Italian cuisine served at a restaurant (Dreamstime)
List Words : Rhodri Andrews | 23 May

All you can eat! 15 irresistible foodie adventures

Taste your way around the world on these immersive food holidays – with cooking classes, wine tastings, incredible street food, and some of the finest local flavours you'll ever encounter...

Often the way to a traveller’s heart is through their stomach. Whether it’s the steaming street food of Vietnam or the sizzling steak of Argentina, thrilling local dishes invariably bring a country to life. Today, tour operators are becoming experts in whipping up tasty itineraries, and these are some of the best on the menu.

1: Travel by chocolate in Colombia

Colombian chocolate farm (Wild Frontiers)

Colombian chocolate farm (Wild Frontiers)

On Wild Frontiers’ From Coca to Cacao – A Colombia Chocolate Tour, you’ll unravel an industry entwined in Latin America’s history. Visit Santa Marta, Bogotá, Cartagena and beyond in the company of chocolatier Amelia Rope, tracing the journey of cacao from field to factory, restaurant and market stall, all the while admiring Colombia’s colonial charm, its famed salt cathedral, and sampling plenty more local delicacies along the way.

Who: Wild Frontiers (020 8741 7390)

When: 25 August 2018

How long: 14 days

How much: From £4,295 (excl flights)

2: A bite-sized weekend in Lisbon, Portugal

Pastel de nata (Riviera Travel)

Pastel de nata (Riviera Travel)

Join Riviera Travel on its Lisbon Taste Break and munch your way around the steep Portuguese capital’s intricately tiled buildings, cathedrals and palaces. Make a beeline for the Ribeira Nova market, where you can snack on octopus salad, grilled sardines and clams. Then, after a day spent climbing Lisbon’s many hills, treat yourself to one of Portugal’s famous pastéis de nata (custard tarts) – or two...

Who: Riviera Travel (01283 245359)

When: 21 June, 19 July, 16 August and 6 September 2018

How long: 4 days

How much: From £525 (incl flights)

3: Savour pho-nomenal cuisine in Vietnam

Fresh fish is served in Vietnam (Bamboo Travel)

Fresh fish is served in Vietnam (Bamboo Travel)

Taste the Flavours of Vietnam with Bamboo Travel. Dine on pho (noodle soup) and banh mi (stuffed baguettes) as you zoom through the aromatic food stalls of capital Hanoi on the back of a Vespa, then savour the sweet and spicy notes that flavour the imperial dishes of the ancient Nguyen dynasty in Hue. Finish amid the towering karsts of Halong Bay and the paddy fields of Vietnam’s ‘rice bowl’, the Mekong Delta, soaking up local delicacies.

Who: Bamboo Travel (020 7720 9285)

When: November–May

How long: 13 days

How much: From £2,725 (incl flights)

4: Gorge on Georgia

A selection of cheeses in Georgia (Shutterstock)

A selection of cheeses in Georgia (Shutterstock)

Eat like a local on Regent Holidays’ Cheese & Wine Tour of Georgia. Soak up the vineyards of the Kakheti region and the ancient stone-cut presses of Uplistsikhe, then dine on Imereti cheese in a Kutaisi guesthouse before tasting the fruits of a local family’s wine cellar in Koreti, as you devour the rustic delights of Georgia. Gaumarjos!

Who: Regent Holidays (020 7666 1250)

When: Year round

How long: 10 days

How much: From £2,345 (incl flights)

5: Feast on Berber dishes in Morocco

Explore Morocco's food markets (Fleewinter)

Explore Morocco's food markets (Fleewinter)

Nibble on Morocco's best bits on Fleewinter’s Moroccan Gastronomy Tour. Accompany a chef on a shopping trip in the souks of Essaouira and Marrakech, plus a classic Berber lunch, local hospitality and pastry-making classes, before riding a camel along the coast for a picnic and learning how to bake Moroccan bread high up in the Atlas Mountains. Delicious.

Who: Fleewinter (020 7112 0019)

When: Year round

How long: 8 days

How much: From £750 (excl flights)

6: Eat your way around Italy

Italian cheese market (Great Rail Journeys)

Italian cheese market (Great Rail Journeys)

Enjoy a greatest hits journey through Europe’s favourite cuisine on Great Rail Journeys’ Gastronomic Italy 2018 trip. Sip wine while soaking up Florence’s architectural wonders, master pasta in Bologna and finish up in Parma, exploring the stories behind its top foodie trio – Parma ham, parmesan cheese and wine.

Who: Great Rail Journeys (01904 521936)

When: 8 September 2018

How long: 10 days

How much: From £2,615 (incl rail travel)

7: Experience the flavours of Oaxaca, Mexico

Taste local cuisine in Oaxaca (Shutterstock)

Taste local cuisine in Oaxaca (Shutterstock)

Visit one of Mexico’s tastiest corners with Travel The Unknown and discover the Flavours of Mexico. Whip up a classic mole sauce with a chef, taste your way through food markets, and cook up dishes with locals using ingredients like cacti and agave flowers. Throw in day trips to valley-nesting Santiago Apoala and the Monte Albán ruins to enrich your stay.

