For an even more authentic way to travel, strap on your most comfortable shoes and sign up for a walking vacation. Not only will you get up close and personal with the locals and the landscape, you can't help but work up an appetite. Luckily, all that walking means you'll just have more room for the regional delicacies.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
What: Cover four to eight miles a day on VBT Walking Vacations' eight-day "Amalfi Coast & Capri" tour. Walk through Pompeii, along the Alta Via dei Monti Lattari trail on the Sorrento Peninsula, and around the island of Capri. Then it's off to roam the terraces of Ravello and a nature reserve in the Valley of the Mills, followed by hiking on a trail to Positano. The trip also includes visits to a pasta factory, beaches, ancient Roman sites, churches, and museums.
Where: Depart from the U.S.; the tour begins in Naples and ends in Rome.
When: May 14 and 21 and June 18, 2010
Price: From $3,545 per person with airfare from New York; from $2,795 for land-only trips. Prices include transfers and local transportation, eight nights' lodging in four-star hotels and villas, breakfast daily, three lunches, three dinners, guides, walking excursions, and sightseeing.
More Info: VBT Walking Vacations (tel. 800/245-3868; www.walking.vbt.com)
What: Join a group of six to 12 fellow walkers on Walking Catalonia's six-day guided "Walk, Wine and Wellness" tour from Barcelona through the Sant Llorenç del Munt i l'Obac Natural Park. After the first day in Barcelona, the group heads to the Sant Llorenç area, where you'll visit places such as Sant Benet and La Mola monasteries, and the villages of Talamanca and Rocafort. Enjoy wine tastings and sumptuous meals while staying at a 14th-century country house in the park.
Where: Start in Barcelona and travel through the Sant Llorenç del Munt i l'Obac Natural Park.
When: Tours depart April 11 and 25, May 9 and 23, and June 6 and 13, 2010
Price: €725 per person includes one night in a three-star hotel in Barcelona, four nights at Masia El Prat, five breakfasts, four lunches, four dinners with wine, four guided walking excursions, and all transfers except from Barcelona airport to the hotel on the first day. Airfare isn't included.
Ring of Kerry, Ireland
What: Trek-Inn Holidays' eight-day Ring of Kerry walking tour takes you along the Kerry Way and through Killarney National Park. Pass the peaks of the MacGillacuddy Reeks, and stroll along coastal paths overlooking Dingle Bay to the sands of Waterville and Derrynane. You'll also see island-studded mountain lakes, waterfalls, forests, and moors. If you're lucky, you may even spot an Irish Red Deer or two.
Where: Begin in Shannon and end in Killarney.
When: April 10 and 24, and June 19, 2010
Price: £830 to £875 per person, which includes transfers (airport and train station); seven nights' lodging (hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs); six days of guided walks; a full Irish breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner each day; luggage transfers, and maps. Airfare isn't covered.
More Info: Trek-Inn Holidays (tel. 866/873-5166; www.trek-inn.com)
Nakasendo Trail, Japan
What: Oxalis Holidays' 12-day "Nakasendo Trail" tour leads you on the road through the mountains that linked Kyoto to Tokyo during Japan's feudal period. Spend four days on this route that was once followed by feudal lords, samurai, and merchants. At night, stay in country inns, enjoy regional cuisine, and soak in natural hot springs. The trip also includes walking tours of Tokyo, Mount Koya, Yoshino, Nara, and Kyoto as well as visits to temples, shrines, museums, and UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Where: Begin in Tokyo and end in Kyoto.
When: This year's spring departures are already sold out, but there's still some space on the fall tour (October 25-November 5). Or book early for next year (April 10-21 and May 15-26, 2011).
Price: $3,640 per person, which includes transfers and local transportation, 11 nights' lodging in guesthouses and four-star hotels, entrance fees, breakfast daily, and seven dinners. Airfare isn't covered.
More Info: Oxalis Adventures (tel. +44/20-7099-6147; www.oxalis-adventures.com)
Northern Territory, Australia
What: Spring is autumn in Australia, and April marks the beginning of the best season to explore the country's remote north. Territory Discoveries runs the six-day "Jatbula Trail Walks" along an ancient Songline used by the area's Aboriginal people to access parts of Nitmiluk National Park. Expect to see waterfalls and Aboriginal rock art on the way from Katherine Gorge (Nitmiluk) to Edith Falls (Leliyn).
Where: The trip begins in Katherine, a three-hour drive from Darwin.
When: Monday departures (April 1-October 31)
Price: $1,795AUD per person, which includes transportation from Darwin, a professional wilderness guide, camping equipment, all meals, and national park and camping fees. Airfare isn't included.
More Info: Territory Discoveries (tel. +61/8-8951-8544; www.territorydiscoveries.com)