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Islands, gardens & delightful towns

Join us for a memorable holiday in one of Europe’s most romantic regions, where languid blue waters lap a verdant shoreline fringed by gentle rolling hills. Dotted with some truly elegant and serene resorts, the area lends itself perfectly to rest and relaxation, coupled with gentle exploration.

What does this price include?

  • Seven nights' bed and breakfast or half-board accommodation in your chosen Lake Maggiore hotel
  • Return flights from your chosen UK airport to Italy
  • Return airport-to-hotel transfers
  • The services of a friendly, experienced resort-based Manager

Your Itinerary

  • Explore beautiful Maggiore, Italy’s second largest lake, mountain-backed and famed for the beautiful gardens that line its shores. Board a water-taxi or steamer for the crossing to the idyllic Borromean Islands. Visit stunning Isola Bella, with its 17th-century Baroque palace and water gardens, charmingly picturesque Isola dei Pescatori, inhabited by a community of fishermen and a perfect stop for a lunch of lake fish. A perfect day is completed with a visit to Verbania, where the world-famous gardens of Villa Taranto, created by an ex-pat Scotsman, are even more stunning than those of the islands’.

  • Join our optional excursion to beautiful Lake Como and head into Lombardy to discover another one of Italy’s most picturesque regions. Enjoying visits to exquisite Bellagio and elegant Como Town before returning to your hotel.

  • Take an optional excursion to visit Alba and Castle Barolo. Enjoy a tour of Alba, with its historical centre and 100 towers, best known for being the gastronomic home of precious white truffles and dark chocolate. After a fascinating few hours, head further south, where the vineyards of Barolo produce the ‘king of Italian wines’. No visit to the area is complete without enjoying a tasting at the Castello di Barolo, an enoteca within the turreted walls of the ancient castle – the final highlight of an enjoyable day.

  • Choose to join an optional excursion to world-famous Swiss resort Zermatt, towered over by the craggy pyramid of the Matterhorn. Travel via the Simplon Pass into Switzerland, climbing high into the Alps, hoping for clear skies to catch your first sight of perhaps the world’s most photographed peak. Take the optional journey on the famous Gornergrat Railway as you head through alpine meadows to the summit station. From here, on a clear day, some 29 peaks – including of course the Matterhorn – and great glaciers form an unforgettable view. Head out on a mountain trail or simply take in the view before enjoying lunch in the mountain restaurant.

  • Join an optional excursion to the stately capital of Piedmont, Turin. The city sits nestled at the foot of the Alps and boasts a Baroque heart at glittering odds with its industrious reputation. Wander down Via Roma, with its ultra-chic stores, cross grand Piazza San Carlo with its elegant facades, and perhaps pause for coffee and a pastry in any number of ornate, traditional cafes. The curious might check the cathedral, where the Turin Shroud is kept under lock and key.

Prices

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Hotels

Hotel Boston, Stresa

This small, family-managed hotel stands about 500 metres from Stresa's busy jetty, from which ferries set out across the lake. You'll find several restaurants and bars within walking distance, and the hotel itself offers simple comforts and Italian elegance.

Hotel Primavera

The Primavera stands in the pedestrianised heart of Stresa, close to the lake.

SHG Hotel Villa Carlotta, Belgirate

Set in gardens overlooking the lake, and now under new management, the Villa Carlotta has been welcoming guests since the 19th Century.

Hotel Flora, Stresa

About 100 metres from the lake, and close to Stresa's cable car, this hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and a terrace.

Hotel Royal, Stresa

This friendly hotel is charming and elegant, has delightful outdoor areas, and is located just 100 metres from the lake.

Hotel Milan Speranza Au Lac

In the centre of Stresa, steps from the pedestrianised area and across the road from the shores of Lake Maggiore, Hotel Milan Speranza Hotel is composed of two adjacent buildings.

Further Information

  • The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour and 15 minutes from Milan Malpensa and two hours from 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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.

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