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Healthcare Education Organization
with Wine-Knows Travel, Inc.

Madeira and the Canary Islands Tour
SOLD OUT

June 19 – 29, 2017

~    I T I N E R A R Y   ~

 

This tour has been planned to coincide with one of the Canary Island’s biggest cultural festivals, a week-long celebration commemorating the founding of Gran Canaria Island.   There will be lots of local color and gala activities---and wine will be a big part of all of these festivities.  As the Canaries are volcanic, their lava-based soils exert a profound influence on the wines by adding interesting mineral nuances to lusciously rich fruits.   Volcanic soil also creates lush tropical landscapes and amazing gardens, as well a mesmerizing array of succulent tropical fruits and extraordinary vegetables.  The Canaries also boast the only coffee plantation in all of Europe.

Madeira also was created from underwater volcanoes and, likewise, is a tropical paradise.  Unlike the Canaries, however, Madeira is synonymous with wine.  Madeira can be a rich dessert wine with an excellent balance between acidity and sweetness.  Or, it can be a luscious bone-dry aperitif.   Climate is another compelling factor for Madeira’s popularity.  Known as the “islands of eternal Spring,” or the “garden islands,” Madeira offers idyllic year-around mild temperatures where plants and flowers of all types flourish.

Located just off the coast of Morocco, both the Canary & Madiera  Islands offer a melting pot of diverse cultures.  Their gastronomies reflect intriguing blends of European, African, Indian and Chinese cultures.   These islands are like no other on earth from a culinary or viticultural point of view.  Their “volcano wines” (made from vines that have never seen phylloxera) make for a unique  experience.  We do hope that you can join us on this inaugural offer of Wine-Knows.
 

Trip Highlights: 

  • Private tours & tastings at la crema de la crema wineries
  • Michelin star dining
  • Winemaker dinners
  • Foodie excursions to a cheesemaker, coffee producer, a banana farm, a cake& cookie maker, a chocolate factory, and a rum distillery
  • Visits to outdoor markets & typical local supermarkets with a local food-lover
  • Accommodations in an atmospheric old-world hacienda, as well as a 5-star beach front resort & spa


June 18:  
Last Day to Leave the USA

 


June 19:  
Welcome to Gran Canaria, Canary Islands


Our charming village’s main shopping street

 

Morning:  FREE to allow for international arrivals.

Afternoon:  The trip begins just outside Gran Canaria’s  capital city in a very authentic town, our home while in the Canaries.   After an orientation, we’ll head to the nearby Botanical Garden.   One of the most beautiful on the island, the garden was built in 1880 as part of the summer palace of a Prince.   It is a showplace filled with exotic plants from all over the world.

Evening:  Dinner will be in the nearby village where we’ll dine al fresco at a family-owned tapas spot.   There will be a special cultural event in the town tonight in honor of the founding of the island--- it’s almost a guarantee that we will be the only tourists in town.


June 20:   Bananas & Rum

Morning:  The property in which we are staying is surrounded by banana groves as far as the eye can see…all the way down to the ocean.  We’ll first watch the fruit being cut in the field,  then follow it into the processing plant where it will be graded and prepared for export around the globe.

Afternoon:  Sugar cane is another important crop in the Canary Islands and rum is a super popular distilled spirit.   The oldest rum factory on the island is nearby and we’ll visit to learn about how this drink is made.

Evening Dinner will be a special private event at the Botanical Gardens.  Afterwards, we’ll partake in attend another of the town’s cultural events.


The northern side of Gran Canaria is a verdant Garden of Eden.


June 21:   Foodie Tour of the Islands Capitol


Fish & seafood dominate the Canarian menu.

 

Morning:   Today we head to the capitol city’s Central Market to see the island’s mind-blowing array of fruits and vegetables, along with its vast selection of foods from the sea.  Offering nearly 150 stalls, the market also boasts several cheese purveyors, bakeries, and even a fresh pasta maker.   Next, we’ll walk through the old quarter with a local resident.  This district is both atmospheric and fashionable with lots of boutiques and cool bars.

Afternoon:  Grapes were the main crop on Gran Canaria between the 16th to the 18th centuries and wines produced from them were shipped to Europe, Africa and the New World.  Today we’ll visit two of the island’s 55 wineries with historical roots.

Evening: Dinner tonight will be on the sea at a restaurant serving local specialties.  Spain’s “national dish,” paella, is sure to be on the menu---the Canary version will be filled with fish and seafood.


June 22:   Volcano, Cheese & Coffee

Morning:  Today we’ll venture to the center and southern side of Gran Canaria.  The entire chain of Canary Islands was formed from explosions of underwater volcanoes off of the coast of Africa.   Our first stop will be Gran Canaria’s dormant volcano.  These volcanic soils fertility provides abundant plants for livestock grazing--- which in turn make for some sensational local cheeses. Our last stop this morning will be a cheese producer.

