5 Destination Swaps for your Europe Fix in Victoria
Can’t get to Europe? No worries…we’ve got your covered with a few perfect swaps right here in Australia. With Lavender fields, a rugged coastline, cobbled laneways, Chef Hatted restaurants, boutique wineries and a renowned coffee culture, you can get your Europe fix in Victoria.
1) Swap Provence for Daylesford, VIC
The Provence region in France is well known for its luscious fields of lavender. The countryside is scattered with rows of vibrant purple flowers. Why not experience that same delightful scent and landscape in the Aussie backyard? And it’s just a couple of hours drive outside of Melbourne. The best time to visit is February or March, making the most of the Summertime bloom. Near Daylesford, visit Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm for a European feel. Explore the gardens, breathing in the fresh air and scent. Take a history tour of the farm and, when open, the original Swiss-Italian homestead. Finish with a meal in the trattoria, serving wood fired pizza and lavender champagne alfresco. A meal truly reminiscent of Europe.
2) Swap the Wineries of Piedmont & Tuscany for Victorian Wine Country
Missing the boutique wineries of Piedmont and Tuscany in Italy? The Yarra, King Valley and Macedon regions in Victoria are well known for wine varietals that are reminiscent of your favourite Italian wines. Nebbiolo is showcased well here and is the grape variety used in the famous Barolo and Barbaresco wines of Northern Italy. Arneis, a white wine and another Northern Italy varietal is produced in the King Valley region. Sangiovese, the famous grape of Tuscany is well grown in Victoria and is also the grape used for some wonderful Pinot Noir’s and Chianti’s. Similar to the Grand Wine Tour in Italy, Wine Tours Victoria can create specially tailored private tours and tastings of local wineries. You can even include your love of gourmet food or art to make it even more memorable.
3) Swap the Amalfi for The Great Ocean Road, VIC
Were you planning a trip to the enviable coastline of Southern Italy? Victoria has an amazing, panoramic coastline enjoyable by car or foot. Craggy hills and deserted beaches, along with wonderful wildlife will satisfy any nature lover, along the Great Ocean Road. Relax to the sound of the rolling waves at the famous Bells Beach or if you prefer, one of the many quieter beaches.
Explore the many villages, including Lorne and the Fisheries Co-op where you will find local fisherman selling their morning catch. Similar to the lemon farms in Amalfi, this coastline is surrounded by farms growing stone and citrus fruits, nuts, berries and seasonal vegetables. Why not visit the chef hatted restaurant Brae, for a fine dining local experience. Much like the Michelin starred restaurant Pan Flute at Villa Cimbrone Hotel in Ravello, this restaurant sources much of its food from its own farm and garden.
4) Swap European Cobblestoned Alleyways for Melbourne, VIC
European countries are famous for the laneways and alley’s that meander through many of their streets. Here you will fill alleyways lined with local shops and restaurants and are the life of the town squares and surrounds.
The city of Melbourne is also well known for its many alleys also, some of which are still cobblestoned. They too are lined with local shops, restaurants and art. The liveliness of these streets and alleys are synonymous with European culture. Check out the cobblestoned Hosier Lane and Central Lane for the beautiful arts of mural, graffiti and elaborate stencil work. Like the artwork in San Lorenzo, Rome or the Porto Antico area in Genoa, it catches your eye and your imagination.
5) Swap the Viennese Coffee Houses with the Coffee Culture of Melbourne, VIC
Viennese Coffee houses are famous for their wonderful cakes, pastries and local coffee. Many are a place of opulence with elegant waiters and interiors. A place to be social and people watch while enjoying a local melange and torte or strudel. Melbourne, Victoria has embraced the coffee culture too, with many offering delectable desserts to match. Whether you find a favourite café in the cobbled laneways or along the banks of the river, you are sure to be delighted by the calibre of this city’s coffee makers. Pair with a favourite pasty or similar dessert and get swept away in watching the city come to life.