Our Guide to Harvests

When's best to go pick olives in Crete? Where can I find saffron in the Atlas Mountains? How is Argan Oil made? We've put together our favorite gourmet experiences for the ultimate foodie vacation.

 
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Sample Local Produce in Northern Norway

There’s more to Norway than epic fjords and jaw-dropping views, there is also a thriving food culture just waiting to be explored. Alesund is particularly bountiful and its farms are an excellent place to try local produce and taste traditional Norwegian dishes courtesy of your hosts, as they tell you about life on their farm. So feast on jam made from local berry foraging, freshly caught crab and unique cheese which goes particularly well with coffee.

Best time to go: May - October

Go Berry Foraging in Swedish Lapland

Foraging for berries is a Swedish tradition and it’s not hard to see why it’s so popular. Its an excellent way to spend a summer afternoon and really get to know the beautiful scenery – in fact, 97% of Sweden is uninhabited so you there’s plenty to explore.

Best time to go: July - September

Argan Oil Harvest in Morocco

Once grown over across north Africa, the Argan tree is now under UNESCO protection and will only grow in arid dry areas, particularly Morocco. Argan Oil is one of the rarest oils in the world because of these small and very specific growth areas. The region of Essaouira is also where you see the famous goats on the top of Argan tree and we do organize harvesting with the women when Argan Oil is in season, so you can see and even take part in everything from harvesting it to pressing it.

Best time to go: Late July - Early August

Harvest Champagne in France

Champagne Harvesting in France is synonymous with regal chateaux, rolling vineyards and warm weather. Spend a heady few days in September fliting between the major Champagne houses, Veuve Clicquot, Laurent Perrier and Moet & Chandon, to pick just a few names, and learn how one of France’s most iconic exports is made. A drive through the ‘Champagne route’ to Epernay also brings pretty villages, rolling hillside coated with endless vines and some of the fascinating smaller champagne producers eager to welcome you for a tour of their wine cellars.

Best time to go: September

Go Wine Tasting & Truffle Hunting in Tuscany

Castiglion del Bosco is a wine lover’s delight close to Montalcino and Montepulciano – both renowned Tuscan wines. The hotel has its own Brunello di Montalcino winery where guests can tour the wine cellar followed by a tasting session or opt to pair the wines with Italian cheeses.

If you want to make your Tuscan trip even more indulgent visit between mid-September – December when white truffle season is on. We can arrange a Truffle hunting experience where you can head out with local experts and trained dogs to hunt for truffles.

Best time to go: September

Spend a Day Harvesting Grapes in Portugal

Get to know the wine making process as you explore the vineyards of Quinta Nova with your expert guide. You’ll learn about the traditional methods of cultivating vines and pick the grapes by hand, followed by lunch at the Winery Restaurant paired with some of the region’s finest wines. End the day with a trip down to the rustic cellar where you can see how the wines are aged, finishing with a delectable tasting session.

Best time to go: September - October

Get a Taste for Greece's National Drink

Monemvasia is a veritable gem on mainland Greece where vineyards are stretch between honey-colored villages, enchanting tavernas overlook azure waters and tiny chapels dot steep hills. Kinsterna Hotel & Spa is a Byzantine estate surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and citrus trees. This hotel has its own vineyards and guests can try harvesting/pressing grapes or making a traditional distilled Greek spirit.

The grape harvest takes place from mid-August to mid-September while traditional Greek spirit is made from mid-October to end of December.

Best time to go: September - October

Go Wine Tasting in Douro Valley

Douro Valley is one of the best (and most underrated) destinations for wine so its definitely worth a visit between September - October. Stay at Six Senses Douro Valley which is a 19th-century manor house with its own extensive wine cellar where guests can do tastings and learn about this age-old tradition. Guests can also venture out to one of the nearby quintas to sample local wines and eat at excellent regional restaurants.

Best time to go: September - October

Explore a 200-Year-Old Farm

Fly out to Alentejo in Portugal over the autumn and stay at São Lourenço do Barrocal, an idyllic 200-year-old farm estate with its own vineyard on its 2,000 acres of land. Book a wine tasting where you'll be taught about the winemaking process and the grape varieties grown in Alentejo, before you have the chance to taste a selection of the estate's wines.

Best time to go: September - October

Saffron Harvest in Morocco

The Ourika Valley is not only a breathtaking part of the Atlas Mountains, it is also known for its bountiful saffron harvest. Harvest typically lasts three weeks in late October or early November and women gather daily for the duration of the harvest, collecting flowers and then gathering around the table to collect the stigma, all while sharing a few laughs and enjoying a social time. Kasbah Tamadot is perfect for those wanting some luxury while in the High Atlas – they also own their own saffron farm.

Best time to go: Late October - Early November

Go Truffle Hunting & Wine Tasting in France

Did you know that 45% of Black Truffles are harvested in the South of France? This sunny part of the world is one of the best places to go for your Truffle experience. Truffles are renowned in the fine dining industry and create luxury, rustic meals perfect for food lovers.

The vineyards that carpet the French countryside have been wowing wine connoisseurs for centuries and the South of France is no exception. This part of France is especially excellent for its fruity rosés and crisp white wines which are the perfect accompaniment to truffles!

Best time to go: November

Turkey's Olive Oil Harvest

Head to Turkey in the winter months and visit the fragrant areas surrounding Ephesus which are abundant with olive groves, cherry blossoms and vineyards. Wander through the surrounding villages and rolling farmland with your guide and taste some local produce, you can even visit Turkey’s first organic market if you are there on Sunday.

Turkey’s olive oil is considered especially good and the country is home to one of the largest olive groves in the world so it’s the ideal place to see how to make this kitchen essential.

Best time to go: November - January

Learn About Crete's Best Loved Exports

Explore Crete's scenic countryside as you learn about two of the island's most celebrated products. Visit an olive oil estate that specializes in the organic production of olive oil and join the owners for a tasting session. Continue to a local winery, where you'll explore the grounds with a knowledgeable wine expert and learn about the production process before tasting a selection of delicious wines. Finish your day in rural Crete by driving through the foothills of the White Mountains to a traditional family-run taverna for an authentic Cretan meal with beautiful views.

Best time to go: Mid-November - Janaury

Call us on 020 3993 8860 to discuss your vacation

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