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Food Travel and Culture in Spain - Piccavey Blog

Loving Food in Spain, Discovering the Culture and Travelling around the country all year.
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Beating the Heat in Southern Spain - Coping over 100°F
Tuesday, July 9, 2024

After living in Southern Spain for 18 years I have learnt how to deal with Extreme Heat.

Here are some of the tips for those looking to spend weeks/months in hotter areas of Spain.

I live in Granada city and the best way to deal with very hot days is to plan ahead. Actions that may seem like small gestures make such a big difference.

Windows, Doors & Blinds 

After sunset open up the doors, windows, curtains and blinds as the temperatures lower. Here thats around 9.30pm, but it could be even later on hotter days.

In the morning close all the curtains, shutters, blinds and doors. To keep the sunshine and hot air out. 


Getting Errrands done

The earlier the better, the hottest part of the day in Granada is 5.30pm so making the most of the morning 9.30 to 12h is best. Food shopping, admin and errands is always easier in the cooler mornings. 

Also many businesses, shops and organizations operate summer timetables and may only be open in the mornings in July and August. It´s always worth checking timetables at this time of year before you head somewhere.

The Right Food

During the summer months, salads, cold soups, and light dishes are the best options. Gazpacho, Salmorejo pop up on local menus often. Its actually super healthy, not only are the low in fat and hydrating. Tomatoes help our skin to deal with sun exposure due to the lycopene content.

These are just a few examples but there are more on the full article here:


What do you do to beat the heat in Spain?


Best wishes for a lovely Summer



P.S the thermometer seen in the photo above was not working.. it wasnt really 76C

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My experience - Earthquakes in Granada - January 2021
Wednesday, January 27, 2021

My Experience in Granada, Spain - 172 tremors in 4 days

Did you know that Andalucia is the region with most seismic activity on the Iberian Peninsula?

This week in Granada was quite exceptional. Although I have lived in Granada since 2006 and experienced some tremors and earthquakes. Nothing so far has been like the past few days.

Between Saturday 23rd January 2021 and now (Wednesday 27th January) there have been over 172 tremors or quakes in the Granada region. The epicentres have been mainly around Santa Fé (some 12 kms from Granada)

Find more here about Granada and Earthquakes in Spain

Saturdays earthquake around midday was intense at 4.4 on the mblg scale but it was the only one. Last night there were at least 6 intense earthquakes between 10.46pm local time and midnight.

The most powerful reaching 4.5 but others were 4.2 4.2 3.7 and 3.5. The sensation depends not only on the intensity but also on the depth. At 5kms these tremors were more noticeable that those much deeper underground.

Even despite the Covid restrictions and curfew. Many locals left their homes to wait in their cars or in squares and open spaces. Some even slept outdoors to stay safe in case their were more quakes.

Experts say that they dont expect bigger earthquakes to impact the region and that buildings are resistant to this level of activity. 

Let´s hope that the earth calms a little now after so much movement in such a short space of time

Thanks for reading 




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Uplifting News Stories from Granada Spain
Thursday, December 3, 2020

Granada Spain - 3rd December 2020

With all the news about the COVID pandemic, restrictions and economic troubles I decided that I would share the good news happening in this part of Spain.

I have spent a week rounding up all the GOOD NEWS and updating it as new stories happen.

Check out the latest positive stories and I will continue to add as the days progress. 

Dakar Rally, IKEA service point and Christmas lights are just a few of the examples. There has also be funding for a spin off company and charities in Granada province that are a ray of light in these tricky times.

I also wrote up Be Kind to Yourself - Tips to Get Back to Midpoint to calm frazzled nerves. It may help some of my lovely readers.

Thanks for reading




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Should I Travel to Spain in March or April? Coronavirus COVID-19
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Coronavirus in Spain

Since Coronavirus broke out in Spain on 31st January, media attention and panic has been widespread. I have created a list of good sources of information and recommendations. 

Living in Andalusia, this area has some regions that are not at all affected and others such as Costa del Sol with many cases. 

Here's is the updated article>

Booking travel this month

As there are many offers on flights and hotel stays at the moment. It is actually a good time to book ahead for summer holidays. Make sure you book your trip and then arrange travel insurance straight away. This will cover if the situation alters in the following weeks.

Wash your hands
The advice that most authorities are giving is to use soap and warm water to wash your hands. Wash them throughly and for over 20 seconds. Although some choose to wear masks its not so clear how useful this measure is.

Should I cancel my trip

Keep up to date with travel restrictions on official channels such as CDC or Governmental websites. It is not clear how Easter processions in Spain will be affected at the moment. 

