Blog Walkabout September 2016

Travel blog Walkabout Gourmet AdventureEuropean Summer 2016

Dear Walkabout Walkers and Friends,

Summertime Blues


... are starting to set in, knowing that summer is soon coming to an end and these long, warm sunny days will be replaced by the cool, misty mornings of autumn.

SEPTEMBER 2016


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Lake Tegern Upper Bavaria Germany

True Flavours of Bavaria


This year has taken us to several new destinations and Bavaria has been one of them. During our week we discovered one of Germany’s most stunning regions. Located in the northern alpine foothills, Upper Bavaria is home to pristine lakes, impressive mountain peaks, lush woodlands and a culture that is renowned in the world for its charm and warm-heartedness. Please read the impressions of Heather Goodwin - one of our guests.

The week in Bavaria was very special indeed. We really enjoyed the company so much, you could not have chosen better companions. The little group blended so well and it was quite sad saying goodbye at the end after so much fun and laughter. It was a real bonus having Bavarian companions. Normally when touring one sees the country through different eyes, you see local people but never really have much contact with them. We enjoyed meeting and being with you, Anita, Margret, Nicole and Birgitta and learning a little about Bavarian customs and way of life.

One special memory was the visit to the charming house where four generations of one family lived. It was special being invited into a typical Bavarian home and the dinner setting was quite romantic and reminded us of Chekov's play "A Cherry Orchid" The cooking in the kitchen was homely (especially with the youngest member of the family, Helena, assisting.) The meal was good (8 or 9 out of ten) but was eclipsed by the excellent meal we enjoyed at the second cooking event, which was quite different in style and had a slightly better more colourful menu (10+ out of 10)!

The beauty of having these two cooking events with very different venues and styles made it more enjoyable and the order in which they occurred was good - from fairly simple but good to more elaborate and sophisticated. It would be a pity not to take other groups to experience the 'flavour' of a family meal and atmosphere and then to experience a sophisticated restaurant meal. Peter appreciated chatting to Bavarian Peter at the private home. We also appreciated the visit to Margaret's home, which was not only attractive but also had a historical aspect too. Here too there was a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

The little boat trips and ride with the horse and cart were all lovely surprises and the walks were pleasant especially the walk where we collected herbs and the lunch where we included the herbs in the various dishes. The best walk of the week was to Birkenstein. It was beautiful walking over the meadows and along tracks under the shady trees and this was a very fitting walk for the final walk and the weather too was kind to us on that day.

 

 

 

 

Guided Walking HolidaysThis was a wonderful holiday - a week of delicious food, fabulous cooking events, great walks with magnificent scenery, visits to places of interest and private homes and little surprises every day. The best part of the week was the laughter and fun we experienced in the company of our Bavarian companions who together with Gabriela made our holiday so very enjoyable. Thank you Gabriela, Brigitta, Anita, Nicole and Margret for making this the most remarkable and memorable holiday." 
Peter & Heather from Melbourne VIC Australia


  Guided Walking HolidaysFlavours of Bavaria | Next departure: June 30, 2017 [7 days]

Hotel Alpenhof in Bayrischzell

 walking tour Hotel Alpenhof in Bayrischzell

Cooking class at the Hasenoehrl farm

 walking tour Cooking class, Hasenoehrl farm

Bayrischzell Upper Bavaria

walking tour Bayrischzell Upper Bavaria

Cooking with herbs in Bavaria

walking tour Cooking with herbs in Bavaria

Guten Morgen from Bavaria

walking tour Guten Morgen from Bavaria!

Skaftafell Glacier Walk Iceland

Exciting Iceland Explorer


It is good to change the routine from time to time and a have a summer further north…

Our first base was in Iceland’s northernmost cosy harbour town, Siglufjörður. Naturally charming and only 46 km’s from the Arctic Circle, it sits beneath towering mountains at the heart of a narrow fjord. It is a historic fishing town, which became one of the largest in Iceland and the undisputed capital of herring fishing in the Atlantic.

Although the herrings have disappeared, Siglufjörður bears the distinct imprint of “The Herring Era”, which is well presented in the the award-winning Herring Era Museum. On our two walks with Gestur and his son Snaevar into the nearby mountains, we learned a lot about this amazing countryside, its inhabitants and history. During our walks we saw several Artic Terns, which have the longest regular migration by any known bird.

