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11 Days Food and Wine Tours Spain

11 Days Food and Wine Tours Spain

  • Madeira - Canary Islands

Culinary Holidays in Madeira and Canary Islands

This tour has been planned to coincide with one of the Canary Island’s biggest cultural festivals, a week-long celebration commemorating the founding of Gran Canaria Island. There will be lots of local color and gala activities - and wine will be a big part of all of these festivities. As the Canaries are volcanic, their lava-based soils exert a profound influence on the wines, by adding interesting mineral nuances to lusciously rich fruits. The volcanic soil also creates lush tropical landscapes and amazing gardens, as well a mesmerizing array of succulent tropical fruits and extraordinary vegetables. The Canaries also boast the only coffee plantation in all of Europe.

Highlights

  • Private tours and tastings
  • Foodie excursions to local food artisans and producers
  • Visits to outdoor markets and typical local supermarkets with a local food-lover
  • 10 nights accommodation in old-world hacienda and 5-star resort
  • Winemaker dinners at memorable venues
  • Michelin-star dining experience
  • 10 days with instruction
  • English
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This trip will offer two very different but equally compelling properties. In the Canary Islands, you will be staying at a splendidly restored hacienda, which is the oldest on the Islands. Set in a sea of banana trees with views for miles in every direction, this nearly 125 acre estate is an actual working banana plantation. The completely renovated villa oozes old-world grace and charm, but offers creature comforts of the 21st century including updated bathrooms with Jacuzzis.

The second venue is a luxurious and modern 5-star resort with a Michelin-starred restaurant. Offering magnificent panoramas of the harbor, the town of Funcha, and the sea, this hotel offers all of the bells and whistles of a world-class property: sublime service, a superb spa, spacious and gorgeously outfitted bedrooms, and Madeira’s only Michelin-starred restaurant.

Day 1, June 19, 2016

  • Morning: free time to allow for international arrivals.
  • Afternoon: the trip begins just outside Gran Canaria’s capital city in a very authentic town, your home while in the Canaries. After an orientation, you will head to the nearby botanical garden. One of the most beautiful on the island, the garden was built in 1880 as part of the summer palace of a prince. It is a showplace filled with exotic plants from all over the world.
  • Evening: dinner will be served in the nearby village where you will dine al fresco at a family-owned tapas spot. There will be a special cultural event in the town tonight, in honor of the founding of the island - it is almost a guarantee that your group will be the only tourists in town.

Day 2, June 20, 2016

  • Morning: the property in which you are staying is surrounded by banana groves as far as the eye can see. You will first watch the fruit being cut in the field, then follow it into the processing plant, where it will be graded and prepared for export around the globe.
  • Afternoon: sugar cane is another important crop in the Canary Islands and rum is a super popular distilled spirit. The oldest rum factory on the island is nearby and you will visit it in order to learn how this drink is made.
  • Evening: dinner will be a special private event at the botanical gardens. Afterwards, you will partake in attending another of the town’s cultural events.

Day 3, June 21, 2016

  • Morning: today, you will head to the capitol city’s Central Market to see the island’s mind-blowing array of fruits and vegetables, along with its vast selection of foods from the sea. Offering nearly 150 stalls, the market also boasts several cheese purveyors, bakeries, and even a fresh pasta maker. Next, you will walk through the old quarter with a local resident. This district is both atmospheric and fashionable, with lots of boutiques and cool bars.
  • Afternoon: grapes were the main crop on Gran Canaria between the 16th to the 18th centuries and wines produced from them were shipped to Europe, Africa, and the New World. Today, you will visit two of the island’s 55 wineries with historical roots.
  • Evening: dinner tonight will be on the sea at a restaurant serving local specialties. Spain’s “national dish”, paella, is sure to be on the menu - the Canary version will be filled with fish and seafood.

Day 4, June 22, 2016

  • Morning: today, you will venture to the center and southern side of Gran Canaria. The entire chain of Canary Islands was formed from explosions of underwater volcanoes off of the coast of Africa. Your first stop will be Gran Canaria’s dormant volcano. The fertility of these volcanic soils provides abundant plants for livestock grazing, which in turn make for some sensational local cheeses. Your last stop this morning will be a cheese producer.
  • Afternoon: next, you are off to visit Europe’s one and only coffee producer. After that, it's on to another favorite drink, wine, with a tasting at a great producer.
  • Evening: tonight, there will be fireworks as part of the cultural celebration. What better spot to view them from, than a mountain top restaurant while you dine?

Day 5, June 23, 2016

  • Morning: today, you will receive a guided private tour, by a resident, of the town’s impressive cathedral. Modeled after Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, it is often referred to as the “black pearl”.
  • Afternoon: next, you will take part in a comparative tasting of the top wines from the archipelago’s other islands of Lanzarote, Tenerife, and La Gomera.
  • Evening: tonight’s dinner will be at a private dinner with the winemaker at a winery. You will top it off with tickets to a lovely musical performance held just outside the cathedral.

Day 6, June 24, 2016

  • Morning: today, you will visit the southern side of the island, lined with spectacular beaches and dramatic bluffs. The south is also home to miles of high-rise hotels and time-shares for the throngs of northern Europeans who flock to this southern coastline. Your first stop will be the only authentic village along the southern shore, Arguineguin. A modest Canarian fishing village, it is a town of locals rather than a tourist resort.
  • Afternoon: you will continue along the coast to its farthest westerly port, Puerto de Mogon. This picturesque tourist town also boasts a large harbor and also serves as the base for many commercial fishermen.
  • Evening: the best was saved for last. The highlight of the evening will be the Fiesta of San Juan Bautista, the village’s patron saint. Dinner will be a special event, followed by enjoying a full-blown celebration of the entire town.

