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This gastronomic journey introduces you to the true taste of southern Spain through its landscapes and cultures. From the Aracena hills, source of peerless Ibérico hams and goat cheeses, across the plains dotted with sherry bodegas, all the way to the ocean where the fish almost jump onto restaurant tables.
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Arrive in Seville and settle in to your hotel before an afternoon walking tour which ends with a tapas tour.
Meet up with your chef-guide this morning to delve into the local market and source some fresh produce for your lunch. Near to the market is a space where you can set out your purchases and, with the help of your guide, cook up a delicious lunch just like the locals. This afternoon you might visit some of Seville's historic monuments, such as the Alcazar, which tend to draw fewer visitors later in the day.
Collect your car this morning and set off for the Sierra de Aracena, and a traditional cork oak pig farm, where you can spend a couple of hours learning about the production of Spain's finest cured 'jamon.' Enjoy a feast of hams, chorizo and a variety of cheeses with Armando and Lola, the owners of the farm. This really is exceptional food and to eat it in the kitchen with the producer is a treat for any foodie.
Walk along ancient cobbled paths through the forests of cork oaks and chestnut trees of the Sierra de Aracena. The trail leads on to Linares, one of the most picturesque villages in the area. It's also home to a rather lovely little restaurant which showcases local vegetable garden produce alongside the best of the acorn-fed jamon. We include a special tasting menu lunch today.
Drive to the extraordinary small village of El Rocío, gateway to the bird-rich wetlands of Doñana. El Rocío sits right on the edge of the Doñana National Park, a huge area of wildlife rich wetlands. The sandy streets of the village almost look like the set of a Western movie.
This morning you have a guided private visit of the Doñana National Park home to great flocks of migratory birds as well as two of the most endangered species in Europe: the Iberian Lynx and the Imperial Eagle. This afternoon travel to Jerez de la Frontera, a journey of just under two hours. Jerez is world famous for its wines, flamenco and Spanish horses.
Savour the essence of Andalucía as you see the skills of the Spanish horses and riders before visiting the monumental sherry wineries. At around 11am make your way to the Royal Equestrian School to enjoy the show of dancing horses. After lunch in town, visit the oldest winery in Jerez, belonging to the Domecq dynasty. The bodega gives a great insight into the history of sherry production.
Meet your new guide this morning for a hike into the limestone hills of the Grazalema Natural Park, some of the prettiest scenery of the week. After you've worked up an appetite, return to the village for a tasting of local olive oils, as well as cheeses and wine. Later you can see the centuries-old olive press still in use before ending the day in the town of Vejer de la Frontera.
Your guide today knows all about the fishing culture of the nearby coastline and the variety of its resources, from the world class red tuna to the traditional fried fish. Immerse yourself into the traditional world of fishermen, learning about the traditional almadraba red tuna fishing in the Straits of Gibraltar.
Explore the coast of Cadiz, from the Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia to Cadiz, known as the city of light or Little Habana. Spend the day exploring the coast of Cadiz and its rich history and culinary tradition. You might want to spend the morning visiting the ancient roman ruins of Baelo Claudia on the pristine beach of Bolonia. You can then continue to Tarifa from where whale watching boats head out into the straits.
Travel back to Seville by road for your journey home. Again, international flights are quoted separately.
An exclusive self-drive itinerary combining private guided culinary experiences with self-guided walking and exploration of beautiful western Andalusia.
Your holiday combines some gentle walking through beautiful landscapes, guided foodie experiences and nights in excellent small hotels. We provide you with support when you need it, walking notes and maps as well as local information to make the most of the time when you aren't with one of our local foodie stars.
Whilst very much an active foodie adventure, the level of activity on this trip is fairly low with walking distances of just a few km. However, on most days you are outdoors and on your feet experiencing the towns and countryside on foot. For those who prefer a more physical adventure, there are opportunities for longer walks in Aracena and Alcornocales Natural Parks, but otherwise it's a moderate activity level, with hikes up to three hours.
This holiday really offers an excellent collection of very comfortable hotels, even luxurious, but most importantly we believe they offer character and variety, making your accommodation a key part of your holiday. See the summary section below to see the hotels we use on this trip.
Most hotels are historical buildings that have been renovated, therefore maintaining the cultural heritage of the area at the same time as promoting its enjoyment in comfort. This is something we deeply support in Pura Aventura. In terms of weather, western Andalucía is fantastic to visit any time from March through December. July and August are too hot for most people to enjoy. Rains tend to come in January/February.
This whole area is a living cultural experience thanks to the mix of cultures that have passed by, from the Phoenicians and Romans to the long lasting presence of the Moors and the Christian reconquest. And the gypsy culture is writ large all over this part of the country. All layers of this history are still visible today and form much of the basis of Spanish culture more generally.
This trip is full of iconic images such as the Islamic monuments and narrow streets of Seville, the hilltop whitewashed villages in the Sierra, the beauty and power of bulls and horses roaming free, the lively ambience of the Spanish people enjoying food and music in the streets… and of course the food. This is an all-around active cultural adventure.
There is a detailed itinerary for this trip, please get in touch and we can email that to you. As a tailor made trip we would love to have time to talk to you in order to send the most appropriate proposal to you. The holiday can be adjusted in a number of ways, for example to include more time and opportunity for walking.
In order to confirm your holiday, we need to discuss dates with you as well as any additional arrangements you might like before checking in with all of the inns to make sure they have space. The holiday price includes first class accommodation, breakfast throughout and several other meals, It also includes car hire with personalised sat nav system, privately guided excursions as described, walking notes, maps and local information.
Normally the holiday starts and ends in Seville (airport code: SVQ) though distances in the region are not great so we can also look at Jerez (XRY), Gibraltar (GIB) and Malaga (AGP) as alternatives. Rail connections between Seville and Madrid are excellent.
Departs any day, from March to June & September to November. 6 night version of the trip also available at £1,146.
Contact us today to start planning your own personal adventure
The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip.
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