Dockside at the Lakes
The Italian Lakes are grandeur, comfort and elegance incarnate. A lofty claim, sure, but once you’ve laid eyes on this land of perched villas and verdant hills, you’ll forgive our hyperbole. Truly incredible walks lead us through the charming streets of Lugano and über-chic Bellagio to unforgettable authentic meals at opulent waterfront resorts. Where much of Italy is built for bikes, the Lakes are to be explored by boat and on foot. Suddenly, a “week at the lake” takes on a whole new meaning.
This is a signature B&R Walking trip—expertly guided, small groups, premium hotels.
Milan to Milan
6 Days / 5 Nights
Price per person from: $6,495
Single supplement: $2,000
See departure dates for exact pricing
Choose a Date
Day by Day
Walk the Eastern coast of Lake Como’s two “legs,” with spectacular views of colourful fishing villages dotting the dazzling water. Board our speedboat at the hotel before cocktails and dinner at the elegant Serbelloni.
Explore chic Bellagio, the “pearl of Lake Como,” in the company of our charming local guide. Visit the beautiful gardens of Villa Melzi before a special aperitivo overlooking the lake.
Walk through the Boscoo Impero, stopping to admire Il Rogolone, a 300-year-old great oak tree before a casual pizza lunch. Board our private boat into Switzerland. Tonight you'll enjoy the fabulous Mediterranean cuisine at our hotel's renowned restaurant.
Hike down Monte Brè after riding a circa-1908 cog railway to the top, then explore the chic promenades of Lugano. Take part in an evening wine tasting before a night on your own in town.
Reverse Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms route along Lake Maggiore, descending to a private boat which will whisk us to Stresa. Tonight's final night dinner is in an elegant private palazzo.
Enjoy a farewell breakfast in Stresa at the hotel, then arrivederci in Milan.
Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio Como
Villa Serbelloni, one of the oldest hotels in the Lake Como area, was one of the most famous stops along the 19thC tour of the lakes. Not much has changed today. This 5-star hotel is decorated in a neo-classical style and offers guests the pleasure of a relaxing poolside, spa treatments or a motorboat ride from the private dock to the historic gardens along the lake. View hotel website »
Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola, Lugano
On the shores of Lago di Lugano, the Villa Castagnola is a luxurious Italian-styled villa surrounded by sub-tropical and exotic gardens. With wonderful lake and mountain views, a fabulous restaurant, a wellness area with spa and beauty treatments, a private lido and fascinating collection of contemporary sculptures, this is a treat for the senses at every level. View hotel website »
Grand Hotel des Iles Borromées, Stresa
Overlooking the tranquil Lago Maggiore and the Isola Bella and Isola Madre with the splendor of a late 19thC resort, it is easy to see why this enchanting five-star Art Nouveau style villa has welcomed famous guests for 150 years. In each of the hotel's 160 guest rooms, meticulous restoration has resulted in a pleasing combination of old-world charm and modern luxury. View hotel website »
This trip is rated Moderate to Challenging, with both easier and more challenging options offered daily. We cover a variety of terrain. Some walks are on mountainous trails, with strenuous ups and downs. A number of trails follow narrow footpaths through woods, while others are on well-surfaced small roads. Hiking boots are required for some days. Daily distances average 8 km (5 mi.), with options for easier or more challenging hikes.
Walking Sticks &
Included with all walking trips are Leki telescoping walking sticks and custom-made padded hip holsters, which comfortably carry one full half-litre water bottle. And while the walking sticks get “recycled” for use by another B&R traveller, the holsters are yours to keep at trip’s end.
- All hotel accommodation (suite upgrade available, call for details)
- All breakfasts, three lunches and four dinners, including wine
- Services of B&R guide(s) and support van
- Waist pack with water bottle and holder
- Use of two lightweight, telescoping walking sticks
- Detailed maps and route suggestions
- All special events and private tours
- All transportation from rendezvous to drop-off
- All baggage transportation
- All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service
At Your Service
We take pride in choosing guides who are not only exceptional travelling companions, but who’ll go far beyond the call of duty to ensure an unforgettable experience.
“This trip exceeded all of our expectations. We're discriminating travelers so topping our list of favorites is difficult to do...yet B&R has easily done it! We were impressed by everything. Lunches were extraordinary. Dinners were lavish, and the vino was free flowing.”
— John Dowd,
Italian Lakes Walking 2011
Notes from the Road
- A Day (or Two) in PugliaWe’ve long known that B&R Guide Luca Pacchioni loves Puglia. It’s a big part of the reason why we keep sending him back there. (In addition to the fact that he’s an excellent guide, of course.) But when we saw the pictures he took on a trip last summ …
- Departures: Top Tier Wine ExperiencesPublished in Departures Dispatch| By Shivani Vora When George Butterfield, founder of the active-travel company Butterfield & Robinson, led a group of travelers on a bespoke wine-focused trip through Germany and France earlier this year, he knew he w …
- Reading for the Road: Books About the Amalfi CoastWe at The Slow Road answer to many names (wanderers, bon vivants, students of life) but first and foremost, we’re a group of dedicated travellers. We’ve put together reading lists, which include those books—from novels to great guidebooks—that have r …