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Regional Guide

On the Culture Trail 2

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 2 Nov 2018

In many ways our tours are much more than walking holidays in Europe.  Alongside the excellent hiking we delve into the culinary traditions of the areas we are walking, but we also work hard to include cultural highlights too and all our hikes have moments of special interest. Here we explore three more memorable experiences for our 2019 tours for culture seekers from around the globe.

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Hiking in Umbria

On the Culture Trail

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 16 Oct 2018

In many ways our tours are much more than walking holidays in Europe.  Alongside the excellent hiking we delve into the culinary traditions of the areas we are walking, but we also work hard to include cultural highlights too and all our hikes have moments of special interest. Our first three tours scheduled for next year are The Italian Lakes, Lucca, Volterra and the Island of Elba and Medieval Umbria.  Here we explore three memorable experiences on each of these tours for culture seekers from around the globe.

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Psychologies Magazine reviews Hedonistic Hiking

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 7 Sep 2018

Many of our UK guests will be familiar with Psychologies, a glossy monthly magazine which focuses on relationships, family, travel, wellness and general wellbeing. We were delighted to welcome one of their journalists, Claire Rawlinson, on our Jewels of Piedmont trip earlier this year, and you can read all about her experience in the October issue, on sale now.

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Hiking in Abruzzo - wild orchids

Italy's awesome orchids

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 14 Aug 2018

You might be forgiven for thinking that orchids are a luxury of the tropics, but they don’t just reside in exotic rainforests and your local garden centres!  Italy, and particularly Abruzzo, is home to some 50 species of orchid thriving in the lofty woodlands and meadows which cover this unique corner of Europe.

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Victoria's Stunning Ocean Walk

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 15 Mar 2018

We have specialised for over ten years now in tailor-made hikes for small private groups along the Great Ocean Walk, Australia's world-famous coastal trail from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles.

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The Secrets of Saluzzo

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 15 Nov 2017

At Hedonistic Hiking we like to get off the beaten tourists trails and explore hidden gems which are usually ignored by the majority of visitors. Saluzzo is just such a town and is the first stop on our Jewels of Piedmont tour. 

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Enchanting Lake Orta

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 22 Sep 2017

Right over on the Western edge of the Italian Lakes, where Lombardy meets Piedmont, lies the flawless and beautiful Lake Orta. Much smaller than its closest neighbour Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta is tranquil, restful and has a picture-perfect island in the centre, Isola San Giulio.

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The Franja Partisan Hospital

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 5 Jul 2017

One of the most memorable visits we make on our Slovenia and Friuli tour is to the clandestine Franja Partisan Hospital, buried deep within the Pasice gorge.

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Paestum - City of Temples

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 4 May 2017

Anyone spending a few days in Southern Italy might like to take some time to visit the impressive Greek temples at Paestum.  This remarkable archaeological area is a UNESCO World Heritage site and lies about a mile inland, on the Mediterranean side, south of Naples and the city of Salerno.

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Hiking in Southern Italy

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 9 Mar 2017

The southern part of the Italian peninsula, even in 2017, is much less visited by tourists than the north and remains mysterious and often misunderstood. But to ignore the south is to miss a genuine Italian experience and the warmest possible welcome from the people you will meet there. Hiking in regions like Abruzzo and Basilicata is like travelling through time and taking a step into life as it was lived a hundred years ago.

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A Look Around Rotonda

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 13 Dec 2016

Rotonda is a small medieval town located in the heart of the Pollino National Park in Basilicata, with a population of around 3,500 people. In 2017 a change to the accommodation on our Southern Italy tour means that we will have the chance to spend more time here than in previous years and to explore a few more of its important sites.

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The Villa d'Este in Tivoli

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 3 Nov 2016

The first stop on our Wilds of Abruzzo tour is Tivoli, just on the eastern side of Rome, and a visit to the world-famous Villa d'Este and its astounding gardens. A UNESCO world-heritage site, this former palace of Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este dating back to the 1500s remains today an incredible feat of engineering and a true "Garden of Marvels" which continues to thrill visitors in the 21st century.

