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Archivos: Experiences

Private Day Trip to Gerona, Ampurdan Medieval Villages and Dali Museum

Aside from this outstanding Catholic structure, Gerona is also home to wonderfully conserved Jewish and Arab quarters, as the three cultures lived here harmoniously for many years. Your guide will help you explore the intricate details of this history in depth.

Once you’ve finished your tour of Gerona, you will be off to discover the architecture and charm of three medieval towns. Indulge your senses with a lunch in the area before you move on to the Dalí museum. Here, you will take in the broadest range of works from Salvador Dalí’s artistic career, from his earliest artistic expressions and his surrealist creations on through works from his final years of life.

Cruise the Bay of Barcelona by Yacht

Once you leave the harbor you will navigate past the Hotel Vela and Barceloneta beach, going out to sea where you can appreciate the skyline of the city, Montjuic and Tibidabo.

If you are lucky you may see sunfish, dolphins, and even whales! While you sail you will be treated to a variety of snacks and drinks and, if the weather is good, feel free to jump in and enjoy the water! Finally, you will head northeast of Barcelona and enjoy lunch onboard, or at a local restaurant if you choose. This is the perfect opportunity to try our favorite delicacies, fresh from the Mediterranean Sea.

Barcelona Bike Tour & Tapas Cooking Experience

This is a fun and active way to discover Barcelona’s lesser-known neighborhoods.

After you’ve worked up an appetite, you will stop by one of the Barcelona’s greatest food markets, visiting shops that specialize in Catalan delicacies. Finally, you will head to an authentic kitchen where the guide will teach you about the tapas that you will prepare yourself. And then, the best part: tasting time!

Madrid Lifestyle Tour: A Day in the Life of a Madrileño

See life through a Spaniard’s eyes while visiting the nooks and crannies of the city that only locals know about. We focus on authentic experiences; no run-of-the-mill history walks here! If the locals don’t do it, then neither will we. Enjoy the atmosphere and conversation at one of the hip cafés, pop into artisan shops, get to know Spanish social life and prepare to leave Spain feeling like you’ve lived here your whole life!

Private Madrid Tapas Tour with a Local Insider

Here in Spain, we’ve been devouring tapas for centuries. These treats, hailing from the south, can be cold or hot, fresh or fried, and big or small, depending on the size of your group and generosity of the barman! Unlike the northern pintxo, tapas will often be offered for free alongside your glass of wine or beer and served at the center of the table so that each guest is free to choose when and what to eat.

Join your local insider host for a tapas dinner of the best bites in town. The “tapas experience” is, if you so wish, an excellent occasion to exchange views in a relaxed environment. Feel free to bring up any topic of interest, such as Spanish traditions, how Spaniards see the world, aspects of our history, sports, economics and so on. The combination of delicious snacks and local storytelling make for an unforgettable outing.

Madrid Masterpiece Tour with a Local Painter

Pablo Alvarez de Toledo is a prominent Spanish painter and art teacher, who earned his Master’s in Fine Arts with a specialty in painting from Yale University. He has also been Director of the Postgraduate Department at U-Tad, University of Art and Digital Technology, in Madrid.

Pablo will take you through the Prado and Reina Sofia museums, providing one-of-a-kind insights and interpretations that you won’t find in any tour pamphlet. His comments will focus on paintings by some of the most famous Spanish masters like Velazquez, El Greco, Goya, Picasso, Dalí and Miró. Art buffs, don’t be shy! Pablo is an excellent sounding board for any thoughts you may have on the works.

Dancing Horses in Jerez: Visit to the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art

Aside from preparing horses and riders for international dressage competitions, they also provide education in all aspects of horsemanship, coach driving, blacksmithing, the care and breeding of horses, saddlery, and the manufacture and care of horse harness.

During your visit to the school, you will get to experience its well-known «dancing stallions» show. The show itself is an equestrian ballet, complete with quintessential Spanish music and costumes similar to those worn in the eighteenth century. The choreography is based on different types of dressage and other forms of traditional horsemanship. This is an exceptional chance to take part in one of Spain’s most beautiful and distinctive traditions.

Private Madrid Gallery Tour with an Art Expert

Pablo Alvarez de Toledo is a prominent Spanish painter and art teacher, who earned his Master’s in Fine Arts with a specialty in painting from Yale University. He has also been Director of the Postgraduate Department at U-Tad, University of Art and Digital Technology, in Madrid. Pablo will take you on a guided visit to several of Madrid’s most prestigious art galleries; a unique circuit that is much envied by other major European cities. You will be able to enjoy works by contemporary Spanish painters, learn from Pablo’s unique insights, and have the chance to meet art collectors and gallery owners.

Private Flamenco Lesson in Sevilla

Guests often arrive to our flamenco lesson with questions and misconceptions, but leave with their heads spinning with intricate steps and rhythms!

