culinary trips province, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore
Chang Mai, Thailand (Corel)

Frequent Flavor Programs

Eat, drink, hike, bike: four seasons of exploratory feasting

culinary trips province, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore
Amy Marr

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Act out your cassoulet-and-chardonnay fantasies at Château Routas, a 17th-century family-owned winery and manor encircled by 110 acres of vineyards and 740 acres of woodlands. Adorned with the blues, yellows, and reds of classic Provence, the luxe manor house and farmhouse—rented to groups for a weeklong stay—are a stone’s throw from the Riviera and the foothills of the Alps. Cooking classes cover local specialties like sea bass stuffed with wild fennel and honey-lavender crè;me brûlé;e. Hiking, scouting for truffles in the oak-choked hills, and trout fishing in the Argens River quickly soak up your free time. Rates start at $8,883 per week for up to 12 adults and four children, which works out to about $90 per person per day, with cooking classes $200 extra per session for the group. Château Routas, 011-33-498-05-25-80,

From streetside stalls in bustling markets to frenetic kitchens in small-town restaurants, you’ll get a veritable tasting menu of Asian cuisines on this 19-day eating expedition stretching 1,780 miles from Singapore to Chiang Mai to Bangkok. Journey through the spice-scented countryside via taxi, boat, trishaw, and songtaew (open-air cab). In southern Malaysia, where pungent flavorings like cardamom and cloves rule, learn to make Malay specialties like dry-curry chicken kapitan. In Chiang Mai, study the intricacies of Thai produce and spices while perfecting your pad Thai. There’s time for trekking in the Cameron Highlands, north of Kuala Lumpur, and visits to Buddhist temples in Thailand. Accommodations include hotels, bungalows, and one homestay. $1,397; Intrepid Travel, 866-847-8192,

culinary trips province, Tuscany, Georgian Bay
Tuscany, Italy (Corel)

This six-day giro combines top-shelf cooking classes with glorious hikes through the Tuscan hills—spiked with red poppies and wild asparagus in spring. Base camp numero uno is Badia a Coltibuono, tucked into 2,000 acres of forest and Chianti vines. The former abbey is a famous winery and home to cookbook maven Lorenza de’ Medici’s legendary scuola di cucina, where you’ll master lemon risotto and chocolate-pear tart. Second stop: Villa Vignamaggio, a luscious wine estate that specializes in regional fare such as panzanella (bread-and-tomato salad) and bruschetta. $3,898; Backroads, 800-462-2848,

Canadian cookbook authors and chefs Anne Connell and Mary Hunt are at the helm of this three-day Ontario sea-kayaking foray into Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay. Start with a night at pine-paneled Killarney Mountain Lodge and load up on home-style Canadian cuisine—think fresh trout and wild blueberries. Come morning, you’ll paddle three hours to your island campsite, kitted out with an impressive alfresco kitchen. You’ll get kayaking instruction and observe the chef duo’s tricks as the two prepare healthy camp fare like chicken curry and tofu fruit dip. $750; Killarney Mountain Lodge & Outfitters, 800-461-1117,

From Outside Winter Traveler 2005 Lead Photo: Corel