French Pyrenees & Ligurian Coast
Coastal and hinterland: A Walk to the Stars
Finally we made it and our Walk to the Stars proved to be a wonderful balance of coastal and hinterland walking along the Ligurian Coast. Some of the walks, although slightly on the challenging side, are truly magnificent and let us discover what this region has to offer. There is certainly so much more to explore then just the Cinque Terre!
We leave it as an option on our free day to visit or walk a section of the famous trail between Monterosso and Riomaggiore. During our time in Sestri Levante we walk to Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure, San Fruttuoso and Camoglie, one of our favourite places along the Ligurian Coast. In Borgomaro, only a very small village in the hinterland of Imperia, we found fantastic walks and one of the best examples of hospitality I have experienced anywhere!
Congratulations to Elena and her team for making us feel at home. The two walks on the "Littoral" coastal trail in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat at the Cote d'Azur and in St Tropez were splendid and competitive with other grand coastal trails in other parts of the world.
Our new Hotel right in the centre of St Tropez deserves a special mention - small and not over the top, like so many other things in this town; it was very cosy with tables in the garden and an excellent breakfast. We have booked in early not to miss out.
|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. Provence-Cote d'Azur has a rich blue Mediterranean coastline and delicious sunshine food like tapenade, omelette aux truffes, Ratatouille, Aioli, Tarte Tropezienne or Fromage de Chevre."
Angela, Carlton, VIC, Australia
Return to the magnificent Pyrenees
After more then 10 years, Gabriela really enjoyed returning with a small group to the Pyrenees as she has always been an avid fan of this magnificent region with its wonderful walks. Although one of our first walks in Europe and hardly any changes in the program, we can't recommend it enough. Bookings for 2023 are going well, so please let us know early!
|Once again we enjoyed a terrific Walkabout tour that took us to beautiful towns and villages along with some great walking in the amazing Pyrenees. Food, company and accommodation up to the usual delightful standards. Many thanks to Pascal and Callum for all their assistance and ensuring we had a great time."
Geoff from Melbourne VIC, Australia
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, France
Vallée Ossau, Pyrenees
Cirque de Gavarnie, France
Enjoying sea food in Collioure!
Dolomites & Scottish Highlands
Austrian Lakes & Italian Dolomites
Gilles loved to return to the Dolomites, another region that is overwhelmingly beautiful with stunning walks, a fantastic hotel and great food. The two regions in Austria in the Austrian Lakes District and in the Leutasch Valley are equally beautiful - great hospitality and dreamlike landscapes.
|A totally fabulous experience - the itinerary, the comfortable hotels, fine food, spectacular scenery and the company of our fellow walkers. From the first time I saw photos of The Romantic Path tour, it was on my "to do" list. Our walking destinations included beautiful alpine countryside and lakes in Altaussee and the Leutasch Valley, a challenging walk on the Loser Circuit, spectacular rock formations in the Dachstein..." Read more
Cheryl from Brisbane QLD, Australia
||The Romantic Path 14-day Walking through the Austrian Lakes District, the Leutasch Valley and the Dolomites in Italy
|| 14 September | Munich, Germany
Scotland: Extra day on the Isle of Skye
Our first tour in Scotland was not without challenges... changing and adapting quickly to our initial program from 2019. After finally losing the "little troll" who had crept into our tour during the first few days, all went well. In future we will not return to Inverness but have added on an extra day to the Isle of Skye where we will stay near Portree. This will reduce the driving and we can spend more time walking in this spectacular location.
Very welcomed is also the extra night in the Orkneys, which will allow for more walking and perhaps even a visit and degustation at the Highlander's Distillery. The tour will start and end in Edinburgh. Perri, our new excellent Scottish guide, together with her husband Lee proved to be so valuable in every aspect of the tour and brought in the local knowledge, which just makes all the difference. Perri and Lee have agreed to work with us and we are looking forward to another season together. Please note that the tour starts now one day earlier.
||The Highlander's Trail 16-day Walking holiday in Scotland through Cairngorms, Orkney Islands, Wester Ross, Isle of Skye and Loch Lomond
|| 13 September | Edinburgh, Scotland
Stay in the most beautiful villages in France
Gilles has finished our season in Europe with the Gastronomic walk through hidden France, a perfect autumn walk starting in the Pays Basque, the lower hills of the Pyrenees, then moving onto the Cathar Country with mediaeval castles, villages and Romanesque abbeys. The last five nights were spent in Grignan in the Drôme Provencale between the Rhone River and the Alps north of the Vaucluse. It is listed as one of the "Plus Beaux Villages de France". This tour is scheduled again for 2024.
|We had a wonderful tour, small group led by fun, caring and patient Gilles. Excellent accommodations in quiet villages, friendly hosts serving fabulous food and wine. Walks were varied and enjoyable, with options for those who wanted a slower day. Perfect weather, autumn colours, few tourists - but we were in hidden France."
Liz from Adelaide, Australia
Val Gardena Dolomites, Italy
Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland
The West Highland Way, Scotland
Dentelles de Montmirail, France
Cathar Castle, Las Tours, France
Provence vineyards in Autumn
Exciting 2023 Season!
We are now preparing and looking forward to next year. Due to a very busy season in Europe, we had to take Byron and Beyond out of our 2023 program but hope to welcome you there in 2024 again.
India: Nature, Culture and Cooking!
