Sanlúcar de Barrameda is Spain’s gastronomic capital of 2022

Sanlúcar, located in the province of Cádiz, near the mouth of the Guadalquivir River, is a privileged city with a rich cultural and monumental heritage as it is located on the trade route to America. It witnessed the third voyage of Christopher Columbus and the port of departure and arrival of the Magellan and Elcano expedition.
In 2022 there will be the commemorative acts of the V Centenary of the First World Tour (1519-1522). Its environmental environment has as its emblem the Doñana National Park, which is accessed by crossing the Guadalquivir river, and the La Algaida e Pinar Natural Park, a sort of natural ring that constitutes one of the green lungs of Andalusia, declared by UNESCO. as a Biosphere Reserve in 1980.

To these attractions is added its rich gastronomy, with exceptional and exclusive products such as Prawns and Manzanilla, a perfect combination that extends beyond the Andalusian borders and is one of the reasons why thousands of tourists come to this place. At the end of last year it was announced that Sanlúcar would become the new World Capital of Gastronomy for 2022.
The appointment was made official on the occasion of Fitur, the International Tourism Fair held in Madrid from 19 to 23 January. The Spanish Capital of Gastronomy (CEG) distinction was created by the Spanish Federation of Tourism Journalists and Writers (FEPET) and the Spanish Hospitality Federation (FEHR).

The purpose of this initiative is to contribute to the dissemination of the gastronomic offer of the city that each year holds the title, to propose actions that help increase tourism figures (Sanlúcar receives more than 80,000 tourists a year) and to enhance the programs of gastronomic excellence. The gastronomy thus becomes a perfect complement to the complete offer for leisure and party, highlighting the Manzanilla Fair, the boarding of the brotherhoods of El Rocío or the famous horse races on the beaches of the municipality, declared of International Tourist Interest in 1997. The historical significance of Sanlúcar, a crossroads of cultures and an ancient port of American commerce, is perceived at every step that takes place in its urban fabric.
The palaces, noble residences, defensive buildings and historic gardens mix with ancient cellars, from which the soft aroma of Manzanilla is released. The Doñana National Park, in addition to promoting natural tourism practically all year round, is also one of the keys to the richness of Sanlúcar’s gastronomy. Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs contributed the ingredients to the indigenous cuisine. The Christian reconquest encouraged the production of wine, which after centuries of skilful work, was consumed in the admirable diversity of current wines, among which the singular Manzanilla stands out.
The gastronomic evolution does not stop there, as after becoming one of the main American commercial ports and hosting numerous expeditions abroad, Sanlúcar once again sees its kitchens enriched with all the variety of spices, fruits and vegetables that have arrived. on the Andalusian coasts, before many other places in the Old World. Peppers, tomatoes and potatoes have given their latest impetus to both local gastronomy and agricultural production.

Corsa di cavalli a Sanlucar
Sanlúcar on horseback

Horse races on the beaches of Sanlúcar de Barrameda at the mouth of the Guadalquivir river, the ancient Betis, are the oldest in the country and have been held since 1845. They are the only races in which thoroughbreds have the opportunity to compete in a unique setting: a natural hippodrome over 6 kilometers long with the Doñana National Park and the sunsets in the background.

The flavors of Sanlúcar

The vast gastronomic offer of Sanlúcar is based on three important pillars: the products of its garden, those of its cellars and the fish of the Andalusian sea. Sanlúcar’s fish and shellfish, including shrimp, have a reputation that has transcended city borders. In Sanlúcar, the products themselves are as famous as the dishes prepared with them that form their culinary basis, rich stews with an authentic maritime flavor such as sour orange skate, monkfish with fried bread, galley soup, etc. . These dishes are generally washed down with the local wine, Manzanilla, as well as other types of table wine, which have a lower alcohol content and lighter color but have a unique flavor.

Sanlúcar de Barrameda is historically integrated into the Designations of Origin Jerez, Vinagre, Brandy de Jerez and Manzanilla de Sanlúcar de Barrameda. The cellars of Sanlúcar enjoy the constructive singularity of those found throughout the Marco de Jerez. These are high and well ventilated cellars, supported by slender pillars which give them their characteristic appearance. The city has recently equipped itself with a new enotourist resource: the Manzanilla Interpretation Center (CIMA) which includes about twenty wineries in the city and which, located next to the food market, offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the elaboration process. and aging of this unique wine.

