Spain Food Adventure

8 days
from
£1,549
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Leisurely
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Trip code: 
ASE
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Food & Drink Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–16

Uncover the gastronomic, cultural & historic delights of central Spain!

Steeped in history, culture and delicious cuisine; central Spain is bustling with UNESCO World Heritage listed towns and sights, mediaeval cobbled stoned villages, rural vineyards, breathtaking architecture and gastronomic delights.  This trip visits all the main cultural highlights of central Spain with a strong focus on the gastronomy of the region.

Starting in Madrid, we taste local produce at the Mercado San Miguel and go on a tapas tour of this vibrant Spanish capital. We visit Toledo, known for its fusion of historical influence, dramatic setting and famous marzipan, as well as the lively university town of Salamanca, where we will enjoy a tapas crawl like the locals. Other cultural and culinary highlights include rural heritage gems such as Rueda for wine and cheese tasting, the mediaeval village of Pedraza, the incredibly well preserved Roman aqueduct in Segovia with it's famous suckling pig specialty dish and the walled city of Avila before finishing in the magnificent monastery town of El Escorial with a final memorable gastronomic experience in a Michelin star restaurant!

Highlights

  • Tapas tours in the vibrant capital of Madrid & university town of Salamanca
  • Madrid’s San Miguel Market and dinner in a local restaurant
  • Discover Toledo; learn how to make their traditional marzipan in a cooking class
  • Wine and cheese tasting in a Rueda winery
  • Visit the mediaeval village of Pedraza
  • Stay in Segovia; enjoy a famous suckling pig meal and see the Roman Aqueduct
  • Marvel at the magnificent UNESCO heritage site of El Escorial Monastery before enjoying a special gastronomic experience in a Michelin star restaurant

Key information

  • 7 nights comfortable hotels
  • Gastronomic highlights including tapas tours, wine and local produce tasting, market visits, wineries, authentic meals and a gastronomic experience to remember in 1-star Michelin restaurant
  • Leisurely sightseeing of main cultural attractions of central Spain
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by private minibus and train

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation
  • Transfers for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas & vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Fly to Madrid; dinner at a local restaurant.

    The trip will start this afternoon in the Spanish capital of Madrid, after arriving from London on the group flight. Madrid is one of Europe's richest culinary capitals and offers the perfect introduction to the gastronomic and cultural highlights of central Spain.

    This evening we will have dinner at a traditional restaurant in a typical Madrid neighbourhood, located not too far from our hotel. This eatery is much loved by locals and has been chosen for its traditional food. 
    Hotel Cortezo or similar

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Explore Madrid; San Miguel Market and local produce tasting; free afternoon followed by evening tapas tour.

    This morning we take an orientation walk around Madrid to discover some of the highlights that this culinary and artistic capital has to offer. Afterwards we visit the San Miguel Market, built in 1916, which is fpopular with locals and tourists because of its huge variety of local produce. Here we will have the opportunity to taste some of the market's delicacies (included) before having the chance to explore the market at leisure.

    The afternoon is free to soak up the soul of this beautiful capital, visit a museum, gallery or one of Madrid's main sights. 

    In the evening we will experience Madrid's famous nightlife and head out on a tapas tour visiting several taverns along the way. Traditional tapas dishes we may taste include patatas bravas (fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce), calamares (fried squid rings), tortilla Española (traditional potato and onion omlette) and eggplant drizzled with honey. 

    The rest of the evening is free to further discover Madrid's nightlife and atmosphere.
    Hotel Cortezo or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    ASE: 3: Day trip to Toledo with marzipan cooking class & degustation lunch

    This morning after breakfast we will take an AVE (high speed train) to Toledo (journey time approx 25 minutes).

    Toledo was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 because of its extensive cultural and monumental heritage. Known as the 'Imperial City' for having been the main venue of the court of Charles I, it is also referred to as the 'City of the three cultures', having been influenced by a historical co-existance of Christians, Muslims and Jews.

    You will have a chance to visit the Jewish quarter with its two very well preserved synagogues from the 12th and 14th centuries, as well as the old mosque, cathedral and the El Greco Museum.

    In the early afternoon we will participate in a marzipan cookery class where we will taste and learn about the traditional recipe of this famous Toledo delicacy, which is typically eaten throughout Spain at Christmas.

    After our class we visit one of Toledo's more traditional and innovative restaurants for a 'degustation' lunch (drinks not included) consisting of a choice of 7 different regional dishes. 
    Hotel Cortezo or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    Transfer by train to Segovia; visit the Roman Aqueduct, suckling pig specialty dinner

    From Madrid we will take another high speed train to the architecturally rich city of Segovia.

    Upon arrival we visit the incredibly well preserved Roman aqueduct, one of the most beautiful gothic cathedrals of Spain and we will also encounter mediaeval monuments at every turn. There is also the chance to climb to the top of the castle tower for amazing views.

    In the afternoon you will be able to enjoy a walk down to the river for great castle views or simply relax and soak up the atmosphere of Segovia.

    This evening for dinner (drinks not included) we visit one of Segovia's well known and traditional restaurants to try the local specialty suckling pig (slow cooked in a fire wood clay oven) that is renowned throughout the country.
    Hotel Infanta Isabel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Visit the mediaeval village of Pedraza; afternoon wine and cheese tasting in Rueda. Transfer to Salamanca.

    Today we travel by private minibus visting two attractions on our way to Salamanca, where will be staying for the next 2 nights.

