Top Excursions for Foodies on Mediterranean Cruises

The Mediterranean offers an abundance of port excursions for foodies. - Photo by Canva

When you plan a Mediterranean cruise it’s likely your trip will include visits to historical sites, cobblestone streets, picturesque beaches, and of course the opportunity to enjoy amazing cuisine. The region is the birthplace to many favorite foods (think pizza, pasta, wine) which makes for the ultimate destination for culinary enthusiasts. 

No matter what Mediterranean port you stop in, there are a number of excursions offered by cruise lines and tour operators that will delight epicures. These tours typically include tastings, cooking classes, market visits, and other activities centered around food and eating. We’ve rounded up our list of top excursions for foodies to keep in mind when planning your next visit to the region.  

Livorno - Florence/Pisa, Italy

Florence and Pisa are top Italian cities for foodies. - Photo by Cava

When you think of visiting Italy, food is commonly one of the first things that comes to mind. Gastronomists will be overwhelmed by the amount of culinary-focused excursions that they will find on a cruise making stop in Livorno. Here are our recommendations for culinary excursions in the Florence/Pisa area that will make you say “delizioso!:” 

  • Secret Food Tour of Florence - In this excursion from Get Your Guide, you will join a knowledgeable tour leader for a culinary adventure through the small, little-known streets of Florence. In this tour, expect to experience some of the best food in the Sant'Ambrogio and Santa Croce neighborhoods, and discover where the locals eat and drink in Florence.

  • Wild Truffle Hunting - This is the ultimate excursion for foodies and cooking enthusiasts in the area. This half-day hunting and cuisine tour will take you deep into the forest with one of the best truffle hunters in Italy and his hounds. You and your small team will work with the hounds to uncover these delicacies and gather them up while you learn about the types of truffles and the trees they grow on. After the hunt is complete, you will be treated to a truffle-based lunch with your newfound friends to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  • Pisa Street Food Tour  - On this tour, you will learn about the fascinating history of Pisa on a guided food-focused walking expedition of the city. Expect to sample local fare, visit significant landmarks, and enjoy skip-the-line access to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa!

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Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is home to some of the world's best tapas dishes. - Photo by Canva

If your itinerary includes a stop in Barcelona, prepare to be amazed by the abundant culinary experiences available. No trip to the city is complete without sampling tapas and toasting over a glass of Cava. Here are our top picks for excursions to delight gourmands visiting this port city: 

  • Wine and Cava Experience -This all-day Barcelona excursion from Shore Excursions Group will bring you to a family-run boutique winery in the Penedes region of Catalonia as well as a cellar specializing in Cava, a sparkling wine with an unmistakable regional taste. Salud!
  • Traditional Catalan Food Discovery Tour of Barcelona - On this tour, you will embark on a flavor-packed adventure tasting 6 Catalan specialties around the city with a local expert guide. Dive into Barcelona's gastronomic culture and taste your way through the El Born and Gothic quarters. 
  • Market to Fork: Market Tour & Private Cooking Class - This is the perfect excursion for those wanting to learn how to make traditional cuisine native to Barcelona. This chef-guided experience will take you to the colorful La Boqueria Market on Las Ramblas to shop for ingredients and learn about local cuisine. Next, you will prepare a traditional Catalan dish for lunch at the chef’s private rooftop.

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Athens, Greece

Experience history, culture, and great food in Athens. - Photo by Canva

Although best known by travelers for its ancient ruins and historical sites, Athens is a foodie’s paradise. While docked in Piraeus, you can learn to cook traditional Greek cuisine and sample regional delicacies with these top shore excursions: 

  • Greek Food Tour in Athens - Enjoy an off-the-beaten-path tour in the most delicious neighborhoods of Athens with this tour from Get Your Guide. Come hungry - you will sample authentic Greek delicacies such as bougatsa, loukoumades, and gyros. 
  • Athens Street Food Culture Adventure -This small tour experience from Get Your Guide explores the exciting city of Athens. Your local guide will point out local hidden gems and, take you to taste the most unique street foods and drinks to be found in the city.  
  • Eat Like a Local Greek Breakfast Experience - Foodies looking for a morning excursion in Athens will love this breakfast-centric tour from Get Your Guide. Your gastronomic adventure starts with a traditional coffee in a kafeneio (Greek café) where you’ll enjoy beautiful views of the Acropolis and learn about the coffee culture of Greece. 

