Walking Holidays
Guided Walking Holidays with Walkabout Gourmet Adventure
Abruzzo Mountains in Itay

Travel blog Walkabout Gourmet Adventure Winter 2015European Spring 2017

Dear Walkabout Walkers and Friends,

We’ve had a very busy spring with our Walkabout Gourmet Adventures and are pleased to pass on a few thoughts and information about what has been going on.

Newsletter Print Version - PDF

market near Ernakulam’s Broadway in Cochin India

India, season starter


 

Gabriela’s first tour this year started already in February when she went back to Cochin in Kerala for the Flavours of South India and was once again supported by Christiane and Nissar.

Our group this year enjoyed the yoga and meditation classes, always such a peaceful start to the day. A special mention deserves our instructor at the Fog Hotel in Munnar – although a little bit challenged at the beginning, we felt fantastic and ready to face the day!

Once again we were spoiled at the lovely Grand Vivanta by Taj Hotel in Malabar, and Cochin never failed to amaze us with its incredible cultural heritage! Our cooking session with Nazeema for whom my colleague, Christiane Philips, has written “The Nazeema Kerala Kitchen” cookbook, was fantastic.

Meanwhile the book has won the World Best Indian Cookbook award at the World Gourmand Awards. Together with Nazeema we prepared and cooked several dishes from the book, followed by a pre-dinner drink and nibbles before dinner. The cooking class included all food and a signed copy of the cookbook.

In the cool mountain region of Munnar we walked again with a local guide amongst the tea plantations and our afternoon cooking session with Nimi was another highlight of our time here.



This year we didn’t spot any elephants in the Periyar forest, one of the finest wildlife reserves in India, but instead many other animals. Once again we returned to watch the amazing performance of the Martial Arts.

The extra day on our deluxe private houseboat made all the difference because it gave us time to discover the villages, we had seen from the waterways also on foot.

Guided Walking HolidaysGreat places visited and excellent accommodation. Good introduction to India if someone hasn't been to India before. Great traveling companions. Good fun with cooking classes and great food everywhere. Very interesting history..." 
Gillian from Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia [2017]


walking Flavours of South India | Next departure: March, 2019 [12 days]

 

Cooking class in Munnar Kerala India
 walking tour Nimi's cooking class Munnar, India

Kuttanad Kerala Backwaters India
 walking tour Kuttanad Kerala Backwaters India

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Kerala
 walking tour Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary Kerala

Tea plantations Munnar Kerala
 walking tour Tea plantations Munnar Kerala

walking in the Sahara Desert Morocco

Spain & Morocco Trail


After a short break, Gabriela and Gilles took off to Spain for the Follow the Moorish Trail, which started in Valencia and covered once again the amazing Cabo da Gata Nature Reserve, the Alpujarra, Granada, Ronda and Seville in southern Andalusia.

In Morocco they continued to Fes, the High Atlas Mountains, the Sahara Desert and the tour finished in Marrakech. Gabriela had to do a short spin around to take over the tour in Sicily from another guide.


Guided Walking HolidaysI really enjoyed the 10 days in Andalusia with our tour guides Gabriela & Gilles. The walking trails through the Sierra Nevada & Grazalema natural park offered spectacular scenery. Our accommodation was varied & comfortable. I loved all the places we visited from San Jose to Seville. The meals were fine in the hotels but would have liked more tastings of Tapas. Morocco was a unique experience. Starting in Fes, staying at the Riad & a tour of the Medina was quite amazing. Then driving many miles across the High Atlas to the Dades Gorge on to the sand dunes at Erg Chebbi. Then back towards Marrakech via Agdz. Here we stayed at a very special Riad my favourite for the trip. The walks we did through the Berber villages was stepping back in time but all very interesting with local guides. It was unfortunate Gabriella had to leave us in Morocco but with Gilles there to guide us all the way we had a great trip..." 
Alison from Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia [2017]

walking  Follow the Moorish Trail | Next departure: April 3rd, 2018 [21 days]
Plaza de Espana Seville Andalusia Spain
 walking tour Plaza de Espana Seville Andalusia

Al-Deir Monastery, Petra Jordan
 walking tour Alpujarras, Andalusia Spain

Al-Deir Monastery, Petra Jordan
 walking tour Rose Valley, Morocco
Stromboli Island in the Aeolian Islands Italy

Magical Dolce Vita in Sicily


One of Gabriela’s favourite tours, she was happy to return to magical Sicily and the Dolce Vita tour! This year everything seemed to be perfect… the flowers, the weather and even Mount Etna delivered a great spectacle!

