By Jonathan Hermann

What Makes Spain So Tantalizing

There is just something about the Spanish way of life that draws you in. There’s a genuine warmth to their culture, the way they value good food, great wine and leisurely hours spent with family and friends. You fall in love with the country instantly, and everywhere you go — from fashionable Madrid to inspiring Barcelona, from sun-warmed coastal cities to the high Pyrenees — you find new reasons to renew that adoration.
 
To forge your feelings for this endearing country, we highly recommend the experiences below. Whether it’s your first time visiting this Iberian heavyweight or your 21st, these unique moments can be delivered in ultimate style and tailored to fit your group and preferences.

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SAVOR THE FLAVORS

Spain has long been considered a culinary powerhouse. This is due to many factors, though one stands out: their undeniable passion for quality ingredients. The country leans heavily on the Designation of Origin (DO) certification, which guarantees that the ingredients you purchase are of the highest quality and originate from specific geological areas that infuse them with unique characteristics.
 
The best way to understand what makes one ingredient worthy of designation over another is to venture to a food market with a local guide. Markets come in all shapes and sizes, especially in Madrid, attracting tourists and locals alike to acquire cheeses, vegetables, pulses and cured meats that carry the DO seal.
 
High marks go to Mercado de la Cebada, a collection of little stalls that works together to create a pop-up seafood restaurant. As you peruse the stalls, order a plate of fresh-caught fare by weight, which the fishmonger will season with olive oil and paprika. Be sure to balance your sea-foodie odyssey with a delicate albariño from one of the chic wine bars nearby.

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FAMILY FUN IN CATALONIA

The culinary scene is equally as bright in Barcelona, where a Full-Day Farm-to-Table Cooking Experience is the ideal way to dive into the region’s sumptuous flavors. Perfect for families, this all-day tour first takes you to the nearby Catalan countryside, where you can hike and bike around organic farmlands before meeting local farmers. After they explain the variety of vegetables and wild herbs growing around you, your family can pick your own fresh veggies to enjoy later in the day.
 
Next, you’ll travel to a local farmhouse where your friendly hosts will show you around their historic property. You’ll pick fresh fruits and choose organic eggs to add to your haul before heading into the kitchen to cook your own lunch. The resulting three-course meal, made in classic Catalan style, will be one your family will never forget.

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ROMANCE IS IN THE AIR

Spain is a country that fills your heart with joy, making it a special place to share with the one you love. Some other great things to share are tapas and wine, both of which you’ll enjoy on a romantic Premium Sailing and Gourmet Tapas & Winery Experience. Embark on a 90-minute cruise on a wooden two-mast schooner from Barcelona, taking in the gorgeous city sights from the Mediterranean en route to a wine cellar with endless sea views. Here you’ll sample organic wines and learn how to pair them with seasonal tapas.
 
For couples who are ready to venture off the beaten path, the Balearic Islands are particularly romantic to explore. On a Northern Mallorca Mountain Range Hiking Tour, you and your partner will enjoy the island’s dramatic cliffs and tranquil beaches as you hike staggeringly scenic trails across tiered olive groves and through traditional fishing villages.

TAILORED FOR YOU

Our agency knows destination partners that excel at creating moments such as these. Specializing in tailor-made luxury travel throughout Spain, they know their country inside out. Whatever you wish to do, see or taste, they can create a truly lavish experience — whether it’s an afternoon tour to the markets or a four-day hike around Mallorca — that will exceed all expectations.