Luxury Travel Blog

Ideas to inspire your world: luxury, culture, food, travel, style

July 14, 2012

Learn by Doing While Traveling the World

Want to learn to make mozzarella by hand on the Amalfi Coast? How about a private karate lesson in Kyoto? A surfing lesson in Bali? Would you like to paint porcelain in Austria or assist on an archaeological dig in Israel?


We offer hundreds of such learning experiences that can be incorporated into our private tours in more than 55 countries. Each of these private lessons and activities–many of which are complimentary–can be customized to your schedule, level of interest and proficiency. They can be as short as an hour or as long as a week or more.

Here are a few examples of the private, hands-on learning activities we arrange:

Private culinary-focused activities tailored to your interests:

  • Learn to make local food specialties: pasta in Italy, pastries in France, mole in Mexico, dumplings in China, mezes in Turkey
  • Food preparation and presentation techniques: knife techniques in Japan or France, fruit carving in Thailand, grinding and blending spices in India, Shabbat preparation in Israel, tea ceremony cuisine in Japan
  • A day with a culinary expert or chef: visit markets and/or work side-by-side with chefs in more than 55 countries
  • Learn food production processes: olive oil in Greece, chocolate and cheese in Switzerland, tofu in Japan, gelato in Italy
  • Lessons and tastings with local beer, wine and spirits experts: a sommelier in Bordeaux, Japan’s leading sake expert, a port wine expert in Portugal, how to pair food and wine, private winery tours with winery owners, whisky tastings during private distillery tours in Scotland, craft brewers in Germany or the Czech Republic


Hands-on crafts lessons, tours with art scholars, meeting artists and designers:

  • Observe renowned artists and artisans at work: visit the studios of Living National Treasures in Japan, visit the home of a renowned jewelry designer in Hong Kong, watch master craftsmen in India, meet renowned weavers in Peru, visit studios of artisans in Mexico and India
  • Hands-on lessons in local crafts: Iznik tile painting in Turkey; pottery making in Japan; basket making in Indonesia; lacquerware making in Burma; embroidery in Ecuador or the Baltic States; paper making in Portugal; glass blowing in Prague, Vienna or Venice; porcelain painting in France or Austria; hand-block printing in India; thangka painting in Bhutan; flower arranging in Japan; henna design in Morocco
  • Tour with experts: an art expert in Paris or Madrid, an architect or architecture historian in Hong Kong or Tokyo, a garden design expert in London and the Cotswolds


One-on-one lessons and activities with sports professionals and naturalists:

  • Martial arts lessons with masters: kickboxing in Thailand; karate, kendo and judo in Japan; tai-chi and kung fu in China; taekwondo in South Korea; gladiator lessons in Rome
  • Private sports lessons: archery in Bhutan, cricket in England, surfing in Bali, fly fishing in New Zealand, skeet shooting in Scotland, golf in Scotland and Australia, horseback riding in Patagonia, sailing in the Mediterranean, skiing in Argentina and New Zealand
  • Learn outdoor skills for appreciating local natural attractions: sea kayaking in Vietnam, scuba diving in Thailand, hiking in Tasmania, paddling a mokoro in Botswana, glacier walking in Patagonia or New Zealand
  • Learn about and help conserve local wildlife: cheetah rescue in South Africa, elephant mahout training in Thailand, bird identification and birding in Botswana, butterfly identification in Ecuador, conservation techniques in the Galapagos Islands, tracking animals in game reserves in South Africa
  • Learn traditional methods for living in the wilderness: San Bushmen tracking and hunting in the Kalahari Desert, Aboriginal bush tucker cuisine in Australia, identifying edible plants in New Zealand
  • Astronomy lessons: learning to use telescopes and read the night sky in the Atacama Desert and the Australian Outback


Instruction in music, dance and other performing arts, as well as their cultural context:

  • Lessons in playing local musical instruments: didgeridoo in Australia, gamelan in Bali or Java, shamisen or drums in Japan, flamenco guitar in Spain, bagpipes in Scotland or Spain, sitar or tabla in India
  • Learn local dance techniques: tango in Argentina, waltz in Vienna, Balinese dance in Bali, Khmer dance in Cambodia, geisha dances and butoh in Japan, flamenco in Spain
  • Behind-the-scenes tours and meetings: Javanese and Balinese shadow puppets in Indonesia, Peking opera makeup and costumes in China, kabuki in Japan, water puppets in Vietnam, opera in Italy, ballet in Russia


Private visits to important sites and meetings with local experts:

  • Join archaeological digs: work alongside a paleoanthropologist in the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa, join an archaeological dig in Jerusalem, visit an excavation pit and research facility at the Terracotta Warriors in China
  • One-on-one private lectures: meet with leading historians around the world, in destinations such as Hanoi, Budapest, Berlin, Cairo and Machu Picchu
  • Explore ancient history: fossil identification in Morocco, cave art in remote Australia, classical antiquity sites in the Mediterranean


Learning diverse methods in meditation, yoga, breathing and traditional medicine, as well as religious history and practice:

  • Learn philosophy and practice of local meditation: yoga in India, Zen meditation in Japan, Buddhist meditation in South Korea and Bhutan, Gregorian chanting in Italy
  • Learn traditional healing methods: Ayurvedic medicine and massage in India, Thai massage in Thailand, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, herbal remedies in Asia and South America, spa culture and methods in Europe
  • Astrology: meet with leading astrologers in Bhutan and Indonesia
  • Visit important religious sites and performances with experts: Jewish and Christian sites throughout Europe and the Middle East, the Camino de Santiago in Spain, Mount Koya in Japan, whirling dervishes in Turkey


From language introduction to immersion:

  • Learn about local writing systems: hieroglyphics in Egypt, characters in China and Japan, Thai in Thailand, Hindi in India, Arabic in Morocco
  • Language immersion: intensive language experience throughout a tour customized to individual interest and ability


Private educational activities for families:

  • Active family experiences: family ropes courses or glacier skiing in Switzerland or New Zealand, sheep shearing in Australia, educational safaris to learn wildlife tracking and survival techniques in Africa and Australia
  • Family cultural lessons: a private family cooking class in Florence, a private family guitar lesson and concert in Spain, a school visit in China, learning to wear a kimono in Japan or lederhosen in Germany, family lessons to learn to write calligraphy in Japan, private Spanish lessons in Spain, family philanthropic and volunteer experiences in India, Vietnam and Myanmar


Contact us or your preferred travel agent to learn more about Artisans of Leisure and customized private tours.

Destinations:  Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, South America, Southeast Asia

Tags:  active travel, adventure tours, antiquity, archaeology, architecture, art, bespoke travel, Buddhism, Christian tours, classes, cooking classes, crafts, culinary tours, cultural travel, customized tours, dance, design, educational travel, experiential, family travel, food, garden tours, Indonesia, Jewish tours, language, language immersion, learning vacations, lessons, Lithuania, luxury travel, martial arts, Mediterranean, music, Patagonia, Philanthropic travel, private, private tours, scuba diving, skiing, South America, special interest tours, sports tours, tours, travel, wildlife, wine, yoga