Gamberi di Sanlucar
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IThe shrimp. The king of the sea and of Sanlúcar gastronomy

The Sanlúcar Shrimp is one of the kings of Cadiz cuisine, one of the products of the local gastronomy that has crossed borders to conquer not only the palates of the thousands of tourists who visit the municipality every year, but also the kitchens of nationally renowned chefs and international prestige, which have included it in their menu as a flagship product.
Its scientific name is Penaeus kerathurus and it is a medium-sized, edible, highly prized crustacean of high commercial value. What does the Sanlúcar shrimp have that makes it so valuable? The answer is easy: its flavor, a property conferred by its habitat: the Guadalquivir River estuary. It is a crustacean that is mainly eaten fresh. Its meat is very valuable. Cooked, fried, or as part of any traditional fish stew, it’s always a good option.
At Casa Bigote, reference point of Sanlúcar gastronomy, winner of the Bib Gourmand award from the Michelin Guide and a Sole from the Repsol Guide, they bet on cooked or fried preparation.

Manzanilla a unique and very special wine

Manzanilla is another of Sanlúcar de Barrameda’s “named” products. The vineyards, divided into “pagos”, grow centuries-old on albariza land (a land north of Jerez ideal for growing grapes). Sanlúcar currently has more than twenty wineries, which feed either on their own vineyards or on the must of palomino grapes (white grape from which Jerez and Manzanilla wines are produced).

The Sanlúcar marinera, seafood products and stews

Sanlúcar cuisine is a cuisine linked to tradition. A cuisine of maritime origin that finds a prominent role in homes. The special way of preparing fish in the municipality deserves a separate chapter. Frying the fish, with the right tip, reaches an almost sublime point and allows you to appreciate the textures of the different species, from acedías, tapaculos, pijotas, puntillitas, cuttlefish or mullet
Now these stews arrive from Sanlúcar all over the world thanks to the Senra family, who have innovated and introduced traditional seafood recipes in canning jars that only need to be heated to be consumed, bringing a little of the flavor of il more marine Sanlúcar.



The food market, the epicenter of Sanluqueña gastronomy

It is located in the heart of the commercial area of the Historical Complex of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. It is a municipal building occupying an area of almost 1,400 square meters, built in the 18th century and renovated three times, in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The business returned to this square in June 2018 and has remained the hub of the city’s commercial and food and wine activity ever since. It has twenty-four fish stalls, twelve butchers, ten greengrocers, three frozen foods, one spices, one olives, sweets …
What stands out most is the seafood, not only for the quantity, but also for the raw material it offers. The excellent raw material that the Sanluqueños placeros display daily in their facilities has transformed the country’s Mercado de Abastos into a reference place for Sanluqueños and visitors who take advantage of the passage through the city to stock up on the best delicacies of the territory and the sea.

The sweet Sanlúcar

There is no self-respecting food that does not end with a dessert and Sanlúcar, among its many gastronomic charms, offers us in this field a variety characterized by the artisanal character and the quality of its raw materials. The walls of the convents of the many religious orders that were established under the patronage of the Ducal House of Medina Sidonia, preserve a large part of these sweet recipes.
The desserts made in an artisanal way by the nuns of the monasteries of Madre de Dios – offered to customers through their lathes – or of the convent of Regina Coeli have allowed to perpetuate over time unique flavors such as egg yolks, tocino de cielo, donuts with almonds, shortbread, pestiños, white donuts, cocadas-, which have been making for more than 40 years and which dazzle those who try them.
Alpisteras are one of the most typical sweets of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, traditional of Holy Week and which derive their sweetness from a touch of syrup. The dessert continues with an artisanal ice cream, enjoying the city of two legendary companies such as La Ibense Bornay – which exported its ice cream to Dubai – or Helados Toni, where the third generation indulges the wishes of the little ones behind the counter.

Tocino de cielo
Tocino de cielo
Plaza del Cabildo: a stroll through the tapas cathedral

Epicenter of the city, the Plaza del Cabildo is the gastronomic emblem par excellence of Sanlúcar together with the Bajo de Guía. The typical shrimp tortillas of Casa Balbino are memorable. And of the delicacy with a taste of the sea, in another of the corners of this cathedral, you can taste the authentic potatoes of Sanlúcar, aliñás, with a little onion and parsley, a good oil, sherry vinegar, loins of melva and game is done: the flagship product of Barbiana. Another of the classics of gastronomy is the Bar La Gitana. The well-known manzanilla gives its name to a winery that has gradually become another of the references of this square, offering excellent fried ortiguille.

