Andreas Holland is a legend in the active travel industry, having shared his time between Australia and South America for 25 years before settling in Catalonia.
His wealth of experience leading walking holidays is hard to equal and now, thanks to his base in Spain, he has turned his attention to another passion, Spanish food, by leading our Food Lover’s Spanish Camino.
We asked him what made our Spain food tours so special.
WHAT EXCITED YOU ABOUT THIS TRIP WHEN YOU WERE FIRST ASKED TO LEAD IT?
The itinerary and experiences – it was meticulously planned to include a fabulous mixture of walking on 3 camino routes and eating in some stand out restaurants. I couldn’t wait to lead it!
YOU’VE LED THIS TRIP FOR 5 YEARS NOW. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORY SO FAR?
The walks through medieval villages and the superb traditional food!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE HOTEL?
It’s hard to choose as there as so many excellent ones UTracks uses on this itinerary, but I would have to say either the famous Echaurren Hotel & Restaurant in Ezcaray or the fabulous Hotel Palacio de Meras with its breathtaking spa. In the lovely Echaurren Hotel the ‘mini bar’ in every room consists of local nuts and olives plus a superb bottle of local Rioja – and all of it is free!
I would have to say the 10 course dinner at the Michelin star Casa Marcial in the Asturias region.
Eating at A Tafona is a different dining experience that travellers aren’t likely to forget any time soon – I wasn’t surprised when this restaurant earned a Michelin star in 2018 – our groups having been dining there for 5 years now.
HOW WERE THE MEALS COMPARED TO OTHER PARTS OF SPAIN YOU HAVE VISITED?
I think one of the main factors that makes the food in northwestern Spain so exciting is the great quality of locally sourced ingredients and the fact that food is such an important part of the culture.
DO YOU THINK THIS TRIP IS ONLY FOR FOODIES?
It is definitely a trip that foodies would love but it would also suit anyone who loves walking in beautiful countryside and building up an appetite for wonderful meals.
HOW HARD IS THE WALKING?
Very relaxing, never challenging and always interesting.
HAVE YOU GOT ANY TIPS FOR THOSE CONSIDERING THIS TRIP?
Book as soon as possible as we can only take 15 group members and it always books out early. Despite having led trips all over South America I definitely count this as one of my favourites and can’t wait to do it all over again in May and September 2019.
>> Find out more about our range of Food Lovers trips today.