Day-4-walking

Gastronomic Barolo Walk

from $3,349.00

Superb hotels, world-famous wines and exceptional cuisine are just some of the reasons to choose this 8-night walking holiday! The route takes you through softly rolling hills, sun-drenched hamlets and via the pretty wine towns of Barbaresco and Barolo.

  • Reviews 76 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Self-guided
  • Activity Level Moderate
    5/8
All about the Gastronomic Barolo Walk.

On this self-guided, hotel-to-hotel walking holiday, you’ll explore the beautifully tranquil Langhe region of Piedmont, a gastronomic gem quietly tucked into Italy’s north-western corner. Recently recognised by UNESCO, the countryside is a glorious mix of gently rippling, wave-shaped hills cloaked by layers of vines, sunflowers and oak forests, crowned with honey-hued hamlets and majestic Savoy castles.
Your route starts and ends in Benevello, nestling in the hazelnut-clad Alta Langa hills, from where you follow the limpid Tanaro River before climbing through a string of hamlets to Grinzane Cavour where you’ll enjoy gorgeous balcony views from the hotel terrace! It’s then on to Castiglione Falletto, dominated by its distinctive C11 castle. As you approach beautiful Monforte d’Alba, whose ochre-coloured houses seem to cling enchantingly to the hillside, you visit Barolo, home of the revered eponymous wine. Distances are reasonably short, leaving plenty of time to try the many regional specialities en route. This rich and fertile land produces some of Italy’s finest food and wine, from robust Barolo and sweet Moscato to aromatic white truffles (exclusive to Alba), crunchy hazelnuts and tangy cheeses.
This is all complemented by our carefully picked hotels, often with pools, and full of character and contrasts, from Serena’s friendly, family-run hotel in the centre of Castiglione Falletto, to a beautifully restored C19 family villa, complete with its own converted chapel and Michelin starred restaurant in Benevello.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 8 Nights Accommodations, hotel-to-hotel, in a mix of ***, **** and ***** hotels
  • All continental breakfast and gastronomic evening meals
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers
What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Arrival & departure transfers (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels (inquire for prices and details)
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Superb walking in truly undiscovered, yet highly sophisticated Italy
  • Imposing Savoy castles, tiny frescoed chapels, sun-drenched hamlets
  • Atmospheric wine villages and boundless vineyards
  • Luxury hotels; 4 out of 8 nights, with panoramic swimming pools
  • Excellent cuisine, prized white truffles, hazelnuts and chocolate!
  • World-famous wines including the ‘King of Wines’, Barolo
  1. 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)

  2. 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, dinner at a local restaurant)

  3. 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,dinner at a local restaurant)

  4. 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, dinner at a local restaurant)

  5. 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, dinner at a local restaurant)

  6. 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, dinner at a local restaurant)

  7. 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 and dinner at a local restaurant)

  8. 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)

  9. Day 9 Day 9 Leave Benevello
w08pd_map
Where you stay
Relais Villa d’Amelia
The Relais Villa d’Amelia is a luxuriously restored 19C family villa (and a member of the ‘Small Luxury Hotels of the World’), just outside the Alta Langa village of Benevello. The Villa d’Amelia has 37 ensuite rooms including three suites (one of which is located within the old chapel!) decorated in a modern style with neutral paints and dark leather and beech furnishings. The hotel also boasts a central courtyard with sofas and chairs for relaxing outside, and a stunning lounge area complete with a grand piano! Facilities at the hotel include a sauna, jacuzzi, Turkish bath, and lovely outdoor swimming pool.
Casa Pavesi
Casa Pavesi is located in the heart of the hamlet of Grinzane Cavour – located just 5km away from Alba – and directly opposite the village’s elegant 11C castle. The hotel is a stylishly restored town house with 12 ensuite, individually decorated rooms, which are quite large and opulent. There are two cosy public rooms with comfy sofas as well as a small bar in the same area. There is a lovely terrace to the rear of the hotel, affording gorgeous views of the Langhe countryside.
Hotel Le Torri
We are delighted to have found the charming Hotel Le Torri, situated in the heart of the village of Castiglione Falletto and run by the affable Marco and Serena. The hotel has been in Marco’s family for nearly 20 years – back then, Marco’s mum was in charge, and assisted by a very young Marco! In 2011 the hotel was given a major refurbishment, to become the modern and stylish accommodation it is today. It even has a small enoteca, where you can buy some of the local wines!
Villa Beccaris
Hotel Villa Beccaris is a gorgeous 18C villa overlooking the beautiful town of Monforte d’Alba. The Villa has 23 rooms, which are divided into categories; Headwater guests will be allocated classic rooms. All rooms, however, are beautifully furnished in an individual, traditional style often with antique furniture but with modern touches. The Villa is located within beautiful gardens and has a panoramic swimming pool which overlooks the honey-coloured town, surrounding countryside and mountains beyond. The hotel also boasts several elegant sitting rooms, its own enoteca and a very charming bar.
La Ribezza
As an alternative to Villa Beccaris, stays can be taken at la Ribezza. Just opened in 2018, la Ribezza is a stylish, modern boutique 5* hotel, located overlooking the Medieval town of Monforte with beautiful views of the surrounding hills and vineyards. Rooms are comfortable and elegantly styled in a mix of modern and classical design. Relax by the pool and enjoy the stunning views or soak up the ambience and the impeccable service in the exquisitely designed restaurant.
Relais Villa d’Amelia
The Relais Villa d’Amelia is a luxuriously restored 19C family villa (and a member of the ‘Small Luxury Hotels of the World’), just outside the Alta Langa village of Benevello. The Villa d’Amelia has 37 ensuite rooms including three suites (one of which is located within the old chapel!) decorated in a modern style with neutral paints and dark leather and beech furnishings. The hotel also boasts a central courtyard with sofas and chairs for relaxing outside, and a stunning lounge area complete with a grand piano! Facilities at the hotel include a sauna, jacuzzi, Turkish bath, and lovely outdoor swimming pool.
Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and gastronomic evening meals.