How to discover Ireland and its flavors in an ecological way through bars, restaurants and markets

A small guide for strategic and sustainable stops of taste, all accessible by train, bus or bike!
Ireland is a real treasure trove of taste treasures for those who love to embark on a journey of sustainability and with the desire to be green even when recharging after an excursion!

Belfast

The train is perfect for reaching Belfast and exploring some of the best food sustainability addresses. The Morne Seafood Bar is an offshoot of the place at the foot of the Morne Mountains: here, locally sourced seafood chowder, tasty casseroles and scallops give the sensation of tasting the sea.
Furthermore, reaching the parent company and, perhaps, exploring the mountains of the same name is really simple in an hour by bus from the city center.
Before heading out for a stroll in the hills around Belfast, taking advantage of some really beautiful trails , it’s worth filling your backpack with exquisite locally sourced picnic treats, taking a Saturday ride to the extraordinary St George’s Market . It is also worthwhile as it is housed in a fine, traditional Victorian market in the heart of downtown. Open from 9 to 15, in addition to allowing you to shop for taste, it is perfect for a coffee and to enjoy the music of local artists.
Another place to stock up on a super picnic is Sawer’s Deli , a real city institution where you can find Irish fish, meat and cheeses, as well as warm stuffed puff pastry delights. of delicacies such as, for example, O’Doherty’s black bacon, O’Reilly’s goat cheese or Armagh’s smoked turkey, to name a few. For a special moment focused on seasonality and a little Northern Class, the ideal is an evening at Ox , a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Wicklow

Those arriving in Dublin can head straight to Greystones, using the local DART train, and take a hike between Bray and Greystones on the Cliff Walk, where The Happy Pear , as well as rewarding with taste he will also be able to give an injection of good humor: an address famous for its organic vegetable-based proposals and a gastronomic icon of the county!
Also thanks to its founders – the famous and handsome twins Dave and Steve – who have become award-winning publishers and pioneers of the outdoors.
An example? For some years now they have been organizing open water swimming events, an activity that has made them very popular in their community. A couple of kilometers inland is the village of Delgany, where you can pack some pastries from the Firehouse Bakery, run by chef, baker and author Patrick Ryan.
Specializing in traditional, preservative-free artisan bread making, as well as carrying on the community bakery ethic, pair her irresistible carbohydrates with a stroll in nearby Glen of the Downs Nature Reserve.

Lead wholesome Irish food
Cork

In the 1980s, County Cork pioneered a real revolution in Irish food, with restaurants loved by aficionados from around the world swooping into Kinsale every year, or the inimitable Ballymaloe cooking school, renowned around the globe. And it is no coincidence that the latter was the pioneer of the slow food movement in Ireland.
The list of great restaurants of this glorious part of the island is truly remarkable. However, for green travelers arriving into the city by train, one of the best ways to get some flavor wonders close is to follow the Cork Culinary Tour. Allowing you to discover places such as the historic English Market, West Cork oysters and a gastro pub for lunch, in the company of knowledgeable local guides, makes for an enthralling journey-menu of sustainable tasting.
In the same way, you can also get excited by taking part in the Kinsale Food Tour and, even if the city is not accessible by train, by bus the journey on the number 226, which runs every hour, (buseireann.ie) only lasts 44 minutes.
To experience West Cork cuisine, in a small and delightful place, the bus is again a perfect way! Destination: Clonakilty, just an hour from Cork, where you can be sure of going out with a very pleasant feeling of satisfying satiety. The Lettercollum Kitchen Project is a veritable mine for picnics, with many ingredients sourced right from a field on the doorstep.
Scally’s SuperValu supermarket is also full of produce and An Súgán Seafood Bar & Restaurant has been run by the same family for over thirty years.

