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Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour

A Stylish Sojourn in the Lake District

  • Enjoy exhilarating hikes on historic mule paths offering extraordinary views
  • Behold breathtaking scenery, including the staggering panorama from Monte Mottarone
  • Discover stunning—and often overlooked!—Lake Orta
  • Boat to see Palazzo Borromeo, with splendid fountains and art
  • Overnight at sumptuous lakefront villas and dine on Michelin-starred cuisine

Maggiore, Como and Orta could easily steal the title of Great Lakes. Shimmering blue waters set against a stunning alpine backdrop. Majestic palazzos, timeless villas and lovely lakeside towns. And quiet hikes above it all. The views, the flavors, the wines. And every beautiful detail that makes these lakes—great.

Italian Lakes Map

Itinerary

Days 1-2 Admire stunning, and often overlooked, Lake Orta, which fueled the creative inspiration of Flaubert and Tchaikovsky  Explore quiet lanes in the charming medieval hamlet of Orta San Giulio After an aperitivo, savor modern Mediterranean cuisine at Villa Crespi, recipient of two Michelin stars  Marvel at breathtaking scenery, including staggering views from Monte Mottarone, 4,000 feet above Lakes Orta and Maggiore Visit 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 vintages  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 A private boat takes you to the western shore of Lake Como  Explore fascinating 18th-century Villa Balbianello, owned by famed mountaineer Guido Monzino, and relish the vistas of the lake and surrounding hills.

Our trip exceeded all expectations! The entire region is breathtaking. Our hotels were exquisite. The Backroads leaders were organized, fun and made everything so easy for all of us. We ranged in age from 14 to 87, we are all world travelers, and we all agreed this trip was the best!
Hil - Coral Gables, Florida

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 (1–3 miles long) and end with a long sharp descent. To stay off the beaten path, we often walk on cobblestone mule tracks and rocky terrain, 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.
$5,598 - $5,898
pp dbl. occ.
(+$1,390 to $1,790 for sgl. occ.)

Reviews

6 days, 5 nights
Activity Level

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Open 7 Days a Week
6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Start / End
Milan, Italy

Meals
All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners included


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Premiere Inns

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

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 Hotel des Iles Borromées

Grand Hotel 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)

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. Travel + Leisure World's Best. (pool, spa)

Guest Reviews

There's no better way to find out about Backroads than by hearing it from the people who have traveled with us. For more about the Backroads Experience, read our Guest Testimonials.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour
 
5.0

(based on 6 reviews)

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5.0

Fabulous trip

By 

from Coral Gables, Florida

Comments about Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour:

Our trip exceeded all expectations! The entire region is breathtaking. Our hotels were exquisite. The Backroads leaders were organized, fun and made everything so easy for all of us. We ranged in age from 14 to 87, we are all world travelers, and we all agreed this trip was the best!

 
5.0

Exceeded every expectation!

By 

from Austin, Texas

Comments about Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour:

Loved it all-the staff are remarkable, they anticipated our needs before we had them; agenda was fantastic, hotels amazing; hiking and views were extraordinary; food exceptional. The scenery, the food, the 5-star hotels and beautiful hikes to see hidden treasures was ideal in every way and I can't wait to do another Backroads trip!

 
5.0

TRIP OF A LIFETIME!!!!!!!!!!!

By 

from FLORIDA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour:

The trip exceeded my expectations.

 
5.0

Paradise in First Gear

By 

from Tucson, Az

Verified Buyer

Comments about Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour:

Had a lovely, lovely time. The guides were fabulous. The food was fabulous. The area surrounding the Italian Lakes was fabulously breathtaking.

 
5.0

Real Italy Experience

By 

from California

Verified Buyer

Comments about Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour:

After you get past the majestic scenery, what Backroads provides is the cultural immersion. From hand picking fruit in a field, to hand made pasta for your own dinner, the closeness you feel to an authentic experience is definitely something you can't book for yourself. They have it so dialed you will be amazed. A particular small village restaurant opens only for the Backroads trips for lunch. Best fresh pasta we ever had!

 
5.0

OUr guides were super and the hiking views amazing!!

By 

from Austin, TX

Comments about Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour:

Third trip with Backroads, and just as special as the others, great hikes, great food, very nice accomodations, and everyone can hike at their pace, so you can hike for 5 miles or 12 miles or 2 miles if you are super tired. The van escort will pick you up at any point needed. The guides are always fun and good people.

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Dates & Prices

The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind—you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due.

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

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

AVAILABLE TO BOOKi GOING FASTi CONTACT USi PRIVATE TRIP - RESERVEDi

Interested in a Private Trip? Check out the Make It Private tab for private dates available, or call us at 800-462-2848.

This Trip Is Rated Levels 1-3

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.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

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
2 3* 1000 5* 2000
9* 2100
3 3* 1000 5 1200 9* 2300
4 3 700 4* 900 6 1100
3* 700
5 2* 600 4 1500
7 1700
6 Guided Villa Walk (1 Hour)
 

Note: The terrain on this trip includes a mix of lakeside paths, cobblestone village walkways and rugged mountain trails, with some steep sections. The elevation gains and losses can make the routes feel more challenging than the mileage may suggest.

