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7 Day A Gastronomic Journey Across Andalusia

Seville, Spain

Southern Spain Gastronomic Tour

On this gastronomic journey, you are invited to take a bite out of Andalusia, a region whose cuisine has been influenced and shaped by its wealth of history and the many cultures that inhabited these lands. Heavily inspired by the Moorish tradition, Andalusian cuisine has something for everyone whether you are a fish fan, a meat lover, or a vegetarian! On this special journey, all foodies and wine lovers are invited to indulge their senses in this unforgettable experience full of flavourful dishes and excellent wines, while discovering the incomparable beauty of one of Spain’s most fascinating regions. As an extra special treat, some of the most exclusive and beautiful boutique hotels for you to stay at during this trip have been carefully selected for you!

Highlights

  • Tapas tour, cheese tasting, and cooking class
  • Taste the Jamón Ibérico from the Aracena National Park
  • Learn how most Andalusian cuisine were influenced by the different cultures
  • Savor the gastronomic adventure through the included meals, wines, and coffee
  • Visit a traditional local market to select fresh ingredients for your hands-on cooking
  • Learn about olive oil and Andalusian wines in family farms and boutique wineries
  • 6 nights quaint boutique hotels accommodation, as well as all private transfers
  • Enjoy a lovely day outdoors hike on the Via Verde

Styles


7 days with instruction
Group size: 4-12 participants
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Accommodation

At Just Explore, they understand one of the biggest worries when booking a holiday is the standard for your hotel. That's why, they only use previewed character hotels with great locations to help you relax and enjoy your stay with them.

Your accommodation will be made up of 3-star boutique hotels with double or twin rooms sharing. All of the hotels will be centrally located, and will include breakfasts. Your rooms will be equipped with air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms.

Your overnights will go as follow:

  • 4 nights in Sevilla
  • 2 nights in Subbetica Natural Park

Program

In this holiday, you will meet local producers, visit traditional markets, specialty shops, and family-run farms, learn about the production process of every product you taste, whilst also enjoying the beautiful countryside and the signature relaxed Spanish lifestyle.

Day 1: Welcome to Sevilla, Andalusia’s capital

  • Meals included: Dinner

Upon arrival in Sevilla, private transfer to your hotel in the city centre. After freshening up, you will be taken on an orientation walk of approximately 1.5 hours to get acquainted with this charming city. The highlights of this walk include the Murillo gardens, one of the most enjoyable and relaxing spots in Sevilla, dotted with tiled benches, statues, and fountains perfectly integrated into the surrounding lush vegetation.

You will also get to visit Plaza de España, framed by the María Luisa Park (which you will also visit), designed by the great Seville architect Aníbal González as an emblematic space for the 1929 Ibero-American Expo. Last but not least, you will see the Torre del Oro a 13th-century military watchtower built by the Almohad Caliphate to control access to the city via the Guadalquivir river. After your walk, you will enjoy a lovely welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 2: The flavours of Sevilla

  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, tapas dinner
  • Morning market tour and hands-on cooking class in the Triana neighbourhood (approximately 4 hours)

Today, you will be heading to Sevilla's famed Triana food market for a tour of the market and a hands-on cooking class at Taller Andaluz de Cocina, a cooking school that is located right inside the market.

During the guided tour, you will learn about fresh and seasonal products, locally grown and produced, such as olive oils and table olives, Iberian hams and other cured meats, cheese, fish and seafood, fruits, and vegetables.

You will discover the fascinating history of the Triana Market and participate in selecting locally grown, fresh and seasonal products, and will participate in the selection of some ingredients that will be used later in the cooking class. You will also meet many vendors, some of whom have been there for generations.

Spanish cooking class

The Spanish cooking class will be taught in English by a professionally trained chef. Since classes are designed for both novice and experienced cooks, you will be able to learn and develop new techniques and skills. You will have the chance to get involved in the preparation of the dishes. A truly fun hands-on experience!

