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Stresa and Lake Maggiore

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3.9 stars(14 reviews)
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Small Group

Discover the stunning surroundings of Italy’s Lake Maggiore

10 days From £2,495 per person

2022 Tour code: STL22

About the tour

From the picturesque town of Stresa, overlooking beautiful Lake Maggiore, we explore this magnificent region of Italy. We visit the Borromean Islands where we enjoy an exclusive tour of Borromeo Palace, taste the wines of Monferrato, admire enchanting Lake Orta, and travel into Switzerland on the scenic Centovalli Railway.

Something Special Badge

Our Something Special collection features accommodation in 4 and 5-star hotels known for their scenic locations and excellent facilities.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – London and Colmar

We meet at London St Pancras and take the Eurostar to Paris, continuing to Colmar where we spend the night. Colmar is found in the Alsace, just on the French side of the border with Germany, and is a scenic place with half-timbered, colourful houses lining its cobbled lanes.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – Stresa

We continue our journey, travelling through beautiful Italian countryside on the way to pretty Stresa. Nestled on the shores of Lake Maggiore, the town is known for its sophisticated atmosphere and splendid location overlooking the lake's famous Borromean Islands, with their stunning palaces and ornamental gardens. We spend seven nights in Stresa.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Stresa

Spend a day getting to know wonderful Stresa at your own pace. You could take a stroll along the flower-filled promenade, soaking in the scenic views. Another option is to take a boat to the colourful botanical gardens of Villa Taranto and the Sanctuary of Santa Caterina del Sasso, nestled in a rocky overhang on the lake. Or, relax at your hotel. Located on Stresa's famous promenade, there's excellent views across the lake here, as well as beautiful gardens to spend time in and a large swimming pool.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 - The Borromean Islands

After a relaxed morning, we head out to discover the Borromean Islands by boat. We sail to Isola dei Pescatori, a tiny island that's inhabited by less than 100 people. There are some fine cafés here in which to enjoy a bite to eat, with menus loyal to the island's fishing heritage. We continue across the waters to Isola Bella for a private, out-of-hours visit to Borromeo Palace, the magnificent Baroque structure that dominates the island. After a tour of its lavish rooms, we see the exquisite gardens, which sit across ten terraces and include water-lilies and citrus trees. To round off our visit, we head onto the terrace overlooking the grounds, where we enjoy an aperitif as the sun sets across the lake.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Stresa

You have another opportunity to explore Stresa on your own, with a free day. The town is transformed for market day, and the bustling stalls are well worth a visit. Discover an incredible array of fresh produce from a range of local vendors, as well as clothing and gifts. If you'd like to venture further afield and explore more of the region, you could visit chic Milan, the fashion capital of Italy. Here, you could visit 'Teatro alla Scala' one of the most famous opera houses in the world, which is located in Milan's historic centre.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Monferrato

We journey into the rolling countryside of the Monferrato wine region. Monferrato is known for its wines, most famously Barbera del Monferrato DOC - a light and fresh red - and we're introduced to this viticulture as we visit a local wine producer. We tour the vineyards before a tasting of the excellent local wine. We continue to Cascina Moncucchetto, a local 'agriturismo' farm and restaurant. We sit down to a fantastic four-course lunch of local specialities, followed by the chance to sample more locally produced wine.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 - Centovalli Railway

We enjoy a trip on one of Europe's most scenic railways, the Centovalli Railway. Winding our way to Locarno in Switzerland, we travel through a 'hundred valleys' past wide gorges and rushing waterfalls. In Locarno, you're free to explore. As well as a quaint Old Town, Locarno has exotic gardens, lakeside promenades, and great shopping on the Piazza Grande. We cruise back down the length of the lake to Stresa.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Lake Orta

We set off for Lake Orta in the afternoon, Lake Maggiore's smaller but no less enchanting neighbour. We enjoy a private boat cruise to the stunning Isola San Giulio, a tiny island dominated by its impressive basilica, before returning to explore delightful Orta San Giulio, an atmospheric town known as the 'Jewel of the Lake'. Situated on a tiny promontory against the dramatic backdrop of the Alps, the town is truly a gem, with cobbled streets and a piazza overlooking the lake.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 – Dijon

We depart Stresa on Day 9 and take the train to Dijon, where we spend the night.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 – London

On Day 10 we return to London St Pancras by rail.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

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.

Hotel

Grand Hotel Bristol, Stresa

Grand Hotel Bristol, Stresa

View hotel

Trains

Centovalli Railway
Eurostar
TGV

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
Extending your European holiday in Paris
London Hotels
UK rail connections
Upgrade your room at the Grand Hotel Bristol

Reviews

3.9 stars3.9 / 5 · 14 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (5)
  2. 4 stars
    (5)
  3. 3 stars
    (3)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (1)

Richard Greenhill

5 stars

Submitted 6/Jun

Excellent in all respects and we were happy to be with the 17 other members of our group and our Tour Manager, Rob Parkyn.

Collected by Trustpilot

Iris

5 stars

Submitted 6/Jun

Great programme, very good hotels. Right group size. Shame about the Centovalli railway trip being cancelled. ,

Collected by Trustpilot

John N

3 stars

Submitted 6/Jun

The team Rob, Tim, Collette(?) Were above and beyond, great to talk to and V funny!!!. loved Colmar, Dijon and Stresa itself. The Grand Hotel I will NOT ever use again. Lots of issues with the room electricity. Some days we neither could turn on or off lights. Window shutters did not work and with a worn/ full of holes black our curtain we were awake at dawn EVERY morning. Very sad / old bathroom. Advised the front desk re electric issues and all I got was "shrugged" shoulders from the staff!!. Trying to get coffee in the morning my wife would ask for cappuccino + americano (myself). For two morning we got a pot of (horrible, I can only think instant) coffee with some hot milk on the side. (interestingly we noticed that other tables around us did not receive the same pots of coffee when they ordered the same as ourselves) Evening food was terrible. Very small menu, small portions. For a 5 star (if that's what they are) they could have done a lot better. I think after about 3 nights we ate in town for the rest of the holiday. Issues getting our luggage picked up by DHL outbound and us of today (Monday 6th June) NO repeat NO luggage returned and according to First Luggage no idea where in Europe it is........and.... according to DHL web site it should have been delivered back to us 30th May. Have had to make NUMERIOS telephone calls. Nobody seems at all bothered!!! So stressful!!!!!

Collected by Trustpilot

A Goddard

4 stars

Submitted 5/Jun

The trains worked well, the transfer in Paris did not as the coach did not turn up. The hotel in Stresa was below standard for a 4 star. The food was not good ever and no tissues in the bathroom or bedroom. The weather made up for problems and made the holiday enjoyable.

Collected by Trustpilot

customer

4 stars

Submitted 2/Jun

Excellent location n rail journeys were amazing.May is a good month to visit

Collected by Trustpilot

Mr Stuart Ritchie

3 stars

Submitted 1/Jun

Overall it was a "good" experience (but not "very good" or "excellent"). Travelling arrangements went very smoothly and we saw some very attractive areas of France and Italy. The three main reasons for evaluating the trip as no more than a three star experience are: 1. The quality of food (breakfast and dinner) in the Grand Hotel Bristol in Stresa throughout the week was very disappointing. 2. Throughout our visit, hotel staff prioritised the needs of visiting conference delegates over those of the Great Rail contingent: eg it was impossible for us to get served around the pool etc. 3. The allocation of 30 minutes to experience the city of Locarno was totally unsatisfactory.

Collected by Trustpilot

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Europe by Rail 2022

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