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Spain

The Costa de la Luz is a fairly well-kept secret, with gorgeous stretches of playa from the Portuguese border to Tarifa, the southernmost part of Spain. There’s a laid-back vibe here, with white villages on the cliffs, and Moroccan-infused cuisine. On a clear day, you can see Africa. The empty beaches attract Spaniards and in-the-know hippies, while the mad crush of sunburned Europeans crowd the softer, less windy Mediterranean coast, at Gibraltar, Marbella, and onward.

To ensure an intimate experience with such a lovely location, we outlined a custom itinerary, which will ensure that your planning is not quixotic.

1. Madrid

Take a tapas tour: hotel Urso’s restaurant, Gastro-U, offers a variety of tapas and other dishes, and its central location gives you plenty of nearby options for your next stop. www.hotelsurso.com/en

Visit Graffiti Artists: skip the Prado and meet with Boa Mistura, an art collective in Madrid who specializes in graffiti and hosts studio vists and street tours arranged by Black Tomato to showcase their unique works.

Cook like a Pro: spend a day with a superstar chef (with two Michelin stars to his name). Private workshops steer you from local markets to the award-winning kitchen. Available through Black Tomato. www.Blacktomato.com



2. Sevilla

Storm a palace: alcazar is the oldest palace still in use in the country and the main attraction in Sevilla’s vibrant historic quarter. Spend an afternoon strolling through its colorful gardens and stately courtyards. www.alcazarsevilla.org/englishversion/

Intermission in the Orchard: take a day or two to recharge in the sun swept rooms of the Hacienda de San Rafael. Built on the grounds of an old olive orchard, this estate is the perfect place to sample authentic sangria and enjoy the calming countryside of Southern Spain. www.Haciendadesanrafael.com


3. Jerez

Go back in time: marvel at more than 300 different timepieces in the Palace of Time. You’ll be amazed at how much a clock face says beyond the time of day. www.Museosdelaatalaya.com


4. Malaga — Play Ball

You’ll fall in love with ocean vistas on the fairway at Malaga’s Finca Cortesin Hotel.www.Fincacoretsin.com

5. Barbate — Saddle Up

Catch breathtaking views of Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar as you take a horseback tour through Costa de la Luz. Black Tomato will arrange the tour with a trusted local company.