On our way to Myvatn we stopped in Dalvik and went on a superbly organised Whale watching tour where we saw many Humpback whales and we even tried our hand at fishing.

Travelling along the Eyjafjörður fjord we soon reached Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city and capital of the North. On our way to Myvatn we also stopped at the Godafoss (“waterfall of the gods”). It is a spectacular torrent that played a key part in Iceland’s history around 1000 AD, an Iceland leader declared his conversion to Christianity by throwing statues of the Norse gods into these falls.

We continued our fantastic drive to Lake Myvatn where we stayed three nights to enjoy the landscapes around Myvatn – plenty of time to explore the lake, stopping to marvel at pseudo craters, lava caves and bubbling mud pits.

We also visited Dettifoss and felt the ground tremble beneath our feet as up to 200 cubic metres of water thunder over the edge of the falls every second. In much less violent water, we also enjoyed a soothing dip in the Nature Baths at Myvatn – the Blue Lagoon of the North. It is a wonderful outdoor pool naturally heated by geothermal springs and much less crowded than its southern neighbour.

On our walks with Bergþóra we learned so much about the volcanic natural wonders, insects and birds. On our last evening she topped it up with a visit to her house to see her huskies and their gorgeous puppies. Fascinating days!

A spectacular mountain drive led us to the picturesque fishing village of Seydisfjordur in the East Fjords. Together with Óla Maja we discovered and walked in this breathtaking scenery. It turned out to be also a great place for spotting birds and wild reindeer. Our dinners and superb service at the Aldan Hotel were very memorable.

Leaving the East Fjords behind us, we travelled south to discover the veritable land of fire and ice - from Iceland’s still-active Hekla Volcano to the chilling splendour of Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier. Our glacier walk with our specialised glacier guide Ragnar was another one of the many highlights on this tour. Iceland puts on one of the most dramatic natural spectacles on the planet. Rainbow-arched waterfalls cleave mountains with snow-capped peaks and the breath-taking view of Skogáfoss waterfall was just awesome.

Having missed out on the puffins so far, the pressure was on and we were off for the Puffin hunt. We drove to Vik and the world-famous Reynisfjara shore, which is widely regarded as the most impressive black sand beach in Iceland and features an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns resembling a rocky steep pyramid, which is called Gardar. The area has a rich birdlife, including puffins, fulmars and guillemots. Nearby on the windy cliffs of Dyholaey, we finally got our fill of close up photographs of puffins.

Set against a backdrop of majestic mountainous lava fields, our last stay was at the award winning Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel. Its location near the “Golden Circle” route made it the perfect base to explore Iceland’s rich heritage and the Thingvellir National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

The Geyser geothermal area boasts spouting springs, including Strokkur, the most active geyser in Iceland. Close by was Gullfoss, where you can stand next to this amazing waterfall, watching enormous quantities of water tumble violently into a deep, meandering gorge.

All our accommodation was unique and special and the food was a virtual explosion of culinary imagination among a new breed of young, creative chefs and food producers who are taking a different approach to food in Iceland, bringing it right into the 21st century.

Iceland is certainly one of the most exciting destinations in our program and is visually stunning – its only down side is its cost so we won’t be able to keep our introduction price for this year and the tour has to become slightly more expensive for 2017.


Guided Walking HolidaysThe holiday was Great. There were new vista's around every turn. The local guides were helpful,knowledgeable friendly and patient. They led us with the skill expected. The walks were great and allowed us to explore all the facets of the Island - from glaciers to volcanoes to hills and lakes. The accommodation was also good and generally well positioned. The drives between locations was long in some instances but the magnificent changing scenery more than compensated for this. Our Walkabout guides were once again exceptional." 
Tony from Sydney NSW, Australia

 

  Guided Walking HolidaysIceland Explorer | Next departure: July 27, 2017 [14 days]

