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The Best of the Italian Lakes

4.2 stars(26 reviews)

Soak up the beauty of four of Italy’s beautiful lakes

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
8 days From £999 per person

2022 Tour code: 22ORL

About the tour

Soak up the beauty of four of Italy's beautiful lakes: Orta, Maggiore, Lugano, and Como as you relax in idyllic surrounds on this scenic escape. Stroll through colourful towns, uncover tiny islands and take to the waters for unforgettable views.


What’s included


Day 1 - London & Turin

Meet at London St Pancras, and board the Eurostar to Paris. Continue by rail to Turin, where you stay overnight at a local hotel.

  • Dinner
Day 2 - Turin & Lake Orta

Enjoy a walking tour of this grand Italian city that includes the Mole Antonelliana, a beautiful example of 19th-century Italian architecture, and the Piazza Castello. After free time for lunch, transfer by coach to Pettenasco on Lake Orta. The lake is overlooked by the pristine peak of Monte Mottarone and the nearby village of Orta has a tranquil atmosphere. Unlike its more iconic cousins, Lake Garda and Lake Como, Lake Orta's seclusion makes it a peaceful alternative, where visitors can experience the authentic Italian way of life.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Isola San Giulio & Orta San Giulio

Enjoy a scenic cruise across Lake Orta to Isola San Giulio, a tiny island village dominated by a monastery which gazes like a lighthouse across the lake. The inside of the Basilica is well worth a visit, with grand pieces of artwork stretching across the walls and under the half domes. After time to explore, transfer by boat to Orta San Giulio. See the towns from a new perspective from the waters of the lake, taking in views of white townhouses and buildings with terracotta roofs which stand out against the forest-covered mountainside. In Orta San Giulio, the piazzas are an excellent place to unwind, while the lakefront is populated by small fishing boats. Popular with writers since the 19th century, Orta San Giulio's elegant streets have welcomed the likes of Lord Byron and Robert Browning, and it's little wonder, with such incredible landscapes as inspiration.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Lugano

Visit the pretty Swiss town of Lugano, where you have some free time to explore. Set on the shores of glacial Lake Lugano, the city's filled with chic boutiques, pavement cafés and cosy bars which are a delight to explore. Perhaps take a scenic walk along the waterfront before finding a local spot to settle down in for lunch. You could indulge in some local specialities, and Switzerland is famous for its cheese. Gooey fondue or raclette are both well worth a try.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Lake Como

Uncover picturesque Lake Como, nestled in the foothills of the Alps. Home to luxurious villas, orange trees and cheerful villages of sunlit squares and Renaissance charm, the whole area is a delight to discover. Visit the lakeside town of Menaggio, a town on the western shores that boasts an abundance of classic Italian appeal. The streets are a pleasure to explore, and the Piazza Garibaldi in the heart of the Old Town is the perfect place to stop for a gelato. Cross the lake by ferry to Bellagio, with its stunning location on the edge of a peninsula that juts into the lake. You have some time here. The old world streets, winding away from the main square are home to a number of artisan shops, selling locally produced, one-of-a-kind items.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Pettanasco

You're free to get to know Pettanasco and Lake Orta at your own pace. The lake and its surrounding villages don't seem to have changed much in the last 100 years and are filled with unique charms. Your hotel is located directly on the lake and boasts spectacular views from its terrace, so perhaps linger over a coffee and drink in the stunning landscape before making your way to the town's market where you can enjoy perusing stalls filled with fresh local produce and handmade crafts.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Stresa

Head to Stresa by Lake Maggiore, which has welcomed visitors to its luxurious villas and elegant hotels since the 19th century. You have plenty of time to explore, discovering its medieval buildings, opulent and historic villas, public gardens and several museums. Perhaps stroll along the promenade and soak up the serenity, or take a scenic boat trip to the Borromean islands.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - London

You bid farewell to Italy as you return to Paris by rail, before connecting with the Eurostar to London St Pancras.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

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.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Hotel Giardinetto

Hotel Giardinetto, Pettenasco

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4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 26 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

R Hartridge

3 stars

Submitted 27/Sep

Booking through rail bookers suggested rail travel in honesty once in Italy most of the travel was by long coach trips. I have travelled to the lakes and from Paris to the lakes one train. This trip one train to Turin from Paris overnight stay next day coach to the lakes. Return trip a nightmare coach then 3 different changes to get to Paris too much hauling cases of trains. Food in hotel not up to the standard expected in Italy. Hotel was nice, staff friendly but very basic. Would i do this again No.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mr Michael Gray

4 stars

Submitted 25/Sep

The scenery was stunning. The hotels were very good overall. The travelling to and back from Italy made for very long days. For two excursions you were in a coach for five hours, not great. The itinerary covered visits to all the lakes in the area and apart from making some minor improvements was ok. The Rail Discoveries guide was excellent. The group was slightly too big for this type of journey with several changes of trains, four different trains on the return journey. Also not all the booked seats for the travellers were together in the same carriages.

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Erika Denham-Linney

4 stars

Submitted 25/Sep

Excellent rail trip to beautiful Lake Orta. Good hotel by the Lake. Excellent guide.

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mr clancey

5 stars

Submitted 24/Sep

A very good holiday. The scenery fantastic. Our tour guide- Graham was the best and made the holiday.

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Veronica Martin

5 stars

Submitted 24/Sep

A wonderful location and chance to visit other lakes. Turin was a brilliant experience. Graham Carter really made our holiday, he was brilliant! Thank you Graham.

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4 stars

Submitted 23/Sep

Excellent trip, well planned with plenty of time to enjoy different lakes.

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Show 6 more reviews
The Best of the Italian Lakes

Soak up the beauty of four of Italy’s beautiful lakes


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