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Piero della Francesca

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 30 Aug 2016

We have updated the itinerary for our Medieval Umbria tour in 2017 to include a guided visit to one of Italy's most famous fresco cycles, painted by Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca. The tour will now start and finish in the attractive town of Arezzo, home to the church of San Francesco which houses these celebrated artworks. Freya Middleton, who is an art historian, private guide in Florence and great friend to HH recently wrote this fascinating article for Italia! magazine on the subject of the frescoes and she has kindly agreed to share it with us.

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Bolzano's Famous Frozen Man

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 9 Aug 2016

On a sunny day in September 1991, two German hikers enjoying a walk in the Ötztal Alps, close to the border between Italy and Austria, made a discovery in the ice that would soon become a worldwide sensation.

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Les Routes du Sel

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 2 Jun 2016

Our brand new 2016 tour in France and Italy has got me thinking about salt!  This is because our route takes us along some of France's ancient salt roads from the Mediterranean over the Maritime Alps and into northern Italy.

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Italian UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 12 Mar 2016

Italy has the largest number of Unesco World Heritage sites of all countries in the world, just ahead of China, Spain and France.  Many of our hikes in Italy include visits to Unesco World Heritage sites, as we are as fascinated by the cultural heritage of Italy as we are by the landscape, food and wine.

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Pollino National Park

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 7 Feb 2016

The Pollino National Park is the largest in Italy and straddles both the regions of Basilicata and Calabria, in the instep of the foot of Italy. It covers around 1960 square kilometres and has the richest collection of flora and fauna in the whole of Southern Italy.

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The Via Francigena - Walking to Rome

Submitted by HedonisticHiking on 14 Dec 2015

This ancient pilgrim path is one of Europe's most famous routes dating back to the early Middle Ages - a trail which connected Canterbury in England, via France and Switzerland, to Rome and the Holy See.

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Hiking in France and Italy

Submitted by admin on 3 Nov 2015

Our brand new tour for next year explores two stunning National Parks which are home to a unique European cultural and natural heritage. On the French side is the Mercantour National Park and on the Italian side is the Maritime Alps National Park. There are some 100,000 hectares of protected natural environment which connect the Alps with the Mediterranean sea following the present day border between France and Italy.

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A Night at the Opera

Submitted by admin on 12 Jul 2015

I've just had the chance to be in Verona and see one of the world-famous opera productions in the Roman arena in the heart of the city. This is something to be recommended to any traveller to Italy who is visiting between mid June to early September as it is truly one of Italy's greatest spectacles.

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Giacomo Puccini

Submitted by admin on 2 Nov 2014

Giacomo Puccini, composer of some of the world's favourite operas, was born in the city of Lucca in 1858 and lived almost all of his life in this part of Tuscany.

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Milan Expo 2015

Submitted by admin on 10 Oct 2014

Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life

Following the Blog we posted back in October, (see below) we have now updated it with full information for pricing and ticketing, for anyone who plans to be in Milan this year between May and October and wants to be part of this huge event.  145 nations are taking part, of whom 54 have constructed their own pavilions which highlight issues of particular importance to them.

Open tickets for use on any day cost €39 per person

Fixed day tickets for adults cost €34 per person

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The Diary of a Hedonistic Hiker

Submitted by admin on 17 Sep 2014

In the summer of 2013 Gina Dark entered a competition through Italia!

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Palio Passion

Submitted by admin on 13 Aug 2014

Ten things you may not know about The Palio

If you've not yet joined one of our annual Palio tours in Siena every August your ideas about this horse race might be a little sketchy. As race day approaches (August 16) we thought you might like to discover more about one of Italy's greatest spectacles!

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Bear Essentials

Submitted by admin on 4 Jun 2014

The first tour of our Italian season took us to the wild landscape of Abruzzo, in the central Apennine region of Italy. Abruzzo is home to imagemany National Parks but the Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise itself is home to some very special residents.

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Exploring Elba

Submitted by admin on 7 May 2014

The island of Elba sits opposite the coast of Tuscany, about 20km from the town of Piombino, where the ferry leaves to connect the island to the mainland. It has a population of about 31,000 residents but is incredibly popular with visitors during the summer months who come to enjoy the secluded coves, azure waters and stunning views from the mountains to the Mediterranean sea.

