We all love to eat, but—news flash—sometimes all that consumption of delicious food equates to an extra inch—or inches—around your waist. Well, there are ways to work off the poundage that don't necessarily involve repetitive actions at the gym—in fact, they involve going on vacation.
Here are six active culinary vacations around the world that involve some sort of calorie-burning outdoor activity without detracting from the burning needs of your inner food lover.
① Hiking (and Eating) to Machu Picchu
Many tourists in Peru hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, but the ancient pathway isn't the only way to get there on foot. The Lares Trek is a great alternative—and it doesn't require a permit. Community-based tour company Mountain Lodges of Peru will guide—and feed!—you through a weeklong journey that highlights local specialties along the way, from beers brewed with quinoa to pachamanca, or meats and local vegetables traditionally roasted in the ground.
② Cycling Through Italian Truffle Country
In addition to its trendsetting fashion and fancy cars, Italy is renowned for cycling and above all, its food. The two come together in culinary cycling tours like VBT's Piedmont Slow Food Farmland tour, a 10-day jaunt through the northwestern region known for truffles. You'll forage for them (on foot), then carb up for the days of biking ahead by enjoying them in the traditional way: atop tajarin, regional egg-yolk-rich ribbon pasta.
③ Gourmet Skiing in France
If you have the means to travel for a ski holiday, it's a no-brainer to head to the French Alps. Après-ski goes gourmet at many of the resorts, and a single lift pass from Portes du Soleil offers access to 12 of the best, each with its own restaurants. Together, there's about 400 square miles of skiable terrain, which leaves you ample chance to counteract all that fromage, confit and foie gras.
④ Pampered Paddling in the Pacific Northwest
It's exhilarating to kayak the salty waterways of Washington State's San Juan Islands to see orcas and seals up close, and that experience gets even better when you end each day with fine Washington wines and an upscale meal. This is the day-to-day agenda in Savor Seattle's three-day "pampered paddling" sea kayaking tour in the northwestern region of the state, known for its dynamite cuisine and breathtaking views of the Cascade Range mountains.
⑤ Walking in Slovenia to Visit a Renowned Chef
If you love walking, Country Walkers' weeklong tour of Slovenia, with walks ranging three to six miles a day, may be more your speed. The country is home to chef Ana Roš, whose progressive recipes put Slovenian cuisine in the spotlight—and on an episode of Netflix's Chef's Table. A tour and dinner at her restaurant, Hiša Franko, is a special stop along the way.
⑥ Epicurean White-Water Rafting in Idaho
Idaho is more than its potatoes; in fact, it's home to great white-water rafting along the Salmon River and all the fascinating wildlife along the way. Of the several rafting outfitters that run the river's course of Class III rapids, one in particular, adventure tour company O.A.R.S., will most appeal to food lovers. Its six-day Main Salmon Wilderness Gourmet tour pairs white-water thrills with local micro brews, fine wines and alfresco dining that's prepared by an on-site chef.
Pack your passport—and an appetite—as we hit the world's hottest culinary destinations on and off the grid all month long. Now Boarding: your next trip to paradise.
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