Wine + Hiking = ‘Wiking’: Hike your way through these 5 incredible wine countries
During the time at home when travel plans were put on hold, the activities we would usually do while on vacation were being done closer to home, including wildly popular virtual wine tasting sessions. But now that the harvest season is kicking off in the Northern Hemisphere, and the world is slowly opening up again, travellers can start thinking about exploring the countries of their favourite wines. According to Booking.com research, 1 in 10 (9%) of Canadian travellers are likely to take a trip to explore a wine region this year. After travel being largely on pause for over a year, Booking.com research also reveals that there’s an appetite to stretch those legs again and explore the world through hiking, with 16%* of Canadian travellers indicating they have plans to take a hiking trip this year. What better way to explore the many beautiful vineyards around the world than by foot through a new ‘wiking’ trend?
With a mission to make it for everyone to experience the world, Booking.com shares five incredible wine countries based on traveller reviews where you can experience the best of both wine tasting and hiking, whenever it’s safe to do so.
According to Booking.com travellers, Porto is the top recommended destination when it comes to wine travel. And that’s not surprising. This coastal city in northwestern Portugal is famous for its port wines, produced in the Douro Valley. This wine region, an UNESCO world heritage site, is one of the oldest wine regions across the globe and home to some of the best Portugese wines. To explore the area, travellers should toss on those hiking shoes and walk through the different vineyards by following one of the many hiking trails in the area. Hike your way up to the hills in the region and enjoy incredible views that will take your breath away while sipping on a glass of wine at one of the many wineries.
Where to stay: Wake up with vineyard views at Ventozelo Hotel & Quinta, situated in the middle of the Douro Valley. Just a two-hour drive from Porto, guests can take in calm and beautiful scenery while enjoying a glass of Portugal’s finest wines. The property features various buildings that respect their original structure and roots while the rooms offer modern design and architecture. Guests are offered local food at the on-site restaurant, a wine tasting tour, or a join a guided hiking tour through the surrounding area.
Sonoma, California, United States
Sonoma is a perfect place to visit for wine enthusiasts who want to take a ‘wike’. The Sonoma Valley is a world-class destination which nurtures hundreds of vineyards ranging from small family operations to large internationally renowned wineries, with many award-winning wineries originating from this California city. Numerous winery tours and wine tastings are offered in this region, making it no surprise that Sonoma is highly recommended for wine travel by Booking.com travellers. For those seeking more adventure, the region also offers mountain biking tours and hot air balloon rides.
Where to stay: Right next to the famous Napa Valley, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is the perfect retreat for someone who loves both wine and outdoor activity. The luxury inn offers an on-site, 18-hole championship golf course, a full-service spa, and a health club. This gorgeous, romantic inn is the perfect place to relax after a long day exploring the wine region by foot. Guests enjoy numerous on-site dining options, including a fine dining restaurant, a lounge bar with wines from over 50 local and international wineries, a bar, an outdoor poolside cafe, and a golf club grill with an outdoor patio and fireplace, and panoramic views of the golf course.
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is also a Proud Certified property where you can be extra sure of a welcoming stay. Booking.com has introduced a new Proud Hospitality program to support accommodation providers in delivering the most inclusive and welcoming experiences for LGBTQ+ travellers. Cities with multiple Proud Certified properties will be showcased on a designated Travel Proud page, where travellers can learn more about the initiative and find and book properties that are Proud Certified. The Proud Hospitality training session that the company has developed in partnership with HospitableMe helps accommodation providers become Proud Certified properties on Booking.com through online training.
Highly recommended by Booking.com travellers for its vineyards is Florence, the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region is home to many of Italy’s famous wines. The region is full of acres and acres of beautiful rolling vineyards which travellers can explore while ‘wiking’ various hiking routes that lead to one of the many wineries that offer wine tasting.
Where to stay: Just a short half hour drive from Florence, travellers can enjoy a traditional Tuscan stay at Salvadonica. This charming stonehouse farm stay is situated in the Chianti hills and is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. After a day of exploring the surrounding area filled with vineyards, guests can relax in the large garden, which encircles the swimming pool and overlooks the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside.
One of the top recommended destinations for vineyards by Booking.com travellers is Santiago, Chile’s capital city. With many wine regions in the surrounding area, including Maule Valley, a hugely significant wine-producing region for Chile that is responsible for much of the country’s export wine, it’s not surprising that travellers enjoy traveling to Santiago for its wines. And these surrounded wine regions are worth exploring by foot as it offers many ‘wiking’ options to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and explore the incredible vineyards Chile has to offer.
Where to stay: Located just outside of Santiago and inside of Santa Rita vineyard, travellers can stay at one of the oldest wine cellars of Chile, Hotel Casa Real. This luxury boutique hotel is a historical monument where wine takes the center stage. Guests can participate in wine tastings, organized upon request by the property, or enjoy a gourmet picnic in the property gardens. For guests who want to enjoy wine outside the property and who want to stay active during their stay, the property offers tours to the surrounding wine regions where guests can take a leisurely ‘wike’ through the different vineyards.
Located in Southern Australia, travellers will find the Coonawarra wine region, the ultimate destination for lovers of bold red wine. While the region isn’t that big – only 12 miles (20 kilometres) in length – travellers can easily spend a day tasting high quality wines around renowned wineries. And given that the region isn’t that big, it’s perfect for those travellers who like to explore vineyards by foot. There is even a Coonawarra wineries walking trail, where travellers can hike their way through 3 miles (5 kilometres) of vineyards and visit six different wineries from the region.
Where to stay: Located within the vineyards, Highbank Country Accommodation is a perfect place to stay for travellers into ‘wiking’. Guests will wake up in a true wine valley, and can enjoy lovely wine produced in the area while seated in the property garden for the ultimate countryside feeling. At the same time, guests can easily explore the surrounding area by foot and make incredible hikes through the acres of vineyards surrounding the property.