A new style of exploration, placing value on emotions
With celebration in its soul, drama in its coastlines, pride in its people, and historic beauty in its architecture, Western Andalucia is at once engaged in the present and a passionate testament to its past: a timeless country where anything can happen. The trouble is, Andalucia’s most captivating experiences stay hidden, out of sight for visitors to truly experience its greatness. Get priceless access to the country’s most singular experiences and don’t miss where to be, where to eat, what to see, and whom to meet.
More than just a blossoming of area at its height in the ancient history, Muslim occupied southern Spain setting the Al-Andalus and wholly shaped the culinary habits prevalent in today’s Iberian Peninsula. They developed the most refined dining experiences and considered gastronomy a successful means of restoring and preserving health at all levels, upgrading it to a philosophical level. Exploring western Andalucia means immersing oneself in magic and historic seduction, exoticism through greatness.
Embark on a hedonist escape across Western Andalusia, limitlessly exploring the heritage that forged this region of vibrant colors, flavors and sounds of the triangle formed by Cadiz, Huelva and Seville.
Paladar y Tomar select experiences put you in touch with highest personalities throughout Spain’s Southwest, unavailable without an access code. Delve into Western Andalucia.
Jerez de la Frontera, the capital of sherry, seduces you at first sight.
The sidewalks are shaded by orange trees, the houses dazzling white, their black-grilled balconies geranium bedecked, the plazas boasting royal palm trees, bougainvillea, roses and camelias. Within minutes you find that climate and customs combine to slow the pace while quickening the senses.
Handsome Carthusian horses, the Alcazar – a 11th-century Moorish fortress the size of a conventional city block – dominating the Cathedral, palaces, churches and convents in every street, the magical sound of taconeo, clapping and guitar that can be heard as you stroll through the old town…
Jerez de la Frontera is the birthplace of flamenco and nearby Seville and Madrid represents its most famous international stage. With gypsy roots and Indian connections, Flamenco has long been adored by poets and writers, by aristocrats and the less privileged alike. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy some live pure flamenco.
Sherry, for ages considered the best wine in the world but long time ignored, is surging in popularity. Sharp and saline, or sweet and velvety, very often provocative, sherry wines are a whole world. Uncommon in all senses, the bodegas deserve special mention; they’re impressive architecture attaining over 14-meter high ceilings are popularly known as wine cathedrals. There, yeasts and vintages are mingled together reflecting each cellar’s aging system.
3 + 1 MICHELIN STARS
Ángel León is an insatiably inventive and unique chef whose passion for the sea made him supress any meat from his menu. He brought plankton to our tables and very recently, edible light. He makes artisan charcuterie from the fish left overs, and his appetite for new research does not have limits.
Aponiente, in the small fishing town of El Puerto de Santa María has been awarded three Michelin Stars, and he holds one more star at Alevante. With an spectacular mise en scène, Aponiente is a spectacular show no to miss at least once.
As stated by The New York Times “Arcos demands that you discover it on foot, and it takes no prisoners as far as stairways and hills are concerned.” Explore the stunning white-washed cliffside architecture of Andalusia’s heart and admire tiled roofs, immaculate white walls and flowers everywhere.
This is a territory where green olives contrast with white canvas, making some of the best olive oil possible. Anywhere food and wine are present; socializing around food it’s an intrinsic tray of the territory.
… OR TUNA EXPERIENCE
Every spring shoals of massive Bluefin tuna pass through the narrow Strait of Gibraltar, preferring the balmy Mediterranean to harsh Atlantic waters for mating. It is on the beginning of this great migration, skirting the exclusive beaches of Zahara de los Atunes in Cádiz, where the illustrious silver-backed “bulls of the sea” are captured “en paso” (or “on their way”) in a sophisticated and artisanal fashion: the ancient fishing tradition known as Almadraba. Enjoy what’s probably the best blue fin tuna in the world.
Why does Jamon Iberico lead the top 4 world’s finest foods list? The honorable list defines foie, caviar, truffle and jamon iberico as the four gastronomic pearls.
What makes jamón ibérico so special compared to other pork hams such as the adorable proscioutto di parma or the sweety French porc noir gascon?
The Iberian pork is an extraordinary breed: it has the capacity to transform the acorns and the rest of foods that make up their diet – their diet is based on herbs and grasses – in heart-healthy fats.
We invite you to discover all the secrets of this gastronomic jewel in its natural habitat, the dehesa ecosystem, the Mediterranean forest.
At Sierra de Aracena village houses little changed since they were built half a millennium or more ago, while churches, religious buildings and ermitas spanning eight hundred years are still in regular use. Soaring cliffs, wooded valleys and whitewashed villages like Alájar, Almonaster – with its Moorish mosque and attached to it a bullring – or Linares de la Sierra – a 200 inhabitants town with no police department – are curious jewels found in this remote region.
The 800 meters cave system popularly named Cave of Wonders (Cueva de las Maravillas) in Aracena were discovered in 1926 but were open to the public in 2003. Subterranean lakes and superbly adorned stalagmites and stalactites can be admired at one of the best preserved caved in the world.
Aracena is rich in history, culture and culinary surprises. Besides jamón ibérico, Sierra de Aracena is a wild mushrooms wonderland. It is fabulous walking country, especially in autumn when the climate is ideal and wild fungi and sweet chestnuts are in season, and the profusion of wild flowers and herbs through spring makes it of an unparalleled beauty. Following the expert guidance of a botanist through an area that is dotted with tiny white-washed villages easily connected is a life experience.
A city with heightened emotion – or duende – in which every movement feels like the graceful and glamorous dance of a purebred Spanish steed, Sevilla’s palm-filled gardens and rich Mudéjar-style palaces are full of secrets only revealed with the right contacts.
