Available year round
Visit Seville, the magnificent and historic city in southern Spain, where life is lived to the fullest and where eating and drinking are taken very seriously. Choose from a variety of interesting foodie tours including tapas tours and cooking classes with a popular chef in Seville, excursions outside of Seville including a foie gras tour, an olive oil tour, a cheese tour, a distillery tour and various wine trips in the area. These tours offer you unrivalled gastronomy, incredible wines, food and cultural visits. If you have a passion for food and wine and wish to learn the traditions and culture of this very special city and its surrounding areas, take a look below.
Cooking Classes (Group Size: Minimum 2 persons/Maximum 8 persons)
Apart from dishes such as paella, Spanish omelette and gazpacho, Spain´s great cuisine has been little known throughout the world. However, this situation is gradually changing as more and more people become aware of the quality and variety of the country´s gastronomy. Also now, some of the world´s top chefs are Spanish.
We can offer you the chance to learn to make anything from basic dishes to much more elaborate ones. Great stews and meat dishes, seafood recipes, vegetable dishes, salads, desserts with a Moorish influence. You decide what you want to learn and we will put together a hands-on class or classes for you.
We work with Spanish chef Willy Moya. He was trained in Spain and Paris and runs one of Seville's top restaurants, Poncio, where his creative Andalusian cooking has brought him accolades from around the world. Cooking sessions are around 2½ to 3 hours long, giving clients plenty of time to learn to prepare a range of dishes. Clients can decide what they would like to learn or just leave it in Willy's hands.
*A selection of tapas dishes
*Popular rice dishes
*Andalucian cold soups
*Cooking with extra virgin olive oil
*Cooking with sherry style wines and sherry vinegar
*Dishes made with the ham and meat of the acorn-fed Iberian pig
You will get to eat everything you make and drinks will be served throughout the class.
As well as offering the classes on their own, we can combine excursions with cooking classes. Thus a visit to the Jerez region could be combined with a class preparing dishes with sherry-style wines and sherry vinegar. In the same way an olive oil excursion could be combined with a session on the use of olive oil in Spanish cookery. A trip to the ham-producing area would also lend itself to making dishes using Iberian ham and Iberian pork.
Here are a couple of Willy's recipes to whet your appetite:
Raspberry Gazpacho with King Prawns
Ingredients ( for 4 people)
• 1 kilo tomatoes
• 1 cucumber
• 1 onion
• 1 green pepper
• 1 clove of garlic
• 5 raspberries
• 6 dessertspoons olive oil
• 2 dessertspoons sherry vinegar
• 100g bread
• 8 king prawns
Macerate the raspberries in the vinegar for 12 hours. Heat salted water in a large saucepan and when it starts to boil add the prawns. When the water starts to boil vigorously again leave for two minutes. Take out the prawns and put them in ice-cold water. Chop up all the vegetables and put them in a blender. Add salt, olive oil and the bread which has been soaked in water. Blend everything together and then pass the mixture through a sieve. Add vinegar and water to suit your taste. Serve the gazpacho with the king prawns (chopped up if you like) and the remaining raspberries.
Ingredients (for 2 people)
• red pepper
• green pepper
• 3 cloves of garlic
• a few threads of saffron
• 1 teaspoon tomato paste
• 2 cups rice
• 4 cups shellfish stock
• 12 peeled prawns (uncooked)
• 2 large red prawns
• olive oil
The shellfish stock can be made with the heads and peelings of the prawns by simmering them in 1½ litres water for 25 minutes with an onion, bouquet garni, a dash of fino sherry, a stick of celery and a carrot.
Sauté the chopped up peppers and garlic and then add the saffron and tomato paste. Add the rice and stock and salt. Bring to the boil and then add the prawns and cook for 16 minutes without stirring. When removed from the heat, leave covered for a few minutes before serving.
Tapa Tours (Group Size: Minimum 2 persons/Maximum 8 persons)
Seville is possibly the best city in Spain for tapas. It has the largest number of bars per inhabitant anywhere, offering an amazing range of food. There's something for everybody whether it be meat, seafood, vegetables, olives, cheese etc. You name it, somebody is sure to have used it in a tapa. For groups of as little as two people we offer you a guided tour of some of Seville's finest tapas bars. To help you out we will provide you with an English translation of Spanish food and cooking vocabulary. We will also advise you on all the best places to eat in and around Seville. The tour price includes four tapas and four drinks.
