Wine, enjoyed in moderation, is a healthy food which enriches life.

 

Spain Wine Tour

Wine, Cuisine, History and Culture

Toledo, Andalusia and Jerez

14 Days - September 24 to October 7, 2018 NOW BOOKING

4 PLACES REMAIN

All-Inclusive accompanied tour to Southern Spain including Toledo, Cordoba, Granada, Jerez and Seville.

Register | Price | Itinerary

In the late 8th century a muslim army from North Africa invaded Southern Spain. The occupied area, known as Al-Andalus, is called Andalusia today.

Over the next 600 or so years the invaders integrated with the indigenous population of christians and jews to create a region that had a profound impact on European civilization.

 

 

It was a centre of learning and education whose influence was felt in Oxford, Paris and northern Italy. Arab mathematics, architecture, medicine and literature from this period are embedded in our culture today.

 

Today you can still see the remains of the arab presence in the mediaeval cities of Toledo, Cordoba, Granada, Seville and Jerez.

 

 

Andalusian cuisine is quite unique and though most of the region is not famous for its wines, there are nevertheless some very good wines being produced here.

 

     
The gypsy culture of the region can be experienced at the many flamenco venues. The wine bars of Granada, Cordoba, Jerez and Seville are the best place in the world to experience tapas.  

In late September each year, as the grape harvest comes to a conclusion, it is still hot during the day and pleasantly warm in the evening for dining outside.

 

 

Register

If you are interested in joining this tour....

Email: Steve Thurlow steve@stevethurlow.com to request a tour registration form.

Price

The price for the all-inclusive 14 day trip is $5195 per person. Single supplement on request.

A non-refundable deposit of C$800 per guest is required to secure a place on this tour. Final payment for the trip is required 120 days prior to departure. Guests are advised to take trip cancellation insurance, which we are happy to provide. Please request a quotation when registering for the trip.

The trip price assumes double occupancy in twin/double rooms and includes all land transportation, hotels, breakfasts, visits and tastings, and 18 meals with wines, all led by Steve Thurlow.

Guests are required to make their own travel arrangements to Toledo and home from Seville. There are many ways of flying to Spain from North America. Air Canada currently flies direct to Madrid, so flights can be booked using Aeroplan points, which may be of interest to some.

There is a frequent highspeed non-stop train service from Madrid to Toledo which takes 32 minutes and costs about C$20.

 

Proposed Itinerary

(Included meals: B= Breakfast L= Lunch D= Dinner)

Day 1: Toledo Monday September 24th, 2018

The group meets in Toledo at the Parador Hotel Toledo which sits on a hill and looks down on the ancient city across the river. We gather at 20:00 for drinks in the bar prior to dinner at the hotel.

Since we do not visit the city of Madrid during the trip, some may wish to arrive in Spain early and spend a few days there before the trip starts.

This is the view from the hotel pool deck and the bar. So sit back, relax and take it in. (D)

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2: Toledo

After breakfast we leave to visit the Osborne winery which about an hour's drive to the west of Toledo for a tour, tasting and lunch.

On the return to Toledo, the bus will drop those that wish in the town centre to visit this world heritage city on foot. The El Greco museum is well worth a visit, as is the cathedral and the alcazar.

It is a short taxi ride from the city back to the hotel where will have dinner. (B,L,D)

 

Day 3: Valdepenas and Cordoba

After breakfast we checkout the hotel head south en route to Cordoba. We will stop for lunch and tour and tasting at the Navarro Lopez winery which is about two hours from Toledo.

It is only another two hours to Cordoba after we leave the winery so by late afternoon we will be checking in to the NH Amistad Hotel in the ancient jewish quarter just around the corner from the ancient Alcazar.

From here you are in the middle of the ancient city with its narrow pedestrian alleyways, numerous bars and restaurants many offering flamenco music and dancing.

The evening is free to explore the city on foot, soak up the atmosphere and take a glass of wine here with a small tapas.

