The Active Gourmet Travel

Customised tours in a variety of countries


The active gourmet travel tours in these countries are for independent travellers, ie, they are not prescheduled escorted tours where a number of people or groups unknown to each other can take part.

We customise holidays in these countries to suit each client and price the tours accordingly. You may want an itinerary to follow on your own, or you may want an escorted tour just for your group. The choice is yours!
 

France |Corsica | ItalySicily | Portugal Spain | UK | Ireland | New Zealand

Or fill out our travel planner or email Gail to talk about the holiday you are interested in.

 

Ireland

 

Kerry Dance Tour

No fixed dates or costs 

Explore this land of secret pathways, friendly people, inimitable music and pubs, Guinness and oysters. Golf, bike, walk, fish - the combination is over to you! Starting in Kenmare, County Kerry, you choose any of the following combinations of walking, boating, cycling, fishing and golfing on Kerry's velvety courses. Enjoy Atlantic salmon, wonderful chowders and strength-enhancing Guinness. Revel in the wonderful hospitality of the Irish people. 

France

 

Normandy/Brittany - bike, walk, drive

No fixed dates or costs 

From the sea to the forest - follow smugglers' pathways, and in the footsteps of the pilgrims. Appreciate the vibrant Breton culture and the heritage of the Knights of the Round Table, deep in the forests of Broceliande. Savour the bounty of both land and sea... huge Cancale oysters and mussels from the bay of Mont St Michel, accompanied by a chilled bottle of Muscadet - mind blowing!

The lamb, reared on the saltmarshes at the base of the Abbey of Mont St Michel, has a flavour and succulence that words cannot describe. Indulge in copious quantities of Pont l'Eveque, livarot and camembert, three of the most famous cheeses of France. Sun-ripened apples and pears in a multitude of cooked forms, both sweet and savoury, plus brilliant cider, pommeau aperitif and calvados are all on offer.

See the famed Bayeux tapestry and visit the D-Day landing beaches. Stay overnight on France's most-beloved monument, Mont-St-Michel, to watch the highest tide of the year. Walk, cycle or travel by support vehicle, knowing that each night your accommodation and meals are going to be very special! 



Midi/Catalonia - bike, walk, drive

No fixed dates or costs 
Visit this unspoiled land of sun and seafood during vintage! Meander beside the famed Canal-du-Midi, canoe in sparkling waters. Absorb the rhythms of the vintage in a typical small Languedoc village. Discover Cathar country and the glorious little Mediterranean fishing port of Collioure.


 

Corsica

No fixed dates or costs 
Officially, Corsica is part of France, but in most ways it is a world away. Over the centuries the island has had many masters but it has always maintained its own distinctive characteristics.

Corsica's rocky landscape is immense - sheer cliffs plunge into the bluest of clear seas, small fishing harbours nestle behind fingers of land, the beaches are of silver sand are uncrowded. 

The rustic cuisine features many types of air-dried meats and luscious sheep cheeses, washed down with very acceptable local wines. 

Explore the coast by boat, drive or cycle the perimeter, or set off on one of the world's great walks through the interior of the island. 


 
 

St-Rémy-de-Provence

No fixed dates or costs

St-Rémy-de-Provence is the quintessential provencal town. Striped awnings, well-stocked shops, cafes full of people enjoying refreshing drinks and watching the passing parade. Both the Romans and the Greeks spent many years in this area and many of their buildings are still standing today.

Your journey will give you the chance to explore a wide variety of landscapes, vineyards and olive groves, markets and galleries. There will be many opportunities to purchase and savour the famed "cuisine of the sun". Our pique-niques are legendary, and we delight in encouraging people to enjoy new food experiences. We will be visiting several renowned restaurants during the tour.

You won’t have the usual holiday hassle of packing and moving because we will be based in the same place for your six nights, allowing you plenty of time to relax by the pool after your day’s exploring. 

