Navigating a vacation as a vegan traveller can sometimes be painful. While plenty of countries lean naturally towards a vegan diet (we’re looking at you, Asia), others are far more meat-based. However, the tides seem to be turning, with all four corners of the globe offering plenty for the vegan vacationer to take a bite out of.
Let’s start with Intrepid Travel, one of the largest travel tour companies known to man. In response to the global surge of plant-based living, the switched-on sojourn operator has launched a range of vegan food tours in the world renowned gastronomic destinations of India, Italy and Thailand.
The new tours will depart in 2019 and were developed by Intrepid Travel’s experienced destination and food product teams with insight from a team of vegan influencers from around the world.
“Our local tour leaders are receiving more vegetarian and vegan food requests from Australian travellers. Vegan is also now one of our most commonly searched words on the Intrepid website,” reveals Intrepid Travel regional product manager, Tara Kennaway.
“Food is one of the best ways to connect with a local culture, but dietary requirements can be tricky with language barriers,” she adds. “Why should vegans miss out on authentic food experiences?
“You might think somewhere like Italy, famous for its pizza and pasta, won’t have vegan options readily available. The opposite is true, and we wanted to share our leader’s local knowledge and cater to vegan travellers.”
The Intrepid Travel Vegan tours will begin in 2019 and include the following:
Indian Vegan Food Adventure
Highlights of this tour include waking in Delhi to a hot Indian Chai with soy milk, before walking to the Jama Mosque, enjoying freshly made Vegan Samosa and Jalebis on the way. In Agra, travellers will visit the Taj Mahal before lunch at a cafe that supports acid attack victims. Priced from $1420, this eight-day tour also includes Jaipur, and is conducted with the input of not only the locals but also six knowledgeable vegan influencers from Canada, UK and Australia, who joined Intrepid on the pilot trip to help refine the itinerary. For more information.
Italy Vegan Adventure
This begins in an all-vegan villa in the hills of Tuscany, before whisking you off to a farm to table vegan feast at the first vegan restaurant in Venice. Showcasing Italy as home to the world’s most progressive vegan cuisine, it also takes in Bologna, San Gimignano and Rome. Priced from $3208 for eight days. For more information
The Thailand Vegan Food Adventure
This sees you jump into the kitchen with local Thai masters, who will dazzle you with what they can create with tofu, mushroom, sticky rice, bamboo and spice. One of many trip highlights is cooking a vegan meal under the guidance of a local in a Chiang Mai homestay. Priced from $1550 for eight days. For more information.
Renowned for its health and wellness bent, travel company Health and Fitness Travel has also curated a vast selection of vegan travel options. Here are a few of their amazing options:
Fusion Maia in Vietnam
This will have you relaxing in a wellness retreat on Vietnam’s Central Coast. The beach spa retreat will also tantalise tastebuds with a zero-guilt combination of traditional Vietnamese cooking, modern international flavours and comfort food classics, including vegan pizzas and mouth-watering raw desserts. For those who truly want to commit, Fusion Maia has designed bespoke nutrition programs, where you can discover the health benefits of an Alkaline diet, to guide you through your foodie wellness journey. Priced from $3,550pp for seven nights twin share. For more information.
Absolute Sanctuary in Thailand
This retreat will spoil you with not just yoga programs and nutritional knowledge, but you’ll be nourished with the vegan delights that are created in its in-house restaurant, Love Kitchen. The Koh Samui-based sanctuary embraces colourful raw and vegan food that works in harmony with any chosen health program. They also specialise in detoxification, from an introductory approach to a comprehensive experience. Complete your stay with daily lymphatic drainage or colon hydrotherapy sessions, detoxifying massages and Thai stretch sessions. Take part in cleansing holistic activities with daily yoga and up your fitness with group classes, from Thai boxing to aqua power. Priced from $2,760pp for seven nights twin share. For more information.
SwaSwara Indian Sanctuary
This delivers a holistic escape powered by natural organic food, yoga and meditation. Fresh from the retreat’s own garden, the raw and vegan cuisine at vegetarian restaurant Cocum will nourish, cleanse and empower you. You’ll also learn much about the local region’s fresh ingredients on a visit to the farmers’ market and explore Gokarna temples, Karma yoga sessions, Ayurvedic spa treatments and sunrise and evening meditations. Priced from $1,420pp for seven nights twin share. For more information.
Sianji Raw Food Detox
Based in South-West Turkey, this luxe retreat combines a detox holiday with an introduction to raw food nutrition. You receive three gourmet raw food meals a day, learn from the best during a consultation with a detox specialist and discover how to embrace this healthy lifestyle at home during educational seminars. You’ll be energised by eating clean, working out with complimentary group classes, including yoga, aqua gym and combat fitness or relax with Thalasso treatments at the luxurious Muu Spa. priced from $1,365pp for seven nights twin share. For more information.
Aro Ha Wellness Retreat in New Zealand
A little closer to home (for our Aussie readers, anyway), this offers a spectrum of raw-vegan meals and lifestyle practices against a jaw-dropping backdrop of Glenorchy. The diet, which is basically a vegan-meets-paleo diet and enzymatically active menu that will feed your body with trace minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients, is also taught to you so you can then repeat the healthy meals at home.
Priced from $4190 pp for four nights twin share. For more information.
About the Author
After 30 years of working in Australian media, Shonagh is one of Australia’s busiest and most in-demand beauty, health, travel and lifestyle writers.
As a health and lifestyle journalist and consultant, Shonagh has worked closely with international wellness experts and icons, including Dr. Sandra Cabot, Therese Kerr and Miranda Kerr.
In other aspects of her work, she has travelled the world reviewing wellness retreats and luxe holiday destinations, and she has interviewed and written feature articles on some of the world’s best love celebrities, including Sting, Elle McPherson, Pamela Anderson, Simon Baker, Kylie Minogue, Gwen Stefani, Tina Arena, Heather Graham and many more.
She currently lives in the NSW Southern Highlands with her four dogs (three Siberian Huskies and one Maltese Cross), where she grows her own veggies and advocates ending Factory Farming and animal cruelty.
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