We dare you not drool over these ten edible experiences with National Geographic Expeditions, from rolling sushi in Japan to hunting truffles with a pack of hounds in Burgundy and a trip to a floating fish farm during a cruise along the Mekong.
World's Best Chef
Slovenia’s Soča Valley in an ideal destination for oenophiles looking to diversify their cellars. On an alpine hiking adventure, sip your way along the Goriška Brda wine route—conveniently crossed by a local cheese trail—and seek advice from cheesemongers on the perfect complement to a bottle of Rebula. More temptations await at the Hiša Franko hotel, also home to the World’s Best Female Chef of 2017, Ana Ros. Enjoy a special meet-and-greet with Chef Ana before sitting down to savor her standout Slovenian fare.
Traveler Dreams of Sushi
Sushi and sashimi, ramen and udon—Japan's edibles are among its most popular exports. Begin in Tokyo, a city aglow with Michelin stars, and browse the bustling stalls at Toyosu Fish Market, then join a chef for a lesson in sushi-making. Feast on a multi-course kaiseki meal at a countryside ryokan, and take part in a traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto. No need to pack your chopsticks—you’ll be making a pair alongside artisans in Kanazawa.
A Moveable Feast
Decadent bites abound around every river bend on a cruise through the south of France—a culinary journey that begins and ends amid the cobbled lanes of Lyon. In between visits to this gastronomic capital, pursue a pack of hounds on a truffle hunt through Burgundy, stroll Avignon's open-air market with your ship's chef, and sample wines from the world-renowned estates of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. As we sail from one delicious destination to the next, hone your French cookery skills at the vessel's fully stocked Culinaire station.
Nosh your way across New Zealand, where world-famous wines pair perfectly with the local earth-to-table fare. Graze on Waiheke’s gastronomic specialties during a private tour of the island, with stops to taste olive oil at an award-winning mill, pluck and shuck oysters, and sip Syrah at intimate vineyards. In geothermal Rotorua, try a hangi lunch, cooked in natural steam vents; and sample wines derived from the glacial soil surrounding Lake Hayes.
Far East Eats
To experience Vietnamese cuisine beyond the ubiquitous bowl of pho, cruise the Mekong aboard the colonial-style Jahan riverboat. You’ll learn to cook up regional specialties with a chef on board, and disembark to visit rice paddies, fish farms, and floating markets filled with tropical produce. Your culinary journey culminates on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, crammed with vendors hawking steamy noodle concoctions.
Bean to Brew
See what all the buzz is about in Colombia's Coffee Triangle, said to produce some of the best java in the world. During a stay at a traditional hacienda, get an incredibly fresh caffeine fix and witness the daily grind as farmers transform colorful coffee beans into a variety of rich brews. Join an expert to discover the natural elements that impact flavor—from soil and water to fauna and sun—then head to the tasting room, where you'll learn to assess coffee quality and identify some of the 36 aromas wafting from your steaming cuppa joe.
Follow your taste buds to Italy on the ultimate gastronomic pilgrimage. In Tuscany, all trails lead through vineyards and olive groves as we hike across one of the country’s most famed food regions. Break to sample breads, olive oils, and fine Chiantis, and sit down to a meal in the home of a local family. Cap off your adventure among the lemon groves overlooking the colorful seaside towns of Cinque Terre.
Culinary Capital of South America
Peru’s flavor profile is a road map for its diverse landscapes and cultures. Set off from coastal Lima, where seafood is the star; and try a modern take on Inca delicacies at Inkaterra La Casona in Cusco. Pisco takes center stage in the Peruvian drink scene, and at the Sacred Valley’s Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba you can try more than a dozen pisco infusions—from sweet potato to purple corn.
After being nurtured for some 8,000 years, the secret of Georgian wine is out—and aged to perfection. Trend-setting restaurants from New York to Singapore are serving natural vintages, fermented in earthenware vessels called qvevri. On an expedition to Georgia—the reputed birthplace of vino—see ancient wine-making methods in action while meeting with a vintner in the Silk Road city of Akhalts’ikhe, and with the help of a local historian, spot the imprints of centuries-old wine presses in the chalky cliffs of Chachkari.
Greece’s gastronomic capital might come as a surprise to some—it’s not Athens, but Thessaloniki that holds this prestigious title. On a city food tour, sample unique creations that draw from both East and West. Then make your way to Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas in the Pindus Mountains to delve into distinctive northern Greek fare. Visit the Zitsa wine region and, when the conditions are right in the fall, join an expert mushroom hunter for a wild foraging experience.