Pamper the appetite and treat the senses on this exquisite journey through Italy’s Lake District and the staggering peaks of Switzerland’s St. Moritz. Stroll the forested paths around Lakes Como and Garda, unwind through the Dolomite highlands and just keep whetting and sating that appetite with classic Italian delicacies. Shop til you drop among Milan’s famous fashionistas, ferry to and fro between lake villages and villas that keep getting prettier, and clamber about the crumbling ruins of medieval castles. Idyllic in setting, laid-back in lifestyle, and a gastronomist’s delight, this jaunt through one of Europe’s most charming nooks shouldn’t disappoint. And if it does, take the issue up with one of the local residents – like Sting or George Clooney.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017:
From 1st January 2017 this trip will change. To constantly improve our itineraries we take on all feedback from our previous passengers and from our local team. This trip will therefore become an Original style multi-active itinerary, with additional activities such as kayaking and cycling. The daily itinerary will look as follows:
1. Arrival Day in Como
2. Bellagio - Kayaking on Lake Como
3. Como - Free Day
4. Como - Hiking
5. Chiavenna - St Moritz Area (Switzerland) - Bernina Express - Tirano
6. Torbole / Lake Garda
7. Torbole / Lake Garda - Kayaking
8. Departure Day

Start
Milan, Italy
Finish
Verona, Italy
Countries
Italy,
Switzerland
Themes
Explorer, Walking & Trekking
Code
ZGXI
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 16
Carbon offset
140kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Potter among the rooftop sculptures of Milan’s 14th-century Gothic Duomo, the largest church in Italy
  • Ride the rails through St Moritz’s staggering mountain scenery on the Bernina Express. The region is home to alpine forests, fast-flowing rivers and Eastern Switzerland’s highest summit, the Piz Bernina
  • Spend a day exploring the beautiful villages, estates and gardens dotted around Lake Como, criss-crossing the lake by ferry. Taking a turn about the grounds of Bellagio's grand Villa Melzi can make you feel just a bit fancy
  • It may be eaten all over the world, but Italy really knows how to do pasta. Indulge in ambrosial Italian fare in Tirano, famous for pizzoccheri, a type of tagliatelle cooked with potatoes, cabbage and cheese

Itinerary

Buongiorno! Welcome to Italy. Milan is Italy's second largest city and the capital of Lombardy, Italy's wealthiest province. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting today at 6pm, where you'll meet your fellow travellers and group leader. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. After the meeting, the evening is free, so why not take a wander around this historic city and enjoy dinner at one of the nearby traditional restaurants.

Note: Many visitors to Milan will want to take a visit to Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece, The Last Supper. Tickets are limited and generally sell out extremely quickly and up to six months in advance. If you expressly want to see the Last Supper you need to make arrangements in advance. The viewing is 15 minutes and in order not to lose the reservation, visitors must arrive 15 minutes before the time allocated for the visit. For information and reservations call +39 02 92 800 360. Online bookings may be available at these sites: www.cenacolovinciano.org or www.vivaticket.it/index.php. Some websites will only sell a ticket in conjunction with an additional product such as a guide book or another museum entry.
Spend the morning on a guided group walking tour of Milan. Milano is one of the fashion centres of the world and is also incredibly rich in history, as you'll discover. Visit the city's most famous building, the Gothic Duomo, and walk between its rooftop sculptures, admiring the views. Pass through the beautiful Galleria on the way to the Teatro alla Scala. The stage of Italy’s most famous opera house has been graced by many great performers throughout the centuries. Your guide will lead you to Milan's fashion district to explore the shops, before continuing on to the city's medieval castle and surrounding park. For lunch, the group can either eat at a local restaurant or pick up a ‘panino’ if preferred. In the early afternoon drive north to Lake Como (Lago di Como) (approximately 1 hour), an area of stunning beauty full of unique and evocative landscapes. Take a stroll in the medieval town centre of Como, before enjoying a drink in the main square or along the lake shore. Continue on around the western side of the lake to the quaint mountain village of Breglia (approximately 20 minutes), high above Menaggio, where you'll spend a relaxed night away from hectic city life. In the evening get together with the group and savour some fine local fare at your hotel.

Note: Total walking time today is approximately 3 hours.
Today hike up to the mountain hut above Menaggio, situated on the southern slope of Mount Grona. The walk is challenging in sections but the visual rewards are spectacular, with peerless views of Lake Como and the surrounding mountains. The pace set by the leader will be achievable for the whole group. Pass through forest and pastoral land before trekking up to the mountain hut ('rifugio'). This is a great scenic setting to enjoy your picnic lunch. Ten minutes walk from the hut is the Pizzo Coppa viewpoint, which offers spectacular vistas of not only of Lake Como but also of the entire region, including Lake Piano and Lake Lugano, between Italy and Switzerland. After lunch there is time for a rest before beginning the descent down to the lake at Menaggio. Depending on your energy levels, there are a number of different routes back to Menaggio; there is also the possibility to catch a bus at various points along the way. Those who wish to have a more relaxed day can walk along an easier, circular trail leading directly from the hotel. Alternatively, you can travel down to Menaggio and unwind by the lake for the morning. In the late afternoon, you will take the local ferry from Menaggio to Varenna, which is located on the east side of the lake. Strewn with elegant villas and crowned by an old castle, this romantic town is your base for the next two nights.

