Experience the beauty and mystery of Spain and Portugal. Each tour, each day, each trip takes you a step deeper into Spanish or Portuguese culture; your experiences with the people who share with you their history, their landscapes, their cuisines, their cities and towns will be what you remember for years to come.
Choose a region to explore, or take on two or three regions, depending on the time you have to travel. We recommend slowing down to take in everything you see and do, although we understand the desire to see more. We will quietly try and convince you to stay in each place for a couple of days and give yourself time to explore on your own and absorb the surrounding rhythms of life.
We believe that travel's transformative effects are best achieved when you adapt to the timetable and rhythms of the place you are, leaving behind your routine. Our way of helping you get there faster is by immersing yourself in the life with your private local guide. We guarantee the Spanish or Portuguese routine will be refreshing and immediately appealing as both are so centered on the daily rituals of eating and sharing time with friends (preferably in a crowded bar or café!).
Wine in Spain and Portugal
Spain surely deserves more fame than it has as a wine country. With countless small bodegas and passionate winemakers producing terroir-driven wines, often from old vines and native grape varieties, wine touring inevitably includes an element of the unexpected. Despite years of press reviews and availability abroad, many wines and wineries in Spain tend to be a bit of a secret, which endows the experiences with a sense of mystery.
We arrange wine tours and tastings for all levels of wine travelers from simple aficionados to collectors and connoisseurs. The wineries you visit–and the wines you taste at each winery–will be tailored to the level of your wine interest. If you are exploring we will introduce you to the range of styles and personalities of the wines and winemakers. If you are familiar with the region's winemaking and want exposure to the most interesting wineries in that region, we will focus on wines of a particular style which we choose based on your wine profile. If you are an experienced wine connoisseur and possibly wish to buy wine during your trip, we will arrange your visits with the owners or winemakers/enologists and will include extended tastings of all of the wines including older vintages.
Are you up for an adventure of wine discovery?
Food in Spain and Portugal
In the past two decades Spanish cuisine has deservedly gotten the attention of chefs and eaters worldwide. Known for using the freshest ingredients with minimal cooking, the cuisines of Spain are deceptively simple and packed with flavor. Many food products continue being produced in small batches, or raised / harvested naturally, in artisan fashion. Cheeses, olive oil, spices; wild-caught fish; free-range cows, sheep and goats.
Traditional products and cuisines co-exist alongside the many chefs who are innovating in the sphere of Spanish cooking. We include destination restaurants such as El Celler de Can Roca, Arzak, Aponiente and Dani García in our trips. Food memories of a lifetime!
Art & Culture
Spain and Portugal fascinate at first glance. Vivid, colorful, and teeming with sounds and scents, they first delight and then seduce you. You're curious. You want to see behind the curtain and understand what makes them tick, what are these cultures that appear at the same time familiar yet singular with strains you can't entirely trace. The Iberian mystique. To gain an understanding of these countries you can approach them through the cultural manifestations of food, wine, traditional crafts, fine art, and architecture. And ultimately these products are best understood via the people who make and partake in these art forms. Your guides and the people you meet and spend time with will interpret and enhance what you are seeing. They act as intermediaries between you and the culture, removing the feeling of foreignness for you.
Spain and Portugal share a fascinating built legacy of Greek, Roman, Moorish, Jewish and new world influences. Jam packed with traditional villages, historic neighborhoods, Roman ruins, looming cathedrals, silent synagogues, Modernist masterpieces–all set amidst people's daily comings and goings–these countries possess vestiges of centuries of conquests and creation. The Iberian countries are not just about the old: they excel internationally in contemporary art, architecture and urban design. The contrast and co-existence of the old and the new, side by side, make for some fascinating wanderings.
Art & Culture Trips
Some special occasions and life passages deserve notice. A journey to mark a birthday or an anniversary, to celebrate important noteworthy work or family milestones, to reward employees, to rejuvenate or recharge, or to travel with your private club or group for any reason is one of the most memorable ways to celebrate, learn or reward. Spain and Portugal are scenic and exotic, modern and traditional, friendly and intriguing countries, with strikingly different regions to visit and ways to enjoy yourself. Both countries share a love of food and wine and celebrating life. If you're celebrating they will share in the happiness with you. And they will proudly let you in on the many secrets of their region. They are excellent hosts. And that's priceless.
FOOD & WINE
Traditions & Artisans
Spain and Portugal have long traditions of craftmanship.
Spain and Portugal share the unique characteristic of an underlying tension between the strength of their very relevant traditional cultures and their head-long entry into global uber-modern culture. They don't seem to have missed a beat, and outshine some of their neighbors in their embrace of and creation in modern cuisine, architecture, fashion, design and lifestyles. Co-current with this rush to modernity is a staunch, well-reasoned adherence to traditions. Family, food and heritage order the Iberian universe. The tradition-modernity continuum varies by region making for fascinating travel experiences.
Explore the traditional arts, crafts, cuisines and ways of life in Spain and Portugal. Visit a guitar maker deep in the heart of Granada, taste jamón ibérico with Iberian ham producers in the mountains, watch anchovy salters at work on the Catalan coast, spend an evening with a flamenco musician, visit contemporary artists' workshops in Madrid and Barcelona, try Michelin-star modern one day and rustic traditional tapas the next.
Centuries of the finest guitar making
Every village, town, city and region has its festivals
Andalusian horses are bred and showcased throughout the South
Spain is famous for the Camino de Santiago (the pilgrimage route of St. James) which is the medieval pilgrim's route leading from Europe to Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain. So popular has this route become that the walking paths are filled with walkers and the lodgings–simple inns along the path used by the 21st-century pilgrims–are filled by early afternoon in the summer months. Whether you want to walk the Camino for religious, spiritual or personal reasons, we don't believe you need to suffer. We take a different approach to the Camino. We arrange Camino trips to include luggage transport, traditional meals, wine-tastings, cultural visits and boutique or country villa hotels. You do the walking but without encumbrances or stress, and you enjoy the amazing food and wine by night. How many kilometers you walk, and what part of the route you walk are up to you.