We started on Easter Sunday and were lucky enough to get a glimpse of the Easter Service in the cathedral of Monreale, which was very special!

We continued on to Selinunte and saw the temples amongst fields of flowers. Our first destination was San Vito lo Capo on the northwestern arm of Sicily. It is always nice to return to Marilu and her Pocho Hotel in Makari!

We experienced once again great hospitality and the best dinners! Marilu was a puppet player, making her own puppets and the hotel’s decorations consist of those puppets and stage decor! A unique experience and certainly very much recommended!

Of course we didn’t miss out on Erice, famous for its pastries before arriving in the Madone Mountains! A little bit chilly here, we even experienced some snow. All was forgotten once we arrived in Lipari on the Eolean Islands. The weather was fantastic and our walk up to the crater of Vulcano as exhilarating as ever. This time we also managed to have a morning walk up to the Observatory at the end of Lipari Island… Simply fantastic and the views were spectacular.

Aelos, the god of the winds was kind to us and we had no problem taking the boat to Panarea and Stromboli. Time passed quickly but before departing, we discovered the small Stromboli Museum, which not only shows the film “Stromboli” with Ingrid Bergmann and Marcello Rossellini but has also lots of memorabilia from the film.

Always a bit sad to leave the islands, there was a quick change of scene when we arrived in Taormina, the famous resort town south of Messina before spending our last 4 nights in Ortigia, the old town of Syracuse.

On our way back to Palermo, we had a lengthy stop at Villa Casale in Villa Armerina in the centre of Sicily. The villa appears to date entirely from the early 4th century with mosaics of the Roman-African school.

 

Guided Walking HolidaysIf I start by telling you that while in Sicily, Bob took about 1900 photos, I don't want you to become alarmed that this letter with photos will cause your server to go into meltdown. We have chosen photos judiciously, and written some words, in the hope that you will be inspired to think about taking a trip to that island or if you already have, to think about returning. And Spring is in our view THE time to be there. The flowers were astonishing. The colours, the abundance, the variety, the vibrancy. In fields, along the roadside, on our walks... We decided, along with our travelling companions, that the flowers would be a major highlight and lasting memory of Sicily. Here is just one of many possible photos to set the scene. But before going there, I'll start in another place that we found interesting and certainly engaging..." Read full story 
Bob and Margaret Norington, Spence ACT, Australia


walking  La Dolce Vita | Next departure from Palermo: May 17, 2018 [15 days]

 

Zingaro National Park Sicily
 walking tour Zingaro National Park Sicily

Eating Cannoli in Sicily Italy
 walking tour Eating Cannoli in Sicily Italy

Matching the flowers Segesta Sicily
 walking tour Matching the flowers Segesta Sicily

Al-Deir Monastery, Petra Jordan
 walking tour Stromboli Museum Eolian Islands

Invitation into the Club Alpino hut near Monte Cervo in the Madone Mountains Sicily Italy
 walking tour Club Alpino hut, Monte Cervo

Pescille and Colle Val d'Elsa Tuscany Italy

Trail for the True Gourmets

Helmut and Dominique were in charge of the Gourmet Trail in early May and spent two fantastic weeks with a private group.

Read for yourself what they had to say:

Guided Walking HolidaysWe were a group of fourteen friends under the leadership of Helmut; Ages varied from 40 to 74, but all with a good level of fitness. Some parts of the walk were challenging, but these walks were the ones that rewarded you with amazing scenery. Four different parts of northern Italy, all uniquely different. Perhaps my favourite was the starting point, a lovely country setting motel with walled cities all around the region, where we ate in one each night we were there. Or did I like the five fishing villages along the coast the most. Where we trudged vertically to the top each day to be rewarded with spectacular views as we trekked along the cliff tops, and the different sea food courses each night in a different restaurant, and the wine, ahh. Or did I really love Tuscanny the best. Rolling hills of vineyards, wine tastings, the food of a night and perhaps the best wines in the world. My spine still shudders, or was it the ancient walled cities and their history. Then, staying on the lake, more seafood restaurants, bubbles as the sun sets over the lake, following the paths of the ancients of three thousand years ago, maybe this was my favourite part of the trek. What I did not like at all was the finish, all over too soon" 
Terry, Townsville, QLD, Australia


walking  Follow the Gourmet Trail | Next departure: May 16 2018 [15 days]