Note: Total walking time today is approximately 5-6 hours.
This morning take a boat ride to discover some beautiful villages, villas and gardens in and around Lake Como, including the pretty village of Bellagio. Enjoy a walk through the countryside and discover the estate of the Villa Melzi. This grand white villa sits just back from the water and its surrounding estate is filled with a plethora of rare and exotic plant life. Boarding another boat, you will travel to the lakeside village of Tremezzo and explore the splendid Villa Carlotta and its beautiful gardens overlooking the lake. Another ferry ride takes you back to charming Varenna, deemed by some as the most romantic town in all of Italy. You will see the Fiumelatte – the curious ‘River of Milk’ and Italy’s shortest river (250 m), which flows only six months a year. Not even Leonardo da Vinci, who explored the cave from which the river emerges, was able to discover its source or the reason why it flows for only half the year.

Note: Total walking time today is approximately 3-4 hours.
After an early breakfast, head out for a day in the majestic mountains – partly in Italy and partly in Switzerland. Drive to the northern edge of Lake Como for some shopping and kick back with a chinotto in Chiavenna (approximately 50 minutes). Upon entering Switzerland, travel along a scenic road to the St Moritz area, making a stop at Passo Malojae along the way (approximately 1 hour). Take an easy but spectacular excursion to the Morteratsch Glacier, where you can choose to enjoy a picnic lunch while taking in the incredible view. You will return to Italy on the Bernina Express, a small local train operating directly from Morteratsch. The train will take you past mountain peaks and glacier lakes before descending steeply into the valley. This journey is one of the most spectacular in the world and definitely a highlight of the trip (approximately 2 hours). Arrive back into the Italian town of Tirano (Tiran), where you'll spend the night.

Note: Total walking time today is approximately 3 hours.
After breakfast, drive to Lake Garda (approximately 4.5 hours). This route takes you along some of Italy’s famous mountain chains, including the Dolomites. Your base is at the most northern point of the lake, in the charming small town of Riva del Garda. You will stay in the medieval town centre among the colourful painted houses. When you arrive you’ll discover the great and varied landscapes around Lake Garda. Take a boat from the northern and more alpine side of the lake to the southern side (which has a more Mediterranean feel), passing many photogenic villages en route. Go ashore in the town of Garda itself, nicknamed the ‘Pearl of Lake Garda’. It is dominated by its ‘rocca’ (rock), complete with an abbey and the remains of a medieval castle. You will take a short and leisurely walking tour through the village before climbing up towards the abbey, where, after a steep but short and pleasant climb, you will be rewarded with beautiful views over the lake. You may wish to spend some time here on the lake, have a drink or relax in the park.

Note: Total walking time today is approximately 3-4 hours.
Today take a boat tour across the northern side of Lake Garda to Limone, a village named after the lemon groves surrounding it. Walk up through the old cobbled streets to the edge of town, where the landscape changes from Mediterranean to alpine. After a coffee break, you'll begin walking steeply uphill into the Singol Valley, along a comfortable path that offers intermittent views of Lake Garda. After a short rest at a mountain stream, descend back to Limone and walk through olive groves and citrus trees to the lakeshore. It's worth spending some time strolling along the steep and narrow lanes of the old centre of Limone. There's the option of a direct bus back to Riva, or to spend more free time in Limone and return to Riva by boat along the coast. Tonight the group can choose to dine together under the medieval arches of Riva del Garda, raising glasses in a toast to the charms of the Italian Lakes region.

Note: Total walking time today is approximately 3-4 hours.

After breakfast this morning, travel by private minibus from Riva to Verona, where your Italian Lakes adventure comes to an end. From Verona it's easy to travel by rail to other major destinations in Italy. Please do not book any onwards train or bus out of the city before midday today. For train schedules check the national rail site: trenitalia.com. Of course you may wish to stay on in fair Verona and spend time exploring this romantic city. The setting of one of the greatest love stories of all time (Romeo and Juliet), Verona is dominated by its spectacular Roman Amphitheatre. If you'd like to return to or stay in the Italian Lakes region, additional accommodation can also be booked in Riva del Garda. Please enquire when booking your trip.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
7 breakfasts, 2 dinners
Transport
Boat, Private Bus, Train
Accommodation
Hotel (7 nights)
Included activities
  • Mt Grona Mountain Hike
  • Lake Como Day Trip
  • Morteratsch Glacier Excursion
  • Bernina Express Scenic Train Ride
  • Lake Garda Boat Tour

Dates

There are currently no departures for this trip.

{{departure_day.departure_date | date:'EEE d MMMM yyyy'}} {{departure_day.arrival_date | date:'EEE d MMMM yyyy'}}

Style: {{departure.style}}

Boat/Ship: {{departure.vehicle_name}}
On sale Hot deal Departure guaranteed On request
{{product.currency_code}} {{room.base_price | noFractionCurrency:product.currency_symbol}}
{{product.currency_code}} {{room.discount_price | noFractionCurrency:product.currency_symbol}}
Fully booked Bookings closed

Total price per person {{room.room_type | lowercase}}
Includes {{departure.kitty_currency_code}} {{departure.kitty | noFractionCurrency:departure.kitty_currency_symbol}} kitty
Includes {{extra.extras_code}} {{extra.extras_symbol}}{{extra.extras_value}} in local payments Single supplement available from {{product.currency_code}} {{departure.single_supp | noFractionCurrency:product.currency_symbol}}

Contact us to arrange an alternative departure for you

Book {{departure.places_left}} spaces left! space left!


Important notes

A single room supplement is available to book on this trip, please see Trip Notes for more details.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Walking the Italian Lakes trips score an average of 4.67 out of 5 based on 3 reviews in the last year.

Walking the Italian Lakes , April 2016

Italian Lakes Discovery , May 2015