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Stresa and Lake Maggiore

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4.0 stars(33 reviews)
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Small Group

Discover the stunning surroundings of Italy’s Lake Maggiore

10 days From £2,495 £2,345 per person
Booking Offer

Save £150pp on your Europe 2023 holiday when you book between 16th November 2022 and midnight 12th December 2022, for departure dates between 1st April 2023 and 31st October 2023.

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2023 Tour code: STL23

About the tour

From the picturesque town of Stresa, overlooking beautiful Lake Maggiore, we visit the Borromean Islands, for an exclusive tour of the Borromeo Palace, taste the wines of Rovellotti, admire enchanting Lake Orta and travel into Switzerland on the scenic Centovalli Railway.

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, in the Alsace, is a picturesque town 0f colourful, half-timbered houses, cobbled lanes and flower-lined canals.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 – Stresa

We continue our journey, travelling through the Swiss Alps to Stresa. Proudly situated on the shores of Lake Maggiore, the town has a sophisticated atmosphere and overlooks the lake's famous Borromean Islands, with their stunning palaces and ornamental gardens.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Stresa

Spend a day getting to know 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, you have excellent views across the lake, beautiful gardens 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 fewer 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 visit to the Baroque Borromeo Palace. After a tour of its opulent and exquisite gardens, we enjoy an aperitif on the terrace overlooking the grounds, as the sun sets across the lake.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Stresa

With another free day you have another opportunity to explore Stresa at your own pace. On market day the town comes to life, with local vendors selling an array of fresh produce from a range of local vendors, as well as clothing and gifts. If you'd like to explore further afield, you could visit elegant Milan, the fashion capital of Italy. Besides the many high-end designer shops, you could also see the world-renowned Teatro alla Scala and Milan's beautiful Duomo.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Rovellotti and Monferrato

We visit the wine producing area of Rovellotti. We visit a local wine producer and take a tour the vineyards before a tasting of the excellent local wine. We continue to the town of Monferrato for a traditional lunch served at a local 'agriturismo' and restaurant. We sit down to a four-course feast of local specialities, followed by an opportunity 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 the Old Town - with its exotic gardens and lakeside promenades - or enjoy great shopping along its 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, Lake Maggiore's smaller but no less enchanting neighbour. We enjoy a private boat cruise to Isola San Giulio, a tiny island dominated by its impressive basilica, before returning to explore delightful Orta San Giulio - a delightful town known as the 'Jewel of the Lake'. Situated on a tiny promontory against a dramatic backdrop of the Alps, the town features cobbled streets and a piazza overlooking the lake.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 – Dijon

We depart Stresa, taking the train to Dijon, where we spend the night.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 – London

We return to London St Pancras by rail and our holiday comes to an end.

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

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Trains

Centovalli Railway
Eurostar
TGV

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
Extending your European holiday in Paris
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.0 stars4.0 / 5 · 33 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (12)
  2. 4 stars
    (11)
  3. 3 stars
    (9)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (1)

Jennifer Wotherspoon

5 stars

Submitted 3/Oct

A wonderful holiday, very efficiently organised and very amiable company

Collected by Trustpilot

Gordon Tuff

3 stars

Submitted 28/Sep

I have already completed your post holiday review.

Collected by Trustpilot

Entwistle

5 stars

Submitted 28/Sep

Well organised tour, in a small group. Knowledgable and enthusiastic tour manager.

Collected by Trustpilot

N Rogers-Davis

4 stars

Submitted 28/Sep

Lovely trip with very good and personable guide (Stella). Good hotel (Grand Hotel Bristol) with great view over lake - for which we booked at time of reservation and paid extra. Not rushed with plenty of free time to do what we wanted in Stresa such as going to other locations on Lake including Santa Catarina and Isola Madre - both excellent. Other hotels for one-night stopovers in Colmar and Dijon were good, with free time being available to spend a decent spell in the lovely old town of Dijon. However, our experience with sending out a case a week before our trip through First Luggage was a horrendous and extremely stressful experience - as it was for others in our group - and, for that reason, we would never go on another Great Rail Journeys holiday in Europe while they still use First Luggage. FL never replied to any of our communications, and we were unable to speak to anybody in the back office handling our luggage. Trying to complete their online forms was virtually impossible in view of their errors in coding. Until all info was inputted online, First Luggage would not issue labels for case.

Collected by Trustpilot

Howard Ferdinando

3 stars

Submitted 28/Sep

Good in parts, poor in other areas. The good: The booking (back in 2019) was efficient. Rearrangements (twice) because of COVID (and therefore cancelled trips) was carried out well. Indeed, at one point in the process, with the originally booked tour now no longer running, we were upgraded to a better tour for relatively little extra cost. The trip itself in September 2022 was good in parts – the weather was great, and travel on the continental trains was enjoyable. The main hotel was pretty good, the overnight stops less so, but still acceptable. The arranged tours were well planned. The poor: 1. The itinerary was sent a few days in advance, but clearly had not been checked. One day was duplicated, a second missed. Three attempts were made, and all were inaccurate, as was the itinerary on the app. Our Tour Manager distributed a finalised version, but here too there were errors. However, on the whole, the Tour Manager was excellent. 2. Our luggage failed to arrive at the destination hotel – we had followed instructions to the letter, but had to wait three days (nearly half way into our week at Stresa), causing stress plus time and money to buy emergency clothes etc. 3. The transfer at Paris on the way out went wrong. The transfer coach failed to turn up on time, and the connection was missed. Subsequent trains were fully booked, and we all had to kill 7 hours or so in Paris, eventually arriving at our overnight stop in Colmar after midnight. 4. The transfer at Paris on the return leg was for some unexplained reason on a shared coach with a large group from Rail Discoveries. However, we were just thankful that this time we completed the transfer in time to catch the scheduled train! In summary: For the money paid, the standards should be better. This was our first GRJ experience, and from the way we feel at present, probably the last. If only GRJ were to pay greater attention to detail, they could be so much better.

Collected by Trustpilot

Roderick Milne

3 stars

Submitted 28/Sep

The organisation and tour manager Stella were perfect but not the Hotel Bristol. Unhelpful staff old fashioned rooms with showers that were so small we couldn't get in it. Change you hotel for a modern one and it would be perfect

Collected by Trustpilot

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Stresa and Lake Maggiore

Discover the stunning surroundings of Italy’s Lake Maggiore

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