Our top three gastronomic journeys

Posted 13 Dec 2017

Great holiday memories are wrapped up in the tastes and smells that resonate with us. The blazing colours of a sunset are even more memorable when accompanied with a fresh seafood stew and a particularly fine wine. Cycling is the best way to get close to a region's culture, and when combined with the very best in local food and wine, you've got the recipe for a perfect trip. Here are three of our favourites.

White wine

The Riesling Route

Marvel at the views on our Alsace Route du Vin, tour, with grape-laden vines stretching as far as the eye can see, and pretty lanes leading to colourful towns. It’s a journey for your taste buds too, with fine restaurants serving Alsatian gastronomic delights – and who could pass those vineyards and not sample the produce? Pedalling between Andlau and Bergheim, you'll pass majestic castles and the impressive Vosges mountains. There are plenty of opportunities here to hop off your bike for a wine tasting.

There are three distinctive wine areas close to Andlau. Wiebelsberg is the largest, its sandstone yielding light and lively Rieslings. Granite-based Mönchberg makes succulent wines such as Pinot Gris. The schist rock terroir of Kastelberg is home to only a handful of growers producing exciting wines, packed with minerality. Marc Kreydenweiss is a respected and progressive local grower who uses pioneering biodynamic viticulture. Guy Wach is another, using all three Grands Crus to produce classic wines.

Discover our picturesque Alsace Route du Vin tour here.

Gourment food red wine

Culture and Chianti

Ride your e-bike between pit stops for aromatic Italian coffee and pizza on our Tuscany and the Chianti Hills tour. One of the highlights is arriving in Greve, where the main attraction is the triangular plaza. It features artisan shops and restaurants nestled in the portico and the Antica Macelleria Falorni butcher's has been in the same spot since 1729. Pop into the wine museum to view 180 different types of corkscrew. Then sample some of the region's famous Chianti, which is only considered Chianti if it's made in the region and contains at least 80% Sangiovese grapes.

In the medieval town of Radda, stop at a vineyard to learn about the history of production and the cellars, and taste a particularly exquisite wine. Then head for an Enoteca in town – these special venues combine the best local wine and delicacies. Try the Bruschetta al Pomodoro, rich wild boar stew and Tuscan prosciutto from the Pratomagno mountains at Bar Enoteca Dante.

Find out more about our amazing Tuscany and the Chianti Hills tour here.

White wine vineyards

Cava on the Coast

We've lined up a feast for the gourmand with our From Cava to Coastlines in Catalonia cycle tour. On day one, you arrive at your hotel in Figueres, the former home of surrealist artist Salvador Dalí. Here, you can enjoy your first glass of sparkling Cava. Later, visit the village Peralada, nestled in the middle of the Empordà plains. Its iconic castle takes centre stage, and is a must-see. Set in exquisite gardens with a Carmelite monastery and glorious lake, the grand turrets of the castle rise tall above its ivy-covered walls.

Grapes have been grown here since the 5th century BC, a tradition proudly continued today, with a range of lively Cavas. The restaurant is a culinary experience, with an expert team to help pair your food and wine. Sample one of their signature dishes like gazpacho salad with glazed scallops, or rabbit filled with vermouth and lemon.

Discover our beautiful From Cava to Coastlines in Catalonia tour here.

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