During your personalized lesson, you will learn the fundamentals of flamenco: we start by explaining the different rhythms and practice clapping with live guitar. Gradually, we begin to move our feet to the rhythm and add our arms and, before we know it, we’re moving to a Bulería! Each class varies according to interests and age, and children get special attention and learn quickly. Don’t let this legendary art form intimidate you; if you stick with us, you’ll be a bailaor in no time!

Guided Tour of the Alhambra by Night

All the refinement, wealth and delicacy of Islamic art and architecture reached its climax in this fortress, residence and royal city all rolled into one. The floral engraving on the walls, idyllic Generalife garden and constant, calming sound of fountains embody the strength of sumptuous Muslim tradition. At sunset, the reddish-brown walls of the palace glow beneath the stars, and the snowcapped Sierra Nevada seems to sparkle in the background. Stroll around the grounds, where the Moorish royalty used to recite poetry with their lovers, and take in the breathtaking views of the mythical city nestled between mountain and sea.

Taste of Priorat

The Carthusian monks introduced wine growing at the Priorat all the way back in 1162. The monks took on the task of planting vines, improving cultivation and making wine, which became famous around the country.

Uvaribera

Visit one of the most prominent wineries and enjoy a formal wine tasting, sampling their wines. The Priorat wines are powerful red wines that is made with a blend of grapes varieties.

Visit to an Underwater Winery off the Basque Coast

In the bay of Plentzia, 15 meters below sea level, an undersea oenological laboratory has been built, where wines, txakolis and ciders from the Basque Country as well as the rest of Spain are aged.

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There are a variety of wines that wine-makers, biologists and oenologists analyze in order to study the influence which marine environment conditions have on their maturation. Founded with the purpose of studying the aging of wine (and, now, beer) under the influence of the marine environment, the innovative project is 100% respectful of the environment. You will be welcomed and guided by one of the founders and directors of the project who will teach you about the wine project first hand.

Olive Oil Tasting in a Family-Owned Andalucía Olive Grove

Here, visitors are educated on the history and culture of extra virgin olive oil production. During the visit, you will marvel at the natural landscape, the unusual architecture, exhibition rooms, utensils and models. You will, of course, be able to sample the local product, taking part in a unique olive oil tasting.

Private San Sebastián Pintxo Tour

A pintxo hop consits of popping in to 3 or 4 bars to enjoy mini bites of exquisite Basque cuisine alongside some txakolí, wine or beer. Whereas the bars in Barcelona and Madrid keep their tapas behind glass cases along the bar, in San Sebastian, the pintxos are beautifully laid out for all to see, covet, and snatch up.

Basque pintxos in Spain
Basque pintxos in Spain

Want to join in on the fun? Well, get ready for pintxos at some of the best bars in the city.. Your host will take you both the popular bars and her secret spots!

Paella Master Class in Barcelona

Today, paella is made in every region of Spain, using just about any kind of ingredient that goes well with rice. There are as many versions of paella as there are cooks. In our paella master class, you will learn the secrets to creating the perfect paella, from the succulent seafood on top to the crispy socorrat rice on the bottom.

Wine Tasting and Lunch at a La Rioja Palace with the Owner

Your aristocratic host will guide you on a tour of the vineyards, cellars and palace, and, of course, invite you to taste their wines. In addition, you will enjoy a full meal with wine pairing at the family’s private palace.

The palace and gardens are not open to the public, but this visit can be specially arranged as we are close friends of the family. The home of the Marqués is considered one of the best and most beautiful palaces in Spain. It boasts two coats of arms, one being from the family of Infant Don Ramiro de Navarra, who married a daughter of El Cid. As such, the members of the family are descendants of El Cid, the charismatic soldier of great courage who, during the 11th century, served both the King Fernando I as well as, at times, his enemies, the Moorish Kings.

Gourmet Barcelona: Private Food Tour

Start your tour at La Boqueria, the most symbolic market in the city. Here, you will savor and learn about indigenous products like Iberian hams, cured sausages, olives and chocolates, and check out some hard-to-find products such as swan eggs. You will also visit a shop specialized in Catalan and Spanish products, where you will taste a great variety of foods paired with local wine.
Afterwards, stop at pastry shops, cafes, and specialized cheese and wine stores at your leisure; this is the true Barcelona life! Tasting a city’s gastronomy is one of the best ways to understand it, and to immerse yourself in the culture. There is no better place to experience Spanish food than in Catalonia, the region where the best chefs in the world work and find inspiration.

Guided Visit to La Pedrera While Closed to the Public

See how the architect used the technological innovations of the time to create geometrical spaces inspired by nature, drink in the sunlight that strategically fills each and every room, and learn about the fascinating chimneys on the roof, where you will enjoy outstanding views of La Sagrada Familia and the Barcelona skyline. At the end of the tour, toast the experience, and the sunset, with a glass of cava!