Who: Travel The Unknown (020 7183 6371)

When: 6 October 2018, 9 February and 5 October 2019

How long: 9 days

How much: From £1,565 (excl flights)

8: Sushi and sake in Japan

Sample traditional Japanese dishes (World Expeditions)

Sample traditional Japanese dishes (World Expeditions)

Head to a land where food is art on World Expeditions’ Food Lover’s Japan tour. Sculpt sushi dishes in the skyscrapers of Tokyo, be treated to a tea ceremony by Kyoto’s geiko (hostesses), and work it off on the UNESCO-listed Kumano Kodo trail before holing up with a chef in a mountain minshuku (B&B) to hone your palate.

Who: World Expeditions (0800 0744 135)

When: 8 and 22 October 2018

How long: 13 days

How much: From £3,950 (excl flights)

9: Taste the ancient flavours of Peru

Aguaje fruit (Journey Latin America)

Aguaje fruit (Journey Latin America)

Combine iconic travel destinations with local flavours on Journey Latin America’s A Taste of Peru trip. Fill up on history as you explore Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca capital Cusco and the Sacred Valley, then sample the famed fusion food of Lima – as well as pisco (brandy) tastings, a real ranch barbecue, and a trip to a chocolate museum.

Who: Journey Latin America (020 3131 7959)

When: Year round

How long: 12 days

How much: From £3,150 (excl flights)

10: Sink your teeth into Sicily

Aubergine and cheese stacks (Exodus Travels)

Aubergine and cheese stacks (Exodus Travels)

Exodus Travel’s Sicily Food Adventure tour proves that the way to Italy’s treasures is through your stomach. Have your fill of Italian cuisine: the street food of Palermo, the wine regions of Marsala, and today’s catch in the fishing village of Sciacca. Walk it off with a stroll among fine architecture, from the elaborate Villa Romana del Casale to the baroque facades of Ragusa.

Who: Exodus Travels (020 8003 9165)

When: Selected dates June and September-November 2018; April 2019

How long: 8 days

How much: From £1,449 (incl flights)

11: Have supper with the Sami in Sweden

Have dinner with a Sami host (Off The Map Travel)

Have dinner with a Sami host (Off The Map Travel)

Delve into indigenous cooking on Off The Map Travel’s Sami Culture & Seasonal Suppers trip. Head to snowy Lulea in the heart of Lapland, staying in Sami-style accommodation and delving into cooking classes using local produce to create age-old dishes. Bake gahkku (bread) over an open fire and embrace treetop dining with a three-course Lappish feast 10m up in the pines.

Who: Off The Map Travel (0800 566 8901)

When: May-September

How long: 3 nights

How much: From £2,500 (excl flights)

12: Bite into the Balkans in Macedonia

Sample Balkan cuisine (KE Adventure)

Sample Balkan cuisine (KE Adventure)

Soak up one of Europe’s secret foodie spots on KE Adventure’s Tastes and Trails of Macedonia tour. Hike the gorges, waterfalls and mountains of Mavrovo and Galicica national parks. Now you’ve built up an appetite, enjoy a lakeside lunch with Mavrovo dishes such as pies and kachamak (cornmeal and potato), sip rakija (brandy) with a local family, and finish in the lively restaurant scene of Skopje.

Who: KE Adventure (01768 773966)

When: 19 August and 9 September 2018; 2 June, 18 August and 8 September 2019

How long: 8 days

How much: From £755 (excl flights)

13: Michelin-starred meals in Thailand

Shop at street markets for local produce (Audley)

Shop at street markets for local produce (Audley)

On Audley’s Culinary Tour of Thailand you'll munch on Michelin-starred meals in Bangkok and paddle Amphawa’s floating food market. Taste khao soi noodles as you wander the temples of Chiang Mai, and eat with the tribes of Chiang Rai before relaxing on Phuket's beautiful beaches.

Who: Audley (01993 838115)

When: Year round

How long: 16 days

How much: From £4,100 (incl flights)

14: Taste the Sierra Nevada, Spain

Lunch with a view (Jonathon Lord)

Lunch with a view (Jonathon Lord)

Join Walks Worldwide on its Walks and Wine in Sierra Nevada break, hiking and eating your way across southern Spain's mountain range. Visit an oil mill in Huerta village, taste the produce of a family-owned winery near the village of Ugijar, explore the mighty Alhambra Palace, and sample serrano ham among the forested slopes of Poqueira Gorge.

Who: Walks Worldwide (01962 302085)

When: 1 September 2018

How long: 7 days

How much: From £1,399 (excl flights)

15: From market to plate in India

Southern Indian cuisine (Dreamstime)

Southern Indian cuisine (Dreamstime)

Get a tropical introduction to Indian food on a Cooking Course in Goa with On The Go Tours. Learn how to cook northern, southern and Goan cuisine, sniff up a spice garden, wake up to breakfast in the Goan capital of Panjim – before chilling on Goa's gorgeous beaches.

Who: On The Go Tours (020 7371 1113)

When: Year round

How long: 8 days

How much: From £1,296 (excl flights)