Menu (varies depending on the day/season):

  • Salmorejo, Gazpacho or Ajoblanco (cold soups and creams)
  • Spinach with chickpeas, Spanish potato omelet or Codfish fritters
  • Paella (normally chicken paella)
  • Light dessert (normally a lemon sorbet or similar)

All ingredients and materials will be provided by the school. In addition, you will enjoy complimentary sangria and table olives during the class.

This day of adventure ends with you enjoying the food you have prepared in a friendly and casual atmosphere!! (There will be a choice of soft drinks, Spanish wine, or local beer).

Once back home, you will be able to practice what you have learned as you will be given you written recipes and lots of tips!

All of the recipes can be adapted to any type of dietary restriction. Please make sure to let your host know ahead of time so they can best accommodate you. You will have the afternoon free to enjoy at your leisure.

  • Evening flamenco and tapas tour (approximately 4 hours)

Live the passion and drama of flamenco, sampling Seville's finest cuisine as you go. On this gastronomic and folkloric tour, you will discover (and taste!) why Seville is the true home of tapas, and experience the mysteries, the emotion, and the power of true flamenco!

The evening begins as you dive into two of the favorite family-run taverns where your expert, English-speaking guide will serve up local delicacies and drinks and give you a crash course in eating tapas in Seville (an art form in its own right!).

Then, over plates of delicious acorn-fed Iberian ham and local wines your guide will then lead you through a fascinating explanation of the roots and mysteries of flamenco – from its unclear origins to its current worldwide fame. And you’ll learn how Seville fits into this remarkable story.

Then, you head for the show! Tucked in the city’s gorgeous Santa Cruz neighborhood, in a fabulous 15th-century building, you will experience the power, passion, and sheer drama of real flamenco. With your new-found knowledge about flamenco, you will be able to savor this spectacular performance by world-class dancers, powerful singing, and magical guitar playing.

After the performance, you will sit down for dinner at your final stop of the evening - a hidden family-run tapas bar that serves up incredible freshly cooked tapas, local wines and, of course, dessert. It is the perfect end to a magical evening in Seville!

Flamenco, an integral part of Andalusian culture, is a unique artistic expression which incorporates poetry, singing (cante), guitar playing (toque), dance (baile), polyrhythmic clapping (palmas), and snapping (pitos). Flamenco is a passionate and seductive art form, a mysterious and misunderstood culture that has been burning in Andalucía for nearly five hundred years.

Today, Flamenco has thousands of aficionado’s worldwide and in the fall of 2010, this art form was added to the list of UNESCO’s Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Day 3: Iberian ham experience

  • Meals included: Breakfast and lunch
  • Jabugo ham experience (approximately 9 hours)

On this day trip, you will discover the secrets of one of Spain's gastronomic icons by experiencing this artisanal process, used for over 130 years. You will be taken on a very scenic drive along the Road HU-8105 (considered as one of the most beautiful and picturesque roads in Spain), admiring incredible viewpoints over the impressive Aracena mountains and the towns of Linares, Alhajar and Santa Ana.

Start your day by traipsing through the forest of the Dehesa (in the Sierra de Aracena Natural Park) until you reach a private "finca" with holm oaks and acorns underfoot, to get a glimpse of the famous black leg Iberian pig. This protected breed makes the best ham, and on this tour you will witness it in its natural habitat.

After this very pleasant and educational outdoor experience, you move onto the more delicious part of the process; you will continue the drive until the ham factory itself.

You will visit the curing cellars of one of the most prestigious Ibérico Ham producers of the entire Sierra de Aracena in the worldwide-known town of Jabugo.

You step into one of the best bodegas in Spain, where you will learn about the process of crafting this celebrated charcuterie.

Watch the maestros, a handful of artisans, at work, hanging and inspecting the ham by hand every day. They will take you underground, to the 130-year-old cellar - a veritable cathedral of Spanish ham. After your crash course in its elaboration, you will sit for a glass of sherry and a tasting of jamón, where you will discover which part of the leg is your favourite and even be able to try your hand at carving a slice (under the close supervision of one of the world’s best carvers).

