Where to learn to cook in Spain: From paella to pintxo

Enjoy foodie breaks in San Sebastián, Barcelona, Andalucia, Valencia, and Alava

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The Independent Travel

Beronia Cooking School, San Sebastián

Food tour company San Sebastián Food is opening a new cookery school in association with the five-star Hotel Maria Cristina, which accommodates students during the course. Beronia Cooking School will be kitted out with a state-of-the-art kitchen, offering courses for all levels of ability. It will be run by Michelin-starred chefs and local artisans. The school is located in the heart of the city, just 100 metres from the traditional food market, La Brexta, where students can buy their ingredients. Bookings are currently being taken for classes and courses starting from March 2015.

República Argentina Kalea, 4, San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa (00 34 943 421 143; sansebastianfood.com). A Basque Kitchen course costs €485pp and includes two nights' accommodation in a deluxe bedroom with breakfast.

Cook and Taste, Barcelona

Spice up a Barcelona city break with a lesson in Spanish cookery. Cook and Taste's half-day Hands-on Cooking Class and Gourmet Market Tour begins with a guided walk around the city's La Boqueria market before students head back to the school to learn how to make a variety of traditional dishes including tapas and paella. Everything is then put to the taste test at the end of the day.

Carrer del Paradís 3, Barcelona, Catalonia (00 34 93 302 13 20; cookandtaste.net). Half-day course and market tour costs €78pp, including wine pairings and a recipe booklet.

Paella Project, Valencia

If paella is your thing, Valencia is the place to go. The Spanish Thyme Traveller's Valencia Paella Project teaches students how to cook an authentic version of Spain's most celebrated dish, which originated in the region. The three-night break includes lessons in food history, culture and ingredients, a cava tasting and a trip to a winery and bodega in the nearby countryside. The trip is also lead by an English-speaking guide.

Calle Cristo, 5 Llanera de Ranes, Valencia (00 34 96 225 41 48; thespanishthymetraveller.com). Course costs €650 including three nights' accommodation at the Vincci Palace hotel with breakfast.

Finca Buenvino, Andalucia

This B&B-cum-cookery school is ideal for those who like to know exactly where their ingredients come from. Finca Buenvino Bed and Breakfast is in the heart of the Jabugo Denominación de Origen (DO) area, which produces some of the finest Iberian ham and as part of the course, students visit celebrated ham producers. Finca Buenvino runs several cookery courses a year for groups of four to eight people.

Los Marines, Huelva (00 34 696 201 553; fincabuenvino.com). Five-day course from €800, including four nights' full-board, an excursion to a ham producer, and a copy of the 'Buenvino Cookbook'.

Annie B's Spanish Kitchen, Andalucia

This Andalucian cooking school is the perfect choice for the health-conscious cook: a culinary break with an emphasis on cutting out carbohydrates. Set on the hilltop Andalucian town of Vejer, Annie B's six-day course includes four classes, a visit to the Barbate fish market, and a Spanish wine and sherry education, not to mention daily power walks. The package includes accommodation in one of three nearby hotels.

Casa Alegre, Viña 11, Vejer, Andalucia (00 34 620 560 649; anniebspain.com). Six-day course from €965, including a five-night stay at Casa Amaro, room only.

Hotel Viura, Basque Country

Head to the Basque province of Alava to master the art of making traditional pintxos – the Basque version of tapas. Guests at the Hotel Viura can learn to prepare 12 dishes, such as potatoes riojano and gazpacho, and combine them with local Riojan wines. The class is taught in the hotel's kitchen in the village of Villabuena de Alava. If you fancy a tipple afterwards, head to the wine-tasting bar for a sampling session with the sommelier.

Calle Mayor, Villabuena de Alava, Alava (00 34 945 60 90 00; hotelviura.com). Double rooms start at €110. The classes cost €50pp.

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