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VBT's Special Culinary Vacations 2014

Tuscany by the Sea - September 26, 2014

Orvieto • Talamone • Porto Santo Stefano • Giglio Island • Magliano • Capalbio • Rome

Come discover a hidden pocket of Tuscany: the unspoiled Maremma region. Here cycling paths reveal historic towns, nature reserves and sweeping views of the sea … generous hospitality makes you feel right at home … and a hearty meal made from the freshest local produce is your reward every night. You’ll sample wines made right at your agriturismo and delight in a pastry-making demonstration. Stop at an olive oil mill for a tasting. Ferry to a medieval island. Stroll the ramparts of ancient walled cities. And so much more. No wonder this trip is a favorite with VBT travelers!

Special Features: 

  • Learn how to make pasta in different shapes at a fun authentic cooking class at La Parrina
  • Taste the award winning cheeses of Tenuta La Parrina and learn all about them
  • Enjoy the savory DOP ‘Cinta Senese’ cold meats from the pigs bred only in these regions   

Journey through VietnamNovember 18, 2014

Hanoi • Hue • Hai Van Pass • Hoi An • Saigon • Mekong Delta • Cu Chi
An unforgettable Far East adventure awaits in the breathtaking landscapes of Vietnam. On a vacation bracketed by visits to Hanoi and the inspiring vistas of Halong Bay in the north and lively Ho Chi Minh City in the south, we’ll travel by bike, boat and rickshaw, meeting with local friends and exploring a myriad of wonders, both natural and man-made. With the help of our local Trip Leaders, we’ll discover the once-forbidden Purple City, wind through the subterranean maze of the Cu Chi tunnels and savor Vietnam’s delicious cuisine. It’s an up-close view of one of the most alluring settings on earth – VBT style.

Special Features: 

  • Explore Hanoi’s 19th-century Dong Xuan market, which is full of foodstuffs that will tantalize, intrigue, and even startle you!
  • Visit one of Hoi An’s most popular restaurants, Dao Tien, where Vietnamese chefs present a private cooking class
  • Discover the vibrant, everyday cooking traditions of the Mekong Delta as we tour My Tho market
  • Prepare some tasty treats at a private cooking class at Saigon Cookery Art
  • Participate in a tea ceremony and conversation with the monks at Thien Mu Pagoda 

Spain: Under the Andalusian Sky - May 9, 2014 -- SOLD OUT

Seville • Palma del Rio • Cordoba • Wine Road • Zuheros • Granada
Here in the sunny south of Spain, we’ll embrace the nation’s diverse heritage through visits to Christian cathedrals that once stood as Moorish mosques, by unwinding during an Arab hammam massage and by enjoying the region’s varying cuisine. We’ll dine with locals and even learn how to prepare a regional specialty with an Andalusian chef. And when we’re not experiencing village life, we’ll be enjoying peaceful rides past olive groves, through rustic farmland and along delicate plains, ending the day at charming 4- and 5-star hotels. Join VBT as we explore the history, culture and the stunning scenery of Spain.

Special Features:

  • Learn the ancient methods of curing and thinly slicing the world renowned regional cured ham - Jamon Iberico 
  • Enjoy an evening walking tour of Cordoba visiting various restaurants while sampling traditional tapas
  • Learn the Andalusia secrets to making the perfect gazpacho
  • Meander through a typical Spanish market with a local chef 

Burgundy: The Wine Route - September 4, 2014 -- SOLD OUT

Lyon • Tournus • Beaune • Dijon • Paris
Burgundy is famous for far more than its world-class wines. The bike paths and gracious roads that criss-cross its vineyards are also much heralded. Join VBT in this storied corner of France and ride with us among the deep green vineyards climbing limestone hills, alongside the gentle flow of the Saone River, and on the grandest of cycling byways, the Route des Grands Crus. Tranquil canal bike paths, the elegant Hospice de Beaune, savory cuisine from local homes and high-end kitchens, and time to explore the remarkably preserved city of Dijon all round out a cycling journey of the most refined vintage!

Special Features: 

  • Taste a selection of Burgundy's acclaimed wines at 2 different local cellars
  • Enjoy a true authentic Burgundian menu with dinner at a local restaurant
  • Experience a “French workers” mid-morning snack 
  • Enjoy an included tasting of the local specialties of mustard and delicious gingerbread
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