The Sevilla Feria de Abril with a Local Host

Most casetas belong to prominent Sevillano families, private institutions, or even political parties, and you must absolutely know a member to be granted entrance. It is very rare for a visitor to get an authentic taste of Feria, so get fitted for your traje de gitana and prepare for a legendary party.

Pamplona Running of the Bulls from a Private Balcony

The running of the bulls is, in origin, nothing more than the movement of the bullfighting beasts to the bullring, something traditionally known as the “encierro” or enclosing. In early times, there were no trucks or other forms of transportation to haul the bulls from the farms into the pens, so they were hoarded through the streets just after dawn. Nowadays, tourists and locals join in on the run, tempting the bulls with a red scarf, and running for their lives!

Today, you will have the opportunity to experience this thrilling event without joining the masses. Enjoy spectacular views of the speeding animals and crazed runners from the balcony of your private apartment as you munch on chocolate and churros and other tasty breakfast treats. Witnessing the event while comfortable perched above the chaos is an experience even many locals haven’t had, so be sure to have your cameras ready.

Barcelona Mosaic Workshop

In this workshop, you will have the opportunity to learn the techniques of the art form from an experienced mosaic artist. The workshop takes place at Martin’s studio and concentrates especially on “Trencadís,” or broken tile mosaic, as well as the Glass Mosaic Technique. This unique opportunity will help your family to feel part of the cultural powerhouse of Barcelona that surrounds you, as well as create a one of a kind souvenir so that you will always remember your time in Spain.

Cliff Hiking at the Caminito del Rey

The trail, which begins in the village of El Chorro in southern Malaga, is about 7 kilometers long and was renamed «Caminito del Rey» after Alfonso XIII walked the entire route in 1921 to inaugurate the railway works.

Private Canoe Trip in Segovia

Situated in the northeast of Segovia, the park stands out due to its archaeological and historical riches, coupled with its natural beauty. Past the city of Sepúlveda, the waters of the river go through a canyon, with falls of over 100 meters.

Enjoy a day of canoeing, bird watching and natural wonders with your guide. If you’re interested and time allows, it can also be arranged to go on two types of basic hikes: one starting from above and skirting the abyss, and the other from below, following the bank of the river.

Private Tour of Jewish, Muslim and Christian Cordoba

Our private guide will take you through the three masterpieces of Cordoba’s rich history: the Cathedral-Mosque, one of three surviving synagogues in Spain, and the Catholic monarchs’ Alcazar. The Cathedral-Mosque of Cordoba is the universal symbol of Muslim heritage in Europe and one of history’s most extraordinary works of art, as a Catholic cathedral suddenly unfolds before your eyes in the middle of the mosque.

A few blocks away is the splendid synagogue, whose walls are carved with Andalusian-style decoration and Hebrew texts, allowing us to experience one of the few remnants of Jewish flourishing in Spain. And, finally we will visit the Alcazar, which is a perfect illustration of the development of Cordoba’s architecture through the ages, as Roman and Visigoth ruins lie side by side with the Arabic remains inside.

Private Tour of the Úbeda Synagogue

There are several rooms: the Hall of Witnesses, the Hall of Three Cultures, a bodega, a kitchen, the Gallery of Women and ritual bath or mikwe, situated underground. One of the most extraordinary features of the synagogue is the Puerta de Alma or the Door of the Soul, where the rabbi would enter into the synagogue. It was restored by a local stonemason and student in the age of its discovery. The result is a wonder of heavy stone and wood with intricate designs signifying a place of transit from the material world to the spiritual one. Enjoy a detailed tour of the space and get to know the culture that thrived in Spain so many centuries ago.

Spa Day at a Granada Hammam

At the end comes the steam room, which you can enjoy as often as you like during the session. Between dips in the pools, take a break in the relaxation room. Stay hydrated by sipping on refreshing mint tea, and let life’s stresses melt away.

La Rioja Gastronomic Experience with a Michelin Star Chef

This award set a new record, as with only 24 residents, it is the smallest village to be featured in the prestigious dining guide.  The brothers who run the place, chef and sommelier of this small, undisputed gem of Spanish cuisine, will customize a day of food starting with the most basic ingredients all the way to the final dish. Depending on the season, the chef will join you on a walk in the forest to pick mushrooms, on a cheese tasting, or teach you the correct techniques to bake sweet potatoes freshly picked from their orchards. The chef will showcase the harvest from his own backyard with a selection of grilled vegetables like sweet peppers, artichokes, white asparagus, simply drizzled with olive oil. Continue on to the restaurant, where both chef and sommelier will prepare the menu and wine pairing that best expresses the season and the quality of the local products: Rioja on a plate!

