Vuelta Espana makes up one of cycling’s prestigious three-week long grand tours, which should indicate how much ground is covered. Departing from Malaga on Spain’s southern Costa del Sol and heading north, the 2018 Vuelta Espana sees riders pass through some of Spain’s most unique and jaw dropping landmarks, including Catalonia and Basque Country, with a finish in the beautiful Spanish capital of Madrid.
Cycling tours aren’t just about the beautiful countryside, however. It’s the culture along the way, in this case the incredible cuisine of Spain, that can leave a lasting impression.
A gastronomic tour of Spain
With food and wine being inseparable parts of Spanish culture, those participating in the Vuelta Espana will invariably be treated to a gastronomic tour in addition to a cycling tour. Passing through such diverse areas of Spain allows for the sampling of more than just one kind of cuisine – each of these areas produces distinct cuisine with favoured ingredients and styles of preparation, making each territory a unique pleasure to enjoy.
Savouring Spanish wine
With Spain having the most vines versus land mass of any county in the world, travellers are sure to encounter some absolutely fantastic examples of a wide variety of wines. With too many to list we look at two – Catalan is an excellent region for wines, producing dry whites and heavy reds and having been the birthplace of the sparkling wine Cava in 1870.
Madrid has a wine region of its very own – the Vinos de Madrid Denomination of Origin, or DO. The DO is interesting in that is was established in 1990 in Madrid, where wine production dates back centuries, but youth is not a detriment to the wines of DO. Young whites, reds and rosé’s offer fresh, punchy flavours that are sure to get you excited.
Sampling the foods of Spain
Food, glorious food – the cuisine of Spain differs entirely by region, and you’ll be sure to find something unique and interesting on each leg of the tour. The south of Spain favours a Mediterranean diet consisting of fish and high-quality olive oils, the east of Spain is home to the fantastic dish of Paella, and Catalonia features a variety of rich stews and casseroles.
Finger food is also abundant – bars and restaurants often serve tapas or pinchos to accompany delicious drinks, allowing you to try a variety of great food wherever you go. Regardless of where you are, the Spanish approach to food is always fresh ingredients and a healthy dose of passion!