Gastronomic Barolo Walk

From $2157 per person

****# Based on 44 customer reviews
  • 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

What's included?

  • 8 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs every two days from 11 May '16 to 14 Oct '16
  • All continental breakfast and gastronomic evening meals
  • Managed locally by Headwater employed representative
  • Sustainability rating: 80%
  • Headwater wine service
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers included

Excellent for...

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 walks are mainly through vineyards on earthen paths, forest trails and some asphalt sections. Walking boots are essential and poles are recommended for the ascents and descents through the vineyards which may be uneven underfoot.

Read press reviews of this holiday in Planet Confidential.

Day-by-day itinerary

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!

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.

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.

Day 4 - Grinzane Cavour to Castiglione Falletto 12km/7.5mi/4hri/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.

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!

Day 6 - Castiglione Falletto to Monforte d'Alba 8km/5mi/2hr or 11km/7mi/4hrr 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.

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.

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.

Day 9 - Leave Benevello

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

Relais Villa d’Amelia, Benevello   (4 star)

Relais Villa d’Amelia, Benevello

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.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Casa Pavesi, Grinzane Cavour   (4 star)

Casa Pavesi, Grinzane Cavour

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.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed

Hotel Le Torri, Castiglione Falletto   (3 Star)

Hotel Le Torri, Castiglione Falletto

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!



Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Safe

Villa Beccaris, Monforte d’Alba   (4 star)

Villa Beccaris, Monforte d’Alba

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.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning



Extra nights and stop over hotels

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Andreola Central Hotel, Milan   (4 star)

Andreola Central Hotel, Milan

The Andreola Hotel in Milan is ideally located for a stopover hotel. It is only 300m from the central station, from where shuttle buses run to Malpensa and Linate airports. The building is in the financial district - it is around a 20 minute walk into the renowned cathedral. The early 1900s building is more impressive inside than out - the marble columns, floors and gilt furniture in the lobby makes the interior very plush and elegant, and the 84 bedrooms are decorated with rich fabrics, paintings and marble en suite bathrooms.

Please contact us for prices.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Grand Hotel Sitea, Turin   (4*)

Elegant sitting rooms at the Grand Hotel Sitea, Turin

Boasting a prime location in Turin’s stunning centro storico, just a short walk from Piazza Castello, the Grand Hotel Sitea certainly lives up to its name, with its elegant entrance hall and opulent yet traditional sitting rooms. Bedrooms are similarly stylish, with marble ensuite bathrooms and all the comforts you’d expect from a 4* hotel.

The Hotel Sitea has been accommodating travellers for over 90 years and perfectly blends the modern with the traditional. Previous guests at the hotel include the musician, Louis Armstrong.

Unusually for a city centre hotel, the Sitea also benefits from a quiet garden – perfect for a relaxing drink after a day’s sightseeing.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Travel options

Transfers included from Turin airport at 16:00 Sun-Thurs, 13:45 Fri & Sat. Back to Turin airport at 13:00 Sun-Weds, 14:00 Thurs, 10:45 Fri & Sat.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email info@breakaway-adventures.com to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Mrs Liebster on 11/09/2016

*****
While this walk was quite challenging in places, partly because of the high temperatures in early September, it was thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying. It was very well planned and the gastronomic aspects were excellent and exceeded our expectations. This is a much under-rated part of Italy and very well worth exploring. The views, the wine and the food are outstanding.

Reviewed by Mrs Mercer on 26/08/2016

*****
Amazing food, a warm welcome and wonderful hill top towns and rolling scenery worthy of an Unesco designation.

Reviewed by Mr Andrews on 16/08/2016

***#.
This was our second holiday with Headwater. The first was a group walk about 7 years ago in Tuscany which was outstanding. The hotels, the reps and the food were just as good this time, but the walking was disappointing. The walks were very isolated and much of the time either through boring woodland which all looks the same or vineyards, which also all look the same. I am a teacher and therefore have to holiday during School holidays. Unfortunately we could not find group walks to suit during this period. One complaint is that in all the hotels we stayed at we were allocated the worst rooms in the hotel by any standards. In Villa Beccaris, for example, we were the nearest room to the tradesmen's entrance. At Hotel Le Torri there was no air conditioning so needed windows open all night. We were given a room facing the street and were woken up very early by traffic noise. No balcony either.

Reviewed by Mrs Shilton on 23/07/2016

*****
It is worth it! Take up all the advice provided by your reps and live a little!

Reviewed by Mrs Greenbank on 01/06/2016

*****
We had tried to book this particular holiday in previous years but the dates didn't work out. It was well worth the wait as it has to be one of our best Headwater holidays - and we've had quite a few. Piedmont is a wonderful place to visit, the walking was as expected - it's a hilly place! The hotels were all good and all had their own special elements. We enjoyed eating in different places each night- and what an excellent standard of food was on offer.

Reviewed by Mr Boyce on 29/05/2016

*****
Great holiday with truly excellent food and accommodation! You really should take the detour to Novello Junction on day 6.

Reviewed by Mr Christy on 26/05/2016

*****
Splendid trip - delightful area, some very well-selected places to stay and eat and excellent logistics from our two guides, who were great fun to be with. This holiday really delivered what was promised on the website and is a great way to explore the area.

Reviewed by Mr Banham on 22/09/2015

*****
We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday, albeit the weather was a little disappointing. The accommodation was excellent, and the food outstanding. We did not feel that the walking route instructions were as clear or as accurate as those on our 2 previous holidays with Headwater, but no harm done! Would definitely recommend to like minded friends.

Reviewed by Mr Frew on 16/08/2015

*****
Great Holiday. Some amazing Italian meals.

Reviewed by Mr Clare on 02/08/2015

*****
This was such a memorable holiday that we will always remember. The countryside is stunning and the walks allow you to take in some superb views of the hilltop villages and vines. Each hotel was excellent, with either amazing views at breakfast, or a welcoming pool or superb menus. The evening meals were an experience in themselves. We are not food buffs in any shape or form but I don't think we have ever eaten so well before in our lives. The walks can be challenging at times although in late July we were setting off with the temperature in the mid 20s which reached the mid to high 30s in the afternoon (take plenty of water bottles!). If you like walking, fine wine and superb food this is the holiday for you.

Reviewed by Mr Wood on 13/07/2015

*****
We like the freedom of walking independently with excellent meals at the end of the day and the convenience of the luggage being transported between hotels.

Reviewed by Mr Buckenham on 28/06/2015

*****
I seem to have ticked 'excellent' just about every question; the reason being that we have rated this holiday amongst the best FIVE we have done in the last 18 or so years. The description 'Gastronomic Walk' just does not do the holiday justice....'MICHELIN' should be added!

Reviewed by Mr Bryant on 18/06/2015

*****
Great holiday very much as described, good hotel, great food, nice walks.

Reviewed by Mrs McRill on 16/06/2015

*****
I have been travelling regularly with Headwater for many years. This holiday certainly came up to expectations and I can recommend it wholeheartedly, it was one of the best. Rachel and Peter (our reps) were extremely helpful, always positive and cheerful, a great bonus; the temperature was higher than we had expected for the first week in June, hovering around 30'C and we were able to shorten our walks thanks to their efforts. The hotels were very spacious and comfortable and the food and wine were excellent, truly a gastronomic feast, apart from one restaurant which didn't match the high standard set by the rest of this holiday. Overall this was a great holiday.

Reviewed by Mr Dunbar on 15/06/2015

*****
Good holiday which did exactly as stated. Good food, good wines and walks mainly through vines. Lovely area and villages.

Reviewed by Mr Mcleod on 15/06/2015

***#.
Accommodation etc extremely good. Hilltop villages attractive although deserted. The walking through vineyards does become a little repetitive, but last day walking through woods was more interesting.

Reviewed by Mr Bradburn on 07/06/2015

*****
Fabulous combination of hard exercise, exploration, good food and wine.

Reviewed by Mrs Owen-Jones on 01/06/2015

*****
Beautiful area for walking and excellent food and wine.

Reviewed by Mr MellowsFacer on 28/05/2015

*****
We all thoroughly enjoyed this well constructed, luxurious walking holiday. Piedmont is a stunning region with few tourists and the best food and wine we have ever tasted throughout Italy. The hotels, restaurants and walks selected exemplified the high quality of the area and overall was excellent value for money. Thank you so much to Pete and Rachel - they couldn't do enough to make sure our holiday went smoothly and were so enthusiastic and friendly.

