Dear Walkabout Walkers and Friends,
Our seemingly endless autumn… this year is coming to an end and winter is just around the corner - now that we have returned from all our travels we realize it will soon be time to celebrate Christmas!
Every Journey brings new horizons
Gabriela has come back from an amazing insight into Eastern Turkey and has been fascinated with this wild and rugged region. It boasts some of Turkey’s most spectacular nature and treasured historical monuments, as well as some of the friendliest and hospitable people one can meet. Eastern Turkey is the region in Eastern Anatolia (Asia Minor) that borders Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq and Syria. It is a fascinating part of Turkey that has a long and colourful history. The south eastern corner of this region, where the mighty Tigris and Euphrates rivers flow, is where Mesopotamia rose and is now known as the cradle of modern civilisation. Eastern Turkey also has some of the country’s most outstanding scenery; with its impressive snow-capped mountains, massive lakes, gushing rivers and immense fields of wildflowers.
On our new « Treasures of Eastern Turkey » tour we get off the beaten track and explore spectacular mosques, rustic Armenian churches and towering stone castles. From the mysterious fallen stone heads at Nemrut Dagi to ancient mud brick cities and exotic bazaars, this 15-day trip is Turkey at its most fascinating. We travel to the land beneath the snow-capped peak of Mt Ararat, the legendary resting place of Noah's Ark and immerse ourselves in the magnificent sights and legendary hospitality of the people in this lesser-known and lesser-travelled region of Turkey.
On the way to the Black Sea Coast, the final days are spent in the Kaçkar mountains where we explore this beautiful region with its wooden chalets (or yaylas) and medieval Georgian churches, including the 10th century church of Tbeti, located at the head of a beautiful valley. The mountains rise from the sea along the Çoruh valley approaching 4000m. The summits are bare granite but the slopes hide tiny mountain lakes and below them lush fir and pine forests cover the hillsides. The area is home to a wide range of wildlife, including bears and wolves, and a large variety of butterflies. On our way to Trabzon we travel through the main tea-growing area of the country.
Please ask for the detailed pre-departure notes which are now available and see the photos in our photo gallery!
Colourful September & October
Our autumn tours this year took us to various other countries. Gabriela did two tours in Slovenia and Croatia and was blessed with fantastic weather, stunning autumn colours and two great groups. The ever so popular tour starts in Venice and ends in Dubrovnik but this year we also did the reverse from Dubrovnik to Venice due to extra demand. At the moment the tour is already fully booked for 2015 so let us know now if you would like us to put your names down for our 2016 departure.
The scenery every single day was beautiful and both countries proved to be full of many pleasant surprises for me. The walking trails were the best...
Barbara, Kiama, NSW, Australia
|Explore Croatia & Slovenia | Next departure: September 2015 [14 days]
Early birds for Greece
Pascal finished his season walking in Crete and Santorini in Greece. Crete is the most southerly and largest Greek Island and provides an inexhaustible array of vivid impressions.
A cradle of European civilisation, it has an unrivalled history and culture and is a paradise for the amateur archaeologists. The island was the seat of the great Minoan civilization, whose fascinating remains are one of the most impressive sights in the entire Mediterranean region. Santorini is one of the famous of the 39 islands in the Cyclades and a wonderful place to finish this tour. This old volcano - the most active in the Aegean Sea - has the greatest Caldera in the world.
We stay in the picturesque village of Oia and a highlight is our beautiful Hotel Atrina. From here the view of the Calera at sunset is just breath taking! In 2015 “A walk on the wild Side” will begin on the 15th April.
Be quick and don’t miss out - until the 1st February 2015 we shall offer an early bird discount of 10% on this tour!
The walks were stunning and the time of year, perfect for exploring these wonderful islands. Thank you for a memorable trip...
Denise, Wakehurst Parkway, NSW, Australia
|Walk on the Wild Side | Next departure: April 2015 [16 days]
Magical Spring in Provence
In autumn Gilles guided our Secrets of Provence Walk, which consisted of many familiar faces, through some picture postcard villages on the Mediterranean and then to Forcalquier in the heart of Provence. This sun filled corner of France is a sweet land, scented with lavender, dotted with olive trees, Roman remains and hillside villages with fountain-filled squares.
The walks go through hills, covered in wild rosemary, sage and lavender and the perfume promises some outstanding cuisine for which the French are so famous - Aioli, Daube, young rabbit baked in a honey and lavender crust, fabulous goat cheeses, olive oil to name just a few. Located in a picturesque Provincial setting in Haute Provence, Auberge Charembeau, our idyllic country retreat has beautiful gardens, two swimming pools and tennis courts. Here we have selected a number of individual restaurants, which offer truly gastronomic delights of the so famous "Cuisine Provençale".
