Image: Castello Banfi vineyard in Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
Fabrizio Giovannozzi  /  AP file
A wine harvest worker snips off grapes at the Castello Banfi vineyard in Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy. Enjoy sipping vino in Tuscany this summer and take a nine-day wine tour starting at $1,889.
updated 5/18/2007 1:45:13 PM ET 2007-05-18T17:45:13

Book by: ASAP

Travel by: Various through 2007

The Deal
If your favorite thing about traveling is dining on local cuisine, why not plan a culinary escape for your next vacation? We found four gourmet getaways sure to satisfy your taste buds and your inner travel bug as well. Pick between an air-land wine tour of Tuscany on sale this summer for just $1889; a hotel package in France at a Provencal château with cooking classes and wine tastings priced from $1142; a deluxe nine-night, land-only culinary tour of Vietnam for $2045; or a two-night gourmet escape to Canada’s scenic Ontario for only $220.

Summer Wine Tour of Tuscany from $1889
To enjoy sipping vino in Tuscany this summer, book this a nine-day wine tour to Florence from $1889 on offer from Foreign Independent Tours. Air, lodging, car rental and treats are included! In addition to the flight from New York to Bologna and back from Rome (Saturday departures only), also covered are four nights at upscale Cavour Hotel in the historical heart of Florence and three nights at a countryside villa; both include daily breakfast. Several wine tours and dinners are thrown in: a guided visit to the wine cellars of the Renaissance town of Montepulciano; an afternoon excursion to the Chianti area with wine tasting and dinner; and a meal in a typical Tuscan restaurant. The quoted price is good for travel between August 4 and August 16. July trips cost $2229, while late August tours sell for $1999.

Cooking Delights at a Provençal Château
For Francophiles we found this deal from Gourmet on Tour, a British agency specializing in upscale culinary and wine trips around the world. They're offering a unique summer package to Provence starting at $1142 for a three-day stay. This escape covers lodging in a luxurious château in the heart of Provence amidst 600 acres of vineyards, olive groves and forests. During your sojourn, three meals are provided in addition to a series of wine tastings and cooking lessons with a world-class chef who specializes in the traditional cuisine of Provence. Four-night stays are priced at $2000 and five-night escapes go for $2630. Prices are valid for departures through July 12 and again August 20–September 30. Note that airfare to France is an additional cost.

Wonderful Vietnam Culinary Tour for $2045
Experience the culinary delights of Vietnam on a terrific private tour offered by Explorient for just $2045. Airfare is not covered in the price, but the list of inclusions makes this trip worth every penny: Nine nights at a selection of Indochina’s finest hotels such as five-star Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel; domestic airfares and all transfers; sightseeing tours; three culinary lessons led by Vietnam's top chefs; and daily meals at stellar restaurants. The itinerary includes a three-night stay in scenic Hanoi in Vietnam’s north; a two-night sojourn at picturesque Hoi An town; and four-nights in bustling Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Note that you’ll need a visa to enter Vietnam, an additional cost.

Joy of Cooking in Canada from just $220
To indulge in gourmet treats closer to home, head north of the border to Canada. We found a two-night culinary getaway in the scenic countryside of Ontario priced at just $220. This low cost covers lodging at historic Millcroft Inn & Spa in the town of Alton; a chef’s gift basket upon arrival; country continental breakfast buffet each morning; two culinary classes with expert chef Roberto Fracchioni; one lunch; and one dinner featuring a special tasting menu prepared with locally produced ingredients and paired with wine at each course. This excellent escape teaches you the secrets of preparing and presenting gourmet cuisine twice every month through October. Upcoming dates include May 26, June 19, June 23, July 17 and July 23. Hotel taxes and gratuities are additional.

The Dollars
All quoted pricing is based on double occupancy. See details above for each package.

The Catch
Don’t start any diets once you’ve booked your trip.


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