Wine and Dine: Exploring Gourmet in Europe

Gourmet food and wine vacations, also known as gastronomy tourism, are a great way to explore a new destination and experience all the culinary delights they have to offer.

With a long history of winemaking, and world-renowned for its cuisine, Europe is a particularly popular choice among those looking to sample the very best food and wines in the world, and with an abundance of gourmet tours to choose from, foodies and wine-lovers alike are sure to find one to suit their tastes.

Popular European Food & Drink Destinations

Some of the most popular destinations for gourmet Europe tours include Italy, France, Spain and Portugal.

Wine lovers could take a walking tour in the Prosecco hills of Italy or take a trip to France and visit Burgundy’s vineyards, where you can also sample the gastronomic delights of Dijon and Beaune.

A gourmet food and wine experience in Spain will allow you to tour olive groves, sample delectable tapas dishes and tour vineyards in La Rioja and Basque Country, both globally renowned for their award-winning wines.

In Portugal, you’ll find the Douro Valley. Considered to be one of the oldest wine regions in the world, the world-famous sweet red wine, Port is produced here. Seafood lovers will also be in culinary heaven, as Portugal is well known for its mouthwatering fresh fish dishes.

Experiences to Enjoy

When it comes to food and wine experiences in Europe, you’re spoilt for choice.

Vineyard tours will often include an opportunity to walk through the beautiful vines, discussions or demonstrations of wine-making techniques and, of course, the chance to sample a variety of delicious local wines.

For fans of fine dining, you’ll also find many Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe, some of which have been named the best restaurants in the world.

Local food markets are another great way to sample authentic food and drink during your travels. The Marche des Enfants Rouges, for example, is the oldest food market in Paris, having been established in 1615. The vibrant, covered marketplace sells fresh fruits and vegetables as well as freshly cut flowers and hot and cold food stalls. Similarly, the bustling Mercado dos Lavradores in Madeira is a must-visit destination for any food-lover vacationing in Portugal.

Or why not time your trip with a famous food festival, such as the Aarhus Food Festival in Denmark, the Napoli Pizza Festival or the Taste of Antwerp Festival in Belgium? Not only can you sample delicious local ingredients but these festivals also offer a unique insight into local cuisine and culture.

Tips For Planning Your Trip

When planning your gourmet food and wine trip, be sure to consider when is the best time to visit each particular region. For great weather, spring months like April and May or early summer make a wonderful time for a vineyard tour, or if you’d prefer to avoid the crowds, opt for September or October to experience what it’s like during harvest time. Many of the food markets are open all year round, with most of the food festivals taking place in summer or fall.

When it comes to packing, if you’re taking a walking tour, then light, comfortable clothing that can be easily layered and comfortable shoes are a must.

You should also take the time to find the right travel planner for your needs, to ensure that your trip goes smoothly, allowing you to have a stress-free and enjoyable vacation.