Do you know what Tapa means in Spanish? The literal meaning is a top, a cover. Tapas originated from centuries ago when travelers via horseback or carriage used to go to bars and order alcoholic drinks. Because of the rampant flies the bar owners used to put bread to cover the cup. Today the traditional Tapa looks nothing like original. It’s a good thing too, otherwise taking a Tapas tour would be really quick and boring.
Little did I know that Granada, Spain is the true Tapas destination. We had some tapas while visiting Madrid, but nothing beats tapas as they are served and enjoyed in Granada.
I learned this on my Tapas tour with Granada Tapas Tour. Before booking my family tour with Gayle in Granada I searched other Tapas tours throughout the country. There are hundreds of them in practically every city that we were visiting. Yet, for some reason, I kept on coming back to her site and finally, intuitively, decided this is the tour for us.
My only concern with a Tapas tour was – how child friendly could it possibly be? I mean, it’s going from one bar to another drinking and tasting Tapas.
Gayle surprised us on every level!
Granada Tapas Tour with Gayle – Why This is the Only Tapas Tour You Should Take
The plan was to meet Gayle near the municipality building in the center of Granada. This is the center point for all the cool places we can visit within walking distance. Fun fact – there are over 200 tapas bars close by.
Interesting yet different approach for tours – Gayle doesn’t work with any of the bars she takes people to and she always pays for everything consumed. Unlike other tours we’ve taken in other places the guides are always working with the places they are taking us, so its totally biased. Not with Gayle’s tour.
The second Gayle met us, her energy was contagious. She’s so fun, immediately took to the kids by playing a game with them – a Scavenger hunt for Granadas (pomegranates) throughout the walk. This kept them entertained and excited to go to any bar we wanted to go.
While the kids were doing their thing we got to learn a lot as well. Which is what I love most about tours – the plethora of info given to me.
Here are some of the fun facts I picked up in between our tastings and eatings:
1. Rule – well, not sure if it’s a written rule/law but you can not go into a bar, order a drink and NOT get a tapa. You will always get something to eat – for free
2. Tapas – they call it a surprise. The thing to do here is go to a bar, order a drink (it can be either beer, wine, juice) and then sit and wait excitingly what the chef will surprise you with.
The tapas in Granada are unique, filling and are getting more and more creative.
3. Rounds – for every round you order you will get a totally different tapa. Normally the locals will sit around for two, maybe three rounds and move on to another bar.
4. Traditional Styled Tapas – the most common and old style tapas are usually tortilla patata (spanish omelet with potatoes), jamon (ham), croquettes and variations of this with yummy bread.
5. New Style Tapas – these days, with so much competition a lot of newer bars, the trendier ones are starting to make more unique, artistic tapas and they are going off really well with the younger crowds. Some of the older locals still like to get their same-ole tapas they’ve been eating for decades, but with the large variety of bars there is enough for everyone.
6. Drinks – during the afternoon, which is common to go for a quick drink women will order Tinto de Verano (Summer red). This is a mild red wine with sparkly lemon or orange juice. What it really is the Sangria we are used to in North America. The real Sangria has hard core liqueur which will knock you out.
Men usually get light beers.
This of course changes as the evening progresses.
7. Hours of Service – most bars stick to strict hours of service.
Everything opens at 1 pm until 4 pm
Closes from 4 pm – 6 pm
And reopens again at 6 pm. In bars with food they serve you until midnight.
Then the pubs open from midnight until 3 am serving drinks only.
At 3 am they close and the discotheques open up until 8 am.
Basically if you time your day right, you can be drunk and full all day and night, with a short break for sleeping and showering.
But most important of all spending the time learning cool facts, tasting yummy new drinks and experiencing local foods of this amazing place bonds families.
Information About Granada Tapas Tours
Start time: 1 pm or 8 pm
4 bars – 4 drinks – 4 tapas.
Visit 4 bars and see some sights when walking from place to place.
Start time: 1 pm or 7 pm
This gives you an introduction to what tapas are all about. Meet earlier and see the sights, listen to stories and then finish off by visiting 2 bars and sampling their tapas. Ideal for families.
Start time: 1 pm or 8 pm
Sample the tapas in the historic centre of Granada, stroll through the white washed streets, catch glimpses of the glorious Alhambra on the opposite hilltop. Enjoy the Albaicín and combine it with tapas.
Beer & Tapas Route
Start: 12 noon or 6pm
Visit a little, `out of the way´ deli and try out locally brewed and Spanish beers with a tapa selection (ham and cheese). Great for the beer-lover!
Tapa `Sampling´ Route
Start: 12 noon or 6pm
Short of time in Granada but still want to sample the tapas? This option is for you! Sit and enjoy 2 beverages and 6 different tapas per person in one establishment. Great for groups, families or cruise ship visitors.
- Collection from your hotel OR collection from a set point in the city centre.
- Helpful local information about what’s happening in the city, places to see, things to visit PLUS lots of little anecdotes about Granada.
- Try out a little Spanish and connect with the locals — the response you get when trying to speak a little of the language is always well received!
- Suitable for everyone (special diets catered for).