Fiona Dunlop’s Secret AndaluciaAutumn Tour; when the light is magical and the crowds have gone
November 6th – 12th 2018
Spring Tour; when Spain is lush and green and the summer heat isn't upon us yet
June 4th - 10th 2019
Led by Fiona Dunlop, food and travel writer and author of the upcoming Andaluz, you will learn about the region's exotic Moorish past, its unique food culture and Spain's quirkiest inhabitants.
Travel through majestic, mountainous landscapes, discover traditional craft villages, explore cave houses and castles, eat at top tables and visit Granada’s magical and unforgettable Alhambra.
After visiting Andalucia for some 40 years Fiona Dunlop has produced a new book on its cuisine, culture and stunning secret corners; Andaluz - a Food Journey through Southern Spain will be published initially in the US in October. In 2002 she wrote the ground-breaking best-seller, New Tapas, about Spain’s beguiling tapas culture and before that the National Geographic Traveler guide to Spain. She has been a guest lecturer on National Geographic Expeditions in Spain and Portugal. The Iberian peninsula is not her only destination - she has written food & travel books on North Africa and Mexico, and travel guides to a dozen different countries.
- Lunch at the Alhambra and meet the Parador’s head chef
- See how the world’s first organic caviar is made - and taste it!
- Learn to cook tapas and experience Almeria’s tapas bars
- Pick olives in a traditional Andalucian Cortijo and learn about olive oil production
- Discover Andalucia’s traditional handicrafts
About the tour
Tuesday 6th November (D)
Arrive in Malaga and make your own way to the fabulous Molina Lario Hotel right by the Cathedral. Fill in some time at the world-famous Picasso Museum (which will be holding a Picasso & Andalusia exhibition), just minutes away, before meeting the group late afternoon followed by a Welcome Dinner in the Old Town
Wednesday 7th November (B, L & Tapas)
Morning visit to capture the buzz at Mercado de Atarazanas (optional). Head east along coast stopping for lunch at a hilltop restaurant in a typical pueblo blanco with views to Africa. Continue to Almeria and check-in to the superb Hotel Aire in the historic centre, then make a late afternoon guided visit of the Alcazaba – a massive Moorish fortress with panoramic views over the city, sea and sierra.
This evening, you will enjoy a tapas-crawl in the town centre (2 – 3 bars), tasting local specialisties, seafood and Almerian wines.
Thursday 8th November (B, L)
After breakfast, stroll through the centre to see the ‘walk of fame’ of Almería´s thriving movie industry and also visit the bustling food market. Afterwards, we drive to the picturesque craft village of Nijar, famed for its ceramics and textiles, and enjoy a pottery & weaving demo. Time to shop too! We then continue south past the vast greenhouses of the Almeria province into the volcanic Cabo de Gata nature reserve – mainland Europe’s only desert. On the coast we stop to enjoy lunch (fresh seafood & luscious rice dishes) at the authentic El Parque restaurant. Walk it off on the beach before we continue to roadside hides to hopefully spot pink flamingos in the salt-pan lagoons (* not guaranteed).
Then it’s back to Almeria for some free time before reconvening for a tapas cooking class with a local cook.
Friday 9th November (B, L)
Today we will make our way through dramatic landscapes to Granada, stopping en route at Purullena to see unique cave-houses, cave museum and local ceramics. In Granada check-in at the beautiful boutique hotel, Gar Anat, in the old Jewish quarter of Realejo. On to the Alhambra for lunch at the Parador and to meet chef Juan Francisco Castro for a brief tour of the herb garden.
Visit Nazrid Palaces with a local guide then free time to explore the idyllic Moorish gardens of the Alhambra.
Optional tasting dinner at Damasqueros Restaurant or free evening.
Saturday 10th November (B, L & D)
After breakfast in your hotel, we shall walk to visit the 11th century Bañuelo/ Arab baths & stop to buy cakes from a nearby convent of cloistered nuns. Then we head to the spectacular Alpujarras in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, to visit the charming spa town of Lanjaron. Time to explore the food shops packed with local produce & visit the Water Museum before lunch at a local Venta for some traditional fayre.
Back to Granada for a little down time before we enjoy dinner in the seductive Moorish quarter of the Albayzin in a typical converted Carmen. (grand house in a walled garden) with romantic views of the spotlit Alhambra.
Sunday 11th November (B, Caviar, L & D)
Head west towards Antequera, stopping at Rio Frio for a 1-hr tour of the sturgeon farm & organic caviar-tasting.
Onwards to a historical Cortijo (farm) near Archidona for some olive-picking and to learn about olive-oil production – Andalucia’s greatest export.
Late lunch at Arte de Cozina, a pioneering restaurant in an atmospheric mansion in Antequera.
Afternoon check-in to the National Parador of Antequera and time to relax.
Farewell Dinner in the magnificent, very unusual Bull Ring restaurant of Antequera.
Monday 12th November (B)
After breakfast at your hotel, there will be one group transfer at 10am back to Malaga airport for your return flights or onward travel.
Prices from 2140 Euros........................(Single Supplement 330 Euros) per person
- Guests make their own way to the group hotel in Malaga for a welcome meeting at 5pm on Day 1.
- Local guides in Almería and Granada are included as are entrance tickets to the main sights and monuments as details on the itinerary
- Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included in the tour price. With lunches and dinners, half a bottle of wine per person is included as our “starter pack”. All other wine can be paid for at the table.
- Gratuities to your tour leaders (Fiona & TOMA & COE Tour Leader) and local guides are not included
- Extras at your hotels are not included
- Flights are not included
- Prices quotes are for double occupancy with either 1 double bed or 2 singles
- Both groups and solo travellers are welcome to join the tour.