The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday
BEST FOR… FOODIES
SAVOUR THE SOUTHERN ALPS, ITALY
Val Maira is Italian, but with a French accent – more accurately, the medieval Occitan dialect. Also ancient are traditions of cheesemaking and viticulture revealed on Wild Frontiers’ walking holiday in Piedmont’s Southern Alps. From truffle capital Alba, head west through the vineyards of the Langhe region around Barolo to hike the forest and ridge trails of the Val Maira, sampling local cheeses and honey while keeping eyes peeled for mischievous gnomes.
Wild Frontiers (020 3504 8652; wildfrontierstravel.com) offers a seven-day guided Walking & Wine in the Southern Alps itinerary from £2,155pp including accommodation, meals, transport and guides, but excluding flights; departs July 18 and Aug 22
EAT YOUR WAY AROUND ALTA BADIA, ITALY
In the upper reaches of the Val Badia, a mountain hut is less a rustic wooden cabin, more a gastronomic hothouse showcasing collaborations with Michelin-starred chefs. Add typical Ladin dishes – apple pancakes, steaming dumplings, crispy tutres (fried curdand-spinach pastries) – to fuel high-level hiking through Puez-Geisler National Park and a summit attempt on the peak of 8,743ft Sassongher on Macs Adventure’s self-guided holiday.
Macs Adventure (0141 530 5452; macsadventure.com) offers a seven-night Walking in the Dolomites of Alta Badia self-guided trip from £1,065pp including half-board accommodation, walk transfers and route notes, but excluding flights; departures July-Sept
SAMPLE SALZKAMMERGUT FLAVOURS, AUSTRIA
The clue is in the name: for centuries, the wealth of Austria’s lake district flowed from its “white gold”, and the region still has a flavour of its own. Today its riches are scenic, mountains reflected in Alpine lakes providing a spectacular backdrop to glorious hiking trails. And as Explore’s Salzkammergut walking holiday reveals, culinary delights abound still: apple strudel and bagels, lake trout and char, pine-cone schnapps and sinful Kaiserschmarrn – sugared, shredded pancake with fruit and cream.
Explore (01252 240 514; explore.co.uk) offers a seven-night Self-Guided Walking in Austria: Salzkammergut Lakes trip from £1,145pp including half-board accommodation, luggage transfers, route notes and map, but not flights; departures until Oct 18
INDULGE IN THE VAL D’AOSTA, ITALY
Regional gastronomy is the focus of Hedonistic Hiking’s Best of the Italian Alps tour – with every meal accompanied by excellent wines, of course. Touring through the Val D’Aosta between four-star hotels (each with a spa for crucial post-hike recuperation), explore the Mont Blanc, Gran Paradiso and Monte Rosa massifs on foot, fuelled by gourmet picnics, lunches in mountain refuges and superb dinners at a selection of handpicked restaurants. Hedonistic Hiking (01858 565148; hedonistichiking.com) offers an eight-night Best of the Italian Alps guided tour from £2,570pp including accommodation, activities, meals and wine, but not flights; departs June 29