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Food and wine enthusiasts can spend an unforgettable weekend in the old taverns of Madrid sampling an endless range of fine Spanish wines and tapas from all over the country and dining in restaurants which offer the regional culinary specialities of the nation.
The word tapas comes from the Spanish verb ‘tapear’ (which means to cover). They originate from Andalucia in the south of Spain where more than a century ago a slice of bread used to be placed on top of a glass of wine to keep out flies. After some time they took to adding a slice of cheese or sausage to the bread until eventually it became customary to offer a small snack with a drink. The idea of tapas spread around Spain such that today they represent a wonderful way of experiencing the huge variety of Spanish dishes.
Typical raciónes you should try include the delicious jamón serrano (cured hams of Extremadura), queso manchego (the exceptional cheeses of Castilla La Mancha) as well as the huge range of shellfish which arrive daily from the Galician coast. Available in practically all tapas bars are all kinds of deep fried fish, spicy sausages, garlic prawns and mushrooms and, possibly the nation’s favourite tapa, tortilla española (potato omelette). Among Madrid’s own specialities are patatas bravas (deep-friend potato chunks in a pepper sauce), orejas (pigs’ ears) and callos (tripe in spicy sauce). The list is practically endless and includes something to satisfy everyone’s taste.
Spain is a world class producer of wines, and where better to experience the well known quality reds from Rioja and Ribera del Duero than the wine and tapas bars of Madrid or in one of the capital’s excellent restaurants. You will also discover a whole range of lesser known wines from all of Spain’s Denominaciónes de Orígen as well as the sherries and brandies from Jerez, the pacharán of the Basque Country and the quality sparkling Cataluñan wine called cava. Simply a wine enthusiast’s paradise!
As a result of our local knowledge at Spanish Fiestas, we have been able to develop a number of highly recommended tapas routes which enable visitors to sample a fantastic range of bars, tapas and wines in a short time without wasting endless hours searching for suitable locations.
Spanish Football Fiestas
Madrid Fiestas - A trip to the magnificent city of Madrid offers football fans the opportunity to experience some of the world’s top quality action in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, home of eight times European Champions, Real Madrid.
Real Madrid, Eight times European Champions. See them live with Spanish Fiestas. Our football weekends in Madrid allow you to combine a fun packed city break in the Spanish capital with a game at the world famous Santiago Bernabeu stadium. This seasons performances have been rather more convincing than in recent seasons within the domestic game thanks largely to the Raúl and Figo connection. Once again they are looking the team to beat in both 'La Liga' and the Champions League.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the city, the fanatical Atlético Madrid fans passionately cheer on los rojiblancos at their Vicente Calderon Stadium. Their league and cup double in 1995/96 placed Atléti as the main contenders to destroy the traditional balance of power in Spanish football. However, internal strife off the pitch during the 1999-2000 season was reflected in their appalling football on it, and lead to their relegation to the second division. Nevertheless they attracted 45,000 season ticket holders this season and remain the nation's third most popular team.
No matter what game you come to see, you can enjoy a great weekend of football combined with the opportunity to make the most of the cultural and social life of one of the world’s most exciting cities. Packages are available for most weekend games and for longer trips which can include a midweek European game as well as a league game.
Barcelona Fiestas - On our selected weekends in Barcelona, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your city centre hotel. Here you will be briefed on where to go and what to do in the Catalan capital, given your match tickets then you will be free to explore this fascinating city.
On our selected weekends in Barcelona, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your city centre hotel. Here you will be briefed on where to go and what to do in the Catalan capital, given your match tickets then you will be free to explore this fascinating city. Our football weekends provide an ideal opportunity to combine a trip to the wonderful city of Barcelona with a visit to the Nou Camp, one of the world’s largest (108,000) and most spectacular stadiums.
During Franco’s dictatorship the Catalan language was banned so home games at FC Barcelona became expressions of anti-Franco regionalist sentiment where the people could safely speak together in their own language. Flying of regional flags was also banned so in the Nou Camp the red and blue of FC Barcelona soon became a substitute for the red and yellow of Catalonia. To this day the stadium remains the home of Catalan nationalism. In addition to the match, visitors will be able to visit the Nou Camp museum with its selection of football memorabilia and view the magnificent stadium from the directors’ box.
Bullfighting and Flamenco
Traditional Spanish Fiestas enable visitors to experience the Old Madrid of flamenco, bulls and taverns. Visitors can attend a Saturday night flamenco spectacular as well as visiting a number of authentic bars and restaurants in the old city where the music and dance of the Andalusian Gypsies can be appreciated in a genuine setting. Performances take place throughout the year.
Las Ventas is the number one bullfighting venue in the world, where aficionados of the bullfight go to see what the Spanish consider an art form intimately linked with their country’s history, art and culture. Here the finest bulls are fought by the top toreros, in their suits of lights, in front of demanding audiences of up to 30,000 people. Alternatively, visitors can see a bullfight in one of the villages around Madrid.
As a city-break location, Madrid is less well known than some of its European neighbours yet it has so much to offer. The Madrid art scene is among the most impressive in the world and in 1992 the city was the European City of Culture.
Warmth, colour, fun, music, fiesta, this is Andalucía, Spain at its atmospheric best. You can enjoy this vibrant home of the authentic Spain of flamenco, bullfighting, taverns, wine and tapas on one of our Andalucían Fiestas.
Andalucia in southern Spain is the largest of the country's provinces. It is the vibrant home of the authentic Spain of flamenco, bullfighting, taverns, wine and tapas. Discover it on one of our Andalucian Fiestas.
Our suggested itinerary includes the beautiful city of Granada with the Alhambra palace nestling beneath the snow capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains; the charming city of Cordoba with its beautiful flower covered patios and magnificent Mezquita; and the magical Andaluz capital of Seville.