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Cathy Winston
Award-winning travel writer
Cathy Winston

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Hiking for foodies

Our verdict:

Exploring Italy, indulging in delicious food and wine, and a side helping of luxury is a winning combination. With walking routes to suit every level, it’s not surprising these guided group tours are popular with solo travellers, featuring culture and character-packed accommodation alongside the gourmet meals.

Recommended company: Hedonistic Hiking

Hedonistic Hiking says

If you enjoy walking with a touch of luxury and have a passion for food, our guided tours in Italy may be just what you are looking for.

  • small friendly groups
  • popular with over-40s
  • five difficulty ratings

We’ve been running our holidays since 2008 and we don’t use reps or agents – each seven or eight night trip is accompanied by one of our co-owners, Jackie and Mick Parsons.

It’s all about enjoying and learning about the local food and wine with some exhilarating hiking en route. Most trips are in Italy with several crossing over into neighbouring France, Austria and Slovenia.

Our groups have a maximum of 16 participants with a mix of solo travellers, couples and friends. They offer excellent value for solo holidaymakers and attract many whose partners don’t share the same interests – it’s the perfect way to enjoy fabulous hikes and foodie experiences with like-minded people.

Gourmet food and fine wines play a big part of the holiday. Lunch on most days is an al fresco picnic, rustled up with fresh regional ingredients, while restaurant dinners showcase the best local cuisine and wine. However, each tour is different – one may include a wine-tasting, another a visit to a cheese producer or a cookery lesson, and we also include cultural visits.

Our tours are graded 1 to 5, with level 5 being the most challenging. Whichever level you choose, your tour will take you right off-the-beaten track. The high level tours mean you can experience more challenging routes through the Alps and Dolomites, with the comfort of a guide and support vehicle.

For a slightly gentler option, you can explore three of the Italian Lakes (level 4), or join a mid-level tour to Piedmont, the little-known Mugello region in Northern Tuscany and, new for 2020, central Italy in the footsteps of the Etruscans.

On all our trips, we stay in some exceptional independently-owned hotels. For example, on our tours in Basilicata and the Abruzzo, we stay in the unique ‘alberghi diffusi’ where bedrooms are in restored village homes.

We charge a modest single supplement of between €275 – €350 per tour and all solo holidaymakers have their own en-suite double bedroom. We also arrange your airport transfers to ensure a completely hassle-free holiday.

Find out more about Hedonistic Hiking.

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