If it is true that the way to a travelers heart is through their stomach, then look no further than Europe. Its famously fresh ‘Mediterranean diet’ can be accredited to the traditional trade routes celebrated throughout history by its delicious cuisine, fascinating festivals, and relaxed lifestyle. Breakfast becomes brunch, lunches linger until dinner time and supper is eaten late in the nations that surround the azure waters, where rich volcanic soils have provided plentiful produce and the ‘liquid gold’ of the world’s best olive oil, for centuries.

From the ancient Greeks feasting on olives and figs to the Romans indulging in lavish banquets, food has always been at the heart of European culture. Modern-day European cuisine holds true to many traditional foods, with a fusion of past and present popular in more ‘trendy’ restaurants, while family owned and operated establishments still abound, with time-honoured methods and ingredients reflected in their menus.

Our ‘Your Choice’ excursions and locally guided tours reveal there is more to eating than just food. We will hear tales of treats that turned the tide of history, helped win wars and sealed people’s fate.

Our eating habits will be transformed – that’s right, you should never cut spaghetti with a knife. We will try new foods – with 1500 registered cheeses in France alone it may take a while. And… of course, there is the wine – we will be picnicking amongst the vines for that. Many of our full day excursions include lunch at a local bistro, trattoria or taverna, to offer a taste of that region’s specialties, and on board we will celebrate local cuisine whenever possible. Whether it is mint tea in Marrakech, a limoncello on the Amalfi coast, or a paella in Valencia, you can rest assured that your taste buds will be tantalized. So, grab a fork and let’s dig in.

Here are some examples to whet your appetite…

Learn the ancient art of Moroccan cooking

Spain and Morocco: Moor than a Myth

Embark on a culinary adventure in Morocco as we unravel the secrets of Moroccan cuisine in a hands-on cooking class at the Museum of Moroccan Culinary Art. Housed in an exquisite 18th-century mud-brick mansion resembling an ancient sultan palace, this venue offers a fascinating glimpse into Moroccan gastronomy. Dive deep into the art of Moroccan cooking, learning to prepare signature dishes like salads and tagines under the guidance of expert chefs. Afterward, indulge in the flavors of our creations during a delightful meal. As dusk falls, join our Exploration Managers for a stroll through Djemâa el Fna Square, a bustling hub of street food stalls and mesmerizing entertainment. The evening concludes with free time for you to explore Marrakech at your leisure, whether dining at local restaurants, experiencing the city’s nightlife, or simply unwinding at our hotel. 

The art of food Catalonian style

The ‘Rivieras’: A Mediterranean masterpiece

Discover Barcelona’s ‘foodie’ side on a flavorful journey through the heart of the Gothic Quarter. From Spanish vermouth and pintxos, to hot-off-the-grill Catalan specialties and finger food treats, each bite unveils a tale of the city’s unique appetite. This locally guided walking tour not only fills your palate, it connects you to Barcelona’s rich history. The distinctive art of ‘cocina’ has shaped these narrow streets at the city’s heart, where every stop tells a delicious story.  

Full day experience: The art of Provencal markets

The ‘Rivieras’: A Mediterranean masterpiece

Famed for its daily flea market the village of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue also hosts one the region’s popular Sunday produce markets and this being Sunday – we’re invited. This eclectic market derived from the strong presence of a Jewish community which settled here under the personal protection of the Pope in the 14th and 15th centuries. An artform in and of themselves, Provencal village markets paint a palette of stalls filled with gourmet foods and wines, vegetables plucked fresh from the fields, bouquets of lavender, strings of garlic and endless antiques and decorative gems. Bring your suitcase, there are plenty of temptations.