Highlights

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site wine region
  • Wine tastings in Barolo and Barbaresco
  • Hike in tranquil mountains along shepherds trails
  • Sample the outstanding regional cuisine
  • Stroll by the sea on the Riviera of Flowers

Follow the ancient Salt Road from the great winemaking areas of Barolo and Barbaresco to the sparkling coast of the Italian Riviera with this Wayfarers walking tour.

"La Via del Sale" means the Salt Road and this new Walk explores the ancient route once used to bring salt from the Ligurian Sea inland to Northern Italy in the days when salt was more precious than gold.

We follow La Via del Sale in reverse, starting in Piedmont with the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Langhe-Roero. After tasting the world-famous wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, we wend our way south through the Alta Langa to the Riviera dei Fiori (Riviera of Flowers) and the sparkling coast.

On the way we encounter a landscape of medieval castles, unspoiled historic villages and small Romanesque churches, taking the time to sample the special flavors of the outstanding regional cuisine, including truffles, artisan cheeses, sweet hazelnut cake and agnolotti ravioli.

Sunday Overnight: Hotel Villa Beccaris

Meet at Asti rail station, then drive to Monforte d'Alba, a fortified town overlooking vineyards, with distant views of the Alps. Welcome Drink and Dinner tonight.

Monday Overnight: Hotel Villa Beccaris

Today we explore the Barbaresco Hills, cultivated with Nebbiolo grapes, used in making prized Barbaresco wine. We start from Barbaresco's imposing 12th-century brick tower, and hike to Neive, a perfectly preserved hilltop village, and one of ˜i borghi pi belli d'Italia' (the most beautiful hamlets in Italy). We complete the day with a wine tasting.

Tuesday Overnight: Hotel Villa Beccaris

Spend the day exploring the hills of Langhe-Roero, walking from our hotel through a succession of gentle slopes planted with vines. Quaint farmhouses, picturesque villages and noble castles perch on every undulating fold and contour, making this one of Italy's prettiest landscapes.

Wednesday Overnight: Hotel Le Piemontesine

Driving south, we follow ancient roads to the small town of Torresina, where we walk along green paths following fast flowing streams through hazelnut woods. This wild and remote area is described by Beppe Fenoglio in his books about the Italian Resistance of World War II. Today, the mountains are mostly inhabited by shepherds. We taste the unique local cheese, handmade from the milk of the rare Langhe sheep.

Thursday Overnight: Hotel Punta Est

In the morning, drive to the Liguria coast, a journey that offers superb views of the countryside and the coast. The trip gives us a chance to admire how the landscape changes as we approach the Mediterranean. In the afternoon, hike from historic Finalborgo, to medieval Castello Gavone in Perti, then on to our inviting hotel by the sea.

Friday Overnight: Hotel Punta Est

We'll take time to explore the vivid ˜Riviera of Flowers' before driving to the Plateau Manie. This lovely area of high ground is home to a range of rare plants and wildlife, including the fragrant Italian bellflower. We return on foot, walking downhill with the Ligurian Sea shimmering in the distance until we reach the beach below. Farewell Dinner at our hotel.

Saturday

Transfer to Finale Ligure station where we say ˜arrivederci'. Looking for a longer walk? This trip pairs well with our Walk in Cinque Terre. Call for details.
Moderate
"The groups are really fun - witty, friendly and good company"
Terrain: Hill trails and tracks, some ascents and descents, gravel roads and stony paths. 7-8 miles per day

TRIP DETAILS

6 nights from
$4,695.00
per person, double occupancy
(Single Supplement $695.00)
Our Wayfarers friends' Price is $4,460.00

Dates

From Jun 3 to Jun 9 (more dates)
Request booking
Arrival: Asti Railway Station
Departure: Finale Ligure Railway Station

Activities

Walk Classic
Via del Sale June 2018 Map

Hotels - Where we stay

Hotel Villa Beccaris

Hotel Villa Beccaris

Located on the outskirts of Monforte d'Alba, Hotel Villa Beccaris is set in a lovingly restored 18th-century villa.

This luxury boutique hotel is a short walk from the center of Monforte, close to the famous amphitheater, and has lovely views over the village.

There are 23 guest rooms and suites and the ambiance of a private home is created with antiques throughout the bedrooms, oriental carpets, parquet floors and stenciled walls and ceilings. The rooms have en-suite bathrooms and are equipped with flat-screen satellite TVs, mini-bars and safes. The hotel stands in a spectacular shady garden, with a large gazebo and swimming pool.

A plentiful buffet breakfast of cheeses, salami, homemade cakes and croissants is served in the Auditorium Caf, which also serves as a comfortable bar in the evenings.

Hotel Le Piemontesine

Hotel Le Piemontesine

Le Piemontesine is set in the village of Costa San Luigi, in a tranquil green area outside Igliano. Built in the traditional style of the local architecture, this boutique hotel offers every modern convenience in its ten rooms and suites, with balconies offering views over the surrounding countryside to the Alps. Each room has free WiFi, satellite TV and minibar. The private bathroom includes a bath or shower, hairdryer and complimentary toiletries. In the restaurant, chef Jrme Migotto creates menus of tasty and innovative dishes, using local seasonal products and home grown vegetables, herbs and fruits. The breakfast room offers a panoramic view to start the day through the huge arched windows.

Hotel Punta Est

Hotel Punta Est

Perched on the hillside overlooking the beach, this 18th-century mansion and its associated new building are set among large gardens shaded with ancient pine trees, palms and exotic plants.

All rooms face the gardens and the sea and have air conditioning, safes, mini-bars, free WiFi and en-suite bathrooms.

The hotel has its own natural grotto, with hot tub. It also owns an adjacent olive grove, which provides home grown extra-virgin olive oil for the restaurant. The emphasis is on fresh, organic produce and there is also a kitchen garden where the chefs grow vegetables and herbs.

The large restaurant hall and sweeping outdoor terraces with panoramic views make an ideal setting for our Farewell Dinner.

Start planning your trip

What Is Included in the Price of My Vacation

  • Full-time services of two staff - a Walk Leader and Walk Manager
  • A backup vehicle for resting walkers and moving luggage
  • Comprehensive Travel Information Package and Reading List
  • Diverse itineraries with an emphasis on history, geography, culture, peoples, flora and fauna
  • Demonstrations, wine tasting, admissions to museums and historic sites
  • All ground transfers (ferries, cable cars, trains, etc.)
  • Maps and unique souvenirs to commemorate your trip
  • First-class accommodations with cultural and historical interest
  • All meals - with choices - (Special dietary requirements? No problem!)
  • Wine with dinner
  • On-trail snacks and refreshments
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants