A Sherry Renaissance

Years ago, I was a recent college grad in Colorado when I took a decision that any sane individual with a degree in the Humanities and Spanish Comp Lit. would do: I moved to Spain. What was crazy, was that I moved to Jerez. “Where?” is usually the first question when the subject of where […]

Get Back – 15 ways my heart aches for Andalucia

Something’s afoot in Andalucía, Spain’s deep south.  First it started with the discovery of an Almohad-era Muslim Hammam in one of Sevilla’s most iconic tapas bars.  Then, just last week in the nearby town of Utrera, reports came in that archeologists had unearthed one of the largest and best preserved medieval Jewish synagogues in the […]

You Can Solve All the World’s Problems in a Garden

The Hindus speak of the purusharthas, or the four aims of a balanced life as the blueprint for human fulfillment: duty/ethics, prosperity, pleasure, and the pursuit of liberation.  As a travel professional these ideas have always resonated with me, as I appreciate the finer things in life but have often found that luxury and pleasure […]

Curious Gorge & The King

When a good friend of mine phoned me up recently to let me know he’d secured permits to walk the Caminito del Rey, I jumped at the chance. “The Kings Little Walk”.  The king in question, none other than Alfonso XIII, inaugurated this pathway in 1921, the aim being to oversee maintenance of the El […]

Dreams of Cadizfornication

We don’t often toot our Spanish claxon, but we are proud of the corner of Spain from where we plan trips to the Iberian Peninsula.  Home of sherry, flamenco, and the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe, here’s 5 reasons why our lovely little province should be on everyone’s bucket list. Cádiz (pronounced: CAH-DEETH). Drenched […]

La Via Verde de la Sierra

What is it? “La Via Verde de la Sierra” is one of Andalucia’s best kept secrets. If you’re looking to get away from the crowds of monuments and get out to the real Andalucian countryside for that natural high (and burn off the extra calories of that jamón ibérico at the same time), this is a day […]

Sacred Semana Santa, Spain

Semana Santa or Holy Week, the period between Palm Sunday and Easter, brings out all the colour, sight, and sound that make Spain such an irresistible destination. Jerez, a small town in Andalucia most of you have probably never heard of (but you will, as our new Spain trip planner is located here) celebrates the […]

Jamon Jamon

Iberian ham, or jamón iberico, might well be our favourite thing about Spain (beyond the Macarena and Rafael Nadal, obviously). If you count yourself a lover of prosciutto or jambon de Beaujolais, jamón iberico will be right up your alley. Read on to hear about jamón’s inglorious history, current prestige and our favourite tasting tips. Ham wasn’t always such a celebrated item on the […]

The Cheerful Chiringuito

Time passes slowly outside of the city in Andalucia. The summer sun hangs endlessly overhead and the bulls appear as leisurely and slow as the burros. Yet, on the coast you can pass the long days with surprising swiftness and ease at one of Spain’s little lauded guilty pleasures, the chiringuito. The coast on the […]

Pop-up Palacios

Pop-up restaurants are nothing new in places like New York, London and Paris, but in rural Andalucia the concept is just making its mark on the gastronomic underground. Wild boar and hares beware. When your favourite chef works exclusively on a freelance basis, what else is there to do but gather your best food loving […]

The World of Flamenco

From the White House to UNESCO, the world of Flamenco has had quite a year. Here our Andalucian maestro, Sebastian Lapostol, explains how, where and when to get your fill. 2010 was Flamenco’s big brave year. First the Andalucian art form was nominated by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. […]

The Parador Paradigm

If like me you groan at the mere thought of another Philippe Stark-designed hipster bar, or über-minimalist white-carpeted trend hotel where you can’t figure out how to turn the bathroom lights off, I bet you’ll love the un-hip un-cool not-at-all-with-it Parador hotels of Spain. King Alfonso XIII may have been the proud owner of the […]

My Sherry Amour

The Seven Pillars of Wisdom for travel in Europe are: food, wine, architecture, art, music, landscape and experimental alcoholic concoctions. Overflowing in all of the above, it’s no wonder that Jerez is my latest crush. After a dalliance with Córdoba and a brief fling with Úbeda, I didn’t expect to be swept off my feet so completely by […]

Doors of Ubeda and Baeza

A montage of doors and gateways from the neighbouring UNESCO World Heritage towns of Úbeda and Baeza in northeast Andalucía. Most people don’t make it up here on trips around Andalucía. The hordes head to the beaches. Hikers head to the sierra around Ronda. History buffs are spoilt for choice in the cities: Granada and […]

The Layer Cake of Córdoba

“You have destroyed something unique, to create something commonplace,” said Charles V, when his bishops crashed a Gothic cathedral right into the middle of Cordoba’s amazing 8C Mosque. The result was an amazing layer cake of Spanish historical flavour. I’m on a jaunt around Andalucia, getting to grips with the ebb and flow of Christian […]

Seville = Orange

It’s that time of year when any self-respecting Brit recognises his deep cultural debt to the sun-kissed city of Seville by rolling up his sleeves and sharpening his paring knife: it’s marmalade-making season. And perhaps the best time of year to visit Andalucia. What what?! You’re not British, or—worse still—you don’t make your own marmalade. […]