bacchus travel

Andalusia

A culinary adventure in the south of Spain

Andalusia has developed a cuisine over the centuries that reflects a myriad of flavours and cultures introduced by the North Africans, to the Moors, Christians, Jews, and Romans. Deeply influenced by land and sea, no culinary adventure in Spain’s most southern region is short of mouth-watering dishes, swilled down with a glass of crisp, salty manzanilla sherry.

This hidden gem, boasting both architectural wonders and bucolic landscapes, has never failed to win over our hearts and conquer our appetites.


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Sherry

Ever since Sir Francis Drake ransacked the port of Cádiz in 1587 and set sail to London with 2,900 barrels of sherry, the British have held an undeniable love for the drink. However, household favourite Harveys Bristol Cream has cast a shadow over the spectrum of other great sherries. Have you had a glass of La Gitana Manzanilla with fresh Sanlúcar prawns? Perhaps a nutty Oloroso or raisin-sweet Pedro Ximénez with vanilla ice cream? Sherry lends itself beautifully to pairing with an array of sweet and savoury dishes, and has recently seen a resurgence of its use by top chefs in the kitchen. We are championing to put this unrecognised tipple back on the map – the time has come for wine tasting holidays in Andalusia and a sherry renaissance.

Food

The influence of neighbouring regions, countries, mountains and coastline have bestowed Andalusia with an incredibly diverse range of dishes and delicacies – from world-renowned jamón made by curing acorn-fed pata negra ibérico pigs in the Sierra de Aracena, to mojama, the wafer thin salted and dried tuna loin typical in Huelva province, and gambas al ajillo, freshly caught prawns sauteéd with garlic – washed down with a glass of manzanilla on the shoreline of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Seafood, meat, poultry and game all feature heavily in the Andalusian diet, but vegetarians can eat equally as well with the abundance of organic fruit and vegetables, local cheeses and cold-pressed olive oil available.

Horse Riding

In Andalusia an enchanting world surrounds horses – from the stables of noble horsemen to the practice paddocks of the courageous rejoneadores. Horses are an integral part of Andalusian culture, and nowhere more so than in Jerez. Under the jacaranda trees of the Parque Gonzalez Hontoria, this elegant, wealthy town – home of sherry, bull breeding, flamenco and the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art – becomes a vignette of old España for one week every spring, bursting with life as the entire town comes together to celebrate their history and the magnificent ‘dancing horses.’ There is no better place for a horse riding holiday in Spain than in Andalusia.

Biking

To the north of Seville lies the Sierra de Aracena. A beautiful rural landscape with a honeycomb of country tracks, narrow trails and open expanses linking small villages and spectacular pitstops. Nothing can quite beat the feeling of sitting down for a mouth-watering Andalusian lunch after a morning spent wending one’s way through flower-filled meadows and over rolling hills on a mountain, or electric bike. Electric bicycle tours in this little known pocket of Andalusia are the perfect way to escape from the rush of modernity.

Ferias

The Ferias that punctuate the Andalusian calendar mark an unmissable opportunity to experience a celebration of local culture, traditions and community. From the Feria de Caballo‘s sherry filled horse parades in Jerez to learning the sevillana dance at Seville’s Feria de Abril, we recommend coinciding your Bacchus adventure with a taster of at least one Feria.