Genteel gardens, candy-colored villas, and farm-fresh cuisine make life on the lake a breeze.

Bellagio’s spires and pastel-colored houses recede as your ferry zips across Lake Como, backed by lush green slopes and distant Alpine peaks. Ahead, your destination: the Villa Carlotta, a riot of neoclassical white surrounded by exuberant botanical gardens. After a morning exploring the azaleas and camellias, you’ll stroll down the waterfront promenade to Lenno’s open-air market, where your guides will introduce you to good-natured vendors and supply you with fruit, bread, and locally smoked fish for a lakeside picnic. Could this Italian Lake District tour get any better? Certo! You’ve got another villa to visit. This afternoon, follow your guide along cypress-lined paths to the romantic ivy-draped terraces of Villa Balbianello. And if the glamour of elegant estates gets to be too much, enjoy the down-to-earth pleasures of lunch at a local family’s farm, savoring fresh fare from their garden.

Highlights

  • Envision famous British agents and Sci-Fi scoundrels as you tour the magnificent Villa Balbianello, the backdrop to Casino Royale and Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
  • Sample cheese and organic specialties during a private lunch hosted by a family-owned farm in Coiromonte
  • Wander through cobblestone streets lined with candy-colored villas in Bellagio
  • Marvel in the artistic collections and lush gardens of the Villa Carlotta royal estate
  • Take in the stunning 360-degree view of Italy’s scenic Piedmont wine region as you ascend the summit of Mount Mottarone by cable car
  • Cruise to the picturesque “Fisherman’s Island” by private motorboat to sample local wines and enjoy the pastel sunset
  • Explore the historic, religious memorial of Monte Sacro with over 20 fresco-filled chapels
On all Guided-Flex Adventures you can count on...
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Expert local guides to introduce you to the best of your destination.
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Opportunities to break away from the group and explore on your own.
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Delicious multi-course meals—a majority are included.
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A maximum of 20 fun-loving fellow travelers to share the journey.
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Gracious accommodations that are a clean, comfortable home away from home.
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Experts to handle all the details.
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Flight + Tour Combos include plane tickets, airport car service, and pre- and post-tour accommodations.

Itinerary

Fri, May 28 to Sun, Jun 6 - 2021

Show Itinerary:

Begin your adventure by departing from a convenient gateway city in the United States or Canada. Spend your first night aloft.

Upon arrival at Malpensa Airport in Milan, Italy, a representative holding a Country Walkers sign meets you as you exit the baggage claim area. Please note that there may be up to a 45-minute wait if there are other guests arriving within the same time frame. A complimentary small-group transfer will be provided to your Como hotel, approximately one hour away. If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please let our representative know by calling or sending a text message to +39 338 358 08 18. Our drivers are generally able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands, after which you would be responsible for your own transfer. You may also contact Allianz Global Assistance to advise of your delay and they will contact our transfer service.

Please note: If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 p.m., in which case you may store your luggage with the reception desk.

The remainder of the day is at your leisure (no meals included). Country Walkers provides you with City Information including recommendations on what to see and do in Como during your stay.

Accommodation: Albergo le Due Corti

Como city walk; 0.5 miles, easy. Bellagio to Pescallo and Villa Melzi; 2 miles, easy. Optional Bellagio; 1 mile, easy to moderate

Breakfast is included at your hotel. Your guide(s) meet you at 8:45 a.m. in the lobby of your Como hotel. Your guide(s) will be wearing a Country Walkers shirt. Please bring your luggage down to the lobby, check out, and be dressed for walking.

Your guide(s) will hold an orientation and safety briefing before embarking on your first walk, a stroll through the city center of Como to its harbor (approximately 0.5 miles / one kilometer). Here, you’ll board a boat bound for Bellagio, admiring the sumptuous private villas and small villages lining the shores of Lake Como throughout your two-hour cruise. The views of the surrounding mountains are magnificent.