 

 

New Zealand

 

Autumn Golf Tour – South Island

No fixed dates or costs 
From our luxurious base in Queenstown, enjoy golf on some of the world’s most stunning courses (Millbrook, Kelvin Heights and Jack’s Point). There will be opportunities to visit leading-edge wineries, to explore some of the Lord of the Rings sites and to relish the food of Central Otago.

Not a golfer? Not a problem! There is so much to see and do without going near a golf course. Lake Te Anau is one of our great treasures – spend two nights right beside the lake. While in Te Anau, relish a game on the unheralded, beautifully-groomed golf course with its spectacular views over the lake. Explore the start of the famous Kepler Track, the Waiau River and glorious Lake Manapouri.

The road to Milford Sound is widely regarded as one of the great journeys of the world. Waterfalls thunder down sheer rock faces, beech forest reflected in mirror lakes, and the majestic Mitre Peak rising from the waters of the sound itself. The Milford coach has been specially adapted to give the very best views of the scenery. The well-appointed boat Milford Wanderer will be waiting to make the journey out to the Tasman Sea (hopefully, the resident dolphin pod will frolic alongside!).

Later, when the boat tucks into a sheltered cove, kayak the limpid waters to work up an appetite for a splendid onboard dinner before settling into self-contained cabins for the night. After a hearty breakfast, back into the coach for the return trip to Te Anau and on to Queenstown Airport for late afternoon flights home. Should you decide to stay on for a few more days in the South Island, the active gourmet travel will be very happy to suggest places to explore, and to arrange any bookings for you.


Portugal

 

No fixed dates or costs 
Portugal is a fascinating country with a long and distinguished maritime tradition. It is noted for its long sunshine hours and has always been a favoured holiday destination.

This long, skinny country is easily traversed on a series of motorways and magnificent bridges built when Portugal hosted a recent European Football Cup. The backroads make for great exploring and here you will find a style of accommodation unique to Portugal – the pousada. These are hotels built on the site of old palaces, monasteries and other grand public buildings and are found throughout the country.

What better way of exploring a country and its cuisine than to stay in a series of pousadas? Many are close to outstanding golf courses, and others are right in the centre of historic cities. The two largest cities, Lisbon and Porto are must-sees, the latter is the home of the famed port wine industry. Portugese cuisine is simple and flavoursome, based largely on the harvesting of the abundant fish and shellfish stocks from the Atlantic. The wine is not complex but is plentiful! 


Spain

 

No fixed dates or costs 

Barcelona & the Catalan countryside 

Spend three nights in Barcelona, one in the Costa Brava and another in a restored castle in the Catalan countryside. This escorted tour is an extended weekend that gives you a tantalising taste of a very distinctive region that borrows little from the rest of Spain. The Catalan people have a deeply felt individual identity rooted in a rich and glorious past. Style brings many visitors to Barcelona.

 

Madrid - town and around

Modern and vibrant, Madrid is a beautiful city to wander around. Impressive art museums and galleries ensure Madrid has a place on the European art circuit. You will also discover good food and wine, great shopping and friendly locals. From your Madrid base, visit Toledo with its El Greco masterpieces and atmospheric narrow streets, the wondrous El Escorial royal monastery, the Alcazar and Roman aqueduct in Segovia and the ancient city of Avila, which is encircled by well-preserved 11th century walls. This tour includes overnight stays in Cuenca and in Salamanca - an ancient city famous for its early medieval university.

 

Andalucia - Southern Spain

Flamenco, beaches and geranium-covered, white-washed hillside villages are the essence of Andalucia. Visit Granada and see the most romantic palace in Europe, the exquisite Mezquita in Cordoba, the Alcazar and the Giralda tower in Seville, outstanding Renaissance architecture in Baeza and Ubeda and the remarkable white towns perched on the hill. Savour small countryside towns, far off the tourist track, local specialities, such as freshly-caught trout, taste tapas in Seville, see the flamenco contest in Ronda and wander former smugglers' pathways.