Whether a first-timer or a habitué, Paladar y Tomar unveils the most rarefied secret addresses and meets the most renowned personalities in every field.
Sevillanos are some of the most outgoing people, and tapas are synonymous with Spain. But contrary to popular opinion, tapas are more than just a snack. They can be a whole meal, or a whole lot of little meals!
Taste the best of the local fare and soak up all the dazzling sights, sounds and smells of a true tapas tour out in Seville! Don’t miss a chance to visit the very best traditional establishments, hand-picked by ourselves for their quality and charm and tune into the story of our people.
His magnificent beauty and mysterious personality have been present in arts, history and anthropology from ancient times and his preeminence is still strong in Spain. A native and exclusive animal from the Iberian Peninsula, experience the brave bull away from bullfighting’s spectacle and instead be guided through some of the most renowned cortijos with a concentration around his harmony with the environment and relationship with man. Some of the most prestigious livestock breeders, men and women with a strong personality and exquisiteness, invite us into their home in what might be one of the most distinguished rustic-chic experiences.
Fresh bread, olive oil and cured ham is probably the best way to start a new day. Have you tried a toast with hot melting chocolate topped with salt flaked and olive oil? The healthiest fat is one of Spain’s jewels, Spain being the world’s leading olive producer. And Andalucia concentrates 75% of the production.
It is essential for any gourmet to visit an olive grove and acquire all the basic information while enjoying some of the best delicacies.
… TO A HORSE SAFARI
Sequester yourself from the hustle and bustle of city life with a unique horseback-riding trail through the hilly, sun-drenched landscape personally led by one of the best horse riders, followed by a fascinating rustic-chic picnic in the seductive stillness of the Andalucían countryside. Learn some of the best kept secrets of breeding and dressage, his daily life and passion.
Jerez de la Frontera, once the second richest city of Spain behind its wine-sister Haro in Rioja, is famous for its awesome sherry wines, for being the cradle of flamenco and for the impressive Carthusian horses. One of the noblest towns in Cádiz brings together the splendor of aristocratic palaces with the popular flavor of typically Andalusian houses, and its strategic location makes an easy reach to some of the most breathtaking white washed villages. For stylish golf day, why not heading to Sotogrande, or be privileged witness of some of the best summer polo tournaments.
Sierra de Aracena is a place of subtle charm rather than lunge-for-your-camera splendor. Getting lost in this captivating Natural Park makes you feel the sweet and slow local pace of a rich territory. Homeland of the black pig natural habitat, the dehesa, wood pasture made up principally of holm and evergreen cork oak, grazed by livestock in harmony. This unique ecosystem known as the “Mediterranean forrest” is the cradle of some of the best jamón ibérico. In fall season when rainfall is high, the sierra shows an explosion of colors; chestnuts, walnuts, holm oaks, strawberry trees and cork oaks, at whose feet grow more than 600 varieties of wild mushrooms. Small towns like Aracena or Alájar deserve a visit; Almonaster’s exclamation point is its small jewel of a mezquita, or Moorish mosque, with an attached bullring. The mezquita dates from the 10th century and is the only significant Islamic building in the Sierra.
Not far, the Rio Tinto river is a great terrestrial analog for what conditions on Mars might be. The New York Times described Spain’s Rio Tinto, “a 58-mile-long river that runs red like wine, as being so acidic that its pH is halfway between vinegar and stomach acid.” The mining area of Rio Tinto is considered by many scientists as the most similar environment to Mars on Earth.
Seville, a city with heightened emotion – or duende – in which every movement feels like the graceful and glamorous dance of a purebred Spanish steed, Sevilla’s palm-filled gardens and rich Mudéjar-style palaces are full of secrets only revealed with the right contacts.
Paladar y Tomar provides the smoothest experience that only two living-there local experts can assure.
Andalusia is the Spain of our dreams where Arabic conception is felt anywhere: white walls, Arab towers and imposing views. Olive trees, orange and lemon trees, fig trees, walnut trees, almond trees, and prune trees dot the infinite landscape. Under no circumstance should you miss the unique opportunity of feeling the time and living a a full immersive experience; where to sleep matters.
From a 17th century palace with marbled floors and exquisite tapestries – with its legacy as a muse for generations of artists, aristocrats, novelists and toreros – to a cortijo – a unique Andalusian country house – Paladar y Tomar will curate the right accommodation for you and your party, creating new doorways to the unexpected.
From Western Andalusia dream destinations are at your fingertip. You can decide to navigate eastern and keep exploring the grandeur of Andalucia, or tack western to Portugal.
Ronda, Cordoba, Granada, Úbeda, Baeza and Málaga are just a few names to mention in the largest region of Spain, our beloved Andalucia. Long bone-white barren hills and lush olive groves, from the Mezquita in Cordoba – the city’s grand mosque – and the grandeur of the Alhambra, the spectacular 14th-century palace built under Moorish rule. Ubeda and Baeza – designated UNESCO Heritage Cities – are jewels of the Spanish Renaissance and the view of thousands upon thousands of olive trees in the rolling Andalucía valleys below is thrilling. And stop in Malaga to feel the Mediterranean and a dynamic cultural-hub city, birthplace of Picasso.
But Portugal might be in your bucket list, in that case from the Algarve to Porto; the country – of reduced dimensions – can make you feel in an old, architecturally distinguished city and suddenly in the gorgeous countryside, all punctuated by big, slow, home-made meals.
The excellence of the landscape’s cuisine along with its breathtaking natural surroundings, exceptional wine varieties, and tranquility of the hand-picked singular accommodations create a getaway unparalleled in value and authenticity.