Once in Bellagio, choose from among the many local restaurants for lunch on your own. After you check in to tonight’s accommodation, you’ll regroup for a walking tour of the town, known for its 12th-century basilica, cobblestone streets, and stone staircases. Your route follows the waterfront up to Punta Spartivento and ends at Villa Melzi. Built in 1808 to honor Napoleon, the villa is famous for its romantic English-style gardens, which welcome visitors each spring with a profusion of azaleas and rhododendrons. If you travel in the fall, you will see maples at full splendor, some winter camellias (sasanqua), and countless leaves changing colors.

This evening, gather for a welcome reception, followed by dinner at the hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel Du Lac, Bellagio
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Bellano to Vezio; 4 miles, easy to moderate. Optional independent Vezio to Varenna; .5 miles, easy

After breakfast, a short spin across the lake takes you to the nearby village of Bellano. Here you’ll cross a waterfall and the dramatic Pioverna river gorge before starting your walk along the Sentiero del Viandante, or “Wayfarer Trail.” A former mule path that connects the various towns and villages on Lake Como’s eastern shore, this trail was once the area’s only road. As you walk, you’ll pass through sleepy villages such as Regolo, and many chapels scattered along the way that confirm this path was once used as a pilgrimage way. Your walk ends in the fascinating medieval hamlet of Vezio, known for its ancient stone houses and 13th-century castle (that you will be able to visit).

Your lunch stop today is in an extraordinary place, the Crotto del Pepott. A crotto is a kind of rural tavern, but originally crotti were only natural caves formed within the remains of ancient landslides. The constant cold air current circulating inside the crottos made them ideal refrigerators for preserving foods like cheese, wines, and the local savory, salted beef, bresaola. You will be treated with delicious pizzoccheri, the trademark dish of the Valtellina valley and a popular meal in the mountains of northern Italy.

Early this afternoon, a short walk or shuttle takes you down to Varenna, where you’ll have most of the afternoon to relax or explore on your own. Your guides will arrange your ferry ticket, and you can choose what time you would like to ferry back to Bellagio and your hotel. Boats come and go frequently, and the ride takes just 10 minutes.

Dinner is on your own tonight. Bellagio offers several options, from gourmet restaurants to wine bars, pizzerias, and cozy trattorias.

The colorful lake village of Varenna with its bustling shops and cafés, and the historical town of Bellagio on picturesque Lake Como, are perfect for immersing yourself in local life as you discover the area’s relaxed vibe.

Accommodation: Hotel Du Lac, Bellagio
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Villa Carlotta to Lenno and Villa Balbianello Garden; 3 miles, easy. Optional Mezzegra to Lenno; 3 miles, easy to moderate

Early this morning, you’ll ferry to Lake Como’s opposite bank to discover Tremezzo and Villa Carlotta. The 17th-century villa is named after Charlotte, the daughter of Princess Marianne of Nassau, who purchased the property in the mid-1800s and presented it to Charlotte as a wedding gift. Charlotte’s botanist husband expanded the existing landscape, including an exotic corner laid out according to the dictates of English gardens. In spring, the villa’s grounds are bursting with more than 150 varieties of azaleas and rhododendrons. In April, you will see most of the camellias, magnolias, mimosas, wisterias, and some rhododendrons. In late May, enjoy the camellias, most rhododendrons, some magnolias, paulownias, dogwoods, and azaleas.

Inside the villa you’ll admire a collection of fine paintings, and on the grounds, you’ll find an impressive collection of Romantic sculptures.

After some time on your own to explore the gardens or sip an espresso in the villa’s café, you return to the lakeside promenade to walk an easy route to Mezzegra. Along the way, admire more elegant villas, scenic views of Bellagio on the opposite shore, and the glorious Alps. You’ll next set off to Lenno, where a visit to a weekly market provides a colorful snapshot of local life. You can choose to ferry to Lenno, or venture there on foot, walking an easy-to-moderate route out of Mezzegra with a stop at the church of San Abbondio.

Situated just a few feet above the lake Lenno offers sweeping views of the area. After lunch on your own, follow your guides into the gardens of Villa del Balbianello, located on a steep promontory overlooking Lake Como. The villa was the setting for famous movies such as Casino Royale and Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.