Meadows to Seydisfjordur

walking tour Meadows to Seydisfjordur

Skaftafell Glacier Iceland

 walking tour Skaftafell Glacier Iceland

Delicious food at the Aldan Hotel in Seyoisfjorour

 walking tour Delicious food at Aldan Hotel

Pseudocraters Iceland

 walking tour Pseudocraters Iceland


Walking in the Siglufjordur

 walking tour Walking in the Siglufjordur

Seyoisfjorour Eastern Fjords

 walking tour Seyoisfjorour Eastern Fjords

Skaftafell Glacier Walk Iceland

 walking tour Skaftafell Glacier Walk Iceland

Softness of the pseudo craters

walking tour Softness of the pseudo craters


Skogafoss waterfall Skoga River

 walking tour Skógafoss waterfall Skógá River

Matanuska Glacier Alaska

Into the Wild in Alaska


Inspired by Wendy, a superb Alaskan guide who is coming every year with two Alaskan groups and staying in our apartments in Forcalquier, we have introduced Alaska into our Walkabout Program and have just recently returned from finalising the itinerary.

We have been overwhelmed by the vast wilderness and beauty of this country and impressed to find so much fresh and delicious food. A surprise was also the coffee culture, which we experienced in the many small hut setups, which produced the most delicious take away coffees.

The first two days we stayed at the Majestic Valley Wilderness Lodge, which is very close to Wendy’s home. From here we walked up to Lion’s Head and ventured out on Matanuska Glacier where we explored the wonders of the glacier. Together with Wendy, who is a certified glacier guide, we strapped on our crampons and discovered the incredible features of the glacier, including beautiful crevasses and startlingly blue ice. The glacier is constantly changing and moving, so our route was dependant on the conditions of the day.

We ended our walk with some great photos and a deeper knowledge of glaciers and how they are formed. Deep in the Alaskan interior are over six million acres of preserved wilderness, which include massive expanses of forest, glacial lakes, frozen tundra, and towering mountains - including North America’s tallest mountain, Denali. The name “Denali” means “The Great One” in the native Athabascan language. At 6190m above sea level, it is the highest peak in North America and surrounded by one of the world’s most spectacular wildlife sanctuaries. Denali National Park is home to many types of wildlife including caribou, moose, wolves, Dall sheep, bald eagles, and the mighty grizzly bears.

We learned a lot about wildlife, history and geology of this area on our walk and a wilderness safari, which took us deep into the National Park. We had a long but very scenic drive on Highway no 3 back to Anchorage and from there on to Seward in the South. Here our highlight was a magical cruise on the Kenai Fjords with breathtaking scenery, massive tidewater glaciers and abundant wildlife like the cute otters, sea lions, plenty of whales and a variety of seals. We even saw 2 black bears swimming. On our trail at the edge of Exit Glacier we witnessed how they re-shape a landscape and learned how plant life reclaims the barren rocky land exposed by a glacier's retreat.

Our next stop was Homer, an area that we immediately fell in love with! It has long been known as the "Halibut Fishing Capital of the World" and has often been described as “where the land ends and the sea begins”, "the cosmic hamlet by the sea”. It has spectacular views of Kachemak Bay, the Kenai Mountains and several volcanic peaks across Cook Inlet including Mt. Augustine, Mt. Iliamna and Mt. Redoubt.

Our “Lands End” hotel is on the Homer Spit ("spit" is a geological landform), a narrow 7.2 km long gravel bar and the longest road into ocean waters in the world. It accommodates Homer’s port facilities and small boat harbor along with numerous shops and restaurants.

Much of the coastline as well as the Homer Spit sank dramatically during the Good Friday earthquake in March 1964. We very much enjoyed visiting the enchanted artist community of Halibut Cove as well as Seldovia, “across the bay” from Homer. We even tried our luck and fished for the Kenai River King Salmon.

Despite all these wonderful discoveries, the highlight came only at the end of our Alaskan adventure when we met Eric. After years of bringing people to see bears from the Homer area, he recently decided to start his own business. Alaska Ultimate Safaris is the only company in Homer offering bear viewing by helicopter. Flying slower than an airplane gave us plenty of time to take photos of the scenic surroundings through the big windows. The chopper experience gave us access to remote areas that planes simply can’t reach.

We could see that Eric loves the outdoors and he was very knowledgeable. With only the five of us, it felt like we were the only ones experiencing the thrill of getting close to the bears. Eric loved the opportunity to show off Alaska’s bears - to show us that bears aren’t what they’re made out to be on television.

