One of the highlights of a vacation for so many clients here in the Mediterranean is the food and wine. Some return home still dreaming of that perfect pasta carbonara or the tagine they tried in Fes. However, so many others start these dreams before they even leave for their trip. Those who love food travel to immerse themselves in the gastronomic history of a destination. Food lovers enjoy visiting farms and vineyards, taking tasting tours and eating their way through each stop. Planning a tailor made culinary holiday in the Mediterranean is an incredible dream trip for those who truly love food and wine.
This week, we will share with you some sample itineraries for a gastronomic dream trip for food lovers. A tailor made vacation with Bella Vita Travels is never “one size fits all”. One of the benefits of working with us is that your trip starts where it should – with you. Your dreams, your travel style and your ideal destinations. We work with you to craft your perfect, unforgettable Mediterranean holiday. To follow, you will find ideas to get your wanderlust (and tastebuds) intrigued, but please remember that all of our trips can be changed as you wish. Some clients even combine countries as they taste and sip their way through Europe! For those of us who are true food lovers, the Mediterranean is our ideal playground, and the possibilities are almost endless.
Morocco for food lovers
Food lovers will experience the delicious culinary specialties of each with our “Tastes of Morocco” itinerary. These include Rabat, Fes, and Marrakesh. Lastly, you’ll wrap up your trip in the High Atlas Mountains with a relaxing stay at one of Morocco’s most luxurious Kasbahs. This will be an unforgettable cultural and culinary experience.
Moroccan cuisine is one of the most interesting of the countries that touch both the Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic Ocean. With multiple cultures that influence the country’s evolution, you can find traces of Southern Spanish, French, and Jewish culinary traditions in addition to the traditional Berber and Arabic styles. The ingredients they use here are truly spectacular, and this itinerary will have you taste your way through the country.
Rabat, 1 night
Upon your arrival in Casablanca, you will meet your private driver. You’ll spend the night in Rabat and then head to Fes, your next stop, with options on the way such as a Half-day Highlights Tour of the Capital of Morocco.
Fes, 3 nights: we can arrange for you…
- A Private Guided Tour of the City of Fes
- A Full Day Tour to Meknes and Volubilis with Lunch and Wine Tasting. Meknes is known as the“Moroccan Versailles”. Afterward, you’ll visit the Roman ruins of Volubilis, a UNESCO heritage site. The ruins were excavated by the French in 1915. You will also enjoy a traditional Moroccan meal with a wine tasting during your excursion, a treat for food lovers. Eventually, you will return to your lovely accommodations in the late afternoon.
- a Private Sufi Dinner Experience. You will experience a wonderful Sufi expereince first-hand. Afterward, you’ll enjoy a private meal with a local family. This is truly a unique chance to have a glimpse of daily Moroccan life.
- A Special Fassi Cooking Class. Located within the walls of Fes’ ancient Medina, you’ll enjoy a traditional Fassi (Fes style) cooking class.
Marrakesh, 4 nights: Food lovers will love…
- En-route to Marrakesh, we’ll arrange for you to stop for lunch in Moulay Idriss, a small but culturally important city and famous for its unique sweets. Here you can explore the daily market before walking up to lunch in a private home looking over the city.
- A Full Day Private Discovery of Marrakesh.
- A Private Moroccan Cooking Class and Lunch. Your culinary experience takes place in the Amizmiz Valley. This is an area still populated by Berbers who still stick to their traditional way of life. Just a short ride from Marrakesh, this valley has been little affected by tourism and modernity. Following your class, you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor under the shady trees of the garden- a truly unforgettable experience!
- A Full-day Excursion to Essaouria. Your guide and driver will accompany you to this charming village on the Atlantic coast. Food lovers will be thrilled with the fresh seafood! You can (and should) enjoy a delicious seafood lunch along the oceanfront.
High Atlas Mountains, 2 nights
Last but not least, on your Tastes of Morocco tour is a trip back in time to the village of Asni in the High Atlas Mountains.
During your stay in Asni, we can arrange for you to enjoy a visit to the larger village of nearby Ilmil, where you will enjoy a donkey ride to the village peak. Here you can enjoy a panoramic traditional lunch overlooking the mountains at a local Kasbah!
On your departure day, you will have a private transfer to the Marrakesh Airport for your flight home or beyond.
If you are not yet ready to go home, we can add several options to your Tastes of Morocco tour. You can extend your vacation in Morocco with visits north to the ‘blue city’ of Chefchaouen and the international port city of Tangiers. Or why not head north across the Strait of Gibraltar to visit Spain or Portugal?
