Walking the Italian Lakes
Alpine mountains pierce the clouds. Opulent villas hug the shore of azure, sun-kissed lakes. Ancient footpaths wind through medieval villages, opulent Renaissance gardens, and beckoning hillsides. As we walk through the landscape of the Italian Lake District, we’ll understand how remarkable natural beauty has met with a magical serenity in a marriage rare and wonderful. Along the way, we’ll savor the acclaimed wine, cheese, and cuisine of Piedmont, share lunch at a local farm, watch the sun set on Lake Maggiore during dinner on picturesque Isola dei Pescatori, and ride a cable car to the top of Mount Mottarone for a thrilling panorama, and so much more.
- Discover the serene beauty of Italy’s Lake District, cherished for its majestic alpine vistas and ornate villas.
- Walk the winding cobblestone streets and steep stone staircases of medieval Bellagio.
- Explore along the Wayfarer Trail, an ancient, winding footpath on the shore of Lake Como.
- Admire the fine sculptures and meticulously landscaped gardens of Villa Carlotta.
- Enjoy a guided tour of the opulent Palazzo Borromeo and its lush, terraced gardens.
- Watch the sun set on Lake Maggiore during dinner on picturesque Isola dei Pescatori (“Fishermen’s Island”).
- Ride a cable car to the top of Mount Mottarone for sweeping views of the Italian lakes and Alps.
- Savor fresh cheese and other local specialties during a picnic lunch at a Coiromonte farm.
- Encounter enchanting Monte Sacro, a monastic complex devoted to St. Francis of Assisi and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Savor local wines and delicious Piedmontese cuisine during lunch at an Orta San Giulio enoteca.
- Stroll along “The Way of Silence,” a footpath encircling Lake Orta’s Isola San Giulio.
What to Expect
This tour features a combination of easy terrain and paved roads mixed with some very short hills. Walks are in open countryside and small cities, sometimes on uneven footpaths over grass and soil pathways and cobbled streets. It is ideal for enthusiastic beginners and experienced walkers. It is always very important to wear appropriate shoes with excellent tread to ensure the perfect grip on uneven and rocky terrain. We plan both longer optional walks and short easy options for those who want to spend more time on their own exploring the cities and surroundings. Be prepared to use ferry and motorboats extensively for our transfers. Both morning and afternoon or evening options are available every day. Several of the walks require a transfer from our hotel to the start of the walk. Van support is limited due to distinctive features of the region. Some vehicle support is provided where possible.
Please note: Be prepared to make transfers by ferry and motorboat. Any luggage will be transferred by vehicle.
Average Daily Mileage: 3 – 6 miles
Average Walking Time: 2 – 4 hours
Average High/Low Temperature (°F) – Como
Apr 59°/46° May 68°/54° Jun 75°/59° Jul 79°/64° Aug 79°/64° Sep 72°/57° Oct 61°/50°
Average Rainfall (in.) – Como
Apr 4 May 5 Jun 5 Jul 4 Aug 4 Sep 4 Oct 5
Walking Tour Only – without Air
- 6 nights in elegant 4-star hotels
- 12 meals – 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
Air Package Plus
- 8 nights in 4-star hotels
- 14 meals – 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
- Roundtrip international airfare
- And the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions: Pre-trip: Lake Como – 2 nights for only $345 • Post-trip: Milan – 2 nights for only $395
Both Vacation Options Include
- Service of two bilingual VBT Trip Leaders
- On-tour ferry support
- FREE use of our custom VBT walking poles
- Daily route directions and maps
- Welcome reception
- Sightseeing and cultural activities
- 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation
- Special Good Buy Discount