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11 Days Spain Food Tour

  • Madrid - Avila - La Alberca - Valverde del Frenso - Caceres - Valle del Jerte - Merida

Exclusive Food Tour Spain

Join Zingermans Food Tours for a taste of Spains pantry. This area has amazing artisanal food and wine, which certainly you will savor to the fullest. You will learn directly from local producers about olive oil, cheese, wine, chocolate, pimenton, and more. And of course, you will do full honors to the king of cured pork: jamon Iberico de bellota, created only in this region from the famed black-footed pigs, which dine on Spanish oak trees acorns. Enjoy the beauty of the region and taste your way through some of the best food Spain has to offer!

Highlights

  • 1 cooking class with Spanish chef
  • 2-hour guided walk in central Madrid
  • Visits to beautiful ancient towns, including Merida and Caceres
  • Visit to local olive mill, an estate winery, and a cheese factory
  • Spend a night inside a 700 year-old estate
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • 11 days with instruction
  • Spanish, English
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During this tour, you will have the opportunity to experience a wide range of clean and comfortable hotels. Guests will be provided with daily accommodation, from very modern to simpler country style hotels.

Day 1: Madrid

  • You will meet up on the first day in the mid-afternoon at the hotel for introductions.
  • Around 15:00, you will do a 2-hour guided walk in central Madrid. Learn about the city to help you get oriented.
  • Around 20:00, you will dive into a guided experience of the fine art of tapas and strolling. You will go to a few places for tapas and beer, sharing insider tips.
  • Afterwards, free to eat and further explore on your own, or head back to the hotel.

Day 2: Madrid to Avila

  • After breakfast, you will check-out mid-morning. Then get on the bus and head west, to the beautiful walled city of Avila.
  • Just outside of Avila, you will visit the manor house of a noble estate that produces excellent olive oil, vinegars, and wines. The family will give you a tour and explain a bit of their history.
  • You will go to Avila, where you will have lunch in a restaurant, tasting all the products of the family.
  • After lunch, you will have free time for a relaxed stroll through the city center of Avila.
  • Dinner.

Day 3: Avila to La Alberca to Valverde del Frenso

  • After breakfast, you will visit the countryside of the region called the pantry of Spain as Zingermans Food Tours drives to the porcine destiny in La Alberca.
  • Late in the morning, you will meet up with some producers of Iberico de bellota pork.
  • You will be driven to the farm to see the pigs and learn about how they are raised, along oak trees (encina) and acorns (bellota).
  • Then, you will head back into town to see the ham aging process and spend some time in the tasting cave.
  • You will have a guided stroll through town, before heading further into the hills to your next hotel.
  • Dinner.

Day 4: Valverde del Fresno

  • Visit the local olive mill and learn about the incredible work they are doing, producing delicious single-varietal oils and providing an economic boost to their local area.
  • The family will cook a countryside lunch at the olive mill, paired with their homemade pitarra.
  • Afterwards, at the hotel, you will have some down time before a guided evening stroll in a nearby village.
  • Dinner at a rustic local place.

Day 5: Valverde del Fresno to Caceres

  • After breakfast, you will check out and drive towards the beautiful medieval city center of Caceres, which will be your home base for a few days.
  • Free time to explore Caceres in the afternoon.
  • Lunch on your own.
  • A guided tour of the old city in the evening, followed by dinner, together at a two-Michelin-star restaurant.

Day 6: Caceres

  • Free morning.
  • Mid-day you will depart for the nearby city of Merida, celebrated for its well-preserved Roman ruins.
  • You will enjoy a brief guided visit to the museum, a tapas crawl, and a more in-depth guided tour of one of the Roman ruins.
  • In the afternoon and evening, you will travel out into the countryside to visit a very special producer of artisan food, enjoying dinner together with him and his family.
  • Back to the hotel in Caceres.

Day 7: Caceres

  • Cooking class with a wonderful Spanish chef in the morning.
  • Lunch at the chefs house.
  • In the afternoon, you will visit an estate winery; a new winery focused on making traditional wines, where you will tour, taste and have a small-plates dinner.

Day 8: Caceres to Valle del Jerte

  • After breakfast you will check out and make your way to Valdastillas, in the Valle del Jerte. A lovely area known for its cherries, where you will check in to the hotel and have lunch.
  • You will learn about the local cherry production. Drive through the forests and see some of the villages.
  • Dinner.

Day 9: Valle del Jerte

  • Spend time with a special guest who will talk about the famed Spanish pimento, the Spanish paprika.
  • Lunch and dinner.

Day 10: Valle del Jerte to a country estate near Trujillo

  • You will head for a very special rural estate that makes excellent sheeps cheese.
  • Meet the cheese maker and his sheep, tour the estate; learn all about the cheese as you soak into the incredible history of this estate, which has been in the same family for over 700 years.
  • You will spend the day and the night in this rustic heart of Extremadura, enjoying the wonderful hospitality and atmosphere.

Day 11: Country estate to Madrid

  • After breakfast, you will head back to Madrid (if there is time left, you will stop on the way in Talavera de la Reina, one of the shops specializing in their world-famous ceramics).
  • The bus will arrive back in Madrid by 13:00.
  • Depending on guest needs, the bus could stop at the airport, or head back in to the city to a central location.
  • Some people will stay longer on their own, and some will fly out.
  • A trip to the beautiful walled city of Avila
  • Enjoy La Alberca and learn about ham
  • Explore the city of Caceres
  • Learn about cherry production in Valdastillas, in the Valle del Jerte
  • See the Roman ruins of Merida
  • The city of Valle del Jerte is also a spa with natural mineral waters, which you can enjoy
  • Visit a rural estate near Trujillo to learn about cheese making
  • Visit an olive mill in Valverde del Fresno

This tour will begin and end in Madrid, traveling around the region of Extremadura, Spain. You will travel south and west of Madrid, with brief stays in Avila and Valverde del Fresno. You will also spend three nights in the ancient city of Caceres and two nights in Valdastillas.

Some of Spain's true greatest hits of traditional food hail from the southwest area of Madrid. You will eat and drink amazing local food and wines, and immerse yourself into Spain's culture and cuisine, as you pay behind-the-scenes visits to some of the best artisan producers. You will do full honors to the Iberico ham, learning about the process and tasting the amazing results, and throughout the tour you will see the encina trees that cover this region. These trees are actually Spanish oaks that produce the bellota, acorns, on which the black-footed pigs dine.

You will learn about the world-famous pimenton, the spice made of ground smoked peppers that comes in sweet, semi-sweet, and spicy varieties, that hails from this region. The two kinds of peppers grown only here are from seeds brought by monks from the new world, and are slowly dried and smoked over low-temperature wood fires before being ground into the pimenton.

  • Celebrate the flowering cheery trees with the villagers of Valdastillas
  • Explore Caceres
  • Explore the city of Madrid
  • Stroll through the city center of Avila
  • Visit Madrids museums
  • 1 cooking lesson with a Spanish chef in her kitchen
  • Behind-the-scenes visits to artisanal producers of excellent traditional Spanish food
  • Most meals, where you will enjoy traditional regional specialties made from local, fresh ingredients
  • Recipes of the dishes you will cook during class
  • Transportation by air-conditioned private bus during the tour
  • Two Zingermans tour leaders and guides will be at your disposal at all times
  • Visits to beautiful ancient towns, including Merida and Caceres
  • Airfare
  • Alcoholic beverages (other than beverages with dinner or when they are specifically included in the itinerary)
  • Personal spending money