People often ask us why Whole Foods Market® started a travel division, and as soon as we share the vision we see the excitement in their eyes. Whole Journeys takes travelers to the source of where many of our favorite food traditions originate. We connect with the culture and traditions of food around the world. What better way to experience a destination and engage with locals than through food? Embracing Whole Foods Market’s commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle, the majority of small group tours are perfect for the “active foodie”, with itineraries that connect culinary cultural experiences with hiking and biking.
Today, we’ll highlight two of our favorite hiking destinations – Ticino, Switzerland and the Dolomites in Italy.
Ticino is a complete surprise that combines spectacular Alpine Swiss scenery with a Mediterranean flair and zest for life, thanks to its Italian influence. The diverse hikes this region offers will keep you wide-eyed as you meander through Alpine meadows visiting cheese makers, wander through ancient stone villages and marvel at world-class vistas above Lake Lugano. In the castle town of Bellinzona, a UNESCO World Heritage site, we spend the day hiking from castle to castle among vineyards. We’re excited about our September departure, which takes place during the grape harvest!
Equally impressive is the region’s food and wine, made from ingredients sourced from local farmers markets. During our trip, we’ll have an opportunity to wander through these markets. Some Ticino classics include cheeses from the Alpine pastures, traditionally made salami, specialties based around sweet chestnuts, polenta made with maize flour and Merlot wines, which are much appreciated by aficionados.
Visit the Whole Journeys site for more about the Treasures of Tocino trip.
The Dolomites, Italy
The Dolomites are also a hidden treasure in the northern part of Italy. Nestled in the Italian Alps, we’ll visit the sites that make this UNESCO World Heritage site completely unique. After a hike to Isi Hutte, we’ll learn the secret of making cheese and yogurt in a mountain environment, topped off by a regional lunch at Ranch Andre, a typical Ladino shepherd’s house that has been converted into a rifugio, a small inviting alpine hut. We’ll even spend a night at one of the rifugios that dot the mountainsides. Spectacular hiking is a given, as the Alta Badia Valleys are connected during the summer by ski lifts and gondolas, which makes them accessible to all.
Get the intinerary for La Dolce Dolomites tour on Whole Journeys site.
Learn Through Good Food
Our local guides specialize in providing an eno-gastronomical experience that’s not to be missed. Eno-gastronomy is best described as an expression of the culture of a local community including its food and wine, history, geography, economy, art, culture and folklore. For example, at Rosa Alpina we’ll dine on tables made of local wood, cut according to phases of the moon in harmony with the biodynamic philosophy that underlies the majority of their products. Dishes, such as tortelli pasta stuffed with speck paté, are paired with the perfect regional wine for an unforgettable gastronomical experience for even the most discerning foodie.
Want a sample of what a Whole Journeys trip is like? Take a look:
Ready to take a trip you’ll remember for the rest of your life? Visit Whole Journeys for more.
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