Blog Walkabout March 2015

Travel blog Walkabout Gourmet AdventureEuropean Winter 2015


Dear Walkabout Walkers and Friends,


The End of Winter
The days are getting longer, the sun is climbing higher and our Walkabout feet are getting itchy… time has come to start our 2015 season, go walking and exploring! There are many familiar and new places waiting for us this year! [Download printable version].



Presentation evenings in Australia

Not that we have been lazy at home this winter, instead we travelled most of the time and worked on new projects. We also went to Australia for our presentation evenings. It was great to catch up with so many of you - familiar and new faces! Especially in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra big crowds turned up this year - we hope we can soon meet again on one of our walks - either here in Europe or in Australia. If you have missed the night you can play the Tour preview movie here.

So many ideas and such little time !

It doesn’t need any brainstorming; ideas are always plentiful and come easy! There are so many wonderful places to go and to discover!


2016 Walkabout 30th Anniversary
We have started to work on Walkabout’s 30th anniversary brochure and the 2016 calendar is now online! Take a look and don’t miss out - some tours are already fully booked!

Even as a student Gabriela wanted to travel through Iceland and finally now - many years later - her dream seems to become reality! We are excited to introduce you to our new tour and are waiting for you on our Iceland Explorer in July 2016.

Right from the start good food has always played a major role on a Walkabout tour! From the humble beginnings when we prepared all the food to finding special restaurants on the many walks. We like to celebrate these wonderful foodie years and 2016 will challenge your taste buds on our colourful selection of Flavours of cooking and walking tours in Italy, France, Bavaria in Germany and India.

Every time we drove through the beautiful countryside of Northern France on our way to England to start the “
On the Celtic Way” walk, we wished we could organize a walking tour in the region and could stay for a few days to discover this picturesque part of France. The idea has turned into reality and in 2016 we’ll be excited to show you some of the best places in Normandy as well as one of the prettiest regions of Northern France. One day will be dedicated to the battlefields and memorials of WW1.

We should be in
Jordan and Israel right now but the constant graphic media reports have had some devastating effects. We sympathize with our friends and colleagues in Jordan where constant bad news certainly had an influence on their tourism industry. We really hope that peace efforts in these regions continue and the atrocious conditions, the suffering of local populations of Syria and Iraq will soon end.

Guided Walking HolidaysJourney through the holy land | Next departure: March 16, 2016 [15 days]

First Walk of the Season

Gabriela and Gilles will start the season with 21 days on the Moorish Trail through Andalusia and Morocco. April is a wonderful time in the south of Spain and Morocco. The countryside is still lush and green and it is not yet too hot for walking. Our tour takes us from Valencia to the Cabo de Gata National Park, the Alpujarra’s in the Sierra Nevada, Granada, Ronda and Seville in Andalusia.

A cultural highlight is once again our visit of the Alhambra Palace in Granada. Within its thick walls are the magnificent Casa Real, a 14th century palace, and the Alcazaba, an 11th century military fort that watches over the city. The complex feature exquisite carvings, archways, and fountains - water is an art form here and the mesmerizing sound of the fountains echoes throughout the halls.

Here we have the exclusive opportunity to spend a night in the Convento de San Francisco. Built by Fernando and Isobel in the late 15th century on the site of a Moorish palace, it is now a Parador and rates as one of the best 500 hotels in the world. A 45 minutes ferry ride is all that it takes to arrive from Tarifa in Andalusia to Tanger in Morocco.

We step back in time once we arrive in Fez where we are taken away by the magic of the old Medina. We will then discover the Atlas Mountains, the Desert of Erg Chebbi and the High Atlas Mountains before ending the tour in Marrakech.

Since combining Andalusia and Morocco, the tour has become increasingly popular and as a result we have two departure dates this year in April and September and at this point of time both tours are fully booked, so too is April, 2016.

Guided Walking HolidaysAn absolutely wonderful trip with a marvellous guide. A huge number of experiences packed into 3 weeks of travel. Excellent walking, great food and wonderful contrasts in accommodation from the rustic and immensely enjoyable Berber village, Tamerloute in the Valley of the Roses to the luxury of the stunning Parador at the Alhambra in Granada. The local guides in Morocco were interesting and entertaining, the schedule very well planned and the walks were of a good level for a medium walker.
Cathy, Kew, VIC, Australia - 2014

Guided Walking HolidaysFollow the Moorish Trail | Next departure: April 4, 2015 [16 days]


The wild side of Crete

Pascal had a good winter and apart from spending some time on the ski slopes in France and Spain, he managed to escape our European Winter for a while and enjoyed the sunshine in Asia.