    Our first stop is in the mediaeval village of Pedraza. This hill top town is beautifully preserved and is a perfect example of the rural architecture with its cobbled stone streets and its lovely main square. We then will stop in another mediaeval village of Sepulveda, popular for its culture and gastronomy where you we will be able to have lunch.

    In the afternoon we transfer to the wine producing region of Rueda in the provence of Valladolid. This region is known for producing fresh dry white wine with Verdjeo grape. Here we visit Bodega Finca Montepedroso to enjoy tasting different wines and cheese.

    Finally we will make our way to the vibrant university city of Salamanca, which is home to one of Europe's oldest universities.
    Hotel Las Torres or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Explore Salamanca including the old University buildings and the cathedral; evening tapas crawl tour.

    A full day to explore Salamanca and see the old university buildings as well as admire its baroque town square, Plaza Mayor, which is known as the most beautiful in Spain. Its Old City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1988 and through the ages it has been considered one of the most significant and prestigious academic centres in Europe.

    A visit to Salamanca's cathedral (in the Romanesque and Gothic Renaissance style) will be followed by free time to explore this lively city at your own pace.

    In the evening we enjoy a tapas crawl visiting four different places full of character to try different tapas. Some traditional tapas dishes we may be able to taste include bacalao rebozado (battered cod), Champiñon al ajillo (mushrooms with olive oil and garlic) and anchovies in vinegar.

    The rest of the evening is free to enjoy more tapas or soak up the other gastronomic offerings and atmosphere of Salamanca.
    Hotel Las Torres or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Morning transfer to Avila; sightseeing and the city walls; afternoon transfer to El Escorial; visit UNESCO world heritage monastery; gastronomic dinner experience in a Michelin star restaurant

    This morning we take a private transfer to visit the town of Avila, also known as the 'Town of Stones and Saints'. It is well known for its completely intact mediaeval town walls and the number of churches.

    After visiting Avila, we transfer (1 hour) to El Escorial, where we will visit the magnificent monastery which was the historical residence of King Philip II of Spain (16th century). The monastery was multi-functional, serving as a monastery, royal palace, museum, and school. In 1984, UNESCO declared San Lorenzo of El Escorial a World Heritage Site. It is incredibly popular, attracting more than 500,000 visitors every year.

    In the evening, our last gastronomic experience will be in a well-reputed 1-star Michelin restaurant where we will enjoy a real feast of the senses. This special restaurant offers fresh market produce cooked and prepared in an array of innovative and surprising styles.  The menu will be decided by the chef according to the best quality of seasonal products available at the time.

    Here we will enjoy 5 aperitives, 4 dishes, cheese tasting, a dessert and a reasonable amount of wine.
    Hotel Florida or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Transfer to Madrid; fly to London.

    Transfer to Madrid; fly to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Spain

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Spain

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners are included. For one of the dinners included, on the final night of the tour, this will be in a 1-star Michelin restaurant known for its innovative style of cooking. Other gastronomic experiences that are included in the itinerary:

  • Local produce tasting in Madrid's Mercado San Miguel
  • Madrid tapas tour
  • Marzipan cooking demonstration and cooking class in Toledo
  • Wine and cheese tasting in Bodega Finca Montepedroso
  • Tapas crawl in Salamanca

Please be advised drinks are not included with meals or on the tapas tours.

In central Spain, food is commonly prepared in a rustic style with influences of Jewish, Muslim and Christian cuisines. The region is well known for its soups, roasted meats, fine hams and sausages, as well as cheeses. There will also be several opportunities to try popular tapas dishes and local produce along the way.

Madrid is well known for its chocolate con churros and seafood dishes, despite being located inland and is considered a culinary capital of Europe. In Toledo the local egg yolk sweets called yemas and marzipan are very popular whilst in Segovia we have an included dinner where we will try the famous suckling pig. 

Whilst vegetarian and special diets can be catered for, options are very limited throughout this region of Spain due to the local cuisine heavily featuring meat and game. Please inform the office of any specific requirements upon booking. As this is a food focused itinerary with several meal inclusions, we would like to highlight that many of these specialties and inclusions are meat focused.

Meal times in Spain are later than in many other countries; dinner is usually taken between 20:00hrs and 21.30hrs.

 

Weather

Madrid and central Spain's climate is quite dry. From April to July, the temperatures are usually very pleasant and warm, with average temperatures between 20- 32 degrees celcius. August can become very hot and can reach up to 40 degrees celcius, however, the humidity remains low. Rainfall typically occurs the most during Autumn months; when temperatures are mild and pleasant.

Madrid

Is this trip for you?

This trip is Activity Level 1 for Leisurely.

This is a food and cultural trip exploring central Spain's world heritage cities, charming villages and vineyards with a strong focus on gastronomy. This is not a particularly active trip, though there are some sightseeing walks in towns and villages. Please be aware that central Spain can also be very warm, possibly reaching well over 30 degrees in the summer months, between June and September. 

 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

3-star Hotels

Please be advised that the below accommodation listed in each location are the standard hotels used. However, there may be some departures where groups stay at similar hotels of the same standard and quality. We use a mix of well located 3-star hotels during our trip, chosen for their comfort and convenience.

All rooms are double/twin with en suite facilities and all hotels offer free Wi-Fi.

 Madrid- Hotel Cortezo

Segovia- Hotel Infanta Isabel

Salamanca- Sercotel Hotel Las Torres 

El Escorial- Hotel Florida

Single accommodation is available on request.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 020 8772 3936