ULTIMATELY, GETTING A TASTE for culture and adventure is what travel is all about, and now more than ever, travelers take that concept literally. Many use guidebooks or spend hours scouring local listings to find the greatest sips and bites in a given destination, whether they’re Michelin-rated or hidden among the stalls of a hawker market. In a recent study, the World Food Travel Association found 81 percent of survey responders believe eating and drinking help in understanding the local culture, noting culinary history and hospitality styles are what generally create the foundation of a destination’s character.
A remarkable 91 percent of travelers admit to creating longlasting and powerful memories based on their experiences with an area’s food and beverage offerings, according to the WFTA. Culinary travel is on the rise in nearly all parts of the world, with many innovative and in-depth food tours growing from the increased interest in savoring everything a destination offers.
In Mexico City visitors eat like a local on the curated food tours through the city organized by renowned cookbook author Lesley Téllez. Téllez started Eat Mexico in 2010 to help visitors navigate the vast network of sidewalk grills, market stalls, taquerias, and small, home-style kitchens called fondas. Her mission is to show people where locals eat, and her tours range from three-hour walks through the city to all-day excursions to uncover the inner workings of a nearby cactus farm before learning the art of tortilla-making from a skilled local tortillera.
Food tours are popping up in all corners of Europe and Asia, where tour operators like Zicasso, Intrepid Travel and Lonely Planet created a huge range of tours run by local guides who specialize in a specific city or even neighborhood. Food tours in Vail, Colorado, are conducted via bicycle with Vail Valley Food Tours to help visitors pack in as much as possible while in town, including taking in the stunning scenery along the bike paths for a calorie-neutral excursion.
The only way to access some of the most exclusive and hyperlocal spots in Montréal is by booking a food tour, as the city has become a hotbed for hard-to-find speakeasies. Local guide René Lemieux has guided tours around his hometown for decades and partnered with the AC Marriott Montréal through Tourism Montreal to give guests behind-the-scenes tours. Lemieux knows just about everyone in town, which means he also knows all the secrets for entering the super-exclusive speakeasies that freckle the city, like looking for the image of a rubber duck before entering through what appears to be a refrigerator but is actually the entrance to one of the city’s hottest bars, ironically named The Coldroom.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
As harmful to the environment as air travel is, some airports are taking measures to become more environmentally conscious. One example is Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where an adjacent solar farm powers certain airport operations.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.