Gayle Mackie was born in Scotland but has been living in Granada for 22 years and loves to share the tapa culture with visitors to this hidden gem of a city. Her great joy is to tell stories about the city, Andalusia, and a whole host of other Spain-related topics while sharing Spanish experiences over a glass of wine. The idea is to show guests how it is done so that they can try out what they’ve learned during the rest of their stay in Granada.


Enjoying some tapas with Granada Tapas Tours
Many think tapas are only snacks (or starters), to be eaten before going on to have a meal or going home to eat with the family. Taking into account that breakfast can be very early for those starting work at 8am and that most Spaniards will have lunch somewhere between 2pm and 3pm, a quick tapa at 1pm is a good way to stave off the hunger pangs until it´s time to officially eat. However, nowadays it is also common practice to replace lunch (or dinner for that matter) and go out for tapas (this is called tapeo in Spanish).

How do the experiences you offer at Granada Tapas Tours give guests a unique perspective of the history, people or culture of Granada?

We’re doing the same things we did when we started over 12 years ago. What we offer is local, so you’re touring with a person who lives in the city of Granada, knows where to go to get the best bars, great wine, local beer and tasty tapas.  You’ll meet the bar owners and we chat to them, you’ll get told local stories, anecdotes and history about the city and we´ll experience the tapa culture that is all around us.

How have the tours that you offer evolved since their inception?

We have more on offer now for example, based round wine or local beer or more historical etc.  This is because of the demand we’re received over the years, people are much more interested in food in general nowadays and want to go on a theme-based food tour.

What is one detail of an experience you provide that may go unnoticed by guests, but which you feel is important?

We never go to exactly the same bars. This is very important in my opinion because we are constantly supporting small, local business and don’t have a deal with any one bar or bars.  We can take our customers to the establishments we really know and like, the ones that have history, are trendy, offer the best food, have great wine and beer … we move with the times and make sure our guests see and experience what locals do in Granada.

Granada Tapas Tours
Gayle Mackie and the rest of the guides from Granada Tapas Tours. Meet Ramon, Roberto, Gaby, and Cat.

What do you wish every guest knew as they consider booking a tour with you?

It’s not really a “tour”, it’s an “experience”.  The word tour is too formal and set.  Our routes are designed to show you the real side of Spain and Granada, to let you experience a Spanish night out, eating tapas with friendly locals.

What is one piece of clothing or equipment guests should have to maximize their enjoyment of the experiences you offer?

In the summer months, it’s a good idea to have some extra water with you,  especially if we´re doing a wine tour.  But in general, it’s only necessary to have a big smile and be prepared to try new beer, wine and food

What is one travel trend that really excites you?

Nowadays you can really connect with the local people in a country, get to know their own personal experience of living in that particular place.  I never travel as a “tourist” as such, I always want to be as local as possible when I visit a different country.

What is one insiders tip to getting the most out of an experiential travel vacation?

Chat to the guide as much as you can, ask all sorts of “life” questions and you’ll find out much more than just the standard information offered on a tour.

Granada Tapas Tours
Granada Tapas Tours has a host of food tour options: the Hidden Gems (lunch or evening) tour; an exclusive, customized, private route; one for the beer fanatics; a stroll through the Moorish Albaicín area or the Local Life Food walk.

What is one strategy that has helped your business to grow?

Presence on the internet, using social media effectively and getting consistently excellent reviews about what we do.

What is one personal habit that has helped you to be successful?

Constantly try to improve, never assume anything is “good enough.”

Please share one instance where a guest had a moving or emotional reaction to the experience you provided to them.

I arranged a marriage proposal for an older couple from England.  They wanted a tapa experience overlooking the Alhambra Palace monument and I know the bride cried and said “yes”!

Connect:

www.granadatapastours.com
Granada Tapas Tours on Facebook: facebook.com/GranadaTapasTours
Granada Tapas Tours on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/gayle-mackie-5942862a
Granada Tapas Tours on Twitter: twitter.com/GranadaTapaTour
Granada Tapas Tours on Instagram: instagram.com/granadatapastours

 

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TravelDew is a community based platform for leaders in experiential travel from around the world. Through our interviews we honor the variety of this industry while simultaneously creating the opportunity to learn from one anther.