I will be updating my article as further developments come to light.

Best wishes from Southern Spain


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Keeping Cool in a Spanish Heatwave
Thursday, August 8, 2019

As Europe records the hottest temperatures for decades Spain just carries on a normal.

Sweltering temperatures in Souther Spain are barely news in places which regularly reach 40C each summer.

After spending 13 summers living in the city of Granada I have now got al the insider tips and hacks to share.

Basically it comes down to 4 different areas

  2. FOOD

Many simple choices can make a huge difference.

Cotton Clothes

Always make sure that you choose pale coloured or white clothes, avoid synthetic garments too.

Cotton, Silk and Linen keep us much cooler than nylon and lycra.

See all of my tips here:

Food choices

Any food with a high water content is a good idea when the mercury rises.

Melon, watermelon, salad, cold soups such as salmorejo gazpacho or vichysoisse are great choices.

Ice lollies are better than ice cream as they have more water content and less fat.

Skip heavy food like potatoes, oven baked meats and pastas or roast dinners.

Keep meals light and remember to keep alcohol to a minimum while the sun is out. Alcohol can accelerate dehydration.

Other ideas

Get any errands like food shopping or exercise out of the way in the morning (before 12 noon) wherever possible. Try to keep indoors and rest between 2pm and 6pm the hottest part of the day.

Walk in the shade and drink water throughout the day. Cold teas and juices are good alternatives as long as you keep an eye on the sugar content. 

Remember to keep curtains and blinds drawn in the daytime. Windows closed from the hot air. Its good to keep the sun out of home to keep the inside temperature as cool as possible.

How are you keeping cool this August?




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A City Break In Granada, Spain - Visit the Alhambra Palace
Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The City of Granada is a magical place to visit at any time of the year.

In Summer months (July & August) the city is quieter than the rest of the year as Erasmus Students have headed home and locals are holidaying on the Costa Tropical. 

Visiting the Alhambra Palace is often the main reason for spending a weekend in Granada.

This stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site is a collection of palaces from different centuries. The oldest part is the Alcazaba fortress (10th century) and the most modern the 19th century Charles V Palace. 

There are practically buildings from the last 1000 years in varied architectural styles all on this same site. The Generalife gardens are especially pretty in Summer months. Don´t miss the Water Staitcase. It will refresh you on warmer days.

Getting Tickets to the Alhambra Palace can be very simple or complicated depending on the date you want to visit. You will need the ID number, age and full name of each visitor to purchase tickets.

More details about Getting Alhambra Tickets online HERE

What to See in Granada

As well as the Grand Alhambra Palace, there are many other things to see in the city. The Albaicin quarter is a wonderful part of town to wander, quaint cobbled streets with pretty balconies. Red Geraniums dotted about and views across to the Sierra Nevada mountains.

The Cathderal and Royal Chapel is one of the most popular sites for visitors in the city. With the tomds of Ferdinard and Isabel in the underground crypt and the grand dimensions of the Cathedral it won´t leave you indifferent.

Opposite the Royal Chapel the Madraza shouldnt be overlooked either. This Koranic school was the first university in the city and preserves some beautiful plasterwork and wooden ceilings inside. (Entrance costs 2 euros to go inside) 

Eating in Granada

Discover zero mile produce and what the local eat with the A Taste of Granada tour. Available every day at 11am or 6pm (closed Sundays/holidays) this will give you an insight into the Local produce from Granada province. You will also enjoy some Tapas created exclusively by local Granada chefs. 

More information about this Granada Gastronomic Route HERE

Restaurants in Granada

Many Granada restuarants offer Menu del dia, a set 3 course menu which costs from 10-15 euros

There are also some great places offering Gourmet Hamburgers in the city. Find out more about my Up to date selection on my latest Blogpost


I hope that you are enjoying the Spanish Summer, in the South it´s much milder than last year so we can really enjoy the good weather this season.



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Springtime Visit to Andalusia
Thursday, February 8, 2018

February, March & April in Andalusia

With Springtime getting closer although its quite cold across Andalusia at the moment, I look ahead to Easter and the coming weeks.

In Granada the Alhambra palace is getting busy as the reservations are made for the peak months of March and April.

Easter comes in March this year so just over 6 or so weeks to go now. Seville is one of the most famous Semana Santas in Spain, yet cities like Cordoba Granada and Antequera also have lots of processions and traditions that are worth looking at.

More details here:

Strawberries Blueberries and Raspberries are in Season in Huelva, this province of the very edge of Andalusia neighbours with Portugal. 

Huelva has amazing seafood and Iberian Ham too. 

