Virtuoso Traveler - October/November 2017 - 30
Life's a picnic at the Explora Valle
Sagrado adventure lodge in Peru.
Trips that mix active adventures with culinary pursuits offer two vacations in one.
n ancient Greece, nearly every day
of the Olympics concluded with a
massive celebratory feast. These days,
cycle pub tours are cropping up across
the globe, gourmet "sports catering" fuels
athletic teams, and pasta-powered carboloading dinners are de rigueur when
preparing for a marathon.
This fusion of foodie and fitness interests has spilled over to the travel industry,
and the synergy between activity and
appetite is now one of the hottest vacation trends. Active trips don't necessarily
require marathon runs, however, and culinary experiences go way beyond eating
(think hands-on cooking classes, winetastings, and tours with artisanal producers).
3 0 V I R T U O S O T R AV E L E R
Combining the two passions is a natural
fit: Action fuels hunger, burning calories
reduces guilt, and many of the world's
premier food destinations are also perfect
settings for outdoor recreation.
"Good meals and gastronomic pursuits
are very important to many of my clients,"
says Chad Clark, a Virtuoso travel advisor
based in Phoenix. "But they don't want
to have to diet to enjoy their vacation," he
adds. "And they don't like just lying around
on a beach - they also crave adventure,
whether it's hiking, biking, sea-kayaking, or
skiing." Ultimately, says Clark, "they don't
skimp on food and wine, but enjoy both
more after being active."
The top tour operators have taken note,
augmenting their adrenaline-fueled itineraries to include more of a foodie focus,
from tours of mussel farms to dinners at
Michelin-starred restaurants. Clark has another tip for on-the-go gourmands: Seek
out luxury adventure lodges that include
both physical and epicurean offerings in
your stay. "One of my most memorable
travel moments occurred at Saffire Freycinet in Tasmania," Clark notes, "where I
donned waders to harvest my own oysters
and then dined on them at a table set up
in the water while sipping Champagne."
Whether your passion involves a backpack or a beer flight, pâté or a paddle,
today's active culinary vacations supply
something for every taste.
By Larry Olmsted