A Food Tour Is the Vacation You Need This Spring — Here Are the Best Ones to Check Out

by Kaila Stein
Mar 20, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. ET
A Food Tour Is The Vacation You Need This Spring
Image: Getty Images

We’re in the homestretch of winter. The days are finally getting longer, tulips are making an appearance at the market, and swimwear and sandals are on your mind (and in your shopping cart).  Summer is not the distant mirage it once seemed, which means it’s time to start planning your next vacation. If you’re already dreaming of summer but can’t quite bear the thought of waiting until August to travel, consider taking a trip this spring instead. Airfare is typically more affordable in April and May, and you can get lucky with temperate weather and fewer crowds during the spring. 

Now, that I’ve convinced you to go on vacation, let’s talk about what kind of trip we’re taking. If your favorite part of any trip is the food, then consider a culinary vacation — a food tour is what they are technically called. Think of the possibilities — pasta making in Italy, wine tasting in Napa or learning how to bake fresh croissants in France (and sampling the goods while you're at it). Food tours are a great way to immerse yourself in a city’s culture and learn the language, history and the traditional cuisines of the region. And you'll bring your newfound knowledge and cooking skills home with you at the end of the trip — way better than any souvenir you could buy. To get you started on your food adventure, we’ve rounded up the best culinary vacations you can book this spring. Ditch the guidebook and pack yourself a sturdy apron for the trip of a lifetime. 

1 /9: Culinary Tour of Ancient Olympia

A table of food in Olympia, Greece
Image: Westend61/Getty Images

1/9 :Culinary Tour of Ancient Olympia

Learn how to prepare traditional Greek recipes on this epic five-day culinary tour in Olympia, Greece. When you’re not in the kitchen working with grape leaves, explore the local beaches and learn how to kite surf, visit a nearby vineyard or tour an archaeological site in the area. 

Culinary tour of Ancient Olympia, $1,353 and up per person at BookCulinaryVacations

2 /9: Wine & Safari Tour in South Africa

Winelands and safari tour in South Africa
Image: Micheal Prinsloo/Getty Images

2/9 :Wine & Safari Tour in South Africa

Enjoy hiking through hills, valleys and vineyards and dining at gourmet restaurants on this six-day Winelands and safari tour in South Africa. 

Wine and safari tour in South Africa, $4,874 and up for two at BookCulinaryVacations

3 /9: Spa & Cooking Trip in Bali

Women carrying food in Bali
Image: Colin Anderson/Getty Images

3/9 :Spa & Cooking Trip in Bali

Looking for something a little more relaxed and slower paced? On this blissful trip to Bali, you’ll stay in a beautiful seaside resort, get pampered with spa treatments, do yoga and feast on traditional Balinese cuisine. Hands-on cooking lessons will teach you how to prepare authentic dishes like fresh-caught fish with coconut milk and exotic squash and vegetable curry. 

Spa and cooking trip in Bali, $702 for three days at BookCulinaryVacations

4 /9: Culinary Adventure in Puglia, Italy

Pasta in Puglia, Italy
Image: Judith Haeusler/Getty Images

4/9 :Culinary Adventure in Puglia, Italy

This immersive weeklong tour takes you to Puglia — the beautiful, rustic coastline of Italy known for its warm climate, full-bodied wines and fresh seafood. You'll visit an ancient olive oil mill, learn how mozzarella is made and learn how to make fresh pastas and focaccia from locals.  

Culinary adventure in Puglia, Italy, $2,950 and up per person at The International Kitchen

5 /9: French Patisserie Course in France

A baker holding baguettes
Image: Clay McLachlan/Getty Images

5/9 :French Patisserie Course in France

Are you obsessed with The Great British Bake Off? Then this is the trip for you. Journey to Southern France for a six-day intensive patisserie and baking course. You’ll learn how to make classic French pastries such as croissants, bread, puff pastry, choux pastry, créme patissiere, mousses and more. You’ll also have plenty of time to explore the local villages and picturesque countryside.  

French patisserie course in France, $1,586 per person at BookCulinaryVacations

6 /9: Food, Wine & Cooking in Spain

Orange trees in Seville, Spain
Image: Stefano Markovina/Getty Images

6/9 :Food, Wine & Cooking in Spain

Explore Spain’s rich culinary offerings on this eight-day food and wine tour in Seville. You’ll go on a guided market tour, learn how to cook traditional Spanish dishes, visit an olive oil mill and eat all the tapas your heart desires. 

Food, wine and cooking in Spain, $6,003 and up at BookCulinaryVacations

7 /9: Culinary Tour of Japan

A restaurant in Tokyo, Japan
Image: MAISANT Ludovic/Getty Images

7/9 :Culinary Tour of Japan

Journey from industrious Tokyo to historic Kyoto on this nine-day culinary tour of Japan. Visit villages in the Kii Peninsula, sample the delectable street food of Osaka, take part in a tea ceremony, cook a farm-to-table meal and experience the vibrant history of Japan through a culinary lens.  

Culinary tour of Japan, $5,890 and up at Access Trips

8 /9: Learn How to Cook Moroccan Food in Marrakech

8/9 :Learn How to Cook Moroccan Food in Marrakech

Discover the secrets of Moroccan cuisine on this four-day tour in the magical Red City. You’ll learn basic Arabic, shop for produce in the market and learn how to cook authentic Moroccan dishes full of exotic spices, fresh vegetables and, of course, couscous. 

How to cook Moroccan food in Marrakech, $554 and up at BookCulinaryVacations

9 /9: 4 Days of Wine, Chocolate & Yoga in California

9/9 :4 Days of Wine, Chocolate & Yoga in California

Retreat to California’s central coast for the perfect girls' getaway. Each evening you’ll be served a different local wine accompanied by an assortment of fine chocolates. Bliss out with daily yoga classes, hiking and plenty of wine sipping. 

Four days of wine, chocolate and yoga in California, $985 and up at BookCulinaryVacations