Private Visit and Lunch at a San Sebastián Gastronomic Society

Your local host will introduce you to this culinary world and help you become a cofrade, or society member, for the day. You will begin with a visit to the most traditional food market in San Sebastian where the stands of fresh fish sparkle like jewelry counters, and the gorgeous fresh produce will whet your appetite. We will then continue to the sociedad gastronomica, located at the foot of Mount Urgull, in the heart of the old part of town. Here, one of the members will tell you all about the society, and invite you to join him in the preparation of traditional Basque cuisine. Once you’re an expert chef, you will sample your efforts during lunch with the other members. Being able to witness what goes on in one of these societies is a once in a lifetime experience, and for a visitor to participate in the cooking, unheard of! After a day like this, you are no longer a foreigner, but a bona fide adopted Basque.

El Rastro Madrid Flea Market Tour

The haggling experience will make even professional shoppers hungry, so once you’ve got your goodies, you will be treated to the classic Madrid breakfast of chocolate con churros. The best way to enjoy this rich snack is sitting at a table at a Gran Via sidewalk café, so you can relax and enjoy the bustle of the madrileños passing by. If time allows, we will make our final stop at The Retiro Park, Madrid’s dazzling green gem. The park is almost four hundred years old and has undergone many transformations; from hosting illustrious parties and theatrical performances to abandonment and destruction. Today, the park is a splendid sanctuary in the midst of a vibrant city, hosting a number of impressive structures, gardens and exhibits.

Madrid Photography Tour

Your guide is a professional photographer and collaborator for Spanish Vanity Fair, Vogue and GQ, among other publications, so take advantage of his knowledge to get a different perspective of Madrid while learning tricks and receiving advice on photo composition, light and angles. He will be happy to share his secrets and techniques for taking the most imaginative photos of his hometown.

Ribera del Duero Vineyard Visit with Seasonal Grape Picking

Next, we will visit the vineyards, where you will learn about the philosophy of “vinification by plot”. The winery even offers the opportunity to take part in your very own harvest, as long as you visit in-season, as you learn the secrets of harvesting grapes by hand to ensure a selection of the very best clusters. As the winery’s operators firmly believe in using manual harvesting techniques to acquire and develop high quality wines, they would love to share this process with you. Finally, you will sample the result of this meticulous work during a tasting conducted by an expert. The tasting may take place in a vinoteca, or at the grounds’ cavernous 12th century abbey, where guests can relax and feel as if they were transported to centuries past.

Guided Visit to Atapuerca and the Museum of Human Evolution

The human fossils recovered here represent 85% of all the world’s fossils from the period known as the Middle Pleistocene. Amateur scientists and history buffs, rejoice! Today you will have the opportunity to explore the excavation sites and the world’s largest human evolution museum in the company of experts in the field, and you may feel free to pick their brains. You will also be treated to lunch at a local spot, where you may discuss the fascinating facts you’ve just learned about the history of our kind.

Private Tour of Ribera del Duero Wine Region

Today you will visit two authentic villages to observe the stunning architecture, and even learn how the local artisanal cheese is made.

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After you get to know the villages of the region, you will head to one of the region’s top wineries, where a member of the family that own it will lead you on a tour of the grounds, explaining the different types of grapes, soils, and the process that they use to get the grapes to the bottle. After your tour, you will enjoy a tapas lunch with your host, sampling local charcuterie and wines while discussing the Ribera lifestyle.

Guided Day Trip to the Cádiz White Mountain Villages

Fascinating wildlife also abounds in these areas with many species of eagles and vultures, making it a birdwatchers paradise. There is something to discover around every corner in these mystifying villages, and we invite you to let yourself get lost among the flower-lined labyrinths and tranquil villagers. Explore on your own, at your leisure, and enjoy the intricacies of the slow pueblo life.

Caviar Tasting in Granada

Today you will be welcomed by your local hosts with a drink, while one of the managers explains a bit of the company’s history. You will then be treated to a guided tour of the whole farm, and learn all about the life cycle and treatment of the fish.
After this unique experience, you will go to the tasting area where you will sample one of the best caviars in the world with Taittinger Brut Reserva champagne and premium vodka. Don’t let the day’s activities confuse you; you haven’t been transported to Russia! Spain’s world of caviar, though lesser known, is just as high quality and delicious as the most famous French and Russian varieties.

Visit to a Brave Bull’s Ranch Outside of Sevilla

It is only the appearance of the “toro bravo”, or fighting bull, that occasionally disturbs this tranquility. The homestead, which has stood for more than a century, exudes an ambience of authenticity as time-honored tradition is preserved in preference to modern trends.  The men and women who take care of the bulls will exhibit the love and respect that one comes to feel for these magnificent beasts.  The ranch offers guests the opportunity to observe the animals at close proximity from a tractor-pulled trailer, by watching a “tentadero,” or visiting the museum that recounts the bull-breeding history of the property. At the end of the visit you will enjoy a typical aperitif with olives, cheese, local wine and sangria, to top off a truly Spanish experience.

