BOULDER, Colorado (Nov. 8, 2012)Food lovers and culture buffs with a passion for the outdoors have a new way to discover “what travel should taste like” with Whole Journeys, a new travel venture from Whole Foods Market.

Whole Journeys connects active foodies with the cultural and culinary traditions of worldwide destinations like The Dolomites, Cappadocia, Provence, Shangri-La and more. Travelers walk, hike or bike through as they explore the foods, farms and events that make a region unique. While levels of exertion and food experiences vary, all itineraries are designed to support local communities, respect the environment and encourage travelers to share each destination’s unique food cultures with one another and the food producers themselves. Travelers can view details and check availability online at

“Why we travel, where we travel, what we do and who we meet while we are there, and how we share the experiences when we return home, can affect positive change in the world,” said Kathy Dragon, executive director of Whole Journeys.

Whole Journeys’ makes its first departures in April 2013 with trips including a trip to a flavorful Turkish food festival, an epicurean biking tour in Italy, and a hike following the historic tea and horse caravan road in China. Currently Whole Journeys offers a small portfolio of programs, and guests can expect more trips in the U.S. and South America in the near future.

“Our programs are ideal for custom groups of family or friends as they can be adapted to focus more on a specific interest or region based on our network of trusted guides and producers,” said Dragon.

Itineraries run from five days to two weeks. Most trips accommodate a maximum of 16 guests. Pricing is competitive, usually between $3,000 and $4,500 for trips offering close encounters with the lands and peoples in each destination. Travelers book their own airfare; guides, visits, hotels and most meals are included. 

What can travelers expect upon arrival? Whole Journeys custom designs each itinerary to incorporate unique accommodations, local guides (when possible) and visits to native farms, wineries and cheese makers. Guests will enjoy high quality food and interact with the communities and artisans that produce it, as well as participate in local events and take on active excursions. 

“We’re all about authentic experiences and rich cultural connections. I encourage guests to open themselves to the culture in each destination, and share their own perspective with the people there. When the trip is over, everyone comes away with a wider worldview and, hopefully, a deeper appreciation for global diversity and food culture and traditions,” said Dragon.

Whole Journeys 2013 itineraries currently available for booking:

Dragon will personally escort many of the first departures. As a 20-year veteran of the adventure/experiential travel industry, Dragon has guided more than 3,000 active adults on group tours worldwide, from Lithuania to Patagonia, Kilamanjaro to Komodo. Prior to leading Whole Journeys, she owned The Dragon’s Path, a travel company focused on cultural walking adventures.