You will visit the villa interiors with a local guide. Presenting a different type of Villa, this was the house of a wealthy, local entrepreneur and explorer between 1974 and 1988, Guido Monzino. The rooms include art collections and unusual memorabilia of his international expeditions, as well as Italian furniture from the eighties.

Later, you’ll shuttle to Stresa on the shores of Lake Maggiore and settle into your next hotel. Tonight, choose from among several nearby trattorias or your hotel’s restaurant for dinner on your own.

Accommodation: Hotel La Palma, Stresa
Included Meals: Breakfast

Isola Bella & Isola dei Pescatori; 2 miles, easy. Optional independent Stresa; 1 mile, easy

Take a private motorboat to Palazzo Borromeo, an opulent island palace. Return to the mainland for free time, maybe relaxing at your hotel or exploring the many nearby attractions. This evening, boat to picturesque “Fisherman’s Island” for a sunset dinner.

Begin the day with a closer look at Isola Bella, the most famous of Lake Maggiore’s Borromean Islands. A private motorboat brings you to the island from Stresa—a brief journey of five minutes—where you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Palazzo Borromeo, the opulent baroque and neoclassical palace occupying the island.

The sprawling villa was built during the 17th century by the wealthy and influential Borromeo family, who continue to use its upper floors as a summer residence today. Accompanied by a local guide, you’ll discover room after lavish room, featuring paintings and sculptures by Lombardy artists, elaborate Flemish tapestries, and stunning Murano glass chandeliers. Elaborate terraced gardens complement the sumptuous interior. Oleander, magnolias, camellias, and lemon trees fill the gardens, which gently slope down to Lake Maggiore. Before reaching the gardens, however, you’ll descend a staircase from the main house into a cavernous grotto comprising six rooms, where splendid mosaics wrought with pebbles, seashells, and pink marble cover every inch of space.

Back in Stresa, you’ll enjoy lunch on your own and time at leisure during the afternoon. Your options are endless, and your guides will facilitate your discoveries.

Regroup late this afternoon and set off in a private motorboat for Isola dei Pescatori (“Fishermen’s Island”). Explore this beautiful island—the most picturesque island in the Borromean archipelago—along with your guides. The sunsets are especially lovely here, and you’ll have time to savor one while sipping a glass of local wine before enjoying your included dinner at a lakeside restaurant.

Take time to explore the fascinating islands off Stresa or on the opposite side of Lake Maggiore, where historical palaces, botanical gardens, and grand villas await.

Accommodation: Hotel La Palma, Stresa
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Mottarone to Alpe Cortano; 3 miles, easy to moderate. Alpe Cortano to Coiromonte; 2.5 miles, easy to moderate. Optional Orta city walk; 1 mile, easy

Summit Mount Mottarone by cable car for stunning 360-degree views. Follow the footpaths down to Coiromonte for a picnic lunch at a local farm known for its excellent cheese. Later, trek along beautiful Lake Orta to your hotel.

This morning, a 20-minute cable car ride takes you up 3,500 feet to the summit of Mount Mottarone. From here, you’ll enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views of Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta, Lake Varese, and other smaller lakes all framed by the snowcapped Alps. You’ll walk downhill along easy footpaths, mostly unpaved and covered with soft grass, dirt tracks, and uneven terrain to Coiromonte. Here, you’ll visit a small farm known for producing excellent cheese, which you’ll have the opportunity to sample during a picnic lunch prepared by the farm’s owners. Your feast also includes local specialties made with organic vegetables grown in the owners’ garden. If you prefer, you can shorten the walk by taking a shuttle to Coiromonte instead of walking all the way.

Early this afternoon, you’ll shuttle to the village of Orta San Giulio, for an easy, short walk in the city and along Lake Orta to your hotel. Later, check into your hotel and enjoy free time. The hotel grounds include a large, attractive garden and a terrace on the sunny side of the lake with mountain views.