Private Visit to Chillidaleku with the Artist’s Family

The museum is divided into four areas: a 30-acre hillside of beech trees, oaks and magnolias that is studded with over 40 sculptures, a service area featuring an auditorium with images of the artist at work are projected continuously, a rest area, and a gift shop. Finally, the centerpiece of the museum is the Zabalaga farmhouse, which houses smaller format pieces of steel, alabaster, granite, terracotta, plaster, wood and paper. This is an extraordinary opportunity to witness Basque modern art in motion.

Immersion to the World of Flamenco in Madrid with an Expert Host

Its mysterious roots lead to Moorish, Andalusian and, of course, Gypsy influences, and tales of love, joy, grief, pain and oppression. To truly understand it, you must immerse yourself in the world of flamenco, learning about the culture, history and emotion that surrounds it. Unfortunately for most visitors, this world of flamenco can be closed off to outsiders, and you must know someone on the inside to gain access. Our hosts are deeply involved in the flamenco culture, and live their lives among the elite artists. They are the first people in Spain of their caliber to give travelers such direct access , inviting you to experience the heart and soul of flamenco.

End the night with a fabulous flamenco show, where your host will provide guidance and answer any questions that arise. There are many different types of songs and styles of dance throughout a performance, and your host will be able to offer commentary on such subtle details. By the end of the evening, instead of just having seen dancing and singing, you will have a long-lasting appreciation of this beautiful, rich and moving art form. As a result, your flamenco experience will be much more profound and memorable

Private Barcelona Sunset Sail on the Mediterranean

You will spend the evening cruising along the Mediterranean coast of the city, enjoying cava, champagne or whatever you desire while the fresh sea breeze envelopes you with a feeling of tranquility and freedom. Your crew will be happy to point out the best views of the city from your perch, or to leave you in complete privacy, only appearing to refill your glass. This evening is tailored just for you.

Madrid Shopping Tour

Shop your way through Madrid with your local host, stopping at  independent boutiques in hip neighborhoods, classic Spanish designer shops in the ritzy Salamanca area, and everything in between, as your host shares her knowledge of fits, trends and insider tips. This is a great opportunity to pick up bespoke items, and pieces that can’t be found anywhere else but Madrid.

Private Ibiza Yacht Day Cruise

However you wish to spend your day at sea, your captain and crew are happy to oblige, so ask them to steer you towards one of the island’s hard-to-reach immaculate beaches, the best spot to swim with dolphins and take advantage of the ship’s water sport equipment, or simply along the route that offers the best views of the island’s diverse landscape.

Take a break from the sun to indulge in regional delicacies onboard, freshly prepared by a local chef, and let the island breeze carry you away.

Private Guided Tour of Ibiza Highlights

Today, you will explore the city of Ibiza, from its glamorous ports to the ancient walled town up above. Your guide will happily explain the importance of each corner of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, including its influence in “New World” architecture, eventually leading you to the colorful Penya y Bomba neighborhood, where you will observe daily life and classic island architecture.
Finally, head to the cathedral whose structures span from the 10th to 18th centuries and display works from the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Finish your tour on a high note by savoring a typical Ibizan cocktail and snack…you’re on island time, after all!

Private Guided Tour of Menorca Highlights

Next, you will head to the far western end of the island to have a look at the prehistoric ruins and megaliths near Ciutadella as your expert guide explains the historical and archeological significance of the area. Finally, lose yourself among the winding medieval streets, palaces, churches and fortresses of the city’s old quarter, but be warned: the Menorcan breeze changes people, so don’t be surprised when you find yourself wanting to extend your stay indefinitely!

Private Mallorca Yacht Day Cruise

Once you’ve settled in, your private yacht will cruise along the main island, where you may admire the rugged, towering mountains and tranquil coves while you tuck in to a fabulous Mediterranean lunch that includes all of the region’s highlights. Depending on your interests, the captain will plan the perfect route: you may drop anchor to snorkel in the bath-like water, hop on the jetski to explore the rocky pirate port and incredible wildlife on Cabrera island, or simply lounge in the sun while sipping cava. The beauty of exploring Mallorca by boat lies in the freedom to revel in island life in any way you choose.

Guided Hike in the Mallorca Mountains with a Picnic Lunch

Your cheerful guide, a characteristic typical of the islanders, is an expert on natural history and will be thrilled to share his knowledge of the region’s unique flora and fauna. Your trekking will be rewarded with a beautiful picnic lunch of island specialties, which you will savor in the fresh mountain air, surrounded by tranquil cerulean waters and splendid tropical flowers.

