Highlights

  • Explore Apine peaks and lakeside paths
  • Cruise across Lake Orta by private boat
  • Travel by cog railway
  • Cross into Switzerland
  • Mingle in the fashionable streets of Stresa and Como

The spectacular Italian lake district, long-time favorite haunt of the rich and famous, is our home for this seven-day trip.

Walking alpine peaks and mountain trails, lakeside paths and flower-filled meadows, we discover a world beyond the society glamour, one filled with dainty plants, elegant Renaissance villas, marble cathedrals and vintage railways. We take a cruise across Lake Orta and admire San Giulio Island's Monastery. In the Lake Maggiore we explore the Borromean Islands and the Palace.

At Lugano we travel by private boat and cog railway to Monte Generoso, where we eat lunch in a rustic mountain hut before descending to Lake Como.

Sunday Overnight: Hotel San Rocco

We rendezvous in Novara for our transfer to Orta San Giulio. Novara is situated on the plain between the rivers Sesia and Ticino, which is the center of a large rice growing area. The historic center has a typically 19th century look with fine small palazzos built for the nobility side by side with older buildings such as the Battistero (Baptistry) and the Palazzo del Broletto.

Monday Overnight: Hotel San Rocco

We cross the Lake of Orta by private boat and then walk on stone paths, a good climb of 2000 feet with wonderful views of the lake, through ancient villages where time has stood still. We descend to have lunch in a typical pizzeria. In the afternoon, our private boat takes us to visit the island of San Giulio and then back to Orta where we wander through the charming little streets of the village to visit the famed gardens of Villa Motta where we also enjoy dinner. The historic 19th century villa provided shelter for the refugees of World War II and today its lakeside garden showcases glorious azaleas and camellias.

Tuesday Overnight: Hotel La Palma

We walk from Monte Mottarone up to Monte Falo and down to a picturesque village, where we stop for refreshment in a cozy inn. We walk down through a chestnut wood before taking a lift by minibus to lunch on a terrace overlooking the lake. In the afternoon, we can choose to walk around Stresa and enjoy some shopping or cruise the lake to visit the Borromean Islands of Isola Bella and Isola dei Pescatori, having a guided tour of The Palace.

Wednesday Overnight: Swiss Diamond Hotel

We leave Stresa by ferry and van to cross the border into Switzerland arriving in the area of Lake Lugano. A funicular takes us to the top of Monte San Salvatore where we have lunch in a restaurant with an incredible view over the lake and the mountains. We then walk on to the botanical gardens of San Grato and down to our lakeside hotel at Vico Morcote.

Thursday Overnight: Grand Hotel Victoria

We walk today on Monte Generoso, which we reach by private boat across the lake to Capolago and by cog railway, with views across the Plain of Lombardy and the peak of Monte Rosa. We lunch at a mountain hut and descend to Argegno and our hotel on the western shore of Lake Como. Note: Cograil can sometimes be canceled due to bad weather, alternative arrangement will be made.

Friday Overnight: Grand Hotel Victoria

We hike the shoreline of Lake Como known as the 'Looking Glass of Venus'. Stopping at the 18th-century Villa Carlotta, we admire the villa's splendid garden and romantic sculptures. We sail across the lake to dock straight on the jetty of a 14th- century inn for our lunch under a pergola. In the afternoon we have the choice of walking to the gardens of Villa Melzi or shopping in the old town of Bellagio.

Saturday

We take the ferry to Como and a walking tour of the bustling town at the head of its eponymous lake, with its marble cathedral, old quarter and shops specialising in the local silk, before saying 'arrivederci'.
Moderate-Energetic "It's really cool that you make friends and then seek each other out for future Walks"

TRIP DETAILS

6 nights from
$4,395.00
Per Person, Double Occupancy
(Single Supplement $655.00)
Our Wayfarers friends Price is $4,175.00

Dates

Request booking
Arrival: Novara Rail Station
Departure: Como Rail Station

Activities

Walk AdventureGarden VisitCastle VisitBoat RideWalk Classic
Italian Lakes Map

Hotels - Where we stay

Hotel San Rocco

Hotel San Rocco

A superior First Class hotel located on the fairy-like Lake Orta, the San Rocco was converted from a 17th century convent. The interior has a charming historic atmosphere. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and terrace, full service spa, piano bar and award winning restaurant. All rooms have a private bathroom, refrigerator/mini-bar, hair dryer, a safe for valuables, television, phone, and an extra phone jack for Internet access.
Hotel La Palma

Hotel La Palma

Hotel La Palma is surrounded by a large flowered garden, located in a quite and central position on 'Stresa' lakeside. Recently refurbished, all rooms have private bath with jacuzzi, shower, hair dryer, 2 telephones, radio, satellite TV, safe, mini-bar, air conditioning and terrace. Suites, Junior suites and connecting rooms available on request. The rooms, stylish restaurant, fitness room, swimming pool and private beach make this an ideal place to relax.
Swiss Diamond Hotel

Swiss Diamond Hotel

This exclusive hotel has a stunning position on the shore of Lake Lugano and is surrounded by majestic Alpine peaks. The hotel SPA offers a wide range of relaxing treatments and facilities include a large indoor pool, sauna, solarium, Turkish Bath, hammam and outdoor pool on the lakeside. Bedrooms are elegantly furnished featuring Persian carpets, Venetian crystals and refined paintings. They have every modern comfort including LCD TV, safety box, minibar, Wi-Fi internet connection and air conditioning. The luxurious ensuite bathroom includes shower, bidet and plush bathrobes. The hotel’s chefs are passionate about producing the finest contemporary Italian cuisine using the freshest local ingredients.
Grand Hotel Victoria

Grand Hotel Victoria

This hotel has been welcoming guests for more than hundred years. In its hey day, the great English, German and Russian families came down to stay followed by huge trunks, massive quantities of luggage and hat-boxes! The building greeted guests with its luxurious wide stair-cases and liberty-styled chandeliers with its rooms decorated with stucco works and golden decorations. Today the Grand Hotel Victoria still retains the atmosphere of a hundred years, thanks to shrewd renovation work, which is combined with modern facilities. A calm and refined environment coupled with the mild lake climate, the hotel provides sport activities including golf, water skiing, boat hire, a big swimming pool and, in the summer nights, a band sometimes plays in the restaurant garden to accompany a superb dinner.

Start planning your trip

What Is Included in the Price of My Vacation

  • Full-time services of two staff - a Walk Leader and Walk Manager
  • A backup vehicle for resting walkers and moving luggage
  • Comprehensive Travel Information Package and Reading List
  • Diverse itineraries with an emphasis on history, geography, culture, peoples, flora and fauna
  • Demonstrations, wine tasting, admissions to museums and historic sites
  • All ground transfers (ferries, cable cars, trains, etc.)
  • Maps and unique souvenirs to commemorate your trip
  • First-class accommodations with culural and historical interest
  • All meals - with choices - (Special dietary requirements? No problem!)
  • Wine with dinner
  • On-trail snacks and refreshments
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants