See the spectacular natural beauty of Lake Como, Lake Lugano and the Swiss Alps on this seven-night tour. Visit grand villas and take in their remarkable gardens, join a guided walk along the lake shore and spend some free time exploring at your own pace. You’ll travel by boat and road as well by train on one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys – the Bernina Express.

Griante, Lake Como: 7 nights

7nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE

Escape to the spectacular natural beauty of Lake Como, Lake Lugano and the Swiss Alps on this seven-night tour. Visit grand villas and their manicured gardens, join a guided walk along the lake shore and spend some free time exploring at your own pace. You’ll travel by boat and road as well by train on one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys – the Bernina Express.

Griante, Lake Como: 7 nights

7nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE
 
 
ITINERARY

Day 1: UK to Lake Como Fly to Milan’s Malpensa airport and on arrival travel to Lake Como. You will be based in the town of Griante, spending seven nights at the Grand Hotel Cadenabbia. This evening, before dinner, there will be a welcome briefing with your guide. Stay: Grand Hotel Cadenabbia (or similar). D.

Day 2: Bellagio & Varenna Your first full day in Italy will be spent on a guided tour of two of Lake Como’s most famous towns, Bellagio and Varenna. After meeting your guide at the hotel, the group will travel across the lake by public passenger ferry, disembarking in Bellaggio where you will join a guided tour of the village and the gardens of Villa Melzi. Sitting at the tip of the land that separates the two southern branches of lake, there has been a settlement here since before the Roman era. The majority of the architecture today is a mix of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque and there are cobbled streets and a charming tree-lined waterfront. Stroll around the gardens of the lakeside Villa Melzi before returning to the pier and boarding a ferry which will take you to Varenna on the lake’s western shores. Vibrant fisherman’s houses, villas and cafés and gelaterias back the small stony beach and a verdant hill rises just behind this pretty and unpretentious village. The tree-dotted piazza is surrounded by charming houses, cafés and historic churches built in the 11th and 14th Centuries. Following a tour of the village head to Villa Monastero and explore its long, narrow garden which overlooks the water. Later, return to Griante by ferry. Stay: Grand Hotel Cadenabbia (or similar). B, D.

Day 3: St Moritz, Switzerland Following breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the train station in Tirano where you will board the Bernina Express train and cross into Switzerland (passport required). One of Switzerland’s world-famous scenic rail routes, this journey will take you up into the Alps reaching an altitude of 2253 metres above sea level at the Bernina Pass. Travel through valleys carved by glaciers, pass melt-water fed lakes and streams, pause in pretty Swiss villages and wind your way up the high country, heading through spiralling tunnels that are carved into the mountainside. Alight in the resort of St Moritz, a favourite destination with royalty and movie stars. Perhaps more famous as a winter playground, it is a joy to visit during the warmer months too. You will have some free time to explore the centre of the resort before returning to Italy by road. Enjoy the views as you cross the Maloja Pass and later, stop at a wine cellar in the Italian city of Chiavenna for a tasting. Approx. journey time: 4¾ hours. Stay: Grand Hotel Cadenabbia (or similar). B, D.

Day 4: Griante Enjoy an entire free day to explore at your own pace. You could return to one of your favourite lake towns, just relax at your hotel or wander along the water’s edge for an hour or two. This is your chance to slow the pace a little and soak up the incredible landscapes that surround you. Stay: Grand Hotel Cadenabbia (or similar). B, D.

Day 5: Lenno & Tremezzo The focus returns to Lake Como today with a guided full-day tour which takes in a couple more of the lakeside towns. Board a boat which will take you south along the coast to Villa Balbianello which is located close to the town of Lenno. Featuring two 13th Century towers, this historic villa is a real Lake Como gem and has been used as a filming location in films such as Casino Royale and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Enjoy a tour of the gardens and the inside of the villa before travelling to Lenno and catching the public ferry to Tremezzo. There will be some free time to explore one of the lake’s most well renowned and popular towns and perhaps have lunch in a lakeside restaurant (payable locally). Later, visit the magnificent 20-acre gardens of Villa Carlotta and witness the diverse species of flora and the numerous statues and fountains. Return to your hotel by road and enjoy another free evening. Stay: Grand Hotel Cadenabbia (or similar). B, D.

