• Apine peaks and sparkling lakes
  • Elegant villas and gardens
  • Lake Orta, Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, and Lake Como
  • Travel by boat and cog railway
  • Walk on stony mountain paths (Hiking boots are recommended).

The spectacular Italian lake district, a 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 meet in Novara then transfer to our first hotel in Orta San Giulio. Welcome Dinner tonight.

Monday Overnight: Hotel San Rocco

Cross Lake Orta by private vaparetto, then hike up stone paths through ancient villages where time has stood still. We'll have lunch in a typical pizzeria, then cruise to the island of San Giulio for a visit before heading back to Orta. There's time to wander through Orta's charming streets and visit the always-blooming gardens of Villa Motta this afternoon.

Tuesday Overnight: Hotel La Palma

Hike from Monte Mottarone overlooking lovely Lake Maggiore. We'll walk as far as Monte Falo, then make our way down through a chestnut wood before lunch on a terrace overlooking the lake. In the afternoon, we have time to explore Stresa, a lovely old resort town, or cruise around the lake to visit the Borromean Islands of Isola dei Pescatori and Isola Bella, with a tour of the grand Palace.

Wednesday Overnight: Swiss Diamond Hotel

Leave Stresa and cross the border into Switzerland; we're heading to Lake Lugano. A funicular takes us way up to the top of Monte San Salvatore where we have lunch with incredible views over the lake and the mountains. We then walk to the botanical gardens of San Grato and down to our 5-star hotel on the lake.

Thursday Overnight: Hotel Royal Victoria

Cross the lake by private boat to Capolago, then take the cog railway up to Monte Generoso, with views across the Plain of Lombardy. We lunch at a mountain hut and descend to our hotel on the western shore of Lake Como.

Friday Overnight: Hotel Royal Victoria

Lake Como is so beautiful it is called the 'Looking Glass of Venus'. We'll stay to the shoreline, stopping at the 18th-century Villa Carlotta, to admire the villa's splendid garden and romantic sculptures. Then sail across the lake to dock on the jetty of a 14th-century inn for lunch. In the afternoon, choose to visit the peaceful and elaborate gardens of Villa Melzi or go shopping in the lively old town of Bellagio.


After breakfast, The Wayfarers provides a transfer to the Varenna-Esino rail station.
"It's really cool that you make friends and then seek each other out for future Walks"
Terrain: Waterside paths and alpine trails at up to 7,000 feet, some steep descents. 10 miles maximum walking per day. Walking boots with good ankle support are essential.


6 nights from
US $4,995.00
per person, double occupancy
(Single Supplement US $795.00)
Our Wayfarers friends' Price is US $4,745.00


From Sep 1 to Sep 7 (more dates)
Request booking
Arrival: Novara Rail Station
Departure: Varenna Rail Station or Milano Malpensa Airport
Italian Lakes September 2019 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 hotels chefs are passionate about producing the finest contemporary Italian cuisine using the freshest local ingredients.

Hotel Royal Victoria

Hotel Royal Victoria

The clue to the most illustrious guest of this hotel is in the name: In 1838 Queen Victoria herself stayed here. In the heart of beautiful Varenna and on the shores of Lake Como, once a spinning mill the hotel has retained its 19th century charm while providing all the modern comforts. Manicured gardens lead to a swimming pool and sun terrace, with access to a small shingle beach. The ferry to Bellagio departs from a dock just 550 yards away. The 43 bedrooms are each decorated with care and equipped with air conditioning, telephone, satellite TV, hairdryer, private bathroom, safe and minibar. Enjoy a variety of local, national and international cuisine in either the lakeside Gourmet Restaurant with its charming terrace, or in the relaxed atmosphere of the grill restaurant, watching the bustle of the town square.

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 cultural 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