Staff Favorites

Most of the culinary travelers who call us, ask the same question: what is your favorite cooking vacation? At The International Kitchen, we have spent years checking out the best cooking vacations, food tours, and wine tours in Europe and beyond, and we’ve each got our favorites.

This is your chance to take the culinary tours and check out the destinations that we have so enjoyed over the years. What qualities does a cooking vacation need to have to be considered a staff favorite and recommended vacation spot?

First, to be considered a favorite, a cooking vacation needs to be in a place we enjoy traveling. That might not be very specific, as we pretty much enjoy traveling everywhere on our cooking vacations, but to be a staff favorite it has to be in a place we would go back to again and again and again. For some of us that might be Sicily, with its fascinating and varied history, its richly delicious Mediterranean cuisine, and its sunny coastlines. For others, it might be Croatia, with its deep seas, peka-baked dishes, and cultural diversity. And for others, it might be the Loire Valley with its chateaux, kingly palaces, and fruity wines.

Another factor that goes into choosing our favorite cooking vacations is the food itself. If you love fresh mozzarella cheese and limoncello, you’re always going to want to visit the Amalfi Coast. If you like duck and foie gras, your favorite cooking vacations will be in the Southwest of France. If if you want tamales and mole, you’re going to head to Mexico for a Mexican food tour.

Sometimes we choose a favorite culinary vacation because we love the wine tours in that destination. Whether we are talking about Piedmont, Bordeaux, or Mendoza, there is a lot to recommend each destination, but the reason we keep going back on wine tours to these places is because we absolutely love the wines!

But some of our favorite cooking vacations aren’t because it’s our favorite food or wine. Sometimes it’s because of the chefs and guides who are there to give our travelers the very best culinary tours possible. We know that if Paolo or Augusto or Francesca are taking care of us, we – and our clients – are going to have the best possible culinary vacation and be welcomed like family.


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Portugal
A view of Lisbon on a Lisbon food tour. Lisbon Food Tour
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3 Nights Starting At $1,245

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Turkey
A couple exploring Turkey on an Istanbul food tour. Exploring Istanbul
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3 Nights Starting At $1,560

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Italy
Temple of Concordia visited on you Sicily cooking vacation Sicily Cooking Vacation: Best of the West
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6 Nights Starting At $3,270

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Spain
Night view of beautiful Barcelona, home for your fabulous culinary vacation in Spain Barcelona Foodie Adventure
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3 or 5 Nights Starting At $817

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Italy
Typical Italian products Cook in the Heart of Chianti
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4 or 6 Nights Starting At $2,250

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Italy
Delicious antipasti on a Tuscany cooking vacation Classic Tuscan Table at Villa Casagrande
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4 or 6 Nights Starting At $2,475

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Italy
View of Bellagio on a culinary vacation in Italy Beautiful Bellagio on Lake Como
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5 Nights Starting At $4,100

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France
Lavender hanging at the market on a French culinary tour Cuisine and Culture of Provence
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6 Nights Starting At $3,250

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Italy
Piedmont landscape on an Italy culinary tour Bountiful Piedmont
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5 Nights Starting At $2,400

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Italy
Chef preparing handmade pasta on a culinary vacation in Italy Foodie Tour on the Via Emilia
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4 or 7 Nights Starting At $2,875

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Italy
A view of the Mediterranean during an Amalfi Coast cooking vacation Culinary Experience on the Amalfi Coast
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6 Nights Starting At $3,600

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France
Fresh produce at market during your culinary vacation in Provence A Gastronomic Holiday in Aix-en-Provence
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5 Nights Starting At $2,450

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Peru
The ruins of Kuelap near Chachapoyas, Peru Culinary Journey into the Amazon
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6 Nights Starting At $2,500

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Vietnam & Cambodia
Fisherman in Southeast Asia casting his net Cooking and Culture in Vietnam and Cambodia
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8 Nights Starting At $3,170

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Italy
A view of La Rocca fortress in Spoleto on your culinary tour of Italy Secrets of Spoleto and Umbrian Cooking
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6 Nights Starting At $3,300