This trip ends as it should; around a table at a local, traditional restaurant in a village of only 30 inhabitants, where you will tuck in to a lunch rich with various pork cuts.

After lunch, private transfer back to your hotel in Sevilla where you will have the evening free to enjoy at your leisure.

Day 4: Ronda’s vineyards and mountains

  • Meals included: Breakfast, wine tasting, tapas, and lunch
  • Morning Ronda panoramic walking tour

Your private driver/guide will pick you up from your hotel and will drive you to the picturesque cliff-top city of Ronda (approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes) where you will enjoy a short panoramic walking tour.

  • Late morning winery visit

You will then head to a bodega where you will find yourself surrounded by extraordinary views of the vineyards and the sprawling El Tajo gorge below. This is indeed one of the most unique places of this area and is where you will get the chance to indulge in some of the best wines in Southern Spain.

This winery dates back to the sixteenth century when it was originally built as a Trinitarian monastery. The current owners purchased the property in 1998 and restored it from an almost ruined state. The project resulted in the recovery of the convent, its beautiful gardens, orchards, ponds, and fountains. Most remarkably, the original frescos on the high alter were discovered under layers of limestone by chance; having miraculously survived despite the humidity.

Today, the ancient frescos seem to proudly stand guard over of the tall metallic tanks of wine, elegantly bringing together the old and the new. The guided tour of the winery takes around 2 hours and includes a visit to the cellar, gardens, and a tasting of 3 wines paired with cured Iberian meats and artisanal goat cheese.

  • Show cooking and lunch

Time for some lunch! You will be taken to a beautifully located restaurant offering fantastic views.

Here, sit back and enjoy some show cooking during which you will lean how to prepare some of Ronda’s signature local dishes before settling down to sample them while sipping delicious local wines.

After lunch, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Sevilla where you will spend the rest of the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

Day 5: The fruits of the Cordovan countryside

  • Meals included: Breakfast, olive oil tasting, wine tasting, wine pairing lunch, dinner
  • Morning: Montilla olive oil and wine experience

On this exciting tour, you will venture out into the countryside to explore the beautiful hills of Montilla (still a very unspoiled wine region south of Córdoba). This tour is designed for curious and adventurous wine-lovers, amateurs and experts alike! Olive oil, gastronomy, and wine are part of Andalusia's popular wisdom and with this tour, you will delve into this fascinating world. Your private driver/tour guide will pick you up from your hotel and will take you to Montilla (approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes).

Your first stop will be a family-run olive oil mill where you will discover the full process of olive oil making. You will enjoy a tour of the family groves and learn about the different characteristics, culinary uses, and health benefits of olive oil. After a visit to the mill and the on-site museum, you will enjoy a very interesting short video about oil production followed by a tasting of two of their delicious varieties along with freshly baked bread made by the very same family!

The second experience of the day is a visit to a local family-run boutique winery located right in the heart of the Sierra de Montilla, a stunning rural landscape with endless vineyards and rolling hills. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by a truly passionate viticulturist who will take you to the family vineyards to tell you about the history of this ancestral winery.

Next, you will be guided into the wine cellar, a remarkable sacred space where their oldest wines are kept. On this educational tour, you will learn about the unique grape variety that grows exclusively in Montilla, the popular and worldwide known "Pedro Ximenez".

You will also learn about the entire process and aging system of these unique dry and sweet wines, a process that is probably the oldest in Spain. The visit will end with a delicious tasting of 5 different varieties. You’ll then head to a wonderful local restaurant where you’ll enjoy a delicious wine pairing lunch.

After lunch, private transfer to your rural accommodation where you will have the rest of the afternoon free to relax and enjoy your guest house’s amenities and gorgeous location before your delicious dinner which will be served at the hotel.

Day 6: Delicious cheese tasting

  • Meals included: Breakfast, cheese tasting, wine pairing lunch, dinner
  • Explore the attractive village of Zuheros and the enchanting Via Verde!