Reviewed by Mr Hobbs on 24/05/2015

*****
The advertised holiday - gastronomic Barolo walk - sounded rather grand, but appealed as a special birthday present - a walk between nice restaurants in a pleasant part of the world with decent hotels in which to stay over. We were a little unsure about dress code and level of difficulty in the walks before we set off. Upon being met by our tour guides, Peter and Rachel, we were soon reassured that the holiday would be informal and enjoyable. Our first hotel - Villa d'Amelia - was absolutely fantastic in every way starting with the welcome by the reception staff, the standard of the room and the facilities (including an outdoor heated pool, sauna and steam rooms). The restaurant was on another level - a Michelin 1 star - that delivered great food with special service with an emphasis on the customer as star of the show. This standard set the bar high for the rest of the holiday and our next port of call, after our first walking day, was in Grinzane Cavour staying for 2 nights at an excellent bed and breakfast with outstanding views and eating within the castle at another Michelin standard restaurant (although not yet awarded the coveted star); service here was brilliant - the chef and his wife ran the show with the help of 2 more serving staff and a kitchen brigade. At the end of an exquisite tasting menu with paired wines, the chef introduced himself to each table. His wife was charm itself and chatted and responded to our questions and comments throughout the 2 meals in a very engaging manner. The rest of the holiday comprised 2 nights in Castiglione Falletto and 2 nights in Monforte d'Alba - both at excellent hotels in brilliant locations - and a final night returned to the Casa d'Ameila. Food could not generally compare with the first three nights, although the restaurant l'Argaj in Castiglione Falletto produced wonderful food in a setting looking out towards Barolo that would be hard to better. Overall this was a brilliant holiday. The walking was just enough to make one ready for another (!) fine dining experience but not enough to be physically draining. Staying 2 nights in 3 of the locations proved to be a great idea - preventing the need to pack everything up every day and allowing time to appreciate the locality as well as giving an option for a circular walk or resting on the second day. If you are reasonably fit and active and you like good wine and fine food then this would be a great holiday and my wife and I would thoroughly recommend it. Some of the walking instructions were ambiguous - resulting in a few additional miles being walked - and the terrain would be challenging underfoot in places if wet. We walked at the end of May and the heat on some days was strong; in July or August I can imagine walking being hard work and thirst inducing..

Reviewed by Mr Dent on 27/11/2014

*****
Excellent hotels with 4 evenings enjoying a la carte Michelin one star dinners. Great food and wine throughout. Map directions adrift on a couple of occasions but overall ok.

Reviewed by Mr Brock on 22/10/2014

***#.
Great holiday, brilliant walks, great food and superb way to increase your knowledge and taste of italian wines. Unfortunately the journey home (and originally before it was changed the outward journey) was a total pain. This left us both with a bad taste in our mouth and spoiled the overall holiday experience. When we were dragging our suitcases around Milan train station wandering where the airport was we were cursing Headwater. At this stage we had already been on the road for over 4 hours, 2 hours from hotel to Turin and 2 hours by train to Milan. When we eventually came across a coach that was going to Milan Malpaso Airport we had to fork out 20 Euros for another 1 hour 10 minute coach journey to the airport. Coach stops first at the terminal we dont want and everyone gets off. We dont speak Italian and have no idea whats going on, Luckily a helpful stranger told us to stay on coach. The irony of course is Headwater give you all these walking directions/cycling directions but leave you to guess your way home.

Reviewed by Mrs Cattaneo on 13/10/2014

*****
A beautiful place to visit and explore. The accommodation of a very good standard and in lovely locations. We did find the walks very interesting, challenging at times but about the right length, however we did use an app on a smart phone, which indicated we walked a few K further than the instructions stated. We also felt some of the walks did need to be re-done, especially the walk on day 4 from Diano D'Alba which we found very confusing to get out of and were told by the rep to take a different path at one point, which totally threw us off route, although we did find our way with the help of some locals.Although we understood why there was a walk on Day 7 back to Benevello, it was rather tedious. Our restaurant selection for the evening meals was on the whole very good, but we did find it difficult to find something we could eat at the Villa D'Amelia, mainly because of our own diet of not eating red meat. The Locanda del Centro in Castiglone Falletto was really not very good. Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable holiday.

Reviewed by Mrs Davies on 29/09/2014

*****
This Headwater holiday is definitely a cut above other European holidays that we have enjoyed with you. Villa d'Amelia and Villa Beccaris were exceptional in every way, and throughout we enjoyed excellent local cuisine and wines. We would happily do it all over again!