Guided Day Trip to Getaria and Zarautz

After you explore the streets of Getaria, visit the Balenciaga Museum, housed in a palace, on a hilltop overlooking the town. Cristóbal Balenciaga is considered one of the most outstanding and influential couturiers of the 20th century, and the exhibition at the museum showcases the best of his work. Here you will find insight into the keys to his success, and honor his contribution to the history of fashion. Once you finish at the museum, visit a Txakolí winery and taste the light white wine that the region is known for. You will then enjoy lunch at your leisure before heading to Zarautz, where the golden sand and clear waters make for a spectacular, safe place to enjoy the beach. Visit a few of the town’s glorious churches before finally, heading to the Narros Palace at the edge of the sea. Once used as a resort by Queen Isabella II and Belgium’s King Fabiola, this palace is famous for its design and beautiful architecture. This tour is a fabulous way of getting to know Basque country’s lesser-known gems, while enjoying the gorgeous beaches and delightful sea breeze.

Discover the Studios of Mallorca’s Artisans

Follow Mallorcan resident Gina for an exclusive look into the private studios of the islands’ many artists. A local of Mallorca since 1994, Gina will introduce you to a few of her artisan friends, such as a musician who crafts flamenco guitars, a contemporary ceramicist, the creators of a sustainable clothing line, and a fashion designer of hand-painted silks. Enjoy the chance to get to know these notable locals, all while perusing for a once-in-a-lifetime Mallorcan memento.

From Market to Table: Cooking Class & Lunch at a Chef’s Private Home

Join your host, Chef Pilar, to learn the ins and outs of a Catalan kitchen. She will welcome you in her beautiful penthouse at Turó Park neighborhood. Pilar was born in Barcelona and is known in the Spanish culinary circles for her Mediterranean cuisine, but also for her French and Asian specialties, all with a creative touch. Her extensive relationships with the top Spanish Chefs and her visits to the kitchens of Ferran Adrià and Juan Marí Arzak, the top stars, has given her first-hand knowledge of the many secrets of the European cooking avant-garde. Enjoy a visit with her to Gourmet Market (opened in 1927) and get some products for your cooking experience. Afterwards, enjoy a private hands-on cooking lesson and the fruits of your labor around a typical Catalan table over wine and rousing conversation.

The Local Products of the Empordà, with Lunch in a Top Chef’s Traditional Masia

Today your host, professional chef Pilar, who has trained with the best chefs of Spain, will help you begin your immersion to the wonderful world of Spain’s home-grown products as you visit top-notch producers of the Empordà region. Pilar will open the doors to jam, wine and ceramic producers who will be delighted to chat with you about their work, how they are used in daily life from the home to the top restaurants in Barcelona and, of course, let you try out their goods.

Afterwards, Chef Pilar will welcome you into her traditional stone masia country home to join her for lunch consisting of many of the products you’ve sampled, showing you how they are used to make even home cooking extra special. This is a truly authentic Empordà day full of great food, wine and new friends.

Please inform us of any dietary restrictions.

Private Guided Visit to Valldemossa and Deià

Start your visit with the gorgeous town of Valldemossa, where you will visit the Cartuja where composer Chopin once lived. Next, visit the Palacio del Rey Sancho to hear a performance of some of Chopin’s most emblematic music. Move on to the town of Deià, one of the jewels of the Mediterranean and a must go when visiting Mallorca. Deià is located in a valley in the shadow of the Serra de Tramuntana, between Soller and Valldemossa. Deià has a population of 850 inhabitants and an economy based on agriculture, hand crafts, fine arts and tourism. Located less than one hour driving from Palma’s Airport -at roughly 25 kilometres by road- by the Valldemossa way, it is made of small rock Mallorcan houses built on the valley and up to the hill. Urban construction is highly controled here in order to preserve its natural charming and protect the landscape environment, not as unfortunately happens in other areas of Mallorca. The village dates back to the prehistoric era and takes it names from the Arabic word «ad daia» (hamlet), which the Arabic used to name this place during the Islamic occupation of Mallorca in the tenth to thirteenth centuries.

Private Guided Walking Tour of Santiago de Compostela

Spend the morning walking the medieval streets of Santiago de Compostela. Along the walk, visit the Plaza del Obradoiro, whose name is said to come from «Obra de Oro» (work of gold), and be that true or not it is really shining. It forms the center of a town that seems to be a museum featuring many unique buildings. The Cathedral, whose construction of the Cathedral started in 1075, when the town arrived to the climax of its importance. The chapel, Capilla del Salvador, is still conserved of this oldest epoch. The second phase, after the wedding of Doña Urraca and Raimundo of Bourgogne, shows influences of french Romanesque style, as well as a style that is all Santiago’s own, the so-called Románico Compostelano. The Obradoiro Facade (to which later on were added Baroque elements) and the towers Torre de las Campanas and Torre de la Carraca were made at this time. Through the Obradoiro Door you enter the so-called Old Cathedral, a Romanesque crypt with the first vaults of groined arches that were ever built in Spain. The sculptures of the Portico de la Gloria, another entrance door, are considered some of the most important works of medieval art.