Afternoon:  Next, we’re off to visit to Europe’s one and only coffee producer.  Then, on to another favorite drink, wine, with a tasting at a great producer.

Evening:  Tonight there are fireworks as part of the cultural celebration.  What better spot to view them than a mountain top restaurant while we dine?


The Canary Islands were formed 14 million years ago from underwater volcanoes.


June 23:   Winemaker Dinner


Our town’s cathedral is built from black lava stone.

 

Morning:  Today we’ll have a guided private tour by a resident of our town’s impressive cathedral.  Modeled after Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, it is often referred to as the “black pearl.”

Afternoon:  Next, a comparative tasting of the top wines from the archipelago’s other islands of Lanzarote, Tenerife, and La Gomera.

Evening:Tonight’s dinner will be at a private dinner with the winemaker at a winery.  We’ll top it off with tickets to a lovely musical performance held just outside the cathedral.


June 24:   Gran Canaria's Southern Side

Morning:  Today we’ll visit the southern side of the island lined with spectacular beaches and dramatic bluffs.  The south is also home to miles of high-rise hotels & time-shares for the throngs of northern Europeans who flock to this southern coastline.   Our first stop will be the only authentic village along the southern shore, Arguineguin.  A modest Canarian fishing village, it is a town of locals rather than a tourist resort.

Afternoon:  We’ll continue along the coast to its farthest westerly port, Puerto de Mogon.  This picturesque tourist town also boasts a large harbor and also serves as the base for many commercial fishermen.   

Evening: We’ve saved the best to last.  Tonight will be the Fiesta of San Juan Bautista, our village’s patron saint.  Dinner will be a special event, followed by enjoying a full-blown celebration of the entire town.


While the north is lush & green, the south is arid & brown.


June 25:   Madeira, My Dear!


Madeira is a stunning island offering year-around perfect weather.

 

Morning:  FREE.

Early Afternoon:  Bid your goodbye to the Canaries and Spain as we journey on a non-stop flight 350 miles to Portugal's Madeira Islands.  Our home for the next 5 days will be the capitol city of Funchal at a 5-star spa-resort right on the beach.  On arrival, there will be time for a spa treatment, a swim, or a long walk on he sea.

Evening:  Our first meal on Madeira will be at a stunning hilltop location where we'll dine in among the vines with sweeping views down to the sea. The farm-to-table resturant, located in an old winery building, offers authentic Madeiran cooking.


June 26:   Foodie Walking tour

Morning:  Our first excursion will be led by a local foodie-in-the-know.  We’ll visit the town’s famous central market, but also stop at several culinary landmarks including a artisanal chocolate-maker, a bakery, a typical grocery store, and a bar for a mid-morning snack.

Afternoon:  Today we’ll have our first introduction to Madeira wine at one of the super-star wineries.  We’ll learn all about this wine's unusual vinification process. 

Evening:  FREE, including dinner on your own.


Funchal’s  Central Market is a must-see.


June 27:   Volcanic Gardens & Volcanic Wine


Madeira enjoys an abundancy of foods from the sea.

 

MorningLike the Canaries, Madeira was created by volcanic explosions; and like the Canaries, its super rich soil grows nearly everything.  Today’s excursion will be to one of the island’s beautiful botanical gardens.    

Afternoon:  Private tour and tasting at one of Madiera’s premier wine producers, where we’ll build on our knowledge from yesterday’s introductory session.

Evening Tonight we’ll eat at an establishment that could appear on the Portuguese version of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  Many of its dishes, all regional cooking, are prepared in a large wood-fired outdoor oven.

June 28:   Exploring Madeira

MorningToday we’ll journey across the island’s interior to the northern side.  In addition to dramatic vineyards on near-vertical terraces, we’ll find glorious panoramas, Europe’s highest sea-cliffs, waterfalls, charming fishing villages, and lava pools.  

Afternoon:  On the way back through the western portion, we’ll have our last tasting of Madeira at another of the island’s leading producers.

Evening There is only one Michelin star restaurant in all of Madeira and it just happens to be at our hotel.  Our farewell dinner gala will be held here.


Vertical terraces are labor intensive.


June 29:   Bon Voyage


Let the child in you come out to play on another Wine-Knows trip.

 

The trip officially ends after breakfast.  Transfers can be arranged to the Funchal airport where there are non-stop air connections to many major European cities.  Or, for those who wish to stay extra days, we will gladly arrange rooms for staying over.


Links to the following:

 

     

State of California Seller of Travel # 2091232-40