Galway Oyster and seafood festival
Galway Oyster and seafood festival
Galway

You can’t actually get to Galway by direct train from Cork, as you would have to go back to Dublin. However, you can take a bus for a 4-hour trip between the two cities, which is perfect time to get an appetite. It is certainly worth it as Galway boasts the world’s first oyster festival, which dates back as far as 1954. A great stop is the weekend market , a centuries-old presence in the city, which has hundreds of stalls dedicated to local food, with a great choice of opportunities for street food.
An excellent combination of craic (an untranslatable term that evokes the pleasure of being together) and cuisine is the one proposed by the Galway Food Tour , which also allows add a cycling lace to this interesting mix. An address not to be missed is Aniar , a Michelin-starred restaurant at the forefront of seasonal and local cuisine, wild and also enhanced by foraging.
Ard Bia is another sustainable gem that changes its menu every day to always be focused on local produce. Also highlight is the Brasserie on the Corner , which offers Irish delicacies such as Aran Island Crab Cake, Connemara mussels and also excellent top-notch beef. Two other must-see spots are McDonagh’s Seafood House and McCambridge’s Deli and Cafe .
Irish gastrocritics and guides McKennas call Goya’s the best bakery in Galway and Sheridan’s Cheesemonger and Winebar the best cheese shop.
Also to consult is the guide McKennas’ Wild Atlantic Way: Where To Eat & Stay, for many other gastronomic delights in Galway, a city that has always had a strong pride as a special place and which now also deserves to be the source of extraordinary gastronomic excellence.

Sheridian’s Cheeesmonger
Westport

If you arrive at Westport train station and are in immediate need of some goodness, you should head straight to Marlene’s Chocolate Haven to indulge yourself with homemade Irish chocolates and coffee, in one of the sweetest places in the city. Another place that is perfect for a sustainable snack is This Must Be The Place.
Right preparation for an excellent slow food dinner is a leisurely stroll along the seafront before reaching Pantry & Corkscrew: as a member of the Euro-toques (European Community of Chefs & Cooks) movement, has a deep understanding of slow food and suppliers include Westernshore Organic Farm, Mescan Brewery and Cornrue Bakery’s excellent leavened products (https://www.instagram.com/cornrue_bakery).

Slow travelers will also enjoy the Great Western Greenway which starts in Westport and ends in Achill Sound. The local community has cleverly created a Gourmet Greenway , with a map of local producers to make some greedy purchases or just to refuel after a day on the bike along its idyllic route. Gastronomic gems include The Blue Bicycle Tea Rooms and Kelly’s Kitchen in Newport, as well as the magnificent Mulranny Park Hotel.
Perfect idea: plan a tour, including a night at this iconic hotel, scenically overlooking Clew Bay. His food ethic is exemplary, his location extraordinary and his knowledge of all the eco-adventure guides in the region very useful.


The province of Cádiz: traveling between pueblos blancos, divine food and wine and hot beaches

Cádiz and its province are part of Andalusia, one of the most fascinating regions of Spain and, I am not exaggerating, of all of Europe. The province of Cádiz, which has 45 municipios and about 1,300,000 inhabitants, almost touches Africa with its coasts. The Strait of Gibraltar, where the Mediterranean and the Atrantic Ocean meet, is only 14 km from the coasts of the African continent and rest assured that a boat trip between Tarifa and Tangier will not take you too long. With an average temperature of 18 ° C, 300 days of sunshine, equal to about 3000 hours a year in which you can enjoy the blue sky in these parts, the province of Cádiz can count 268 km of coastline including 138 km of beaches.

But it is not numbers and beaches (not only) that I will talk to you this time. If in other articles on this site I have praised Andalusian gastronomy, today I will do it again, passing by one of the most beautiful things I have been able to admire while living in this beautiful Spanish region: the pueblos blancos.

The pueblos blancos

Arcos,
Photo by Santiago Galvin

The pueblos blancos are many, beautiful and different from each other. If you travel by car you will happen to “spot” some of them between Seville and Cádiz, so much so that you will want to leave the main road to run to admire all its beauty up close.
Arcos, Grazalema, Setenil de la Bodegas, El Bosque, Olvera and Zahara de la Sierra are just some of the best known villages that make La ruta de los pueblos blancos (the route of the pueblos blancos) a wonderful route between these white Andalusian villages.
They also have small or large hotels that allow those who want to stay at least one night and local craft shops that tell the past and present in all their purity.

Arcos de la Frontera

fPhoto by Juan de Dios Carrera

Arcos as well as being an excellent starting point for the Ruta de Los Pueblos Blancos is also considered one of the most beautiful villages in all of Andalusia. Its history and the sensational panorama that can be enjoyed from the top of the cliff where its major monuments are located, make it an almost mandatory stop when coming from the parts of Cádiz.

