So, you want to see the Langhe? I don’t blame you, after all it’s impossibly beautiful in every season. The only question is, how best to see it? Fortunately for you, I’ve put in the legwork (quite literally on this occasion) so that you don’t have to….
- Hot Air Balloon
Ok, so this isn’t necessarily a budget option, but sometimes it’s nice to spoil yourself, especially when it’s an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life…
It’s so exciting helping to prepare a balloon just before the sun comes up, the bursts of heat from the flame as the balloon fills and then finally the rush as you jump into the basket and start climbing upwards. Everything goes slowly in a balloon (except the landing, but we’ll come to that), which means it instantly relaxes you and because you move with the wind it doesn’t feel like you’re really moving at all. Fly at sunrise and you will get to see the early morning fog lifting as the Langhe hills wake up. Don’t forget take a camera!
And then there’s the landing. Erm… brace yourself. Bend your knees and you’ll be ok. Probably.
Check out Balloon Team for more details. And tell them we sent you!
2. Go up a tower
It can’t quite match the balloon for height, excitement or hard landings, but it’s a lot cheaper and you can still get an amazing view. The Torre di Barbaresco is my personal favourite, affording views over the town, the surrounding hills, the Tanaro river and all the way to Alba. Go during harvest and you’ll get an overhead view of tractors, loaded with grapes heading to the Produttori di Barbaresco cantina next door. Then wander back through town and taste some Barbaresco in the Cantina Comunale.
Click here for more details.
3. Get up early
I know this may seem obvious, but early morning really is the best time to see the Langhe… the light is soft, the roads are empty and you can really sense that the world is just starting to wake up. Find a nice place (let me know if you want in on some of my secret spots!), sit back and watch the world come to life. Then go and get a coffee. Ideally a doppio. You deserve it!
4. Take a bike
You could drive around the hills, you’ll see a lot and, quite honestly, be blown away by the views. Or you could walk. You won’t see as much but at least you’ll be able to get up close and personal with the vines. Or… you could take an electric bike, which offers the best of both worlds. In a day’s riding you can easily cover 40 to 50km without breaking a sweat. You can ride on roads and vineyard tracks and you get to see everything at just the right speed. You can pop into villages, through forests, nip in between the hazelnut trees, cut through the vines… and the best thing is you’re even getting a little bit of exercise while you do it, which means you’ll be able to feel good about that eight course tasting menu you’ve got your eye on for dinner!
Bikes cost 18 Euros for a half day or 30 Euros for a full day and come complete with gps routes and full support in case of problems. Check out BikeSquare for more details.
5. Drink some wine
Okay, you got me… I only had four. But then I thought about it a bit more and I realised the times I have been most blown away by the beauty of this area all have something in common; I’ve just been for a wine tasting! Honestly, there is nothing like an autumn wine tasting which finishes just as the sun is going down. You emerge from the warmth, no doubt a little rosy-cheeked (let’s put it like that…) you can see your breath in the air, the sun is dipping behind the hills and the vines, already a multitude of colours, start to glow orange. If that doesn’t get you you’re not only completely heartless, but a terrible drunk to boot!