May 03

The Best Hiking Trips for Foodies

Our Favorite Hiking Trips for Food Lovers

If you know us at Ryder-Walker, you know we love food almost as much as we love hiking. There are so many incredible destinations around the world for food lovers, but we are especially indulgent in combining delicious cuisine before, during, or after a long day on the trail. From the high peaks of the Alps to the blue waters of Europe’s coasts, here are some of our top destinations for all you foodies.

Italy: The Via Ladinia

Italy needs no introduction in terms of cuisine. Southern Italy in particular has influenced cuisine across the world with iconic dishes such as pasta and pizza becoming so popular as to be near ubiquitous. What is less sung is Northern Italy’s unique cuisine, which can be perfectly sampled on Ryder-Walker’s Via Ladinia: Heart of the Italian Dolomites. Northern Italy is the cultural crossroads of Mediterranean and Germanic Europe, and as a result the region has developed a unique cuisine that highlights the strengths of both cultures. German breads, dumplings, and meats fuse with Italian sauces, pastas, and the Italian focus on fresh produce to create food that is not found in any region of either nation. Check out our top five favorite foods from the Italian Dolomites here.

Spain: The Costa Brava

Spain, specifically the Costa Brava – which runs along the Mediterranean coast of Catalonia, has become world famous for the nation’s unique take on eating via tapas. Tapas are the embodiment of the Spanish spirit, small and delightful dishes which are served in succession and are meant to be enjoyed over the course of an entire evening. This approach to slow food is only accented by the views of the sea and the warm coastal air. Tapas are typically simple, varied, and focused on core ingredients such as meats, vegetables, and cheeses.

France: Provence: Hill Towns of the Luberon

Provence, like Northern France, experienced one of the most impactful cultural and culinary booms with the economic development of the manor system. This post-feudal social structure designated entire communities and social groupings towards the preparation of food and the development of recipes, resulting in a variety of complicated and time intensive cooking techniques that have inspired chefs around the world to this day. Today, Provence offers a variety of delicious roasted meats, light breads, seafood, and regional seasonings, such as the use of lavender in savory cooking – a flavor palette that is nearly entirely unique to the region.

Greece: Northern Greece

Greece, much like its other coastal neighbors, has a light and fresh cuisine that is heavy on fresh produce, tomatoes, young cheeses such as feta, and unique applications of pastry which all result in one of the richest and most soulful cuisines in the world. On Ryder-Walker’s Northern Greece Trek you will get to experience firsthand the most authentic variations of Greece’s broad cuisine. In Northern Greece, the cuisine shifts away from the seafood featured along the coast toward regional produce. Once a cuisine based in scarcity, the staples of the inland have developed into more refined dishes made with fresh, local ingredients.

Croatia: The Dalmatian Coast

Food in Croatia is defined by the nation’s proximity to the sea. If you are a lover of fresh seafood this is the place for you: calamari, grilled fish, muscles, and everything else under the water are bountiful on the Croatian table. While traveling with Ryder-Walker we hop from island to island, such as the isles of Miljet and Korčula, and as a result get to sample the fresh catches of the day every night.

Liechtenstein: The Liechtenstein Trail

Liechtenstein, while not known internationally for its food, is a surprisingly heavy hitter. What defines the region’s cuisine, as compared to its alpine neighbors Austria and Switzerland, is Liechtenstein’s unique use of broths and stews. This isolated valley developed a whole suite of hearty meat-based soups to compliment the more familiar alpine items, such as dumplings, schnitzel, and cheese dishes like rösti.

Switzerland

Cooking in Switzerland, like many alpine cuisines, was originally developed as a result of isolation and scarcity. Farmers who would spend entire seasons or even lifetimes in the high mountains were relatively limited in what they had on hand to cook with, much of which was sourced from the local livestock. Today, this has resulted in the world’s most complete and charismatic selection of cheeses. Bergkäse, or mountain cheese, is the true star as it is hyper-local and never the same between two villages. Some classics of Swiss cooking include fondue, Käseschnitte, and raclette. Check out one of our favorite raclette recipes here.

At Ryder-Walker, we absolutely love food. Check out some of our favorite recipes from the Alps here and European holiday cookie recipes here. Ready to keep exploring our hiking trails? Find all of our guided treks here and our self-guided hiking tours here.

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