Setenil de las Bodegas

Setenil de las Botegas
Photo from www.cadizturismo.com

Setenil de las Bodegas has become famous for being the village of the rock. In fact, a huge rock hovers above several streets of Setenil, making an already beautiful village incredible for the white of its houses. A visit here cannot be missed, also for the views and the good food of course.

The queso Payoyo ( Payoyo cheese)

Tabla de queso payoyo _Setenil de las Bodegas
Photo by David Ibáñez Montañez

In the hinterland of the province of Cádiz, thanks to the production of cheeses derived from the milk of payoya goat and merino sheep, many national and international awards have been won. Among these, Queso Payoyo is one of the most famous cheeses produced in Villaluenga del Rosario, in the heart of the Sierra de Cádiz.

Olvera

Olvera
Photo from Cadizturismo.com

Olvera definitely has nothing to envy to the other white villages of the ruta de los pueblos blancos. Here the streets between the white houses, the vases hanging on the walls in typical Andalusian style and the streets that go up and down steeply are the order of the day. Getting lost in the streets of these small towns, savoring the beauty of the locals and the tastes of the products of the local gastronomy, is a pleasure that you cannot miss for any reason in the world.

The green way

Gree way
Photo from Cadizturismo.com

The green way also passes through Olvera, a nature trail that extends from the Sierra de Cádiz to the Sierra sud de Sevilla. Combining the Ruta del Los pueblos blancos with the green way could be a unique opportunity to admire divine places, explore the Andalusian nature, breathe clean air and eat excellent Mediterranean food from the area! For all the info on the green way, you can consult the dedicated website.

Zahara de la Sierra

Zahara de la Sierra
Photo by Andrés M. Dimungues Romero

Calle Ronda.
I only tell you this.
Zahara de la Sierra has many wonderful corners, including its incredible location, but Calle Ronda is something truly unique (to me).
An uphill street with a cobbled floor full of white everywhere with many terraces, doors and windows.
Andalusia as I like it …
The one that excites you just to set foot there …

Local food and wine

Olive oil
Photo from Cadizturismo.com

Most of the traditional recipes of the province of Cádiz have olive oil as their main ingredient, which since 2002 has obtained the denomination of controlled origin of the Sierra de Cádiz.
An oil has wild, slightly spicy and bitter aromas, the result of a harvest in rough terrain where massive production is almost impossible.
A divine oil.

The wines

Consejo regolador del vino de Jerez
Photo from Cadizturismo.com

Even the wines are starting to give a lot of satisfaction to this territory, traditionally linked to white and fine wines but which, for some time, have also been starting to produce excellent red wines.
The province of Cádiz and many of its municipalities have made food and wine tourism a major attraction for tourists from all over the world.
Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María, Chiclana and Sanlúcar de Barrameda together have more than 7,000 hectares of vineyards that have been producing Jerez wines and grappas for centuries. And it is not just an attraction for wine tourism lovers. Heritage, nature and landscape have made it all a wonderful place to spend whole days.

Manzanilla and Prawns in Sanlucar


Manzanilla and prawns
Photo from sanlucarturismo.com

One of the many things that you cannot miss while traveling in the province of Cádiz, are the famous prawns of Sanlucar de Barrameda and, why not, also one of its most famous wines: Manzanilla.
This almost perfect pairing lends itself well to a light meal on the beach. The ancient traditions of Manzanilla make it one of the lightest white wines of the Jerez cellars, excellent to be enjoyed with the famous prawns of the area.

The Cacao Pico

Cacao Pico
Photo from Cadizturismo.com

In the “marco de Jerez” wine area, you will find a liqueur born in 1824, still made today with ancient techniques that respect the times and the environment.
The Cacaco Pico was born in El Puerto de Santa Maria, not far from Jerez de la Frontera.
Cacao Pico is used in confectionery, it can be eaten cold together with ice cream or perhaps with ice cubes. It has received some awards, both as best liqueur and in some cocktails it was part of as a main ingredient.

