The Wayfarers - vacations and travel

Lakes Como, Maggiore, Orta & Lugano

Italy, Europe

from $3,995* per person 7 Days June, July, September
Boutique accommodations Exertion level: 5
Operator: The Wayfarers 16 people max
  • Rail station, italy near novara, italy
  • Active & Adventure trips
The spectacular Italian lake district, long-time favorite haunt of the rich and famous, is our home for this seven-day trip.

Walking alpine peaks and mountain trails, lakeside paths and flower-filled meadows, we discover a world beyond the society glamour, one filled with dainty plants, elegant Renaissance villas, marble cathedrals and vintage railways. We take a cruise across Lake Orta and explore the famous Borromean Islands.

At Lugano we travel by private boat and cog railway to Monte Generoso, where we eat lunch in a rustic mountain hut before descending to Lake Como.

Locations visited/nearby

Italy, Europe

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We rendezvous in Novara for our transfer to Orta San Guilio. Novara is situated on the plain between the rivers Sesia and Ticino, which is the centre of a large rice growing area. The historic centre has a typically 19th century look with fine small palazzos built for the nobility side by side with older buildings such as the Battistero (Baptistry) and the Palazzo del Broletto.
Overnight: Orta

We cross the Lake of Orta by private boat and then walk on stone paths, a good climb of 2000 feet with wonderful views of the lake, through ancient villages where time has stood still. We descend to have lunch in a typical pizzeria. In the afternoon, our private boat takes us to visit the island of San Giulio and then back to Orta where we wander through the charming little streets of the village to visit the famed gardens of Villa Motta where we also enjoy dinner.  The historic 19th century villa provided shelter for the refugees of World War II and today its lakeside garden showcases glorious azaleas and camelias.
Overnight: Orta

We walk from Monte Mottarone up to Monte Falo and down to a picturesque village, where we stop for refreshment in a cozy inn. We walk down through a chestnut wood before taking a lift by minibus to lunch on a terrace overlooking the lake. In the afternoon, we can choose to visit Stresa or cruise the lake to visit the Borromean Islands of Isola Bella and Isola dei Pescatori.
Overnight: Stresa

We leave Stresa by ferry and van to cross the border into Switzerland arriving at lovely Lugano, 'The Queen of the Ceresio'.  A funicular takes us to the top of Monte San Salvatore where we have lunch in a restaurant with an incredible view over the lake and the mountains.  We then walk on to the botanical gardens of San Grato or take the chance to stroll the shady promenade of Lugano before dinner at our lakeside hotel, a Wayfarer favourite.
Overnight: Lugano

We walk today on Monte Generoso, which we reach by private boat across the lake to Capolago and by cog railway, with views across the Plain of Lombardy and the peak of Monte Rosa. We lunch at a mountain hut and descend to Argegno and our hotel on the western shore of Lake Como.
Overnight: Menaggio

We hike the shoreline of Lake Como known as the 'Looking Glass of Venus'. Stopping at the18th-century Villa Carlotta, we admire the villa's splendid garden and romantic sculptures. We sail across the lake to dock straight on the jetty of a 14th- century inn, for our lunch under a pergola. This afternoon we have the choice of walking to the gardens of Villa Melzi or shopping in the old town of Bellagio.
Overnight: Menaggio

We take the ferry to Como and a walking tour of the bustling town at the head of its eponymous lake, with its marble cathedral, old quarter and shops specialising in the local silk, before saying 'arrivederci'.

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