- 4-day tour of the Italian Lakes and Verona from Milan
- Visit four of Lombardy’s famous lakes: Orta, Maggiore, Como and Garda
- Admire the postcard-perfect scenery in towns like Orta San Guilio, Stresa, Bellagio and Sirmione
- Enjoy boat trips around each lake and look out for attractions like Scaligero Castle in Sirmione
- Explore Verona’s UNESCO-listed center on a walking tour and see Juliet’s House
What You Can Expect
Leave central Milan in the morning, and relax on your journey north by air-conditioned coach. First stop is Lake Orta, a pretty stretch of water that’s said to be the most secluded and romantic of the Italian Lakes. Lake Orta sits on the banks of Orta San Guilio, a charming medieval village, so enjoy a stop to stretch your legs and soak up the lakeside views. Perhaps take a stroll down Via Olina, the village’s main street, or people watch in Piazza Mario Motta.
Hop aboard a boat and ride across Lake Orta to the tiny island of San Guilio, that’s covered almost entirely by just one building: the 12th-century Basilica of San Guilio. Spend some free time exploring, and then return to Orta San Guilio and continue your journey into the Italian Lake district by coach.
Stop in the bohemian town of Stresa on the banks of Lake Maggiore and enjoy some free time for lunch (own expense). Gaze out at the snow-capped peaks of Monte Mottarone framing the tranquil lake, and then ride by boat to Fishermens’ Island (Isola dei Pescatori), and then Bella Island with its magnificent Borromeo Palace, enjoying free time to explore each place. Return to Stresa and continue to Lake Como where your hotel awaits.
Overnight: 4-star Hotel Albergo Le Due Corti in Como
Day 2: Lake Como – Brescia (B)
Enjoy breakfast in your hotel, and then meet your guide for a tour of the town of Como. Stroll around the tangle of streets that comprise the lakeside town’s center, and learn about the architecture and history of Como. Admire Gothic churches and Como Duomo in all its marble glory, and then board a sightseeing boat on the lake.
Ride across the water to the picturesque village of Bellagio, popular for its elegant gardens and luxury villas that look out over the waterfront. Hop off your boat to enjoy some time at leisure in the village, perhaps finding a restaurant for lunch (own expense) or relaxing on the tranquil pebble beach. Then, take another boat ride to the town of Varenna on Lake Como’s east bank. Gaze at its candy-colored houses etched into the hills around the lake as you dock, and then travel through the town by coach to admire all of its sights. Travel out of the town, and away from the Italian Lake district. If you take this tour in the winter (November - March), the boat ride from Como to Bellagio is replaced with a panoramic bus ride.
Spend your afternoon in the town of Bergamo, just outside of Milan, and see its sights on a walking tour. The town is split into two distinct parts – the modern town center and the pretty hilltop Old Town. Explore the Old Town’s pretty cafe-strung piazzas and narrow alleyways lined with bakeries and shops. If you take this tour in the summer (April to October), continue to Brescia in Lombardy. Or, if you are travelling in the winter (November to March), travel onward to Bergamo. Check in to your hotel and rest overnight.
Overnight: 4-star Hotel NH Brescia in Brescia or Hotel NH in Bergamo
Day 3: Brescia or Bergamo – Lake Garda – Verona (B)
Check out after breakfast and travel east to Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake. Sit back and relax as you travel around the west coast, watching the landscape change from the towering Dolomite Mountains in the north, to the gently sloping hills of the south.
First stop of the day is in Sirmione, a little peninsula town that’s famous for its crumbling Roman ruins and the 13th-century Scaligero Castle. Hop aboard a sightseeing boat, and cruise around Lake Garda, enjoying views of the castle and the ruins at the Grotto of Catullo from the water.
Travel by coach to the northern shore of Lake Como and enjoy free time for lunch in Riva del Garda – a town that’s famous for its stunning Venetian architecture. Visit a lakeside restaurant for lunch (own expense), and then hit the road again. Travel to the romantic city of Verona, and check in to your hotel.
Overnight: 3-star Hotel Mastino in Verona
Day 4: Verona – Milan (B)
After breakfast, explore Verona on a walking tour with your guide, Famously the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the enchanting city has gained UNESCO status for its collection of monuments from eras stretching back to 1st century BC. Learn about architectural influences from Mediterranean and Nordic regions, and stop for photos in front of top Verona attractions like Piazza della Erbe and Juliet’s House.
After a break for lunch (own expense), return to central Milan where your 4-day tour finishes.
This tour was better than expected. Andreas was a terrific guide enthusiastic, helpful and knowledgeable. Hotels were adequate. The tour is somewhat overpriced, but the dates worked best for us so we accepted the rate.
This is a very well planned and orchestrated tour through the Italian Lakes. Our tour guide, Andre, was knowledgable, energetic and well organized. The bus tours were amazing for great views of picturesque, storybook villages in the foot of the mountains, views of the Dolomites, and of the lakes. This is a feast for artist and camera bugs like my husband as well as anyone who enjoys beautiful landscapes. The tour each day also includes stops in beautiful villages with plenty of time for a leisurely lunch, shopping and strolling through the villages. Additionally, it includes a boat ride on three of the lakes to finish off a perfect tour of the lakes region. Don't miss this tour !
An excellent, well-paced trip well led by Andrea. Highly recommended.
It was everything we hoped it would be and our tour guide Andrea was great he had such a passion for his job and you could feel his excitement. I would highly recommend this trip.
Don' miss this tour! There were only 6 of us so very personalized service. Expensive but worth it! Most beautiful lakes, mountains and towns anywhere! The lakes are clear, cold and mountain-stream fed. 4-star hotels, Mercedes bus, great guide, food - pasta if you're adventuresome: with rabbit or horsemeat even!, pizza and gelato - OH MY!
The tour was fantastic, and memorable for us. Our tour guide, Alessandro, was exceptionally knowledgeable, considerate, friendly and ever helpful. We would recommend it to anyone. The Lakes and towns were beautiful, the accommodation excellent.
Great Tour....I am recomending it to everyone
This tour was a stand-out for us. There were 16 tourists in our group. We were picked up from our hotel exactly on time in a late model very comfortable tourist coach and introduced to our tour guide who was fantastic. Over the 4 days, we visited 4 of the 5 lakes in the north of Italy and were shown some wonderful sites. On one of the nights, our guide took us to a local restaurant where the owner/chef prepared a genuine Italian meal for us which was fantastic.
The tour is well worth the cost and delivered all that was promised.
Bob and Chris. New Zealand.
A great small group tour, with a terrific knowledgeable Tour Leader Andrea.
Great views of the lakes from privately chartered boats. Interesting small towns. Andrea was a good guide. Could be better if hotels are located centrally. Pricy, the amount we paid for 3 adults was equal to a double and a single added up, but instead we were short changed on 2 nights, and had to share a triple room.