For more details on our food lovers trip to Morocco, you can find the detailed itinerary here on our website: Tastes of Morocco.
In our “Portugal Food and Wine Adventure” itinerary, you will experience a 12-day adventure of some of Portugal‘s most interesting destinations for food and wine lovers. These include Lisbon, the Alentejo wine region, Porto, and the Douro Valley.
Portugal is one of Europe’s least known, but most exciting, countries for wine and food lovers. Bathed by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and cradled by Spain to the East, Portugal has a lot to offer. This itinerary allows you to enjoy four different “tastes” of this amazing country in absolute luxury.
Lisbon, 3 nights
Your private driver will pick you up from the Lisbon airport and accompany you to your hotel. We can arrange these activities perfect for food lovers:
- A Welcome Cooking Class and Dinner in Portuguese Style. You will start your adventure by learning about Portugal’s most important element, it’s cuisine! In the late afternoon, your private driver will pick you up and accompany you to meet your host (a local chef!) for your first night in Portugal. Following your class, you’ll sit down to a full meal that you have created!
- A Private Tour of the Highlights of Lisbon including stops at historic and traditional food shops and markets.
- A Private Day Trip and Tour to Cascais and Sintra with Cooking Lesson and Lunch. The first stop is the fishing village of Cascais. Upon arrival, you’ll enjoy a private guided tour to the local market accompanied by your chef. Following your market tour, you’ll enjoy a private cooking lesson at a charming noble house facing the sea. Then, you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labors with a delicious lunch. Finally, continue to beautiful Sintra. Your expert guide will lead you on a private guided tour of the historical center and visit the colorful Pena Palace.
Evorà, 2 nights
Evorà is a World Heritage Site that embodies the charm of authentic Portugal. Located in the center of the Alentejo region, it is the perfect base for exploring the treasures of central Portugal.
- Private Tour of the City and its Surroundings. Evorà’s history dates back to Roman times. On your tour, you’ll see the city’s Roman temple, the beautiful architecture from the town’s golden age in the 15th century, the charming cobblestoned streets and whitewashed houses.
- Discovery of the Alentejo wine region. The Alentejo region of southern central Portugal is a rural inland area consisting of rolling hills and plains. Hence, it is sometimes referred to as the “Tuscany of Portugal”. Your private driver will accompany you to one of the region’s most respected wineries. Here you will enjoy a tour of the property and tastings of their wines. Afterward, enjoy a delicious lunch of specialties of Alentejo cuisine. In the afternoon you will visit another family-owned winery where you will discover more about the local wines and traditions. During the day, you’ll also visit one of the Alentejo’s famed olive producers for a tour and tasting that food lovers will never forget.
Porto, 4 nights
Your private driver can show you the villages of Óbidos, Nazaré (a fisherman’s village and a famous surf spot) Aveiro on your way to Porto. After, you will be able to have the following experiences in this vibrant city:
- Private Half-Day Walking Tour of the city.
- An Evening Porto Petiscos Tour. Together with your local guide, you’ll walk through the city discovering hidden streets and food spots, sampling Portuguese ‘petiscos’ (like Spanish tapas) and a variety of wines along the way.
- Private Port Lodges of Porto Tour and Tasting. Across the Douro river, facing Porto, you’ll visit the city of Gaia, home of more than 60 Port wine lodges. You will enjoy a guided visit and tasting at the19th-century Graham’s port cellar. Then, you’ll have reservations for lunch at the acclaimed on-site restaurant Vinum. Following lunch, you’ll visit a second port lodge, Real Companhia Velha.
- A Portuguese Market Tour and Traditional Cooking Class. Accompanied by your local private guide, you’ll discover the secrets of Portugal’s many unique ingredients and cooking techniques. After a trip to the market, you’ll create (and then enjoy!) a full Portuguese meal, all accompanied by the country’s delicious wines.
Douro Valley, 2 nights
It’s time to move on to the next destination of your Luxurious Portugal tour, the beautiful Douro Valley. Here you will stay in one of the country’s most elegant and splendorous hotels. During your stay, you’ll be immersed in the vineyards, above the winding Douro river, a perfect way to end your adventure!
We can arrange a Full Day Tour of the Douro Valley Wine Region with a Private Winery Lunch and Private Rabelo Boat Ride. This is a true highlight of a food lovers trip, and the best way to end your time in Portugal.
On the day of your departure, your private driver will take you to the Porto Airport for your flight home or elsewhere.
If you are not yet ready to go home, we can add several options to your Portugal Wine and Food Adventure. A few days on the Azore Islands or lush Madeira? Or perhaps, a visit to the sun-kissed shores of the Algarve coast? The trip is yours to decide!