Day 6: Menaggio to Rezzonico Today you’ll have the opportunity to really soak in the beauty of Lake Como as you follow the Greenway del Lago di Como with walk along the Greenway del Lago di Como. In the company of a local guide, the group will follow the part of the route which winds its way from the town of Menaggio to Santa Maria Rezzonico. Depart from the hotel following breakfast and board the ‘road train’ which will take you up to the starting point of your walk. Enjoy spending the day strolling along the lake’s edge and through delightful villages such as Acquaseria and Santa Maria (a packed lunched is included). Upon reaching Santa Maria Rezzonico, you will return to Griante and your hotel by public bus. Stay: Grand Hotel Cadenabbia (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 7: Lugano, Switzerland Following breakfast at the hotel, travel by private bus to the 19th-Century Villa Bagatti Valsecchi. Explore the beautiful and extensive gardens here before continuing on over the border back into Switzerland (passport required). Your destination is the city of Lugano which is situated on the western shore of Lugano. This is the largest city in the region of Ticino and it is beautifully situated in the shadow of the three peaks of Monte Brè, Monte San Salvatore and Monte Generoso. You will have some free time in the city to explore at your own pace. Perhaps view the Lombardy Renaissance style of the San Lorenzo Cathedral and the Baroque interior of Saint Lawrence Cathedral, or wander round the main square Piazza Reforma or along the charming waterfront. Later, board a private boat which will take you to Porlezza which is situated back across the border in Italy and travel back to your hotel by road. Approx. journey time: 1 hour. Stay: Grand Hotel Cadenabbia (or similar). B, D.

Day 8: Lake Como to UK Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Alternatively, extend your stay in the region. B.


Stay longer

Lake Como 3 nights
Extend your holiday with a few more days on the lake shore, perhaps revisiting some of your favourite spots from the last week.

Day 1: UK to Lake Como Fly to Milan’s Malpensa airport and on arrival, travel to Lake Como. You’ll be based in the town of Griante, spending seven nights at the Grand Hotel Cadenabbia. This evening, before dinner, there will be a welcome briefing with your guide. Stay: Grand Hotel Cadenabbia (or similar). D.

Day 2: Bellagio & Varenna Your first full day in Italy will be spent on a guided tour of two of Lake Como’s most famous towns, Bellagio and Varenna. After meeting your guide at the hotel, you’ll travel across the lake by public passenger ferry, disembarking in Bellaggio where you’ll join a guided tour of the village and the gardens of Villa Melzi. Sitting at the tip of the land that separates the two southern branches of the lake, there has been a settlement here since before the Roman era. The majority of the architecture today is a mix of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque and there are cobbled streets and a charming tree-lined waterfront. Stroll around the gardens of the lakeside Villa Melzi before returning to the pier and boarding a ferry which will take you to Varenna on the lake’s western shores. Vibrant fisherman’s houses, villas, cafés and gelaterias back the small stony beach and a verdant hill rises just behind this pretty and unpretentious village. The tree-dotted piazza is surrounded by charming houses, cafés and historic churches built in the 11th and 14th Centuries. Following a tour of the village, head to Villa Monastero and explore its long, narrow garden which overlooks the water. Later, return to Griante by ferry. Stay: Grand Hotel Cadenabbia (or similar). B, D.

Day 3: Lugano, Switzerland Following breakfast at the hotel, travel by private bus to the 19th-Century Villa Bagatti Valsecchi. Explore the beautiful and extensive gardens here before continuing on over the border back into Switzerland (passport required). Your destination is Lugano, a city on the western shore of Lake Lugano. This is the largest city in the Ticino region and it is beautifully placed in the shadow of the three peaks of Monte Brè, Monte San Salvatore and Monte Generoso. You’ll have some free time in the city to explore at your own pace; view the Lombardy Renaissance style of the San Lorenzo Cathedral and the Baroque interior of Saint Lawrence Cathedral, or wander round the main square Piazza Reforma or along the charming waterfront. Later, board a private boat which will take you to Porlezza back across the border in Italy and travel back to your hotel by road. Approx. journey time: 1 hour. Stay: Grand Hotel Cadenabbia (or similar). B, D.

Day 4: Griante Today is an entire free day to explore at your own pace however and wherever you like. Revisit one of your favourite lake towns, find pretty paths by the water’s edge to follow or just relax at your hotel. This is your chance to slow down the pace a little and soak up the incredible landscapes that surround you. Stay: Grand Hotel Cadenabbia (or similar). B, D.

Day 5: Lenno & Tremezzo The focus returns to Lake Como today with a guided full-day tour which takes in a couple more of the lakeside towns. Board a boat which will take you south along the coast to Villa Balbianello which is close to the town of Lenno. Featuring two 13th-Century towers, this historic villa is a real Lake Como gem and has been used as a filming location in films like Casino Royale and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Take a tour of the gardens and the inside of the villa before travelling to Lenno and catching the public ferry to Tremezzo. There will be some free time to explore one of the lake’s most popular towns, and maybe have lunch in a lakeside restaurant (payable locally). Later, visit the magnificent 20-acre gardens of Villa Carlotta and see the diverse plant species, statues and fountains. Return to your hotel by road for another free evening. Stay: Grand Hotel Cadenabbia (or similar). B, D.

