|Departing||April - October 2013|
* Price shown: 08 Jun 2014 from Exeter - EXT
A wonderful 'lakes and mountains' holiday
Join us on the shores of one of the most beautiful of all the Italian lakes to experience the exotic, 'Mediterranean' ambience of Maggiore and explore its beautiful Borromean Isles. A range of fascinating optional excursions and a day in world-famous Zermatt promise to make this a spectacular holiday.
Single rooms are available for a supplement
Choose to stay in one of two of Maggiore's most enchanting resorts.
Stresa sits on Maggiore's western shoreline, on the enchanting Gulf of Borromeo, its lakefront promenade overlooking Isola Bella ('Beautiful Isle'). Sumptuous villas and hotels line the shore, while the piazzas and tree-lined squares are filled with the bustle of the cafes and shops. In the distance, the view is framed by the surrounding southern alps.
Charming Baveno lies a short distance from Stresa, facing Isola di Pescatori or 'Fisherman's Isle', another of the beautiful Borromean Islands. A market is held in the shadow of the 5th-century church, and the lakeshore promenade, with its landing stage for visitors arriving by lake steamers, is perfect for a leisurely stroll.
Fly to Italy, meet your tour manager and board the coach for the scenic transfer to Maggiore's shores and your chosen hotel. Dependent upon your time of arrival, perhaps take a stroll - a passegiatta - this evening.
Get to know your surroundings, this morning, before this afternoon's included boat trip to two of the beautiful Borromean Islands. Enjoy a guided tour of the ornate Borromeo Palace and Gardens on Isola Bella, and visit the smaller Isola di Pescatori - or 'Fishermen's Isle' - a favourite of Ernest Hemingway.
Today's included excursion is to the Swiss resort village of Zermatt, overlooked by the craggy pyramid of the Matterhorn. Journey via the Simplon Pass into Switzerland and the Alps, and perhaps take the twin-car train to the summit station of the Gornergrat Railway. Head out on a mountain trail, or simply take in the spectacular view, before enjoying lunch 'on top of the world' in the mountain restaurant.
Discover two more beautiful alpine lakes on today's optional excursion. Journey first to wooded Lake Como, backed by steep mountains and lined with elegant villas and glorious gardens. Head to delightful Tremezzo, on the lake's eastern shore, and visit the famed Villa Carlotta and gardens (entrance payable locally), before continuing to stylish Lugano on its namesake lake. Explore the pretty town before returning to Maggiore late this afternoon.
Relax in the resort, or join today's optional excursion to the Swiss resort of Locarno. Crossing the border by coach, we'll take the Cento Valli train from the alpine town of Dormodossola, through the breathtaking 'hundred valleys', to Maggiore's northernmost shore. Take in Locarno's vibrant atmosphere before travelling back along the lake to your hotel.
Today's half-day optional excursion is to the small lake of Orta, or 'Cinderella' to local inhabitants. Enjoy a guided visit to medieval Orta San Giulio - famous for its maze of narrow cobbled streets, ancient houses with wrought-iron balconies, and two stunning lakeside piazzas - and to the magical Isola San Giulio, a tiny medieval village.
Rest and relax on the shores of Maggiore today. Why not take a steamer to enjoy the view from the azure waters of the lake, or enjoy a visit to one of the many elegant villas that dot the shoreline?
Transfer to the airport today, and board your flight back to the UK.
The transfer time to Lake Maggiore from Genoa Airport is approximately two hours, and one hour from Milan Malpensa Airport.
We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
Guests on half-board arrangements will be served a three-course evening meal, and can expect a first course of traditional pasta or soup, a main meat or fish course accompanied by one or two types of vegetable, and a simple dessert of fruit, cake or Italian ice cream. Breakfasts will usually consist of bread rolls, jam, cereal, ham, cheese, fruit juice, tea and coffee. Menus will vary from hotel to hotel, but choice will be more limited than in a normal restaurant.
Since certain attractions visited offer free admission to visitors aged under 18 and over 65, we do not include entrance fees. These will be payable locally where applicable. This applies to excursions that are included in the price of your holiday and to excursions booked as optional extras.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair or electric scooter, please let us know as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Some regions of Italy have introduced a room tax of between 1 EURO and 3 EURO per person per night, payable directly by the guest to the hotel on check-out. You will be advised by your tour manager in resort if a particular hotel is implementing this charge.
An Airport Development Fee has been introduced at a few UK Airports. You will be required to pay this charge at the following airports prior to checking in for your flight: Blackpool, Durham Tees Valley, Newquay and Norwich. The amount varies from airport to airport, but it is generally between £5 and £10 per person. Please visit the airport's website for further information.