In south-west Spain, Kevin Gould celebrates laid-back beach life, plus meat and fish delicacies, in the foodie hangout of Zahara de los Atunes
The Guardian.com–She is Sahara of the Tuna, and you come for her deserted beaches and crowded fish restaurants, and for her beach shack chiringuitos in which to boogie the hot night away. Here in Cadiz province, Zahara de los Atunes lies between Cape Trafalgar and Spain’s southernmost nipple at Tarifa, 40 minutes to the south. Where Tarifa is bliss for spliffed-up surfers and world-weary dreadlocked hippies, Zahara is more innocent, a let-it-all-hang-out family destination. It is also one that has carved a part in the heart of the Spanish food lover with its devotion to the red tuna (Atlantic bluefin tuna, famed for its rosy flesh) and the red-skinned Retinto cow.
In this land that so honours the pig, Zahara’s red tuna is granted the title “the ibérico of the sea”. As ever, Spain can leave the dedicated vegetarian feeling hungry – even the plainest of mixed salads here will include fat chunks of tuna, “for flavour!” we were told. Your pomaded open-shirted playa type tends to prefer Atlanterra, a slick purpose-built beach resort two kilometres south of town, but Zahara itself is Spain’s far south at her authentic, relaxed best.
Business Times.com–Spanish five-star hotels are serving up white rice for breakfast as Spain offers quicker visas and seeks more direct flights from China to tap into the surging wave of Chinese tourists. When Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy visited China in September, he announced that visa applications from the country’s travellers would be processed within 48 hours. The government is also in talks with Asian airlines to boost traffic through Madrid’s underused airport by offering reduced fees and promoting Spain as a hub for travel to Latin America.
So far only one airline, Air China, offers direct flights between Spain and China seven times a week. In contrast, Italy has 28 direct weekly flights to China, France has 70 and Germany 87. While Chinese travellers usually visit several countries during a trip to Europe, they are unlikely to include Spain if they land in another country because of its geographic location, said University of London lecturer Keven Lathan, author of a book on Chinese tourism in Europe. “Spain’s location is less central. You have to add two to three days to make it feasible. There is not much you can do about it,” he said at a recent tourism fair in Madrid.
British chef, restauranteur and culinary correspondent extraordinaire, Rick Stein, is back with more research into Spanish cuisine and customs. Stein’s appeal in his Spanish work–and everywhere else he visits–is that his programs are based on what real local people eat, which is usually the best that a country has to offer. This is an hour long video, so turn off the tele, put the image on full screen and learn to travel Spain creatively and to cook salt cod the way the Spanish do it.
With impressive momentum of first Michelin Star and new Spa and guest rooms coming July.
Travel Daily News.com, SARDON DE DUERO, SPAIN – Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, the newly restored, historic hotel located in a 12th century abbey surrounded by vineyards in Spain’s Duero winegrowing region, will reopen March 2nd with impressive momentum for a successful 2015 and beyond – driven by earning its first Michelin Star, the addition of a world-class spa and eight exquisite new guest rooms slated to open in July, and crafting specialty guest experiences such as mushroom foraging on the hotel’s medieval estate.
“Our vision for LeDomaine from the beginning has been to create a hotel that stands apart for its combination of historic atmosphere and precedent-setting guest facilities and experiences, and all of the components of this extraordinary property are coming together,” said Andres Araya, Managing Director. LeDomaine has announced that when it re-opens in March, after closing for three months for the holidays and to accelerate construction of the spa and guest rooms, it will offer a starting room rate in 2015 of $415 as well as a variety of packages including spa, gourmet, romance and special guest experience programs that take advantage of the diversity of the local terrain. On the ‘Mycological Experience,’ guests hunt for wild mushrooms in local forests and dine on gourmet dishes prepared with the freshly picked fungi.
Lorena Muñoz Alonso writes for Artnet.com–Next summer, the Spanish city of Marbella will offer more than its usual sunny beaches, yacht parties, and luxury shopping opportunities. An art fair is about to hit town. The inaugural edition of Art Marbella will kick-off on July 30—and it’s already calling itself “the most important event of contemporary art in South Europe.”
The venture, set to gather 50 international galleries, is the brainchild of Alejandro Zaia, the Argentinian co-founder of the Latin American modern and contemporary art fairs PINTA New York (which relocated to Miami in its last edition), and PINTA London. Despite tapping the booming Latin American art market, PINTA London has tended to underperform, and there are rumors that it might be discontinued.
But Zaia has already found sunnier pastures, and has enlisted a curatorial committee—including Omar López-Chahoud, founder and director of the Miami art fair UNTITLED, and María Chiara Valacchi, director of Milan’s non-profit Spazio Cabinet—to help him with the fair’s first edition.
Telegraph.co.uk–Our experts’ pick of the top 10 cultural holidays in Spain for 2015, including the Dalí Triangle, the Chopin music festival and the best cultural activities for families, in destinations such as Madrid, Costa Brava, Majorca and Malaga
1. Cantabria’s prehistoric caves