Food N' Wine Vacations Blog

The best Loire Valley Medieval castles to visit

Posted by smadar Palace on Sat, May, 12, 2012

Loire Valley Tours , castels

The Loire Valley stretches 170 miles along the banks of the Loire River in central France.? This fairytale region known for its many castles/chateaux, bountiful produce, artisanal cheeses and long history of viticulture, the Loire Valley remains a favorite tourist destination.


Over three hundred castles populate the valley and record its rich history dating back to the 10th century. Our favorites include:


azay La ridu, loire valley

Azay le Rideau, was built at the site of a medieval fortress in the heart of Touraine. Rising from its foundation in the Indre river in this castle is surrounded by a lovely, romantic park.


Blois Loire Valley

The Royal Castle of Blois was once occupied by King Louis XII and illustrates the evolution of French architecture from medieval, to gothic, renaissance, and 17th century classical.


Chateau cheverney Loire valley France

Chateau of Cheverny with its grand stone staircase and exquisite furnishings has been owned by one family for centuries.


Chateau chambord, Loire valley, France

 Chateau Chambord, the largest castle in the region has more than 800 elaborately sculpted columns and an astonishing double helix staircase.


Chateau Chenonceau, Loire valley, France

The Chateau Chenonceau may be the most impressive castle in France. Built as a royal residence its original architecture spans the Cher River and hosts an art gallery that rivals many museums.

Chateau villandry, Loire valley, France

With specialty gardens that include a love garden, a water garden, and color coordinated vegetable gardens, Chateau de Villandry with should not be missed.


Chteau Amboise , Loire valley, France

The medieval town of Amboise warrants a visit in and of itself, but the Chateau d'Amboise is not to be missed. Historically home to many kings it is said that Leonardo de Vinci is buried there.


Loire valley food and wine resized 600

Called the Garden of France, you'll discover gastronomical delights. From white asparagus to world famous cherries, the Loire Valley is a food lover's dream.? Also known for it's many delicious and distinctive goat cheeses, you'll sample a variety that are unique to the region.


French cheese

 

And then there is the wine. No tour of the Loire Valley would be complete without a visit to the world renowned vineyards.


Viticulture began in the 5th century and has been growing in the valley ever since producing dozens of varieties both red and white.


Flight Hot air Baloon, Loire valley , France

If you are on a tight schedule, consider a hot air balloon flight to enjoy the castles from above. Whether it's the wine, food, or castles that bring you to the Loire Valley, you'll be guaranteed a marvelous and delicious journey through the heart of France.

Want to see a sample itinerary? Chateaux, Vineyards and cooking class  

 

Topics: Culinary Tours, France, Food And Wine Tours, Culinary Travel, Wine Tours France, French wine country, Hot air balloon flight, Loire Valley Castles, Vacation To France, Loire valley tours from Paris, Tours to France, visit the Loire valley, Chateaux of the Loire

The 5 best places to eat traditional food in France

Posted by smadar Palace on Sat, May, 12, 2012

Bordeaux, France

There is something magical about France that attracts people to it. The epicenter of modern culinary techniques and traditions, France stands for everything that is simple yet sophisticated in its own way. It is often said that a trip to France is incomplete if you do not sample some of their food, wine and cheese. So how do you get the quintessential French experience?Culinary Tours, this wonderful holiday concept will let you closely look into the wonderful world of wine making, you could spend days on a cheese farm and taste the real French way of life. Out of the many culinary tours that you could take here are a few options that should be on your must see list.

Bordeaux wine Tour

Bordeaux-This French region is arguably the most famous wine producing area in the world. On one of the culinary tours in Bordeaux you will Get to visit the most prestigious chateaux and taste different varieties of wine .

Loire Valley Tours , castels

The Loire Valley- The breathtaking architecture of the Loire Valley is not the only thing that makes unique, the cheese and wine of this region are equally world class. Visit the many castles here; get a glimpse of the royal lifestyle and mingle in cobblestone streets of medieval charming towns.