Excursions (Group Size: Minimum 2 persons/Maximum 15 persons)
Choose from ten exclusive personalized excursions. The excursions go to the sherry towns of Jerez and Sanlúcar de Barrameda, to the Sierra of Grazalema, to the Sierra of Ronda and to the Sierra of Aracena in Huelva, home to the finest ham in the world. On our excursions you really get to know about authentic sherry wines and brandies, olive oil, fine red wine and great ham, foie gras, cheeses and will talk to the people who are directly involved in their production.
The excursions can be arranged on any day of the week except public holidays. Also, excursion to Jerez or Sanlúcar de Barrameda cannot be run on Sundays. All the excursions leave Seville at 9:30 in the morning arriving back at between 5:30 and 6:00 and a little later for the trip to Ronda. Pricing includes, entrance fees, tastings and a gourmet lunch with wine.
1. Sierra of Aracena
On this trip we take you to the Sierra of Aracena in the province of Huelva, a mountainous area north-west of Seville near to the Portuguese border. It is here that the finest hams in the world are made from the Iberian pig. These hams are cured in the mountain air for up to 3 years and are considered by many people to be the jewel in the crown of Spanish gastronomy. This area is situated about 90 kilometres (56 miles) from Seville. We will first visit a farm to see how the pigs are reared and then go on to see the installations of one of the best ham producers in the village of Jabugo, a mythical name in Spain for fine ham. An expert will show us around, explaining the processes involved in the production of ham and of other products which come from the Iberian pig. At the end of the visit you will be able to taste the wonderful ham along with a glass of the best fino. Afterwards, we will go on to the town of Aracena where we will have a gourmet lunch at the finest restaurant in the area. We will sample the finest local produce including fresh cheese, ham, mushrooms, pork from the Iberian pig, wild asparagus, artichokes etc. Many of the dishes will vary according to the season. The meal will be accompanied by fine Spanish red wine and end with typical desserts.
Jerez is about 85 kilometres (53 miles) from Seville and is a beautiful town steeped in history. Prior to reaching the town we will be stopping to visit a vineyard where you will learn about the many factors which affect grape production and quality. Following this we will proceed to one of the bodegas (wineries) where we will be taken around what are spectacular buildings with their rows and rows of sherry butts stacked one on top of the other. These buildings are often compared to cathedrals and it is certainly true that they give the impression of being sanctified places. After a detailed tour including a complete explanation of the sherry-making process, there will be a tutored tasting of the different styles of wine, including high end wines not normally tasted. On the tour you will also find out how sherry vinegar and Jerez brandy are made and will also get the chance to sample some top brandies. Please let us know if you are more of a brandy fan as we can alter the tour accordingly. After this first visit we will proceed to a much smaller family-run bodega where as well as being shown around we will get the chance to taste some exceptionally fine wines unknown to all except a select few connoisseurs. We will then be going to one of the best restaurants in Jerez to enjoy a meal consisting of excellent local dishes accompanied by fine sherry wines. After this tour, and the one to Sanlúcar de Barrameda, we hope that you will agree with most of the world's top wine critics who believe that sherry is the most underrated fine wine in the world.
3. Sanlúcar de Barrameda
Today’s excursion takes you to Sanlúcar de Barrameda, the second most important sherry town, unknown to the majority of foreign visitors. It is a similar distance from Seville as Jerez and is a beautiful place at the mouth of the Guadalquivir estuary . It looks across to the Doñana National Park and out on to the Atlantic Ocean. Among the many styles of sherry wine produced here manzanilla stands out as a style of sherry made in a similar way to fino but lighter with a salty hint to it. The town is also known for very fine seafood; it is one of the best places for this in Spain. We will pass by some of the vineyards before arriving in the town, where we will start with a visit to the fantastic local market located in the old centre. We will then proceed to one of the best wineries in the town for an extended private tour. You are in for a treat as all the wines that you taste will be poured straight form the barrel, including some rare wines that are more than 30 years old! After the bodega visit we will go to one of the superb seafood restaurants along the bank of the estuary where we will indulge in langoustines, shellfish, fine fried fish, sea food and rice stews etc., all washed down with the finest manzanilla. There will be time to wander along the beach before returning to Seville when you will be free to explore the city.