These beautiful creatures have adapted to a human population, and in fact, it seemed like the bears didn’t even notice us. They saw that we were not acting in a threatening way and simply ignored us.

We flew about 45 minutes each way from Homer, along the way seeing Mt. Redoubt, volcanoes, and gorgeous mountain vistas. We sat right on the riverbank and saw no less than 23 bears fishing, eating and teaching their cubs. It was the most mesmerising experience, so absolutely peaceful and a great finale to our visit of America’s last frontier.

The 2017 tour starts on the 12th August and ends on the 25th August.

 

  Guided Walking HolidaysAlaskan Walkabout | Next departure: August 12 2017 [14 days]

Alaskan brown grizzly bears

 walking tour Alaskan brown grizzly bear

Matanuska Glacier Alaska

 walking tour Matanuska Glacier Alaska

Kenai National Park

 walking tour Kenai National Park

Chena Springs resort

 walking tour Sunset near Chena Springs resort

Seldovia Alaska

 walking tour Seldovia Alaska


Puffin Halibut Cove Iceland

 walking tour Puffin near Halibut Cove Iceland

Glacial Wave Matanuska Glacier

 walking tour Glacial Wave Matanuska Glacier

Seals Sunbaking in Kenai National Park

 walking tour Sunbaking in Kenai National Park

Natural Arch in the Wadi Rum Jordan

Upcoming walks & bargains

 

Maggiore, Como & Garda Italian Lakes


In September Gabriela takes guests on the Italian Lakes tour. Narrow and long, these lakes are all of glacial origin and their banks are covered with varied and luxuriant vegetation. The numerous villas with attractive gardens on the lakeside, the great variety of flowers throughout the year and the small sailing villages add to the charm and originality of these pre-alpine lakes.

A special highlight is our return to Hotel Royal Victoria in Varenna with glorious views across Lake Como. Tour starts on the 28th August in Luzern, Switzerland and ends on the 10th September in Verona, Italy.

Guided Walking HolidaysWhat an awesome experience. I have always wanted to go to Switzerland and found this was a fabulous way to see the real countryside. The scenery was spectacular. We were a group of 15 of similar age and capabilities. Our guides Gabriela and Milo only added to the experience. Thank you for such a wonderful time." 
Sonia from Maleny, Queensland, Australia


  Guided Walking HolidaysItalian Lakes | Next departure: August 28 2017 [14 days]


Gourmet Trail in Piedmont and Tuscany


We still have some vacancies on our 25th September departure of the Gourmet Trail where we travel through the Piedmont - one of Italy's best-kept secrets. Surrounded by the high Alps, its landscape is like a grand garden with valleys, vineyards, hazelnut bushes and old castles. A food lover's paradise! On this tour we stay in the small, recently restored farmhouse, Cà San Ponzio. The owners and brothers, Maurizio and Luciano, are always ready to provide useful information about the area, and will do everything for us to enjoy this picturesque place.

The tour continues into the famous Cinqua Terre; the five idyllic fishing villages standing out like a string of precious stones. Our next destination is magical Tuscany where we walk through medieval hilltop villages, rolling hills, fertile valleys, vineyards, olive groves and forests ablaze with colour. We travel through the Crete Senesi, the charming landscape south of Siena, to Lazio. This lesser known region of Italy is an area of volcanic lakes, mountains, gorges, olive groves and vineyards. Much of the landscape was formed by the eruption of volcanoes, which has produced hot springs and rich fertile soil. Before the rise of Rome the Etruscans and the Latins populated it. Rich archaeological sites can still be found.

Our walk ends in Florence, the capital of Tuscany and one of the world's great art cities. The tour starts on the 25th September in Torino, Italy and ends on the 9th October in Florence, Italy. We allow a
10% discount for late bookings.

Guided Walking HolidaysWe had a group of 12 with two guides, Gabriela and Milo who did a great job of keeping us on "track". The countryside, food and wine was stunning, particularly the coastline around the Cinqua Terre. The walking was challenging at times but that only added to our sense of achievement at the end of the day. All in all it was a very happy and interesting walk. The tour was very well organised and the accommodation was very comfortable. I would have no hesitation in recommending Walkabout Tours for anyone wanting to get off the beaten track and enjoy a holiday with a challenge." 
Anne and Peter from Perth WA, Australia

 

  Guided Walking HolidaysFollow the Gourmet Trail | Next departure: September 25 2016 [15 days]


Beautiful Croatia & Slovenia


This year our journey begins in the World Heritage-listed city of Dubrovnik and takes us first to the island of Mljet where we hike the spectacular coastline of this sun-splashed island, which is almost entirely a National Park.