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A Bonzer Brit!

Submitted by admin on 9 Apr 2014

Chris Bell is one of our most dedicated followers of Hedonistic Hiking tours in Italy but this year, for the first time, he flew to Australia and joined our hikes on the Great Ocean Walk and in the Victorian Alps. We asked him for his first impressions ....

We loved the way you incorporated two Hedonistic Hiking tours into a month of travelling exploring Victoria and Tasmania. Would you recommend this approach to other  travellers?

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Magical Mount Buffalo

Submitted by admin on 12 Nov 2013

Very close to our headquarters at Porepunkah in north east Victoria lies the magical Mount Buffalo National Park. It was one of the first National Parks in the region to be established in 1898 and today covers some 31,000 hectares, encompassing the entire granite plateau and the majority of the forested foothills below it.

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The Gulf of Poets

Submitted by admin on 21 Sep 2013

At the end of our tour of Parma, Tuscany and the Cinque Terre we arrive at the charming coastal town of Lerici which sits on the famous Gulf of Poets to the south of La Spezia.   Lerici is a gorgeous collection of tall terracotta and ochre houses, palm trees, piazzas and an imposing castle high above the port which bears witness to centuries of conflict between the great naval powers of Pisa and Genoa.  Today it houses a museum but the climb to the top is worth it

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Street Food

Submitted by admin on 17 Aug 2013

The Night Before The Palio

Last night we went with our Hedonistic Hiking group to witness the unique events of the evening before the famous Palio horse race in Siena.  The build up to the Palio is of equal importance to the race itself and by tradition all the different contrade (the 17 geographical regions of the city) host a dinner in their streets for all the members of their community plus one or two extra guests, in our case from Australia and England!

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A Look at Lombardy

Submitted by admin on 10 Jul 2013

Our Italian Lakes tour starts in the region of Lombardy in northern Italy. Whilst the Lakes and Italy's economic powerhouse Milanare perhaps best known to a global audience, the region is also home to some historic towns which are well worth a visit with free days before or after your walking tour. 

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A Taste of Paradise

Submitted by admin on 28 Mar 2013

The Gran Paradiso National Park, in the very north western corner of Italy, covers an area of 70,000 hectares and is Italy's oldest National Park. The region is dramatic, wild and beautiful and home to the Gran Paradiso peak, which gives the park its name, standing at 4,061 metres above sea level. From its summit you can see Mont Blanc, the Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn peaks.

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A Pom's Perspective

Submitted by admin on 17 Feb 2013

It's more than 20 years since I came to Australia as a student and back-packed up the east coast from Sydney to Cairns, so when Jackie and Mick invited me to come over and see Hedonistic Hiking from the Oz side I jumped at the chance. I've been working with HH for over 18 months in Europe and am very familiar with the Italian side of the business, so this was a great opportunity.   "Avagoyermug," I thought to myself!

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Christmas in Verona

Submitted by admin on 11 Dec 2012

For those of you who haven't met me, I work for Hedonistic Hiking as the UK Office and Marketing Manager and, last weekend, I was lucky enough to spend a couple of days in Verona soaking up some Christmas atmosphere!  The city looked wonderful with all its  decorations and lights and I have to admit to indulging in one or two of the local festive culinary specialties!

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The Gold Rush

Submitted by admin on 27 Nov 2012

The great Gold Rush of the 1850's was revolutionary in changing Victoria's social and political landscape and many of the most historically important mining towns such as BeechworthBright and Omeo can be visited whilst on our walking tours in the north-east part of the region. The history is fascinating and has helped to shape the area as we know it today.

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Wild Abruzzo

Submitted by admin on 6 Sep 2012

Abruzzo is arguably one of the regions of Italy least known to foreign visitors. In spite of lying just one hour driving time to the east of Rome, the area is unspoilt and tranquil, home to stunning Apennine peaks, silent valleys and ancient villages. It is a walker's paradise and offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in all of Italy.

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