Day 1 Orta San Giulio
Arrive in Orta San Giulio. Meet with our Area Manager and then take a walk up to the chapel of the Sacro Monte, dedicated to the life of St. Francis of Assisi. Enjoy views over splendid Lake Orta and then settle in to your hotel and enjoy the first of many amazing dinners - the Michelin starred Villa Crespi is one of our recommendations for a splurge!
Walking distance: 4 km.*
Day 2 Orta San Giulio
Your day begins with a short transfer to walk an ancient trail including sections of the Stone Mason’s Path. Have lunch in Pella and then cruise to the island of San Giulio to explore on foot and then back to Orta San Giulio by boat. Back in Orta, enjoy a 2nd night at your hotel here and the tranquility of this charming village.
Walking distance: 9 km.*
Day 3 Stresa
Your day starts with a 20 minute shuttle to the mountain village of Coiromonte where outstanding views of the lakes and surrounding countryside awaits. You will descend on trail to Stresa - you have the option to take a cable car for part of the trip down, reducing the distance of today’s walk. Once in town, you may decide to visit Isola Bella (beautiful island). Stresa boasts several excellent restaurants including Michelin starred options.
Walking distance: 7.1 or 12.5 or 16.3 km.*
Day 4 Bellagio
The day starts with a transfer by train to Lake Como. Our Area Manager will arrange to have you met at the Varenna station for the 10 minute shuttle to the trail head - your luggage will be taken to your hotel. Climbing to the castel Vezio will reward you with super views before descending to Varenna, often described as one of the most romantic villages in Italy. After exploring this village, you will take a short ferry to the pearl of Lake Como, Bellagio.
Walking distance: 6.6 or 17.3 km.*
Day 5 Bellagio
Today’s walk starts off along the lake through the lovely gardens of Villa Melzi and then up to the Baita belvedere. You can shuttle back to town to allow time to see Villa Balbianello (setting for the James Bond classic Casino Royale). Alternatively, should you wish to take an optional cooking course from 10-2:30 pm, this is possible (additional cost 120 euros pp).
Distance: 6.7 or 19.2 km.*
The easiest way to depart is by direct boat to Como (50 min; departures from 7:12 am), where you can take a train to Milan (40 min; departures at 8:13, 9:13, 10:58 etc.)
*Distance and elevation gains may vary depending on hotels chosen for specific departure.
In the press:
“Little has changed in the past 50 years, though several grand hotel openings have added to the lakes’ cachet. The main attractions, however, remain the simple, authentic pleasures that travelers have appreciated since the days of the grand tour…Despite a high celeb quotient, Como, Italy’s most sophisticated lake, embodies low-key glamour, history, and tradition. Its 30-mile-long western shoreline runs from the miniature sailing port of Cernobbio through sleepy Laglio to Menaggio. On the eastern shore is the chic hillside village of Bellagio, with its rainbow-colored villas; the old stone fishing villages of Bellano and Varenna are popular with culture and nature buffs, thanks to their medieval castles and elaborate Renaissance gardens.
Set along the southern banks of the Alps, Maggiore, Italy’s second-largest lake, is the busiest and most untamed. The eastern, Lombard shore is characterized by wild woodlands, but most travelers go to the western side, where the village of Stresa is chock-full of artisanal shops. Close to the Swiss border you’ll find the town of Cannobio, a labyrinth of cobblestoned streets, medieval palazzi, and waterfront restaurants.” Travel & Leisure
In the press:
Orta San Giulio, described as a place “where cobbled lanes wind between tall, pastel-washed houses and peeling palazzo and fishing boats lie pulled up onto the waterfront. Orta’s main square faces the Isola San Giulio, an islet adorned with an ancient convent and church. The harmonius ensemble of town, piazza and island is pure theatre….”