For those of you interested in this tour concept we highly recommend our Flavours of South India tour. Lovely walks in stunning nature, interesting culture and some delicious cooking classes are some of the highlights on this tour. Sreejith, our master will start and end the days with a yoga and meditation practice (not compulsory). Reflexology is one of his specialities.
|My cousin and I had an absolutely wonderful time touring South India. We loved the adventure walks and really enjoyed the cooking classes - they were a highlight. Accommodation was first class and the Aleppy houseboat trip was fantastic. Such a brilliant way to see life in Kerala up close and personal. We were so lucky to enjoy the company of the other tour guests - such a great bunch of people and so much fun..." Read more
Victoria from Sydney, NSW, Australia
Spain & Portugal: Highlight after highlight!
In Europe we are happy to start in beautiful Granada where we have the opportunity to visit the magical Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens. The mountain villages of the Alpujarras provide the perfect terrain for our stunning walks.
As usual we move on to stay in the Parador in Ronda and spend two nights in Sevilla before moving onto Portugal. Here we explore the Algarve region right in the south, stop for 2 nights in Lisbon and walk in the beautiful Duoro Valley. This tour has highlight after highlight, right to the end when we finish in the beautiful city of Porto.
|The 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..." Read more
Lorne, Orange NSW, Australia
Sicily: History, Culture, Food and Mount Etna!
One of her favourite tours, Gabriela is very excited to finally return to Sicily. It has just the perfect balance between history, culture, beautiful sea and mountain walks, delicious food and great accommodation. The 15-day tour begins and ends in Palermo, travels to the northernmost tip of Sicily, the Madonie mountains and the Eolian islands. Another real highlight is the walk up to Mount Etna and beautiful Ortigia in Syracuse.
|If 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..." Read more
Bob and Margaret, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Japan: Ancient traditions & Culinary delights
We have received the green light from Japan and are very excited to finally take you on our Spirit of Japan tour in May and October next year. This volcanic archipelago shows off with scenic landscapes and superb food. Here ancient traditions seem to merge wonderfully with modern life and beneath the surface of this seemingly futuristic and modern country is an intriguing traditional culture where Buddhist temples, ryokans and Geishas still exist.
Our comprehensive 16-day tour takes us from the bustling capital of Tokyo all the way to Hiroshima in the west of the country. In between we experience the beauty of the Japanese Alps with their pristine rivers and forests. We walk a section of the famous Nakasendo Trail, discover the history of the ancient capital Kyoto, visit the beautiful island of Myajima, enjoy the amazing culinary delights of Osaka and explore the historical city of Hiroshima where we conclude our tour. We stay in a combination of both Western and Japanese style hotels – all with ensuite facilities.
Walk with Graeme in Norway, France & Africa
Graeme has been very happy about his busy season in Australia and to be able to work closer "from home". It has certainly helped us a lot that we had so much support from our loyal Aussie guests during the pandemic and we will forever be grateful. While Graeme managed to finally get back to France for a short visit in Summer, you can walk with him again in 2023:
Twinkly turquoise warm seas in Turkey
Being unable to sail into Greece is not the only change Covid brought with it, but certainly a very annoying one. This new piece of Greek bureaucracy changed the rules and commercial Turkish gullets are no longer allowed to enter from Turkey into Greece.
So it is with great sadness to let the beautiful Dodecanese Islands go, but we won’t miss out on our sailing experience and found an excellent alternative in sailing with our Princess Selin along Turkey’s stunning turquoise coast.
Stretching from bustling Fethiye to the resort town of Antalya, this coastline is famous for its twinkly blue warm seas. Backed by mountain ranges for almost its entire length, their slopes drop precipitously down to quaint fishing villages. Lush pine forest, sandy beaches and sheer cliffs add drama, and the hundreds of tiny secluded coves and bays are tucked away, only accessible by water.
|The warmth and friendliness of the Turkish people everywhere made this such a memorable walk. Knowledgeable guides, cooks providing hands on help, head-scarfed farmer's wives scurrying across the fields to sell us their handicrafts, gifts of home-made marmalade and even the iman's ever present calls to prayer were all welcomed as part of the enriching blend of rural Antolian culture. Dramatic olive covered rocky crags..." Read more
Euan, Adelaide, SA, Australia
Upper Provence & the French Riviera
In 2023 we look forward to returning to our favourite hotel in Provence, Auberge Charembeau near Forcalquier.
Our Secrets of Provence tour starts on the 29th September 2023 and ends on the 12th October in Aix-en-Provence. On this walk Gilles will show you the diversity and amazing landscapes of Provence - from the famous “Cote d’Azur” to steep hilltop villages and Alpine Mountains. Learn about the region’s rich culture and history while tasting delicious food accompanied by excellent wines.
|What a holiday!! Secrets of Provence was everything and more than we expected, it suited us perfectly. The walks were varied, beautiful, although in some cases challenged us. We will know next time what to expect and give a little more thought to preparation. Complementing the daily physical side of things was the delightful accommodation, culinary delights (especially), and the company we shared the tour with..." Read more
Colin and Helen, Glenlyon, Australia
Our Yoga and Meditation Master
Alleppey Boathouse, Kerala
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
Alhambra Granada, Spain
Market in Ortigia, Sicily
Selinunte Sicily, Italy
Cooking demonstration, Japan!
Snow Monkey Park, Japan
Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto
Dovrefjell Musk Oxen, Norway
Gulet Selin, Turkey
Ancient ruins, Turkey
Carpet Bazar, Turkey
Port Cros, Hyères Islands, France
Colours of Provence, France
Ubaye Valley, French Alps