Basque in it: Pintxos (tapas) are famous in San Sebastian

 

It's no secret that Spain now offers some outstanding and incredibly diverse epicurean experiences. Hit the sherry trail, hunt down the best jamón, savour some new-wave Spanish cooking, or simply sit in a tiny, tapas bar and soak up the atmosphere.

Barcelona's Boqueria market (boqueria.info) is one of the best in the country, a vast celebration of local flavours off La Rambla that has been at the heart of the city since the 13th century. But to get slightly off the beaten track, sign up for a guided tour of the lesser-known fish market in the city's main port. Guests at the Hotel Arts Barcelona (00 34 93 221 1000; ritzcarlton.com) can accompany the hotel's executive chef, Antonio Saez, for a behind-the-scenes look. Participants can choose their fish and Chef Saez will take it back to cook as part of a special tasting menu in the evening. The price of €150pp (£106) includes a drink, transport, a cocktail masterclass and dinner with wine. Doubles start at £245, B&B.

Over in Palma de Mallorca there is another new epicurean arrival. San Juan Gastronomic Market (gastronomicosanjuan.es) launched last month in the historic S'Escorxador Cultural Centre. Open daily, it has stalls, tapas bars, a cocktail terrace, patisserie, café and a cookery school.

Delve into the gourmet culture of the south on Pura Adventura's new 11-day Andalucian Food Adventure (01273 676 712; pura-aventura.com), available September to November and March to June. It gives the chance to sample tapas in Seville as well as meeting producers of Iberian acorn-fed pigs, visiting an olive grove and mill in Grazalema Natural Park, sherry capital Jerez, and an organic farm in Sierra de Arancena. From £1,845pp including 10 nights' B&B, car hire, guiding, notes and maps, some meals and excursions. Flights extra.

San Sebastián is considered by many to be Spain's culinary capital. Masterchef Travel (020-7873 5005; mastercheftravel.co.uk) has a three-night Basque Culinary Adventure departing on 10 September and 1 October including a pintxos tour, a cookery lesson, a visit to a Basque farmhouse and lunch in one of the city's historic dining societies. The price includes flights, three nights' B&B, some meals, guiding and transfers.

The Abadía Retuerte vineyard in Sardón de Duero is one of the most prestigious in Spain's Duero region. Also on the estate is LeDomaine (00 34 98 368 0368; ledomaine.es), a hotel in a 900-year-old monastery. You can tour the vineyard for €30pp (£22), while doubles with breakfast start at £280 B&B. The hotel also offers two-night mushroom foraging workshops: £800pp including most meals and activities.

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