Dinner is on your own tonight.

Accommodation: Hotel San Rocco, Orta San Giulio
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Sacromonte and San Giulio Island; 2 miles, easy to moderate. Lagna to Pella; 3 miles, easy to moderate

Today you hike into the hills to visit Monte Sacro, an enchanting UNESCO site dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi. Later, cruise to Isola San Giulio and walk “The Way of Silence.” Tonight’s farewell dinner includes savory, gourmet Italian specialties.

This morning’s walk brings you along the shores of Lake Orta and up into the surrounding hills for a visit to enchanting Monte Sacro, a UNESCO World Heritage site. A devotional complex dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, it consists of more than 20 chapels filled with frescoes and life-sized terracotta figures depicting the saint’s life. Country Walkers’ Sustainable Travel Initiative and guest donations contribute to the restoration of the frescoes. You’ll enjoy views of Lake Orta below as you walk in the shade of tall, leafy trees and drink in Monte Sacro’s magical atmosphere.

You’ll return to Orta San Giulio and enjoy a tour of this pretty little village with your guides; then have lunch at a local enoteca where you’ll taste Piedmont wines and local specialties like bagna cauda, a fondue-like dip made with butter, garlic, and anchovies and served with crostini, truffles, and vegetables.

After lunch, you’ll board a private boat for a five-minute cruise to Isola San Giulio. This tiny island is named for the fourth-century saint who introduced Christianity to the region. The beautifully frescoed basilica is the hundredth (and final) church founded by Saint Julius. You’ll have time to navigate La Via del Silenzio (“The Way of Silence”), a footpath that encircles the island. Afterward, you can return to the hotel or cruise to Lake Orta’s western shore for a final easy-to-moderate scenic walk ending in the picturesque village of Pella.

During tonight’s farewell dinner, you’ll enjoy fine Italian specialties at your hotel’s gourmet lakeside restaurant, Teatro Magico.

Accommodation: Hotel San Rocco, Orta San Giulio
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Transfer to Milan. Your Italy: Lake Como, Bellagio & Lake Maggiore tour concludes

After breakfast, transfer to Milan, where you begin your journey homeward or continue exploring this historic city on your own.

You’ll arrive at our Milan hotel around 10:00 a.m. and have the rest of the day at your leisure. Our Country Walkers representative will answer your questions and offer an orientation walk to help you discover the many treasures of Milan.

Your hotel is a short walk from the convent of Sta. Maria delle Grazie, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for Leonardo da Vinci’s fresco The Last Supper. Please note: If you’d like to visit the convent, reservations are necessary and should be made in advance at vivaticket.it. For more information about the convent of Sta. Maria delle Grazie or the special events scheduled for 2021 visit turismo.milano.it/wps/portal/tur/en.

You can also walk to the pedestrian-only shopping district of Via Dante. Right outside the hotel, you can explore the wonderful Duomo cathedral, browse the boutiques of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, and visit the Palazzo Reale or “Royal Palace.” In the evening, you can stroll to Brera, the art and fashion district, to people-watch in one of the city’s many trendy cafés. If you are looking for a guided walk, contact your recommended guide in advance.

If you have chosen the independent Post-tour Extension to Milan, you’ll remain at this hotel for three nights. Country Walkers provides you with City Information including recommendations on what to see and do in Milan during your stay.

Accommodation: UNAHOTELS Cusani, Milan
Included Meals: Breakfast

This morning, a complimentary small-group transfer is provided to Malpensa Airport based on your departure time. (Departure time will be communicated to you by your guides on tour.)

Included Meals: Breakfast

Sun, May 30 to Sat, Jun 5 - 2021

Show Itinerary:

Como city walk; 0.5 miles, easy. Bellagio to Pescallo and Villa Melzi; 2 miles, easy. Optional Bellagio; 1 mile, easy to moderate

Your guide(s) meet you at 8:45 a.m. in the lobby of the Albergo le Due Corti hotel (Piazza Vittoria 12, Como; Tel. +39 031 328 111). Your guide(s) will be wearing a Country Walkers shirt. Please be dressed for walking.