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Marseille, France

France is a gourmand's paradise. - Photo by Canva

France is the ultimate destination when it comes to foodie delights and cooking experiences. The home to a number of the top restaurants in the world, France is a top country for foodies. If your cruise includes a port stop in Marseilles, we highly recommend these food-focused excursions: 

  • Bandol and Cassis with Wine Tasting - This small-group tour from Shore Excursions Group will travel to Bandol, Provence's most internationally recognized wine region. Vinophiles will delight in tasting the region’s wines and a sommelier-lead wine tasting experience in a private cellar.  
  • A Taste of Marseilles with Shore Excursions Group - Come hungry if you plan on this tour while docked in Marseilles! The excursion’s menu of the excursion includes stops to try traditional local delicacies like tapenade, tuna and salmon "Rillettes," oriental sweets, sardines, and of course Provence Rose. 
  • Walking Food Tour of Aix-En-Provence - This 3-hour tour from Get My Guide explores Aix-en-Provence, a paradise for art, culture, and gastronomy. While touring, you will visit the best bakery in the city, a macaron creator, an olive oil factory, a goat cheese producer, a chocolatier, and a deli for cured sausages and hams.

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Dubrovnik, Croatia 

Dubrovnik offers spectacular scenery as well as food. - Photo by Canva

The picturesque city of Dubrovnik, Croatia is a top spot on cruise itineraries in the Mediterranean. Foodies will love pairing wine tours and food sampling excursions with the rich history and unforgettable sights in one of these recommended tours: 

  • Dubrovnik Gastronomy: 3-Hour Food and Wine Tour - This Dubrovnik tour from Get Your Guide is a full immersive experience of the cities’ gastronomy culture. You will stroll down the ancient cobblestone streets of the city's Old Town, stopping to visit some of its great sights and to taste the local specialties over a glass of local wine.
  • Private Cooking Class in the Country - This private cooking class from Shore Excursions Group will teach you the basic ins and outs of Dalmatian cuisine. During this half-day cuisine tour, you and your exclusive small group will visit the scenic Croatian countryside for a cooking class to learn traditional recipes. 
  • Dalmation Dinner Experience - This Croatian food excursion combines a tour of the beautiful city of Dubrovnik with a unique dining experience. Guests will visit a local country restaurant just outside the city to taste homemade food prepared in the traditional Dalmatian way. 

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Lisbon, Portugal 

Try fresh seafood and meats when in Portugal. - Photo by Canva

With its coastal location, it's no surprise that traditional Portuguese foods focus on all things seafood. Although the country may be small, its offerings for culinary enthusiasts are a big delight. Here are our picks of top excursions in the beautiful city of Lisbon: 

  • Lisbon Sunset Fado & Tapas Tour -This tour from Shore Excursions Group is the perfect complement to any foodie’s cruise stopping in Lisbon. The guided excursion takes visitors by the town’s famous landmarks and includes stops for local foods. Guests will sample Ginjinha, a famous Portuguese liqueur made from sour cherries that has been used as medicine since the mid-1800s.
  • Traditional Lisbon Food Tasting Experience - On this tour from Get Your Guide, expect to experience the best traditional Portuguese dishes and learn about the country’s’ culinary traditions. Your local guide will lead you through the entire city to taste 14 different dishes at 4 tasting stops in just 3 hours! 

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Kotor, Montenegro 

Kotor offers both spectacular sights and foods.  - Photo by Canva

The beautiful, historic country of Montenegro comes with no shortage of options for food lovers. Prepare to pair culinary tours with magnificent views on excursions in this country. We recommend these gastronomic-focused experiences if your cruise makes a stop in Kotor: 

  • The Ancient Olives of Montenegro with Shore Excursions Group - This tour from Shore Excursions Group travels to the Lustica Peninsula, a relatively untouched area of secluded beaches and villages nestled between the Adriatic Sea and Boka Bay. You and your group will be treated to a stop at a family-run olive farm to see olive groves and learn about oil production methods.
  • Private Walking Tour with Wine and Food Tasting - This guided city tour from Get Your Guide is perfect for foodies looking to experience both the tastes and sights of Kotor from a local. Your guide will lead you all around the city to learn about Kotor’s amazing history, then conclude with a visit to a local restaurant to sample local smoked ham, cheese, and traditional Montenegrin wine.                                  

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Read More - Best Of: Onboard Cooking Classes for Foodies

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