Guided Day Trip to the Rias Baixas

The Galician coastline is characterized by high cliffs and deep inlets (estuaries). Two sections are usually differentiated: the Rías Altas and the Rías Baixas or Bajas (Muros and Noia, Arousa, Vigo and Pontevedra). During this guided tour you will explore the Rias Baixas where you will get a chance to stroll along the ports of small fishing villages and enjoy a visit to a winery making the highly acclaimed Albariño white wine of the D.O. Rias Baixas.

Private Day Trip to the Ribeira Sacra

The Ribeira Sacra is one of the most distinctive areas in Spain. Here you can find a landscape of natural forests, deep river canyons, traditional villages, an abundance of Romanesque monuments and steeply terraced vineyards cultivating the Mencia grape. In the heart of the Ribeira Sacra region, a uniquely beautiful natural area in inland Galicia that is home to the Miño and Sil rivers, concealed within a great cloak of green woods, stands Santo Estevo Monastery, which has been converted into a beautiful Parador. The monastery’s origins are believed to date back to the 6th and 7th centuries. It is easy to distinguish elements of the baroque and Romanesque styles and the building has three incredible cloisters: one Romanesque, one Gothic and the third Renaissance, where you can spend a peaceful evening in a subdued atmosphere with the soft sounds of religious music as an accompaniment.

Your guided visit will also include Monforte de Lemos, a town that was devoloped under the Romans, taken over by the Celts and then destroyed in the eighth century by the Moors. Monforte re-emerged in importance with the arrival of a Benedictine community which had been given the task of repopulating the territory and in particular to expand Christianity. An important Jewish colony also established itself here dedicated to the trade of silk, silver, leather and cloth. Monforte’s Jewish community with their synagogue, ritual bath house and businesses was one of the biggest in Galicia until the expulsion of 1492. They were mainly involved in the commerce of silks, cloth and silverware with the Gaibores being one of the most important families.  Unlike many other towns in Spain the Jews of Monforte were never confined to one area and were free to live amongst the general population.

Private Guided Tour of the History and Culture of Salamanca

Salamanca is one of the oldest university cities in Europe and and attracts visitors from all over the world because of its monumental layout of churches, palaces and ancestral homes. Enjoy walking the streets of Salamanca with your guide while learning about the city’s history. You will make a new discovery in every turn of your way, monuments steeped in history and wisdom, medieval towers alongside plateresque façades, and Baroque reredoses in Modernist buildings. Visit the cathedral, the university and the beautiful Casa Lis, built in 1905 and one of the finest examples of Modernist architecture in Castilla-León.

Barcelona by Appointment Only: Visit Private Ateliers and Galleries with a Local

Get to know the most exclusive places in Barcelona and experience another point of view of the upscale lifestyle of the people from Barcelona. Let your host be the key to open some of the most interesting and unknown doors. Possible visits may include a stop at a renowned shoe-maker, viewing the private art collection of the owner of the oldest Spanish art gallery, or visiting one of the oldest libraries in Barcelona, located in an original Gaudi building that is closed to the public.

Sherry Wine in Jerez: From the Grape to the Glass!

Unlike most of the world wine regions, Jeréz has the unique quality of having its aging bodegas in town and its vineyards in the country. That’s why the overall beauty and complexity (social, historical, economical and oenological) of sherry wines can only be understood by experiencing the essence of both worlds and by visiting the most local wineries. Visit a local sherry winery in the old town of Jeréz and learn about the production process and taste the crisp wine. Next, head to a private winery, where the sherry is made and aged exclusively for the family that owns the winery. Finally, enjoy a private visit and lunch with the family in their home or in the vineyard, weather permitting.

Cheese, Wine and Olive Oil in the Grazalema Mountains

This foodie day trip will take you two hours south of Sevilla, to Grazalema Natural Park, the most beautiful mountainous region in southwestern Spain. Together with your local host, you will visit three different small local producers in three different areas, all  specializing in local delicacies: wine, cheese and olive oil. You will first visit a winery where you will be welcomed and shown around the vineyard and the cellar by the owner. There you will learn about the history of the area and about the production process of the local wines, ending the visit with a tasting, of course! Next, you will visit a small local cheese producer to sample the famous payoyo cheese from southwestern Spain, as well as an olive oil mill which still maintains very traditional methods of producing the oil. Here, you will taste different olive oils  and learn about the particularities that make the oil from this small specific area so unique. At the end of the visits, the host will take you to a fabulous local restaurant located in the heart of the park where you can indulge in the region’s famous gastronomy.