Find out more about this lesser known region of Spain

Foodie Tour with Granada produce

If you are a foodie fan, there is a new route in Granada to learn about Local products in the Granada province. Spain Food Sherpas are based in Malaga and offer cooking classes and routes in the city. They have now extended their tours to cover Granada too.

The tour is every day at 11am and 6pm for small groups in the Historic part of Granada.

Find out more about their Taste of Granada tour here:

Granada in April

Every year Granada celebrates its white night of culture. The date for this years edition has been announced so you can set the date in your diary. 

Lots of street activities and cultural events worth looking into. Most are free of charge.

All the details here:

Wherever you are planning to visit this Spring, Enjoy it




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Summer Festivals in Granada & Jaen
Thursday, July 20, 2017


Summertime in Alcala La Real Alpujarras & Granada

Over the summertime there are lots of Special Activities to enjoy.

Here are a few of the lesser known ones on now and over the next month


This FREE festival in Alcala La Real takes place 21st, 22nd & 23rd July. The line up includes Youssou N´Dour as well as lots of other concerts, craft markets, outdoor activities and workshops. If you are in Granada, Jaen or thereabouts it´s worth checking out. This is the 21st Edition of this diverse ethnic event.

  •  Alpujarra Theatre Festival

Laroles holds the third Edition of Me Vuelves Lorca. This years line up has Improvisation, Jazz Music, Rock Concerts as well as Theatre. On Fridays and Saturdays in July and August.

Check out more details on this article > Alpujarra Theatre Festival

Laroles is close to Roquetas de Mar and a short drive from Guadix.

  • Summer Nights at the Fortress

Alcala La Real has summer activities called Veladas de La Frontera. Organized by TU HISTORIA these evenings have guided tours at Fortaleza de la Mota. Spooky nighttime tours, medieval markets and murder mystery evenings. On weekends throughout July and August.

Find out more here> Summer Nights in Alcala La Real


  • Flamenco at the Alhambra

From now until 26th August at the Generalife theatre in the Alhambra palace grounds the OH CUBA performance is on. With 2 x1 tickets mid week this is a great way to enjoy being inside the palace on a summer evening. The show is at 10pm and combines classic Flamenco with cuban influences.


Wherever you are in Spain this Summer

Enjoy it




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The Prettiest City in Spain
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Did you know that ´The Prettiest City in Spain´ is the same location which also has the Most Impressive Easter Week.

Also the website Foxnomad  (Tips to help you travel smarter) has selected it as Best City 2017 amongst finalists cities such as Vancouver and Sydney.

So where is this amazing place?

Granada, Spain.

With it´s thrilling Easter Week in full swing, the sun shining and it´s unique geographical location, between the Sierra Nevada mountains and Costa Tropical. It´s hard to beat this Andalusian city for a Spring break. 

On my last blog here I wrote about the typical Easter week in Spain  and have also heard about this wonderful Alpujarra event over Easter too. Made in the Alpujarra  A local food and craft market which brings together all the local businesses on one site. A showcase of organic food, Alpujarra wines and cheese as well as traditional crafts such as coloured jarapa rugs or baskets made by locals from these remote villages.


Wherever you choose to spend your Easter or Spring break have a lovely time


Best Wishes from Andalusia





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Understanding Semana Santa in Spain - Easter time in Andalusia
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Semana Santa Granada Spain  Easter in Andalusia

Easter is approaching. In just one month we will be enjoying the Easter break.

In Andalusia Semana Santa is an important date in the calendar especialy for locals involved in the processions and hermandades 

This week I have written up an extensive guide to Eastertime in Spain covering the different typical food to look out for and explaining the different participants in the procession and their roles.

Some of the roles in each procession are:

  • Costaleros who carry the figures representing the Easter story on large wooden floats or Pasos
  • Camareras, are ladies dressed in black as a sign of mounring with black lace mantillas and typical comb, peineta. They carry candles too. 
  • The most recognisable figures are Penitente or the Nazareno. These completely covered and wear a pointed hood called a caipirote on their head. With tiny gaps to see you cannot recognise the person walking along. 
  • At the head of the Easter procession you will see the Cruz de Guia. This important touch announces that the procession is Christian one.
  • The head of the hermandad is called the Capataz this figure is important to coordinate the movements of the whole group and timing. 

Find out more about Spanish Eastertime by reading the full article here> Spain at Easter

Another event coming up in Granada soon is the White Night of Culture.

On Saturday 25th March La Noche en Blanco will fill the streets with outdoor activites and museums will be open until late into the night.

Worth taking note if you are in the area around that date.

Wherever you are enjoying Easter I hope you have a wonderful time


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