Is food your passion? If you don’t feel like you’ve truly experienced a new place until you’ve tasted every flavor it has to offer, then these 2018 culinary tours are for you. From cooking classes with local chefs to cheese and chocolate tastings, these foodie vacations offer a wealth of ways to sink your teeth into a destination’s cuisine.
But these culinary tours aren’t just about food. You’ll also get to explore temples and palaces, monasteries and markets, and much more, giving you the full-bodied flavor of each destination.
The Best Culinary Tours of 2018
At the time of publication, the following culinary vacations had availability throughout 2018, but they could sell out at any time. If any of these culinary tours tempt your taste buds, book soon to avoid disappointment.
Sample Pizza, Cheese, and Cannoli in Sicily
From caponata (an eggplant and olive salad) to cannoli, Sicily is full of delicious regional dishes, and you can sample them all on this seven-night trip with Exodus Travels. Have a slice of sfincione (the local version of pizza) on a street food tour in Palermo, then learn how Arabic flavors have influenced Sicilian cuisine during a cooking class in Trapani. Taste wines in Marsala, cheese in Ragusa, and fresh produce in the Etna region. You’ll also visit some of Sicily’s most notable historic sites. Departures for this trip are available from April through November 2018.
Visit Local Farms and Have a Chocolate Lunch in Costa Rica
Costa Rica may be known for its natural beauty, but this seven-night foodie vacation with Access Culinary Trips will introduce you to the country’s tastier side. The itinerary includes visits to local farms—including an organic coffee plantation and a pineapple farm—a cocktail class, dinner in the home of a local family, and a Costa Rican cooking workshop at the base of the Arenal Volcano. You can even indulge in a chocolate lunch. Non-foodie activities include a river safari in a wildlife refuge and a visit to a private hot spring. This trip operates on select dates from May through December 2018.
Have a Real Food Adventure in India
The colors and chaos of India can induce sensory overload, and so can the diverse flavors of its cuisine. Take your taste buds for a ride on this 14-night culinary tour with Intrepid Travel, where you can sample everything from kulfi falooda (a creamy dessert) in Delhi and kachori (fried bread with lentils and vegetables) in Jaipur to street food in Mumbai and coconutty fish curry in Goa. You’ll also wander through bustling markets and visit the country’s best-known landmark, the Taj Mahal. This trip has numerous departures from September through December 2018.
Savor the Flavors of Morocco
The first time you taste a Moroccan tagine (stew), you’ll want to know how to recreate it yourself at home—and this trip from The International Kitchen, a company known for its hands-on culinary tours, will help you do just that. Over the course of 10 days you’ll participate in four unique cooking workshops, including one in a riad (traditional Moroccan house) in Fes and another in a small Berber village. You’ll also wander through the narrow lanes of historic medinas and marvel over richly decorated mosques. This trip is available any week by request.
Taste Comida Tipica in Ecuador
Combine sightseeing with culinary experiences on this five-night trip with Great Value Vacations. You’ll start and end in the high-altitude city of Quito, where you can visit a traditional market and taste Ecuadorian chocolate. The trip also includes a visit to a local home, where a Kichwa family will give you a hands-on lesson in Andean cuisine. A stop in Otavalo’s legendary textile and handicraft market is another highlight. Trips depart April through December 2018.
Live the Good Life in the South of France
Fine wines. Sweet, flaky pastries. Leisurely walks through sun-splashed countryside. Sound appealing? If so, this six-night culinary vacation with Classic Journeys is for you. Beginning and ending in the town of Avignon, the trip includes four cooking lessons (including a pastry class) as well as market and vineyard visits and dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant. You’ll also explore Avignon’s Papal Palace and follow in the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh, who lived in this part of Provence. This trip is available on select dates in May, July, and October 2018.
Taste Vietnam from Top to Bottom
If you’re looking for culinary tours featuring the distinctive tastes of Southeast Asia, consider this 11-night offering from Peregrine Adventures. The itinerary takes you from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, with highlights such as cooking classes with local chefs, dinner under the stars on Halong Bay, a meal with a local family in their home, and plenty of tasty street food. In between foodie experiences you can appreciate French colonial architecture, join local fishermen in pursuit of the day’s catch, and visit a Buddhist monastery. This tour departs on select dates between July and December 2018.
Eat, Drink, and Hike in Napa and Sonoma
This food-focused active trip with Backroads features a cooking workshop at the Ramekins culinary school in Sonoma, a French galette baking lesson, a tour of the garden at Yountville’s famed French Laundry restaurant, and—of course—plenty of wine tastings. Work off those indulgent meals with hikes on mountain and coastal redwood trails. The four-night trip starts and ends in San Francisco and is available from May through October 2018.
Discover West African Cuisine in Ghana
If you’re always looking for new flavors to try, consider this off-the-beaten-path culinary tour with Landtours Ghana (bookable through TourRadar). The nine-night adventure includes multiple cooking workshops—including one held on a beach—to introduce you to the spices and ingredients of traditional West African dishes. You’ll also sample Ghanaian sweets, visit a cocoa plantation, and haggle at West Africa’s largest open-air market. Non-food highlights include stops in craft villages and a sobering tour of dungeons where slaves were once held. This trip is available on select dates through December 2018.
More from SmarterTravel:
- The 9 Best European Tours for 2018
- 12 Delicious Destinations for Foodies
- What to Eat in the World’s Top Foodie Cities
Follow Sarah Schlichter on Twitter @TravelEditor for more travel tips and inspiration.
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