Your guide(s) will hold an orientation and safety briefing before embarking on your first walk, a stroll through the city center of Como to its harbor (approximately 0.5 miles / one kilometer). Here, you’ll board a boat bound for Bellagio, admiring the sumptuous private villas and small villages lining the shores of Lake Como throughout your two-hour cruise. The views of the surrounding mountains are magnificent.

Once in Bellagio, choose from among the many local restaurants for lunch on your own. After you check in to tonight’s accommodation, you’ll regroup for a walking tour of the town, known for its 12th-century basilica, cobblestone streets, and stone staircases. Your route follows the waterfront up to Punta Spartivento and ends at Villa Melzi. Built in 1808 to honor Napoleon, the villa is famous for its romantic English-style gardens, which welcome visitors each spring with a profusion of azaleas and rhododendrons. If you travel in the fall, you will see maples at full splendor, some winter camellias (sasanqua), and countless leaves changing colors.

This evening, gather for a welcome reception, followed by dinner at the hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel Du Lac, Bellagio
Included Meals: Dinner

Bellano to Vezio; 4 miles, easy to moderate. Optional independent Vezio to Varenna; .5 miles, easy

After breakfast, a short spin across the lake takes you to the nearby village of Bellano. Here you’ll cross a waterfall and the dramatic Pioverna river gorge before starting your walk along the Sentiero del Viandante, or “Wayfarer Trail.” A former mule path that connects the various towns and villages on Lake Como’s eastern shore, this trail was once the area’s only road. As you walk, you’ll pass through sleepy villages such as Regolo, and many chapels scattered along the way that confirm this path was once used as a pilgrimage way. Your walk ends in the fascinating medieval hamlet of Vezio, known for its ancient stone houses and 13th-century castle (that you will be able to visit).

Your lunch stop today is in an extraordinary place, the Crotto del Pepott. A crotto is a kind of rural tavern, but originally crotti were only natural caves formed within the remains of ancient landslides. The constant cold air current circulating inside the crottos made them ideal refrigerators for preserving foods like cheese, wines, and the local savory, salted beef, bresaola. You will be treated with delicious pizzoccheri, the trademark dish of the Valtellina valley and a popular meal in the mountains of northern Italy.

Early this afternoon, a short walk or shuttle takes you down to Varenna, where you’ll have most of the afternoon to relax or explore on your own. Your guides will arrange your ferry ticket, and you can choose what time you would like to ferry back to Bellagio and your hotel. Boats come and go frequently, and the ride takes just 10 minutes.

Dinner is on your own tonight. Bellagio offers several options, from gourmet restaurants to wine bars, pizzerias, and cozy trattorias.

The colorful lake village of Varenna with its bustling shops and cafés, and the historical town of Bellagio on picturesque Lake Como, are perfect for immersing yourself in local life as you discover the area’s relaxed vibe.

Accommodation: Hotel Du Lac, Bellagio
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Villa Carlotta to Lenno and Villa Balbianello Garden; 3 miles, easy. Optional Mezzegra to Lenno; 3 miles, easy to moderate

Early this morning, you’ll ferry to Lake Como’s opposite bank to discover Tremezzo and Villa Carlotta. The 17th-century villa is named after Charlotte, the daughter of Princess Marianne of Nassau, who purchased the property in the mid-1800s and presented it to Charlotte as a wedding gift. Charlotte’s botanist husband expanded the existing landscape, including an exotic corner laid out according to the dictates of English gardens. In spring, the villa’s grounds are bursting with more than 150 varieties of azaleas and rhododendrons. In April, you will see most of the camellias, magnolias, mimosas, wisterias, and some rhododendrons. In late May, enjoy the camellias, most rhododendrons, some magnolias, paulownias, dogwoods, and azaleas.

Inside the villa you’ll admire a collection of fine paintings, and on the grounds, you’ll find an impressive collection of Romantic sculptures.