He is at home in Crete and Santorini and waiting to show you the many hidden trails of these two magnificent islands. It is not too late to join him on the “Walk on the wild Side” and for the last available places we offer a 10% discount.

Guided Walking HolidaysWalk on the wild Side | Next departure: April 15, 2015 [16 days]


Fascinating Turkey

Ancient Asia Minor

In May, Gabriela is joining Fatih again in Istanbul from where they start Asia Minor on the 4th of May. Also this year the journey will take us through Western Turkey and the famous sites of Gallipoli, Ephesus, Aphrodisias and Olympos.

We trek in the most beautiful coastal area of the Turkish Mediterranean in-between Dalyan and Antalya. Known to the ancients as Lycia, this fabled coast of clear turquoise blue water is rich with archaeological sites. Fragrant pine forests tumble down a slope to end abruptly in red cliff secret coves and sandy beaches.

We visit splendid Greco - Roman ruins of the Lycian period: Caunos, Letoon, Pinara, Xanthos and our walk ends in Antalya.

Guided Walking HolidaysDiscover Asia Minor | Next departure: May 4, 2015 [15 days]


Historical Cappadocia

From here you can return to Istanbul or continue and travel with us to Konya, Turkey’s holiest city and home of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi. We continue to the region of Cappadocia where three million years ago violent eruptions of Mount Erciyes (3,916m) and Mount Hasan (3, 300m) covered the surrounding plateau of Cappadocia with tuff, a soft stone comprised of lava, ash and mud.

The wind and rain have eroded this brittle rock and created a surrealist landscape of rock cones, capped pinnacles and fretted ravines, in colours that range from warm reds, gold to cool greens and greys. Goreme is one of those rare regions in the world where the works of man blend into the natural surroundings.

Hurry before reservations are closing for this tour and discover a last minute discount!

Guided Walking HolidaysExplore Cappadocia | Next departure: May 18, 2015 [14 days]


Watch out for Eastern Turkey

It has drawn a lot of interest during our presentation evenings in Australia this year. This walk takes us to South-eastern Anatolia. It is rich in history and cultural heritage with many magnificent historical sites, dating back to 7,000 BC. Mount Nemrut is an impressive peak rising from a flat plain in Northern Mesopotamia and stretches to a height of 2,150 metres. It is unrivalled in its historical treasures and the gigantic statues. The toppled heads of Apollo, Zeus and Hercules are just amazing.

We continue eastward and after Sanliurfa and Mardin reach Lake Van. It is the largest lake in Turkey at an altitude of 1,720 metres and ringed by beautiful mountains. Here we also visit the island of Akdamar, just half an hour from the shore with a beautiful church from 921.

Dramatic Doğubayazıt, set on a stark treeless plain between ranges of craggy mountains, is the last Turkish town on the highway to Iran, just 35km to the border. From the striking 18th-century Ishak Pasha Palace we gaze upon legendary Mount Ararat (5,137metres). According to the Bible it was in the Ararat Mountains where Noah's ark landed.

We journey on to Kars, famous for its cheese and goose meat. South-east towards the border with Armenia we visit the fascinating old site of Ani. Once a wealthy rival of Kars, it is now a ghost town. Ani lies close to a great ravine, which demarcates the border. The ruined 1,000 year-old churches contain remarkable wall paintings and sculptured decorations.

We drive east towards the Black Sea Mountains and walk in the Lake Cildir region. This huge and glorious lake is curiously unknown to tourists. The landscape reminds us of some remote Scottish lochs and it is an intensely arable area. We walk on the plateaus of Artvin und Savsat, an attractive hilly area, surrounded by high mountains on all sides, including the 3,537 metres Karçka Mountains to the west, watered by many mountain streams and pools. They are an extension of the Caucasus and separate the Black Sea from Anatolia.

The weather in Artvin is very wet, and the forest is every shade of green imaginable. This greenery runs from the top all the way down to the Black Sea coast where we finish our tour in Trabzon.

Guided Walking HolidaysTreasures of Eastern Turkey | Next departure: May 26, 2015 [15 days]


Late Spring in France & Italy
There are many more spring tours to choose from!


