Day 9 - Ronda - The Olive Grove
Updated: Sep 24, 2019
It's finally here! We are going on our long awaited Olive Farm experience. Over the years I have answered so many questions about olives and olive oil. Today I will walk an olive grove with a farmer, enjoy a family meal with him and learn as much as I can.
We begin by making our way to Entrelenguas.es
a Spanish immersion school and local experience tours. Here you can connect with locals by way of small group tours. Six people seems to be the maximum. We meet Alex our guide and he explains the philosophy of the school to us. Their goal is to promote sustainability of local businesses while providing an unique and personal travel experience.
We will be visiting the Aove Manzara grove located just outside Zahara, an ancient Moorish hill town and fortress. Zahara is about a 30 minute drive from Ronda.
We meet Paco our driver and after stopping to pick up a few more guests we head out for our 5 hour tour. It is a winding road to Zahara but Paco takes it slow.
We take a brief stroll through Zahara. It is a beautiful old town with a very long history. It's also a town with a recent increase in tourism but still has a sleepy feel. Alex takes us to a small bakery where he picks up some pastries for today's meal.
Back in the van and ten minutes later we arrive at Manzara. We meet David Chocõn the owner and he welcomes us with a glass of cold water.
The property boasts acres of wild olive trees, some over two hundred years! There is also a beautiful rental house with a pool for those wanting a real getaway. Beautiful!
David walks us through the property explaining how organic farming is done and how it differs from commercial farming. You will want to pack a good hat and walking shoes for this tour.
After an extensive look at the farm we head back to the main house for lunch. We are warmly greeted with freshly made iced mint tea. The mint was picked the night before from their garden.
We start with a tasting of Manzara Olive Oil, rich and tasty, so good I want to drink it! Spoiler alert, I am bringing some home. Happy dance!
Next we enjoy a warm bowl of zucchini soup sprinkled with Spanish paprika salt. Devine.
Our next course is a Spanish omelette served with a roasted tomato, red bell pepper and onion puree, and a roasted green chili (no heat, just flavor). So simple and absolutely fantastic!
We finish with a poached pear in a sweet red wine reduction. My mouth is humming with joy.
The entire meal came from either the farm or their neighbors. This is a true local experience and one not to be missed should you find yourself in Ronda!
Tomorrow we drive to Granada, see you there!