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Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour

Italian Lake District—A Stylish Sojourn

From $5,598 - $6,098 pp dbl. occ. | 6 days / 5 nights

(+$1,790 for sgl. occ.)

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.

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Italy

Start/End Milan

Italian Lakes Map

Highlights

  • Enjoy exhilarating hikes on historic paths offering extraordinary views of endless verdant countryside and old-world village scenes
  • Behold the renowned Italian scenery, including the jaw-dropping panorama from Monte Mottarone
  • Discover stunning—and often overlooked!—Lake Orta, Flaubert and Tchaikovsky's scenic muse
  • Boat to spectacular Palazzo Borromeo, a baroque marvel with splendid fountains and peerless art
Italy

Start/End Milan

Italian Lakes Map

Itinerary

Days 1-2 Admire enchanting Lake Orta, creative inspiration of Flaubert and Tchaikovsky | Explore quiet lanes in the charming medieval hamlet of Orta San Giulio | Savor modern Mediterranean cuisine | Marvel at breathtaking scenery, including dramatic views from Monte Mottarone, 4,000 feet above Lakes Orta and Maggiore | Visit the town of Stresa and boat to Isola Bella, home to Palazzo Borromeo.

Days 3-4 Walk along Lake Maggiore from Cannobio to Cannero Riviera, passing tiny chapels and crossing small bridges | 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” | Stroll Bellagio's scenic waterfront promenade and shopping district. 

Days 5-6 Walk lakeside trails and mountain paths amid frescoed hamlets | Marvel at Villa Melzi, one of Lake Como's grand estates | Visit a farm that produces cheese, cream, 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 18th-century Villa Balbianello, owned by famed mountaineer Guido Monzino, and relish the vistas of the lake and surrounding hills. 

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. View cancellation policy.

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

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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.

2018 Private Trip Pricing
  • 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

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

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

  • 8 AVAILABLE TO BOOK
    for 8 or more guests
  • 16 AVAILABLE TO BOOK
    for 16 or more guests
  • Reserved

C Classic Tours

2018 June
2018 August

View Scheduled Dates

Prices

From $5,598 - $6,098 pp dbl. occ.
6 days / 5 nights

(+$1,790 for sgl. occ.)

Premiere Hotels

Villa Crespi
Villa Crespi

Orta San Giulio (1 night)

Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées
Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées

Stresa (2 nights)

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni
Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni

Bellagio (2 nights)

Activity Level

This trip is rated Levels 1-3

What's Included

Services and equipment are included.

Why Backroads

Why Travel with Backroads in Italian Lakes

Reviews by Power Reviews ®

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Premiere Hotels

Accommodations may vary based on departure date. Any difference from what is listed below can be found by clicking on your desired date on the View Scheduled Dates or Private Dates tabs.

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. (spa)

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)

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.

Daily Route Options (drag to see full )

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 2* 600 5 1000 7 1200
4* 800
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 level 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.

Meals

All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners

Also Included

  • Expertise and services of our experienced Trip Leaders
  • Snacks and beverages between meals
  • Additional guides and experts from the region on many trips
  • Van shuttles to support a variety of route options
  • Comprehensive Travel Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the Travel Planner
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as mentioned in the Travel Planner
  • On biking and multi-adventure trips, use of fully equipped Backroads titanium bike plus helmet and accessories
  • Trailercycles, carriers, and kid-sized helmets for Family Trips
  • Equipment and experienced guides for kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, sailing and canoeing as described
  • Park and other entry fees
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the Travel Planner
  • Select coach transfers
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Get the Straight Talk about This Trip

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.

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 trip featuring Premiere Hotels, 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.

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.

Photo Gallery

Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour
Lake Country - Backroads Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour
Hiking - Backroads Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour
Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour
Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour
Backroads Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour
Lake Country - Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour
Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour
Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour
Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour
Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour
Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour

Videos

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.
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