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Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour
Backroads Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour

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Walking & Hiking
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Italy's Lake Como & Bellagio Walking & Hiking Tour

Stylish Sojourn in the Italian Lake District

Maggiore, Como and Orta could easily steal the title of Great Lakes. Shimmering blue waters set against a dramatic 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.

THIS ITINERARY: 6 days, 5 nights


FROM: $6,299 - $7,399 pp dbl occ
($2,050 for sgl occ)

Italian Lakes Walking and Hiking Tour
Italian Lakes Walking and Hiking Tour


Start/End Milan

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

  • Hike on historic paths offering extraordinary views of lush countryside, mountain peaks, forests and old-world village scenes
  • Discover stunning and often overlooked Lake Orta, believed to be Flaubert and Tchaikovsky's scenic muse
  • Boat across Lake Como to spectacular Villa Balbianello, an exquisite 18th-century estate with splendid gardens
  • Behold a renowned and iconic Italian landscape, including the jaw-dropping panorama from Monte Mottarone
Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour Video
Italian Lakes Walking & Hiking Tour Video
The Backroads Experience
The Backroads Experience
Backroads Walking & Hiking Trips
Backroads Walking & Hiking Trips
Backroads Trip Leader
Meet Our Leaders
Accommodations may vary based on departure date.
6 Days Premiere Hotels
Accommodations may vary based on departure.
Day 1

Admire enchanting Lake Orta, creative inspiration of Flaubert and Tchaikovsky | Hike past the clifftop Madonna del Sasso Sanctuary and up to the 21 ancient chapels of Sacro Monte | Explore quiet lanes in the charming medieval hamlet of Orta San Giulio | Savor Michelin-starred cuisine at our beautiful Moorish-style hotel.

Villa Crespi
Villa Crespi
Orta San Giulio
| Premiere Hotel

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

Days 2-3

Hike mountain paths and trails amid frescoed hamlets | 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 | Walk along Lake Maggiore from Cannero Riviera to Canobbio, passing tiny chapels and crossing small bridges | Our luxurious retreat provides an ideal setting for a sunset aperitivo.

Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées
Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées
| Premiere Hotel

A belle epoque beauty on Lake Maggiore and the setting for part of Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms. (pool, spa)

Days 4-6

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, known as the Pearl of the Lake, and stroll its scenic waterfront promenade and shopping district | A beloved enoteca invites us in for a tasting of local vintages | Marvel at Villa Melzi, one of Lake Como's grand estates | Learn the art of truffle hunting with our local friend Jacopo and his canine sidekick, Sydney | In 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.

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni
Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni
| Premiere Hotel

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)

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. View cancellation policy.

Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.

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Activity Level: 1-3

Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. Several routes and a range of levels are offered each day so you can choose how much or how little activity you want to do. Learn more about how we determine activity levels.

Route notes

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.

Daily Route Options

Day 1
Walking & Hiking
Level 2 | 4 miles* | 200 ft. gain
Level 3 | 6 miles | 200 ft. gain
Day 2
Walking & Hiking
Level 1 | 3 miles* | 1000 ft. gain
Level 2 | 5 miles* | 2000 ft. gain
Level 3 | 8 miles | 3000 ft. gain
Day 3
Walking & Hiking
Level 1 | 2 miles* | 500 ft. gain
Level 2 | 5 miles* | 1200 ft. gain
Level 3 | 10 miles* | 1500 ft. gain
Day 4
Walking & Hiking
Level 1 | 1 mile* | 600 ft. gain
Level 2 | 4 miles* | 800 ft. gain
Level 2 | 5 miles | 1000 ft. gain
Level 3 | 7 miles | 1200 ft. gain
Day 5
Walking & Hiking
Level 1 | 2 miles* | 600 ft. gain
Level 2 | 4 miles | 1500 ft. gain
Level 3 | 7 miles | 1700 ft. gain
Day 6
Guided Villa Walk (1 hour)
* Includes shuttle.

What's Included

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
  • 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

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.

Limited & Fixed Menus

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


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, occasionally following slightly overgrown paths that may not be well defined.

Ask a trip expert

Have a question and need expert advice? Our team of Trip Consultants is here to help! You can also visit our FAQ's.

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