4. Sierra de Grazalema
On this excursion we take you first of all to visit a modern olive oil mill just outside the town of Zahara de la Sierra, 90 kilometres (56 miles) southeast of Seville. This small spectacular town, one of the renowned white villages, is situated in the mountainous and very beautiful area known as the Sierra de Grazalema. At the mill we will learn about how most olive oil is produced today and we will taste a selection of oils including organic ones. After a short drive we will then go on to a traditional olive oil mill which dates from 1755. Here you will learn about the old methods of production which are now used in very few places. After tasting the olive oil they produce there will be time to look around Zahara before heading on to another beautiful white village called Grazalema along one of the most spectacular roads in Spain. In Grazalema we will eat at one of the best restaurants in the area sampling fine local food including local cheese, soups, charcuturie, lamb, wild boar etc. There will be time to stroll around the village before heading back to Seville.
5. Sierra of Ronda
At 120 km to the south-east of Seville, Ronda is one of Andalucia's most beautiful towns. It is famous throughout Spain for the gaping river gorge with a sheer drop of 120m which divides the medieval from the 18th century parts of the town. A spectacular bridge constructed in the 18th century spans the gorge and the view looking down from it is not for the faint-hearted! As well as the town being an obvious tourist attraction, the area around Ronda is becoming well-known among enthusiasts as a producer of very good red wines and to a smaller extent whites, which are being made in what are principally boutique wineries with every attention to detail. Grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Garnacha, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The vineyards are at around 750 metres above sea level, a necessary requisite for making high quality tables wines so far south in Spain. We will be visiting two of the recently established wineries where the winemakers will be showing us around and sharing their incredible enthusiasm with us. When you taste their wines you'll realize why they are so upbeat and why they think that although production in the area is small, Ronda is going to become a hallmark for fine wines. Lunch will be at a fine local restaurant sampling local dishes accompanied (obviously!) by some great local wine. You will then have time to explore the wonderful town of Ronda town with its Moorish and Christian legacy as well as taking in some superb views of the surrounding mountain ranges and of course the plunging gorge. We will then head back to Seville after a very full day.
6. Arcos de la Frontera and surrounding area
Arcos de la Frontera is around an hour's drive south of Seville. It is one of the most dramatic and beautiful of the famous pueblos blancos or white towns, being situated on a rocky limestone ridge with a sheer cliff face that plunges down into the valley below. We will stop off at the town so that you can wander around its amazing streets and squares and take in the breathtaking views from the cliff edge We will then travel a little way out of Arcos to visit one of the most impressive wineries that has appeared in Andalucia in recent times. The beautifully designed winery is surrounded by 75 hectares of vines, including: Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tintilla de Rota. The mountains of the Sierra de Grazalema form a backdrop making this a place of incredible beauty. The philosophy of the winery is to make wine of the highest quality that will be able to compete with top wines from other parts of Spain and the rest of the world. No expense has been spared in obtaining state-of-the-art equipment as well as the best French oak barrels from the finest coopers. You'll get to see the vineyard before looking around the installations and then of course tasting the excellent wine that the winery produces. The two wines that are in the market at the moment were given scores of 92 and 95 by Robert Parker. It's then off to lunch at a very down to earth locals' haunt. We will be going to a “venta” or country inn where we'll indulge in the house speciality which is rice stew with partridge, rabbit or farmyard chicken (plucked that morning).This will be accompanied by salads and of course wine, and finish with local desserts. After lunch there will be time to visit one or two of the other stunning white towns such as El Bosque before heading back to Seville.
7. HALF DAY OLIVE OIL EXCURSION
On this half-day trip we take you to a superb boutique olive oil mill situated on the outskirts of El Viso del Alcor, 35 minutes from Seville. The mill which is an old “hacienda” or farmhouse is surrounded by olive trees of the Arebquina variety, which makes light fruity olive oils of very high quality. In fact the oil produced at the mill, which is probably the best in the province of Seville, has won medals at tasting competitions all over the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, China, Japan and Israel. With an expert you will learn about everything that goes into making fine extra virgin olive oils, from the olive tree to the final product. At the end of the visit there will be a tasting of different extra virgin olive oils which will include oil made from the Manzanilla olive variety as well as Arbequina. The tasting will end with a dish that has been made using the extra virgin olive oil made at the mill. We guarantee that you will be delighted with this trip as we have yet to experience a better olive oil mill tour anywhere.
