Jackie and Mick Parsons at Hedonistic Hiking are passionate about three things in life: food, wine and walking.
They are an anglo-australian couple who have an unusual life-style, living half the year in Australia and the other half in Italy. They feel very lucky to be able to call both countries home.
They lead small-group gourmet hiking holidays in some of the most beautiful parts of Italy and over the borders into France, Slovenia and Austria. Their itineraries include Tuscany, Umbria, the Italian Lakes and Alps, Piedmont, Friuli, Abruzzo, Basilicata and the Dolomites. Some walks are more challenging than others, and this is often dictated by the landscape, but they have a clear grading system to help guests choose the right walk for them.
They select the accommodation for the tours based on charm, quality and authenticity, and always try to support small, family-run hotels which, over time, become great friends and partners to the company.
They hand-pick restaurants which showcase the best traditional and regional cooking and the groups eat together at night. Having hiked a good distance during the day guests can enjoy guilt-free indulgence in the evenings. What is more, every day the tour manager visits local markets for fresh produce for picnic lunches which are eaten alfresco, along with easy-drinking local wines.
The tours start and finish in major cities with good onward travel connections, and the groups are collected from airports and central train stations. Before setting off the walkers are sent comprehensive pre-trip information about equipment, clothing and tips on packing.
The tours are genuinely all-inclusive with the exception of the flight, with prices covering all accommodation, meals, wines, museum visits, cooking classes, wine tastings and time spent with cheese producers or truffle hunters. There is also a support vehicle always on hand so that guests can walk as much or as little as they please.
Jackie and Mick design, research and lead all the tours themselves and are supported by a small team of dedicated colleagues who help to make the holidays memorable and enjoyable. For more information visit the website at www.hedonistichiking.com.