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Your Ticket to the Real Spain: Toma & Coe

Lunch in Andalucía

By Ann Abel

In Spanish there’s a lovely word: pasear. Adoptive Andalucían and tour operator Manni Coe defines it as “the art of walking” without a destination in mind. “Things here are very spontaneous,” he explains. “The idea is getting a little bit lost. Magic happens when you’re spontaneous. We can’t plan it, but we can set up a framework.”

That’s the modus operandi of Toma & Coe, which organizes private guided and self-guided tours of the interior of Andalucía. (Although the Englishman Coe runs the company with a Spanish business partner, the “Toma” is an acronym for “traditional, original, marvelous Andalucía.”) Although the company has grown a great deal since 2011, when it began offering day trips from one hotel in the beach resort city of Marbella, it still maintains an off-the-beaten-path, slow-travel mentality. They’ve never advertised for guides, instead working with people who shared their spontaneous mind-set and found them organically. Now they’re confident that clients will have a good time because they’re putting them in the hands of their friends … continue reading


Ann Abel is a travel writer and editor, and was a senior editor at ForbesLife. She writes for Forbes, Departures, Conde Nast Traveller, Robb Report, Afar, National Geographic Traveler, Islands, Hemispheres, Brides, Modern Bride, , Well + Good NYC, and other print and online publications.”In the name of lifestyle journalism, ” she says, ” I’ve gotten a tattoo in Bora Bora, been bitten by a massage therapist, and flown small aircraft above three continents.” She lives in Lisbon.

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