8. HALF DAY DISTILLERY TOUR
This tour takes you to an artisanal distillery just 40 minutes away from the center of Seville, situated on the outskirts of the beautiful historic town of Carmona. The distillery was founded in 1880 and is built over the ruins of some Roman baths and includes the remains of an Arabic mill. The baths and mill took advantage of a natural spring which is used today for the distilleryʼs water supply. At the distillery you will find out about the history of the place and the fascinating artisanal distilling process that is used for the different products which are dry anisette, semi-sweet anisette and pacharan (made with sloe berries macerated in anisette), as well as two liqueurs made with the addition of cinnamon and mint. The distillery uses two copper pot stills which date from 1880 and 1920 and if you are lucky you will see them in use. There will be a chance to taste the different products at the end of the visit. Before heading back to Seville there will be time for a walk around the wonderful old center of Carmona, the most interesting and picturesque town in the province of Seville outside the capital.
9. FOIE GRAS EXCURSION
This excursion takes you out of Andalusia to the region of Extremadura, birthplace of many of the “conquistadores” that followed in Columbus’ footsteps. At about an hour and 10 minutes from Seville, you will be visiting a producer of foie gras who does not resort to the cruel practice of force feeding geese. The producer, Eduardo Sousa, takes a very ethical approach to what he does and is concerned about the bird’s welfare. For the production of foie gras he uses the natural cycle of the geese as they fatten themselves up for migration in November. The birds are wild but have become accustomed to the presence of humans. They fend for themselves and are free to fly off whenever they wish. They are, however, given extra corn to eat 3 weeks before the time of migration to help increase their weight and that of their livers. Before they are able to migrate, though, the geese are captured at night and are then humanely sacrificed. Force fed geese have livers that increase to a weight of between 1kg and 1.2kg; Eduardo’s birds have livers that are around 450g.
After spending some time at the farm we’ll head off to the facilities that Eduardo has in the town of Fuente de Cantos. Here his company prepares some of its products as well as having a shop that sells to the public. Apart from foie gras Eduardo’s company has a range of fine patés that are made from pork products that come from acorn-fed Iberian pigs. You will get a chance to taste the foie gras as well as the patés. Even though the foie gras is produced in small quantities, it is sought after by some of the worldʼs top chefs. Eduardo happened to be in a restaurant in New York when it was served to Barack Obama!
Leaving Fuente de Cantos you will then head off for a gourmet lunch at the finest restaurant in the area, located in the beautiful old center of the town of Zafra, renowned for its castle (now a parador) and the Plaza Grande and Plaza Chica, the big and small squares. After lunch there will be time to wander around the old town before heading back to Seville.
10. CHEESE TOUR IN SIERRA DE GRAZALEMA
The Sierra of Grazalema, as well as being a Natural Park of outstanding beauty, has become the most famous area in the south of Spain for cheese, made from both sheepʼs and goatsʼ milk. The sheep are Merino de Grazalema, a breed in its own right, while the goats are Payoyo, also a local breed. As well as cheeseʼs made from goatsʼ and sheepʼs milk cheese, it is common to see cheeses made from a mixture of both; all of them are excellent.
On arriving in the Sierra of Grazalema, we will be taking a 35-40 minute walk in beautiful countryside to one of the farms that supplies milk to the cheesemaker we will be seeing later on. This farmer owns both sheep and goats and we should be able to see some of his animals being milked. After walking back from the farm, we will be driving through beautiful landscape to the very attractive white town of Grazalema where Rosana the cheesemaker will waiting for us. You are going to learn about everything that goes into making great cheese from unpasteurised milk, from curdling the milk to putting the curds in the molds and pressing out the whey and then to the salting and curing of the cheese. Unfortunately, you will not be able to take home the actual cheese you see being made from the dayʼs milk, as it needs more or less 2 months of curing. There will be time to spare while the cheese curdles so that is when we will have a tasting of some the great cheeses that are made by Rosana.
After our cheesemaking experience we will be having lunch at a great local place which specialises in lamb and game meats such as partridge, rabbit and venison. The food will be accompanied by some great local wine. After our meal there will be time for a stroll around Grazalema before heading back to Seville after a very full and satisfying day.
Wine Tastings (Group Size: Minimum 2 persons)
We hold wine-tastings of Spanish wine accompanied by food at the the restaurant on the first floor above Seville´s oldest bar, El Rinconcillo. The bar was opened in 1670 and is as well worth a visit as many of the city´s other monuments. The restaurant preserves as much of the original decor as possible including the bare brick walls and the beamed ceilings.
