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Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour

Overview
Lodging
Reviews
Dates & Prices
Route Rating
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Trip Highlights
  • Enjoy exhilarating hikes on historic mule paths offering extraordinary views
  • Breathtaking scenery, including the staggering panorama from Monte Mottarone
  • Stunning - and often overlooked! - Lago d'Orta
  • Boat to see Palazzo Borromeo, with splendid fountains and art
  • Slumber at sumptuous lakefront villas and dine on Michelin-starred cuisine

Call 800-462-2848, Every day 6am-6pm,PST

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A Stylish Sojourn in the Lake District

They were premature naming the Great Lakes. Maggiore, Como and Orta could easily steal that title. Sapphire blue waters set against the stunning backdrop of the Swiss and Italian Alps. Basilicas and fortresses, grand palazzos and timeless villas. Cobblestone paths and forested hillsides, with not a turista in sight. Bustling lakeside towns brimming with luxurious hotels and Michelin stars. And quiet hikes above it all, with astounding vistas of the lakes below. The views, the flavors, the wines. And every tiny beautiful detail that makes these lakes - great.

Straight Talk We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception. Read the Straight Talk

Straight Talk
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.

Terrain

While many of the routes on this trip are low in mileage, some sections may feel more challenging due to the mountainous terrain and resulting elevation changes. Most routes begin with steep climbs out of town (one to three miles long) and end with a long sharp descent. To stay off the beaten path, we often walk on cobblestone mule tracks, and occasionally follow slightly overgrown paths that may not be well defined.

Limited & Fixed Menus

On many nights, the gourmet restaurants where we dine offer specially prepared limited or fixed menus featuring a delicious selection of regional cuisine.

Day 1 Stunning - and often overlooked! - Lago d'Orta, known for fueling the creative inspiration of Flaubert and Tchaikovsky In the medieval hamlet of Orta San Giulio, explore quiet lanes on a guided tour After an aperitivo, savor modern Mediterranean cuisine at Villa Crespi, recipient of two Michelin stars.

Day 2 Breathtaking scenery, including staggering views from Monte Mottarone, 4,000 feet above Lakes Orta and Maggiore Travel by funicular to the town of Stresa and boat to Isola Bella, home to the Palazzo Borromeo and its splendid fountains and art.

Days 3-4 Slumber at sumptuous lakefront villas  Passing tiny chapels and crossing small bridges, walk along Lake Maggiore from Cannobio to Cannero Riviera Sniff, swirl, salute! A beloved enoteca invites us in for a tasting of local viages  Hike past magnificent villas, colorful gardens and castle ruins to Varenna  Walk to Italy's shortest river, the 800-foot-long "River of Milk" - not even Leonardo da Vinci could discover its source! Ferry to beautiful Bellagio, the "pearl of the lake"  An experienced chef teaches us how to prepare regional specialties.

Days 5-6 Walk lakeside trails and mountain paths amid elaborate gardens and frescoed hamlets Your feet carry you to Villa Melzi, one of Lake Como's grand estates Visit a farm that produces cheeses, creams, milk and yogurt en route to Baita Belvedere, where a mountain lunch awaits Explore 18th-century Villa Balbianello and relish the vistas of the lake and surrounding hills.

Premiere Inns

Villa Crespi
Villa Crespi

Orta San Giulio (1 night) A Moorish-influenced villa built in 1879 by a successful cotton trader, with intricately patterned floors, frescoed ceilings, lake views and a two-starred Michelin restaurant. A Relais & Châteaux member.

Grand Hôtel des Iles Borromées
Grand Hôtel des Iles Borromées

Stresa (2 nights) A Belle Epoque beauty on Lake Maggiore and the setting for part of Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms. (pool, spa, tennis)

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni
Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni

Bellagio (2 nights) Built in 1872 as the luxurious Neoclassical retreat for an aristocratic family from Milan, this lakeside villa glimmers with marble, frescoes and Murano chandeliers. (pool, spa, tennis)

Guest Reviews About This Trip

We love Backroads and recommend it highly to all of our friends. Truly it has enhanced our understanding of cultures, our love of nature, and opened the world to us. We are grateful for every trip you have provided and hope to do more in the years ahead. Backroads remains our favorite - although we have taken 2 trips with other companies. I think you do a better job on helping the participants learn about the culture and your guides are incredible. We will not forget our trip to the Lake District.
Candice Nadler - Excelsior, MN
We continue to find Backroads a great way to take the risk out of traveling to somewhere new. The knowledgeable leaders add a different dimension beyond what going somewhere with a Frommer's guide will get you. Keep up the good work!
Dave Savage - Dallas, TX
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip! Hiking in the countryside around the lakes allowed us to see forest, countryside and views that otherwise wouldn't have been possible. The luxury of the accommodations and wonderful meals seemed just what we would have wished for after a rigorous hike.
Steven Zuckerman - Wilmette, IL

Trip Dates & Prices

Please click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

2014 CLASSIC DATES
September 2014
October 2014
2015 CLASSIC DATES
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
September 2015
October 2015

Don't see your ideal travel date? Call us at 800-462-2848 for Private Trip date availability.

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This Trip Is Rated Level 1-3

Routes For All Abilities
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.

Daily Route Options
Day EASYGOING ACTIVE AVID
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain
1 4 200 6 200
Orta San Giulio Walk (1 Hour)
2 3* 800 4 1800
8 1800
3 3* 900 5 1100 9 2200
4 3 700 4 1000 6 1000
3* 700
5 2* 500 4* 1400
8 1600
6 Guided Villa Walk (1 Hour)
 
note:

Terrain description: lakeside village pathways, alpine trails.

Most routes on this trip begin with steep climbs (1 - 3 miles long) out of town, above the lakes, and end with a long steep descent. We often walk on cobblestone mule tracks, and occasionally follow slightly overgrown paths that are not as well defined.

* Includes a shuttle

Private Trips Options & Pricing

Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.

You can pick from a large selection of dates for your group of 8 or more. Call us for date availability.

If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)

2014

2 - 3 guests from $7,598 pp dbl. occ. 8 - 9 guests from $6,198 pp dbl. occ.
4 - 5 guests from $6,798 pp dbl. occ. 10 - 11 guests from $5,798 pp dbl. occ.
6 - 7 guests from $6,398 pp dbl. occ. 12 or more guests from $5,498 pp dbl. occ.

2015

2 - 3 guests from $8,698 pp dbl. occ. 8 - 9 guests from $6,498 pp dbl. occ.
4 - 5 guests from $7,498 pp dbl. occ. 10 - 11 guests from $5,798 pp dbl. occ.
6 - 7 guests from $6,898 pp dbl. occ. 12 or more guests from $5,498 pp dbl. occ.

For 35 years, Backroads has been perfecting the art of active travel. We are the Italian Lakes tour experts. See our award-winning Europe Italy walking tours and hiking tours, Europe Italy biking tours and Europe Italy multisport tours.

Walking & Hiking

Premiere Inns
Route Rating

arrow Level 1-3

Meet/Depart

Milan, Italy

Detailed Itinerary

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Trip Notes

All meals included except 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Recommended Reads

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