February 9, 2011 -- City-Discovery.com highlights its Food, Wine and Gastronomy tours this month to accommodate the increasing popularity of the category among its website visitors. The online sightseeing and activities retailer offers more than 280 food-related tours including set meals at local restaurants, cooking classes, tastings, market visits, wine cellar and vineyard tours and daytrips to nearby villages known for the local specialty fare.
The information does not come as a surprise to Alessia Bianco, City-Discovery.com's Head Product Manager. "Food is a big part, if not the biggest part, of any holiday. When we get back from a vacation, the best stories we tell are usually about what we ate and how we ate too much of it." She further adds that even when you can find international restaurants in any major city, trying the local cuisine when you travel will always be a great experience. "It is just more authentic, more engaging, because you do not only taste and smell the flavors, you see and hear the actual environment where the food is created, sometimes even where it was grown."
City-Discovery.com offers food-related tours all around the world with Europe leading in terms of actual bookings. Customers can choose from the more than 80 cities featured in the Food, Wine and Gastronomy category.
No list of food destinations will be complete without Paris. In a cozy studio in Montmartre, travelers learn how to prepare famous French dishes and desserts like Crème Brulee and Macaron. The classes are taught in English or French and are meant to be relaxed and fun. The best part comes after the 2-hour lesson when everyone sits down to eat what they prepared.
Other food and wine activities popular in the City of Lights are cheese tastings and walking wine tours that combine wine tastings with a scenic view of the Left or Right Bank.
The Hungaro Gastro Food and Wine Experience in Budapest gives a unique look into what's been called the best cuisine in the region. Learn about Hungarian food -- the ingredients, preparation and what a typical local eats and drinks everyday. The 3-hour tour includes a visit to the market, a wine tasting and ends with a delicious big bowl of homemade Goulash, complete with the famous Hungarian hospitality.
The Spanish Cooking Classes lets travelers pick fresh ingredients from a nearby orchard for delicious rustic Andalusian dishes accompanied by the popular regional wine in Malaga. Olive oil enthusiasts can visit Parque Nacional de Grazalema to see one of the last surviving mills that still produces olive oil in the traditional artisan way. And no trip to Spain will be complete without a night out at a Tapas bar, complemented with the region's finest Spanish wines.
Italy's Tuscany region offers a wine tasting that includes Chianti, handicraft seasoned salami, delicious homemade canapés and the best pecorino cheeses, served with flavored jellies. Florence has even more to offer with a Pizza, Ice Cream and Chocolate Cake Workshop and the Secrets and Taste of Original Italian Caffe Espresso tour.
City-Discovery's more adventurous clients can choose to discover the delights of Berber cuisine in Marrakech with the Tajine Cookery Class where the lesson starts with a visit to the souk for fresh produce, meat and of course, spices. Another tour lets travelers experience the rituals of the Berber meal, complete with the mint tea ceremony and the traditional baking of the bread.
In America, San Francisco is a culinary melting pot. On one hand, there's North Beach where the delicious smells of freshly-baked bread and newly-ground coffee beans waft over the quaint cafes and family-owned bakeries. The beautiful countryside has the premium wine-grape growing counties of Napa and Sonoma where many high-tech and boutique wineries produce the region's highly acclaimed vintage. And last but not the least, Chinatown where the food markets and back alleys uncover new flavors and aromas at every turn. Visit a fortune cookie factory and try the famous Dim Sum.
The Carnivore Experience in Nairobi, Kenya is one of the unique offerings on the website. The restaurant was ranked among the top 100 restaurants in the world and has been called "Africa's greatest eating experience." The open-air dining experience serves every type of meat imaginable from your normal beef, pork and chicken to game meet like crocodile, ostrich and gnu all roasted on traditional Maasai swords over a huge, visually spectacular charcoal pit.
Visit City-Discovery.com for more Food, Wine and Gastronomy activities.
Tours can also be booked online with City Discovery Gift Travel Certificates available in four currencies (USD, GBD, EUR and AUD) and denominations between 25 and 500. Gift certificates can be purchased directly from the site.
For featured travel experiences and photos by customers, read the City Discovery Travel Blog and follow City-Discovery.com on Facebook and Twitter.
About City Discovery
City Discovery is a leading provider of sightseeing tours, travel experiences and ground transportation worldwide. With over 5,000 carefully selected travel activities in 400 destinations and user-friendly features such as traveler reviews, wishbox, suggested itineraries and gift certificates, City Discovery sells directly to consumers through City-Discovery.com and a network of over 7,500 travel agencies and affiliates. City Discovery is available in 15 languages and has offices in USA, France, Greece, Italy, Brazil, and the Philippines.