Italian food is one of the country’s most revered exports and Piedmont is a region that won’t disappoint gastronomes! The cuisine is a fusion of the best of Italian and French food. However, the region’s rural nature means that dishes are predominantly simple but use exceptional quality and flavoursome ingredients.

Piedmont’s wine is famous throughout the world, and justifiably so. The most famous are the wines of the Langhe, which produces Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto, Barbera as well as whites such as Asti and Moscato.

Activity level: Leisurely/Moderate

This is a self-guided tour, as such there will be no group or tour leader and you are free to complete the walks at your own pace. Please bear in mind that although this is a self-guided holiday, the atmosphere in the hotels tends to be quite social and they will sometimes place walkers together at breakfast and dinner. We have suggested that 8yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you.

Your route starts and ends in Benevello, nestling in the hazelnut-clad Alta Langa hills, from where you follow the limpid Tanaro River before climbing through a string of hamlets to Grinzane Cavour where you’ll enjoy gorgeous balcony views from the hotel terrace! It’s then on to Castiglione Falletto, dominated by its distinctive C11 castle. As you approach beautiful Monforte d’Alba, whose ochre-coloured houses seem to cling enchantingly to the hillside, you visit Barolo, home of the revered eponymous wine. Distances are reasonably short, leaving plenty of time to try the many regional specialties en route. This rich and fertile land produces some of Italy’s finest food and wine, from robust Barolo and sweet Moscato to aromatic white truffles (exclusive to Alba), crunchy hazelnuts and tangy cheeses.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 08/10/2019
5/5

Mrs Dolan

Having travelled with Headwater before, we knew what to expect, but this holiday didn't dissapoint. The hotels and restaurants were of a very high standard. We were lucky with the weather which really helped. It was dry and sunny most of the time but not too hot for walking. We on,y got lost once - this was on out first day and probably due to a farmer seeking to discourage use of paths across his land. The instructions for that day may need a quick review. There wasn't really a map to cover everywhere we walked, but we managed with the sketch maps provided and maps covering various parts of the area we walked in. We walked an average of about 7 miles a day and found places for a light lunch which is all we would want after the spreads provided for breakfast. A lovel holiday

Reviewed On 04/11/2019
5/5

Ms Jones

An excellent walking experience with fabulous food and wine offerings. We came home thoroughly relaxed from this week’s break.

Reviewed On 01/10/2019
5/5

Mr Mallett

The general standard of the walks, route notes and accommodation made this a very enjoyable holiday. We also used the supplementary guidance notes for things to do and these also proved helpful. The local reps kept us informed as necessary and ensured all arrangements were in order.

Reviewed On 30/09/2019
5/5

Mrs Hammond

An absolutely great walking holiday in truely beautiful part of Italy. Food and wine were fab except for the Michelin restaurant on our first night. The food was strange. We went there because the Michelin restaurant in our hotel was close on Monday nights. A shame as we ate in their bistro on our last night and it was very good. Our reps were excellent and friendly and not intrusive as this was a self guided walking holiday. There were some glitches with a couple of the walks but this was because a farmer had closed and lick a gate and another time the instructions weren’t clear at a confusing junction. However we got to our destinations easily despite some very steep incline to coast into the villages. It would have been helpful when booking to tell us what else there was to do on our days off as this was very limiting by the time we got there. Moving every two days was ok but we felt that at least one move was unnecessary as the walks were all quite close together. Over all an excellent holiday and we would use Headwater/ Exodus again

Reviewed On 26/09/2019
4/5

Mrs Black

We had an excellent walking holiday in Piedmont. The accommodation was very good. It was a gastronomic holiday. We would describe half of the meals as gastronomic but others were disappointing. The food in Villa d'Amelia, Benevello was wonderful. We were disappointed, however, with the food in Hotel le Torri, Castiglione Falletto although the local restaurant we ate at, 'L'argaj', was excellent. The local restaurants in Montforte d'Alba were 'rustic' rather than 'gastronomic'. The countryside is beautiful. We really enjoyed the walks even in the high temperatures. Had it rained some of the chalk footpaths would have been very difficult. The walking instructions were very good - there were only a couple of occasions were local farmers had altered the paths or field layout but we managed to work it out. The Headwater reps were fantastic. Although we didn't need to call on them (probably due to the excellent quality of the Headwater set up), we were very confident that they were looking after us ie moving our luggage and checking we were safe and happy. We would certainly consider travelling with Headwater again.

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