Imagine being transported to exotic Istanbul where you will dine with local families on tandir cooking, discover the ancient art of Turkish tea preparation, indulge your senses at the famed Egyptian Spice Bazaar, and learn to cook traditional dishes at a local restaurant.

When planning a holiday there are always a few go-to options we look to first- country or seaside, adventure or relaxation, family or romance. But have you ever thought about planning a trip around food?

Travelling around food is not just for your hardcore connoisseurs; it’s also a creative way to approach your itinerary and can lead you to amazing places and experiences that you otherwise might have missed.

One of the very best things about travel is the unique experience of being able to truly immerse yourself in another culture, and food is a really great way to do this. Food is an integral part of daily life for people in all parts of the world and often deeply ingrained in their culture. In many countries food also plays a very important role in traditional celebrations, ceremonies and rituals. Just think of the importance of food and drink in a Japanese Tea Ceremony or Indian wedding feast.

“Without doubt, food – whether tasting new dishes, encountering unusual ingredients, enjoying local hospitality – is one of the most direct (and most delicious) ways to experience authentic local culture”, explains Erica from Intrepid Travel, who offer a variety of food-based tours.

“Food gives you the capacity to transform from a spectator to active participant in a local culture – whether that be pointing and smiling to order an unknown dish from a street food vendor, or sitting around the kitchen table and getting to know a local family over a cup of tea or a meal”.

Intrepid Travel is just one of many travel companies now offering tours with a food focus, allowing travellers to explore some of the word’s most exciting food cultures. In recent years they have seen a real increase in travellers wanting to trek the path less travelled in search of a unique foodie experience. 

A pre-organized tour like this can be a great stress-free way to travel and often include experiences that would otherwise be very difficult to organise by yourself. However, if you prefer to travel solo the internet is an amazing resource for local restaurant reviews and foodie discoveries, so once you have chosen your destination invest some time in thoroughly researching the area.

Whether you take a bite-sized trip or a gastronomic pilgrimage, a foodie adventure will have you munching, sipping and slurping like a local.