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Mountain Cheese


From the Pyrenees to the Picos de Europa through some of the most magnificent mountain sceneries in Spain discovering the art of fermentation

Best time to go

All year-round
+

Suggested Length

8-10 days

Ideal Traveller

Explorer
Glutton


Magic occurs inside a cave, particularly to a wheel of cheese left there for years. Mountain cheeses in Spain are as unique as the landscapes where they mature. Spicy, smoky, stinky, the variety is overwhelming, many of them consistently ranking amongst the best in the world.

Together with wine, cheese is the only edible living being, a magical product of the fermentation process, capable of transmitting, with overwhelming intensity and clarity, the environment, landscape, history and culture of the place where it is produced. In a cheese, especially of raw milk, we notice the grass, the flowers, the humidity, the air, and the wood. A complex variety of nuances transmitted in a small and intense bite.

It is impossible to fully understand food without adventure, without a certain degree of risk. Eating a piece of unpasteurized milk, fermented for months in a damp, mouldy cave, attacked by bacteria until it reaches bluish tinges that incite you to turn away, is a risky but extraordinarily delicious adventure. The trip is part of the experience. In order to taste these delicacies you have to travel through remote landscapes of breath-taking beauty.

This is a journey of enlightenment through the alchemist genius of fermentation heroes, their methods, techniques and flavours. A tour of beautiful mountainous landscapes, from the Catalan Pyrenees to the Asturian Picos de Europa through the Basque mountains, crossing valleys, climbing peaks, sleeping in villages and shelters and, above all, tasting unparalleled cheeses.

The Experience

Genius and disconnection are common features in these high mountain dairies. Knowing the story behind the cheese maker, tasting his cheese, watching the process of elaboration and his care for the animals is to connect with the person, the product and the culture.

This is pure nature:
2000m massive peaks, crystal-clear
mountain lakes, leafy forests, stone villages
lost in time, thawing rivers…
nature to be experienced in its purest and
wildest state.


Adrenaline-pumping mountain bike tracks, demanding treks of fantastic beauty,
trail running on impossible paths,
horseback riding in meadows and high
mountain trails, snowshoeing
in winter…

This will not be a case of eating green and light, here we have to give ourselves long banquets of protein and carbohydrates cooked calmly in wood stoves, on bonfires and in iron cooking pots. Dishes that fill the stomach, resurrect the soul, and warm the heart.


Walk for hours behind a donkey
to reach the Shangri-la of cheeses,
a dark, cold, and musty
cave where one of the best
cheeses in the world patiently ages.

Long before today’s cheese artisans, there existed great artists, painters of the Neolithic and Paleolithic who like Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, left their works of art painted on ceilings and walls of caves. A journey to the roots of mankind.


 

A taste of the route

Olla Aranesa:
traditional rich mountain stew
Serrat Gros:
artisan raw goat’s milk cheese
Idiazábal:
traditional hard cheese made from raw cow’s milk
Picón:
three-milk artisan blue cheese aged in caves
Gamoneu:
smoked three-milk artisan blue cheese aged in caves
Cabrales:
artisan blue cheese aged in caves
Cocido montañés:
traditional rich hearty bean stew
Fabada:
traditional rich hearty bean stew


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