'Wike' Your Way Through These Five Incredible Wine Regions
During the time at home when travel plans were put on hold, activities we would usually do while on vacation were being enjoyed within our own four walls, 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, travelers can start thinking about exploring the countries of their favorite wines. According to our research, 1 in 10 (9%)* of global travelers are likely to take a trip to explore a wine region this year. After travel being mainly 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 hiking, with 16%* of global travelers indicating they have plans to take a hiking trip this year. What better way to explore the beautiful vineyards the world has to offer than by foot and experience a new ‘wiking’ trend?
With a mission to make it for everyone to experience the world, we share five incredible wine countries based on traveler reviews** where travelers can get the best of both worlds of wine tasting and hiking for whenever it’s safe to travel again.
According to our travelers, 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, travelers should kick-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 enjoy calm and beautiful scenery, and enjoy 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 can enjoy local food at the on-site restaurant, join a wine tasting tour, or 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. With many winery tours and wine tasting being offered in this region, it’s not surprising that Sonoma is highly recommended for wine travel by Booking.com travelers. For travelers seeking for more adventure, the region also offers mountain biking tours and hot air balloon rides.
Where to stay: Cottage Inn & Spa is a cozy, romantic stay for a wine country getaway. This stunning inn is all about relaxation, perfect after a long day exploring the wine region by foot. Guests can enjoy great garden views when enjoying a glass of wine, or can choose a treatment at the onsite spa. With its central location, guests can easily walk to one of the many amazing dining options Sonoma has to offer.
Highly recommended by our travelers 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 travelers 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, travelers 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 travelers 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 travelers 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, travelers 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, travelers 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 - travelers 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 travelers who like to explore vineyards by foot. There is even a Coonawarra wineries walking trail, where travelers 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 travelers 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.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 47,728 respondents across 28 markets (1,997 from USA, 1,987 from Canada, 1,999 from Mexico, 2,003 from Colombia, 1,996 from Brazil, 2,002 from Argentina, 1,994 from Australia, 985 from New Zealand, 1,993 from Spain, 1,993 from Italy, 1,993 from France, 1,984 from UK, 1,989 from Germany, 1,977 from Netherlands, 983 from Denmark, 986 from Sweden, 998 from Croatia, 1,997 from Russia, 999 from Israel, 1,997 from India, 1,992 from China, 991 from Hong Kong, 1,991 from Thailand, 1,977 from Singapore, 998 from Taiwan, 953 from Vietnam, 1,990 from South Korea, 1,987 from Japan). In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have traveled at least once in the past 12 months and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place in November 2020.
**Based on endorsements for Wine Travel and Vineyards left on Booking.com as part of post-stay reviews