A road trip filled with sherry and seafood through Andalucia, Spain
Large Spanish cities attract travelers who want to spend their days on foot, a change of pace from America’s car-centricity. But a road trip through the countryside is worth stepping away from the urban trend, and it’s one of the best ways to experience the slow-moving ways and tastes of Spanish life, especially in the southern part of the country. country.
Tours of rural roads in Andalucia, Spain’s southernmost region, tend to reveal your future table offerings: citrus groves give way to seas of olive trees, budding vines s’ stretch ancient vineyards, Iberian pigs nibble under oaks and herds of goats and sheep accompany the cars jostling along the roads.
You could spend weeks leisurely exploring the picturesque villages and gastronomic gems of the region. But a four-day road trip, starting and ending in Seville, will give you a great part of Andalucia that you can really get your teeth into.
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When should we go
Nothing like spring in southern Spain. Orange blossoms, festivals and general joy abound as Andalusians settle into the longer days and tapas-filled nights they are known for.
From Seville, head south towards Sanlúcar de Barrameda, stopping for breakfast by the roadside venta (you will see plenty of them). Order a strong café con leche and a tostada entera completa – a big piece of toast with locally pressed olive oil, tomato and, because you are in the land of jamón, Iberian ham.
Descend to Sanlúcar, the humble fishing village known for its dry sherry wine called manzanilla. But before returning for a drink, stop at Mercado de Sanlúcar de Barrameda, a spectacular no-frills fish market where locals clamor for their selection of crustaceans, molluscs and thick fillets of some of the world’s most coveted bluefin tuna. .
You’ll want to sample what you see, so walk to the main plaza and grab an early seat at Casa Balbino. Fight your way to the bar and shout your order in the best Spanish possible. You are here for tortitas de camarones: delicately thin crystal fritters loaded with small whole shrimp.