Cooking Vacation in Spain: Cooking Classes in Andalusia
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Cooking in Andalusian Olive Country - BEST SELLER
Iznájar, Andalusia

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About the location: Tucked away in the heart of the Andalusian olive country that borders the stunningly beautiful Parque Natural de las Sierras Subbéticas lies the Andalusian finca (farmhouse). The accommodation is surrounded by breathtaking views: a superb panorama of hillsides carpeted with olive trees rolling gently across the horizon as far as the eye can reach. It is authentic rural Andalusia, a gem truly unknown to most visitors to Spain, yet the finca is within easy reach of the World Heritage cities of Granada and Córdoba.

The farmhouse has been lovingly restored to a high standard yet has retained many original rustic features with plenty of cosy nooks and crannies for the guests to enjoy. Shying away from extravagance, the setting is very intimate and idyllic. The fresh and fruity aroma of the olive oil will dominate your senses as you approach the region; this is where the producers of one of the world’s finest quality extra virgin olive oils originate. The region is full of outstanding natural beauty, diverse history and rich cultural heritage that the locals strive to preserve. It will be a unique culinary experience — exploring some of the undiscovered jewels and genuine flavors of Andalusia.

About the cooking lessons: Your host chef Clive has been a professional Chef of the highest caliber for over twenty years, with a distinguished career in the United Kingdom. He specializes in Mediterranean cuisine, and his passion for food and cooking led him to launch his own cooking retreat in rural Andalusia with his wife Maki in 2005. A true food connoisseur, Clive will teach you the preparation of standard Andalusian fare and will lead you in an exploration of the Moorish flavors that have influenced the cuisine of the region. Most of the produce will be picked from their own garden. The fun-filled cooking sessions are casual, informative and very hands-on, usually based around the preparation of a three-course menu. Clive’s laid-back style and gentle nature will increase your confidence in cooking and inspire your imagination.

Cooking in Andalusian Olive Country - BEST SELLER Itinerary

Day 1

  • Afternoon pick up (after 2 p.m.) at Granada or Málaga international airport or Antequera/Santa Ana train station and transfer to the farmhouse in the heartland of Andalusia.
  • Enjoy welcome drinks followed with some free time to settle in.
  • In the early evening you will have an opportunity to take a stroll around the charming whitewashed lakeside village of Iznájar, perched on a rocky outcrop, where you will enjoy a spectacular view of the Lake of Andalusia.
  • Tonight’s dinner will feature contemporary Andalusian cuisine and will be served by your hosts at the finca.
  • Overnight.

Day 2

  • After breakfast, you will travel through the delightful Andalusian countryside to visit one of the world’s greatest architectural masterpieces, Mezquita in Córdoba. You will learn about the different cultures that shape the region — Moorish, Jewish and Christian. You will visit the most famous street, the Callejón de las Flores, whose balconies and walls are decorated with hanging pots of vibrant-colored geraniums in summer.
  • Following, you will have a quick stop at the Moroccan tea salon and then free time to wander around the World Heritage site, the Judería, or old Jewish quarter.
  • Lunch will take place at a popular tavern with a Moorish-style patio offering some of the most celebrated regional cuisine.
  • Return to the farmhouse, refresh and attend your first hands-on cooking session with your host, followed by dinner.

Day 3

  • After leisurely breakfast, depart for an award-winning olive mill, where you will be guided by an official olive oil taster for the DO Priego de Cordoba and taste one of the finest olive oils in the world.
  • Visit the energetic and lively town of Priego de Cordoba, which is known as the Baroque Jewel in Andalusia with its glorious Baroque architecture, national monuments and stunning attractions, and yet it is delightfully unspoiled.
  • Following a gentle stroll in the narrow passageways of Barrio de la Villa, or the Arab Quarter, bedecked with a myriad of colorful flowers, stop at a typical Andalusian tapas bar for lunch with fino, the local sherry wine.
  • After a relaxing lunch, return to the farmhouse and time for a little relaxation.
  • Meet Clive for your next cooking session, followed by dinner.
  • Overnight.

Day 4

  • After breakfast, depart for Granada to visit another World Heritage Site: the exquisite Moorish Alhambra Palace is the highlight of any visitor’s trip to Spain. An expert will guide you through the palace.
  • After your tour, you will have a chance to walk around the maze of narrow alleyways in the central district before settling in at a traditional Granadian bar for tapas lunch.
  • After lunch you will have a chance to do some shopping before making your way back to the finca to rest.
  • Later in the evening, you will enjoy your third cooking session with the Chef, followed by dinner.

Day 5

  • Following breakfast, your day begins with a visit and tasting at one of the best-known producers of sherry wine, a vineyard founded in the eighteenth century in Montilla. Nobel Prize writer Camílo José Cela praised the wine from Montilla in his travel essays, declaring “its quality is as good as its soil: so pure, so gold, so delicate… and the taste is superior!”
  • Return to the Finca to unwind by the pool or by the terrace for a light lunch.
  • In the late afternoon, you will enjoy a farewell cooking session outdoors (weather permitting), followed by dinner.

Day 6

  • After breakfast transfer to Granada or Málaga international airport, or Antequera/Santa Ana train station.