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Lake Como and The Bernina Express

3.9 stars(56 reviews)
Small Group

Soak up the beauty of dazzling Lake Como

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
10 days From £2,095 £1,995 per person
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2023 Tour code: CML23

About the tour

Soak up the beauty of dazzling Lake Como from idyllic Cadenabbia. On this spectacular escape we cruise sparkling waters, taking in lakeside villages and elegant villas, hunt for truffles in the hilly woodland surrounding the lake and experience one of Switzerland's greatest rail journeys - the iconic Bernina Express.


What’s included


Day 1 – London and Turin

We meet at London St Pancras and board the Eurostar to Paris. From the French capital, we continue by rail to the handsome city of Turin, where we spend the night. Turin is a wonderful place to discover, with elegant, tree-lined boulevards and a fantastic architectural heritage.

Please Note: For departure 12/05/2023 you will stay at the Mercure Chambery Centre hotel in Chambery.

  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – Lake Como

Turin is a wonderful place to discover, with elegant, tree-lined boulevards and a fantastic architectural heritage, which you have time to enjoy before we continue our journey by rail. Heading to Milan, we speed onwards to Lake Como, Italy's deepest lake and set amidst picturesque scenery where towering mountains fall steeply to the water's edge. For centuries, Lake Como has been a popular destination for Italians wishing to escape the cities, and as a result there are many historic and beautiful villas lining its shores. Our hotel here is the Grand Hotel Cadenabbia, where we spend the next seven nights on the shores of the scenic lake.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 – Lenno and Villa Balbianello

We cruise to Lenno, sailing past striking vineyards and olive groves. On arrival, we visit Villa Balbianello, a star of the silver screen, having been used in the Star Wars and James Bond films. Perched on a wooded peninsula, this striking 18th-century mansion boasts a sophisticated façade and beautiful terraced gardens. We explore on an insightful guided tour, followed by free time. You could either spend another hour or so at the villa or visit charming Lenno. The town is home to some irresistible cafés and the Baptistery di San Giovanni, which dates back to the 11th century.

  • Breakfast
Day 4 - Bellagio

Sailing to picturesque Bellagio, at the tip of the peninsula which divides the 'legs' of the lake, we head into the woods overlooking Lake Como to enjoy the centuries-old tradition of truffle hunting. Joined by a local chef and his specially trained dog, we search for truffles and other mushrooms before savouring an expertly prepared meal made using our findings. There's free time in Bellagio afterwards before our return journey across the lake. Perhaps wander the old-world streets that wind away from the main square, Piazza San Giacomo.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5 – Bernina Express

We embark upon an unforgettable journey on the Bernina Express. The incredible line is over 100 years old and is recognised by UNESCO for the feat of civil engineering used to create it, as well as the stunning scenery through which it travels. We journey in panoramic carriages, admiring idyllic flower-filled meadows as we wind toward St Moritz, where you have time to explore. St Moritz is one of Switzerland's most iconic resort towns and is synonymous with glamour; maybe window-shop at the luxury boutiques or relax with a coffee and watch the world go by.

  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Cadenabbia

Enjoy a free day in Cadenabbia di Griante. Split into two parts, with Cadenabbia right by the lake and Griante located a little higher in the hills above, why not visit nearby Villa Carlotta? Built in the 18th century and perched between the water and surrounding mountains, it boasts pretty gardens and artworks including sculptures by Canova. Or you could find a quaint café in which to unwind with some delicious Italian cuisine or a traditional coffee.

  • Breakfast
Day 7 – Bergamo

We take a coach to Bergamo, nestled in the foothills of the Alps, for a visit to the 'Città Alta', or 'upper town'. Here, we take a guided tour of the Renaissance buildings, encircled by 17th-century walls. In the afternoon, we continue to the DOC wine region of Valcalepio. Our destination is Gandosso, where we visit a local wine estate set in a beautiful rural spot surrounded by greenery. We're treated to a traditional lunch as well as an introduction to the local wine production, during which we tour the wine cellars ahead of a delicious tasting.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 8 - Varenna and Menaggio

Boarding a boat to Varenna, on the lake's eastern shores, enjoy free time to explore the quaint cobbled streets and jumble of narrow alleyways that bring to life the village's medieval history. Next, we continue to Menaggio, a stunning small town that epitomises the charms of Italy. Stroll along the pretty lakeside promenade, perhaps enjoying some ice cream from a local gelateria, or soak up the atmosphere in the timeless piazza before we return to Cadenabbia.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 – Chambéry

We leave Cadenabbia and Lake Como behind, transferring to Chambéry for an overnight stay.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 – London

We catch the train to Paris, where we join the Eurostar to London St Pancras.

  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Grand Hotel Cadenabbia, Cadenabbia di Griante

Grand Hotel Cadenabbia, Cadenabbia di Griante

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Bernina Express

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3.9 stars3.9 / 5 · 56 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

N Anderson

3 stars

Submitted 28 Oct 2022

Holiday content was good but too much time spent in coaches to reach some of the excursion destinations. This was preceded by early morning departures. Hotel food not up to the usual GRJ standards.

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Susan Atkins

4 stars

Submitted 16 Oct 2022

The Grand Hotel Cadenabbia is a delightful place to spend a lovely week, and the Lingotto Hotel is a very good and interesting stopover. However, because the long tedious waits for trains and coaches made the travel exhausting, plus long coach journeys on some excursions, I can't quite give it 5 stars. The Tour manager was brilliant and deserves 6 stars! The itinerary needs to be re-thought.

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3 stars

Submitted 12 Oct 2022

Mixed. Some good trips - Bernina Express excellent - but others involved far to much coach travelling, or were spoilt by erratic lake ferries. Excellent tour manager did his best. Station transfers in Paris poor.

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S Moorman

4 stars

Submitted 12 Oct 2022

Well organised tour

Collected by Trustpilot

Margaret Twilley

4 stars

Submitted 03 Oct 2022

Excellent tour manager. Wonderful scenery through the French and Italian Alps, especially the Bernina Express. Hotel at the resort was OK and the room allocated was adequate. No shower which could have been a problem if we were less agile for a couple in our mid 70's. Excursions were very good overall. Programme could have been less cramped.

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Laura Mercer

5 stars

Submitted 02 Oct 2022

Unforgettable holiday , stunning scenery around lake Como , Bernina express was the highlight of the week and the organisation and support of tour manager made the holiday complete

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