From tapas to trains, conquests to quesos, Franco to fiestas & bidets to bulerías - the When in Spain podcast takes you on a weekly audio journey through Spanish lifestyle, culture, history, food, people & places.
Along the way we're joined by special guests - authors, comedians, guides, dancers, bloggers, activists, photographers, business owners and everyday people who call Spain home.
When in Spain also offers tonnes of practical advice and insights for anyone planning to live and work in Spain.
There's always something fascinating to learn about one of the world's most visited countries - España. ¡Vamos!
Loco for locos! Slow trains around Spain with travel writer Tom Chesshyre
Travel journalist and writer Tom Chesshyre joins me to talk about his slow train adventure all around Spain.
As research for his latest book Slow Trains around Spain: A 3,000-Mile Adventure on 52 Rides, Tom spent 35 days on the tracks and clocked-up 95 hours and 20 minutes onboard all manner of different types of trains, from funiculars, cog trains, narrow gauge, metros and even an aluminium mine train.
Tom shares his experience of going unprepared and traveling in an ad-hoc way with a rucksack and an armful of books. We look at the history of Spain's railways, train stations, train museums, George Orwell and the trenches near Huesca where he fought in the Spanish Civil War. Tom shares some anecdotes about his fellow train passengers, hostel owners and station managers and talks the politics of the Spanish train network.
Wandering Madrid and talking Cost of Living in Spain
Hola Spain fans! This is a kind of hybrid episode. Lots of sounds of Madrid as I wander its squares, shops and markets and stop off in a few cafes and bars. Along the way I talk all about the cost of living in Spain.
I look at renting and buying property, utility bills, groceries, healthcare costs, running a car and average salaries. I make lots of comparisons between costs in a handful of different Spanish cities and also compare the cost of living in Madrid with London and New York.
So join me to find out some useful facts and figures as well as immersing yourself in Madrid on a sunny Friday afternoon! Check out the amazing market atmosphere towards the end of the episode. A very immersive and colourful experience!
For more detailed show notes head over to wheninspainpodcast.com
Spain’s liquid gold: olive oil adventures with Lucas Soler
We transport ourselves to the majestic olive groves of Jaén to talk all about Spanish olive oil with special guest and olive oil aficionado, Lucas Soler.
Lucas was born in Barcelona but even though he has spent nearly all of his life in the US, olive oil has always remained in his blood. Since a young age 'liquid gold' has been a staple of his diet. When Lucas's mother bought an olive grove for the family in Almería 25 years ago, his passion for olive oil was re-ignited. Faced with a lack of good quality EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) in the US, Lucas spotted a businesses opportunity. He set up his own company called Olive Oil Grove oliveoilgrove.com where he imports the best possible quality Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil to the US market.
In the episode Lucas talks us through the different grades of olive oil, the health benefits and what you should look for when choosing great quality Spanish olive oil. We even do a virtual transatlantic olive oil tasting where we compared notes on the Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil that Lucas has sourced from a grove in Jaén following a trip there last year in the midst of the lockdown - a story he also shares in the episode. Lucas also dazzles us with some truly incredible facts and figures about Spanish olive oil and I run through the ancient history of olives and olive oil to find out how it became so popular in Spain.
Find out more about Lucas, his business, Olive Oil Grove at oliveoilgrove.com.
Also find him on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/oliveoilgrove/
and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OliveOilGrove/
Mallorca with Gina Vasquez – Miró, Michael Douglas & Missionaries
In this episode of the When in Spain podcast I explore the Balearic island of Mallorca. Joining me to scratch beneath the surface of the island is guide and long-time Mallorca resident, Gina Vasquez who runs Visit My Mallorca https://www.visitmymallorca.com/
Gina talks us through the ancient history of Mallorca and recommends things to see in the island's capital, Palma, including the city's impressive gothic cathedral, La Seu. It has one of the world’s largest stained glass windows.
We also get out across the island and look at Gina's favourite towns, villages, beaches and natural beauty spots to include on a visit.
We talk about the artist and sculptor Joan Miró who lived and worked on Mallorca - Gina's husband knew Joan Miró personally and she recommends a visit to the the Fundació Joan Miró where you can see Miró's workshop and numerous pieces of his work. https://www.fmirobcn.org/en/foundation/
Gina also tells us about a fascinating slice of Mallorcan history. The small town of Petra is the birthplace of St. Junípero Serra (1713-1784), a Franciscan friar who founded the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California from San Diego to San Francisco.
Places and other things we mentioned in the episode:
La Seu Cathedral, Palma
Santa Catalina neighbourhood, Palma
Plaza d'Espanya, Palma
Olivar Market, Palma
La Llotja de Palma
Across the Island
Sineu (with its 15th Century market)
Mirador Es Colomer
Parc natural de Mondragó
Deià (Robert Graves called it his home)
Drach Caves (Porto Cristo)
Sant Elm (San Telmo)
Pollença (Family beaches)
Bakery in Palma to buy Ensaimada - Fornet de la Soca https://fornetdelasoca.com/
TV Series - The Mallorca Files https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9204128/
government tourism site
Palma city bus.
One of Gina's favorite restaurants in Palma,
Sketches of Menorca – deep water, mayonnaise, horses’ private parts, gin & Georgian palaces
In this episode we delve into the curious history, culture and untouched landscape of the balearic island of Menorca. Joining us to guide us around this lesser-discovered island is Lorraine Ure.
