Few experiences in nature are more rewarding than foraging. Much more than being a search for local edibles, foraging is a sensory experience that inspires the forager to bond with their natural surroundings. For travelers, foraging abroad offers the unique opportunity to explore nature with a new, gourmet lens. Expeditions are often led by knowledgeable local guides, community leaders, chefs, and naturalists who will teach guests about the area’s native flora and fauna. And for those who rarely get out to the wilderness, hunting for earthy chanterelles and spicy nasturtiums can be a deeply cathartic experience. The forest floor is teeming with edible leaves, berries, and fungi waiting to grace your plate, and these six regenerative resorts are here to show you how.
1. Tutka Bay Lodge – Southcentral Alaska
Within the Wild’s Tutka Bay Lodge is a wilderness explorer’s dream. The property is located on a 9-mile fjord near the historic Herring Islands along the stunning Kachemak Bay. The outback destination is home to a vast array of creatures, including adorable beavers, puffins, and Alaska’s famous brown bears. Since Tutka Bay converges where the land and sea meet, foraging here is especially unique as guests can expect to forage for terrestrial and sea edibles. Berry fans will be pleased to find that Tutka Bay is home to a variety of species, including red watermelon berries, salmonberries, and bunchberries. Blueberries, however, remain a favorite fruit among guests. Briny sea treats like sedges, bullwhip kelp, and sea lettuce dot the coastline. Once dried, the algae medley makes the perfect salty seasoning for popcorn. At the end of a foraging adventure, guests are encouraged to bring their edibles to one of the resort’s award-winning chefs to create an authentic Alaskan dish.
Schedule a complimentary travel consultation with Regenerative Travel here to learn more about Tutka Bay Lodge.
2. Winterlake Lodge – Southcentral Alaska
Set on a sprawling 15-acre property, Winterlake Lodge is a dreamy getaway tucked in the rugged backwoods of Alaska’s wilderness. The estate overlooks the enchanting Finger Lake and Tordrillo Mountains. For the best foraging experience, guests can trek the famous Iditarod Trail or hike with a guide to Wolverine Mountain, located conveniently behind the lodge. Panoramic views bathe the Wolverine summit, which offers intriguing hiking and wildlife viewing as many varieties of Alaskan birds, edible wildflowers, and wild berries are endemic to the area. Springtime yields delicate fiddlehead ferns, sticky sweet birch sap, and spruce tips, which chefs use to make desserts, savory dishes, and spruce tip-infused syrup for guests to use on dandelion-garnished pancakes. In the summertime, guests forage for wild blueberries, refreshing watermelon berries, and colorful fireweeds while passing through an old-growth boreal forest on the way back to the lodge. Winterlake also boasts a renowned on-site cooking school where guests can assist chefs in foraging and preparing nature-inspired meals.
Schedule a complimentary travel consultation with Regenerative Travel here to learn more about Winterlake Lodge.
3. Fogo Island Inn – Canada
At Fogo Island Inn, eating local is a way of life. Canada’s premier “On an island, off an island” regenerative resort takes its commitment to the natural world seriously. Ranked the World’s 3rd Best Hotel by Travel + Leisure in 2020, Fogo Island Inn offers some of the most enviable berry-picking available. In early fall, a field of at least 20 varieties of edible berries blanket the landscape. Visitors can explore the foothills while snacking on handfuls of raspberries and blueberries as well as the more unusual marshberries, partridgeberries, and the elusive cloudberries. The island’s annual Partridgeberry Harvest Festival is enjoyed by all and showcases residents’ craftwork, home cooking, bottling, and canning. Fogo Islanders’ lives are organized around foodways, which is reflected in the inn’s refined, forage-driven cuisine. Diners can expect to see locally caught seafood alongside handpicked fungi and other delectable edibles on the menu.
Schedule a complimentary travel consultation with Regenerative Travel here to learn more about Fogo Island Inn.
4. Shinta Mani Wild – Cambodia
Stretched across Cambodia’s Southern Cardamom National Park is Shinta Mani Wild. The resort doubles as both an eco-resort and nature preserve, serving up sophisticated foraged meals inspired by its natural surroundings. Guests join chefs or gardeners every afternoon for a foraging expedition around the jungled property where they can find tasty bamboo shoots, mangosteens, wild potatoes, figs, water lily, fresh mud crabs, and even zesty red ants for the adventurous eater. Along the way, visitors will learn about a plant’s medicinal properties and how the indigenous peoples once lived solely off the jungle’s bounty. The landscape’s remarkable diversity makes for a wide range of unique flavors from which chefs craft Southeast Asian–influenced fare. A wild foraged dinner is a favorite among guests who bring their foraged ingredients for the kitchen staff to prepare. Diners can enjoy their foraged meal at headquarters, on the lawn, at the Cistern, or partake in a waterfall picnic.
Schedule a complimentary travel consultation with Regenerative Travel here to learn more about Shinta Mani Wild.
5. Alladale Wilderness Reserve – Scotland
Alladale Wilderness Reserve sits on an expansive 23,000 acres in the serene Scottish Highlands. Four distinct lodging experiences stretch across the bucolic landscape, with opportunities to catch wildlife at every corner. The property is rich in natural resources and tasty edibles, namely the buttery chanterelle mushroom. Rangers guide visitors around the reserve in search of the best native herbs, mushrooms, and any other delicious edibles available that season. Scotland’s natural pantry offers an astounding breadth of textures and flavors. A nearby loch (lake in Scottish) rich in trout makes for the perfect fishing spot. At the end of the foraging (and fishing) expedition, Alladale’s resident chef will prepare a one-of-a-kind meal from the gathered ingredients alongside vegetables harvested from the reserve’s zero-waste aquaponics garden.
Schedule a complimentary travel consultation with Regenerative Travel here to learn more about Alladale Wilderness Reserve.
6. Gal Oya – Sri Lanka
Gal Oya has been described by many as Sri Lanka’s hidden gem. A virtual nature lover’s paradise, the eco-lodge offers a rare look into one of Sri Lanka’s most remote and least-visited wilderness areas. The neighboring Gal Oya National Park is home to resident elephant herds, flourishing birdlife, and 32 species of mammals including langurs, toque macaques, leopards, sloth bears, and water buffalo. Foraging here is full of surprises. Comb the forest floor for edibles and herbs or tour the jungle with the Chief of the Vedda people. Guests will learn about the natural environment as he brings the forest alive, explaining his tribe’s use of medicinal plants, ancient hunting grounds, and cave dwellings. After a fulfilling day of foraging, guests can join Chef Premarthna in an outdoor jungle kitchen hut as he puts on an exhibition of authentic Sri Lankan cuisine using the foraged finds. Discover how to prepare traditional local fare like Thalpa, Thumba, river fish curry, spiced yams, forest salads, and Kankun.
Schedule a complimentary travel consultation with Regenerative Travel here to learn more about Gal Oya.
Foraging is all about discovering the weird and wonderful joys the natural world has to offer. It provides a unique opportunity to connect with the sights and sounds of a tropical jungle or remote forest while gifting its forger a medley of herbs, berries, and ancient edibles that likely cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Go foraging on your next adventure and gain an appreciation for all the little chlorophyll creatures we so often take for granted.