We discover Paklenica National Park, which stretches from deep canyons, beech forests and spring fed creeks to the Adriatic coast. We explore the aqua-coloured lakes, cascades and waterfalls of World Heritage-listed Plitvice Lakes National Park.

A magnificent landscape with wooded hills and 16 terraced lakes strung together by waterfalls that were simultaneously carved out and, with the help of mineral deposits created this fluid landscape.

After a short stay in the famous spa town of Opatija we cross the border into Slovenia, which shows off with its towering peaks of the Julian Alps. Rich spiritual traditions, charming and ancient mountain villages, spectacular granite peaks of the Julian Alps and an intact Old World culture are the treasures of tiny Slovenia.

Our journey ends in beautiful Venice, one of the most romantic cities in the world! The tour starts on the 25th September in Dubrovnik, Croatia and ends on the 8th October in Venice, Italy. For last minute bookings we allow a
10% discount.

Guided Walking HolidaysAs usual the organisation went like clockwork, the food and accommodation was the best, which allowed us to concentrate on the magnificence of the Julian Alps through to the wonders of Mljet and Dubrovnik. Some of the walks were testing but only increased the satisfaction of having accomplished something out of the box with a great group of new friends." 
Don from Bribie Island, QLD, Australia

 

  Guided Walking HolidaysExplore Croatia & Slovenia | Next departure: September 25 2016 [14 days]

 

 

 

 

Treasures of Jordan & Jerusalem


Don't miss out on this fantastic tour which takes us to the preserved Roman ruins at Jerash, an archaeological masterpiece consisting of a triumphal arch, stadium, huge fountain, temples and colonnaded streets.

We discover fabled Petra, the long-lost city of the Nabateans, a stunning ruin carved from solid red sandstone in the 3rd century BC. We cross mountains with wide views before descending to the Monastery and climb to the High Place of Sacrifice. One evening we can enjoy Petra at candlelight and we even experience a "hands on" short cooking class.

We travel to Wadi Rum, once Lawrence of Arabia's headquarters during the Great Arab Revolt of 1917-1918. Rocky peaks rise out of pink sands and Desert Bedouins ramble these sands with their camels. Together with our local Bedouin guide we will explore some amazing canyons and walk between towering sandstone cliffs.

After a short visit of Aqaba at the Red Sea in the south of Jordan we cross the Eilat border into Israel, one of the three passages from Jordan. Here we will explore the treasures of Jerusalem from the times of King David to the Prophet Mohammed. We cross the border back into Jordan at the King Hussein-Allenby Bridge.

Ever since the days of Herod the Great, people have flocked to the Dead Sea in search of its curative secrets. With the highest content of minerals and salts in the world, the Dead Sea water is thought to possess healing properties, and the mud on the shores has been used for therapeutic purposes for over 2,000 years. Float in the natural buoyancy of the Dead Sea by its mystical setting and luxuriate at the truly magnificent Spa in our exquisite resort.

On our way to Amman we visit Mount Nebo, from which Moses glimpsed the Promised Land. We also visit Madaba, famous for its mosaics, especially the ancient map of the Holy Land. The tour starts on the 15th October in Amman, Jordan and ends on the 29th October in Amman.



Guided Walking HolidaysPamela and I thoroughly enjoyed this walk. The walks, the accommodation, the guides, the scenery, the history, fellow walkers, everything..." 
Haydn and Pamela from Portsea, VIC, Australia


  Guided Walking HolidaysJourney through the Holy Land | Next departure: October 15 2016 [15 days]

 

