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Eight great podcasts all about Spain

Eight great podcasts all about Spain
Photo by Michael Oeser on Unsplash
Paul Burge rounds up his favourite English language podcasts that offer fun, informative and entertaining insights into Spanish culture. From football to wine and politics to travel, he discovers there’s something to suit everyone’s ears.

When I first decided to start my own podcast called When in Spain nearly two years ago many of my friends thought I was dabbling in some kind of dark art and signing-up to some mysterious and geeky internet underworld. “What’s a podcast? Who’s going to listen to you? How does it work?”, they puzzled.

Podcasts were the brainchild of Apple. iTunes was launched in early 2001 and later that year the iPod portable mp3 player followed. Anyone remember those? Although, originally designed for listening to music, audio producers gradually adopted iTunes as a platform to share spoken word content. What was perviously called audioblogging became known as podcasting and by 2004 the podcast was born.

Since then podcasts have outgrown their niche status and exploded into the mainstream. There are now 800,000 podcast shows in existence and an estimated 30 to 50 million episodes currently published, the vast majority completely free. Nowadays, you can find podcasts not only on Apple but also on Spotify, Google, Android, Pandora and dozens of other online platforms.

When in comes to Spain, there are tonnes of podcasts about learning the Spanish language. But what if you want an English language podcast about Spain? Well, look (or should I say listen) no further!

I’ve rounded up my favourite podcast shows about Spain. Food and drink, travel, history, sport, news and practical advice, there’s un poco de todo for Spain fans out there. So why not brighten up your daily commute and transport yourself to Spain with these fantastic free podcasts.

When in Spain


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I started When in Spain originally to share my observations on life in Spain for anyone thinking of moving here to live and work. Since then I’ve wanted to help transport listeners to Spain through the power of audio. Whether I’m wandering around a market, ordering tapas or attending one of Spain’s many ferias, I aim to take you with me!

With 63 episodes and counting, the podcast has evolved to include programmes about, food and drink, travel, history, society, cultural insights as well as practical advice.

My weekly episodes regularly feature in-depth interviews with special guests who know best, often looking at a lesser-known side of life here. For example, veganism in Spain, refugees or the stand-up comedy. My favourite episode? Probably the one about wine or the Arabic influence on Spanish. The most controversial? The one when I went to a bullfight for the first (and last) time. So, if you’re looking for a detailed yet general podcast about all different aspects of Spain, tune in!

The History of Spain podcast

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David Cot takes us back through thousands of years with his fortnightly History of Spain Podcast. In each episode he guides the listener chronologically through the comings and goings on the Iberian peninsular that have united and divided. Peoples, dynasties and kingdoms.

From the Paleolithic and Bronze Age in Iberia to The Roman conquest, the arrival of the Barbarians, Visigoths, the Caliphate of Córdoba, The Reconquest and beyond. The depth and breadth of David’s knowledge is incredible with each episode thoughtfully researched, well-paced and passionately told. If you’re a fellow history buff this a must-listen.

Spanish Wine Experience


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Hosts Luke Darracott and Roque Madrid (Yes that is his real name!) take us on what they call “a fun and boozy journey through Spain and its wines.” Yep, it does exactly what it says on the bottle. Luke and Roque are experts on Spanish wine and through their podcast guide us around all of Spain’s D.Os (Denominación de Origens) and wine regions, bottle by bottle. Tasting notes are included as well as recommendations and insights into Spanish wine history and culture. Their level of knowledge and detail is beyond impressive. After a year-long podcast hiatus while they opened their very own Spanish wine shop in Madrid, the vino duo are back with new episodes. And these guys are very entertaining too. Great banter and great wine. What more could you ask for?!

¿Qué?

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Want to keep up with the weekly news in Spain by listening? This is for you. ¿Qué? is a podcast by the Spanish national newspaper, El País and hosted by Simon Hunter who is also the editor of the English edition of El País online. An entertaining and often humorous weekly digest of what’s happening in Spain from Catalan independence to pensions, Brexit to pollution all the news stories are broken down analysed and put into an easily understandable context.

The Spanish Football podcast

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If you’re a Spanish football fan, tune in to this award-winning weekly LaLiga podcast hosted by commentators and sports journalists Sid Lowe, Phil Kitromilides and Alex Kirkland. They live and breathe Spanish football and share it with us every Monday during the season. Now in its seventh season TSFP is the definitive English-language podcast on Spanish football. The trio are all based in Spain and attend all the big games (and plenty of less big ones) to bring us the lowdown and of course the results.

Notes from Spain

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Before I even moved to Spain I was listening to Ben Curtis and his Spanish wife Marina Diez. Spain podcast pioneers, they produced the first ever podcast in English about Spain back in 2005. Think insights, observations and frustrations all about life in Spain with a bit of travel thrown in for good measure. I’ve always enjoyed the relaxed and conversational style of the show which brings us chats between husband and wife and Brit and Spaniard. Also, lots of sounds which transport you to all corners of Spain with a focus on Madrid. Sadly for us fans, Ben and Marina stopped making the podcast in 2011 to focus on their successful Notes in Spanish podcast. But it’s still available and still relevant nearly ten years later. Notes in Spain in part inspired me to follow in Ben’s footsteps and make the move to Spain and start my very own podcast.

Speaking of Spain



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In this quirky podcast series Paul Reid aka The Gazpachomonk tells us how to live, work and sweat in Spain through what he calls his ’garlicky commentaries’. Unfortunately, Paul only ever made 20 episodes of the show but they are well worth a listen. He talks about about tapas, Semana Santa, politics and his thoughts on authors, Laurie Lee and George Orwell who both wrote extensively about Spain. Paul also includes readings from his own serial about a character called Gerald whose Spanish dream turns into a bit of a nightmare. Listen out for the amusing sound effects throughout the podcast.

Spain Uncovered

 

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Refreshingly hosted in English but by a Spaniard. Pilar Orti lives in London but endeavours to show what life is really like in Spain. She examines Spanish traditions, language, culture and the Arts and has regular guests on the show too. There are even some parallel episodes which Pilar produced in Spanish and English, which is useful of you’re learning Spanish. The series ran from 2014 with last episode published in 2018 but all are still available and really worth listening to, especially if you want to learn some funny Spanish expressions and sayings.

 

Paul Burge is a former BBC journalist who moved from Oxford, UK to Madrid in 2013 where he now hosts the highly entertaining When in Spain a weekly podcast show about life in Madrid and beyond. He works as a freelance journalist and English teacher.  Follow Paul's observations and advice about living in Spain on FacebookInstagram, Twitter and his new YouTube channel.


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