Peaceful and serene, Lake Maggiore straddles both Italy and Switzerland, and basks elegantly against the snowy backdrop of the Swiss Alps. The lakeside town of Stresa is defined by exotic greenery and a genteel atmosphere, and its tree-lined piazzas and decadent buildings make it the perfect base from which to explore Lake Maggiore. Surfacing from the crystalline blue waters, the Borromean Islands are the jewels of the lake. This archipelago of tiny islets harbours a paradise of glorious gardens and exquisite villas, and has been a seductively tranquil retreat for centuries.
based on two sharing in a twin/double room, with a minimum of 35 passengers travelling in a specific month
April, May, June, September, October
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The sparkling Borromean Islands are immersed near the western shores of Lake Maggiore, and are considered one of the most picturesque parts of the lake. The three main islands – Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola Superiore – have been shaped by centuries of aristocracy and shelter ambitious architecture, stunning landscaping and lush botanical gardens. The exquisite Borromeo Palace is surrounded by stunning terraces where you can immerse yourself in grandeur. Superiore is also known as ‘Isola dei Pescatori’ for its fishing community, which has retained a traditional way of life unchanged over generations.
This most picturesque of rail journeys will offer unforgettable vistas of the elegant Lake Maggiore. From the lovely town of Stresa, the train follows the path of the River Fiume Toce to the Piedmontese town of Domodosola, known for its fine medieval centre. From Domodosola, the charming Centovalli (Hundred Valleys) train takes you to the sunny Swiss town of Locarno, and from here you’ll return to Stresa by coach.
Stresa is an elegant resort town on the shores of Lake Maggiore. With cobbled streets, an air of decadence and a lovely lakeside promenade, it's no wonder it has been a favourite of artists and writers since the 1800s.
Famed the world over for its exquisite beauty, the jaw-dropping Lake Como is hemmed by forested hills and snow-tipped Alpine peaks. The lake’s shore is studded with achingly pretty towns and villages, home to old fishermen’s cottages and tiny lanes. Explore the typical lakeside village of Varenna, where it feels as if time stands still, before taking to the gentle turquoise waters on a boat trip to Bellagio. Bellagio is known as the ‘pearl of Lake Como’, with its elegant churches, gardens and historic character.
Hand picked destinations
Glittering like a sapphire amongst the vibrant green hills and craggy mountains, Lake Garda is a destination that has it all. Italy’s largest lake has been inspirational for centuries, with its crystalline waters, characterful towns and picturesque vineyards.
Loaded with the charm and beauty of its more famous neighbours, Lake Iseo sees just a fraction of the visitors, therefore making it the perfect place to soak up atmospheric alleyways, elaborate churches and impossibly beautiful vistas of northern Italy.
The deep turquoise waters of Lake Bled encircle an impossibly picturesque island church, are backed by breathtaking emerald forests and the snow-tipped Julian Alps, and are overlooked by the medieval splendour of Bled Castle.
A rural jewel set between the sparkling Lakes Como and Iseo, Italy's Imagna Valley is a lush green oasis that remains relatively untouched by tourism.