Also on the “Secrets of Provence” which will be in spring next year and start on the 16th May 2015 we offer an early bird discount of 10% until the 28th February. Be quick and don’t miss out!
We liked the idea of variety of areas for our walks from island by the sea to the mountains. The guide, Gilles was superb and always willing to assist and satisfy our requirements and with a good sense of humour to go with it...
Warwick and Jan, Newport Beach, NSW, Australia
|Secrets of Provence | Next departure: May 2015 [14 days] Early bird -10%
Graeme spent more than 3 weeks in Africa during October and early November on our 2nd African Walkabout. The tour commenced in beautiful Cape Town where most of the group had spent a few days to get to know this wonderful city and the gorgeous countryside surrounding it.
Highlights this year included sitting beside the waterhole at Etosha National Park watching the animals come into drink at sunset, enjoying a sun downer on the Grootberg Plateau while gazing down into the vastness of the Klip River Valley, spotting a black rhino on an early morning safari, smelling the first ‘African’ rain of the season after arriving at our family lodge in Ohange, watching the hippos frolicking on the Chobe River on a sunset cruise in Botswana and enjoying "High Tea" in the famous Victoria Falls Hotel in Zimbabwe.
Like last year one of the most moving experiences for the group was visiting a local school in Northern Namibia bordering Angola. The group very generously donated funds to buy 57 pairs of shoes and 135 pairs of socks for the neediest pupils. We are hoping to establish a fund in 2015 so that a water treatment plant can be set up to provide clean drinking water for the school - we hope to have more information about this project in our next Newsletter.
Seeing our first springbok and then giraffe and elephant, so exciting. Lots and lots of photos were taken. The Hippopotamus made an impression on us, watching them poke their ears and eyes out above the water as if to say, Hello!...
Barb & Ian, Wurtulla, QLD Australia
|African Walkabout | Next departure: October 2015 [22 days]
Introducing our team at WGA... Gino
We have promised to continue to introduce our team at Walkabout Gourmet Adventures. We are incredibly lucky to have such wonderful colleagues and without their support WGA would not be where it is today. One of our new team members is Gino who will be the new guide and instructor on the “Flavours of Italy” tour, which will be in the famous Piedmont region in 2015.
We met Gino in 1993 while working out our Follow the Gourmet Trail walk where he worked at the Fons Salutis Hotel as a very young chef. He seemed to be an all-rounder at the same time, helping the Hotel owners with many other chores and was treated like a family member. Right from the beginning Gino’s cuisine was of high quality, unravelled in imagination and presentation!
We remained friends all those years, we were there on his wedding day and met up in the mountains for skiing holidays or caught up in various other places on our travels.
Gino is now working as a professional chef and instructor and we are very happy that he agreed to join our team!
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 before and after Christmas:
28/12 The Taste of Tasmania [7 days] Hobart
11/01 So Frenchy So Chic in the Park [1 day] Weribee VIC
23/01 The France Show Food & Wine [3 days] London, UK
25/01 Coupe du Monde la Patisserie [2 days] Lyon, France
Christmas in Provence
We have had another very busy year with our Holiday Apartments in Forcalquier with guests coming from all over the world. Bookings for 2015 are very strong for June but we still have availability in all other months so don’t forget about our lovely apartments when planning your European holiday next year.
We have finished a major renovation on our roof and have added a roof top terrace with magnificent views across Upper Provence and beyond to the French Alps. This year we have a large extended family who are going to use all our apartments and share their second “Christmas in Provence” with us in Forcalquier.
My fiance and I were looking for a quiet town in Provence to spend a relaxing couple of days. Graeme's apartment turned out to be the ideal place for us, and we were just so happy being there....
Julie from Hawaii, USA - 08/2014
|Holiday apartments in Provence | Autumn-Winter specials
From all of us at Walkabout Gourmet Adventures we would like to wish you a peaceful Christmas and a safe, healthy and happy New Year.
We look forward to welcoming you on one of our holidays again soon.
Gabriela, Graeme and the WGA team
NOTE: Our office will be closed from Thursday 25th December until Monday 5th January.
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Nemrut Dağı Mountain, Turkey
Seljuk tomb stones Ahlat, Turkey
Abraham Balikli Göl, Sanliurfa
Triglavy view in Slovenian Alps
Water front Loutro Crete, Greece
Sunset at Oia Santorini, Greece
Colourful shop Provence, France
Saint Tropez, Southern France
Mercantour Park, Haute Provence
Etosha National Park, Namibia
Hippos Chobe NP, Botswana
Uvhungu-Vhungu School, Namibia
Gino Chef, instructor, Italy
Taste of Tasmania, Dec. 2014
White Christmas in Forcalquier
Open kitchen lounge Apartment,