Flavours of Spain is a British travel/food television series, the third in a series of "Flavours Of..." programmes (the others being Flavours of Peru and Flavours of Chile), in which presenter Charlie Ottley travels to Spain and immerses himself in the culture and cuisine.
The series premiered in the UK and South Africa on the Travel Channel on Sunday 13 April 2008, at 21h00. There are six half-hour episodes in the series.
When it comes to delving beneath the surface of a culture and cuisine, Charlie Ottley passionately lets his taste buds lead the way.
In Flavours of Spain he goes on an off-beat and frantic fiesta filled frolic across the Iberian Peninsula in the ultimate gourmet travel guide to Spain.
He discovers remote mountain ranges where vultures circle, vineyards carved into barren lava flows, and walled cities that predate Christ; all revealing a country steeped in history and tradition.
Charlie’s journey takes him across Spain from the tapas treats in Zaragoza to the saffron farms of La Mancha.
Away from the kitchen, Charlie takes time out to investigate the best in art and architecture and drops in on a few festivals.
Never one to turn down something to wash down a tasty morsel, Charlie sample the best wines Spain has to offer and gets his hands on a 1958 vintage at the Marques de Riscal winery.
Episode 1: The New Spain
Charlie Ottley goes in search of the ultra-modern, the space age and the chic as explores cutting edge Spain.
First stop is the stunning Gehry designed wine spa hotel of Marques de Riscal in Rioja, where we browse a literal library of wine.
Then it’s under the radar in Valencia, Spain’s most progressive city, where Charlie explores the landscape of the future and goes behind the scenes at Valencia fashion week.
Episode 2: The Mediterranean
With an eye for the unusual, Charlie sets out to discover the Spanish Med.
He starts his journey in Barcelona with a visit to a cookery school to learn some traditional Mediterranean dishes and a whistle stop tour of the coolest nightspots before heading up to Salvador Dali’s hometown of Cadaques on the Costa Brava.
Finally, we leave the mainland behind to show you a different side to Ibiza and an undercover view of Mallorca with BBC reporter Sue Lloyd Roberts.
Episode 3: Southern Spain
Presenter Charlie Ottley goes beneath the surface as he unearths a world of troglodytes and cave dwellings in southern Spain.
Next we visit a typical Spanish hacienda where Charlie learns the art of bullfighting and experiences the magic of Andaluce flamenco.
We also enjoy a sherry masterclass in Sanlucar and explore the wilds of Extremadura where Charlie stalks vultures and learns the art of cooking with Pimienton.
Episode 4: The Atlantic
Charlie samples the fruits of the Atlantic at a Galician Seafood festival in O Grove and checks out the kite boarding scene in Tarifa.
He visits an expat family who make a living from cork, and finds out why Algerciras is more than just a gateway to Morocco.
Heading to the opposite corner of the country, he finds out why Basque cuisine is among the most famous in Spain and attends a bizarre international stew festival.
Lastly, leaving the mainland behind Charlie visits the Canary Islands to uncover the paths less travelled, including a trek through the “rainforests” of La Gomera and a visit to one of the world’s only truly volcanic wineries.
Episode 5: The Interior
Charlie visits Teruel famous for its role in the Spanish Civil War and explores Albaracin, one of the province’s most magical villages.
Next it’s National Spain day and the festival of Pilar in Zaragoza. Charlie explores this ancient city and finds that his attempts to go with the flow land him in the bull ring.
Heading south we take you to Don Quixote country and a saffron festival in La Mancha.
Lastly Charlie checks into Hacienda Zorita, one of Spain’s top wineries with its own organic vineyard. The Hacienda is now a boutique hotel and has historical connections with Christopher Columbus.
We also take a trip up the Duero river and visit the stunning city of Salamanca by night.
Episode 6: The Mountains
Charlie visits the Puertos de Beceite, an undiscovered paradise in the mountains of Matarrana. We take a walk through the medieval town of Valderrobrres and join in the San Miguel fiesta in Fuentespalda where they cook up a paella for 500.
Next Charlie goes trekking in the Cantabrian Picos de Europa where he tries out the local cider and learns how to cook a famous local stew.
In the foothills of the Pyrenees Charlie hooks up with journalist Matthew Paris who has turned his ancient Catalan farmhouse into a stunning eco-lodge.
Then it’s off to the Maestrazgo, one of the least known mountainous regions of Spain, where Charlie learns how to find truffles, and explores a wilderness dotted with unspoilt medieval villages and rife with legends about the Knights Templar and the mythical Holy Grail.