Move on and find another place maybe with music to enjoy with the next glass and snack. The evening will pass and it will soon be time to return to the hotel. (B,L)

Day 4: Cordoba

After breakfast we leave the hotel on foot for a guided tour of the city that will include the famous cathedral built around a mosque, the jewish quarter with its walled private patios and the alcazar quarter.

 

 

There will be time for individual exploration and shopping before we meet for lunch at the Taverna Puerto Sevilla with some of the local wines.

   

The afternoon and early evening are free until we meet at the Royal Stables at 9pm for the Passion and Spirit of the Andalusian Horse Display.

The Royal Stables are around the corner from the hotel. (B,L)

Day 5: Cordoba

This morning we continue our exploration of the city with a visit to the Alcazar followed by the patios in the jewish quarter. These are private houses with patio gardens that are open for visiting to small groups.

You take a map and start exploring, meeting the owners at each location on the route, which can be followed in any sequence.

 

 

It will soon be time to find a spot for some lunch maybe returning to the hotel for a siesta.

In the evening we gather for a group dinner in a restaurant with a flamenco show close to our hotel. (B,D)

 

Day 6: Montilla and Granada

After a three-night stay in Cordoba we checkout of the hotel after breakfast and head for Granada stopping for lunch on the way in Montilla at the Alvear winery that was founded in 1729.

They have some wines that are over 200 years old that are used in current blends.

After a tour of the ancient cellars and tasting the wines we will take lunch before heading on our way to Granada about 1.5 hours drive to the southeast.

We stay in the middle of the old city of Granada with many tapas bars close-by at the Melia Granada Hotel.    

 

 

 

The Alhambra Palace can be seen high on a hill that overlooks the city centre.

The evening is free for settling into our new surroundings and exploring the city, its bars and restaurants. (B,L)

Day 7: Granada

After breakfast we leave to visit the nearby wine region in the hills to the northeast of the city.

We visit the Munana winery where it is planned for us to help with grape harvest followed by a tasting of their wines.

Since it will now be time for lunch we will stop in the nearby village of Purullena for a typical country lunch with local wines at Meson la Taverna.

 

After lunch we return to Granada. The balance of the afternoon is free.

Our guide to the city, Antonio, has arranged a gypsy flamenco experience in the hills above the city this evening. Music, dancing and typical Andusian cuisine with local wines will be enjoyed by all.

He will meet us at our hotel early evening and explain the history of the city and guide us to some parts that are off the normal tourist path. (B,L,D)

Day 8: Granada

We meet Antonio again this morning as we leave the hotel in our bus to visit the Alhambra Palace after breakfast.

His tour of this magnificent jewel takes about three hours.

 

 

We take lunch at a restaurant in the palace grounds.

After lunch the adventurous can stroll back to the city on foot, however the bus will be there for those that have had enough adventure.

The balance of the day is free for relaxing at the hotel or exploring the city.

We meet for dinner at a restaurant close to the hotel.

After dinner we return to the hotel for our last night in Granada. (B,L,D)

Day 9: Granada to Jerez

After three nights in Granada we checkout of the hotel and head westwards to Jerez, the home of sherry wines for the next three nights.

The route is very picturesque through the mountains of southern Spain. After an hour we leave the autovia and head towards the national park of the Sierra de Grazelema.

We will stop for a coffee and refreshment before the drive over the mountains.

They are dotted with hilltop villages like Olvera with all the houses painted white and enormous churches perched on the summit.

 

 

We will soon be at Huerta de Albala, a large modern winery specializing in syrah to the north of Cadiz. We should arrive soon after noon for a tour, tasting and lunch.

 

An hour after we leave the winery we should be at our hotel in the centre of Jerez.

Asta Regia is a new hotel constructed inside several old buildings at the heart of Jerez. It will be our base for the next three nights.

 

We are close to the Cathedral and Alcazar in the historical centre of the city.

   

The evening is free to explore the city, its bars and restaurants. (B,L)

 

 

Day 10: Jerez

After breakfast we leave to drive to the coast about 30 minutes to the south to visit the vineyards of Emilio Lustau one the top and largest producers of sherry wines.

