The best hiking and eating trips in Europe

In tribute to the Northern Hemisphere summer happening right now: my slow food and hiking guides to Europe, all in one place. I’ve said before, if I get 100 people to leave their comfort zone and get out of the city to move and eat real food in regional areas…well, I will die in peace knowing my job is done.

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Happy hiker in Sardinia, 2013.

1. My slow food and hiking guide to Sardinia #1. Sardinia is perfect for fans of the outdoors, especially anyone who likes a robust dose of uncertainty spiking their travel plans. It’s a wild, “rustic” island with a rugged history that very much determines both the feel of the place, the outlook of the people and various longevity factors such as diet and exercise.

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Meeting ponies at Su Recrue.

2. My slow food and hiking guide to Sardinia #2. In part two of my guide to Sardinia I explore the West Coast. I kinda liked it more over this side. It felt a bit more genuine and the towns were both less touristy and more alive. The food scene was a bit more robust, too.

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Icelandic skyr, avocado + coconut breakfast mousse!

3. My slow food guide to Iceland. Food in Iceland is seriously good. Delicate, revered, off-beat-nutritious. Surprised? Me too. In Iceland the Slow Food movement is loud and proud.

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Try not to laugh at my fetching hiking get-up.

4. My hiking guide to Iceland. When in Iceland, you must see the landscape. Hike, ice climb, frolic in a Fair-isle jumper on moss-covered lava fields (aka this picture) and just absorb the kookiness of the place.

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Sugar-free buffet breakfast heaven.

5. A slow food and biking guide to Copenhagen. The best overarching theme I can think of for visiting Copenhagen is the happiness factor. Indeed, the Danes are reputedly the happiest people on the planet. I loved being here wrapping my head around why this might be so, observing, asking questions of locals. The Nordic cuisine is incredible, too.

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The prettiest breakfast at Les Rosees.

6. My slow food and hiking guide to Provence. A splendid blend of comfort and rusticness and, as always, a focus on food and hiking, in a slow, considered “This is What Life Is Meant To Be About” way. Je mange, je marche. Je pense.

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The city of Rhonda, Andalucia.

7. My slow food and hiking guide to Andalucia. Andalucia is my absolute favourite region in Spain. It’s mad and wild and relatively poor and basic. But herein lies it’s beauty. Artists and hikers and foodies and conquerors and Kings and Queens have gravitated here. I can see why. You will too.

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Love the Brits observation #464468: they’re perfectly happy to have a public bush hike route pass through their front yard.

8. My slow hike in Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire, UK. During this trip, I took four days off in a mad-busy schedule to do a walk in the Southwest of England. Some careful planning – totally aided by the team at Foot Trails and my assistant Jo – saw me hike and eat my way along the most perfect little route, foodie village to foodie village around the Dorset-Somerset-Wilshire borders.

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My quiet room at Charlotte St hotel.

9. My slow food and paleo guide to London. Today, London is offering some of the most exciting sustainable eating I’ve seen anywhere in the world. I reckon this is in part due to the fact Brits are simply returning to their cooking roots. Traditional British food is inherently sound. Sunday roasts, offal, English breakfasts…it’s all very much in line with the way of eating I advocate.

Where will you be eating (and hiking) this summer?

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