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Italy
Truffles enjoyed on a culinary vacation in Italy A Food Lover's Paradise in Norcia
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4 or 6 Nights Starting At $2,700

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Italy
View of Tuscan olive trees on a cooking vacation in Italy Cooking and Vineyards of Southern Tuscany
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4 or 6 Nights Starting At $2,750

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Italy
Stone wall and tree on a culinary tour in the countryside of Italy La Cucina Romana in the Sabine Hills
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6 Nights Starting At $3,400

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Italy
Plate of risotto with truffles on a culinary tour to Italy Authentic Experience in Piedmont
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3 Nights Starting At $850

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Italy
Sunset over the vineyards of Chianti during our wine tours Tuscany Italy. Antinori's Noble Tuscany
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4 or 6 Nights Starting At $2,800

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USA
Roast Duck with beetroot sauce on our Food Lover's Chicago foodie tour Food Lover's Chicago
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3 Nights Starting At $900

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Spain
Clams freshly prepared on a cooking vacation in Spain Cooking in Andalusian Olive Country
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3 or 5 Nights Starting At $1,500

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Italy
View of the Florence skyline during your Tuscany culinary tour Florence for the Food Lover
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5 Nights Starting At $2,400

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France
View of the mountains during your cooking vacation in the French Alps Cooking in the French Alps
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6 Nights Starting At $3,500

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Portugal
Pana Castle in Sintra, as visited on a culinary tour of Portugal Treasures of Portugal
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7 Nights Starting At $2,400

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Portugal
Pasteis de nata enjoyed on a culinary tour of Portugal Delectable Portugal in Historic Évora
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4 or 6 Nights Starting At $2,200

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Peru
Visiting Machu Picchu during a Peru cooking vacation Taste of Peru
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6 Nights Starting At $3,150

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Italy
Gondola in Venice during a cooking vacation in the Veneto A Venice Cooking Odyssey
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5 Nights Starting At $3,100

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Italy
Puglia's famous Trulli houses, visited on a culinary tour in Italy A Culinary Adventure in Puglia
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6 Nights Starting At $2,990

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Italy
Delicious seafood dish on an Italian culinary tour Mediterranean Cooking Experience
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4 or 6 Nights Starting At $2,040

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Turkey
View of Istanbul from the sea The Cuisine of Sultans
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6 Nights Starting At $2,795

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Portugal
The river Duoro and its vineyards as seen on a cooking vacation in Portugal Walking and Cooking in Portugal
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7 Nights Starting At $1,950

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More about Our Staff Favorite Cooking Vacations

Of course, the best of our favorite cooking vacations combine all of these things: a destination we love, with food and wine we love, and amazing guides and chefs to give our culinary travelers the best experiences ever. This is one reason why so many of our favorite culinary tours are Tuscany cooking vacations. It’s a destination we love, with food and wine we love, and guides and chefs that we love. Pretty much any of our Tuscany cooking vacations could be on our favorites list, but here are a few of our favorite cooking vacations in Tuscany and elsewhere:

Antinori’s Noble Tuscany 

What is not to like about staying on an old Tuscan estate overlooking the famed Tignanello vineyards and cooking with the staff of a Michelin-star chef at a wonderfully equipped teaching kitchen? Add in Tuscan wine tours to fabulous wineries and the incredible hospitality of the Antinori family and you’ve got the Tuscany cooking vacation of your dreams.

A Culinary Adventure in Puglia

Cook with Chiara on her family’s working farm estate, stay in the manor house-turned-hotel run by the family, and enjoy touring with a charismatic local guide in one of our favorite parts of Italy: Puglia. This Italy cooking vacation will surely become one of your favorites as well!

Cooking and Culture in Vietnam and Cambodia

Journey to Vietnam and Cambodia on a cooking vacation in Southeast Asia. Taste the fresh flavors of one of our favorite cuisines, see ancient temples and monuments, and journey through rivers, cities, and forests on this once-in-a-lifetime cooking vacation.