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Great rail journeys

Savour lakes and mountains perfection, and take one of the world’s great railway journeys to Switzerland’s most celebrated holiday hideaway.

Spend a week on the shores of Lake Como, the most picturesque of the Italian lakes. Enjoy its elegant villas and glorious gardens – which have inspired artists and writers for generations – and combine rest and relaxation with some wonderful excursions, including a journey on the spectacularly scenic Bernina Express to chic St Moritz, famous refuge of the well-heeled, and opportunities to discover stylish Milan and idyllic Lugano.

What does this price include?

  • Seven nights' dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation at your chosen hotel (upgrade hotels available)
  • Two boat trips on Lake Como
  • A ride on the Bernina Express
  • Entrance to the gardens of Villa del Balbianello
  • Return flights to Milan
  • Comfortable coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

  • Fly to Milan and transfer to Lake Como and your chosen hotel. Settle into your surroundings and enjoy your first dinner.

  • Today introduces you to Como’s most sparkling jewel, stunning Bellagio. Idyllically set on the peninsula that divide the lake’s two southern limbs, Bellagio is often described as the most beautiful town in Italy. Join your tour manager for the ferry crossing, then step ashore to discover this exquisite place, with its elegant villas and glorious gardens looking out over the lake and backed by wooded hills.

    After a short walking tour, you'll be free to enjoy Bellagio and its wondrous surroundings. Stroll along the lakefront promenade, take a seat in a café, or enjoy a delicious gelato before taking the ferry back across the lake in your own time.

  • Another relaxed day sees you take to the lake again to enjoy more of Como’s idyllic shoreline. Board a lake cruiser to sail past yet more elegant villas and their stunning gardens, and past some of the lake's highly favoured settlements. The day will include a visit to the gardens of Villa Balbianello, after which you'll be free to sit back and relax, enjoying the joys of cruising back to port under hopefully sunny skies on what is sure to be a memorable day.

  • Today you're free to relax in the hotel and its surroundings, or to join our optional excursion to the great city of Milan. One of Europe’s most exciting cities, Milan is not merely a centre of worldwide fashion; it is also home to some of the best collections of art and architecture in the world. The Sforzesco Castle, the famous shopping Galleria, La Scala – one of the world’s greatest opera houses – and the great cathedral, Il Duomo, one of its largest Gothic churches, are among the breath-taking sights brought to life on your guided tour. Afterwards you can head to the shops, visit a gallery or museum, or simply take a seat in a pavement café to watch the Milanese world go by.

  • Our last included excursion take you to St Moritz, the world-famous resort set high in Switzerland’s Upper Engadine Valley. Board the Bernina Express to travel from the Lombardy town of Tirano through Switzerland’s Italian-speaking southeast corner – across viaducts (including the famous spiral at Brusio) and over the 2,253-metre-high Bernina Pass – to St Moritz. The journey to this exclusive mountain town features some of the most stunning scenery found anywhere in this Alpine region.

    Enjoy window-shopping in this playground paradise, or perhaps take a stroll into the beautiful countryside beyond the town, before returning to Como and your hotel by coach.

  • Another free day brings opportunities to explore your surroundings or join today’s optional excursion to Lugano, one of Switzerland’s most stylish resorts, delightfully set on the shore of the little lake of the same name. Around the lake, pretty Swiss villages nestle amid luxuriant vegetation, and the shoreline is dotted with villas and summer homes. After a short sightseeing tour, explore under your own steam, or ride the funicular up Monte Bre for a breath-taking panoramic view of the lake and the nearby Alps, before returning to Como.

  • Join today’s optional excursion, which journeys to the twin city of Bergamo, built between the Lombardy Plain and the Alps. Here, modern Bassa, the Lower City with its neoclassical features, is watched over by idyllic, walled Alta, the Upper City. The city's stunning 14th-century citadel, ancient Piazza Vecchia (Old Square) with its beautiful Pallazo della Ragione, 15th-century bell tower, cathedral and elaborate Santa Maria Maggiore church are all breath-takingly glorious examples of Italian architecture. The city also boasts some carefully preserved Venetian walls, and a stroll along a section of these is a must for the energetic. Bergamo is also famed for its food, and boasts a host of reasonably priced cafes and osterie in which you can enjoy a delicious snack.

  • Bid "arrivederci" to your hosts, and transfer back to the airport to catch your flight home at the end of a wonderful stay in a beautiful corner of the world.

Prices

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Hotels

Hotel Lario, Mezzegra-Tremezzina

Offering an enchanting view of Como’s waters, this welcoming and comfortable three-star hotel is a short distance from the lake itself.

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Hotel Bazzoni, Tremezzo

This welcoming hotel, under new ownership since 2018, sits on the lakeside promenade, offering wonderful views from the newly refurbished public areas.

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Hotel Britannia Excelsior

With 284 rooms, this large, three-star, all-inclusive hotel is set in a former 19th-century inn right on Como's shore, and has a floating outdoor swimming pool that almost seems part of the lake (open seasonally). Hotel guests can visit Bellagio by boat during leisure time (boat ticket included from May-Oct. A limited winter timetable also runs - tickets payable locally).

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Further Information

  • The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour and 30 minutes from Milan Malpensa and two hours from Milan Bergamo.

  • 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.

  • 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, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.

  • Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.

  • Some regions of Italy have introduced a room tax of between 1€ and 3€ 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.

  • 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. In some instances, individual guests who have booked with the hotel independently may be offered a different menu from those who are staying at the hotel as part of a package tour.

  • Since some attractions visited offer free admission to visitors at certain times of year, 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.

  • Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.

  • 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.

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