European Summer 2014
Dear Walkabout Walkers and Friends,
The end of summer is near and this newsletter has been long in coming. All of us at Walkabout have had a busy summer season with many wonderful walks and great groups.
Norway, hidden gem
romantic adventure in Austria
Summer time in Provence
|Pagnol's Provence | Next: June 2015
On the Snail Trail | Next: June 2015
Flavours of Provence | Next: August 2015
Pyrenees: nature's' wonders
Another highlight this summer for me personally was returning and leading the Discover the Pyrenees tour in Spain and France, which I hadn't done for many years. I have been greatly supported by Gilles who helped making this tour a big success.
Spain is definitely a country full of hidden gems with seaside fishing villages like Cadaqués. No wonder Dali decided to spend most of his days getting inspired by this little bundle of light. Despite the beauty of Cadaqués, next year's Pyrenees walk will begin in Collioure, a small fishing village, known as the jewel of the Cote Vermeille.
Higher and higher into the Pyrenees, I had forgotten the beauty of the small town of Gavarnie in the Pyrenees National Park. In our small friendly hotel we enjoyed the typical cuisine of the region which our host, Bernard, prepared to perfection. Gavarnie is an ideal location for walks into the surrounding mountains and of course to discover the amazing amphitheatres of the Cirque de Gavarnie and the Cirque de Troumouse. It can only be described as one of nature's wonders.
There are over 1,500 species of wildflowers native to the Pyrenees and wildlife is abundant i.e. Lynx, lizard, marmot, ptarmigan, bearded vultures and golden eagles - There are even approximately 15 Brown bears in the National Park!
|Discover the Pyrenees | Next: July 2015|
Enchanting Italian Lakes
It's always a sad feeling leaving the warmer months of summer for autumn as one knows that winter is just around the corner, but then again… nothing ever stays the same! A final summer highlight was to end up at the Italian Lakes.
With its Mediterranean climate and fantastic food, it is an ideal region to end the summer. In the Ticino and at Lago Maggiore we explored the narrow gorges of the Verzasca and the Centovalli. At the enchanting Lago di Como we were surrounded by wooded hills below the majestic mountains.
The lake consists of three long narrow arms and has a total length of 50 kms. We walked on old mule tracks through varied and lush Mediterranean vegetation with splendid views across the lake.
A special highlight was the delicious dinner at the Soglina Hotel in Soglio after walking along the Via Panoramica. Our path took us through the lush romantic wilderness on the right side of the Bergell from Casaccia to Soglio.
We have now arrived at Lake Garda, the largest and perhaps the most beautiful of the northern Italian lakes. Sheltered by the Dolomites, it has a temperate climate and historically was the most northern locality in the world where citrus fruits could be grown commercially. We have enjoyed the walk at Monte Baldo, the Sentiero Angelini and today is the free day, desperately needed to finish this newsletter.
Our tour will end with a walk to the fairytale castle of Drena and a ride to Gargnano on a steamer, which regularly ply the lake.
|Italian Lakes | Next: July 2015|
VENICE, Pure magic
I always love going back to Venice and look forward to the 1 ½ free days in this fascinating city before starting the next walk. It is a peculiar kind of atmosphere, to know that you are strolling the streets of a city, which is built on water. Everything about Venice is pure magic and I am excited to share with you some of my favourite things from my various visits. Getting lost in VeniceGetting lost in Venice... It is always intentional and leaves me every time more charmed by this incredible city.
Venice Doge's Palace: A must see and do if you are a Lover of Art, History and Architecture.
Soaking in the views over the Grand Canal and Venice and a lunch at La Piscina restaurant - also a boutique hotel.
The Rialto Market.
Leisurely breakfast at one of Italy's oldest Cafe and sipping a Bellini at Harry's Bar
A performance at the glorious Fenice Theatre
Palazzo Grassi. As soon as you enter this place, you just cannot help but pinch yourself. Is it real or just an illusion? The building is more than just a work of Art and has magnificent views overlooking the Grand Canal. But the highlights are not just the Contemporary Art which is exhibited not on a wall but on the entire surface. The red toned carpets are spread all over the building making it seem like a paradise for any crazy minded Artist.