 

Vernazza Cinque Terre Ligurian Coast Italy
 walking tour Vernazza Cinque Terre

La Morra Piedmont Italy
 walking tour La Morra Piedmont Italy

Sant Antimo near Montalcino Tuscany Italy
 walking tour Sant Antimo Montalcino Tuscany

St Jean Pied de Port France

Joining the Pilgrims' Camino


While many of us were in various parts of the Mediterranean, Graeme went in another direction and started the Pilgrims Way from Biarritz to Santiago de Compostela.

The Camino is certainly an experience, meeting and chatting to other pilgrims along the way who walk all the 790 km trail.

Special features on this tour are the amazing Paradores in Spain, which are often in old palaces or former hospitals. The fantastic regional cuisine and the visit to the Rioja wine region are other highlights.

 

Guided Walking HolidaysThe Pilgrim's Way is a completely different way to see and understand northern Spain. Apart from the magnificent scenery and fantastic location - the Paradors of Spain have to be experienced to be believed! - walking the Pilgrim's Way and having the opportunity to visit places like Leon, Burgos and Santiago de Compostela, as well as the villages along the way, gave me a whole new insight into part of Spain's history. Ainhoa in France and the Hotel Ithurria were also fabulous as our starting point. Even though it's been 10 years since I travelled (through Italy) with Walkabout Gourmet, WGA has lost none of its expertise in organisation, support, great company and showing off some of Europe's finest in terms of food, wine, walking trails, and places to stay. I've already been checking out the brochure for my next WGA trip."
Lorne, Orange, NSW, Australia

 

walking  The Pilgrim's Way | Next departure: May 15, 2018 [14 days]

Astorgia Spain
 walking tour Astorgia Spain

Restaurant of Hotel Ithurria Ainhoa Pays Basque France

 walking tour Hotel Ithurria Ainhoa Pays Basque

Najere Spain

 walking tour Najere Spain

Baia di Sfinale Gargano Italy

Epicurean walk through Italy


Our Epicurean Walk in Italy fulfilled all that it promised… some of the best food the southern Italian cuisine has to offer. Fond memories will also remain of our visit at Santa Constanza and our first lunch in Termini before our walk to the Punta Camponela.

The caprese and lemon granita were incredibly tasty, that we had to have a second granita after our walk. Stocking up with tomatoes, homemade cheese and salami from the restaurant owners set the precedent of sharing our picnics… right to the last day. They consisted of the best Italian food and picnic spots and the last one at Monte Sibilini was certainly a sad moment.

Sorrento worked out to be the perfect base and our Hotel Regina was certainly a very friendly place to stay, so quiet with a lemon scented garden yet right in the center of town and the best breakfast view you can imagine!

All the walks at the Amalfi Coast were so beautiful and our pre dinner drinks and dinners always a highlight. From the Mediterranean Coast we travelled east and explored the Gargano Promontory. It was great meeting up with Arcangela and her family again and meeting the twins… nearly 5 years young now!

The famous fish soup was still as delicious as ever. We also returned to the Trabucco San Nicola for dinner one night but sadly learned that Mimi, the soul of the trabucco, had passed away. We were treated in the usual friendly manner by Mimi’s grandsons. In Pescasseroli in the Abruzzo National Park Antonio was still holding the fort at Villa Mon Repos and it was nice catching up with some of the former staff of the Hotel.

We had a sensational degustation Menu at Il Duca degli Abruzzi di del Principe Gabriella with many fresh and local specialties. The matching wines were another highlight. Assunta speaks excellent English and with her mum in the kitchen, this place is a must to visit if in the region, but bookings are essential! Umbria, “the green belt of Italy” is in the middle of the Italian peninsula and without any coastal areas.

Our stay at the Palazzo Seneca in Norcia was very special but also quite moving to see how much the locals love their town and how restorations are ongoing to bring the town back to the former glory after the devastating earthquake last October.