Your driver and guide will meet you after breakfast to take you for a short hike along the Via Verde (approximately 1 hour). On this very comfortable, easy, and enjoyable walk, you will make a few stops that offer spectacular viewpoints of the Subbetica Natural Park.

This lovely hike with end at the picturesque town of Zuheros where you will enjoy a walking tour. After visiting the charming village of Zuheros and its Moorish castle, its time for cheese tasting, seeing as Zuheros is the most popular goat cheese producer in the region!

This will be followed by a fantastic wine-pairing lunch. The wines you will try over lunch are mostly organic and will be provided by our local wine producer who is part of the famous Montilla/Moriles wine region known for its varied, flavourful, and unique wines.

After lunch, you will return to your rural accommodation where you can relax and enjoy the rest of the afternoon before dinner.

  • Show cooking dinner

This evening, you will settle down for an exciting and educational show cooking session during which you will learn about local specialties and how they are prepared.

Afterwards, sit back and relax with a glass (or two!) of local wine and enjoy a flavourful meal.

Day 7: End of your trip

  • Private transfer to Malaga (airpot or train station)

Unfortunately all good things must come to and end. Just Explore hope you enjoyed this small group tour with them. Hasta Pronto!

Note:

The above itinerary may change at any time due to circumstances beyond Just Explore's control. You will be duly advised of any such changes as soon as possible.

Location

Andalusia

Andalusia is truly a melting pot of culture where history meets and blends with myth. The cultural influences that have washed over Andalusia since the first paintings were etched on cave walls are many: Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Visigoths, and Vandals. But the most influential of all were unarguably the Moors, who named the region “Al-Andalus” and who’s eighth- century rule left an indelible imprint on the region’s culture and its customs.

Seville

Some cities blast you away, others slowly win you over. Seville disarms and seduces you. The irresistible city of Seville, Andalusia’s capital, is located on the shores of the River Guadalquivir. Its population of about 1.5 million makes it the fourth-largest city in Spain. Its historic center, the third largest in Europe with an area of 4 km2, contains three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the fabulous Mudéjar Alcázar palace, the Gothic Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies.

Lorded over by a colossal Gothic cathedral, the old town is an intoxicating mix of resplendent Mudéjar palaces, baroque churches and winding medieval lanes. Flamenco clubs keep the intimacy and intensity of this centuries-old tradition alive whilst aristocratic mansions recall the city’s past as a showcase Moorish capital and, later, a 16th-century metropolis rich on the back of New World trade. But what is captivating about the city, as much as the monuments and works of art, is its essential romantic quality, the greatest city of Carmen, Don Juan and Figaro...

Sierra de Aracena Natural Park

Sierra de Aracena Natural Park is one of the largest protected areas in Spain. These woody hills, scattered with lovely typical white villages, are a fantastic refuge for wildlife and were declared Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. It is here, in the Dehesa, that Iberian pigs are bred from which Jabugo Iberic hams are made.

Ronda

Ronda is a mountaintop city that sits in the heart of the Serrania de Ronda. Set dramatically above a deep gorge and surrounded by lush river valleys, it is a place that is absolutely breathtaking. The gorge, El Tajo, separates the city’s 15th-century new town from its Moorish old town. Puente Nuevo, a stone bridge spanning the gorge, has a lookout offering stunning views and the new town’s Plaza de Toros, a legendary 18th-century bullring, is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks.

A haven for Romantics in the 19th century, the Ronda of today holds a special place in the hearts of wine lovers. Incredible countryside views and an abundance of small family-run boutique wineries. The Serranía de Ronda D.O. is one of the latest additions to the official wine routes found throughout Spain and its future is looking very promising.

With wines from the area being valued with increasing regard both locally and internationally, the region of Ronda is well worth being labelled a first class destination for enotourism. Much of what is known about ancient winemaking in the Ronda region comes from archaeological findings out of the nearby Roman city of Acinipo.

