As a destination for corporate outings and team building trips, you couldn’t pick a better place than Spain. The country’s rich historical and cultural heritage has plenty for the visitor to discover. Spain is blessed with a stunning natural beauty and a benign climate that pretty much guarantees t-shirt (less) weather from April to October.
The Spaniards also know a thing or three about how to entertain visitors from abroad. With the Spanish tourist industry contributing a whopping 11% to the country’s GDP, and the British supplying 12.8 million tourists a year – more than any other country – it’s no wonder that activities for Brits in Spain are well catered for.
If you’ve chosen to hold your next team-building event in sunny Spain, here are 5 activities that will combine the best of Spain with getting the most out of your delegates.
- Sailing on the Costa del Sol
There is surely nothing better for strengthening the bond between your team members than having an adrenaline fuelled Mediterranean sailing adventure. Sailing offers an excellent opportunity to build team spirit among co-workers. Depending on numbers of delegates, you can divide participants between several sailing boats and inject an element of healthy competition into the proceedings – perhaps have a little race?
The Costa del Sol around Marbella has numerous yacht marinas and harbours, many with established holiday resorts offering a wealth of very comfortable accommodation. Puerto Banus, just outside Marbella, is Spain’s answer to St Tropez. Here you’ll find a glitzy selection of the most jaw dropping luxury yachts owned by the rich and famous, with some of the Puerto Banus properties featuring amongst the most desirable in Spain.
Hiring uncrewed yachts is straightforward, and if your group requires sailing tuition, there are many sailing clubs located at the larger harbours. If your team prefers to enjoy the sailing experience as passengers, or use the unique environment of the sailing vessel for other types of on-board teambuilding exercises, fully crewed yachts are also available.
Borne out of a Spanish idea over 30 years ago, the first photomarathon was held in Madrid in 1986, and the concept has enjoyed increasing popularity ever since. The idea is simple: Participants must take a series of photographs over a set period of time (usually 12-24 hours) covering specific subjects. The results are judged on quality, technique, creativity and interpretation.
To organise your own photomarathon, split your team into pairs and issue each pair with a camera (or allow them to use their smartphones). Hand out a clear set of instructions that tells everyone where to go and what to photograph, then set them on their way. It’s a kind of treasure hunt with a photographic twist and can be played in any Spanish city, town, village or seaside location. Encourage your delegates to work as a team while getting to know their Mediterranean surroundings and landmarks in the most creative and enjoyable way.
- Andalusian tapas sampling
It wouldn’t be Spain without tapas. In fact, tapas were invented in Andalusia, where local wine bars would put out small home cooked appetizers to attract more custom. In modern day Spain, tapas hopping is an integral part of the Andalusian way of life.
An excellent way to bond with colleagues is to go out and discover together the wealth of gastronomic delights the region has to offer. Tapas tours can take you from Malaga to Cadiz, and organised foodie tours are offered all over Andalusia.
Yummy Spanish dishes you simply must try include pescaito frito (fried fish) from Malaga, boquerones en vinagre (anchovies marinated in vinegar), gambas al pil pil (garlic prawns), albondigas en salsa de almendras (meatballs in almond sauce) and, of course, the classic Spanish omelette (tortillas de patatas).
If eating alone doesn’t satisfy your desire for Spanish culture, you can always combine tapas and history, tapas and beach, tapas and walking, tapas and cycling… you get the general idea.
- Cycling tours in Andalusia
For something a little more physically active, a cycling tour through the beautiful Spanish countryside may help to relax the body, expand the mind and allow team members to rediscover and strengthen their relationships away from the office. Whether you choose Ronda, Malaga, Montecorto or anywhere else in Andalusia, there are plenty of cycling routes to choose from for all abilities.
- Mountain biking across country trails and single tracks, including switchbacks and fast flowing descents for the more experienced rider.
- Leisure cycling through the region’s pretty pueblos blancos villages and breathtaking countryside, complete with pit stops for tapas, a cold beer or glass of Rioja along the way.
- Guided or self-guide bike tours to explore the beauty of Andalusia on two wheels can be organised as a team holiday, complete with pre-booked accommodation and full cycling support as required. All you have to do is turn up and enjoy the ride.
- Spanish wine tasting
Spanish wine is internationally famous and loved all over the world. Rioja is the Spanish wine region we’re all familiar with but it is only one of Spain’s 9 major wine regions. Discovering the different wine making regions of the country is a fantastic way to get a better insight into Spanish culture and geography.
If your group of delegates are wine connoisseurs, or are simply interested in finding out more about the art and science of viniculture – and even if they only like drinking the stuff! – a wine tour to southern Spain will be a memorable experience to help team bonding.
All Andalusian wine making areas have bodegas that you can visit. Take a walk around the beautiful estates, meet local experts, learn about how wine is made and, of course, taste the wines themselves. From Malaga’s sweet Moscatel to a range of white wines from Cordoba, and delicious young red wines from Ronda, you will find the experience will educate the palate and broaden the mind. Of course, Sherry is the most famous Andalusian wine of all. Many bodegas in and around Jerez (where both the wine and the name originated) offer wine tours and tastings.