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Top Trip Memories

  • Attending a private wine tasting in Marlborough, New Zealand and getting a sense of how the unique terroir lends to their crisp and delicious Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Chocolate tasting in France
  • Touring a biodynamic farm and winery in Dry Creek, California
  • Being introduced to a multitude of new spices in Morocco
  • Making pasta and pizza in Italy from scratch with the help of Italian cooks!
  • A dairy farm tour which culminated in a delicious cheese tasting in Marin County, California.
  • Sampling the tasty dishes of Bangkok and learning how to make them at a Thai cooking class.
  • Touring the vineyards and bodegas of Mendoza, Argentina, on a bike (rather shakily!).
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Tour Tips

  • Due to the structured nature of tastings, private or public, it’s important to be on time. Some tours will pack a lot of scheduled stops into one day.
  • One of the best parts about guided food, wine, and brewery tours is you don’t have to worry about driving! However be aware that many wineries and breweries WILL NOT let you taste if you’re too inebriated and you may end up ruining the fun for everyone. So pace yourself!
  • Be open to trying different types of foods. That’s part of why you’re here! Encourage others on your tour to try new things and be open to discovering new tastes yourself.
  • Wineries are usually fairly chilly in temperature, so dress accordingly. Also, if you have a tour and tasting planned, you will most likely be walking on multiple surfaces including dirt and hard concrete. Ladies, might be a good idea to leave the stilettos at home!
  • Check with the tour operator if you have dietary restrictions. While most will try to accomodate, it's important to give them enought time to arrange alternate meals.
  • Cooking classes are a wonderful way to learn about local cuisine, as well as how to recreate your favorite dishes at home. Don't worry if you're not much of a chef, as many offer step-by-step guidance and help.
  • Even if you can't tell your Malbec from your Merlot, wine tastings can be a really fun group experience.
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Culinary & Wine Tasting Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.6 out of 5

99%

recommend

813 Reviews

  • Excellent 525
  • Great 227
  • Average 35
  • Disappointing 6
  • Terrible 5

Rating Details

  • Value
    4.6
  • Guide
    4.6
  • Activities
    4.6
  • Lodging
    4.6
  • Transportation
    4.6
  • Meals
    4.6

Tour Reviews

5.0
April 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
A good trip all round.The welcome at the Naples air port was just wonderful, it set the right atmosphere for the whole holiday,very important.The week was well managed, and exceeded my expectations through out.Hotel Due Torri,in Bomerano,was excellent, Albert Callewaert superb, what more can i say. Well done,will most certainly use Exodus again.
Walking Around Vesuvius.

First class man,Albert was the best.

Avoid BA.

Keep it coming,loved the holiday.

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Puglia: Discover the heel of Italy

Puglia: Discover the Heel of Italy

5.0
April 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
We would definitely recommend this holiday; the choice of hotels was superb. There was such a wide variety of things to see and the area is very beautiful.
Spending time in Matera was a real highlight and also travelling on the local train to Lecce through the olive groves.

Marinella was an exceptional guide; nothing was too much trouble and she was very knowledgable about the area and interesting to listen to. We appreciated the effort she made to find good local places for the group to eat together in the evening, and accompanying us, which made a lot of difference to our holiday.

Some of the pavements were polished cobbles so a shoe with a good grip is essential. There were quite a lot of hills and steps to negotiate.

There were no early morning starts so in that sense it was leisurely, but we were on our feet most of the day so in our view we would classify this holiday as leisurely/moderate.

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Good tour with a good varied itinerary

Discover Sri Lanka

4.0
April 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
I knew when I booked this tour that the food would be a problem as I can't eat spicy food. I managed to go the whole trip with no problems, and no Imodium either! Also I have some mobility problems but again, I was prepared not to be able to take part in all the activities.
So food aside this was a full on tour, very enjoyable and varied, with good company.
To be honest the whole trip was inspiring. To visit Sri Lanka before it gets too spoiled by mass tourism was amazing. There are already signs that tourism is becoming big business in Sri Lanka. Overall I think the contact with the local people and being able to converse in the same language was brilliant. They are such lovely, gentle people, following the way of life that is Buddhism. I feel privileged.

Sujan was a great ambassador for his country. He was a bit of a stickler for keeping to his time frame but to me, this is a sign of a good leader, keeping 16 people on a hectic schedule, with lots of smiles and good humour.

Get lots of sleep before you leave for your tour!! There are some early, early starts! Also, some of the activities are more arduous than they sound., possibly due to the heat and humidity. Climbing Lions Rock , I am told, was quite hard and not for anyone with vertigo (I didn't do this one). Another one I missed was the Horton Plains walk, which everyone enjoyed but all said it was hard going. At least they managed to get a distant sighting of a leopard.
Don't take plug adaptors, they use the same plugs as us. Wifi can be patchy, usually OK in the lobby. The Yala safari would not be suitable for anyone with back problems and ladies, you may need a sports bra for this trip!!