Reviewed by Mr Stanley on 25/09/2014

*****
good varied hotels, good walks with interesting details on the way. Excellent service when booking the holiday, yes we would certainly go with Headwater again.

Reviewed by Mrs Davies on 17/09/2014

***#.
Excellent area for a holiday

Reviewed by Mrs Wall on 10/09/2014

*****
This was an absolutely stunning holiday in every way. The hotels were all of a high standard and each was lovely in its own individual way. The restaurants were a nice treat after the day's walking and working up an appetite! There was stiff competition for our favourite restaurant and Il Castello and Villa D'Amelia had to share the prize for sheer wow factor! That said La Locanda del Centro was our favourite 'non-Michelin' restaurant. The waiter couldn't do enough to make us feel welcome, it had a lovely relaxed atmosphere and the food was really tasty. The route notes for each of the walks was spot on and went wrong once (our fault, not Headwater's!). We'd recommend the circular walk to La Morra. It's a pretty strenuous walk through the vineyards but the sense of achievement and the stunning views are definitely worth any aching calf muscles! Lastly, Marsha and Esme (the Headwater Reps) made our holiday what it was. They were always cheerful and full of tips for the places we were due to walk to. They were also on the end of a phone with any queries we had. Thanks for a brilliant holiday, Sarah & Mark Wall

Reviewed by Mrs Walker on 12/08/2014

*****
Headwater thinks of everything - right down to offering us a lovely cold bottle of water when we emerged from a long, hot journey to our pick up point. You select fabulous hotels in brilliant locations, which takes all the hard work out of planning a holiday. Taxis turn up when they're supposed to, hotels and restaurants are expecting us. You are wonderfully efficient. This was our sixth booking with you and we'll be back for more next year. Bravo, Headwater.

Reviewed by Mr Billing on 31/07/2014

*****
This was a wonderful holiday, full of small surprises and little luxuries. Each hotel was charmingly different. The food was spectacular, the people lovely, and the scenery green, beautiful and quiet. Thank you very much

Reviewed by Mr Prior on 13/07/2014

*****
Excellent comfortable friendly hotels with unforgettable views .

Reviewed by Mis Nicholls on 10/07/2014

*****
The holiday surpassed expectations in terms of location, food and hotels. All in all, excellent value for money!

Reviewed by Mrs O'Connor on 25/05/2014

*****
We both really enjoyed our Piedmont Holiday. All of the hotels we stayed at were very good, all quite different in character from one another which we liked. The Piedmont countryside is beautiful and the local people were so friendly. The walks were quite challenging, lots of hills, the steepest usually as you try to reach your hotel at the end of the day, but a great feeling when you do arrive. The distances quoted on the route notes were much shorter than those that registered on my pedometer, I think perhaps these should be reviewed. The local Headwater reps. Marsha and Esme were fantastic, very helpful, friendly and punctual. The meals in the evening were usually taken in local restaurants, our favourites Osteria dei Catari and Locanda del Centro, the more rustic of the bunch. Only negative for us was The Ristarante il Castello, beautiful building, shame about the atmosphere, formality taken to the limit, neither diners nor staff seemed to be having a good time. We were due to dine there twice, but decided to give the second visit a miss. Apart from that a brilliant holiday. Pat O'Connor

Reviewed by Mrs Reeves on 07/10/2013

*****
Excellent in every way and the food was amazing!

Reviewed by Mr Stern on 22/09/2013

*****
The comments on food above refer to breakfast only. Restaurant comments: Villa d'Amelia: First meal a little disappointing regarding service and food. Second much better in both respects. Just about worth a Michelin star. Il Castello: A little formal but excellent food. Worth a Michelin star. Le Torri: Really friendly, interesting well cooked food, a nice contrast to Il Castello. Two excellent evenings. Pity the owners are moving to La Morra. Osteria dei Catari: Nice people. Starters good but the 4 of us had 3 different main courses and all were poor. Osteria La Salita: Friendly service and an excellent dinner, better cooked and more interesting than dei Catari.

Reviewed by Mrs Brown on 22/09/2013

***#.
We (and others) felt that the 1st day of walking was merely pleasant - not up to the billing - but from our arrival at Casa Pavesi the holiday took off and justified the comment we had had that it was the jewel in your crown. It was, however, marred somewhat by the poor wording of the script walking guide, which caused all 4 couples to go wrong (independently of each other) at least once. Fortunately the map enabled recovery of the route.