Tarifa

Bodegón de Atún- Conservera de Tarifa
Photo from Cadizturismo.com

We move to Tarifa to discover two specialties of the gastronomy of the province of Cádiz and also one of the windiest and hottest places in the whole of Andalusia.
Tarifa is one of those special places you fall in love with, even if there are no gorgeous white villages or glaring monuments. In Tarifa there is wind, huge beaches and life even in winter when I first set foot there.
A student of mine used to say that everyone here is a bit crazy because of the wind that blows constantly.
In truth, the strongest wind I can remember was a night in Cádiz: suddenly a window in my room flew open and the Mediterranean wind entered my room without permission!
Together with the scents of Andalusia …

Tarifa
Photo by Peter Pieras from Pixabay

We were talking about the gastronomy of Tarifa, right?
Going around this town you will find many shops, bars, restaurants, people on the beach who surf and kite surf, but never forget that you are in Andalusia, the Spanish region where it can be very hot and where you can eat divinely.

Tocino de cielo

Tocino de cielo
Photo from Cadizturismo.com

Tocino de cielo is a typical dessert of the area, whose most famous schools are in Tarifa and Jerez. It is created with egg yolks, sugar and caramel and is the right dessert to sweeten your days.
One of the most famous pastry shops to try it in Tarifa is certainly the Pasteleria la tarifeña.


Before going inside and climbing the hills a bit among other typical dishes and some pueblo blanco, let’s stop for a moment on these two wonderful “sea view” specialties

Amontillado and shrimp with fried egg

Amontillado y camarones con huevo frito_ E Puerto de Santa Maria
From Sprint Sherry

Amontillado is one of the many wines of the area that you absolutely must try. It is an elegant wine that should be drunk chilled and is well suited to every need. In this particular dish, with shrimps and fried eggs, it enhances and mixes the flavors of the sea and nature.

Atún encebollado

Tuna with onion
Photo from Cadizturismo.com

With all the seaside resorts in the Cádiz Province, finding good tuna shouldn’t be a big deal. However, if you plan a trip to these parts, you will find that between May and June, in places like Tarifa, Conil, Barbate and Zahara de los athunes, various events called Ruta del Atún are organized, in which you will probably also be able to try many dishes at tuna base like the one in the photo (with tuna and onion).

Tuna fillet in butter
Photo from Cadizturismo.com

El gastor

Returning a little towards the interior of the province, you can discover other beautiful villages but a little less known to mass tourism: El Gastor looks like a real garden with its typical white houses like a true pueblo blanco, vases hanging everywhere , palm trees in the squares and huge plants scattered here and there.
El Gastor is also known as “el Balcón de los Pueblos Blancos” (the balcony of the pueblos blancos) for the position that favors the breathtaking views.
One more reason to come here, I think …

Typical dishes

Popular dishes from the el Gastor area include stew, soups, asparagus scrambled eggs, and others based on poultry and pork.
But a typical dish of this mountain town is certainly the Asparagus Stew (Guisote de espárragos) which is a compound made from bread, oil, water and of course ground asparagus. All this is served in a large family pot which everyone, provided with a spoon, bread and wine, can use and eat.

Algodonales

Algodonales
Photo from Cadizturismo.com

No, I didn’t go crazy all of a sudden! Algodonales is also a splendid pueblo blanco in the province of Cádiz, but I wanted to start by telling it with one of the many events that make it distinctive and famous.
The one in the photo above is the historical re-enactment of May 2nd (dos de mayo). Here in Algodonales the event that at the beginning of May 1810 put the inhabitants of this village and the regiments of the French army led by Napoleon Bonaparte against each other.
The battle left 273 dead and about seventy houses destroyed.
Since 2005, this celebration in traditional dress has been born, which aims to pay homage to the brave who faced the French army.

Split olives
Photo from Cadizturismo.com

Local gastronomy

Algodonales is located in an area full of olive groves. Olive oil in this area is an important and well-made product, as are the split olives (aceitunas partidas).
If you come here, you should definitely try the local cheeses and wines, but also a traditional pastry with a bit Arabian “tendencies”: the gañote.

Ubrique

Ubrique from San Antonio
Photo by CPL

Ubrique has been declared a historic site. In addition to pueblo blanco, keep in mind that a stretch of the ancient Roman road passes through here, revealing its ancient origins (photo below).

UBRIQUE (SIERRA DE CÁDIZ).-
Roman road that connects Ubrique with Benaocaz.- Photo by Fernando Ruso

Typical products and gastronomy

Chorizá – Ubrique –
Photo by Francisco Javier Sánchez Ramírez

Ubrique, like other mountain pueblos blanco, also has its beautiful food and wine tradition.
It starts with local cheeses produced in the area: the products from payoya goat milk already mentioned are among the best known.
Sausages, salami, hams and other sausages created with the techniques of the past are also excellent products to be enjoyed as a snack.
Among the desserts you can also try the traditional gañote here, which is offered among the participants in a dedicated competition once a year.

