(Option: Customized Itineraries)
Andalusia, Spain - 4 nights
Available February to November (excluding August)
Come join us for cooking classes with a talented chef in a small hilltop Moorish village overlooking a romantic turquoise-colored lake which lies in Parque Natural de las Sierras Subbéticas in the southern part of Córdoba province. It is an incredibly beautiful region and yet it is still relatively unexplored.
The rugged mountains, picturesque valleys, and a forest with mature Holm oaks, wild olives and maples providing a shelter for a variety of flora and fauna such as the wild cats, eagles, vultures and wild daffodils. Yet the major cities such as Granada, Córdoba, Málaga and Jaén are within easy reach, making this a perfect base to enjoy the cultural and historical wealth of the area.
Formally a typical farmhouse, this Andalusian Finca enjoys a magical setting surrounded by breathtaking views: unspoilt landscape of rolling hills, valleys covered with Almond blossoms, fields of wild coriander and wild asparagus… it is the real Andalusia.
This 150 year old Finca has been tastefully restored to a high specification while retaining the charm and original rustic characters with plenty of cosy nooks and crannies for the guests to enjoy. Shying away from the showy extravagance, the setting is very intimate, homey, and idyllic. The cuisine of this region, the home of the world’s finest olive oil, is characterized by its vibrant colours, rich aromas, and full of sensual and complex flavours, featuring the heavy use of olive oil. You will also have the pleasure of cooking seasonally with vegetables and herbs that are organically grown on the Finca’s land or purchased directly from the local farmers. The freshest ingredients are carefully prepared to bring out their virtues - that is Andalusian cooking.
Your host chef has been a professional chef specializing in the Mediterranean cuisine (and now Andalusian) for over 20 years with distinguished careers in gourmet cuisine in the United Kingdom. His passion for fine food and wine led to embark on his own cooking retreat in rural Andalusia with his wife in 2005. The fun-filled cooking session is casual, informative and very hands-on, usually based around the preparation of three-course menu, mostly classic Andalusian and Mediterranean fare as well as some signature dishes. Olive oil is fundamental to the cuisine of this region and you will learn to appreciate its various flavours in the dishes you will be learning to cook while you are here. His sense of humor and his laid-back style will assist to increase your confidence in cooking and inspire your imagination.
The Land of the World’s Finest Olive Oil and the World Heritage Sites
ANDALUSIA - WELCOME DRINKS & DINNER
Pick up at Granada or Málaga international airport or Antequera Santa Ana train station around 2pm and transfer to the cooking retreat in Andalusia. Enjoy your welcome drinks and some free time to settle in. Early evening you will have an opportunity to take a stroll around the beautiful olive groves. Later in the evening dinner of contemporary Andalusian cuisine will be served by your hosts at the Finca.
PRIEGO DE CORDOBA - COOKING LESSON
After breakfast, you will arrive at the home of award-winning olive oil, Priego de Córdoba. It is a delightful and picturesque town known as the “Baroque Jewel” in Andalusia. Its glorious Baroque architecture and national monuments such as Iglesia Asunción, a Baroque church with breathtaking white stucco work and statuary, and Fuente del Rey, the 16th century fountain with 139 water spouts are only a few of the examples. We will take a stroll around the narrow streets of “Barrio de la Villa”, or the Arab Quarter, covered with colourful geraniums and well-tendered plants. Also you will have a chance to participate in Olive Oil Tasting - taste the different types of “juice of the fruits” and learn about this extraordinary tree with an authorized olive oil taster. Priego de Córdoba gives its name to one of the nine Spanish olive oil Denominations of Origin approved by an official regulatory body.
We will then stop at a typical Andalusian tapas bar for lunch with fino.
Back to the Finca, relax and attend your first hands-on cooking session followed by dinner.
CORDOBA - COOKING LESSON
After breakfast, you will travel through delightful olive groves of the southern Campiña and the rich farmlands of the north to visit one of the world’s most magnificent architectural monuments, Mezquita (the Mosque-Cathedral) in Córdoba. You will learn about the history of different cultures - the Moors, Jews and Christians, who influenced this exquisite city, led by a professional guide. You will see a typical Cordovan street, the Callejón de las Flores whose balconies and walls are decorated with hanging pots of bright-coloured geraniums in summer. Have a cup of mint tea the Moroccan tea salon and then free time to wonder around the World Heritage site, the Judería, or old Jewish quarter.
Lunch stop at a popular tavern offering some of the most celebrated regional cuisine.
Back to the Finca, rest and into the kitchen for your second cooking session followed by dinner.