Varenna Lake Como Italy

 walking tour Varenna Lake Como Italy

Vernazza Cinque Terre National Park

 walking tour Vernazza Cinque Terre

Lucca Tuscany Italy

 walking tour Lucca Tuscany Italy

Dinner at the Castello in Novello Piedmont Italy

 walking tour Dinner at Castello in Novello

Walking back to Novello Piedmont

 walking tour Walking back to Novello Piedmont

Mostnica Gorge in Slovenia

 walking tour Mostnica Gorge in Slovenia

Lake Bohinj Slovenia

 walking tour Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Pomena Mljett Croatia

 walking tour Pomena Mljett Croatia

Desert of the Wadi Rum Jordan

 walking tour Desert of the Wadi Rum Jordan


Locals in Petra

 walking tour Meeting the locals in Petra

Camel Wadi Rum Jordan

 walking tour Hello Camel Wadi Rum Jordan

The wailing wall in Jerusaelm

 walking tour The wailing wall in Jerusaelm

Mahane Yehuda Market Jerusalem

 walking tour Mahane Yehuda Market Jerusalem

Camel ride into the sunset jordan

 walking tour Camel ride into the sunset Jordan

Epicurean walk Italy

Brochure 2017


Our globetrotting lifestyle and love for guiding seems to interfere more and more with the increasing amount of office work but we are not ready yet to hang up our walking boots in exchange for the office. So please forgive us that the 2017 hardcopy brochure is a little behind schedule. However all the dates for next year’s tours are on our website. In addition to Alaska, here are some of the highlights of the new tours which feature in next year's brochure:


Epicurean Walk through Italy


On our Epicurean Walk through Italy our tour begins in Sorrento - the gateway to the stunning Amalfi Coast. This 25 km long peninsula, rising to more than 1,400 metres, has an extensive web of magnificent paths, many of ancient origin. Well above the busy coastal towns, we walk through hamlets, citrus orchards and vineyards on the mountainside. A highlight is our magical walk on the enchanted island of Capri.

We move onto Peschici on the Gargano Promontory. It offers dramatic scenery and its high rocky spur plunges into the Adriatic Sea, broken here and there by small beaches. From here we make our way into the Abruzzo. Here the wild landscape exerts a strong influence. The Apennines and the hinterland form one of Italy's last remaining wildernesses, which dominate the Abruzzi.

At 2,912m, the highest peak is Gran Sasso. A particularly beautiful area is the Parco Nationale d'Abruzzo. It is one of Europe's most important nature reserves with a rich landscape of high peaks, rivers, lakes and forests. Once hunted almost to extinction, the park now boasts 100 brown bears. From here we travel to Umbria - the "Green heart of Italy". This region contains some of Italy's most outstanding medieval hill towns and oldest churches along with Roman and Etruscan remains. Norcia is in the heart of the Apennines and the Monte Sibillini National Park; it was already founded 600 years before Rome. It bears the mark of a long and colourful history: ancient city walls which are still standing, major monuments and a wealth of art.

Our walk takes us through the Sibillini National Park, which was founded in 1993 in the land of the mythical Sibyl tribe. Wolves, golden eagles, pilgrim falcons and many other native species are the most evident signs of a varied and rich fauna. The charm of abbeys and medieval villages, scattered in the form of a crown at the foot of the mountains, have created an ancient and evocative world. Even today, time seems to have stopped to pay homage to such extraordinary beauty.

We stay in the magnificent Palazzo Seneca in Norcia and our dinners will be taken in the elegant ambience of our hotel. This tour starts on the 17th May 2017 in Sorrento and ends on the 1st June in Florence.



  Guided Walking HolidaysEpicurean Walk through Italy | Next departure: May 17 2017 [16 days]


A Walk to the Stars


Adventure begins in Florence and follows the scenes from some famous films along the Italian Riviera and the Côte d’Azur. « A Room with a View » was filmed at Pensione Bencista in Fiesole where our tour begins. From here we travel to the Ligurian Coast.

The hills and mountains in the backdrop make it a spectacular setting. Sestri Levante, formerly a fishing village, is both beautiful and full of life with stunning sea views on the two bays - the Baia delle Favole or (Bay of Fairy Tales), and the Baia del Silenzio (the Bay of Silence).

The town makes a perfect base for discovering the wonders of Liguria and is not too far away from the well-known sites like the Cinqua Terre and Portofino. Our walks will take us to the most picturesque and quaint towns and villages along the Ligurian coast.

