Culinary and Wine Tours Around the World

Learn to Cook and Taste Great Wines on Vacation!

By Sarah Cavicchi

Learning to cook on vacation.
Learning to cook on vacation.

If your tastes are a little bit more refined and want to indulge in the cultural cuisine of far off places, start by taking one of the indulgent tours listed below. Luxury, class and pampering are a specialty for most of these tours. Don’t dare worry about a single thing, just sit back relax and let your taste buds take on all the excitement.

Avid to amateur wine enthusiasts are able to visit wineries from South Africa to Thailand to Spain. Cook like the Italians in private kitchens all over Italy. Leave your recipe book at home, and mix your own ingredients for one delicious and hedonistic adventure. Let the cooking and tasting begin!

Wine Desk Cape Wineland Tours
PO Box 51460
Waterfront 8002
Cape Town – South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)21- 418 0108 Fax: +27 (0)86- 661 054

The Wine Desk is a South African Tour Company run by wine aficionado/expert Ligia de Coito, specializing in the Winelands of Cape Town, South Africa. Since she only works with accredited specialist wine tour guides, you’re guaranteed a fun trip and user-friendly tours no matter what your wine experience. If want to enjoy yourself and the Cape’s stunning wines, great because that’s what the Wine Desk is for.

Heritage Tours
121 West 27th St.
Suite 1201
New York, NY 10001 United States
Tel: 800-378-4555 Fax: 212-206-9101

Pigs on the barbie; it's what's for dinner.
Pigs on the barbie; it’s what’s for dinner.

Custom-designed private tours to South Africa, Morocco, Spain and Turkey. Expert, private guides, itineraries tailored to your interests. Honeymoon, Jewish heritage, food/wine and soft adventure specialists. Recommended by Travel+Leisure.

Myths and Mountains
976 Tee Court
Incline Village, Nevada 89451 United States
Tel: 800-670-6984 Fax: 775-832-4454

Myths and Mountains offers various immersion tours in South America, Asia, and Southeast Asia. With special attention to unique local details, they offer an extensive tour of Argentina’s Iguazu Falls and Mendoza’s wine country, home cooking under the shadows of Machu Picchu, Peru, and home stays with Bhutan locals during the fall and spring festival seasons.

Small groups, custom trips, and non-profit organizations are all great options as well. They also run a non-profit called READ Global (Rural Education and Development) and committed to leaving little to no carbon foot print as they roam, leaving the ecological and social conscious travelers at ease.

Tailored Travel New Zealand Custom Tours
RD 2 Wakefield
Nelson, 7181 New Zealand
Tel: +64-3-543-3825 Fax: +64-3-543-3640

African cooking techniques learned in cooking school.
African cooking techniques learned in cooking school.

Know the country rather than just see it! You will experience delightful New Zealand with your private customized tour. They ensure personal attention to details for your experience; in design and on tour.

And with wine and gourmet themes available, Tailored Travel New Zealand does right by winos and foodies alike. Professionally guided for the discerning traveler, only two to four guests per tour.

March Hare
91 Loop Line
RD 1, Masterton 5881 New Zealand
Tel: 021 668 970,

Gretchen Bunny offers a little exercise along with a chance to taste the great wines of New Zealand’s North Island. You set off on a mountain bike through fields, by railroad tracks and by farms on a preset itinerary to four vineyards and an olive oil plantation. The day trip includes a lovely packed lunch and a one-on-one with each winemaker, plus tastings.

Australian Wine Tour Co.

100 Rokeby St. Collingwood VIC
Australia 3066
Tel: 613-9419 4444

Coffee beans in Peru. photo Myths and Mountains.
Coffee beans in Peru. photo Myths and Mountains.

Join 20 or so jovial Aussies in the beautiful state of Victoria (near Melbourne) for a day trip to visit wineries, plus get a chance to talk to the winemakers. The trip takes you to 20 wineries, passing by kangaroos on golf courses and learning all about the area from a knowledgeable young guide. The trip includes lunch and a nice cross section of the more than 60 wineries in the Yarra Valley.

France… Off the Beaten Path
7 Rue Surcouf
Gouesnou, Finistere 29850 France
Tel: 877-846-2831 Fax: 603-853-7266

French-American owned company with 15 years experience specializing in small group walking, active cultural and specialty tours to Provence, Loire Valley, Dordogne, Bordeaux, Alsace, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Paris and Southwest France. Itineraries meet the interests of active travelers seeking a culturally enriching, interactive and personalized vacation. Intimately experience French culture, with opportunities to walk and ride through picturesque countryside, dine with local residents, meet village merchants, and wine taste “en famille.”

Via de’ Pepi 56 red
50122 Firenze
Tel: +39 055 2346511 Fax: +39 055 2346511

Vinarium is a Firenze based tour group offering up guided tours throughout the Florentine enotecas (a phrase that roughly translates to wine libraries, or the less glamorous wine depository). In their 30 year lifetime, Vinarium has also expanded to offer cooking class and chocolate themed tours as well, but the vino tours are their speciality.

Cook In Israel

Tel: +972 54 4649706 Fax: +972 3 5403569

Cook In Israel offers up week-long culinary tours that feature local food and wines, excursions to their open-air markets, and hands-on cooking classes. Run by two local ladies who love food, Cook In Israel culinary tours are one of the more unique ways to get to know the country.

Moroccan spices. photo: Heritage Tours.
Moroccan spices. photo: Heritage Tours.

Gourmet on Tour
Gourmet On Tour Ltd.
28 Old Brompton Road, Suite 828
London SW7 3SS, United Kingdom
Tel: +1 646 461 6088 Fax: +1 800 886 2229

Since 2000, Gourmet on Tour has offered one of a kind gourmet vacations. With over 80 cooking course, culinary and wine appreciate tours across the world including Europe, Asia, Mexico, the US, and Morocco, calling their destination options expansive is an understatement. You can also choose to join a group, organize a private tour, or even customize your own solo trip.

Culinary Immersion Tours
11200 Donner Pass Road #136
Truckee, CA 96161
Tel: 1 (877) 454-3672 Fax: 1 (530) 582-4249

From the spice of Thai food to the exotic textures of Laos cuisine and the sour mixes found in Cambodia, this tour run by Journeys Within will take you through multiple countries to treat your taste buds. And waiting for you in each city is a cooking class in the local cuisine, a meal hosted by a local family and of a night out at the local hot spot restaurant.

Learning to make French pastries. In France.
Learning to make French pastries. In France.

Chocolate Lovers Paradise Tours
4 Ravenswood Court
West Nyack, NY 10994
Tel: (845) 510-9630 Fax: (845) 510-9633

Designed by a native Belgian for chocolate lovers who are looking for a unique travel experience, the Chocolate Lovers Paradise Tours run through InTrend International Travel and features the Belgian cities of Brussels, Bruges, and Antwerp. Guests will receive diplomas for participating in chocolate-making demonstrations.

Other highlights include a medieval banquet and feast, a diamond-themed cocktail party, and many delicious meals with Belgian specialties and of course, chocolate desserts.


Sarah Cavicchi is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and an editorial assistant for GoNOMAD. She writes our daily Travel News Notes blog.

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