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 […]

As Catalan as Calçots

When you have free time in Spain, you don’t wonder what you’re going to do. You wonder what you’re going to eat. The fact that any free time will be spent sitting and eating and drinking somewhere with friends is a foregone conclusion. It’s what is done. This weekend at lunch, for example, when we […]

‘Tis the Reason

Okay, so you haven’t quite gotten around to planning that late December holiday getaway. You don’t need more guilt heaped on your work-weary shoulders. But you do need some help. The Christmas to New Year’s travel window is a busy one, so there’s no more time to waste. Here’s a rundown of of what could […]

15 Seconds Of Flame

It’s 3:00 pm in Toronto, on a grey and quiet Friday afternoon. In Spain, it’s 10:00 pm and somewhere in some small bar in some small town a guitar is about to catch fire. Or so it seems. A moment ago our Spain & Morocco trip planner, Sebastian Lapostol, sent me this brief but compelling […]

Norte Sur

Google “Norte Sur” and you get a subtitled Patrick Swayze pressing himself against the heaving bosom of Lesley-Anne Down in “North & South”, a very missable period drama. I hope this post launches Norte Sur, the distinctly unmissable Madrid tapas bar, to pole position where it belongs. This is a bar where the Spanish interior […]

Isles and Isles of Hiking

Thanks to a splendidly mis-spent youth, I am addicted to hiking on Mediterranean islands. There are islands to party on, and islands with beaches; islands for honeymooners and islands with Greek temples. Here are some islands that are just great for taking a stroll. First up, in Greece—the tiny island of Symi in the Dodecanese. […]

The Chains in Spain

In Spain a number of really excellent hotel chains that have figured out how to combine consistent quality, with character, style and vernacular, making the search for a great city hotel a whole lot easier. In most of the major cities and towns of Spain, you’ll find an AC Hotel, a Hospes hotel, or an NH Hotel. Totally different […]

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 Sherry Triangle

There’s a reason Grandma’s been hoarding the sherry. Turns out she’s been keeping the best drink in the cabinet all to herself. It’s time to loosen her bony grip on the Amontillado. Here’s everything you ever needed to know about sherry but were too young to ask. There are five horsemen of the sherry apolcalypse: fino, […]

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 […]