Burgundy, Wine Tours, France


Burgundy- Enjoy the many wine villages of this region. Here you will also get a chance to visit wine cellars and see where all the magic happens. See the vineyards of Romane-Conti, one of the world’s greatest wine producers also taste some superb wine at the quaint region of Cote De Beaune.

cheese, Provence Tours, France

Provence- Experience some of the best ros  wine in this southeast region of France. On the culinary tours here you can spend time in the kitchen with the region’s best known chefs. You also may want to experience the stunning perched villages and markets of provence. 

Paris, France

 Paris- The French capital will mesmerize you with its charm. Here you can learn how a Chocolatier turns this wonderful ingredient into a work of art. Rise early in the morning to find out what goes inside a patisserie, learn how to make croissants or eclairs. After spending a day with french culinary experts you can reminisce about your Parisian experience at a bistro while you sit down for a relaxing lunch. Through these French culinary tours you will truly be able to discover the real French culture and traditions.

Topics: Culinary Tours, Burgundy, France, Culinary Tour, Food And Wine Tours, Bordeaux, Culinary vacations, Wine Tours France, Provence, Cooking in France, Provence Vacation

Food and wine tours in Tuscany you're going to love

Posted by smadar Palace on Sat, May, 12, 2012

If you are a world traveler and just happen to travel to Italy for business or pleasure, make sure to check out the wines of Tuscany. There are several different types of wines that are produced in this region that many wine connoisseurs have come to enjoy.


Wine Tour Tuscany

These are either red or white, however, the red ones are more prominent. Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile. Each one of these have their own unique tastes and have been masterfully aged to perfection.


Neri- Wine Tour Tuscany

There are special tours for you to partake in. Each tour will highlight a specific region and when make your choice, you will be given an in-depth tour in which you will interact with the region locals, and taste the wines from many family owned wineries, which makes it a unique experience. Wine connoisseurs will be delighted by this epicurean experience.


Antinori, Chianti, wine Tour Tuscany

 

Tours to various cheese farms in the region is also something that everyone enjoys. Here you will get a first hand look at how the cheese is made and enjoy sampling them as well.


Cheese, Tuscany, Italy

Members of wine clubs will enjoy tasting the different wines, meet the wine makers, and enhance their studies about the wines of Tuscany. This region is known for producing some of the best wines in the world.


Villa Mangiacane- Private wine Tour Tuscany

Why not enjoy the sights and flavors?of Italy and taste the wines of Tuscany through a small group tour while you are visiting Italy?

 

Wine Tours Italy

Topics: Italy, Wine Tours in Italy, Food And Wine Tours, Tuscany winery Tour, Tuscan wineries, Winery tours Tuscany, Wine Tour Italy, Wine Tour Tuscany, Tuscan wine Tour

A brief history of the wine region of Burgundy, France

Posted by smadar Palace on Sat, May, 12, 2012


Burgundy, France is one of the country’s most prolific wine regions. Known far and wide for both red and white varieties, the wines of Burgundy are arguably, some of the most popular -and expensive-wines in the world. Those new to the global arena of food and wine will soon develop the palate and knowledge of a true epicure upon visiting the storied and historic communes of this region.



Burgundy, France View

Inheritance laws governing Burgundy, which date back to the days of Napolean, state that family property be divided equally between surviving dependants. The result is many generational small family wineries, which welcome tours and thrill at the opportunity to show visitors a special brand of hospitality. One-of-a- kind vintages are poured and served up alongside a loaf of crusty bread, a wedge of lusty cheese, and an intoxicating bowl of braised stew for which the region is famous.

Burgundy France, Clos Vougeot

Five distinct growing areas make up the region producing the wines of Burgundy, each bearing the rich and fertile soil necessary to produce outstanding grapes used by regional vintners. Northernmost Chablis boasts many small family vineyards, some producing rare varieties which should not be missed. Combing the trail southward, to Cotes de Nuits, Cotes de Beaune, Cotes Chalonnaise, and Maconnais will introduce the knowledge-thirsty connoisseur to wineries dating back to the 12th century.

