Great Gastronomic Getaways

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Enjoy world-class food and wine on these indulgent culinary vacations

Posted by: Xanterra on March 7, 2019

Cycle to the world-famous wineries of the Côte de Beaune, passing renowned villages such as Puligny Montrachet, Meursault, and Pommard — considered by many oenophiles the mecca of Chardonnay production.

Do you consider yourself a foodie? Do you plan your vacations around great meals? Do you have a taste for epicurean adventure? Then whet your appetite on these great culinary getaways — from food-themed cruises to a biking tour of France’s wine country to a walking tour of Italy’s top gastronomic region. Bon appétit!

Food

Epicurean Cruise

Live out your foodie fantasies as you sail on a culinary-themed cruise with a James Beard Foundation chef and sommelier aboard an intimate Windstar vessel. Enjoy hosted dinners with the chef and sommelier, which include wine pairings. Observe demonstrations by the chefs as they prepare some of their favorite recipes. Partake of wine, spirits, or beer tastings guided by the beverage expert. Go shopping at local markets accompanied by the chef as he or she provisions that night’s dinner. And take a port or farm tour with the onboard culinary expert as your guide.

Windstar’s James Beard Foundation cruises sail all over the world, from Asia and Europe to Alaska and the Caribbean. They include: Pop Culture Kings of Asia, Classic Italy & Dalmatian Coast, Yachtsman’s Harbors of the Riviera, Costa Rica & Panama Canal, West Coast Epicurean Extravaganza, and Alaska & James Beard Foundation West Coast Adventure.

Recognized by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler on the 2016 Gold List of Favorite Cruise Lines and by USA TODAY readers for Best Boutique Cruise Line, Windstar’s fleet of small luxury sailing ships and all-suite power yachts with 148 to 310 guests bring you closer to smaller ports and exclusive local experiences around the world. Visit windstarcruises.com or call 888-460-5098 for more information.

grapes

France for Wine Lovers

Immerse yourself in France’s celebrated wine region on a weeklong biking tour with VBT, “Burgundy: The Wine Route.” Spin your way from from Lyon to Dijon — two UNESCO World Heritage Sites — through a countryside bursting with vineyards and charming stone villages along riverbanks. Cycle to the world-famous wineries of the Côte de Beaune, passing renowned villages such as Puligny Montrachet, Meursault, and Pommard — considered by many oenophiles the mecca of Chardonnay production. Visit Nuits St George, the region where famed Côte de Nuits red wines are produced. Stop to sample the wines along the way in this bucolic corner of France. Savor classic French cuisine at a Michelin-approved restaurant and at a picnic lunch with a local family. And drink a toast to France’s legendary food and wine — some of the best in the world. À votre santé!

VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations offer more than 55 deluxe, small-group bicycling, walking, and barge & sail vacations in 27 different countries and 10 U.S. states. They are the value leader in active biking vacations and have been rated among the “World’s Best Tour Operators” by the readers of Travel + Leisure for seven years. Each trip includes all accommodations, many meals, two expert local trip leaders, unique sightseeing and cultural activities, and full van support. Unlike other companies, VBT also includes round-trip international airfare from more than 30 U.S. cities and select Canadian cities for all overseas vacations. Visit vbt.com or call 800-245-3868 for more information.

Italy Wine

Italy for Gourmands

Have you ever wanted to make pasta in a hands-on cooking class at an Italian farmhouse restaurant? Longed to search for white and black truffles with an expert forager in the forested hills of Italy? Desired to sample the legendary sheep cheese in the home of a master cheese maker who uses milk from his own Langhe ewes?

Then Country Walkers’ seven-day guided walking tour, “Italy: Piedmont,” is for you.

As the birthplace of the Slow Food movement, the Piedmont region is one of Italy’s food capitals, offering an array of authentic culinary experiences. As you stroll the gentle hillsides and country lanes, you’ll sample world-class wines in 200-year-old cellars and meet artisanal beekeepers, vintners, and cheese makers and taste their wares along the way. Have lunch at a local agriturismo, a farm that welcomes visitors to partake of its bounty. Follow the medieval “Salt Route” connecting Italy and France, where you’ll cross nature parks framed by snow-capped Alpine peaks, and pass through chestnut forests full of wild truffles, hazelnut groves, and rows of neatly tended grape arbors. Finally, visit several of the renowned wine-producing villages of Barolo country and enjoy a tour and tasting at the historical Marchesi di Barolo winery. There’s no better way to experience the culinary cornucopia of the Piedmont, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for its unique viticultural landscape.

For more than 39 years, Country Walkers has provided active, immersive, and unforgettable travel experiences on five continents. They offer two distinct ways to explore: scheduled, small-group Guided Walking Adventures and independent Self-Guided Walking Adventures. On tour, guests enjoy superb local cuisine, first-class guides, fine accommodations, and authentic cultural and natural encounters. Visit countrywalkers.com or call 800-234-6900 for more information.

How to Explore

For more travel experiences to Beautiful Places on Earth® available from the Xanterra Travel Collection and its affiliated properties, visit xanterra.com/explore.


Author

Written by: Veronica Stoddart

Award-winning travel editor and writer Veronica Stoddart was the former editor in chief of the Travel Media Group at USA TODAY. She has written for nearly two dozen publications and websites.

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