…and finally…

I admit it … when it comes to eating and traveling, life takes on a wonderful meaning and everything shines in a different light.
From Cadizturismo (thank you thank you thank you !!!) they sent me so many photos and info that I would like to continue this article indefinitely … Instead I close with the last three tapas, with the hope of returning soon, indeed very soon in this wonderful province!

Tapa de atún y queso – San Fernando –
Photo by David Ibáñez Montañez
Tapa de jamón – San Fernando –
Photo by David Ibáñez Montañez
Croquetas
Photo from Cadizturismo.com





9 good reasons to visit and fall in love with the Greek islands

I know it. The Greek islands do not need many introductions around the world, because their good reputation is so recognized that it should be enough to attract tourists for the next 1000 years. However, I find it fascinating to tell the beauty of this part of the world, trying to “summarize” in a few points what really attracts so many people to these parts. At least from what a simple traveler like me can see …

1. The friendliness, the welcome and the Greek people

Skiathos… Photo by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

The Greeks make hospitality and kindness a way of life. You ask for information in English and they answer in your language. Ask 500 questions and they (almost) never lose patience, keeping calm and smiling. Tourists and travelers in Greece are considered a treasure and are treated as such. Contrary to what one might think, on the Greek islands there are essential services that work excellently: from car rentals to emergency services, everything works perfectly to ensure that those who visit the island have an optimal stay. I saw firefighters putting out fires and gardeners working early in the morning in the green spaces of hotels and tourist resorts. The Greeks you know around are always available and a smile corresponds to a smile.

2. The excellent Greek cuisine

Image by Claire05 from Pixabay

Greece boasts a culinary tradition that is nothing short of excellent. As in the whole Mediterranean area you will find fresh dishes, tasty products, excellent olive oil and even good wine.
A simple Greek salad is a delicious rich and tasty dish ideal to satisfy anyone on a hot summer day on some Greek islet. Trying any freshly caught fish from the sea is still the best way (in my opinion) to approach the delights of the island you are visiting.
There are restaurateurs who let guests in near the kitchen to choose the fish that is still fresh. Here you will have the possibility to choose the type of cooking and the side dishes.
… and while you wait outside with a few slices of pita (soft and tasty Greek bread), the chefs prepare sublime dishes for you.
There is nothing better than relaxing in a Greek restaurant overlooking the sea while sipping good wine or a cold beer…
Don’t forget Ouzo, the typical liqueur also served with ice cubes. Personally, I also love Greek coffee, but beware of the slightly “dusty” bottom. It’s not like espresso that you can throw down in an instant and run away…
Greek coffee is to be drunk calmly…sitting down…

3. The transparent sea

Paxos… Image by conolan from Pixabay

Whether you prefer the pebble beach or the fine sand one, on the Greek islands you will always find a blue and transparent sea to welcome you.
I remember The intense blue of Platis Gialos in Lipsi welcome me after a long walk under the June sun. But also the transparency of the waters on more “touristy” islands and crowded beaches such as Tsampika beach in Rhodes, in the scorching July 2021.
However, I think it is also a question of “tourist presence”. The most beautiful and cleanest beaches are always those a little off the beaten path. It depends on what you are looking for…
Greece has many beaches without any service or tourist that are real terrestrial paradises. Seek and you will find.

4. Greek history and monuments

Lindos Acropolis…Image by 11333328 from Pixabay

The history of Greece has very ancient origins, so much so that Greek art and culture are defined as the “cradle of Western civilization”.
Visiting the Greek islands does not only mean spending whole days by the sea sunbathing or swimming in the sea (no one forbids you to do it of course!) But also having the opportunity to explore many buildings that belonged to the past and archaeological sites that nowhere else of the world you will find so preserved.
Touching and admiring amphitheaters, immense columns of temples with sensational views of the sea will give you an idea of what Greece and its islands were in history and how civilization has evolved over the centuries.