On our journey through Liguria's villages and unspoiled nature we discover some places which have been locations for famous Italian and foreign films. 2014 - The Trip to Italy was a comedy that took Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on a road trip through Liguria, Tuscany, Rome, Amalfi and ending in Capri. Enchanted April (1992), filmed in Portofino, on the Italian Riviera. Many of the outdoor scenes were filmed at Castello Brown, high above Portofino’s harbour, which is now a museum. 2002 - The Bourne Identity, starring Matt Damon, was shot in various locations in Europe. The opening scene, in which Damon’s character was rescued by a fishing crew, was filmed at the Imperia harbour on the northwest coastline of Italy.

We continue to Imperia, Liguria's westernmost province. The stretch of coast belonging to Imperia Province is also known as the Riviera dei Fiori, the Flower Riviera, characterized by bays, ports and coves. The sea of the Riviera is known for a mild climate, even in winter. At a short distance from the coast, behind the hills are valleys and pristine woods with many great walking tracks.

Hidden in the Mountains, in the pretty quiet little village of Borgomaro is our boutique hotel. It has a lot of charm, warmth and hosts who only care about making their guests comfortable. The swimming pool and the little garden with a view across the village are an extra bonus. The sea and the mountains are so close that the area hosts four mountain communities: Comunità dell'Olivo, Alta Valle Arroscia, Argentina Armea and Montana Intemelia.

Time to cross the border into France and our adventure continues at the Cote d’Azur, known for its dramatic mountains, sparkling blue Mediterranean waters and a craggy coastline. The next three nights we stay in Villefranche, a pretty village, dating back to the 13th century. The port, the citadel, the old town and the gentle curve of the coast all contribute to the beauty of the village.

On a coastal walking track we discover the famed St-Jean Cap Ferrat peninsular with luxurious villas, including the spectacular Villa Ephrussi. We explore the hilltop villages of Vence and St Agnès and stroll the streets of beautiful Menton. Time permitting we also visit Monaco.

“And God Created Woman” (French: Et Dieu… créa la femme) (1956) with Brigitte Bardot, Bonjour Tristesse (French "Hello, Sadness), based on the novel by Françoise Sagan, La Piscine (Swimming Pool) starring Alain Delon, Romy Schneider, Maurice Ronet and Jane Birkin and Two for the Road, a 1967 British comedy starring Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn were all films set at the Côte d’Azur.

Our final destination is St Tropez, one of the world’s most famous “villages”. Once a totally unknown fishing community, St Tropez started its days of fame when it attracted prestigious painters in the first part of the 20th century - Paul Signac, Matisse, Bonnard… It later gained international attention when stars of the movie industry (Brigitte Bardot, to name only the “sparkiest”…) made St Tropez their trendy place of vacation and even sometimes their home.

Nowadays, St Tropez is a fairly busy marina port which boasts some very impressive visitor yachts, an attraction in itself, however, the village centre is pretty and well worthy of a visit. On our walk we explore a fairly steep stretch of the coastline before moving more inland across some very pretty vineyards. In the evening we have time to wander around the port and explore the narrow alleys of the historic part, nearby.

Liguria boasts some of the best food in Italy - including pesto Genovese, minestrone and focaccia. Because Liguria is on the coast, seafood and fish are a big part of the diet here, and many of the region’s famous foods and recipes were first invented, or eaten, on ships or by fishermen. Not a big seafood fan? Don’t worry! The sea breezes and mineral-rich soils mean that the region is also famous for its herbs (especially basil and rosemary), wine, olive oil, pine nuts, porcini mushrooms, and other delicious foods.

Provence-Côte d’Azur offers miles of rich blue Mediterranean coastline and delicious sunshine food like tapenade, fromage, omelette aux truffes, Ratatouille, Aioli, Tarte Tropézienne or Fromage de Chèvre.

The tour starts on the 2nd June 2017 in Florence and ends on the 15th June in Aix-en-Provence.


