From our location overlooking beautiful Lake Maggiore in the
picturesque town of Stresa, we explore this magnificent region of
Italy. Visit the Borromean Islands, taste the wines of Monferrato,
visit enchanting Lake Orta, and travel into Switzerland on the
scenic Centovalli Railway.
Excursion to Isola Bella
Excursion to Isola dei Pescatori
Excursion to the Monferrato vineyard with wine tasting
1 outbound overnight stay in Colmar, 7 nights at the 4-Star Grand Hotel Bristol in Stresa and 1 inbound overnight stay in Dijon
NEW Inclusive Luggage Transfer
Inclusive luggage transfers throughout 1x bag up to 25kg per hotel room (size and weight may vary)
To arrange for a second suitcase up to 25kg (size and weight may vary) - prices start from £65 per bag. Just let us know at time of booking.
Excursions & Entertainment
UK Tour Manager from start to finish
Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras
Food & Drinks
16 meals, including 9 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 6 dinners, including a farewell dinner in Stresa
Enjoy an authentic Italian Lunch at an 'agriturismo'
What’s not included
Cancellation & Travel Insurance is not included in the price of the tour but can be arranged
Day 1 - London to Colmar
Meet at our St Pancras Departure Office and board the Eurostar
to Paris, continuing to Colmar for the night.
Day 2 - To Stresa
Leaving Colmar, we journey through the beautiful Italian
countryside to the pretty town of Stresa, on the shores of Lake
Maggiore. Our base here for 7 nights is the 4-Star Grand Hotel
Bristol. One of the finest hotels in Stresa, the 4-Star Grand Hotel
Bristol enjoys a stunning location on the shores of the lake.
Day 3 - At leisure by Lake Maggiore
Today you have the chance to explore Stresa at your own pace. An
ideal way to get your bearings is to enjoy a walk along the
attractive, flower-filled promenade, lined with impressive villas
and neatly terraced gardens. You may wish 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.
Alternatively, perhaps travel by cable car from Stresa up Mount
Mottarone - the journey offers an amazing panorama, and on a clear
day, your views from the snow-dusted peak include seven lakes as
well as the Italian and Swiss Alps.
Day 4 - The Borromean Islands
Today we discover two of the beautiful Borromean Islands, set in
the shimmering waters of Lake Maggiore. We leave Stresa by boat and
cruise to the Isola Bella for a guided visit to the sumptuous
Borromeo Palace. The magnificent Baroque structure dominates the
island, and after a tour of its lavish rooms we explore the
alluring Italian-style gardens.
The spectacular gardens are on ten terraces and include an
open-air theatre with geometrically designed hedging, water-lilies
and citrus trees, the Azalea Garden and the 'Piano della Canfora',
which is named for the 150-year-old laurel tree growing there. In
the English garden, there are lotus flowers, whilst at the highest
point of the garden there is a great unicorn, the symbol of the
Our next stop is the tiny Isola dei Pescatori, a
permanently-inhabited island - by fewer than a hundred people - of
narrow cobbled alleyways and pretty buildings. It boasts a fine
selection of restaurants in which to enjoy lunch, with many menus
loyal to the island's rich fishing heritage. We enjoy an afternoon
exploring the charming island before cruising back to Stresa.
Day 5 - Market Day in Stresa
You have another opportunity to explore Stresa at your leisure.
Today the town is transformed for Market Day, and the bustling,
colourful stalls are well worth a visit. Should you wish to venture
further afield, why not visit vibrant Milan, the capital of
northern Italy? Perhaps visit the incredible Duomo - the largest
Gothic cathedral in the world, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, a
19th century glass-roofed shopping arcade, or Teatro alla Scala,
the beautiful opera house.
The stunning 2,800-seat opera theatre welcomed its premier
performance in August 1778, with Antonio Salieri's Europa
Riconosciuta, having been built to replace another theatre on the
site, which was lost to a fire. Designed by Giuseppe Piermarini,
the Teatro alla Scala is known for its sumptuous gilt and crimson
interiors, as well as a rich history as the home of opera and
ballet in Milan. For those feeling less energetic, you can make use
of the excellent facilities at the hotel for a thoroughly relaxing
Day 6 - Monferrato vineyards and a wine tasting
Our full-day excursion by coach takes us into the rolling
countryside of the Monferrato wine region, famous for its vineyards
stretching over hills interspersed with unspoilt villages.
Monferrato is particularly important in the sparkling wine
industry, and our day begins with a visit to a local wine producer
where we have a tour of the vineyards, followed by a tasting. We
continue to an 'agriturismo' farm and enjoy a four-course farmhouse
lunch of local specialities and a chance to sample some of the
delicious locally produced wine.
Day 7 - The Centovalli Railway
Today's full-day excursion takes us on one of Europe's most
scenic railways, the narrow-gauge Centovalli Railway, on an
excursion to Locarno in Switzerland. The line threads its way
across 'a hundred valleys' that give the railway its name, all the
while passing through outstanding scenery of idyllic landscapes. We
pass over deep ravines and gushing waterfalls, and alongside thick
forests and through sleepy villages during the journey.
On arrival in Locarno, you are free to have lunch and explore at
your leisure. As well as a picturesque Old Town, Locarno has
beautiful subtropical gardens filled with palm trees and exotic
flowers, lakeside promenades and great shopping under the arcades
of the Piazza Grande. Later we cruise back down Lake Maggiore to
Stresa - a splendid way to take in your surroundings on the
Day 8 - Lake Orta
After a leisurely morning, we set off for Lake Orta, 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
the delightful Orta San Giulio, the atmospheric town known as the
'Jewel of the Lake'.
Situated on a tiny promontory against the dramatic backdrop of
the Alps, this lovely town is truly a gem, with cobbled streets and
a piazza overlooking the lake's sparkling waters. We return in good
time for our dinner this evening.
Day 9 - To Dijon and home
We depart Stresa in the morning by trainto Dijon, where we
overnight. Tonight we enjoy our final dinner together in the hotel.
On Day 10 we return to London by rail.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature
the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown
Extend your holiday
Why not extend your holiday spending seven nights gently
cruising home from Basel on our exclusive 5-Star Rhine cruise, from
only £995 per person.
Please call for further information
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.
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.
Overall a good holiday but we felt that the food in Hotel Regina Palace was not up to the quality we would expect of a 4 star hotel
Mrs A Smith
Everything worked perfectly from the time we met Caroline our tour manager until we bade farewell after the super holiday
Yes, we really couldnt fault it.Our tour manager was excellent. On one of our free days we went to Milan on our own, wanted to see the interior of the Cathedral having seen it only from outside on a previous trip. Veronica gave us excellent advice as to the comings and goings and where to go for tickets etc, so it was a wonderful day for us.
Hotel was lovely and really no complaints at all.
The whole thing was well organised and as a bonus the weather was perfect too!
Marvellous train journeys. Beautiful hotel with first class staff. Enjoyable excursions by boat and coach and an excellent tour manager who we can't praise highly enough. Hotels in Paris and Colmar were very good too. We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday.
Mr P Irvine
Would have been excellent except we experienced an unplanned train change with limited time for us to transfer with luggage. Also we were not prepared for the step heights between trains and platforms.
Accommodation excellent, tours excellent, tour manager excellent
The holiday was located in a wonderful period hotel with a lake view (upgrade). The balance between free time and organised excursions was perfect.