* Includes shuttle.

Learn more about how we determine our activity levels and fully support a range of abilities and interests.

Please note that our distance and elevation figures come from Ride with GPS. Other sources (such as Map My Ride and Garmin devices) may give differing elevation figures due to different GPS and mapping technologies. Readings from a Garmin or a smart phone are influenced by other factors such as air pressure.

Why Travel with Backroads in Italian Lakes

You've Got a Backstage Pass

The Italian Lakes are a favorite retreat for politicians, writers, artists, musicians and, of course, film stars. There are also plenty of stars on the hotels, and we stay at some of the best. Our handpicked selection includes Villa Serbelloni, one of Italy's gems, where our old friend Antonio Calzolaro welcomes you as part of la famiglia – and shares his insider tips on how to fully enjoy a region where the best hosts treat everyone like VIPs.

Only the Best Hotels

On this Premiere Inn trip, you can count on the best lodgings Italian Lakes has to offer. In fact, the hotels we've chosen in this region have higher retail room rates than those offered by any other active travel company—even when their trips cost more.

More Leaders to Support You

On our Italian Lakes trips we have an extra leader supporting you along the trail—for a total of three, compared to the industry standard two. So we can be in more places at once, giving personal attention to guests traveling at their own pace. Here's more on our Trip Leaders.

Everyone at Their Own Pace

We design and support our Italian Lakes trips to suit mixed abilities and varied interests—so you can set your own pace, then change things up as the day unfolds. And all guests are free to do the same, traveling together or apart, with no one cramping anyone else's style. Which sounds easy in theory, but it's hard to pull off. Here's more on how we do it.

Your Trip Will Run. Period.

Under our Book with Confidence policy, your Backroads trip will run even for one or two people (or a family of three or four), subject to a nominal extra fee. Or transfer to another trip, and we'll give you a credit. It's all part of our trademark commitment to treating guests with integrity, transparency and total accountability. Read all the details.

The Best Leaders in Italian Lakes

Backroads has the best-qualified people to lead your trip in Italian Lakes, and our guests back that up, rating our Trip Leaders an average of 9.75 out of 10 for all-around quality of performance. Get the facts (and no fluff) on how we recruit and develop the very best people for your trip.

Choose Your Fellow Travelers

With Backroads you won't end up with kids on what you thought was an adult trip; we have exclusive departures for families, so they're off having their own adventures. As you browse our unrivaled selection of trips and dates, you can count on finding a trip in Italian Lakes that's geared exclusively to your choice of traveling companions.

The Right Local Pairings

Our Trip Leaders combine deep local expertise with a firm grasp of North American expectations around quality of service. By the same token, we pair experienced Backroads leaders with local guides who know how to cater to your needs while cracking open the culture or natural history in ways that are meaningful, memorable and often magical.

In Europe Since 1988

Backroads has been welcoming active travelers to Europe since before the Berlin Wall came down. Today it's virtually our second home. We know the perfect roads and trails, the most scenic valleys and hilltop towns, the hidden churches and gem-like museums, the up-and-coming vintners and celebrated chefs—and, of course, all the best places to stay.

We Speak the Language

If we told you many companies' leaders can't actually speak the language where they lead trips, you'd say incroyable... ridicolo... không the tha thú. At Backroads, fluency in the local language is a given. Find out more on the best leader recruitment, training and development in the business. (And by the way, that was "unforgivable" in Vietnamese.)

Quality You Can Measure

Since 1979, Backroads Founder and President Tom Hale has shown that staying #1 means constantly evaluating our performance using the best possible source of information: our guests. As we systematically analyze your feedback on our trip consultants, leaders, hotels, meals and on-trip activities, we never stop working to make a great company even better.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

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 the selection of dates below for your group; some dates are only available for 16 or more guests while other dates are available for 8 or more guests. If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you. Call or email us to reserve your date.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Pricing for Private Trips

2017

  • 10 or more guests: from $5,398 pp dbl occ
  • 8 - 9 guests: from $5,798 pp dbl occ
  • 6 - 7 guests: from $6,798 pp dbl occ
  • 4 - 5 guests: from $7,398 pp dbl occ
  • 2 - 3 guests: from $8,598 pp dbl occ

2018

  • 10 or more guests: from $5,598 pp dbl occ
  • 8 - 9 guests: from $6,098 pp dbl occ
  • 6 - 7 guests: from $7,798 pp dbl occ
  • 4 - 5 guests: from $8,598 pp dbl occ
  • 2 - 3 guests: from $9,998 pp dbl occ

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

8 AVAILABLE TO BOOK FOR 8 OR MORE GUESTS 16 AVAILABLE TO BOOK FOR 16 OR MORE GUESTS RESERVED

Don't see your ideal travel date? Make a Date! i

Other Trips in Italy

Easy to Book Private Trips

Invite your family and friends on an adventure that's entirely your own - for your group of 8 or more. Find out more