When people think of travel in Spain their imagination is inevitably stirred by swarthy men in pink sparkling suits fighting bulls with nothing more than a red cape to defend themselves, and of black-eyed beauties stamping their feet and clicking castanets in a whirling dervish of colour. They think of the wild beauty of the country’s Northern shores, the endless golden stretches of its Mediterranean sands, the fine art of Goya, Velazquez, Picasso, and Dali, and the impossible architecture of that eccentric genius, Antoni Gaudi. In the face of such glamorous distractions, perhaps it’s no wonder that another, equally wonderful, aspect of this multifaceted country is oft overlooked: its fantastic food and drink.
Spain is currently the world’s third largest wine producer (behind only France and Italy), and is most famous for its robust oak-aged Riojas, sweet Andalusian sherries and the refreshing sparkling Cavas of the Penedes region – whilst in the 21st century the up-and-coming wine regions of Navarro and La Mancha are adding new diversity to the country’s wine-making heritage. To complement its wine-making, Spain’s cuisine is a mouthwatering mix of traditional regional dishes – such as Basque pintxos, Galician pulpo, Valencian paella, and Creme de Catalana to name but a few – and innovative upscale cuisine. Indeed in the last 20 years many of the world’s most creative chefs have hailed from the Iberian peninsular, including the triple Michelin-starred Ferran Adria, the godfather of avant garde cuisine.
Here on our Spain Food & Wine Tours page we aim to introduce you to the different regions you might want to explore, and what you might find there, as well as hand pick some extensive multi-day vacations that will introduce you to the heart of Spanish wine and cuisine. Whether you want to spend your time enjoying guided wine tasting with the country’s top wine makers in sun-kissed vineyards, take a tapas tour of a dynamic city like Madrid or Barcelona, visit an eco-farm in Andalusia, learn how to cook an authentic paella with local chefs, go shopping in some of the world’s best food markets or go fine dining in Michelin-starred restaurants we will find the perfect tour for you. We’ve also searched for food and wine experiences that will also introduce you to the fascinating art, history and culture – and people – of this unique country. So buckle up… it’s going to be one hell of a ride!
Spain Food & Wine Tours by Region/City
Find more info on the different regions and cities of Spain below, along with links to which tours and experiences we recommend in each destination…
Barcelona / Catalonia
Catalonia, and its capital Barcelona, is a foodie’s dream destination. Michelin-starred restaurants have popped up in recent years like the region’s delicious mushrooms in season, and Catalan cuisine has undergone a huge renaissance since the 90s, putting it on the sharp edge of Spain’s gastronomic trends. Not only that, but Catalonia is home to both the Penedes and the Priorat wine region, both within reach of Barcelona. The former is famous for its playful and fresh Cavas – the Spanish version of French Champagne, whilst the latter produces some of Spain’s best red wines from its volcanic soils. Typical wine and food tours of Catalonia might include day trips from Barcelona to the Cava vineyards of the Penedes region, tapas tours of Barcelona itself, or a guided tour of the world famous La Boqueria food market followed by cookery classes. More extensive excursions might take you up to the picturesque town of Cadaques, where Picasso made his summer home, to the Dali Museum in Figueres or the iconic Montserrat jagged mountain where you can visit a sacred alpine monastery.
For details on specific tours & experiences, head to the following pages:
- Barcelona Luxury Gourmet Tour
- Barcelona Market Tour & Cooking Class
- Barcelona Gastronomic Tour
- Penedes Wine Experience
Madrid / Central Spain
Madrilenos like to live life to the full, and those interested in exploring the world of Spanish cuisine will find the very best of it in the Spanish capital, from upscale dining to authentic tavernas. Stellar food and wine experiences in Madrid include guided tours of the city’s best tapas bars, gastronomic walks, food with wine pairings and the chance to learn how to cook Spanish specialties with renowned chefs. In between meals you’ll also get the chance to visit the world famous El Prado and La Reina Sofia museums and El Retiro park. Geographically-speaking Madrid is situated in the very heart of Spain, and from hence is the ideal starting point for day trips, or longer excursions to the wine regions of Ribera del Duero, Toledo and La Mancha. Here you will be able to partake in guided wine tastings, inspect the workings of the local wineries and see the grapes being grown and harvested on the vines in the vineyards themselves.
For more info on tours in Madrid and Central Spain, head to the following pages:
The North of Spain is a fascinatingly diverse region, in terms of geography, culture, people and cuisine and not to be hurried through at any cost. Whether you prefer touring “Costa Marisco” (seafood coast) to find the best catch of the day, whilst marvelling at the dramatic Rias de Galicia (flooded estuaries flanked by rugged cliffs), or driving through the forest valleys of Asurias and Cantabrica in search of Spain’s finest cider, or heading to thriving coastal cities like Bilbao and San Sebastian in the Basque country with their heady mix of high brow culture, beautiful beaches and amazing cuisine, Northern Spain is packed to the gills with highlights. Of course wine lovers simply have to visit the region of La Rioja, with its wondrous “design wineries” producing some of the best vintages in the world.
For more info on tours along the North Coast, head to the following pages:
If one truly wants to experience the flavor of Spain, the southern region of Andalucía embodies every aspect of your wildest Spanish dreams: gypsy women parading regal horses down narrow, windy corridors during the Feria Seville; paper thin slices of cured jamon alongside fresh seafood; long white sand beaches that sparkle under 320 days of sun. For the history buffs among you, there are numerous majestic cultural heritage sites to visit, masterful works of art gracing ancient walls of cathedrals and small pueblito houses, not to mention the vast number of castles and fortresses that dot the region’s landscape. Andalucía’s capital, Seville, is steeped in historic culture; including Christopher Columbus’s burial site, and as well as the the Alcazar palace – a testament to the beauty of Moorish architecture. Granada, the land of secret gardens, is where you can experience the Alhambra, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984, and the Arab bazaar (Alcaicería) which consists of several narrow streets, lined with gastronomic wonders. And let’s not forget Málaga, the birthplace of Pablo Picasso and the Museo Picasso Málaga, the Carmen Thyssen Museum, and numerous old towns and beaches. And considering that Málaga’s history spans approximately 2,800 years, making it one of the oldest cities in the world, there is no shortage of historical sites to visit.
For more info on tours along the North Coast, head to the following pages:
- Sherry Food & Wine Tours
- Granada Culinary Tours (coming soon!)
- Malaga Gastronomic Tours (coming soon!)
Info on visiting Valencia, the home of paella, and other Eastern cities and regions coming soon.