For Lorraine, Menorca was love at first sight when the cruise ship she was working on docked in the port of Mahón. She has since had a 25 year love affair with the island and now proudly calls it home.
Does Mayonnaise really come from Menorca? How did gin become the island's most famous tipple? When is it acceptable to touch a horse's private parts? And why are there so many English words used in Menorquí - the local language of the island?
Find out in the episode as Lorraine talks us through the unique Menorcan culture and traditions. She also recommends towns, villages, beaches, long walks, food & drink and great restaurants for anyone planning a visit to the island.
Lorraine has also edited a beautiful book of watercolours of Menorca called Menorca Sketchbook packed with beautiful paintings by her partner Graham Byfield. It's available to buy on Ebay and will soon be available on Amazon. Find out more about Graham and his work here.
In the episode Lorraine also talked about the tiny neighbouring island of La Isla del Rey and its beautiful 18th Century Royal Naval Hospital - the first of its kind in the world - which has been renovated by a team of volunteers for the last 17 years - something that Lorraine has been keenly involved with. Soon it will be possible to visit the hospital. Find out more about it here: https://www.islahospitalmenorca.org/en/home/
Some of places mentioned in the episode:
Es Migjorn Gran
S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park
Cami de Cavalls (The Path of Horses)
Cova d'en Xorio (A cave bar to watch the sunset from in Cala en Porter)
Beaches and Coves: Binibeca, Alcaufar, Cala Mesquida, Platja de Cala Galdana, Platja de Son Bou, Platja de Binimel·là
Restaurants: Restaurant S´Amarador in Ciutadella de Menorca, El Grill, Carretera del Aeropuerto, Mahón.
Spain’s secret beaches, rivers, waterfalls, canyons & caves with Lola Culsán & John Weller
Let's banish the winter blues with a trip around some of Spain's most beautiful and secret swimming locations.
Forget the packed beaches of the stereotypical 'costas' and let's transport ourselves to secluded coves, white sand beaches, emerald pools, craggy canyons, wild waterfalls and relaxing rivers...
Guiding us around these of the beaten track slices of watery wonder are Lola Culsán & John Weller. Lola and John live in London and both are avid swimmers. So much so that they have written and produced two beautiful books all about wild swimming in Spain both inland and on the coasts.
Their first book is called, Wild Swimming Spain - Discover the most beautiful rivers, lakes and waterfalls of Spain. They also have a brand new second book coming out on March 1st 2021 called, Hidden Beaches Spain - 450 secret coast and island beaches to walk, swim & explore.
In fact for their latest publication, Lola and John were lucky enough to take a year out from their jobs in London and spend a whole year driving the coasts of Spain in their camper van all in the name of research! What a tough assignment!
In the episode John and Lola are going to guide us around some of their favourite places to swim, kayak, dive and hike (or just relax) all around Spain and also offer practical advice if you want to some wild swimming in some wild locations.
If you would like to get a copy of their books you can pre-order Hidden Beaches Spain on Amazon or via Wild Things Publishing at http://www.wildthingspublishing.com/shop/ and their first book, Wild Swimming Spain is already available from the same places.
Can't wait until March 1st for Hidden Beaches Spain? No problem! You can immediately download the super exclusive pre-launch digital edition from Wild Things Publishing's website for £7.99
To find out more about Lola and John check out their social media:
List of locations mentioned in the podcast episode:
L'Alta Garrotxa - Girona
Lago Ausente – Castilla Leon
Huesca – Barranco de la Nata de Arro, Sierra de Guara, Cañón Del Río Vero, Salto De Bierge
Pozas Pígalo – Zaragoza
Cangas de Onís – Asturias Fiesta de las Piraguas (The Canoe Fiesta of Asturias)
Río Deva, Panes, Pechón Playa – Cantabria
Cave of Altamira – Cantabria
Castro de Baroña – A Coruña
Bolonia, Baelo Claudia, Costa de la Luz - Cadiz
Cami de Cavalls - Menorca
Cala Pudenta – Menorca
Praia Barreira (Beekeeper Beach) - Galicia
Cíes Islands – Galicia
Praia da Coviña – Galicia
Playa de Mónsul – Almería
Cala Estreta – Girona
Costa Calida, La Manga, Cala del Cuevo, Cala de las Cañas – Almería
Denia, La Cova Tallada – Alicante
Informative and Entertaining
I really appreciate Paul’s style of interviewing as well as the topics he goes over. My husband and I will be moving to Spain shortly and have learned so much thanks to Paul and his guests. Keep up the great work!
Loved the EP liquid gold. I have a trip scheduled for July. This was delightful. I’m so excited but can not allow myself to get to excited because I don’t know if it will happen. How has the rollout been in Spain of the vaccine? Thank for your passion and excellence
Sights and sounds of Spain
Paul is very passionate about Spain and very dedicated to his listeners. He researches each topic or guest thoroughly and shares that knowledge with us in his interesting and informative episodes. He produces a nice mix of experiential episodes - taking us on excursions around Madrid and other cities in Spain and sharing with us the sights and sounds - and episodes with guest speakers who tell us about Spanish history, culture, politics, food - you name it. I really enjoy this podcast and through the guest speakers on this podcast I have also been introduced to other podcasts, Facebook groups, authors and websites about Spain and travel that I enjoy as well.