Aptly named, Acinipo actually translates to 'city of wine', and it was one of the few cities in the Roman Empire that produced wine which was then exported back to Rome. Vineyards once cultivated by the Romans, Phoenicians, and Moors still line the countryside to this day with over 28 wineries in the area. Ronda's proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, its unique micro-climate, and geological diversity give wines of the region very distinct aromas and flavors.

Montilla

Home of the famed "Gran Capitan", Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, a Spanish general who fought in the Conquest of Granada and the Italian Wars, Montilla is the centre of the Designation of Origin wine zone known as Montilla-Moriles. The landscape here is dry and the soil is a blinding white Albariza. Its excellent moisture retention is very significant as this area is hotter than almost anywhere else in Spain.

The wineries of the Montilla-Moriles Wine Route offer the possibility of enjoying a tailored tasting, both for connoisseurs and neophytes, for lovers or simply curious, while showing the peculiarities of the development of these wines where the undisputed star is the Pedro Ximénez grape variety and in which the biological aging (for the Fino wine) and the oxidative aging (for the Amontillados, Olorosos and Pedro Ximénez) take part following the system of criaderas and soleras.

Zuheros

Zuheros is a stunning Subbética village nestled in a gorge backed by steep rock cliffs. A cluster of white houses tumbles down the hill below a romantic Moorish castle carved directly into the cliff.

On the edge of a small square, the archaeological museum displays fascinating finds from the Cueva de los Murciélagos (bats cave). This cave is located in the hills above the village and was first explored in 1938. Nearby Zuheros, there are many scenic walking and cycling routes such as the old olive oil railway trail (Via Verde), with dramatic views of the whole Subbetica landscape.

Via Verde

Via Verde - This abandoned railway line was once the main transport route for olive oil between the towns of Jaen and Lucena (56 km). It has now been converted into a popular walking and cycling route offering beautiful views of the olive groves of the Subbetica Natural Park.

Food

This tour includes all breakfasts, six lunches, and four dinners, as well as wine and coffee whenever mentioned to be included in the itinerary.

It is no secret that Spanish cuisine is amongst the best in the world. The richness and flavour of its dishes is only matched by its incredible variety. As one travels across the country, what stands out is how greatly ingredients and preparations vary; every region has its local products, preferred spices, and signature dishes. The commonality? An emphasis on freshness and quality as well as a heavy helping of passion and care.

Spain as a major Olive oil and wine producer

Did you know that Spain is the largest producer of olive oil in the world and that 80% of Spanish production is made in Andalusia? The history of olive oil takes you back to the Phoenician and Greek civilizations settled in the Iberian Peninsula over 3,000 years ago. The importance of olive oil to Spanish culture cannot be overstated; locals actually refer to it as "liquid gold". Spain is also home to an abundance of grape varieties; making it the third-largest wine producers in the world.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee
  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Want to explore some more?

Don’t forget, besides Andalusia, Just Explore also cover the whole of Spain and Portugal, so if you would like to extend your stay with them, they will be more than happy to create a customised itinerary for the remainder of your holiday. Just let them know!

What's included

  • All private transfers with a luxury AC vehicle with driver for the duration of the tour
  • 6 nights three-star boutique hotel accommodations
  • All breakfasts
  • Lunches and dinners as indicated in the itinerary
  • All drinks during meals and tastings
  • Fluent English-speaking tour leader
  • Fluent English-speaking art historian guide
  • Skip the line access
  • Sevilla - Market tour and cooking class
  • Sevilla - Flamenco and tapas tour
  • Aracena - Iberian ham experience
  • Ronda - Wine tasting and show cooking lunch
  • Montilla - Olive oil, wine experience, and wine pairing lunch
  • Zuheros - Cheese tasting
  • Subbetica Natural Park - Show cooking dinner
  • Seville - Orientation walk
  • Ronda - City tour
  • Via Verde - Short hike

What's not included

  • International air flights
  • Travel / medical insurance
  • Meals and drinks, other than those mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Optional activities

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
7 days / 6 nights
from --
Availability

These dates below are suggestions and can be modified as needed. Please send your inquiry for further information.

Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 4 participants

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