HighlightsBenevello | Tanaro River walk | Grinzane Cavour | Barolo wine-tasting | Serralunga d'Alba | Castiglione Falletto | Monforte d'Alba
Description of Piedmont walking holiday, Vineyards of BaroloThis self-guided, Piedmont walking holiday through the vineyards and exquisite valleys of Barolo, is a gentle and gastronomically gorgeous way to explore the tranquil Langhe region of Piedmont, in the north-west of Italy. The Barolo vineyards of this region have been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, and the countryside that envelops these vineyards is award-winning too. With gently rippling hills, sunflower-filled meadows and ancient oak woods, the honey-coloured hamlets and historic castles that pepper your trails just add to the aesthetic beauty of it all.
This walking holiday is a circular route, starting and ending in Benevello, a hamlet in the Alta Langa hills. From here you follow a walking trail along the Tanaro River, which takes you through a series of more pretty Piedmont villages to Grinzane Cavour, with its impressive castle overlooking the town. Castles are a feature of this walking holiday as you will see in Castiglione Falletto, dominated by its distinctive 11th century castle.
Another stunning stop on this holiday is the ancient, fortified town of Monforte d'Alba, with ochre houses clinging to its hillside and a lively café and cuisine culture vibe. All influenced by the Barolo vineyards that envelop it. Which is why, on this holiday, you get a chance to sample plenty of the local wine but also the wonderful food that emanates from these valleys. As well as the world-famous Barolo wine, you will find sweet Moscato, white truffles, hazelnuts and an array of cheeses.
Not surprisingly for such a foodie area, there are some fantastic hotels to stay at on this walking holiday, with your bags being transferred for you as you enjoy your time walking. Most of them have swimming pools, and they include a 19th century family-run villa, with its own converted chapel and a Michelin- starred restaurant. Heavenly.
|Day 1:||Day 1 Arrive at Benevello. Arrive at your hotel in time for a swim before dinner. The Michelin-starred chef here trained under Marco Pierre White so you're certainly in for a treat! (Staying at Villa d'Amelia, Half Board)|
|Day 2:||Day 2 Benevello to Grinzane Cavour 10km/6.5mi/4hr. After a short transfer you follow a gentle path alongside the clear waters of the Tanaro River, next to which pheasants and partridges rustle in the oak forest. It's on to Roddi (the castle here used to house the University of Truffle Dogs!) and Grinzane Cavour with its wonderful megalithic castle with amazing views. Time for a drink on the terrace at our stunning 4 star hotel in the village centre before dinner. (Staying at Casa Pavesi, Breakfast at hotel, evening meal at local restaurant)|
|Day 3:||Day 3 At Grinzane Cavour. Grinzane Cavour is an atmospheric wine village with wine tasting on offer in its UNESCO-recognised castle. Gastronomic capital, Alba, is easily reached from here (you may wish to take a taxi there, then walk back); explore the cobbled crimson squares and bustling porticoed streets. (Staying at Casa Pavesi, Breakfast at hotel, evening meal at local restaurant)|
|Day 4:||Day 4 Grinzane Cavour to Castiglione Falletto 12km/7.5mi/4hr. After a short transfer to panoramic hilltop Diano d'Alba you follow lush paths with hawks cruising overhead as you cross the Talloria River. Then it's a gentle climb through holm oak to reach Serralunga d'Alba, whose C13 castle seems to surge towards the sky - you still need to cross the drawbridge to visit it. A last gentle ascent through vines takes you to the centre of Castiglione Falletto and your welcoming village hotel. (Staying at Hotel Le Torri, Breakfast at hotel, evening meal at local restaurant)|
|Day 5:||Day 5 At Castiglione Falletto. Perhaps follow a circular route today (route notes provided), first visiting tiny Annunziata with its frescoed chapel (and an excellent farmhouse trattoria). Then it's on through sun-dappled hamlets and delicate swaying vines to reach La Morra, the 'Balcony of the Langhe', with plenty of wine-tasting opportunities in the bustling centre - even Julius Caesar stopped here to try some! (Staying at Hotel Le Torri, Breakfast at hotel, evening meal at local restaurant)|
|Day 6:||Day 6 Castiglione Falletto to Monforte d'Alba 8km/5mi/2hr or 11km/7mi/4hr. Descending gently to the Talloria Valley, you follow the stream's poplar-shaded path towards the ochre-hued C16 castle of Barolo, which stands guard over the village's world-famous vineyards. Maybe visit panoramic Novello, a belvedere town built as a summer retreat for the residents of Alba, before continuing through fields ablaze with colourful wild flowers to reach our elegant villa hotel at Monforte d'Alba. (Staying at Villa Beccaris, Breakfast at hotel, evening meal at local restaurant)|
|Day 7:||Day 7 At Monforte d'Alba. Situated in its own scented garden with views across mediaeval Monforte and beyond (even Mont Blanc on a clear day), Villa Beccaris offers a tempting swimming pool and a sun-trap courtyard. Alternatively, explore this pretty town with twisting streets clinging to the hillside. There are also plenty of opportunities for wine tasting. (Staying at Villa Beccaris, Breakfast at hotel, evening meal at local restaurant)|
|Day 8:||Day 8 Monforte d'Alba to Benevello 13km/8mi/5hr. Take a lift to lovely Serravalle Langhe, from where you join the Sentiero della Valle Tanaro. First, shaded by hazelnut, oak and poplar trees, you reach Albaretto della Torre dominated by its C13 Duecentesca tower. After lunch the panorama opens out with spectacular views back to Alba and the Tanaro Valley as you descend gently towards Benevello. There's time for one last swim before dinner. (Staying at Villa d'Amelia, Half Board)|
|Day 9:||Day 9 Leave Benevello. Please note that between the 2nd July and 8th July 2018 the Collisioni Festival will be held in the town of Barolo. The area will be busier and entrance fees (payable locally) may apply. Your holiday representative will provide further information locally.|
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Responsible Travel