The rise of gastro adventure travel is not new – it has been gathering pace for more than a decade. So we thought we’d look at the phenomenon in a little more detail. Plus of course recommend some of the best foodie activity holidays where you can combine top notch cuisine with an active break.
For many people food is a big part of their reason to travel. Trying new cuisines, eating local delicacies and experiencing authentic dishes you just can’t get back home is part of the experience. But many years activity holidays focussed on the sports they offer, yes the food was often good, and can be local, but rarely was it exceptional.
Consider a ski chalet, the food will be tasty and you might be lucky and have an actual chef rather than a chalet host. But in the vast majority of cases it is the same tried and tested meals you get elsewhere. Don’t expect cutting edge dishes or authentic local cuisine.
But the rise of gastro adventure travel is changing this. There are now plenty of ski chalets where food takes the priority delivering something unique to the guests every night. Furthermore, people are booking private chefs such as Chez Toi in Morzine and restaurants in ski resorts have upped their game to cater for this change in attitude.
The best foodie activity holidays are about trying new food and drink to satisfy the palate as well as our taste for adventure sports. Whether that is wine and tapas tasting as you cycle around Spain’s Basque country or trekking high above Chilean vineyards fuelled by authentic local cuisine!
By combining food and drink tasting with action sport and adventure holidays you can have the best of both worlds. Your need for culinary and sporting adventures can be satiated all in one go while serving up unforgettable thrills along the way!
Here are some of the best gastro adventures to excite your taste buds and your need to be active and exploring:
If you’ve ever enjoyed a Rioja, this is the trip for you. Six days spent hiking and biking starts on foot at the Camino de Santiago (Pilgrim’s Path). Walks in the Basque country near Bilbao deliver ocean views, fine wines and ciders, and delightful seafood dishes.
From here you can ride whichever distance you like into the Rioja region, enjoying valley vistas and fresh Spanish foods. Santo Domingo is the penultimate port of call, where you’ll get to try the best produce from local bodegas, finishing with a trek up Mount Tolono.
There are not many better places to sail than Turkey, equally it’s tough to beat a Turkish Meze. Combined with fresh seafood straight from the Med and you have one of the best foodie activity holidays. Check out Zitango Travel for a great selection of yacht charters and other adventure holidays in Turkey.
The beauty of doing it as a sailing holiday is you can stop where you like. So you can avoid the resorts and stop off at authentic fishing villages, places that most visitors never reach. This is where a knowledgeable local yacht skipper is well worth it as they know where to eat for the best fresh and authentic Turkish food.
During the summer Ischgl is a rather tasty destination. The culinary Jakobsweg initiative combines great hiking trails and unique dishes created by Michelin starred chefs to be served in remote mountain huts. Without doubt one of the best foodie activity holidays on the planet.
But the stunning mountain meals are only part of the gourmet story. Ischgl is home to the Young Austrian Chef of the Year, Benjamin Parth, and Austrian Chef of the Year Martin Sieberer, plus a host of restaurants that offer fine dining.
Starting with a gentle vineyard walk, this South American gastro adventure travel soon pushes pulse rates with hikes through vineyards up to stunning views over Apalta. A bike ride on the flat roads of nearby Casablanca Valley leads to a tasting in the woods. Eating local keep prices low and authenticity high.
Hikes and horse rides build the appetite for more local food and wine. Before trekking to the base of Mt Aconcagua. Followed by mountain biking over the mountains into Argentina and Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay country! Fit in some ziplining, rafting, and paragliding in the Andean foothills.
The lone star state of Texas is not one people immediately think to visit. However, it is not all oil fields and desert. There are 10 state and national parks in Texas offering everything from maple forests and mountains to deep canons and and stunning coastline.
Get back to nature with some wilderness glamping in Texas. Then embrace the barbeque scene. Texan’s slowly smoke beef brisket, sausage and pork ribs in salt and pepper over oak coals. It is possibly the best barbequed food on the planet. If you can get yourself along to a local community event they are often the best!
Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks are known for their gushing geysers, waterfalls and lakes – and beers. Trips here are all about the grain, not the grape; so wine lovers, this is definitely not for you…
Take in six breweries in six days, with walks, rides and rafting through both national parks. Drinking the beer here is never just about refreshment, there’s also much to learn about the brewing. Montana is big on hunting so if you like your meat you can try Bison and Elk.
Italy is a nation that loves its cycling, and cyclists everywhere love their food – especially pasta. So it’s no surprise that gastro Italian bike tours in the Dolomites offer one of the best foodie activity holidays and have played a part in the rise of gastro adventure travel.
The Dolomite region serves up the finest balsamic vinegars, tastiest hard cheeses and wines. Not only are the mountains stunning but the food is delicious, the locals welcoming and towns such as Ortisei and Val Gardena have real charm and stunning hotels such as the Adler Dolomiti.
We hope you found this article about the rise of gastro adventure travel interesting. Let us know in the comments of any great foodie activity holidays you’d recommend.