We were happy to support them with their challenge and had a wonderful time. Although unable to travel up to the Piano Grande, we were more than compensated when we walked with Roberto and his donkeys to higher pastures, covered in flowers.

We also went truffle hunting and later had a cooking class with our well known chef, Valentino. The meeting with the Benedictine Monks was another highlight.

Guided Walking HolidaysI have truly experienced the full magic of Italy from top to bottom. Your remarkable organisation and experience opened up a box of treasure. Thank you both for your friendship, kindness, patience and expertise. See you again." 
Sue, Sydney, NSW, Australia

walking  Epicurean Walk through Italy | Next: from Sorrento June 3rd 2018 [16 days]

Cheese Cake at Hotel Bellevue Sirene Sorrento Italy
 walking tour Cheese Cake Hotel Bellevue Sorrento

Arco Naturale Capri Italy
 walking tour Arco Naturale Capri Italy

Villa Mon Repos Pescasseroli Abruzzo Mountains Italy
 walking tour Villa Mon Repos, Abruzzo

Lido del Piacere Baia di Sfinale Gargano Italy
 walking tour Lido del Piacere Baia di Sfinale Gargano

Parting with loved walking boots in the Abruzzo Mountains Italy
 walking tour Walking boots Abruzzo Mountains

Greeks mediterranean Island Greece

Greece & Turkey Combo Tour


On the way to the airport, Pascal and Gabriela came up with an excellent new idea to combine two of their favourites - Greece and Turkey.

The new tour is going to start in Rhodes in Greece and will continue to the islands of Nysiros, Tilos and then Symi. From here we will take a beautiful wooden boat and travel the short distance to Kas.

We will return to favourites like Fethiye, hometown of Fatih, our Turkish guide, Daylan and Selcuk. Instead of travelling to Gallipoli and Istanbul we continue inland to Pamukkale and ending our tour with some walks in Cappadocia.

Guided Walking HolidaysWe had a fabulous time in Crete and Santorini. Pascal was a wonderful guide, very helpful and knowledgeable. The walks were stunning and the time of year, just before the summer rush of holiday makers, perfect for exploring these wonderful islands. Thank you for a memorable trip.." 
Denise & Rob, Wakehurst Parkway, NSW, Australia

 

 

walking  New Greece-Turkey Tour | Next departure from Rhodes: Early April 2018

Goereme National Park Cappadocia Turkey
 walking tour Goereme Cappadocia Turkey

Al-Deir Monastery, Petra Jordan
 walking tour Hot Air Ballooning Cappadocia

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 21/07 Winter Reds Cellar Door Weekend [3 days] Adelaide Hills, SA
bullet 24/07

Taste of the Blackwood [2 days]

Bridgetown, WA
bullet 27/08

Newcastle Food & Wine Expo [3 days]

Newcastle, NSW
bullet 02/09

Barossa Gourmet Weekend [3 days]

Barossa Valley, SA
bullet 15/09

Capricorn Food & Wine Festival [3 days]

Rockhampton, QLD


Overseas events

 

bullet 27/07

The Food Show Auckland [3 days]

Auckland, NZ
bullet 22/09

Fête de la Gastronomie [3 days]

France
bullet 23/09 Franschhoek Uncorked Cape Town [2 days] Cape Town, SA
bullet 07/10

The White Truffle Festival [4 days]

Alba, Italy
bullet 13/10

New York City Wine & Food Festival [4 days]

New York, USA


See all Gourmet events for 2017

Bastille Day French Festival

 walking tour Bastille Day French Festival

The Food Show Auckland

 walking tour The Food Show Auckland

The White Truffle Festival

 walking tour The White Truffle Festival

Reynisdrangar are basalt sea stacks

Where next?


Graeme is still in Switzerland where the Sea to the Summits walk soon ends and Gilles just returned from the Celtic Way while Gabriela made it back home, trying to bring some order into the office and started working on the 2018 brochure.

Soon we all will go off again on our next adventures… Gilles to the
Pyrenees, Graeme and Helmut to Norway and Gabriela and Pascal to Iceland… with temperatures around 10°C... that means bye bye summer!

Until our next newsletter or our next walk with you somewhere around the globe…

Our very best wishes,

Gabriela, Graeme and the WGA team

contact

2017 2018 walking tour dates


 Print version

walking tour Print version (PDF)


Follow us on Facebook!

quality walkabout