For more details on our Portugal food and wine adventure, you can find the detailed itinerary here on our website: Portugal for Wine and Food Lovers
Food and Wine of Northern Italy
In our “Food and Wine of Nothern Italy” itinerary, you will embark on a gastronomic experience like no other! This delectable journey concentrates on the sublime food and wine of Northern Italy. Additionally, learn about how geography and history have shaped the regional dishes and wines from Piemonte to Emilia-Romagna to Tuscany. Food lovers will enjoy each regions’ local specialties through cooking, market visits, wine tastings, market visits, and more.
Piemonte (Piedmont), 3 nights
Upon arrival in Milano or Torino, your private transfer to deliver you to your beautiful accommodations in the heart of the Piemontese countryside.
During your stay in Piemonte, we will arrange the following special experiences:
- A fabulous Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate Tour of the region. Enjoy a private guided tour to discover Piedmont’s genuine products: sought-after wines, cheese, and chocolate.
- A Day of Truffle Hunting and Eating! The beautiful Monferrato landscape will be the backdrop for the day. Join a “trifolau” and his truffle dog for a hunt through the woods for the famous white truffles in the region. Afterward, you will have lunch at a local farmhouse. Here feast on a traditional home-cooked Piemontese meal served with fresh White Truffle and wines.
Bologna – a dream for food lovers, 3 nights
The next destination on your Food and Wine of Northern Italy tour will be Bologna. Your private transfer will be waiting to take you to the culinary capital of Italy. While you are staying in Bologna, you will enjoy:
- A Half-day tour of Bologna’s historical, cultural and culinary highlights.
- A fascinating journey learning about the Culinary Specialties of the Region of Emilia Romagna. These include Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Prosciutto di Parma ham, Lambrusco wine, and last but not least, Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale balsamic vinegar.
Tuscan countryside, 3 nights
We have several wonderful lodgings options for your consideration, ranging from castles to renovated farmhouses. In any case, it will be quintessential Tuscan. During your 3 days in the Tuscan countryside, you will enjoy the following experiences for food lovers:
- On your way from Bologna to your accommodations, experience Chianti food and wine at its best with this special winery visit, wine tasting, and lunch! Begin with a guided visit to the winery’s medieval castle and beautiful gardens. Afterward, you will head to the historical cellars followed by a presentation of a selection of our best wines. Finally, sit down for a wonderful 4-course Tuscan meal with products from the winery’s organic farm.
- A Day Full of amazing scenery, food, wine, in the Val D’Orcia. Begin in the medieval picturesque town of Montepulciano, famous worldwide for its high-quality wine. Then, it’s off to Montalcino, renowned for “Brunello di Montalcino” wine. For lunch, you will visit the organic cheese farmhouse to enjoy home-made cheeses, bread, olive oil, and of course a glass of wine.
- We will leave a day at your leisure. The hotel can arrange for a driver if you wish, but we recommend soaking up the local atmosphere at your amazing accommodations as there will be a beautiful pool, spa, and panorama to enjoy!
Florence, 2 nights
You will head to the renaissance capital of the world, the beautiful Tuscan city of Florence. Here we can organize these special experiences:
- Our Leisurely Walking Excursion of the City with our private local expert guide. You will have the choice of a VIP, skip the line visit to either the Uffizi Gallery or Accademia (house of Michelangelo’s David).
- Enjoy a fascinating morning exploring a bustling Florence food market before your cooking class with an expert guide. Your guide will take you through the market, explaining local products as you absorb the sights, sounds, and smells of this incredible foodie dream. Afterward, you will head to a wonderful kitchen for your hands-on rustic Tuscan cooking class with a professional chef. You will then “enjoy the fruits of your labor” with a delicious sit-down meal of your creations!
On your departure day, you will have a private transfer upon departure to the airport or train station
If you are not yet ready to go home, we can add several options to your itinerary. You could head south to embark on a Southern Italy Food and Wine Lovers tour. Or, how about heading to the coast and trying the amazing dishes of the Cinque Terre and Italian Riviera? The choice is yours and we would be happy to design your trip as you wish.
For more details on our Northern Italian food and wine vacation, you can find the complete itinerary here on our website: Food and Wine of Northern Italy
Your travel dreams come true
We hope that these itinerary ideas provided some travel inspiration for wine and food lovers dreaming of Morocco, Portugal and Italy. Please check out our website or contact us directly for other ideas in these countries and also Spain, Greece, France and Croatia.
As always, its our mission and promise to make your Mediterranean travel dreams come true!