Villas and Gardens of Lake Como and Lake Maggiore Small Group Escorted Tour

Enjoy two of Italy’s greatest lakes on our Lake Como and Lake Maggiore Escorted Tour. Begin your adventure in Lake Maggiore to admire the beauty of the lake with its charming lakeside towns and mesmerising views of the Borromean Islands. Enjoy a private boat tour of the islands renowned for their lush gardens and intricate architecture.  

When your time in Lake Maggiore comes to an end, you will head to Lake Como, arriving in the beautiful town of Varenna. Here you can enjoy exploring the charming villas and gardens before dining at your hotel. Then step aboard a private boat to continue your journey across the lake to visit the stunning Villa Balbianello with its stunning architecture and sensational views. Then it’s on to Bellagio, the “Pearl of Lake Como” where you can wander through the pretty streets, soaking up the atmosphere.

Please be advised that our escorted tours are dependent on minimum numbers. The minimum numbers on all tours is 6. Please speak to our Italy Experts for more information.

Due to the amount of walking and steps involved with this tour, it is not suitable for people with walking difficulties.

 

2024 Tour departures

  • 29 September 2024

At a glance

  • Exclusive to Citalia
  • Explore the beautiful Villas of Lake Como
  • Maximum group size 18
  • Visit the Borromean Islands by private boat
  • Wander the gardens of Lake Maggiore and Lake Como

For more information, call our Italy Experts on:

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Trip Itinerary

Day 1 : Lake Maggiore

Start your tour on the majestic Lake Maggiore. You will arrive in the town of Stresa, get to know your surroundings by exploring Stresa and admire the beautiful views towards the Borromean Islands or simply relax by the pool. 

Alternatively, you may like to take the boat across the lake and explore the botanical gardens of Villa Taranto or visit the famous Villa Pallavicino in Stresa, which is home to a beautiful park, wildlife reserve, and botanical gardens. Dinner to be enjoyed at leisure.

Accommodation
Italian Lakes, Lake Maggiore
Hotel Regina Palace
  • Situated just a 5 minute walk from Stresa
  • Picturesque views of the surrounding hills and gardens from the swimming pool
Day 2 : Lake Maggiore

After breakfast meet your guide who will be with you all week as you explore the charming villas and gardens of Lake Maggiore and Lake Como. Today will certainly be a highlight as you visit the stunning Borromean Islands of Isola Bella and Isola Madre by private boat. The islands are renowned for their immaculate gardens and beautiful architecture. Isola Bella offers stunning Baroque architecture and is famous across the world for its Italian gardens. Isola Madre was first cultivated at the beginning of the 16th century, when the Borromeo family, impressed by the exceptionally mild climate on the island, began to introduce citrus trees and vines. During the nineteenth century, the orchard gradually evolved into landscaped botanical gardens. After, you will return to Stresa by private boat where you can enjoy your last evening on Lake Maggiore.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

 

Accommodation
Italian Lakes, Lake Maggiore
Hotel Regina Palace
  • Situated just a 5 minute walk from Stresa
  • Picturesque views of the surrounding hills and gardens from the swimming pool
Day 3 : Lake Como

Arrive on beautiful Lake Como and check into Hotel Royal Victoria in Varenna. Spend the afternoon at leisure to explore this charming town and perhaps consider a visit to the nearby Villa Cipressi and its beautiful gardens. In the evening, enjoy dinner at the Royal Victoria.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

 

 

Accommodation
Italian Lakes, Lake Como
Hotel Royal Victoria
  • Situated in the very heart of charming Varenna
  • Historic hotel
  • Onsite swimming pool with stunning views over the lake
Day 4 : Lake Como

With your guide you will board a public boat to Villa Carlotta and visit its world-famous gardens and villa. Once you have admired its beauty you will board a private boat for your onward journey along the lake where you will arrive at the stunning Villa Balbianello, a breathtaking villa located on a peninsula of Lake Como. Explore its immaculate gardens, terraces and interiors which have featured in several movies, including James Bond's "Casino Royale" whilst on your guided tour.

Return to Varenna by private boat and enjoy dinner at leisure.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

 

 

Accommodation
Italian Lakes, Lake Como
Hotel Royal Victoria
  • Situated in the very heart of charming Varenna
  • Historic hotel
  • Onsite swimming pool with stunning views over the lake
Day 5 : Lake Como

After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the hotel to board the public boat to Bellagio. The true beauty of the lake can be appreciated as you take the short journey to this stunning promontory, Bellagio is often described as the "Pearl of Lake Como" with its cobbled streets and lake front restaurants. Visit the 18th-century Villa Melzi and its stunning gardens, followed by free time to explore the charming town of Bellagio, the perfect time for a spot of lunch. After, board the public boat back to Varenna and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

 

Accommodation
Italian Lakes, Lake Como
Hotel Royal Victoria
  • Situated in the very heart of charming Varenna
  • Historic hotel
  • Onsite swimming pool with stunning views over the lake
Day 6 : Departure

Time to depart back to the UK or to your next destination in Italy!

 

 

6 days from £2,099 per person

What's included:

  • 5 breakfasts and 2 dinners
  • English speaking guide for the duration of the tour
  • Entrance fee for Villa Balbianello, Villa Melzi, Isola Bella and Madre and guided tour
  • Private boat from Villa Balbianello
  • Private boat to Borromean Islands and landing fees
  • Public boat journeys mentioned for Lake Como
  • Private airport transfers for arrival and departure are included in the price shown, however, these can be discussed and tailored at the point of booking

 

What's not included:

  • Drinks at dinner (other than water)
  • Entrance fees to monuments, museums and churches
  • All lunches
  • Tips
  • Tourist tax (approx. €14 per person)

 

Practical Information

Flight Information

Flying is the quickest and easiest way to get to Italy from the UK and there are plenty of direct flights available to most airports within Italy. The biggest choice of flights are available from London and Manchester but you'll also be able to fly to certain destinations from regional airports. Flights take from 2 to 4 hours depending on where you fly from/to.

Visa Information

At the current time, British citizens do not require a visa to visit Italy.

Tipping

Whilst tipping isn’t embedded into Italian culture it is always appreciated as an acknowledgement of good service. Nowadays people generally round up a bill in a bar or cafe and leave 5-10% extra on a restaurant bill. Taxi bills are usually also rounded up. 
 
On guided tours/excursions, it is customary to leave a token of appreciation for the driver and guide.
 
On small group escorted tours, it is customary to leave a token of appreciation for the driver and guide at the end of the tour.
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