A quick word of praise for our coach driver who even managed an emergency stop on the motorway for a jaywalking land monitor!! He also provided bottles of cool water throughout the trip at very reasonable cost.
Some of the hotels were a little below par, in particular the last one, Hotel Sapphire. I was glad we were leaving at 2 am, the bathroom was a bit grotty with mildew. a tap that spewed water higher than the blue whale we saw and an extractor fan caked with filth. Exodus, you need to find somewhere else in Colombo!
I used about £500 on the trip for meals, the optional trips and a couple of very cheap massages. This doesn't include a small indulgence at the jewellers in Kandy!

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Discover Sri Lanka

Discover Sri Lanka

4.0
March 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
This was a great, 'full on' trip. Our guide, Roshan, was superb and our group got on very well together. The range of activities made an interesting holiday.
Seeing the leopard in Yala and the ceremony at the temple of the Tooth were both exciting and the cycle ride (including a meal with the farmers) was brilliant. It's difficult to pick out special moments as it was a trip with such varied activities.

Roshan was excellent. His morning chats about life, culture and traditions in the country were so interesting. He also seemed to easily come up with alternative plans when the weather didn't oblige! It is obvious why he wins Exodus awards as a guide.

Take socks for walking around the temples! Be prepared for some longish journeys and trust the driver (he really does know what he's doing !!). Some of the trips involve very early starts - it's worth it as crowds are avoided at the sites and animals are more likely to be seen!

The planning of the itinerary is very good, taking into account the days and times of visits etc.y

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Discover Sri Lanka Trip 18 February to 5 March

Discover Sri Lanka

5.0
March 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
We had heard such good things about Sri Lanka and were very much looking forward to the trip. We chose to book through Exodus as we had been to Cuba with them and were impressed by the whole organisation, combined with the knowledge of the local Guides. This trip did not disappoint. It was full on, but gave us a wonderful insight into this beautiful country and its people.
Gosh, it's difficult to pick out one, as we loved the walk up to Sigiriya, leopard spotting in Yala, and seeing the beautiful tea plantations. But I think one of the highlights for me was seeing the majestic herd of elephants in Kaudulla National Park.

Our Group leader Roshan was amazing. He is very much a seasoned traveller having been a leader for 15 years, but his enthusiasm, care and sense of humour are still as fresh as ever. He obviously loves his country and is proud to share all his knowledge with us. And when the bad weather meant we couldn't walk on Horton Plains he had a Plan B which took us on an earlier train, and a lovely walk up Little Adams Peak in Ella.

It is a full on and wonderfully varied programme with quite a few early starts but this just meant we got to places before the crowds, and before the sun was too hot. Have your own alarm in case the wake up call gets missed! Take lots of sun tan lotion and insect repellent, and a sunhat. If offered that the Guide organises all the tipping and also water on the bus, do go for that option as it's so much easier and takes away the stress of having change for tipping. Negotiate prices for souvenirs and for photographing the stilt fishermen. The roads are not really as scary as they look as the drivers are very skilled, and we had Garmini as ours and we all felt very safe in his capable hands. Nisha, his helper always counted us back on the bus, helped back the coach up and kept it clean.

Thank you for helping us to Discover Sri Lanka, Exodus. It was a very well planned and executed trip and gave us a whole variety of trips, and interesting options. Three of our group made it up Adams Peak, including my 60 year old husband!

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Top Tour Operators and Travel Companies


Culinary & Wine Tasting Trips & Tour Advice

Culinary tours -- learning about the foods of other cultures and the fun of shopping for, cooking, and tasting them, too -- are bringing foodies and people who just like to eat to gastronomic destinations around the globe. Wine tasting tours are especially popular in much of Europe, the U.S.ChileAustralia, and South Africa.

Exploring New Tastes

A culinary tour is a fabulous way to discover a country. Food is such an integral part of culture, from all sorts of fascinating aspects including economics, politics, trade, and family dynamics just to name a few. A culinary tour will introduce you to many different flavors, spices, flavor combinations, and cooking styles. It’s important to be open to all tastes, and even if you don’t think you’ll enjoy a particular dish, try it anyway!

Finding the Right Tour

Consider where you want to go and what sort of culinary experience you are looking for. Regional cuisine? Local restaurants? Do you have dietary restrictions? Italy might not be the best choice for the gluten-free, but consider Argentina, Morocco, or Vietnam instead. Vegetarians might try a garden focused tour. From organic to biodynamic, the world of farm to table is a vegetarians dream.

Proper Wine Tasting Etiquette

The world of wine tasting has become much more popular among a wider demographic over the past several years. Unfortunately this also means there are some who still treat the activity as a bar experience rather than what it actually is. Exercising proper wine tasting etiquette is important for not only enhancing your experience, but the experience of those around you.

First, it is not taboo to not finish a taste if you don’t want to. There should always be spit buckets provided for this purpose, and it is not offensive to use them. Pour out what you don’t want to finish and have your glass ready for the next pour.

Second, the tasting bar is NOT a bar in the traditional sense. It is an opportunity to taste wines, discuss wines, discover new varietals, and enjoy your group’s company. Will you get slightly buzzed? Most likely, and that’s ok. But it is not an environment in which this is the goal. And plus, you can visit more wineries and experience more if you pace yourself!

Your tasting room attendant is a wealth of information! They love answering questions and talking about wine, but also are the perfect people to ask for recommendations on restaurants or other activities nearby.

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