"As you move through this life and this world, you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life, and travel, leave marks on you. Most of the time those marks, on your body or your heart, are beautiful. Often though, they hurt"
Anthony Bourdain, the late great travelling chef, writer, TV presenter & humanitarian
Those words above express, far better than I ever could, my own experience. Scars there may be, yet there is also a wealth of vivid memories that sustain me, whether of people, places or tastes. Together those threads weave an intense story.
A recurring theme in my travel-writing, books and tours is my love of mixing the high-end with the low, beauty with quirkiness, sophistication with the everyday. I seek the unusual and above all the authentic – light years from tours where 'travellers' have little contact with local people and follow well-trodden paths strewn with clichés.
So why not share my spirit of adventure to dive deep beneath the surface? Come with me to discover the real Andalucía on a journey through its rich, complex culture and majestic landscapes studded with unforgettable monuments and characters. Once you know the region, you will be hooked, I guarantee it.
In 2018 my Secret Andalucia tour saw me leading a select group of American travellers around southeastern Andalucia - the lesser known side of the region. Between the cities, we enjoyed fabulous restaurants featured in my book and met the chefs, visited inhabited cave-dwellings, an olive-farm, an organic caviar farm and watched a top ceramicist at work in his studio. "We would never have been able to experience a time like this without your help". S & F, Carlisle, PA. We all loved the journey but sadly subsequent tours were stymied by the pandemic and had to be cancelled. The innovative American company, Atlas Obscura, and the established British company, ACE Cultural Tours, were among my clients. Another project I devised with two inventive British cooks in a beautiful finca outside Ronda, Sierra Cooking in the Heart of Andalucia, similarly had to be cancelled. This included excursions to olive mills, bodegas, cheese-makers, Roman ruins, pueblos blancos and other wonders, as well as cooking workshops at the finca. If this salivating adventure intrigues you, get a group of foodie friends together and contact me for details (maximum 10 guests)!
Alternatively consider a private bespoke tour tailored to your interests, energy-levels and budget. Bear in mind that any private tour includes covering my own expenses, so ideally your group should be a minimum of four. Whatever you decide, Andalucia awaits!