 

San Sebastian & the Basque Country

The Basques are an ancient race with a unique language. For years Euskadi (the Basque Country) was viewed with great suspicion by the world in general regarded as a strange, slightly sinister area full of people in a constant state of revolt. Today it is one of the most progressive areas in Europe. Two contributing factors: the building of the magnificent Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art in the former grubby port town of Bilbao, and the recognition of San Sebastian as one of the foremost towns in the world for lovers of good food. There are more Michelin stars in this town than anywhere else in Europe but it is possible to eat splendid food at all price points. San Sebastian is the spiritual home of the pinxtos (tapas). 

The Basque Country's rugged coastline produces the seafood that forms the basis of many of the meals, and the mountainous green countryside produces beef and sensational sheep cheeses. From a base in or near San Sebastian it is possible to visit La Rioja wine region. Medieval villages are also nestled in the hills and all farm houses are built in the distinctive Basque style with heavy beams and tiled roof. Great surfing is possible at a beach right in the middle of town, or pop over the French border to the surfing meccas of Biarritz and St-Jean de Luz.

 

United Kingdom

 

No fixed dates or costs 

The delights of London are known to all, but not everyone is familiar with the glorious British countryside. On your next visit, consider a few days on the Cornish coast where fishing boats bob in front of restaurants serving their freshly-caught fish (think Padstow, for example.) 

The Cotswold hills have sheltered Man since the Bronze Age. The quaint villages built from the local golden stone with thatched roofs, we're once the centre of a prosperous woollen industry. Wander from valley to valley, by bike, on foot or by car. 

Take the West Highland Line on one of the great train journeys of the world up the west coast of Scotland, the route taken by the Hogwarts Express. The ferry to the Isle of Skye awaits you...

 

Italy

 

 

The Italy we know today is a relatively young country. Prior to 1871 it was a group of duchies and small kingdoms, each with their own strong customs. These distinctive regional differences are reflected in the much-loved food and wine of Italy. 

Let us help you to understand the different areas: a few days lounging by Lake Como; searching the secrets of Venice; soaking up the splendours of the Amalfi Coast - there is a huge variety, and we are always looking for new places to explore. Wherever you go in Italy, the people are vivacious and family-oriented and they'll make you feel very welcome.


 Sicily

No fixed dates or costs 

A real surprise package, the biggest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily is a mere 3Km from the Italian mainland, but bears very little resemblance to it - the people look different and behave differently, the food is different, the architecture is different. 

Why? Over the centuries Sicily has seen many civilisations come and go from Greeks and Romans to Normans and Spaniards. Even the Nazis and the Allies left a lasting legacy. 

The landscape is equally varied. The western coastline is splendid and the mighty peak of Mt Etna can be seen from much of the island. The sight of the golden orb of the sun sinking into the sea over the ruins of an ancient temple will stay with you forever. 

 

South Tuscany & Umbria

No fixed dates or costs 

Take this wonderful opportunity to approach the cuisine of this bountiful region the way the locals do – with enthusiasm, with relish – con gusto! 

Absorb the special smells of the countryside as you cycle or wander on tiny white roads through fields of sunflowers. Experience the rhythms of the grape harvest, learn the secrets of olive oil and cheese making, and the mysteries of lake fishing and hunting. Historic walled towns, vibrant countryside, stunning seasonal food and wine, supportive locals. What more could one ask for? 

No need to pack up and move on every day - experience life on a small organic farm, learning historic recipes, sampling the produce and sucking up the atmosphere. Return home revitalised, and not one kilogram heavier!

Keen on a personalised tour?

Let us design your personalised travel itinerary! We offer tailor-made travel to suit your interests and schedules. You decide when, how long for and mode of transport.

Or we can help you select the most suitable tour from our vast portfolio of
worldwide activity holidays.

Plan your trip