10 Mouth-Watering Culinary Tours Around the World

May 27, 2014

Photo Credit: bigfatcat/Shutterstock

Whether taking full-immersion cooking courses, hiking through vineyards and orchards for tastings, hunting down the best urban street food, or scouring new farmers’ markets, culinary tourists are increasingly fanning the globe in search of authentic food experiences. A recent survey commissioned by the World Food Travel Association found that of the 170 million leisure travelers in the U.S., more than 30 percent chose trips based on the availability of culinary activities. From a tasting tour of China’s regional cuisines to a cooking class in the foothills of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, these 10 food-focused experiences are among the tastiest in the world.

Where: Italy
With its picture-perfect views of vertiginous mountains, manicured green valleys, and postcard villages, the Dolomites in far Northern Italy will be your home during thisWhole Journeys “active foodie” tour. Each day, you’ll earn your hearty dumplings, fabulous Alto Adige wines, and to-die-for strudel with vigorous hikes in the mountains, including a tour of the Geoparc Bletterbach, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During your stay at the delightful Hotel Villa Berghofer, you’ll assist the chef in making gnocchi and other dishes that will be served that night at dinner. (7 days; $4,995)
Insider Tip: Unleash your inner Heidi for a night at the Rifugio Franz Kostner, a rustic, albeit warm and cozy, hut high in the Sella mountains. After your hike up to the hut (you can also cheat and take a chairlift), you’ll be rewarded with jaw-dropping mountain views and a hearty dinner with the owners’ locally made wine.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Dolomites Guide


Photo Credit: Mariusz Niedzwiedzki/Shutterstock

Where: France
Your home base for this tour is Chateau de la Barge, a 14th-century castle hotel nestled in the heart of France’s famed Burgundy region, and where the hotel’s chef will teach you how to whip up such French classics as coq au vinbœuf Bourguignoncassoulet, Crêpe Suzette and wine-poached pears. There’s plenty of built-in free time in the afternoons to discover the area’s Pouilly-Fuissé and Beaujolais wineries on your own, or to join planned activities including an artisan-cheese tasting, a visit to Cluny Abbey, and an excursion to the Saturday market in the village of Chatillon. (6 nights; from $2,995)
Insider Tip: The chateau’s gregarious owner, Patrick Revoyre, usually participates in all of the classes and excursions, and he dines with guests, too. He’s even been known to invite the group to his home for a BBQ with his friends.
Plan Your Trip:Visit Fodor’s Burgundy Guide


Photo Credit: marco mayer/Shutterstock

Where: Mexico
Set in a luxury villa above the town ofTepoztlán, often referred to as the “Sedona of Mexico,” this culinary experience will find you settling into the rhythms of village life in no time. Chef Ana Garcia will show you how to make such toothsome Mexican dishes aschiles en nogada, red and green mole, pescado a la talla, and tamalesAfter the morning classes, hike up to the nearby pyramid or relax by the heated pool carved out of volcanic rock. (2, 5, or 7 nights; from $650)
Insider Tip: For a less expensive option, stay instead at the singularly unique Tubohotel on the outskirts of Tepoztlán. The 20 or so cylindrical “rooms” are made out of repurposed concrete drainage pipes and stacked into pyramids.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Tepoztlán Guide


Where: China
Intrepid’s busy tour begins in Beijing, where you’ll prowl the hutongs (alleys) in search of tantalizing street food, dine on the city’s signature dish (Peking duck), and explore theForbidden City and Tiananmen Square before heading to the famous Donghuamen Night Market, where the adventurous can snack on deep-fried centipedes or lizards on a stick. After a trip to the Great Wall, you’ll head to Xi’an to see the famous Terracotta Warriors, then savor spicy Sichuan cuisine inChengdu, where you’ll also visit a farm village. Wrap up your trip in Shanghai, increasingly a destination for trendy bars and cutting-edge restaurants. (10 days; from $2,035)
Insider Tip: The Chengdu area has been home to the critically endangered giant panda for thousands of years, and this trip includes a visit to the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, which works to increase the beloved animal’s numbers.
Plan Your Trip:  Visit Fodor’s China Guide


Photo Credit: bigfatcat/Shutterstock

Where: Peru
Begin this tour in Lima, where you’ll stock up at the main market before learning how to prepare traditional Peruvian dishes, and how to appreciate the complexities of variouspiscos (grape brandy), Peru’s national liquor. After exploring the modern-day capital city’s museums, you’ll embark for the capital of the ancient Incan empire, Cusco, to discover the Sacred Valley and the fascinating ruins ofMachu Picchu. After returning to Lima, head to the countryside for a class in pachamanca, the ancient method of using hot stones to cook marinated meats and vegetables. (7 days; from $2,835)
Insider Tip: No foodie trip would be complete without learning to make ceviche, a traditional Peruvian dish. Chunks of raw fish are marinated in lime juice, chopped onion, and chilies, and served with toasted corn kernels, slices of cooked potato, and seaweed.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Peru Guide


Photo Credit: Nonnakrit/Shutterstock

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By Deb Hopewell

Deb Hopewell is a freelance writer and editor whose travel stories have appeared in Fodors.com, TravelandLeisure.com, FourSeasons.com, Yahoo Travel, and the San Jose Mercury News, among others.

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