This one’s got my attention. So much so that I would start training right now for next year, if I knew that they’d take me on as a journalist.

The Wayfarers is a tour company established in 1984, and they immerse guests in culturally rich regions of the world best experienced on foot. Expert tour guides lead participants along windy trails and through picturesque villages, introducing local experts who are eager to share more about the area’s culture and customs. Group size averages from eight to 10 participants. Wayfarers’ programs include all accommodations, meals and trail snacks, wine with dinner, entrance fees, guides, van transport for moving luggage and resting walkers, and taxes and gratuities at hotels and restaurants. The France tour is priced $3895 US/Cdn per person, double. A single supplement is available. The 2011 prices apply to all 2012 tours secured by deposit by December 31, 2011. All prices are guaranteed in U.S. dollars.

Sounds like an amazing time to me. After my traveling experiences with my friends at Enoforum Wines in Portugal, Europe has been calling to me, pulling at my heartstrings, begging me to return. With my European roots, I found myself oddly at home, thinking I could easily live in Europe, where the thinking is at a slower pace… Although, this walking tour is not at a slower pace. They talk about it being a Level Three walk. I looked that up, just to make sure, because I’m not a competitive athlete. I only compete against myself, pushing to be better all the time against gravity’s pull.

There’s a great site called Covenant Health, which explains how to train. I’m ready to get going…

“Fast walking is where you are keeping your feet moving quickly and arms swinging vigorously the majority of your walk.  You still walk heel to toe, but it’s almost like you are pushing your lead leg a little more forward with every heel strike. Like extending the hip forward with every stride slightly. Then you are pulling through, and pushing off from heel to toe.  The arms are still in 50-60% angle at the elbow but you need to really “concentrate” on driving your arms vigorously and keeping your shoulders down while pulling elbows back.”

The Wayfarers’ new France: Alsace tour combines a love for the outdoors with a passion for gastronomy. With a focus on local and sustainable cuisine, the week-long program offers guests a small-group walking vacation with a chance to engage with farmers and vintners while savoring regional specialties.

France: Alsace Tour – June 17-23, 2012; September 9-15, 2012

This new 7-day adventure introduces walkers to French foods and wines as they explore the best of Alsace, from its feudal castles and historic villages to its famous farms and lush vineyards. Starting in Strasbourg, the journey begins with a welcome dinner of Alsatian cuisine. Breathtaking views throughout the tour include the Alsace plain, the Rhine Valley and Germany’s Black Forest. The walk then makes its way to Alsace’s Wine Trail and stops at local vineyards where guests taste renowned Grands Crus including Pinot Gris, Tokay, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. Walkers become further skilled in the art of wine tasting in Bernardville and sample world-famous Munster cheese. A 12th-century church, castle ruins, and Riquewihr – a village famous for its medieval courtyards and historic houses – are among the historical highlights of this comprehensive cultural vacation. Challenge Rating: 3

Just having one finished on September 4-10, 2011, next year’s trips are scheduled for June 17-23, 2012 and September 9-15, 2012; Priced $3,895; $575 Single Supplement

About The Wayfarers

Named by National Geographic Traveler as purveyor of one of the “50 Tours of a Lifetime,” and by National Geographic Adventure as one of the “Best Hiking Companies,” The Wayfarers offers an eco-sensitive “walking” holiday of both culture and fitness in 15 countries with 39 itineraries and 76 departure dates. Walks cover South Africa, Northern Ireland, Slovakia, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Switzerland, Italy, France, New Zealand, Alaska, Maine and Southwest USA, and a barging/walk combination in Burgundy. Now in its 28th year, The Wayfarers offers exclusive entrées into homes and gardens otherwise closed to the public, graceful accommodations, outstanding cuisine, and meetings with local residents. Walks are from 6-13 days and are rated on a five-level challenge scale. The Wayfarers is also a member of Trusted Adventures, dedicated to the highest standards of small-group travel and to giving back to the places visited. Interested?




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