The colourful little island of Burano. The boat ride was slightly claustrophobic to say the least, but it all paid off once we arrived in this rainbow village. The buildings were in every possible shade and the atmosphere was electrifying. To finish off on good terms… We were lucky enough to be surprised by an extraordinary sunset; slowly making our way back to beautiful Venice.
Croatia & Slovenia RETURN
Two of the remaining autumn tours will take us from Venice to Slovenia and Croatia and due to the popularity; we have introduced a second tour from Dubrovnik back to Venice. One of the many highlights is always our stay on Mljet where we hike the spectacular coastline of this sun-splashed island, which is almost entirely a National Park.
|Explore Croatia & Slovenia | Next: September 2015|
Autumn Specials: 10% off Greece & SOUTH Africa
One of my favourite times in Greece is when the busy summer months have come to an end and everybody is relaxed and enjoying the last weeks to the end of the season.
We start in Santorini, one of the famous 39 islands in the Cyclades and truly one of the most beautiful places in Greece. This old volcano - the most active in the Aegean Sea - has the greatest Caldera in the world.
We base ourselves in Oia, often considered the prettiest village in Greece. Our walks take us along the edge of the stunning caldera or even more breathtaking are our walks through the other cliff top villages of Santorini - they seem to defy gravity as the white washed houses cling to the rim of the crater.
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.
|Walk on the Wild Side | Next: October 11 2014|
There are still some places available on this great tour and for the last minute traveller we offer a 10% discount.
To fill up the last remaining places we can also offer a 10% discount on our African Walkabout, which allows us to experience the West Coast of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Victoria Falls. Highlights are the Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Himba Tribes, Etosha National Park, Okavango Delta, Western Caprivi, Chobe National Park & Victoria Falls.
|African Walkabout | Next: October 15 2014|
The Walkabout brochure 2015
At last it is done and ready to access on our website! The hard copy is on the press at the moment and will soon be ready for mail out (in case we don't have your address you can order a copy here).
Also this year it will feature some of our favourite destinations, including Andalusia and Morocco, Sicily, Slovenia and Croatia, Greece, Africa and Wilson's Promontory in Australia.
New tours include Eastern Turkey, A Culinary Snail Trail through France and a new Flavours of Italy cooking and walking tour in the Piedmont in Italy. With plenty of new ideas, the 2016 brochure is already on the way!.
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 between now and Christmas:
01/10 Good Food Month Sydney [30 days]
04/10 Heathcote Wine & Food Festival [2 days] VIC
17/10 Brisbane Good Food & Wine Show [3 days] QLD
01/11 Good Food Month Melbourne [30 days]
08/11 Brisbane Good Food & Wine Month [30 days]
13/11 Taste of Melbourne [4 days] Albert Park, VIC
15/11 La Dolce Vita in the King Valley [2 days] Wangaratta, VIC
21/11 Margaret River Gourmet Escape [3 days] WA
28/12 The Taste of Tasmania [7 days] Hobart, TAS
27/09 Feast of Gastronomy France [3 days] Country wide
27/09 Franschhoek Uncorked Cape Town [2 days] South Africa
07/10 Gisborne Wine & Food Festival [2 days] New Zealand
12/10 The White Truffle Festival [4 days] Alba Italy
29/10 Le Salon du Chocolat [4 days] Paris France
31/10 Salon Vins et Terroirs [3 days] Toulouse France
13/11 Taste of Auckland [4 days] New Zealand
17/11 San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival [7 days] California USA
19/11 Salon Saveurs des Plaisirs Gourmands [4 days] Paris France
A charming Place in Provence
it has been another busy year with our holiday apartments in Forcalquier (Alpes-de-Haute Provence region) with guests coming from all over the world. There are already many bookings for 2015 but we still have availability - so don't forget about our lovely apartments when planning your European holiday next year.
|Holiday apartments in Provence | Autumn-Winter specials|
Happy and safe travelling - we look forward to welcoming you on one of our holidays soon.
Apartments' courtyard, Provence