hosts! Clive: My wife and I took 3 cooking classes with Clive whose way of teaching techniques and food and meal preparation and presentation is superb. He taught us to relax and how to cook simply and locally. Clive's recipes are now part of our at-home meals. Maki: She drove us around and organized our tours. She took us to places we would not have known about and that enriched our trip. Her knowledge of the area is fantastic."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

Andalucia, Spain

Finca Las Encinas offers comfortable rural accommodation, fine cuisine, and cooking courses for those who appreciate good food and fine wines.

from --

6 days / 5 nights

Availability

This retreat is available all year round, except on Christmas.

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