After seeing where the grapes are grown, we then will taste some of their wines before arriving on the beach at Casa Bigote for lunch in Sanlucar de Barrameda.

It has the reputation of being one of the best seafood restaurants in the south of Spain.

 

 

We will enjoy our seafood lunch with the finos and manzanillas of Lustau.

If we are lucky we might catch a glimpse of horses racing on the beach in front of the restaurant.

    After lunch we return to the hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free.
 
We will visit the Gonzalez Byass winery in the centre of the city for a tour of the ancient cellars and dinner with their wines that will show how food friendly and versatile sherry wines can be when matched correctly. (B,L,D)  

 

 

Day 11: Jerez

After breakfast this morning we will visit one of the smallest producers of wine in Jerez.

All the work is done by hand in the same traditional way as has been done for centuries. It takes minutes to visit this small winery but we will linger for a long time over the tasting if their superb quite unique wines.

El Maestro Sierra is a glimpse back in time since little has changed in their time honoured production.

 

We then visit the large modern winery of Williams and Humbert in the suburbs.

During the visit to this vast property we will attend a short horse demonstration. We will taste their wines and take lunch in the winery.

We return to the hotel and the afternoon is free for exploring the city centre.

That evening we leave to visit the Osborne bodega in El Puerto de Santa Maria for a tour, tasting and dinner. (B,L,D)

 

 

Day 12: Huelva

We leave after breakfast for an exploration of the Sierra de Huelva which lies to the northeast.

We are heading into the hills in search of some very valuable black pigs. During the trip we will have sampled jamon on several occasions.

Today we will visit one of the most famous producers, Cinco Jotas, to see their free range pigs and discover how the ham is produced.

 

 

 

The pigs live in the woods close to Aracena eating a diet rich in acorns and travelling on average 14km a day.

 

 

 

 

 

They spend a relatively short life in beautiful surroundings before they are turned into jamon by Cinco Jotas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After tasting the produce impeccably carved by an expert it is time for lunch with the wines of Montecillo from Rioja.

 

 

After lunch is time to head to Seville for our last two nights of the tour.

Seville is the capital of the region and we will stay in the Melia Hotel in the centre of the city.

It is a short walk from most of the major attractions and has a splendid roof top pool.

The evening is free for visiting the city, and checking out the tapas bars and restaurants. (B,L)

 

 

 

Day 13: Seville

After breakfast our guide to the city, Jaime will meet us at the hotel to show us his city. We will stroll though El Prado de San Sebastian on our way to the Jardines de Murillo.

The tour will include the cathedral and the alcazar quarter plus the jewish area.

 

 
 

 

The tour will take about 2.5 hours and will finish in the centre of the city at around noon.

The afternoon is free for getting a bite to eat, shopping and continuing with sightseeing.

That evening there will be a final group dinner in the hotel. (B,L)

 

Day 14: Sunday October 7th, Seville

The group will disperse after breakfast in the hotel in Seville. (B)

Email Steve@SteveThurlow.com for more info.

Conditions

The above itineraries are as planned. However we reserve the right to make adjustments depending upon weather and other constraints, to substitute visits to alternative wineries and to arrange accommodation at hotels of similar standard in the towns mentioned.

Prices are for double occupancy in twin/double rooms (single supplement on request). Hotels are subject to availability.

The price for the tour covers luxury coach transportation, hotels and entrance fees and guide fees to all attractions described in the itinerary. Also included are breakfasts every day, winery visits and tastings, and 18 meals with wines.

Guests are responsible for their own transportation to the Parador Toledo Hotel and from the Seville Melia Hotel.

This price is correct at present but may change as a result of currency variations or other circumstances beyond our control. We accept credit card payments for the trip deposit but do not accept payment by credit card for the final trip payment unless special arrangements are made.

In accordance with the Ontario Industry Travel Act, below is the registered name, address and registration number of the provider of the travel services:

UNIGLOBE Enterprise Travel Ltd.
34 Britain Street, Suite 200
Toronto, Ontario
M5A 1R6

Agent: Steve Thurlow

TICO Registration Number: 1810380