Culinary travel has been my hottest trip of the year-
by far the most requested travel experience beating out safaris and iconic cities. Today’s travel epicures want a true taste of a destination, be it Vietnamese street food, French haute cuisine or Charleston lowcountry fare. Whether making chocolates in Belgium, perfecting pizzas in Montalcino, or sampling fine wines and artisan cheeses in Mendoza, these vacations, with the help of my outstanding travel partners around the glove, are sure to satisfy the most discerning traveler’s cravings.
Tour Local Markets, Dine in Pagodas
With its blend of Chinese, Indian, French and American influences, Vietnamese food defines fusion cuisine. Discover its contrasting flavors, varied textures, and exotic ingredients during a market tour and private cooking class or even a vegetarian lunch with nuns at a pagoda in Hanoi. Visit a farming village and share a noontime meal with Buddhist monks in Hoi An, or shop a local market and cook your own authentic street food!
Bella Bologna, Medieval Markets
Dive right in to the cultural cuisine of Bologna over a cup of coffee in the finest café. Learn about fine ingredients and great specialties of this region of Italy. AS you tour the open-air food stalls at the atmospheric medieval market, your guide with give you a local’s perspective on selecting the finest ingredients. Among other historic food shops and delis visit an artisan chocolate maker and sample authentic, aged Balsamic vinegar and of course lasagna as Bologna is its birthplace! Enjoy assorted cheeses and cured meats of the region paired with a glass of local Sangiovese di Romagna DOC
Kayak the Historic Douro River By Day and Enjoy Classic Vineyard Estates By Night
This exclusive travel experience by NatHab has no peer in! Savor the best in traditional European ambience and cuisine on a Dionysian paddling odyssey between quintas – the vineyard mansions and farmhouses – of northern Portugal's port wine district. Share warm personal connections with hosts and enjoy an inside encounter with contemporary rural life in Portugal. You will paddle the mellow river during the sun-drenched days, hike into the hills for fabulous views, then wine and dine at night. As your hosts say, "A sua saude" – to your health!
(Photo credits: below Olaf Malver/Nathab and above Artisans of Leisure )