I have lived in Spain for nearly 15 years now and in 2006/7 started “Granada Tapas Tours” a unique concept guiding visitors to Granada through the many tapas bars and restaurants.
It was something I had had in mind for years. I used to always be doing favours for friends of mine who knew people who were going to be visiting Granada and they asked me to take them out for some tapas and to show them real places they´d never normally go into by themselves. So I realised there was a gap in the market to set up as a business and I went for it!
I was also really disheartened at one point to read in the local Granada newspaper that so many visitors to the city used to ONLY come and see the Alhambra Palace and then leave. Therefore the hotels and restaurantswould lose out. I thought my business was an opportunity to change this and show people that they can spend more time in the city, discovering the tapas and its magnificent buildings and monuments. One tourist attraction doesn´t make a city in my opinion and the whole package of Granada as a culinary and culture delight should be looked at.
So I´ve been entertaining visitors to Granada since 2006 and it´s going from strength to strength. We have clients from all walks of life from retired C.E.Os to famous British authors, from all ages and from different countries as far apart as America to Pakistan and from Australia to Finland.
In the course of these 6 years I have also published a book version of what I do with co-author and editorial owner, Vernon Grant. The concept is to use the book around the city centre and the outlying area, sampling as many bars are you dare to or care to! Each route has 4 bars and overall there are 18 city routes and 28 bars/restaurants highlighted in the surrounding province. It´s been a great success and it´s great to see that it works for people and helps them venture off the beaten track. It was a real labour of love, very tough at times as we personally tested out about 200 bars in total to narrow it down to just 100!! Sounds a fun job, but it wasn´t!
Over the years Granada Tapas Tours has also expanded to now included “Tapa Events” for much large groups. I have had several corporate groups in Granada sampling tapas and this for me is a real achievment. The logistics are far different when it comes to 40-50 people who want to sample tapas but it can be done! The corporate groups also really enjoy another service I have developed and set up with is the Granada Photographic Treasure Hunt. This works extremely well as a team building, extra, fun activitiy that any business can participate in. It´s easy, low overheads and great for competitive spirits who want to see the city but in a different way.
From the corporate parties I now also deal with language groups who are in the city studying Spanish. I collaborate with several language academys one being Escuela Montalban and the Treasure Hunt event is offered as an extra curricular activity for the students to participate in. When I say students I may be talking about 16-17 year olds or about more senior groups who have enrolled at the school and want to take part in something fun and light hearted. For these groups I conduct the Treasure Hunt entirely in Spanish so that it can be classed as an educational activity for them.
In the very near future Granada Tapas Tours plans to also incorporate Shopping Tours and Dance Tours as activities to do in Granada.