Visit to a Historical Ronda Winery

Enjoy a unique visit to this former convent founded in 1505, and a wine tasting with one of the owners of the winery. The building was long abandoned, subject to a slow process of degradation until 1998 when the current owners (the Retamero Salesi and families) bought the property and initiated a process of complete restoration to become home to the winery adjacent to the vineyards planted in the lower part of the property. The project has recovered the main building and its gardens, orchards, ponds, fountains and environment, thanks to a complete and thorough restoration, re-integrating and consolidating all the original architectural and artistic elements that can be recovered. Of particular interest is the emergence of frescos on the high altar, which under many layers of lime, chips and humidity, have miraculously survived. This vineyard is characterized by low temperatures in winter and high in summer, low rainfall and a rather rocky ground limestone and loamy nature.  The varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Garnacha, Graciano, Merlot and Petit Verdot.

Day Trip to an Iberian Pig Farm and Jamón Tasting in the Sierra de Aracena

This day trip will have you heading to the northwest corner of Andalucía, the Sierra de Aracena, to visit a family-run Iberian pig farm and learn the secrets behind the famed Iberian Jamón. The Sierra de Aracena is in the the province of Huelva, a mountainous region near the Portuguese border. It is here where the finest ham in the world is made from the Iberian pig. During your visit with their local host, you will learn the secrets behind the delicious Iberian jamón and enjoy the exquisite flavor, aroma and texture that is unique to the small region where it is produced.

Private Bike Tour through the Cádiz Countryside

Transfer to the town of Olvera where your 36 kilometer ride will begin. The stunning southwestern Spanish countryside offers a landscape of rolling hills, whitewashed villages and small rivers which are delightful to explore by bicycle. Do not forget the importance that the gastronomy has in these areas, which is based on locally grown produce cooked following traditional recipes. This day trip is ideal for those active, fit and foodie travelers willing to venture into the Andalucían nature for a cycling and gastronomic adventure.

Equestrian Show at the Cordoba Royal Stables

The Royal Stables in Cordoba were founded in the year 1570 by a royal decree of Felipe II, who was a great lover of horses. He launched this project to create the Andalusian Horse (Pure Spanish Thoroughbred), one of the greatest breeds of horse ever to exist, for his own use and for use all over the world. What was at first simply a royal wish ended up being one of the greatest and best-loved of Felipe II’s projects. The Spanish thoroughbred was a very popular riding horse and soon became a striking symbol of the Spanish empire.
Nowadays, the horses return to their origins, the city of Cordoba, a real delight for all the family in the stunning setting of the monumental Royal Stables in Cordoba. The show is very popular with visiting crowds but the beauty of the horses, stables and the tradition are well conserved and very much worth the visit.

Guided Visit to Medina Azahara

In 936 AD Caliph Abd ar-Rahman III decided to move the seat of the government away from the “devil making” dealings of Cordoba city and hence built a new Royal City 8 kilometers outside of the city, Medina Azahara. He chose the site of an old Roman settlement and reused any of the Roman building remains and created a magnificent royal city that housed all his government, the royal family and a full garrison to protect them all. The city was dedicated and was named in the honour of his wife ‘Zahra’ and became known as ‘Madinat al-Zahra’ (City of Zahra) and later corrupted in Spanish to Medina Azahara. Sadly this magnificent city was destroyed in the civil war between the Berbers and the Moors, and it was lost for over 1000 years. Luckily by sheer accident the city was discovered in 1911 and excavation still continues. Medina Azahara was declared a National Monument in 1923.

It took Abd al-Rahman twenty-five years to build Madinat al-Zahra. The city existed for merely sixty-five years. For nine centuries it slept, forgotten beneath a hard dirt cover. Following eighty years of restoration work, about one tenth of the medina has been excavated, representing one third of the upper terrace: the noble part which houses the alcazar with the caliph’s palace and the most important dignitaries’ houses, together with the government bodies and military buildings. On the middle terrace, only the mosque has been excavated. The souk was also at this level, together with many gardens with pools, fountains and cages housing wild animals and exotic birds. The lower terrace was devoted to infantry and cavalry housing.

Excursion to the Mountain Villages of the Alpujarras

On this day trip from Granda, your expert host will take you to visit villages like Capileira, Bubión or Cañar. These wonderful villages are located truly off the beaten path and preserve all the flavor of the old times. The area is unique because of its natural as well as historical and artistic heritage. In the whitewashed, steep mountain villages you will find shops affering local crafts such as basketwork, weavings and pottery. You will also find welcoming restaurants that offer dishes prepared with fresh ingredients such as mountain-cured ham, peppers and honey. All in all, this is a day excursion to disconnect and enjoy the simple things in life.