What to expect on a cooking and horse riding holiday in rural Andalucia

.Maki, one of our fabulous holiday hosts, runs this gorgeous Finca in rural Andalucia which serves as your base for her cooking and horse riding holidays in Spain.

Secluded and surrounded by an unspoilt landscape of rolling hills, olive groves and almond blossom valleys, it is the perfect oasis to escape on a cooking holiday or horse riding break.

Having worked for us for many years, and one of our most popular sellers, we asked Maki for some insight on what to expect on one of her learning holidays, especially if you have decided to make it a singles holiday and go as a solo traveller.

What are the benefits of being the only one on a cooking holiday?

Being the only guest allows for more personal, personalised tuition depending on the ability, needs and interests of a guest. It is a real treat if there is only one participant as they will receive 100% attention from Chef Clive. Our cooking courses are pretty flexible, but with only one guest, it is even more flexible than usual.

What do you recommend guests do when they aren’t in the kitchen or out horse riding?

We strongly encourage our guests to explore our stunning area during the day. You can try olive oil tasting in this world-famous olive oil region and/or Fino tasting at one of the oldest wineries in Spain. Both of which are easily accessible from our B&B.

The ingredients that we use in the cooking lessons are sourced from our own garden or our neighbours’ land or farm, so we are very self-sustainable.

What else can they do in the area?

So much! During the day you can:

  • Go olive oil tasting
  • Try Fino tasting
  • Visit ceramic factory shops
  • Go horse riding, cycling, hiking or kayaking (depending on the season)
  • Sightseeing in nearby cities like Cordoba or Granada
  • Visit a world-famous caviar producer near us

What is “Fino”?

Fino (meaning “refined” in Spanish) is the driest and palest of the traditional varieties of Sherry and Montilla-Moriles fortified wines. They are consumed comparatively young and, unlike the sweeter varieties, should be consumed soon after the bottle is opened as exposure to air can cause them to lose their flavour within hours.

spanish dish of stuffed red peppers

One of the delicious Spanish dishes you’ll learn to prepare with Clive

Can you tell me what a typical night is like where you live? Will there be feasting and conversation together?

Because guests cook in the evening, that means there is a lot of interaction in the kitchen during the cooking classes. Then we sit down with the other guests for the meal you have just prepared for them.

If I were a solo traveller, would there be other people there I could meet?

Yes, most of the time. Our gourmet B&B is family-run, so the setting is intimate, homely and friendly; most of the guests have a similar attitude and are similar minded people. Our local neighbours visit us to bring their produce and have a chat. Our guests could be from any part of the world and we usually find our guests to be laid back, and lovers of life, good food, and experiences.

Will I be lonely?

We respect guests’ privacy seriously but at the same time, most guests like to interact with us and the others.

What are some great things to do in your area that make it a great place to holiday?

The greatest thing about visiting our area is that although we are deep in the Andalusian countryside, we are close to amazing places. Beautiful white villages and cities such as Cordoba (UNESCO World Heritage), Granada (UNESCO World Heritage), and Malaga are all within easy reach.

This means combining cooking and/or horse riding activities with cultural holidays makes a short break more fulfilling.

There is an endless list of things to do and see around here. For someone who does not want to do too much, you can just relax, read by the pool or go to a nearby beach on the lake.

Another thing to note is that even if the weather is wet or bad, you can still enjoy most of the activities on offer in the area. Followed by, of course, cooking in the evening. No matter the weather, you will be surrounded by stunning sites, great food, and dramatic scenery.

Maki and her husband Clive provide lovely home-from-home accommodation and cookery holiday at their traditional Finca. You can explore their cooking holidays here.

Maki also works with Dorcas who runs the local horse stables. Together they offer horse riding holidays with you can also combine with cooking. Explore the horse riding holidays they offer here.