Secret AndaluciaSpring Tour : When Spain is lush and green and the summer heat isn't upon us.
June 4th - 10th 2019
Led by Fiona Dunlop, food and travel writer and author of just published Andaluz - a Food Journey through Southern Spain, you will learn about the region's exotic Moorish past, its unique food culture and Spain's quirkiest inhabitants.
Travel from the sparkling Mediterranean to desert and majestic, mountainous landscapes, learn about olive growing and caviar production, discover traditional crafts, explore cave houses and castles, eat at top restaurants and authentic local tables and visit Granada’s unforgettable Allhambra. Accommodation will be in luxury 4-star hotels and transport by private bus with wifi and an excellent driver!
After visiting Andalucia for some 40 years Fiona Dunlop’s has written her fourth cookbook on its history, food, culture and secret corners. In 2002 her ground-breaking best-seller, New Tapas, portrayed Spain’s beguiling tapas culture and before that she wrote National Geographic Traveler's 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 cookbooks on North Africa and Mexico, and travel guides to a dozen different countries.
- Explore Moorish castles including the king of them all, Granada’s Alhambra
- Lunch at the Alhambra parador and meet its head chef
- Discover how the world’s first organic caviar is made - and taste it!
- Learn to cook tapas and experience Almeria’s tapas bars
- Visit a cave-house and hear about this centuries-old way of life
- Enjoy stunningly fresh seafood as well as creative Andalucian cuisine
- Marvel at the diversity of landscapes from coast to desert and the Sierra Nevada
About the tour
Tuesday 4th June (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 or Malaga’s Centre Pompidou, both just minutes away, before meeting the group late afternoon followed by a Welcome Dinner in nearby Eboka.
Wednesday 5 th June (B, L & Tapas)
Morning visit to capture the buzz at Mercado de Atarazanas, the best fresh produce market in the region. Drive east along the coast stopping for lunch at one of Spain’s most beautiful pueblos blancos for a delicious leisurely lunch with views to Africa. Continue to Almeria where we have a guided tour of the massive hilltop fortress, Europe’s second largest Moorish structure after the Alhambra, before checking into our hotel in the historic centre.
This evening, you will enjoy a tapas-crawl in the town centre (2 – 3 bars), tasting local specialisties, seafood and Almerian wines. Almeria is Spain’s ‘gastronomic capital’ for 2019, so the standard is high
Thursday 6th June (B, L)
After breakfast, stroll through the centre to see the ‘walk of fame’ of Almería´s thriving movie industry. Afterwards, we drive to the picturesque craft village of Nijar, famed for its ceramics and textiles, where we enjoy a pottery & weaving demo. Time to shop too! We then continue south past the inescapable polytunnels of Almeria province into the volcanic Cabo de Gata nature reserve. On the coast we go to roadside hides to spot pink flamingos in the salt-pan lagoons (* not guaranteed). Lunch of succulent seafood and rice dishes is at a typical chiringuito (beach restaurant). Walk it off on the beach before returning to Almeria.
Free time before reconvening for a fun tapas cooking class with local cooks – and devouring the results.
Friday 7th June (B, L)
Today we make our way through dramatic desert and sierra landscapes to Granada, stopping en route at Guadix to see unique, still inhabited cave-houses and a cave museum. On to the Alhambra for lunch at the Parador and meet chef Juan Francisco Castro for a brief tour of the herb garden. A fascinating tour of the beautiful Generalife and Nazrid Palaces completes the afternoon. Afterwards we check in at the elegant Villa Oniria with its peaceful garden, award-winning restaurant and convenient downtown location.
Saturday 8th June (B, L)
After breakfast, we walk through the center to the Darro river to buy cookies at a convent of cloistered nuns. Then our bus spirits us to the spectacular foothills of the Sierra Nevada to visit an award-winning olive press. Here we learn about organic olive oil production methods before a tasting session. Lunch is at a quirky riverside venta deep in the valley, a favourite for miles around. Surprises await!
Sunday 9th June (B, Caviar, L & D)
Head west towards Antequera, stopping at Rio Frio for an enlightening 1-hr tour of the sturgeon farm with explanation & organic caviar-tasting.
Onwards to a private Cortijo (traditional farmhouse) near Archidona to learn about bee-keeping, breathe in country air and views and enjoy a relaxed lunch back in town at local restaurant, Escua.
Afternoon check-in to the National Parador of Antequera and time to relax, enjoy the pool or explore this attractive historical town.
Farewell Dinner in the magnificent, very unusual Bull Ring restaurant of Antequera, right beside our hotel.
Monday 10th June (B)
After breakfast, there will be one group transfer at 10am back to Malaga airport for your return flight or onward travel. Anyone travelling by AVE train to Madrid should take a taxi to the Antequera AVE station.
Prices from ...... per person
Please enquire for pricing.
- 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.