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Scenic Lake Maggiore

(Tour code: 17LMF)Discover scenic railway journeys, picturesque Isola Bella & stylish Milan

This wonderful seven-night holiday takes you to the shores of beautiful Lake Maggiore. Discover scenic railway journeys, picturesque Isola Bella and stylish Milan.


Secure your 2017 holiday for only £50pp low deposit when booking on or before 9th December 2016, plus save up to £15 per person when booking on or before 31st October 2016.  Terms & Conditions

Tour Highlights
  • Isola Bella boat excursion
  • Guided tour Milan
  • Trip on the Centovalli Railway
  • Sacred Mount Madonna del Sasso
  • Stresa
  • Borromean Palace
What’s Included (Full details)
  • Standard Class Rail
    Heritage Rail Excursion
  • 3* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Evening Meals
  • Optional Bag Concierge

Itinerary & Map

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Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.

Regional Departures

Regional Departures

To make your travel arrangements even more convenient for you, we are excited to announce that we will now be offering a regional departures option for some airports and rail stations outside of London. 

To view prices and departure options please click the image on the left. If you decide you would like to travel from an alternative airport we'd be happy to arrange this for you simply call us on 0800 138 6300

Begin your journery
Day 1

To Lake Maggiore

Fly to Malpensa Airport, close to Milan. From here, transfer to Stresa beside Lake Maggiore, where you stay for seven nights.

  • Dinner
Lake Maggiore
Day 2

At Leisure

Enjoy a free day to relax, acclimatising to the beautiful surrounds of Lake Maggiore. Perhaps venture out to the Piazza Cadorna, enjoying a coffee as you watch the world wander by in this sleepy town.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Free Day
Centovalli Railway
Day 3

Centovalli Railway

Today, enjoy a journey on the breathtaking Centovalli Railway. With a name meaning 'One Hundred Valleys', the Centovalli Railway connects Locarno in Switzerland to Domodossola in Italy. Construction of the line was delayed with the advent of the First World War, so it did not open until 1923. However, with its beautiful bridges over some incredible lakeside and valley scenery, the line has remained open ever since, being especially popular with tourists.

You wind through valleys and past deep ravines, over bridges and through tunnels, on a marvellous route between Domodossola and the lakeside town of Locarno. First mentioned in records in 807AD when controlled by Italian nobility, Locarno had previously been a Roman settlement, although this area of Lake Maggiore bears evidence of inhabitation since prehistoric times. Its long and colourful history has bestowed a wealth of historic buildings upon Locarno and today the city boasts nine individual Swiss Heritage Sites of National Significance, including the twelfth century Castello Visconteo, and the Church of Saint Francesco which dates from 1538.

On arrival in Locarno, you are free for lunch and to explore. Perhaps visit the beautiful Sacred Mount Madonna del Sasso, a stunning historical and religious site perched above the village. Reportedly built by a Franciscan friar after an apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared to him on the spot, the church boasts fantastic views over Locarno from the rocky outcrop where it rests. Later, take the scenic route back to the hotel, with a blissful cruise across the lake to Stresa.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4

At leisure in Stresa

Today you are at leisure to relax in Stresa, possibly taking the time to explore the town. Although a highly popular Italian resort, Stresa is small enough to explore on foot, rewarding visitors with medieval buildings, opulent and historic villas, public gardens and several museums. Follow in the footsteps of prestigious guests such as George Bernard Shaw, Ernest Hemingway, Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin and Princess Margaret as you enjoy a walk along the pretty lakeside promenade. Alternatively, you could take advantage of the hotel's comforts. Relax on the sun terrace or lounge by the pool and appreciate the Alpine views.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Free Day
Isola Bella
Day 5

Isola Bella

This morning, enjoy an excursion by boat, cruising to picturesque Isola Bella, the small island only a few minutes across the lake from Stresa. The island was completely transformed by the aristocratic Borromeo family in the 16th and 17th centuries, and is now dominated by the sumptuous Borromean Palace.

Set amidst spectacularly beautiful Italian gardens, this ornate and ambitious structure was started in the 17th century, but only saw completion in 1959. The fabulous rooms often have mythological themes, and the stuccoed ceilings, Murano chandeliers, fine paintings and rich tapestries lend the villa a fanciful feel. Despite this, the palace did have a rather serious brush with modern history: the Music Room is where Mussolini met with Pierre Laval of France and James Ramsey MacDonald of Britain for the famous 'Conference of Stresa', where Italy discussed, and finally decided against, becoming an Allied nation. You will visit the palace before free time to explore the wonderful gardens, which are equally as opulent as the sumptuous interiors.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Excursion
Milan Duomo
Day 6


Travel to fashionable Milan by rail today. Enjoy a guided tour of this stunning city, taking in its wonderful architecture including the ornate 'Teatro alla Scalla' opera house and the immense Duomo, one of the world's largest Gothic cathedrals, before exploring the city at your own pace. As Italy's financial capital and fashion powerhouse, Milan thrives in its quick pace, and offers fantastic opportunities for a spot of holiday shopping.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
At leisure
Day 7

At leisure

Today you are at leisure. Perhaps take a boat across the lake to Villa Taranto, famous for its beautiful botanical gardens. Make the journey home on Day 8, when you transfer to the airport for your flight home. On arrival, your tour concludes.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Free Day
Return to the UK
Day 8

Return to the UK

Make the journey home after breakfast today, when you transfer to the airport for your flight home. On arrival, your tour concludes.

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.


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Rail Discoveries has more than three decades' experience providing outstanding rail holidays.

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