After some time on your own to explore the gardens or sip an espresso in the villa’s café, you return to the lakeside promenade to walk an easy route to Mezzegra. Along the way, admire more elegant villas, scenic views of Bellagio on the opposite shore, and the glorious Alps. You’ll next set off to Lenno, where a visit to a weekly market provides a colorful snapshot of local life. You can choose to ferry to Lenno, or venture there on foot, walking an easy-to-moderate route out of Mezzegra with a stop at the church of San Abbondio.

Situated just a few feet above the lake Lenno offers sweeping views of the area. After lunch on your own, follow your guides into the gardens of Villa del Balbianello, located on a steep promontory overlooking Lake Como. The villa was the setting for famous movies such as Casino Royale and Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.

You will visit the villa interiors with a local guide. Presenting a different type of Villa, this was the house of a wealthy, local entrepreneur and explorer between 1974 and 1988, Guido Monzino. The rooms include art collections and unusual memorabilia of his international expeditions, as well as Italian furniture from the eighties.

Later, you’ll shuttle to Stresa on the shores of Lake Maggiore and settle into your next hotel. Tonight, choose from among several nearby trattorias or your hotel’s restaurant for dinner on your own.

Accommodation: Hotel La Palma, Stresa
Included Meals: Breakfast

Isola Bella & Isola dei Pescatori; 2 miles, easy. Optional independent Stresa; 1 mile, easy

Take a private motorboat to Palazzo Borromeo, an opulent island palace. Return to the mainland for free time, maybe relaxing at your hotel or exploring the many nearby attractions. This evening, boat to picturesque “Fisherman’s Island” for a sunset dinner.

Begin the day with a closer look at Isola Bella, the most famous of Lake Maggiore’s Borromean Islands. A private motorboat brings you to the island from Stresa—a brief journey of five minutes—where you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Palazzo Borromeo, the opulent baroque and neoclassical palace occupying the island.

The sprawling villa was built during the 17th century by the wealthy and influential Borromeo family, who continue to use its upper floors as a summer residence today. Accompanied by a local guide, you’ll discover room after lavish room, featuring paintings and sculptures by Lombardy artists, elaborate Flemish tapestries, and stunning Murano glass chandeliers. Elaborate terraced gardens complement the sumptuous interior. Oleander, magnolias, camellias, and lemon trees fill the gardens, which gently slope down to Lake Maggiore. Before reaching the gardens, however, you’ll descend a staircase from the main house into a cavernous grotto comprising six rooms, where splendid mosaics wrought with pebbles, seashells, and pink marble cover every inch of space.

Back in Stresa, you’ll enjoy lunch on your own and time at leisure during the afternoon. Your options are endless, and your guides will facilitate your discoveries.

Regroup late this afternoon and set off in a private motorboat for Isola dei Pescatori (“Fishermen’s Island”). Explore this beautiful island—the most picturesque island in the Borromean archipelago—along with your guides. The sunsets are especially lovely here, and you’ll have time to savor one while sipping a glass of local wine before enjoying your included dinner at a lakeside restaurant.

Take time to explore the fascinating islands off Stresa or on the opposite side of Lake Maggiore, where historical palaces, botanical gardens, and grand villas await.

Accommodation: Hotel La Palma, Stresa
Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Mottarone to Alpe Cortano; 3 miles, easy to moderate. Alpe Cortano to Coiromonte; 2.5 miles, easy to moderate. Optional Orta city walk; 1 mile, easy

Summit Mount Mottarone by cable car for stunning 360-degree views. Follow the footpaths down to Coiromonte for a picnic lunch at a local farm known for its excellent cheese. Later, trek along beautiful Lake Orta to your hotel.

This morning, a 20-minute cable car ride takes you up 3,500 feet to the summit of Mount Mottarone. From here, you’ll enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views of Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta, Lake Varese, and other smaller lakes all framed by the snowcapped Alps. You’ll walk downhill along easy footpaths, mostly unpaved and covered with soft grass, dirt tracks, and uneven terrain to Coiromonte. Here, you’ll visit a small farm known for producing excellent cheese, which you’ll have the opportunity to sample during a picnic lunch prepared by the farm’s owners. Your feast also includes local specialties made with organic vegetables grown in the owners’ garden. If you prefer, you can shorten the walk by taking a shuttle to Coiromonte instead of walking all the way.

