Time-pressed travellers, take heart. When we polled our Traveller team on their most memorable travel experiences, we discovered there is a wealth of one-day wonders out there; activities that may be over in just a few hours, but that linger much longer in the memory.
TAKE AN EVENING ROOFTOP COOKING CLASS IN ROME
HOW LONG Four hours.
THE EXPERIENCE You'll feel (almost) like a local as you enter a grand apartment in the centre of Rome and take the iron-cage lift to the rooftop terrace. As part of a group of no more than 14 participants you learn to make hand-made pastas – the Roman speciality of pasta All'Amatriciana and ravioli – while sipping local wine. The evening begins with prosecco and canapes and later the group dine on their pasta creations.
MAKE IT HAPPEN Cost is 64 euros a person. The night begins at 6.45pm and classes run from February to October. See walksofitaly.com
CYCLING ARGENTINA'S MALBEC WINE COUNTRY
HOW LONG Six hours.
THE EXPERIENCE Set against a heady Andean backdrop, the Mendoza province – in central Argentina – is dotted with vineyards and bodegas (wineries). On summer days, it's a treat to pedal through this region, calling in for tours and tastings, sampling Malbec and other locally reared tipples, and gorging on an asado (a barbecued meat feast).
MAKE IT HAPPEN Hire a bike from Mr Hugo (about $10, Urquiza 2228, Maipu, just outside Mendoza). He'll give you a map of the wineries. See argentina.travel
TOUR A WHISKY DISTILLERY IN DUFFTOWN, SCOTLAND
HOW LONG Two hours.
THE EXPERIENCE Few distilleries in the world have the DIY charm of the Balvenie, one of northern Scotland's most famous producers of single malt whisky. On the premises in Dufftown, in the Speyside region, the Balvenie team grow and malt their own barley, have coppersmiths to maintain stills, and coopers to make the oak barrels. But the best part of the tour is the tasting.
MAKE IT HAPPEN Tours cost £40 a person, and depart twice daily from Monday to Thursday, and once on Fridays. Bookings essential. See thebalvenie.com
DO A FOODIE AND HERITAGE WALKING TOUR, OLD DELHI, INDIA
HOW LONG Four hours.
THE EXPERIENCE Pack your appetite on this half-day culinary adventure through the chaotic streets of Old Delhi, which takes the guesswork out of India's delectable street food. Led by a historian and passionate foodie, you'll snack on treats such as Japanese samosas, paranthes, jalebis and kulfis as you explore alleyways and centuries-old restaurants. This walking tour also includes a visit to a spice market, a peek inside a gracious haveli and a hair-raising ride in a rickshaw through Chandni Chowk, an ancient – and manic – marketplace.
MAKE IT HAPPEN The cost is $150 a person. See mantrawild.com.au
TAKE A BUSH TUCKER TOUR, ULURU
HOW LONG Two hours.
THE EXPERIENCE Australia's central desert might appear inhospitable but a SEIT bush tucker and reptiles tour, which departs from Ayers Rock Resort, will help you see this ancient landscape through new eyes. Learn how woollybutt grass is much more than a wild camel snack – with a shake and a grind, it can become damper dough – while mulga seeds can be crushed into porridge. Recognise bush foods such as quandongs and bush tomatoes, and finesse your spear-throwing skills.
MAKE IT HAPPEN $95 an adult. See seitoutbackaustralia.com.au
LEARN HOW TO COOK CAPE MALAY CUISINE, CAPE TOWN
HOW LONG Three hours
THE EXPERIENCE Gamidah Jacobs' cookery class is prefaced with a tour of the rainbow-painted Malay Quarter, Bo-Kaap – built to house slave labourers from Malaysia, Indonesia, Java and India. It continues in her own kitchen, where she teaches students to cook dishes flavoured with the spices brought here from the Far East by her forefathers: Cape Malay curry, bobotie (a dish of minced beef), samoosas, dhaaltjies (chilli bites) and deliciously syrupy koeksisters.
MAKE IT HAPPEN Walking tours and cooking classes run Monday to Friday from 10am to 1pm for two people or more and cost around $65 per person. See lekkakombuis.co.za
CONTRIBUTORS: Elspeth Callender, Caroline Gladstone, Ben Groundwater, Ute Junker, Nina Karnikowski, Katrina Lobley, Catherine Marshall, Rob McFarland, Steve McKenna, Julie Miller, Craig Tansley