Day 6: Colonno to Tremezzo Today you’ll have the opportunity to really experience the beauty of Lake Como as you walk along the Greenway del Lago di Como. Meet your local guide at the hotel reception and take a bus to Colonno where you’ll start your walking tour on the main road, uphill through the village. Admire your surroundings as you follow the route which goes uphill and along cobbled paths to the Sacred Mountain of Ossuccio. Look out from the viewpoint, where you’ll also have the option to take a short break as you look around the church. Start your descent down to Tremezzo along the upper hamlets and continue to Cadenabbia. Your day includes a stop for lunch, and you’ll be back at the hotel in the afternoon. Stay: Grand Hotel Cadenabbia (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 7: St Moritz, Switzerland After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the train station in Tirano for one of Switzerland’s world-famous scenic rail routes. Board the Bernina Express train and cross into Switzerland (passport required) on a journey that will take you up into the Alps, reaching an altitude of 2253 metres above sea level at the Bernina Pass. Travel through valleys carved by glaciers, pass meltwater-fed lakes and streams, pause in pretty Swiss villages and wind your way up the high country, heading through spiralling tunnels that are carved into the mountainside. Alight in St Moritz, a favourite resort with royalty and movie stars which, while more famous as a winter playground, is just as lovely to visit during the warmer months when colour fills the mountain forests. Explore the centre of the resort with some free time before returning to Italy by road. Take in the views as you cross the Maloja Pass and later, stop at a wine cellar in the Italian city of Chiavenna for a tasting. Approx. journey time: 4¾ hours. Stay: Grand Hotel Cadenabbia (or similar). B, D.

Day 8: Lake Como Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK, or extend your stay with a city break in Milan or some more time in the Italian Lakes. B.


Stay longer

Lake Como 3 nights
Extend your holiday with a few more days on the lake shore, perhaps revisiting some of your favourite spots from the last week.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

This is a relatively relaxing but experience-filled tour taking in two countries and a great choice for lovers of the outdoors, charming towns and villages, and historic architecture.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)
• Average group size of 12 guests
• A maximum of 16 guests
• Itinerary is subject to change, due to weather conditions and will be confirmed on arrival.

What to expect

• Travel by public and private buses and boats
• A day of walking along the lake shore (comfortable walking shoes are essential)
• A tourist tax will will need to be paid directly to the hotel
• You will need to take your passport with you on the days you visit Switzerland.

Accommodation on tour

We have chosen a charming waterfront hotel which oozes history, is very traditional in style and has a tranquil atmosphere. You’ll spend seven nights at the Grand Hotel Cadenabbia, one of the oldest hotels on Lake Como, which features pretty gardens, a swimming pool, two restaurants (one of which is included in the half board package) and a bar. While it is located to the south of the village of Griante, it’s a relatively easy – and incredibly scenic – walk away.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £490

Is this for you?

This is a relatively relaxing but experience-filled tour taking in two countries. It’s a great choice for lovers of the outdoors, charming towns and villages, and historic architecture.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)
• Average group size of 12 guests
• A maximum of 16 guests
• Journey times do not take into account stops or traffic conditions
• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag.

What to expect

• A pair of comfortable walking shoes is essential
• Busy days with lots of walking and exploring on foot
• Passport is required on days where you cross the border into Switzerland
• Travel is by public and private buses, train and boat
• Itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions, and will be confirmed on arrival.

Accommodation on tour

We’ve chosen a charming waterfront hotel that oozes history, is very traditional in style and has a tranquil atmosphere. You’ll spend seven nights at the Grand Hotel Cadenabbia, one of the oldest hotels on Lake Como, which has pretty gardens, a swimming pool, two restaurants (one of which is included in the half board package) and a bar. While it is located to the south of the village of Griante, it’s a relatively easy – and incredibly scenic – walk away.

Single travellers

Sole-use room from £2191

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2019 Aug 25; Oct 06

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Small groups and a relaxed approach
• Porterage
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently
• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £2077 per person.

Tour dates

2020 Apr 26; May 16; Jun 07; Aug 30; Sep 20; Oct 04. 

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Small groups
• Porterage
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £3510 per person.

Taste of Lake Como

Kuoni highlights

This tour provides an excellent combination of plentiful experiences and time to relax and do your own thing. You’ll visit a number of lakeside towns such as Tremezzo, Bellagio and Varenna, travelling by public ferry; follow the Greenway of Lake Como walking trail; and cross explore the Swiss city of Lugano. The tour’s highlight is the trip on the Bernina Express, one of Switzerland’s world-famous mountain trains. There will also be a full day to do your own thing at your own pace.

Kuoni highlights

This tour is an excellent combination of scenic experiences and time to relax. You’ll visit lakeside towns like Tremezzo, Bellagio and Varenna, travelling by public ferry; follow the Greenway of Lake Como walking trail; and explore the Swiss city of Lugano. The tour’s highlight is the Bernina Express, one of Switzerland’s world-famous mountain trains.