Your journey begins today at London St Pancras International,
where you meet your group and Tour Manager at Great Rail Journeys'
dedicated Departure Office. We depart by Eurostar, enjoying a light
meal and drinks on board, before boarding the high-speed TGV in
Paris to the French town of Strasbourg, where we overnight. Later,
we enjoy our first dinner together as a group, dining in a local
restaurant in Strasbourg.
Please Note: For departures CML2003, CML2005 &
CML2006 you will overnight in Colmar
Day 1 - Eurostar Meal, Dinner
Day 2 - To Lake Como
Today, we complete our journey to Cadenabbia on Lake Como.
Traveling in First Class, we take the train to Basel. Here, we
change trains and continue on to Lugano, where we transfer to our
hotel, the 4-Star Grand Hotel Cadenabbia. We stay here for the next
seven nights. With a history dating back as far as the 1800s, the
Grand Hotel Cadenabbia enjoys a spectacular location in Cadenabbia
di Griante, overlooking the western shores of the sparkling lake
and close to the beautiful gardens of Villa Carlotta. After some
time to settle into our surroundings, we enjoy dinner together at
the hotel's restaurant this evening.
Day 3 - Bellagio
This morning, we set sail to the picturesque village of
Bellagio, a charming resort located at the tip of the peninsula
dividing the two 'legs' of the lake. The pretty old-world streets
wind away from the main square, Piazza San Giacomo, a bustling hive
of activity and the location of Basilica di San Giacomo, the town's
historic Romanesque church. You have some free time for lunch in
one of Bellagio's many delightful cafés and trattorias before our
return journey across the lake.
This afternoon, we visit historic Villa Carlotta, where our
entry is included. Built in the early 18th century for a Milanese
Count, this stunning building also once belonged to the Prussian
Monarchy. Villa Carlotta boasts magnificent gardens and some superb
artworks, including sculptures by Canova.
Day 4 - Villa Balbianello
Cross Lake Como by boat as we cruise down the western shores to
Lenno, passing vineyards and olive groves. Here, pay a visit to one
of the lakes most renowned villas, the breathtaking Villa
Balbianello. Perched on the a wooded peninsula overlooking the
shimmering waters of Lake Como, this enchanting 18th-century
mansion is a popular filming location, due to its elegant
architecture and splendid gardens.
Enjoy a guided tour followed by time to explore further, either
at the villa or in pretty Lenno, which is home to a number of
charming cafés, a pretty Baroque church and the Baptistery di San
Giovanni, which dates back to the 11th century.
Day 5 - The Bernina Express
Embark upon a fabulous excursion on the Bernina Express.
Traveling by coach, leave Lake Como and journey to Tirano, where
we board the Bernina Express. This incredible UNESCO World Heritage
railroad line is over 100 years old, and is recognized for the
fantastic feat of civil engineering that was required to create it,
as well as for the stunning scenery through which it travels.
Journeying in panoramic carriages, we make our way along the
line, climbing the dramatic Bernina Pass to more than 7,000 feet.
Admire the passing scenery; mighty glaciers, mountain streets and
flower-filled Alpine meadows all rush past our windows as we wind
towards chic St Moritz. On arrival, you have free time to explore
at your own pace. St Moritz is synonymous with glamour, attracting
many wealthy holidaymakers from all over the world, and is a
delight to discover.
Days 6-7 - To Bergamo
Enjoy a day at leisure today. Cadenabbia di Griante is one town,
split into two parts, with Cadenabbia sitting right on the
lakeside, and Griante located 50 metres above in the hills
overlooking Cadenabbia. Take some time to explore this beautiful
destination; perhaps enjoy a stroll along the lakeside, where you
can marvel at the breathtaking views across the waters, or catch a
boat for a scenic trip across the lake. Alternatively, spend a day
relaxing on the sun terrace or by the wonderful outdoor swimming
pool in the elegant surroundings of your hotel.
On Day 7, we board a coach to Bergamo.
Located in the foothills of the Alps, the town owes much of its
artistic inspiration and architectural splendour to the influence
of Venice, which ruled the town from the 15th to the 18th century.
On arrival, we visit the 'Città Alta', or 'upper town', for a
guided tour. Highlights of this delightful area include the Palazzo
Nuovo, Palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo della Ragione and the Torre del
Campanone. This afternoon, we continue to Valcalepio, where we
visit a local wine estate. Here, we are treated to a traditional
lunch, a tour of the cellars and a tasting of the wines of Lombardy
Day 6 - Breakfast
Day 7 - Breakfast, Lunch
Day 8 - Varenna and Menaggio
We set out by boat this morning and cruise to Varenna, a quaint
village on the opposite side of the lake. The cobbled streets and
narrow alleyways give Varenna a truly medieval feel. It has
remained unspoiled by tourism and has often been referred to as the
'Pearl of Lake Como'. As we approach across the lake, Varenna looks
like a colorful painting, with brightly painted houses and
charming buildings lining the shore and green mountains rising
behind. After some free time in Varenna, we continue to our next
destination, Menaggio. A stunning little town that epitomises the
charms of Italy, Menaggio is one of the most visited towns on Lake
Wander along the pretty lakeside promenade, perhaps enjoying
some ice cream from a local gelateria, or spend some time in the
quaint town square where you can relax with a coffee in a café and
indulge in a spot of people watching. This evening back in
Cadenabbia, we enjoy a final farewell meal together at our
Days 9-10 - Turin and London
Today we bid farewell to Cadenabbia and the sparkling shores of
Lake Como. Traveling by coach, we make our way to Milan. Here we
connect with our train to Turin, where we spend the final night in
a local hotel.
On Day 10 we journey home. Leaving
Turin, we travel to Paris, where we connect with the Eurostar back
to London. On arrival, our tour concludes.
For this tour, we recommend arriving to, and departing from,
London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport (LGW or LHR). London
Gatwick is approximately 30 miles from your start and end point,
and London Heathrow is approximately 19 miles from your start and
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport,
visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your
itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot
travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with
any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses
which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any
passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
You may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime
after 14:00; you will meet your tour
manager and group at dinner at approx 18:30.
A well organised tour led by a fantastic Tour Manager. The base hotel was excellent being on Lake Como shores, on the main route around the island and within a couple of minutes of the ferry stages. The day trips were well organised and the day trip on the Bernina Express a major highlight. Highly recommend this tour.
Submitted Sep 24, 2019
A GOOD VARIETY OF VISITS AND A PLEASANT PLACE TO STAY ON LAKE COMO.
Submitted Sep 24, 2019
It would have been five stars but it was our first experience of a group vacation and we weren't keen on waiting around for other members of the group and the constant head counts. Hotels, visits in general and the tour manager were good.
Mr G Moseley
Submitted Sep 24, 2019
great combination of travel, attractions. quiet days, accommodations
Mr D Niven
Submitted Jul 07, 2019
Great hotel with fabulous food.Excellent tour manager.
Submitted Jul 02, 2019
No fault of Great Rail, but the weather could have been better, and one of excursions was spoilt by a religious vacation which wasn't known about in advance, so many shops and even cafés were closed. Some of the coach journeys were quite long too.