Early this afternoon, you’ll shuttle to the village of Orta San Giulio, for an easy, short walk in the city and along Lake Orta to your hotel. Later, check into your hotel and enjoy free time. The hotel grounds include a large, attractive garden and a terrace on the sunny side of the lake with mountain views.

Dinner is on your own tonight.

Accommodation: Hotel San Rocco, Orta San Giulio
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Sacromonte and San Giulio Island; 2 miles, easy to moderate. Lagna to Pella; 3 miles, easy to moderate

Today you hike into the hills to visit Monte Sacro, an enchanting UNESCO site dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi. Later, cruise to Isola San Giulio and walk “The Way of Silence.” Tonight’s farewell dinner includes savory, gourmet Italian specialties.

This morning’s walk brings you along the shores of Lake Orta and up into the surrounding hills for a visit to enchanting Monte Sacro, a UNESCO World Heritage site. A devotional complex dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, it consists of more than 20 chapels filled with frescoes and life-sized terracotta figures depicting the saint’s life. Country Walkers’ Sustainable Travel Initiative and guest donations contribute to the restoration of the frescoes. You’ll enjoy views of Lake Orta below as you walk in the shade of tall, leafy trees and drink in Monte Sacro’s magical atmosphere.

You’ll return to Orta San Giulio and enjoy a tour of this pretty little village with your guides; then have lunch at a local enoteca where you’ll taste Piedmont wines and local specialties like bagna cauda, a fondue-like dip made with butter, garlic, and anchovies and served with crostini, truffles, and vegetables.

After lunch, you’ll board a private boat for a five-minute cruise to Isola San Giulio. This tiny island is named for the fourth-century saint who introduced Christianity to the region. The beautifully frescoed basilica is the hundredth (and final) church founded by Saint Julius. You’ll have time to navigate La Via del Silenzio (“The Way of Silence”), a footpath that encircles the island. Afterward, you can return to the hotel or cruise to Lake Orta’s western shore for a final easy-to-moderate scenic walk ending in the picturesque village of Pella.

During tonight’s farewell dinner, you’ll enjoy fine Italian specialties at your hotel’s gourmet lakeside restaurant, Teatro Magico.

Accommodation: Hotel San Rocco, Orta San Giulio
Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, transfer to our Milan hotel, where your trip concludes at approximately 10:00 a.m. From here, you can pursue your own travel arrangements. The hotel is located in central Milan on Via Cusani, right next to the Cairoli metro station.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Accommodations

Linger Longer with a Tour Extension

Walking The Italian Lakes 1
Pre-Tour
Flight + Tour Combo Only
2021

2021 Pre-Tour Extension - Como

  • 2 nights at Albergo le Due Corti with daily breakfast
  • City Information
  • Hospitality desk and city orientation walk
  • Airport transfers

2 Nights From $298
per person, double occupancy

Single Supplement: From $148

Begin your adventure by departing from a convenient gateway city in the United States or Canada. Spend your first night aloft.

Upon arrival at Malpensa Airport in Milan, Italy, a representative holding a Country Walkers sign meets you as you exit the baggage claim area. Please note that there may be up to a 45-minute wait if there are other guests arriving within the same time frame. A complimentary small-group transfer will be provided to your Como hotel, approximately one hour away. If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please let our representative know by calling or sending a text message to +39 338 358 08 18.. Our drivers are generally able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands, after which you would be responsible for your own transfer. You may also contact Allianz Global Assistance to advise of your delay and they will contact our transfer service.

Please note: If you arrive early, your hotel room may not be available until 2:00 p.m., in which case you may store your luggage with the reception desk.

The remainder of the day is at your leisure (no meals included). Country Walkers provides you with City Information including recommendations on what to see and do in Como during your stay.