Day 7, June 25, 2016

  • Morning: you can enjoy the morning freely.
  • Early afternoon: bid your goodbye to the Canaries and Spain, as you journey on a non-stop flight to Portugal's Madeira Islands. Your home for the next five days will be the capitol city of Funchal at a 5-star spa-resort right on the beach. On arrival, there will be time for a spa treatment, a swim, or a long walk on he sea.
  • Evening: your first meal on Madeira will be at a stunning hilltop location, where you will dine among the vines with sweeping views down to the sea. The farm-to-table restaurant, located in an old winery building, offers authentic Madeiran cooking.

Day 8, June 26, 2016

  • Morning: your first excursion will be led by a local foodie-in-the-know. You will visit the town’s famous central market, but also stop at several culinary landmarks, including an artisanal chocolate-maker, a bakery, a typical grocery store, and a bar for a mid-morning snack.
  • Afternoon: today, you will have your first introduction to Madeira wine at one of the super-star wineries. You will learn all about this wine's unusual vinification process.
  • Evening: the evening will be free to enjoy at your own leisure.

Day 9, June 27, 2016

  • Morning: like the Canaries, Madeira was created by volcanic explosions; and like the Canaries, its super rich soil grows nearly everything. Today’s excursion will be to one of the island’s beautiful botanical gardens.
  • Afternoon: private tour and tasting at one of Madiera’s premier wine producers, where you will build on your knowledge from yesterday’s introductory session.
  • Evening: tonight, you will eat at an establishment that could appear on the Portuguese version of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Many of its dishes, all regional cooking, are prepared in a large wood-fired outdoor oven.

Day 10, June 28, 2016

  • Morning: today, you will journey across the island’s interior to the northern side. In addition to dramatic vineyards on near-vertical terraces, you will find glorious panoramas, Europe’s highest sea-cliffs, waterfalls, charming fishing villages, and lava pools.
  • Afternoon: on the way back through the western portion, you will have your last tasting of Madeira at another of the island’s leading producers.
  • Evening: there is only one Michelin-starred restaurant in all of Madeira and it just happens to be at your hotel. The farewell dinner gala will be held here.

Day 11, June 29, 2016

The trip officially ends after breakfast. Transfers can be arranged to the Madeira Airport (FNC) where there are non-stop air connections to many major European cities. Or, for those who wish to stay extra days, rooms will be gladly be arranged.

  • Tours and tastings at local wineries
  • Travel across Madeira and Canary Islands
  • Visit local artisan food producers
  • Visits to outdoor markets

As the Canaries are volcanic, their lava-based soils create lush tropical landscapes and amazing gardens, as well as a mesmerizing array of succulent tropical fruits and extraordinary vegetables. Madeira, also created from underwater volcanoes, is another tropical paradise. Unlike the Canaries, however, Madeira is synonymous with wine. Climate is another compelling factor for Madeira’s popularity. Known as the “islands of eternal Spring”, or the “garden islands”, Madeira offers idyllic year-around mild temperatures where plants and flowers of all types flourish.

Located just off the coast of Morocco, both the Canary and Madiera Islands offer a melting pot of diverse cultures. Their gastronomies reflect intriguing blends of European, African, Indian and Chinese cultures. These islands are like no other on earth from a culinary or viticultural point of view. Their “volcano wines” (made from vines that have never seen phylloxera) make for a unique experience. Dining experiences have been mindfully selected. Meals will provide both depth and breadth of what both the Canaries and Madeira’s food scene.

You will dine in a wide variety of places, from simple wine bars and family-owned restaurants, to upscale special occasion venues offering the finest in dining. One of these restaurants is the only Michelin star restaurant in Madeira. In addition to carefully chosen restaurants, this tour will feature visits to several artisanal food producers such as makers of chocolate, cheese, pastries and cookies, as well as Europe’s only coffee plantation. There will also be trips with local foodies to outdoor markets and grocery stores.

  • Admire the gardens
  • Attend local events
  • Enjoy a massage
  • Enjoy the beach
  • Hike around he area
  • Learn about the history and culture of the region
  • Relax by the pool
  • Relax in the jacuzzi
  • Sample local cuisine and wines
  • Shop
  • Visit the spa
  • 9 dinners with wine (the trip has been priced based on 2 persons sharing a bottle of wine per meal)
  • 10 nights accommodations
  • Airfare between the Canaries and Maderia Islands
  • All gratuities, including hotels, restaurants, guides and bus drivers
  • Foodie excursions to a cheesemaker, coffee producer, a banana farm, a cake and cookie maker, a chocolate factory, and a rum distillery
  • Porterage of luggage
  • Private tours and tastings at la crema de la crema wineries
  • Transportation to all activities in the itinerary
  • Visits to outdoor markets and typical local supermarkets with a local food-lover
  • Additional beverages or meals
  • Airfare to and from Europe
  • Personal expenses
  • Single room supplement
  • Transfers to the starting point on Gran Canaria, or transfer after the trip ends on Madeira

Arrival by airplane

Arrive at Gran Canaria Airport (LPA). Wine Knows Travel can arrange for transfers to and from the airport for an additional fee.