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Best of the Italian Lakes

3.9 stars(16 reviews)
Small Group

Soak up the splendour of the Italian lakes

10 days From £1,995 £1,845 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: ILG23

About the tour

Soak up the splendour of the Italian lakes and surrounding Swiss mountains on a holiday filled with scenic beauty. Travel along the stunning route of the Centovalli Railway, relax by the sublime shores of lakes Orta, Maggiore, and Como - and visit Leonardo da Vinci's beautiful vineyard in the chic city of Milan.


What’s included


Day 1 – London and Turin

Meet in London St Pancras and take the Eurostar to Paris, continuing to Turin for the night.

  • Dinner
Day 2 – Lake Orta

Continuing to Orta San Giulio, besides Lake Orta, we check into our hotel for seven nights. Situated on a tiny promontory against a backdrop of the Alps, the town is a gem, with cobbled streets and a piazza overlooking the lake.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Lake Maggiore

Lake Maggiore and its villages have a Belle Epoque feel, which we're introduced to on a visit to the Borromean Islands. Starting at Stresa, we explore Isola Bella, home of the exquisite Borromeo Palace, where we enjoy a guided tour. Our next stop is tiny Isola dei Pescatori, a permanently inhabited island of narrow alleyways and pretty buildings. Later, we cruise to Stresa before returning to Orta San Giulio.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – Isola San Giulio

We visit Isola San Giulio, an island on Lake Orta with a peaceful woodland, 12th-century basilica and a convent home to an order of silent nuns. We take a stroll on the 'Walk of Silence', a scenic path created by the nuns that encircles the island and includes stopping points along the way to reflect. We return to Orta San Giulio by boat and sit down to a delicious lunch at a local restaurant.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5 – Milan

We venture to the ever-fashionable city of Milan, where a guided tour introduces us to the city's artistic, cultural and architectural heritage. Beginning at Casa degli Atellani, a 15th-century mansion house nestled in the heart of the city, we explore the grounds to find La Vigna di Leonardo, a vineyard gifted to Leonardo da Vinci when he was painting his iconic 'Last Supper' mural just steps away in the Santa Maria delle Grazie church. Enjoy some free time to discover Milan further before returning to our hotel.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Lake Como

Today takes us to another of Italy's best-loved lakes, Lake Como. Located in the foothills of the Alps, with fjord-like scenery, Lake Como is truly stunning. We transfer to Cadenabbia for a cruise to Menaggio, where the main square is the perfect place to enjoy a gelato and watch the world go by. You're free to explore before continuing to Bellagio, a peninsula town that juts out into the lake. Bellagio has magnificent views across the crystal blue waters and is one of the oldest tourist towns in Italy.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 – Centovalli Railway

We journey on the Centovalli Railway to Locarno, in Switzerland, winding across the 'hundred valleys' that gave the railway its name. In Locarno, you're free to explore. As well as a pretty Old Town, Locarno boasts subtropical gardens and a lakeside promenade. We cruise to Stresa afterwards for the return coach journey to our hotel.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 – Lake Orta

You're free by Lake Orta. Nicknamed 'La Cenerentola', or 'Cinderella', the lake is a somewhat overlooked, yet perhaps more beautiful sister to the better-known Italian lakes.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Lake Orta and Dijon

We bid farewell to Italy as we transfer to Stresa, continuing by rail to Dijon, where we spend the night.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 – London

We travel to Paris by rail, where we board the Eurostar to London St Pancras.

  • Breakfast

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.


Hotel Il Bocciolo, Orta San Giulio

Hotel Il Bocciolo, Orta San Giulio

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Centovalli Railway

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3.9 stars3.9 / 5 · 16 reviews

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

Dr. Colin Barber

3 stars

Submitted 18/Oct

Our Tour Manager was excellent. The tour itself involved much too much of bus journeys, often arriving late at the destination because of traffic jams. Consequently there wasn't time for the actual tour. The individual tour guides were not very interesting and on one occasion the guide for that day told us exactly the same boring stuff as we'd heard the day before. The destinations very crowded with tourists, as were the boats at Lake Maggiore and, particularly Lake Como. I guess I should not complain about the plethora of tourists as we ourselves were part of the The problem The hotel at Lake Orta was lovely, as was the lake itself and its surroundings. were the boats we were squeezed onto on Lake Maggiore and, particularly, Lake Como. The hotel at Lake Orta was lovely, as was the lake and its surroundings. I guess I should not complain about the excess of tourists - we ourselves were part of the problem.

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T Sutherland

4 stars

Submitted 17/Oct

Hotel Il Bocciolo on Lake Orta was let down by its menu; Lake Orta / San Giulio were very picturesque and all the excursions to Lake Como, Lake Maggiore & Milan were excellent.

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4 stars

Submitted 10/Oct

Italian lakes, magnificent. Hotel Bocciolo an insult.

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Val Fidler

4 stars

Submitted 8/Oct

We enjoyed the trip, it was great having a small group as we all got to know each other well. The tour manager Louise was fab too. The hotel food was disappointing as very small portion for dinner it get improve a bit later in the week after complaints. Location of hotel is not great for a free day as no local transport nearby can only walk into town about 30 mins away. Also slope up to hotel entrance. The days out were great though and scenery was fab

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Lesley Saunders

4 stars

Submitted 7/Oct

A superbly beautiful and well-organised holiday, with good hotels and an excellent tour guide. A chance to visit more art galleries, concerts, etc., would have added the fifth star as far as we were concerned!

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dorothy thompson

4 stars

Submitted 5/Oct

I cannot fault the organization of the trip or indeed our guide, HOWEVER, had I have known how strenuous the trip was going to be, I would not have chosen it. Too many early mornings and dashing about. It is not to be undertaken by the elderly or faint hearted. BUT the highlight was Turin, magnificent city. Thank you

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