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What better way to truly get to know a culture than through its food? Our foodie holidays, whether they’re cooking, tasting, drinking or foraging, get you to the heart of a culture and help you get to know true, authentic cuisine from France, Italy, Vietnam or Cambodia.

Maybe you’re tempted by the idea of exploring the vineyards of Tuscany, and of course trying incredible wines and traditional Tuscan dishes, or perhaps you want to go further afield and delve into the flavours of Costa Rica or Cambodia.

Whether you want to be hands-on, or just taste the local food, Not In The Guidebooks have picked out our top five foodie holidays in Europe, so that you can inspire that inner chef to get out there and experience the continent that declares itself the culinary capital of the world.

5. Learn Italian and Cooking in Florence

italian language students learning at the market

There are few places that get as quintessentially Italian as Florence, and it’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in Tuscan cuisine. Over five days in this gorgeous city, you’ll be learning skills with professional local chefs, who will ensure that you have mastered the techniques involved with real, authentic Italian cooking.

To immerse yourself further in Italian culture, this holiday combines foodie experiences with Italian lessons, which you can put to the test immediately in your free time exploring the city.

With options for wine tasting, olive oil tasting, group dinners, Chianti tours or museum visits, this is the perfect opportunity for a foodie holiday that delves deep into one of Europe’s best cuisines.

4. French Cookery Course in Brittany

harbour village in brittany

Or of course, there’s always the capital of European cuisine to visit on one of the best foodie holidays in Europe, situated on the beautiful North West coast of France.

Brittany is renowned for stunning seafood and incredible cider, and it sets the scene for a retreat that will change the way you think about, and cook, food forever. You’ll spend a week immersing yourself in French cuisine, helping you master techniques and skills that will stay with you forever.

In a fun and relaxed atmosphere, you’ll learn how to prepare stocks and sauces from scratch, how to prepare fish and seafood, and master the art of patisserie. The dishes and recipes you create will be up to restaurant standard, and some of the best food you’ve ever tasted, and with plenty of free-flowing wine and time to enjoy the rustic atmosphere of Brittany, it’s an unmissable foodie holiday.

3. Cooking and Hiking in the Spanish Pyrenees

view of the spanish pyrenees mountains

This European foodie holiday combines authentic, traditional Spanish cuisine, one of the most spectacular natural environments in Europe, incredible hospitality, and world-class hiking all in one neat package.

Staying in a 17th-century farmhouse in the heart of the beautiful Pyrenees mountain range, this is an opportunity to hike to mighty glacial valleys, majestic mountain lakes, and quiet, untouched villages that have stood uninfluenced by tourism for centuries.

Visit local bodegas, taste cheese at a small dairy farm, sample honey from an independent local beekeeper, appreciate olive oil like a fine wine, and of course learn to make traditional dishes with your hosts.

Our Top Foodie Holidays

Italian Cooking & Culture Holiday in Abruzzo (Choose your Itinerary)

Italy, Abruzzo

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A Foraging and Dining Experience

Wales, Pembrokeshire

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Cooking & Walking in the Pyrenees

Spain, Spanish Pyrenees

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French Cookery Course Brittany

France, Brittany

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2. Foraging and Dining Experience in Pembrokeshire

kelp and basket by the sea

Sometimes, the best food and some of the best foodie experiences in Europe can be found right on your doorstep. On this unique foraging and dining experience in the beautiful Pembrokeshire, South Wales, you’ll join a Michelin starred level chef on an outing that immerses you in the natural landscape, before enjoying the fruits of your labours as a world-class meal.

Whether you discover ingredients in the rock pools and along the shorelines, or you find the building blocks for your meal in the hedgerows and woods, you’ll see them all combined with delicious local ingredients by Matt, your guide, host and chef, into one of the best meals you’ve ever tasted.

1. Italian Cooking and Culture Holiday in Abruzzo

eating on a trabocco in abruzzo

For a cooking holiday and overall foodie experience that truly captures the essence of a culture and cuisine, you don’t need to look much further than this stunning Italian cooking and culture holiday in Abruzzo, one of the best foodie holidays in Europe, and indeed, in our opinion, the world.

Abruzzo is Italy’s best kept secret, and this incredible region has been comparatively protected from the effects of mass tourism, making it one of the best destinations in the country for a truly authentic Italian experience.

This hands-on holiday will get you properly immersed in the cuisine and traditions of the area. You’ll try your hand at cheese making, fishing on the quintessential traboccos, milking cows, and of course, cooking magical dishes with exclusively local ingredients, under the guidance of professional, expert chefs.

You’ll meet the people and the locals that make such incredible produce, at markets, wineries, farmhouses and in the beautiful medieval villages that dot the countryside. In keeping with proper Italian cooking, the holiday has seasonal days that run on certain times of year, so that you experience the best of what is available at that exact time – whether it’s truffle hunting, gelato making or grape harvesting.


Wherever tickles your tastebuds most, Not In The Guidebooks has a wide array of European foodie holidays that are sure to satisfy the culinary wizard or wine aficionado within.

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