Savigny Beaune, Burgundy, france

 Although wine is the main focus in these historic towns and communes, food is also an integral part of the Burgundy lifestyle. Bourgogne, in French, has a recognizable style when it comes to cuisine. Local fare is typically a braised meat with in-season vegetables, frequently just-picked from a backyard garden. The classic dishes Beef Bourguignon and Coq au Vin both trace their roots to this region. As expected, wine is featured in many of the dishes which bear the name of Burgundy.

 

Burgundy , FranceCheese varieties of the area are equally as tasty and well worth a side visit to a local dairy farm. Quite often, travelers, both seasoned and novice, find the best way to really get to know any area is by getting to know it’s personality- it’s people. Overflowing with warmth and welcome, Burgundy invites you in, pulls out a chair and pours you a glass of their favorite beverage. Burgundy will regale you with heartfelt stories of a region beautiful and proud. Drink it all in and enjoy.

Topics: France vacation package, France wine Tours, Burgundy, France, Food And Wine Tours, Wine Tour in France, Wine Tours France, French wine country, France wine country

The traditional food and wine of Tuscany, Italy

Posted by smadar Palace on Mon, May, 07, 2012

Rolling hills dotted with centuries-old homes, sit amidst sun-drenched olive groves and grapevines laden with promise. Cafes beckon the traveler and offer a bit of respite, along with an excellent glass of regional wine and dishes of local fare. Tours in Tuscany provide memories which will last a lifetime.

chainti Tuscany



    1. The Tuscan region, renown for it’s fine contributions to the world, is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. It’s easy to see where the inspiration came from for Tuscany’s art and culture, which impacts the world to this day. Medieval towns and cultural strongholds such as Florence and Siena are rich with art, music and history.


Siena, Tuscany


From seaside towns to rich river valleys, Tuscany provides diverse farming opportunities which have, for centuries been recognized as some of the best areas in which to grow olives, varietal grapes, premium grasses on which dairy cows graze, and many of the fruits and vegetables of the region. Gifted home cooks and skilled chefs alike find many ways to entice the tourist in the true Italian tradition.

Food and wine Tour Tuscany
Local Food Specialties

Cinque Terre Tuscany Italy
Traditional Tuscan foods are very simple. Herbs and produce hale from well-planted kitchen gardens. Tours in Tuscany provide visits to family dairy farms which produce some of the world’s finest cheese like pecorino Toscana, a sweet and mild cousin of the pungent pecorino Romano.?Marzolino, a creamy variety, made from sheep’s milk, is used in many local dishes.


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Crusty bread would likely be offered accompanied by local olive oil. Beans are a staple and the region’s most popular export, besides Chianti, is surely Pasta Fagioli. Honey is a local favorite and mushrooms, and truffles, abundant. You’ll just as likely be served wild boar as local livestock from small family farms. You’ll experience a cooking lesson from a local chef, and probably be pulled into a kitchen or two in the name of Italian hospitality.

One of a Kind Wineries

Food and wine Tour
Most recognized for superior reds produced in Chianti and Montalcino, wines such as Luce, Brunellos, Campo ai sassi, and Seansanos, along with Chianti are equally impressive. Tours in Tuscany family wineries offer a kinship which grows with each sip.

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Don’t by-pass the lovely regional white wines seen on tours of Tuscany. Verniccia di San Gimignano may be the most famous bianco, or white, of the region, however any of the whites will stand up on their own.

A Lifetime of Memories

Food and wine Tour Tuscany
Joining in tours of Tuscany offers a chance to truly live the Tuscan lifestyle. Get to know the locals and you’ll become one with the region, returning home knowing how to live la dolce vida. Or, perhaps you’ll extend your tours in Tuscany indefinitely.

