These days, there are gluten free travel opportunities for almost any destination. Today, I want to share one particularly unique itinerary brought to you by Ellen Morse, of Gluten Free Travel - Us. Ellen has developed a customized itinerary of Andalusia, Spain, with an option to combine it with several days in Madrid and/or Barcelona. I want to stress that this is is not a group tour, and it can be scheduled whenever you would like to travel. It can also be tailored more specifically to your interests.
Here's what Ellen has to say:
In November 2010, UNESCO declared the Mediterranean Diet "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity". The Mediterranean Diet is not only considered the standard of excellence in the preparation of healthy and balanced food, it is also refers to the culture, ancient traditions and lifestyle of the Mediterraneans. We believe exciting, outstanding, hands-on “in situ” experiences are a MUST when it comes to approaching Mediterranean gastronomy.
And the incredible part of all of this? We can make this happen for YOU - the GLUTEN FREE TRAVELER. You no longer need to feel that being a “FOODIE” is reserved for those without food allergies. Spain is the PERFECT destination to realize your dreams of exploring new tastes, SAFELY.
Our gastronomy experience combines visits to organic olive oil mills, wineries, wooded pasturelands, lunches at private farms, hands-on Master cooking classes at top culinary schools, and innovative experiments in the finest Mediterranean haute cuisine at Michelin 1-star rated restaurants -- all sprinkled with dashes of culture and flamenco.
Here's the Day-by-Day Suggested Itinerary:
Arrive in Malaga. Welcome to Andalusia and presentation at the European Institute of Mediterranean Food. Lunch at a typical chiringuito (seafood restaurant) in the fishing neighborhood of Malaga. Then visit the Picasso Museum and Picasso's birthplace. Dinner at a Michelin 1-star rated restaurant.
Day 2: Córdoba
Departure to the town of Zuheros (Córdoba) to visit a goat farm, where participants will learn about the process of cheese-making, have a tasting, and participate in making their own cheese. Subsequently, you'll visit an organic pure olive oil mill and have an olive oil tasting, followed by a traditional lunch at a typical Andalusian farm. The afternoon involves a relaxing "Hammam" Turkish bath and spa session, followed by dinner at a Michelin 1-star rated restaurant.
Take part in a hands-on Master Cooking Class at the Córdoba Hotel and Catering School where participants will cook their own lunch menu under the watchful eye of Michelin star Chef Celia Jimenez, the first woman in Andalusia awarded with one Michelin star. Your afternoon will be spent visiting the Mezquita, Cordoba's mosque/cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as a synagoge and other sites in the area.
Day 4: Sevilla
Enjoy a hands-on Master cooking class at the Hotel and Catering School of Sevilla, where you'll cook your own lunch, assisted by the school's executive Chef. Afterwards, you'll depart to Doñana where you'll tour Doñana’s Natural Park in a 4x4 and view different ecosystems and animals, including a marsh which is hte meeting place for birds migrating from Europe to Africa. Return to Sevilla for dinner at a Michelin 1-star rated restaurant.
After breakfast, depart to the province of Huelva and visit the National Park of Aracena, Jabugo (P.D.O. classification), where you'll visit a dehesa (wooded pastureland) where Iberian pigs graze and learn about this special ecosystem. You'll then be treated to an Iberian bellota ham and cold meats tasting (of acorn-fed Iberian pigs). This is followed by a private lunch focusing on Iberian pig products at the ham company owner's premises. In the afternoon, you'll return to Sevilla and enjoy Tapas along the Santa Cruz quarter.
In the morning, travel to Jerez for an Andalusian Horse Show and a visit to an avant garde winery, where you'll enjoy a wine tasting and lunch. The afternoon will be spent visiting a traditional fish auction, followed by dinner at a Michelin 1-star rated restaurant in Puerto de Santa María. Head to Jerez at the end of the day.
Day 7: Jerez de la Frontera
Start by visiting Jerez's main wholesale food market, followed by a hands-on Master class at Cádiz’s Catering School, where participants will cook their lunch menu, assisted by the school's Master Chef. Return to Jerez, where you can enjoy the afternoon at your leisure. The evening includes dinner and a farewell party at a distinctive Winery in Jerez de la Frontera.
Day 8: Breakfast and transfer to Malaga airport on the Costa del Sol.
Once again, this trip can be combined with city stays in Madrid and/or Barcelona. Contact Ellen at 312-337-9235 for more details about this itinerary -- or to have her plan a gluten free trip for you to any other destination of your choosing!
Photos provided courtesy of Ellen Morse.