A tapas trail around Mediterranean Spain

Spanish cuisine is a rich, paella-sized pot of flavours and Eliza was here is the ideal guide to help you taste your way around the country’s secret corners

Alexandra Gregg
06 April 2023
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Eliza Was Here

Much like its food, Spain is full of flavour. And here, tour operator Eliza was here are the experts in drawing out how each region – and each dish – is more unique than the last. Indeed, it is this diversity of landscape, culture, and cuisine that the hand-picked holidaymaker adores most about Spain. From juicy botifarra in Catalonia, to sea-water spluttering geysers in Menorca, Eliza is your guide in helping you really get under the skin of it all. Pretty soon, you’ll be as passionate about this European gem as she is. Here, Eliza takes you off the beaten track on a tapas-style tour of Spain’s very soul…


Traditional windmill in Fuerteventura (Shutterstock)

With its undulating lava landscapes, azure waters and warm breeze, the pace is blissfully slow in Fuerteventura. Unless you’re planning to hit the waves, that is: the surf is most definitely up in Corralejo. There is far more here than the family resorts most visitors make a beeline for, as Eliza can attest; small-scale, rustic villas pepper the coast and inland villages. For foodies, fresh fish, seafood, and goat meat are essentials of the local cuisine – choose from stewed, roasted or fried.

Must-eat dishes

Majorero cheese (Shutterstock)

Fuerteventura has food that’s worth travelling for. Every time Eliza visits, she seeks out majorero or ‘queso Fuerteventura’. This firm, goat’s cheese is unique to the island and best paired with wine and crisp apple or pear. And, whatever the meal, ask for a side of mojo – a versatile spicy, citrusy sauce.

Top foodie stay

Etti Paradise (Eliza was here)

Gazing out across the Atlantic Ocean, the views from Etti Paradise are exactly that: paradisical. And, with just nine suites at this boutique property, you’ll only have to share them with a blessed few. Best of all, the fishing village of Morro Jable lies just 30 minutes away, where you can tuck into some of the freshest catch on the island after a wind-in-your-hair ocean drive. Tastebuds, rejoice!


Cala Tortuga beach in Menorca (Shutterstock)

Menorca is probably the least touristy of the Balearics, making its unspoilt landscapes of towering rock formations and pine tree-backed beaches ripe for exploration. For those looking to stretch their sea legs, there are abundant hidden gems along the coast. Drop anchor to the north at Cala Tortuga, one of the island’s most inaccessible beaches and great for snorkelling and wilderness. Finish lazy days with ladlefuls of caldereta de langosta, or lobster stew, Eliza’s favourite.

Must-eat dishes

Traditional Menorcan soup (Shutterstock)

Fans of the British Sunday roast will appreciate Menorca’s equivalent: Cabrit o lechona es forn – roasted kid or suckling pig. Traditional soups like oliaigua are popular in Menorca while for dessert, bunelos will not disappoint; these lip-smacking, ball-shaped fritters are stuffed with a variety of sweet fillings. For an extra-special treat, the menu at Smoix, in western Ciutadella de Menorca, is pretty special.

Top foodie stay

Agroturismo Matxani Gran (Eliza was here)

It doesn’t get much homelier than Agroturismo Matxani Gran, to the east of the island. Infused with authentic, Spanish charm in the form of restored arches, bright colours and ancient beams, this 18th-century farm is run by owner Jolanda, who treats all her visitors like family. Particularly memorable for Eliza though is the breakfast here: everyday Jolanda and her team whip up a plate of culinary delights for each guest.


Overlooking Granada (Shutterstock)

Spain’s southerly tip is perhaps its most flavoursome. Agriculturally rich, it promises a plethora of delicious, fresh produce, not to mention an abundance of tapas, gazpacho and Iberico ham – some of Eliza’s guilty pleasures. When you’re not sipping sherry alongside small plates, you can explore Andalusia’s historic, Moorish cities like Seville and Granada, as well as coastal jewels like Almería. Lesser-known Costa de la Luz comes highly recommended, thanks to its untouched, golden-sand beaches.

