Consider the makings of a great vacation and you may end up with a list even longer than your holiday shopping agenda; adventurous treks through scenic landscapes, relaxing stays at beachside resorts, and extraordinary tours of historic vestiges all fit the bill. Going on a trip, for most, is about discovering the world beyond one's everyday life and taking the time to experience something out of the ordinary, whether that entails climbing a mountain in a snowy winter wonderland or lolling in the warm sunshine of a more tropical locale. We all have our own ideals in terms of how best to spend precious leisure time but the intention behind all travel excursions share a common bond in the desire to explore the Earth and its bountiful offerings beyond what we've already made familiar as parts of our daily routine.
Take-out or Travel?
The idea of culinary tourism is nothing new to the travel industry and each area of the globe has its own distinct and unique contributions to the realm of international cuisine. Who in their right mind wouldn't sample some authentic pastas and pizza when visiting Italy, or try at least a few bratwursts and beers while touring Germany? Tasting the foods and drinks that define a locale is a necessary component of any good trip abroad, but, with so many diverse menus, the exploration of a destination's eatables usually falls to the wayside as a cursory endeavor supplementing the main itinerary of a given international undertaking.
All that has begun to change as tour operators proffer new opportunities inviting travelers to unearth the cultures behind and creation of some of the most commonplace and widely enjoyed libations around. Sure, there are plenty of food fanatics who visit various locales to indulge in the fare characteristic to the given region. But a new industry of wine and coffee tourism has begun to sprout up around a growing interest regarding the origins and harvesting practices behind the universally prevalent brews.
Winning Over Wine-Lovers
An exciting new attraction is developing in the balmy nation of Greece, offering an opportunity to explore local winemaking while touring famous archaeological sites in the area. The Attican Vineyard Winemaker's Association has formulated a wine route that traverses the beautiful hilly Mesogeia province surrounding Greece's capital city of Athens while including checkpoints at renowned historical attractions. Following this wine route will lead you on a journey through the gorgeous countryside with stops at some of the oldest wineries in the region, where you'll have opportunities to participate in wine tastings and purchase your own bottle of one of the liquid masterpieces. The route focuses on the harvest and production of one of the nation's most popular beverages but also encompasses a wide array of other historical, and characteristically Greek, attractions.
Although you may not expect it, the sunny country of South Africa is a premier producer and exporter of wine and the Stellenbosch American Express Wine Routes group has introduced their own invitation for travelers to explore the rich local industry. A new Wine Tourism Visitor Centre was recently opened in Stellenbosch, just a short drive East of the city of Cape Town, and serves as a launch point for those eager to discover the wine-making scene amongst the radiant hilly landscape. CEO of Stellenbosch Wine Routes, Annareth Bolton, was recently quoted as saying, "We invite everyone to swing by our new 'home' for an insightful peep into what makes our wine route one of the best in the world and to get connected with a myriad of attractions on our doorstep." While wine tourism remains the heart of the new center's cause, it serves as a wonderful catalyst for exploring the other attractions available in the area.
...And Going Crazy for Coffee!
Grapes aren't the only brew-able commodity gaining traction among tourists, as coffee tourism has begun to spread its roots around the globe in suit. Perhaps one of the most popular and universally cherished drinks in the world, coffee is consumed regularly in all types of societies, everywhere from The Middle East to South America, and is produced in a wide variety of climates. Every culture has its own method of brewing and serving the revered beans, but the buzz-worthy tradition of enjoying a hot cup of joe shares a common enthusiasm for caffeine-induced glee.
While coffee beans are grown, roasted, and exported from all over the world, a few select locations standout as meccas of superior quality brews. The lush nation of Colombia, once inaccessible to tourists due to political instability, is now opening its doors and welcoming tourists who wish to see where their morning caffeine fix comes from. Small family-owned farms such as Hacienda La Cabana offer unique farm stay experiences where guests can immerse themselves in life on an authentic South American coffee plantation. Aside from learning about the growing, harvesting, and roasting process, vacationers have the opportunity to enjoy the rest of the landscape around them, from lavish jungle walks to historical artifacts and tours. While patrons may, at first, come to explore the coffee trade, they eventually discover a world of culture and heritage behind the rural farm industry that few may ever even know existed.
Planning a vacation of a lifetime is no easy task when there are so many fascinating and alluring destinations to choose from. But whether you want to sample cuisine, culture, history, nature, or everything altogether, Auto Europe can help you get there and get around with the best deals in the industry so you can reap the full potential of your next fantastic trip abroad!