5. Nature and animals

Kastelorizo…sea turtle

Despite the many tourists, the Greek islands still preserve areas where uncontaminated nature holds up very well and some animals live in absolute freedom. You will immediately notice the imposing presence of cats all over the islands that go in search of food among the tables of the restaurants. They are not annoying. Just a little hungry.
Donkeys are among the most common animals in Greece and are used both for carrying things and for attracting tourists. If you love to walk and look for unusual places off the beaten track, you will find small outdoor stalls by the sea where they stay and return after a few short morning outings.
Goats are everywhere! you will find them day and night climbing on the most inaccessible mountains and on the paths to reach the beaches. Be careful if you rent a car! They are often on small roads that lead to the sea. But they just observe the strange individuals moving around in as many strange tin boxes: the tourists in their rental cars.

Lindos: goats grazing at dawn

A good time to see Greek goats running and jumping in total freedom is dawn. Early in the morning the Greek shepherds take the goats to pasture and leave them free to roam around the small villages. Tourists are still sleeping and it is a sight to see these animals running freely. If you want to wake up so early (in the summer the sun rises between 5.30 and 6.15 in the morning), you can admire beautiful breathtaking views.

The lucky ones also have the pleasure of admiring and photographing some sea turtles swimming in the seas of the Greek islands. They are very strong and very resistant animals that approach the harbors of the islands in search of some fish and in search of food. They give a sense of life and constant presence of nature as well as joy. In kastelorizo there are five or six who have been returning and living around the island for years. An inhabitant of the island told me how their presence was constant over time despite the tourists and boats present in the small port.

Not least is the vegetation present on the Greek islands. Don’t be surprised if in the gardens of the houses or around the island you are visiting you come across some strange flower or tree from time to time. The spontaneous variety of the Mediterranean in this area is truly incredible
f you want to learn more and know more, consult this article on our partner site dedicated to the flowers of the Greek islands.

6. Colors

white signage beside purple bougainvillea beside body of water
Photo by Gotta Be Worth It on Pexels.com

Imagine the blue of the sea and that of the domes of the Greek churches. Then think of the doors and windows that are also blue.
The blue sky.
The burning sun.
The colors of the flowers: from the purple of the bungavillea to the red of the hibiscus.
Nothing is missing on the Greek islands.
Not even the whiteness of the houses or the perfectly kept paths of hotels and tourist resorts. And if you like shades you can throw yourself on the sunsets: Santorini has the reputation of having the most beautiful ones but I challenge anyone who has been on a Greek island to go home without a photo of a crazy sunset by the sea or on top of some Mountain.

7. The scent of the greek islands

Hydra: girl sniffs flowers… Photo Shutterstock

Explaining a perfume is really difficult but I’ll try.
The scents of the Greek islands are the most unique and devastating (in a positive sense) there is.
From the flowers to the sea, from the sky to the earth, everything smells of something.
Imagine waking up in the morning and already smelling some perfume that comes from the sea, then passing from the coffee, to the scent of the sand, arriving at lunch with the table filled with colors and scents.
The Greek islands are a bit like this: wherever you set foot you will feel something good, different sensations and something pleasant to welcome you.
…and if that’s not enough…

8. The sun

Sun in Santorini… Image by Russell_Yan from Pixabay

Since I started traveling between the Greek islands, I don’t remember cloudy days, much less rain or cold days.
The hot sun constantly floods this part of the world for much of the summer, giving warm weather and beautiful tans to those who come here. Personally I also find the morning shade and the air conditioning out of place. But I think I am a bit strange to love the heat and the scorching Greek sun so much.
After all, no one is perfect.

9. The beaches and the empty streets

My Mini (for rent) on the way to Prasonissi beach

Over time I realized one thing: the earlier you wake up in the morning, the more tranquility and peace you will find on the beach.
Since I started to love photography, I have discovered that better photos are taken at sunrise (and at sunset). Except that at sunset it is full of people while at dawn there is hardly anyone.
In Greece there are beaches that are overcrowded during the day that remain almost empty until 10 in the morning, others out of the way, which are almost always deserted, because there are no umbrellas, bars or restaurants on the beach.
The same goes for the streets.
If you travel between May and mid-July or after August until the end of the season, the problem hardly arises, but there are roads not far from super tourist areas where you will come across more goats than cars.
People have a habit of following the “beaten” and safe roads, ignoring the smaller road signs.
Personally I am attracted by the small signs that read “beach”, “anywhere” or by the small white villages with the streets so narrow that a woman in the ninth month of pregnancy would have difficulty crossing.

But it’s the best way to get lost…and I love getting lost in the Greek islands…