Reviewed by Mr Mellish on 19/09/2013

*****
We used Headwater last year for the Alsace walking holiday. We were so impressed we booked for the Barolo Gastronomic walking holiday. We were not disappointed. All aspects of the holiday were well planned and we felt very well supported by Headwater's local representatives. Have already recommended Headwater to friends and we will definitely use them again.

Reviewed by Mrs Hoptroff on 14/09/2013

*****
This holiday was excellent. Marc and Marcia were very friendly and extremely helpful. Marcia ran through the instructions for each of the walks with us and pointed out areas where we needed to be extra careful so that we did not get lost. Marc always arrived exactly on time to pick us up in a morning to take us to the start of the day's walk. I have a number of food allergies and Marcia had contacted each of the restaurants where we ate our evening meals to advise them of my requirements. They were all fully aware before we arrived and the waiters were extremely helpful in ensuring that meals were suitable for me. The hotels, restaurants and food, and infact everything about this holiday was excellent and ran incredibly smoothly.

Reviewed by Mr Ballantyne on 13/09/2013

***#.
Lovely holiday but too hot in last week of August for walking. we aimed to be finished by late lunchtime to avoid the heat of the day.Which was not the aim. Would avoid the Nice transit as it is too long a wait in Nice for a train and the transit up country is tedious.

Reviewed by Mrs Brown on 02/09/2013

***#.
We challenged ourselves- walking every day even in August in Italy... Mostly, the hotels were a great reward for our efforts. We think we would do it again.. Maybe try the cycling.

Reviewed by Mr Fairweather on 14/08/2013

*****
The walking was tougher than I expected because of the above average temperatures (often around 95 F). The area is very picturesque and the route is well planned to give a feeling of doing the round of all the major Barolo producing villages, with good views from each of the hill towns. I was glad, however, that the last day's walk was a complete change from walking through vineyards. The standard of accommodation and food was excellent throughout the week, and represented superb value for money. I would have welcomed air conditioning in Hotel Le Torri rather than a cooling fan, but at other times of year it would have been fine. The cooking in all the restaurants was very good, particularly in Il Castelli at Grinzane Cavour and at Villa D'Amelia where we gladly paid the supplement for their superb full tasting menu on our final evening. I would have welcomed a change of restaurant on the second evening in Monforte D'Alba, not because there was anything wrong with the food but because the menu (the same each evening) was rather limited - especially the secundi. The local people were all very welcoming, and it is a trip that I would happily do again, but preferably in the autumn.

Reviewed by Mr Grant on 18/07/2013

*****
Outstanding cuisine, wines and service in all places. a very quiet region with friendly locals. Beautiful landscapes and a great way to eat lots and then burn the calories off in the walk. one of the very best holidays I have ever had.

Reviewed by Mrs Everson-Davis on 10/07/2013

*****
This is a really excellent choice for any guests wanting a truly gastronomic experience amongst wonderful countryside. We enjoyed the walking very much, although at first we wondered whether it might be challenging enough with alternate rest days. However, Headwater provided good suggestions on how to spend the available time and we were pleased that we had the time to explore more widely. Our days were all the more enjoyable for being able to look forward to some of the best cuisine which Italy has to offer anywhere. Headwater's has done well to enable guests to experience a range of Piedmont's restaurant cooking, from the world class to the more rustic, but all served to an extremely high standard. We were impressed too with the attentive support given by our local reps, Marc and Marsha, for whom nothing was too much trouble. As we self drove to Italy, we stayed in two Headwater arranged hotels en route, Hotel Normandie in Auxerre, and Hotel Alpina in Les Gets, both of which represented very good value for money.

Reviewed by Mr McCloud on 03/11/2012

*****
As you can tell from my ratings, my wife and I were extremely pleased with Headwater on all counts. We found the staff to be extremely responsive, particularly when there was a problem, such as with our late arrival in Cuneo due to the late flight and Italian trains. Also, we were unhappy with one of the restaurants, Moda, in Monforte, and again, the staff were very helpful in arranging an excellent alternative. Our local representative Nuno was wonderful - always on time, well informed, and very attentive. We were especially pleased - and a bit surprised, and the quality of the accommodations and food. The meals were just outstanding - thank goodness for the walks so we could keep our weight from ballooning. My wife and I are already looking forward to another walking tour and will definitely contact Headwater when we're ready to proceed. Many thanks for your great service. Jim McCloud

Reviewed by Ms Sheppard on 23/06/2012

*****
I loved it, it exceeded expectations, thanks.

From our postbag

In addition to comments received on our post-holiday questionnaires, we've also been sent the following comments from our satisfied customers.

