Explore Cuisine and Culture
Arrive to Valencia, check-in to hotel, relax and adjust to jet lag. In the evening we will enjoy a Tapas dinner at L'Aplec in the historic center of the city.
Day 2 Sightseeing
Today we will visit the beautiful sites of Valencia, including: Torres de Serrano, La Lonja de la Seda, Cathedral, El Miguelete, Plaza de la Reina, Town Hall, as well as the City of Arts and Science. In the afternoon we will take a break to enjoy a horchata at Horchatería Santa Catalina. For the last 100 years, Santa Catalina has been the best place for horchata, churros, fartons, and hot chocolate in Valencia. Go behind the counter to learn how horchata is made.
Day 3 Culinary class - Albufera
We will spend the morning with a real Valencian chef learning how to prepare the perfect Spanish tortilla (potato & onion omelet), how to carve an authentic Iberian ham like a professional, the secret to preparing sangría using only natural ingredients, and finally enjoy a tasting of a variety of the most delicious Spanish cheeses.
For lunch we will travel to Albufera – the birthplace of the Paella followed by a boat ride through the rice paddies. You will have the opportunity to see for yourself where the medium-short grained paella rice is cultivated. The plump grains are known for having the starch concentrated in their centers, thus allowing them to absorb more liquid without getting soggy or sticky; ideal for great paella.
In the evening you will participate in a language class and learn the critical phrases needed to shop at the market or order at a local restaurant in both Spanish and Valencian.
Day 4 Culinary class - Lladro factory
We will spend day again with a real Valencian Chef, but this time learning how to cook an authentic paella. You will have the choice of cooking the traditional Valencian paella, a Seafood paella or a Vegetarian paella. FIRST, you must go shopping! There is no better place to buy the ingredients than at the Mercado Central, which has the highest variety, quality and freshest products in Valencia. During the visit, you will stroll around the Barrio del Carmen, and discover charming corners in the old town. GET READY now the real experience begins in the kitchen. You will put on your Chef outfit and together with the staff prepare all the ingredients you just bought to have them on hand for cooking. Now you only have to pay attention, follow the Chef’s guidance and not lose track of the process. Lastly, ENJOY the finished and delicious paella. You will eat straight from the pan, as the Valencian tradition demands, accompanied by a typical local salad and a homemade dessert.
In the evening we will take a behind the scene tour of Lladro Factory, the renowned producer of ceramic figurines.
Day 5 Javea
We will spend the day away from Valencia City at the tranquil beach town of Javea located on the Costa Blanca between Valencia and Alicante. We will explore the beautiful sand and rock beaches, the port, the historic old town, the 14th century old windmills and lighthouse with stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.
We will take a break for lunch at Restaurante Casa Salvador, a well-known family-run restaurant that offers some of the finest, traditional Valencian cooking with fantastic views.
Day 6 Polytechnic University of Valencia - Serra
In the morning we will go to the Polytechnic University of Valencia to learn about the Science of Spanish Cooking from an expert in the field. In the afternoon we will travel to the historic village of Serra for our farewell celebration. We will explore the village, enjoy the peacefulness of the countryside and eat lunch at a traditional local restaurant. Serra is a quaint cobble stoned village nestled in the mountains with narrow roads and a single panaderia, carniceria and pescaderia.
The end of the program. Time for the flight home or to participate in an optional extension.