Sardinia & Corsica
Continue to be ever so popular and are the perfect combination of Sea and Mountains - never running out of spectacular scenery.  Guided Walking HolidaysFrom Mountains to the Med | May [14 days]


The Gourmet Trail

With Helmut and Milo - you can experience spring in full bloom; the scent of roses will follow you everywhere!  Guided Walking HolidaysFollow the Gourmet Trail | May [15 days]


Best-kept secrets of Provence

Provence fans get a special treat in 2015 traveling with Gilles on the Secrets of Provence tour in the magic month of May!  Guided Walking HolidaysSecrets of Provence | May [14 days]


Beguiling beauty of the Italian Lakes

Don’t miss the charm of the Italian Lakes! There are some new treats for you - the tour will start now in Luzern in Switzerland with a drive across San Gotthard. At Lake Come our hotel is directly at the lake with a stunning terrace over the lake - the perfect spot to watch the sunset and sip on a Prosecco!  Guided Walking HolidaysItalian Lakes | June [14 days]


Pagnol's ProvenÇal World

Not that much time? Then Graeme will take you on the 7-day Pagnol’s Provence - just the right tour to discover some of the special sights of Marcel Pagnol and his “Jean de Florette”, Manon de Source or My mother’s Castle” - stories of his childhood memory.  Guided Walking HolidaysPagnol's Provence | June [7 days]


and there is more to come…

Not so keen on long walks?
Then Graeme will take you on the Snail Trail, which starts in Biarritz with walks and tastings in Gascony, the Cevennes and ProvenceGuided Walking HolidaysA Snail Trail | June [14 days]


A charming stay in Provence

Just in time we have finished a major renovation and are very happy that the roof top terrace with views across the French Alps can finally be used. Our first guests of the season have arrived and we are looking forward to another busy season with guests coming from all over the world. Bookings for 2015 are very strong but we still have availability - so don’t forget about staying in Provence and our charming apartments when planning your European holiday this year!

Guided Walking HolidaysIt is actually quite difficult to adequately describe the beauty of the Haute-Provence area and of course Forcalquier is the ideal base to begin your exploring. The accommodation certainly exceeded our expectations with its historical setting, fully equipped & only a stroll to every facility you require...Patti from Melbourne, Australia - 10/2014

Guided Walking HolidaysHoliday apartments in Provence | Winter specials

Refreshing Australian Adventures

Apart from our great mix of international walking holidays we also offer every November two of our original walking holidays in Victoria.

National Heritage Great Ocean Road
The first one is the Grampians and Great Ocean Road Coastal Walk. It is an 8-day tour, which travels via Ballarat and stops for lunch at the old historic Great Western Vineyard. We have a lovely gourmet picnic in the gardens before doing a tour of the fascinating cellars which boast over 3 kilometers of underground drives originally constructed by miners searching for gold and are now used to store the Great Western Sparkling wine.

After lunch we continue our journey along the Western Hwy before turning off in Stawell and traveling to Halls Gap in the heart of the Grampians National Park. We base ourselves in a very comfortable lodge in the centre of town and from here we spend the next 3 days exploring this superb National Park.

On Day 4 we travel south via Dunkeld and into the famous Western District - which has some of Victoria’s finest grazing country for lamb and beef production. We continue onto the coast and arrive at our base for the next 2 nights in Port Campbell.

Over the next 2 days we explore the Port Campbell National Park which includes visits to Loch Ard Gorge, Twelve Apostles and the Bay of Islands. In the evenings we sample some of the delicious produce from this region including the famous seafood.

Our final base is just outside the pretty coastal resort of Apollo Bay - here the stunning Otway hills come all the way down to the coastline and our walks follow beautiful paths along cliff tops looking down over the ocean plus forested tracks through cool temperate rainforest.

On our last day we continue our route along the famous Great Ocean Road, stopping for a coffee break in Lorne and lunch near Anglesea.