Our main tastings feature the wines from Jerez. As well as explaining how the wines are made and tasting the different styles we show you how versatile they are with food; something which many people are not aware of. The wines will be accompanied by fine prawns from the Huelva coastline, acorn-fed Iberian ham, Spanish cheese, excellent fish and meat dishes, and typical desserts. Apart from this tasting we are able to offer tastings of quality Spanish red and white wines.
Customized Tours (Group Size: Minimum 2 persons/Maximum 50 persons)
We can also customize tours for you. So if you already have a trip planned for Spain and wish to visit the Seville area, let us know if you would like a custom designed itinerary.
Interested in other regions in Spain? We can also design food and wine tours to wine regions such as La Rioja, and Ribera del Duero as well as sampling the culinary delights of Spain's capital city Madrid.
If you are interested in a wine tour to the Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions, please inquire and let us know your requirements and we will design an itinerary especially for you.
HOW TO ARRIVE
Sevilla Airport is about 20 minutes from Sevilla center
Sevilla Santa Justa train station is 10 minutes from Sevilla center
*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.
Based on Two Persons/US$250
Based on Two Persons/US$145
FULL DAY EXCURSIONS
Based on Two Persons/US$300
Based on Two Persons/US$165
HALF DAY OLIVE OIL TOUR
Based on Two Persons/US$155
HALF DAY DISTILLERY TOUR
Based on Two Persons/US$155
ETHICAL FOIE GRAS EXCURSION
Based on Two Persons/US$375
*Please inquire about lower pricing for groups of 3 or more
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation
After availability is confirmed, the completed and submitted registration form wiill secure your reservation. Full payment is due 45 days before your arrival date.
*Hands-on cooking class
*Meal with drinks served throughout class
*Four (4) tapas
*Four (4) drinks
*Gourmet lunch with wine
*Wine tasting and education
*Tasting accompanied by fine prawns from the Huelva coastline, acorn-fed Iberian ham, Spanish cheese, excellent fish and meat dishes, and typical desserts
Airfare and personal expenses are not included.
For further inquiries or to register, click here.
Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Steve and Heidi B., Edina, Minnesota"We took two tours from Sevilla organized by Active Gourmet Holidays with a local tour guide. The tour guide has been in the Sevilla area for around 25 years and his personal relationships with farmers, winery owners, restauranteurs and others led to amazing, up-close-and-personal experiences with local people and sites that could never be had on your own."
Jane T. - Auckland, New Zealand
"I had a wonderful time in and around Seville and was thoroughly spoilt. The food was great and plentiful. After my own country this is my favourite part of the world."
Nancy G. - Madison, Wisconsin
"We enjoyed ourselves tremendously. Your tour was such a good introduction to Spain. We really appreciated learning a lot of different things about the country."
Yves P. - Brussels, Belgium
"I learned a great deal about Spanish food and wine on your tour. I have even dared to prepare a Spanish meal for some friends! Thanks for a great time."
Jennifer D. - Vancouver, Canada
"What a fantastic place Seville is! We had such a good time. The food, the company and the wonderful hotel we stayed in. We'll definitely be back again. Thanks."
Lisa and Danny S. - Tempe, Arizona
"Dear Jo-Ann, Everything about the trip was great - Roger is a fantastic host, and the rest of the gang on our trip added to the experience, too. We loved the hotel, it had both perfect ambiance and location. All in all, Danny and I both agree, it is one of the highlights of our 23 years together. Danny's been cooking up a storm since we've returned, delighting not only us but friends and family alike with the dishes we learned how to prepare. And, we've been developing a taste for sherry, too! We will definitely return to Spain, and have already recommended you to several friends. Thank you so much for everything. All the best,"
Tracey V., Sewickley, Pennsylvania"We thoroughly enjoyed our cooking class with Willy Moya! He was able to accommodate our needs to have an interactive, hands-on class. The instruction was great and the food that we prepared was delicious! I would definitely consider another excursion through Active Gourmet Holidays! Your company communicated with us effectively and efficiently throughout the process."
This exciting region is depicted below. You can also access Google MapsTM by clicking HERE.
*In some cases mapping may give clients a general sense of location due to changes in venue. Please inquire about specific location.