Mr P Beale travelled to Piedmont in 2009

Dear Headwater,

Just dropping you a line to say our Italian Barolo Walk holiday was a great success.

We had a wonderful time walking through the vineyards and hazelnut groves. We hadn't bargained for such hot weather, but the scenery and towns and villages were spectacular.

The wonderful weather meant we were able to dine outside most evenings and look at the views or in the case of the Locanda Del Centro, dine outside in the village square. Speaking of which, on our last morning after breakfast there, we said how much we enjoyed the apple pastries to which Franscesca said that we should take the ones left over for our picnic that day, they were such friendly girls running the hotel.

Another highlight was the Tra Arte e Querce restaurant while staying at the Hotel Villa Beccaris. While enjoying a lovely meal, we were treated by the owner Ezio and his wife Clelia to an evening telling us all about truffle hunting.

The following night we were booked into Giardino da Felicin. Another fabulous meal. The wine waiter diligently checking that each bottle was fit to be served to customers by tasting the wine himself!!!!!!!!!!!

We had a mixture of luxury hotels and local family run ones all of which were lovely to stay at.

The rail journeys you arranged for us worked very well, the best part being the journey through French Alps, leaving Paris at 200 mph, then slowing to 40 mph gave us a chance to appreciate the scenery.

One last word, Keith and Claire, your reps were really kind and helpful, always on time to collect us and taking our luggage forward to the next hotel.

Many thanks

Mr and Mrs Beale

Departure dates & prices

May 2016 departuresTour only 
May 11$2157
May 13$2157
May 15$2157
May 17$2157
May 19$2157
May 21$2157
May 23$2157
May 25$2157
May 27$2157
May 29$2157
May 31$2157
June 2016 departuresTour only 
Jun 2$2190
Jun 4$2190
Jun 6$2190
Jun 8$2190
Jun 10$2190
Jun 12$2190
Jun 14$2190
Jun 16$2190
Jun 18$2190
Jun 20$2190
Jun 22$2190
Jun 24$2190
Jun 26$2190
Jun 28$2190
Jun 30$2190
July 2016 departuresTour only 
Jul 2$2290
Jul 4$2290
Jul 6$2290
Jul 8$2290
Jul 10$2290
Jul 12$2290
Jul 14$2290
Jul 16$2290
Jul 18$2290
Jul 20$2290
Jul 22$2290
Jul 24$2290
Jul 26$2290
Jul 28$2290
Jul 30$2290
August 2016 departuresTour only 
Aug 1$2290
Aug 3$2290
Aug 5$2290
Aug 7$2290
Aug 9$2290
Aug 11$2290
Aug 13$2290
Aug 15$2290
Aug 17$2290
Aug 19$2290
Aug 21$2290
Aug 23$2290
Aug 25$2290
Aug 27$2290
Aug 29$2290
Aug 31$2290
September 2016 departuresTour only 
Sep 2$2412
Sep 4$2412
Sep 6$2412
Sep 8$2412
Sep 10$2412
Sep 12$2412
Sep 14$2412
Sep 16$2412
Sep 18$2412
Sep 20$2412
Sep 22$2412
Sep 24$2412
Sep 26$2412
Sep 28$2412
Sep 30$2412
October 2016 departuresTour only 
Oct 2$2412
Oct 4$2412
Oct 6$2412
Oct 8$2412
Oct 10$2412
Oct 12$2412
Oct 14$2412

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided walking, hotel-to-hotel. Managed locally by Headwater employed rep.

Departures

every two days from 11 May '16 to 14 Oct '16, for 9 days (8 nights). This holiday departs every 2 days, however non-standard arrivals and altered itineraries may be possible - please call for prices.

Meals

All continental breakfast and gastronomic evening meals.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfers included from Turin airport at 16:00 Sun-Thurs, 13:45 Fri & Sat. Back to Turin airport at 13:00 Sun-Weds, 14:00 Thurs, 10:45 Fri & Sat.

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

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We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.

 

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  • Relaxed activity holidays since 1985

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