Guided Walking HolidaysTo enjoy these unique Victorian icons in such a personal way leaves one speechless. The magic of the Grampians, the beauty of the unspoiled coastline with its natural limestone monuments 'The 12 Apostles', the unforgiving ocean which caused many historic shipwrecks in the 1800's as well as the magnificent rain forests in the Otway National Park were truly awesome. Our accommodation was five stars and the word gourmet a true description of the restaurants where we enjoyed our evening dinners...Jeannette, Noosa, Australia - 10/2011

Guided Walking HolidaysGrampians & Great Ocean Road Costal Walk | Next departure: Nov. 2015 [8 days]

Natural wonderland of Wilsons Prom
Our next walk in Victoria is to a place, which is very dear to our hearts - Wilsons Promontory National Park. The Prom, as it is affectionately known by Victorians, was the reason why we started Walkabout nearly 30 years ago and after all the beautiful places we have seen in the world it’s still one of the best!v

Our 5-day tour departs from Melbourne and travels via the South Gippsland Hwy past Phillip Island to Kilkunda where we break for lunch. It’s a beautiful spot right on Bass Straight. Back in 1797 George Bass set sail from Sydney in a 9-meter whaleboat to prove the existence of a strait between Tasmania and the Australian mainland.

After lunch we join the George Bass Coastal Walk, which offers panoramic views from the cliff tops rising high above the pounding surf of Bass Strait. We continue our journey via Cape Patterson and Inverloch before we arrive at our lodge overlooking magnificent Waratah Bay and Wilson’s Promontory.

In the evening you can experience the fresh local produce, which the South Gippsland region is so renowned - succulent local seafood, Australia’s best dairy products, superb meats and crisp vegetables. Tasty Gippsland farmhouse cheeses are a perfect complement to the excellent local wines, which are now produced in the area.

During the next 3 days we explore The Prom - its lovely fern gully’s, dense eucalyptus bushland and of course its gorgeous beaches. We also spend 1 day walking the coastline between the seaside settlement of Waratah Bay and historic Walkerville.

On our last day we visit an excellent local vineyard for a tasting and afterwards a delicious lunch. In the afternoon our route back to Melbourne takes us through the regional towns of Leongatha and Korumburra.

Both our Grampians and Great Ocean Coastal & our Wilsons Promontory Walks can be combined. The Grampians/Great Ocean Walk tour departs on the 21st November and finishes on the 28th. The Prom Walk begins on the 30th November and finishes on the 4th December.
Contact us for more information about these two lovely walks.

Guided Walking HolidaysThe Prom is undoubtedly one of the best places for bush walking in Australia. The walking tracks we explored ranged from smooth easy strolls to steady climbs and descents, but breathtaking scenery is all around you. Bass Strait was in a benign mood and we experienced beautiful sunny days, blue skies, calm seas and crystal clear water around the granite coastline, framed by rugged headlands, with massive boulders strewn in betweens...
Terry, Sydney, NSW, Australia - 10/2013

Guided Walking HolidaysExplore Wilson's Promontory | Next departure: Nov. 2015 [5 days]

Upcoming Food & Wine Festivals

There are plenty of events in Australia from regional Food & Fine Wine Festivals to Gastronomy Expos throughout the year. These Events bring together Australian and world-renowned winemakers, chefs and industry insiders to entertain, educate and inspire, you may also visit farm gates and cellar doors, meet with local producers, attend degustation dinners, taste regional products or even attend cooking classes! We have put a list of local and overseas gourmet events together, here is what's coming near you:

AUSTRALIA

bullet 19/03 Taste Great Southern [4 days] Great Southern, WA
bullet 10/04 F.O.O.D Week Orange [10 days] Orange, NSW
bullet 15/04 Barossa Vintage Festival [5 days] Tanunda, SA
bullet 02/05 Grampians Grape Escape [2 days] Hall Gap, VIC

 

OVERSEAS

bullet 20/03 Salon Vins et Terroirs [3 days] Toulouse, France
bullet 06/04 World Gourmet Summit [28 days] Singapore, Asia
bullet 01/05 The Food Show [7 days] Christchurch, New Zealand


See all events for 2015


New Wall calendar
Encouraged by your positive feedback last year, we have published a new edition of our Walkabout Gourmet 2015 Wall Calendar. It includes:
✓ Main gastronomic events in Australia and overseas
✓ Main sport events, including walking records!
✓ Walkabout Tours Photos and Dates
✓ Australian public holidays

 


Wall calendar 2015
We trust you will enjoy it again, please let us know your impression!


Enough said, hope you loved the reading, now time to polish the boots and get ready!

Kind regards,

Gabriela, Graeme and the WGA team


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Download our 2015 Wall Calendar
walking tour Download our 2015 Wall Calendar


2015 2016 walking tour dates



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