Download  a Free Guide:  How to find   YOUR  Tour to Tuscany

 

Topics: Culinary Tours, Italy, Food And Wine Tours, Trip to Tuscany, Italy culinary tours, cooking in Tuscany, Tuscany vacation, culinary tour tuscany, Tours to Tuscany, Tour to tuscany, vacation in Tuscany, Tuscany wine Tour

The 10 best places to visit in Provence

Posted by smadar Palace on Thu, May, 03, 2012


Lavender- Provence Tour

Provence is a treat for the senses. Breathtaking beauty lies in the shadow of the Vaucluse Mountains.The air is heavy with scent of lavender, blooming effortlessly throughout the region. You soon realize?the region?doesn’t beckon visitors. It claims them.


 Provence tours

Gourmands delight in Provence, tucked in the southeast corner of the French Mediterranean. This region carries the impression of every major culture since time began. Romans, Greeks, Celts and Germanic Tribes have all left their imprint here. French Provencal culture’s unique style and flavor are found nowhere else. Classic dishes are a melange of fresh flavors, from earth, sea and sky.Like the fare, each Provencal?town is unique. From the perched village of Gordes, to historic Avignon, to the relaxed beachside Cassis, and everything in between, Provence sparkles as the multifaceted gem of the Mediterranean.


Provence-tours-market

In Fontaine-de-Vaucluse, a quaint ?village, you’ll find the source of the Sorgue River. The freshwater spring, or fountain, located at the base of a steep cliff, is a must-see experience.


L'isle sur la sorgues, Provence Tours

Following the river from it’s source, you’ll find the town of Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. The “Venice of Provence” is a picturesque waterside village. Stroll the famed antique shops or enjoy a repast at a riverside caf?. If you’re in town on a Sunday, visit the acclaimed Antiques Market and pick up a one-of-a-kind memento.


Gordes, Provence tours

Gordes, a mix of old and new, offers cobblestone streets and remarkable architecture. Home to many artists, as well as stars of stage and screen, the village hosts eclectic music festivals drawing from all over the region.


Provence tours- Roussillon

Neighboring Roussillon’s red ochre hills, streets and facades are reminiscent of the American desert southwest. These hills are as old as time and the range of crimson hues is breathtaking.


Provence-tours-le-baux-de-provence.jpg

This region of France?boasts wondrous “perched villages” but none as notable as Menerbes. Get to know locals while enjoying this sleepy little village, and you’ll soon discover the je ne sais quoi which inspired British writer Peter Mayle to pen his tome “A Year in Provence”.


Lacoste, Provence tours

LaCoste is sun drenched and welcoming. Seeing medieval architecture, walled chateaus, and clandestine streets you can understand why the notorious Marquis de Sade found it the ideal hideaway.


provence-tours-avignon.jpg

Avignon’s Roman influence is evident. Distinctly Romanesque cafes border the Rhone River. The University and, Papal Palace, home to the head of the Western Catholic Church for 39 years, during a break with Rome, bear a resemblance to the buildings of Vatican City.


provence tours-wine tour

Chateauneuf-du-Pape, along the Rhone, is a destination for wine-lovers. Literally translated, this “Pope’s-new-Castle” created a viticulture which produces both reds and whites. Connoisseurs claim these lush and fertile vineyards bear forth grapes resulting in unique and superior vintage, the red being held in highest esteem.

Provence tours-  St remy de Provence

Saint Remy-de-Provence is an authentic artists lair where tortured, immensely gifted legend Vincent Van Gogh, spent time battling inner demons while creating some of his most prolific works. Lush gardens and ancient monuments enhance your visit in a way Nostradamus, another famous resident, couldn’t have predicted.


provence tours- cassis

Cassis is a not-to-be-missed treat. The allure of?this unique region?is embodied in the picturesque fjords of the Mediterranean. The best way to explore them is by taking a boat trip and enjoying the stunning views.

A trip to Provence is sure to relax your mind, body and soul, if just a bit. This region will give new meaning to “ C’est la vie“, because such is life in Provence.

Want to see a sample itinerary to Provence?  Check out Best of Provence

 OR

Download  A Free Guide: Must See and Do in Provence

 

Topics: France, Wine Tours France, Provence Vacation, Tours to France, Tours to Provence, Wine Tour in France, Provence Tour, Best of Provence, Tour Provence, Provence Travel, South of France vacation, Trip to Provence