Spain Without a Map: The Matarranya

I pull the car to a screeching halt, and hop out to take in this moment. After an hour or so of fairly uneventful driving from Valencia heading north, the landscapes begin to reveal the first of many medieval hilltop villages and I capture a few shots with my camera before continuing on. A short […]

Arabic Calligraphy – A Tangible Culture

Arabic is spoken by about half a billion people around the world and is the language of the Islamic religion – from Jakharta to Casablanca, the reading of the Qu’ran and prayers are in Arabic. Muslims revere the Qu’ran as the literal word of God as recited to the Prophet Muhammad, so the written book […]

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 […]

The Pig Side of the Moon

July 21, 1969. My parents were traveling to Spain on their honeymoon, racing their tiny, overpacked Fiat 500 convertible beyond the laws of physics. They pulled over at a cafe in Tossa de Mar, a Medieval town in Catalonia, hastily parking the car on the sidewalk. It was very early in the morning (or very […]

Conde Nast Travel Specialists: Trufflepig’s Magnificent 7

Last week Conde Nast Traveler released its annual Travel Specialists list, kind of like the Oscars of the travel world. And with another record-breaking 7 Trufflepig planners with their names in lights (again), we feel more than usually justified in describing ourselves as the Tiny Company with the Great Big Nose. We are of course […]

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 […]

Cider: Asturias’ Stream of Consciousness

I’m at heart a wine nerd, but you don’t need to twist my arm to sample other brews and libations, particularly if partaking will gain me deeper insights to a place or a people.  When I travel, my first quest is always to find out what the locals drink and, at times, how they’re supposed […]

Finding My Way North – the Camino de Santiago

I’ve found that the old dictum “hindsight is 20/20” has taken on new meaning this year. My realization has been that for much of my adult life, travel has defined my most significant moments. I don’t want to come off sounding like some Instagram travel influencer racing around the globe to collect passport stamps for the […]

Menorca on my Mind

Ok, who hasn’t said to themselves at least once in the last couple of months, “Get me the hell out of here”? I think we’re all hankering for some new found freedom right about now and just the idea of going anywhere that isn’t a supermarket or a pharmacy has me breathless with excitement. For […]

Priorat Priorities

I’ve never met a wine-growing region I didn’t like.  But there’s a difference between producing wine and cultivating a wine culture, and the best measure of how successful a wine-growing region can be lies not just with the quality of the wines they produce, but how well the place weaves together the distinct threads of […]

A Sebastian in Heaven, A Sebastian on Earth

Don’t worry.  I’ve not gone off the deep end (yet). The title is a rough translation of the hymn to San Sebastian, aka Donostia, aka one of the Coolest Coastal Towns in Spain.  It’s also much more readable than the original Basque: Sebastian bat badu zeruan, donosti bat bakarra munduan. But Basque aside, I’m not hot […]

Globe Trotters

We’ve been out on the road this year…. a lot. At half-time on 2019, our trotters are worn smooth, and it’s time to take stock. The pictures above flooded my inbox when I naively wrote to our planning team to ask for a few shots from recent research trips. I was struck by the awesome […]

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 […]

Simply The Best

We may be a tiny travel company (with a great big nose) but when Conde Nast Traveler magazine published its “2017 Top Travel Specialists” list last week, we blushed hot pink to see that Trufflepig has more experts listed than any other outfit. Our very own Dan, Rudston, Tyler and Sebastian, for Italy, Spain, Southern Africa and Myanmar. CNT describe them as “the […]

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 […]