Must-eat dishes

A selection of Andalusian tapas dishes (Shutterstock)

Tapas, tapas, and more tapas! Mini dishes are celebrated in Andalusia, with patatas bravas, croquetas and Spanish omelette being small-plate staples. As Eliza explains, the Spanish choose it for sampling different flavours, in a fun and easy way. It’s a great snack too – in fact, you’ll regularly get a free tapa with drink orders.

Top foodie stay

Cortijo La Haza (Eliza was here)

Brilliantly white against a lush mountain landscape, it’s hard to miss Cortijo La Haza. But it’s not just the paintjob that makes this 250-year-old olive farm so distinctive. Eliza cherished her time here, thanks, in large part, to Dutch co-owner Patriek, whose passion for cooking emanates from the very walls. Combining Spanish flavours with a Belgian twist, the restaurant here offers some of the most unique dishes you’ll find in Andalusia – and Spain.


The ancient village of Pollenca (Shutterstock)

From the streets of Palma to a coastline pocked with pretty coves and craggy peaks, what Eliza appreciates most about Mallorca is its diversity. Indeed, ocean lovers will find the squeakiest of silica at the 26 Blue Flag beaches, while history buffs should pitstop at Pollenca’s stone-built structures. As Eliza puts it, there’s an adventure to suit every travel style. It even boasts 300 sunny days a year, making it the perfect year-round destination.

Must-eat dishes

Pa amb oli is Mallorca’s iconic dish (Shutterstock)

Pa amb oli – bread and oil – is easily Mallorca’s most famous dish. No surprise, given the island is home to some 750,000 olive trees, best discovered up-close on an olive grove tour, suggests Eliza. The seafood is particularly exquisite too; be sure to try squid and tomato dish pica pica.

Top foodie stay

Hotel S’Olivaret (Eliza was here)

Such is Mallorca’s love affair with olive oil, that accommodations like Hotel S’Olivaret still boast original olive oil presses. In fact, this charming, cosy estate used to produce a bounty of the good stuff. Thankfully these foodie roots remain, and today the mansion is home to one of Mallorca’s best-rated restaurants – complete with an exceptionally well-stocked wine cellar. Reservations at TRAMUNTANA 1762 are firmly recommended says Eliza, and you won’t want to miss the rosada.


Virgin Square in Valencia (Shutterstock)

Most will know Catalonia for the mighty Pyrenees Mountains, as well as regional capital Barcelona – home to world-famous Gaudi icons like La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. But there’s a lot more to this northeasterly corner of the Iberian Peninsula – not least its hearty cuisine. Certainly, there’s no shortage of Valencia-inspired paella dishes here, but it’s the botifarra, or Catalan sausage, that Eliza praises most. Pair it with barbecued calcots – a spring onion unique to Catalonia.

Must-eat dishes

Fuet, a Catalan dry-cured sausage (Shutterstock)

From the ocean to the mountains, Catalonian cuisine offers a mix of fresh seafood and perfectly cured meats. Succulent embotits – or sausages, to you and I – can be found in nearly every xarcuterie (cold cut shop) and market throughout the region, made in different shapes and sizes, from varying meats and herbs. Eliza’s pick? The fuet.

Top foodie stay

Masia La Palma (Eliza was here)

Whether you want to bask in the sun poolside, or unwind in the shade of the gardens, the old farmhouse grounds of Masia la Palma, in northeastern Alt Emporda, exude tranquillity. If you can tear yourself away from this countryside retreat, just a 10-minute stroll away you’ll find the rustic charm of Sa Poma. This nearby restaurant boasts a confection of contemporary Catalan dishes, infused with Mallorcan flair, utilising ingredients from its own garden.

Make it happen

As a know-it-all travel guru, with heaps of first-hand experience, Eliza was here can really help you get a true taste of Spain. They’ll start you off with flights, serve up a main that comprises some of the most authentic, offbeat accommodation the country has to offer (along with a side of ATOL protection), and – if you’re hungry for more – finish it all off with car hire, so you can discover Spain at your own pace. Simply put, with Eliza was here, your tailor-made trip will be as unique as you are.

To find and book your next Spain holiday, visit the Eliza was here website.

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