Accommodation: Albergo le Due Corti

This morning, enjoy a hearty Italian breakfast and then meet your Country Walkers representative at 9:00 a.m. at the hotel. Your local guide will be happy to answer your questions and offer a pleasant orientation walk. On clear days your guide will take you on a funicular ride up to Brunate to take in spectacular views of the region, and then enjoy a leisurely walk back downhill. In the afternoon, explore Como on your own.

Accommodation: Albergo le Due Corti
Included Meals: Breakfast

Continue to explore Como on your own. Or perhaps, take a 30-minute train ride to Lugano and spend some time discovering this beautiful Swiss city. Your Como representative will facilitate your excursion by providing a train schedule and information.

Accommodation: Albergo le Due Corti
Included Meals: Breakfast

Walking The Italian Lakes
Post-Tour
Flight + Tour Combo Only
2021

2021 Post-Tour Extension - Milan

  • 2 nights at Una Hotel Cusani with daily breakfast
  • City Information
  • Hospitality desk and city orientation walk
  • Airport transfers

2 Nights From $298
per person, double occupancy

Single Supplement: From $248

Today you have the entire day to explore this alluring city. Across the square from your hotel is Sforza Castle, built in 1300 by the Austrians. This huge fortress is home to a museum whose collection includes Michelangelo’s Pietà Rondanini, the artist’s final sculpture.

Accommodation: UNAHOTELS Cusani, Milan
Included Meals: Breakfast

The opportunities for discovery are endless today. Explore the town, browsing Milan’s chic designer boutiques and dining in some of its many fine restaurants. Or, take a train to the nearby town of Bergamo, home to the Carrara Academy, one of Italy’s finest art galleries. As you plan your time here, keep in mind that most museums in Italy are closed on Mondays. If you haven’t been to nearby Lugano, this lakeside town is another good place to spend the day. The train connections from Milan’s central station are frequent and the ride is short.

Accommodation: UNAHOTELS Cusani, Milan
Included Meals: Breakfast

A complimentary small-group transfer is provided to Malpensa Airport based upon your departure time. (Transfer time to be communicated by your guides on tour.)

Included Meals: Breakfast

What's Included

Flight + Tour Combo
Tour Only
Exceptional boutique accommodations Check Check
12 on-tour meals: 6 B, 3 L, 3 D Check Check
Local guides with you throughout tour Check Check
Local wine and/or beer with dinner Check Check
Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary Check Check
Travel assistance available 24/7 provided by Allianz Check Check
Roundtrip airfare Check
One extra night in Como and one extra night in Milan Check
Airport car service for arrival & departure Check
Pre- and post-tour breakfasts Check
Business-class upgrades available Check
Morocco: Marrakesh, Foothills of the High Atlas & Essaouira

Dates & Prices

Flight + Tour Combo

10 days. Includes round-trip international airfare, airport car service, additional hotel nights with included breakfast, and your tour.

Single Supplement: From $598

Departing From New York, NY (JFK)

Tour Only

7 days. Includes your tour only.

Single Supplement: From $448

Fri, May 28 - Sun, Jun 6, 2021

$5,198

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Sun, May 30 - Sat, Jun 5, 2021

$3,898

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Fri, Jun 18 - Sun, Jun 27, 2021

$5,198

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Sun, Jun 20 - Sat, Jun 26, 2021

$3,898

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Fri, Sep 3 - Sun, Sep 12, 2021

$5,348

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Sun, Sep 5 - Sat, Sep 11, 2021

$4,098

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Fri, Sep 24 - Sun, Oct 3, 2021

$5,348

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Sun, Sep 26 - Sat, Oct 2, 2021

$4,098

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Fri, Oct 1 - Sun, Oct 10, 2021

$5,348

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Sun, Oct 3 - Sat, Oct 9, 2021

$4,098

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Fri, Oct 8 - Sun, Oct 17, 2021

$5,048

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Sun, Oct 10 - Sat, Oct 16, 2021

$3,698

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