GRANADA - COOKING LESSON
Dominated by the snowcapped peaks of Sierra Nevada, is one of the greatest and most important destinations in Spain. We will visit another World Heritage site, the exquisite Moorish Alhambra Palace and garden guided by an expert. You will have a chance to walk around the maze of narrow alleyways in the old Moorish quarter or a central district before settling in at a traditional Grenadian bar for tapas lunch. There will be a plenty of opportunities to do shopping before making our way back to the Finca to revitalize.
Later in the evening, you will enjoy your farewell cooking session with your chef.
After breakfast transfer to the airport, bus or train station in hopes that you will return to visit in the future.
*Schedule or contents of the itineraries may change due to prevailing local conditions without advance notice.
A minimum of 2 participants is required to run this tour and the tour is limited to a maximum of 4 participants. (Between June-July and September-October, please inquire about groups up to 6)
(The number of participants refers to how many persons are required to run the tour, not to how many persons you must have in your party. Please inquire.)
HOW TO ARRIVE
Closest Airports: Granada or Málaga Airports
Closest Train Stations: Antequerra Santa Ana
*These details are provided as additional information. Please check below to see if transfers are included in this tour.
Standard Double Room/US$1625
Suite Double Room/US$1750
Non-Participant/Standard Double Room/US$1375
Non-Participant/Suite Double Room/US$1495
Extra Cooking Session/US$150
*Pricing may vary depending on market fluctuation
After availability is confirmed, a 30% non-refundable deposit per person and the completed and submitted registration form will secure your reservation. Final payment is due in full 75 days before your arrival date.
Available February to November (excluding August)
*Please inquire about other itineraries or lengths of stay
FOUR NIGHT PROGRAM
*Welcome drinks upon arrival
*Four (4) nights' accommodation
*Three (3) lunches
*Four (4) dinners
*Three (3) hands-on cooking sessions
*Arrival and departure airport or train transfers (Malaga or Granada Airports, OR Antequera Train Station including the old station, and Antequera Santa Ana for AVE services)
*Daily escorted excursions including olive oil tasting
*Dinner includes a bottle of wine per 2 people plus water
*Recipe booklet and a surprise gift
Airfare, lunch on arrival day, extra meals, snacks, drinks and excursions not listed in the itineraries, tourist visas, travel insurance, gratuities and personal expenses, or any other services that are not listed in the itinerary are not included.
Please contact us for cancellation policy information. Travel insurance is highly recommended.
Jessika P., Ontario, Canada"My experience was one of a life time! They made everything so easy and my trip turned out to be great."
Paula L., Perth,, Australia"AGH was a great experience and we had no problems at all with anything. Everything ran like clockwork and we had the best time and our hosts were fantastic and the food beyond excellent."
Dianne S., Alberta, Canada"AGH has come through again with a wonderful cooking school nestled in olive groves in Andalusia, Spain. We had a wonderful experience, something we will always remember. The chef is the ultimate of chefs with one on one cooking lessons and we were honored to have him teach us Andalusian cooking. We would never have found this cooking school on our own. Thank you Active Gourmet Holidays!"
L., Glode, Saratoga, Wyoming"This was a wonderful experience. The excursions during the day were exceptional only to be topped by excellent cooking lessions by a very good chef. The view from the house was unbelievable and the rural setting was very relaxing. We enjoyed their pool after warm days in the sun seeing the beautiful history in the area. The food and wine were delicious!"
Johanna G., Portland, Oregon"We truly enjoyed our stay in Southern Spain. The location was beautiful, the accommodations were both Spanish-traditional and modern, and our hosts were awesome!"
Mary & James P., Chicago, Illinois"We really enjoyed our time. The food was fantastic, the location was gorgeous, and the excursions were a great way to get a feel for the area without "overdoing it". From beginning to end everything was taken care of, which allowed us to really relax and enjoy ourselves."
Cheryl & Geoff, United Kingdom"We could not have hoped for more."
Mr. B. Kite, United Kingdom
"The location was perfect, quiet and relaxing among the olive groves and the Finca was very comfortable and welcoming. We still talk about the wonderful paella prepared for us and served on the terrace in the late afternoon sun. Memorable! We have already booked to come back."
Mrs. K. Harding, United Kingdom
"A real pity we only could stay a week."
Mrs. M. Shiokawa, Japan
"I have been on many cooking holidays around the world but I would like to tell the others that the time I had at the Finca is definitely the best so far and will be for a long long time. Thank you for giving me so much confidence and imagination and for your wonderful company and kindness."
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.