nutmeg and mace are two spices from the same fruit in zanzibar

Travel for the senses Three travel experiences that appeal to the senses & showcase the unique flavours of the continents…
by 24th February 2017

I glanced a headline recently that said ‘Eat, Pray, Love or Meet, Learn, Transform?’ and it got me thinking about travel trends and how they continue to evolve over time. We live in exciting times. Love it or hate it, the age of information, coupled with the rise of the millennials, has encouraged an exponential spike in social media and content sharing. Whether we embrace it or not, the fact remains that never before has information been so accessible and the constant stream of real-time imagery and video footage means that anyone can become an armchair traveller and scour the internet for inspiration, travel tips and adventure.

Wanderlusters are ever evolving and not only are they reprioritising travel as a necessity in their busy lives, but they are also reprioritising what they expect to get out of their bucket list holidays. Today’s travellers understand the importance of maintaining a healthy work/life balance and they are actively setting time aside in their hectic schedules to escape the daily deadlines, meetings, chores and to-do lists. They seek lesser-known, off-the-beaten-track destinations. Places where they can truly escape to relax, recharge and rejuvenate their souls. They pursue travel that appeals to their senses; travel that makes them feel alive again.

Travellers are increasingly concerned about the environment and preserving our precious planet for future generations to enjoy. They want to broaden their horizons, interact with different cultures, witness critically endangered wildlife and bond with their loved ones at the same time. They strive to gain a deeper appreciation for our earth and they want to make a meaningful difference to its land, wildlife and people.

Today’s intrepid adventure seekers also crave health, wellness and enlightenment and they want to actively participate, learn, experience and truly get involved.

With this in mind, here are three extraordinary travel experiences that truly appeal to the senses by getting travellers involved, learning and relishing the unique flavours of the continents.

1. Just your cup of tea

Food lovers and culture enthusiasts will love this 11-day gastronomic journey through India’s most vibrant destinations in search of its irresistible menus and historic attractions. Wander aimlessly through crowded markets, taste the fiery flavours of the traditional street food, visit a picturesque tea plantation, participate in a private cooking class, meander past ancient royal palaces, hike through verdant forests and learn about the Subcontinent’s fascinating tea heritage.

Starting in Delhi, explore the city sights, from the countless museums, markets and monuments to the tombs, temples and traditional food stalls.

Moving on to the ancient city of Hyderabad, marvel at elegant palaces and catch a glimpse of the bustling bazaars, full of sparkling jewels, silky saris, soft fabrics and shiny silver. Indulge in a hot cup of tea in an eccentric fashion designer’s private home and pick up some new culinary skills in an authentic Hyderabadi cooking class.

Wander the Victorian streets of Kolkata, catch a whiff of the aromatic flower market, visit the city’s oldest sweet shop and delight in a sunset boat cruise followed by a grand Bengali dinner. The adventure culminates on a magnificent tea estate in Darjeeling.

The sights, sounds, colours, flavours, textures and aromas of India will leave your senses satiated and your mind energized.

2. Wining & dining

Tailormade with food connoisseurs, wine lovers and adventure buffs in mind, this eight-day South American journey delves into the world-class vineyards and cosmopolitan cities of Chile and Argentina. Kick things off in the flourishing Colchagua Valley, which is situated in the heart of Chile’s picturesque wine country and is celebrated for its Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Carménère varieties. The exclusive wine estate offers everything from hiking, biking and horseback riding, to spa treatments, yoga and of course wine tasting.

Savour a leisurely picnic lunch amidst the vines with rich, local cheeses and other delicacies before moving onto the skyscrapers of Santiago. After an invigorating tour of the city, it’s time to relax and unwind for a few days in Mendoza, Argentina’s most famous wine region. Taste juicy Argentine beef, sip rich flavourful Malbec and explore the rustic natural beauty of the Uco Valley. Choose to hike the Andes Mountains, visit boutique wineries, ride horses with the local gauchos or learn the secrets of Argentine cooking with an expert chef.

Eventually arriving in Buenos Aires, affectionately known as the Paris of South America, enjoy a festive feast in a tango hall and witness the vibrant colour and fiery passion that make tango famous around the world.

3. The spice of life

The tropical island paradise of Zanzibar is situated in the warm, turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean just off the coast of Tanzania. It is an island steeped in culture and history and its capital city of Stone Town, a World Heritage Site, boasts a fascinating labyrinth of winding alleys, lively marketplaces, intricately carved wooden doors, magnificent mosques and grand Arab residences.

Zanzibar is also known as the ‘Spice Island’, aptly named for the delicious variety of spices grown on the island. Imagine starting your day in a lush garden with an Arabic coffee and lemongrass tea ceremony then hopping onto a dala dala (the traditional Zanzibari mode of transport) to a nearby spice plantation.

Take part in an insightful day tour, getting the unique opportunity to see, smell and taste a kaleidoscope of spices, from cloves, cardamom and cinnamon, to nutmeg, vanilla and black pepper. Delve into mouth-watering tropical fruits such as jackfruit, litchi, banana, durian, apple and soursop. Once the tour is over, tuck into a flavourful and leisurely feast prepared by a family living on the plantation, followed by an afternoon idly spent at the impressive Persian baths. Talk about delightful sensory overload!