Search Content

Search form

Explore the World of Cigars
Cigar Culture

Cigar Vacation Destinations

J. Bennett Alexander Alexander's picture

J. Bennett Alexander

If you’re traveling with cigars to smoke them on vacation, traveling to buy cigars to bring home with you, or you want to book a vacation where you can tour the fields and factories of a premium cigar brand, here are the best destinations for cigar lovers.

Cigar Vacation Destinations – All About Cigars

If you live in the United States and if your vacation is all about cigars – both smoking them and learning more about them – then I highly recommend two countries. One of them is quite easy to travel to, the other requires a bit more effort. A third is the friendliest to cigar tourists.

The Dominican Republic is close, and it is a leading producer of fine cigars. The center of the cigar industry here is in Santiago. That’s where you’ll find the operations of Arturo Fuente, La Flor Dominicana, and many other brands. La Flor Dominicana now has a factory tour in La Romana where you can see cigars being made. Then you can go play golf in Casa de Campo. This is a comfortable luxury vacation that includes cigars, beaches, golf, and very good food. If you have a connection, try to visit the Fuente factory and fields in Santiago. Let me say, however, if you’ve visited one cigar factory, you’ve seen the process.

Years ago, when you could legally bring a set number of Cuban cigars into the US for personal consumption, a couple of my quite wealthy friends who love Cuban cigars would travel every year to Cuba. They would rent an apartment in Old Havana for several days and go cigar shopping. Each day they would return to the apartment and smoke all day and night. And they would return to the US with a lot of cigars. While it’s now more difficult to travel to Cuba, one should not rule it out as a possible cigar destination. That said, and apart from US travel restrictions, Cuba is not quite the cigar haven for visitors that it used to be even five years ago. In 2019, a Chinese company acquired 50 percent of Habanos, SA, the Cuban cigar monopoly. Today, China is the top market in the world for Cuban cigars. The result is that Cuban cigars in Cuba are actually scarcer than ever before. Especially larger cigars. Of course, you can still go on tours of cigar factories and you can visit cigar farms in Vuelta Abajo, Cuba’s premier tobacco-growing region, but if you’re traveling to Havana with the idea that you’re going to buy a lot of cigars, you’ve been warned. Secondly, US law prohibits bringing back ANY Cuban cigars. So, smoke them there if you can find the ones you like.

Arguably, Nicaragua turns out the best cigars in the world right now. Estelí, the country’s cigar center, has factories that are very welcoming. They include My Father Cigars and Perdomo. Rocky Patel offers a factory tour at their operation in Danlí, Honduras, just across the border to the north. Some packages include accommodations. While Estelí is certainly worth a visit if you’re all about cigars, it’s not quite up to world-class standing as a tourist destination, but you’ll get an intimate look at how premium cigars are made and walk away with a whole new appreciation for them.

Cigars for Vacation – In Europe

In years past, many European capitals were great places to buy and enjoy cigars, mostly Cuban ones. Today, with the advent of more smoking restrictions, one generally must find a cigar lounge, tobacco shop, or outdoor location to have a smoke. Couple that with the increasing difficulty in finding ever pricier Cuban cigars, and Europe has lost some of its luster for aficionados. Still, with some effort and luck, one can find more and more excellent non-Cuban cigars in, for example, Spain. Retailers there have begun stocking Padrón, Fuente, Ashton and other premium cigars to make up for the dearth of Cubans. Clearly, Europe still has, well, Europe to offer.

In London, I would recommend a visit to Harrod’s department store where you’ll find the new-ish outpost of James J. Fox, the legendary British tobacconist. It’s now officially a La Casa del Habano store. Buy a cigar, sit in the small “sampling” lounge, and enjoy yourself while others in your party shop.

In Paris, I’ve been partial over the years to Sir Winston  near the Champs-Elysées. In Rome, check out the Hotel Cavalieri. In Madrid, the Four Seasons Hotel rooftop has always been very comfortable.

The Best Cigar Vacations – United States

The absolute best cigar vacation destination in the United States is Las Vegas. First, there are numerous cigar lounges on and off The Strip. My favorite, Cigarbox, is off-Strip, though it closes early. On the strip, there are several choices, including Davidoff at the mall and Casa Fuente at the Caesar’s Forum Shops. Additionally, one can still smoke at bars on the casino floor at many hotels. Vegas also has plenty of golf, great restaurants, attractions, and, of course, gambling.

On the East Coast, folks naturally flock to Philadelphia to visit national landmarks, including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Betsy Ross House, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Aside from history and art, Philadelphia is home to the Ashton Cigar Bar and Holt’s Cigar Company, one of the oldest retailers of premium cigars in America, and both are well worth any cigar lover’s time.

If you’re looking for cigar immersion, go to Tampa. That’s where you’ll find the rich history of Ybor City and cigars in the US. I recommend the JC Newman cigar factory. Of course, since you’re close, drive south to Miami and Little Havana. In both, you can visit numerous cigar shops and enjoy all the golf and Cuban food your heart desires.

Related Posts

Cuban Cigars
Can You Bring Cuban Cigars Back from Cuba?

For a brief, shining moment in 2015, it seemed that a slight amount of sanity had crept into the US relationship with Cuba...

Cigar Culture
Ybor City Cigars

The beginnings of the cigar industry in the US are commonly understood to have started in Ybor City, called the “cigar capital of the world...”

Cigar Culture
Little Havana & Cigars

Several of the worthwhile cigar factories in Miami are in or near the city’s old Little Havana section in the southwest quadrant...