  Guided Walking HolidaysA Walk to the Stars | Next departure: June 2, 2017 [14 days]

View from Villa Cimbrone in Ravelo Italy

 walking tour Villa Cimbrone in Ravelo, Italy

Gargano Peninsular Italy

 walking tour Gargano Peninsular, Italy

Sibilini National Park Umbria Italy

 walking tour Sibilini National Park Umbria

Charming Amalfi Coast Italy

 walking tour Charming Amalfi Coast Italy

Al fresco lunch French Riviera

 walking tour Al fresco lunch French Riviera

Buying lunch in Borgomare Italy

 walking tour Buying lunch in Borgomare Italy

Cap Ferrat French Riviera

 walking tour Cap Ferrat French Riviera

Lavender and Sunflower fields in Provence France

 walking tour Lavender and Sunflower Provence

Perfect place for a rest in the French Riviera

 walking tour Perfect place for a rest !

Sestri Levante Ligurian Coast Italy

 walking tour Sestri Levante Ligurian Coast Italy

Almost Caprese salad

 walking tour Almost Caprese salad

Almost Caprese salad

 walking tour St Tropez harbor, France

San Fruttuoso monastery

 walking tour San Fruttuoso monastery

Forcalquier rental apartment luberon

New terrace apartment: Blanche


In Forcalquier, our hometown in Provence, we have 4 apartments for holiday rental. They are all located in one of the nicest streets in the old town, rue Saint Mary – a charming, cobblestoned street, leading up to a hilltop park. One of the unique aspects of the location is the fact that rue Saint Mary is a cul-de-sac; and extremely quiet with no traffic noise. However, the main square with its lovely cafes and restaurants is just around the corner. It is certainly convenient to be able to wander down in the evening, have a lovely meal with a bottle of wine and not have to worry about who is driving! Our new apartment Blanche, also known as Apartment 3 has been completed and at present we are hosting our first guests. We are very thrilled with the result and you can see some photos on the rental section of our website.

Guided Walking HolidaysSuch a beautiful apartment in the best part of Forcalquier close to the citadel. Quiet and peaceful but also a very close walk to all the shops and restaurants. The internal courtyard is stunning as well." 
Hanna from Hackney, UK - 08/2016

 

  Guided Walking HolidaysRental Apartments | Forcalquier, Provence, France

Kitchen with balcony

 walking tour Kitchen with a view!

Roof top terrace view

 walking tour Roof top terrace above Forcalquier

...and don't forget the Oz Walks


We still have vacancies for our Grampians & Great Ocean Road Walk and our Wilson's Promontory Adventure in November this year.

Guided Walking HolidaysThanks for a fabulous and well-managed tour of Wilson's Prom and surrounds, Graeme. Spectacular views, varied walks, refreshing swims on hot days, good company and plenty of laughter. The Nordic and Swiss tours look pretty special - definitely earmarked for future consideration!" 
Ruth fom Hervey Bay, QLD, Australia

George Bass Coastal Walk

walking tour Wilson's Promontory Walk

Food and Wine Festivals Australia

Upcoming Festivals for Foodies


There are plenty of events in Australia from 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:

 

Australian events

 

bullet 16/09 Capricorn Food & Wine Festival [3 days] Rockhampton, QLD
bullet 22/09 Taste Orange [2 days] Sydney, NSW
bullet 08/10 Heathcote Wine & Food Festival [2 days] Heathcote, VIC
bullet 14/10 Perth Food & Wine Expo [3 days] Perth, WA
bullet 19/10 Hepburn Springs Swiss & Italian Festa [5 day] Hepburn Springs, VIC
bullet 21/10 BeauVine Food & Wine Festival [3 days] Mt Lawley, WA

 

Overseas events

 

bullet 25/09 Fête de la Gastronomie [3 days] France, nationwide
bullet 24/09 Franschhoek Uncorked Cape Town [2 days] Cape Town, SA
bullet 08/10 The White Truffle Festival [4 days] Alba, Italy
bullet 24/10 Gisborne Wine & Food Festival [2 days] Gisborne, NZ
bullet 30/10 Ottawa Wine & Food Festival [3 days] Ottawa, CA


See all Gourmet events for 2016

We look forward to seeing you on a walk with us soon and thank you again for being a part of our journey during the last 30 years.

Our very best wishes,


Gabriela, Graeme and the WGA team


Contact us

Taste Orange Sydney

walking tour Taste Orange, Sydney

Fete de la Gastronomie

walking tour Fete de la Gastronomie, France

 

2017 walking tour dates


 walking toursEurope
 hikingMiddle East
 active holidayAfrica
 adventure tourAustralia


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