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Lake Maggiore

(40 reviews)

Fabulous scenery and a relaxing lakeside destination

8 days From £1,449 per person
No Solo Supplement*

No Solo Supplement subject to availability on selected departures. 

2020 Tour code: 20LMS

About the tour

This wonderful seven-night holiday takes you to the shores of beautiful Lake Maggiore on a tour by rail. Set among the stunning peaks of the Italian Alps, enjoy a tour filled with scenic exploration.


What’s included


Day 1 - London to Strasbourg

You meet your group at Rail Discoveries' dedicated Departure Office today, leaving London St Pancras International on the Eurostar for Paris. From here, you travel on the high-speed TGV service to Strasbourg, where you overnight.

  • Dinner
Day 2 - Lake Maggiore

Return to the railway station this morning and continue your journey to Italy. Arriving at Stresa railway station, you transfer to your home for the next five nights, the 4* Milan Speranza Hotel au Lac. Located in the centre of Stresa, the hotel benefits from a superb position overlooking the lake and the surrounding Italian Alps.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Stresa, Lake Maggiore
Day 3 - Isola Bella

This morning, enjoy an excursion by boat, cruising to picturesque Isola Bella, the small island only a few minutes' sailing from Stresa. The island was completely transformed by the aristocratic Borromeo family in the 16th and 17th centuries, and is now dominated by the sumptuous Borromean Palace. Set amidst beautiful Italian gardens, this ornate and ambitious structure was started in the 17th century, but only saw completion in 1959. The fabulous rooms often have mythological themes, and the stuccoed ceilings, Murano chandeliers, fine paintings and rich tapestries lend the villa a fanciful feel. You will visit the palace before free time to explore the gardens, which are equally as opulent as the magnificent interiors.

Continue by boat to Isola dei Pescatore, also known as Fisherman's Island, another of the Borromean Islands and home to a quaint fishing village which still has around 50 permanent year-round residents. Whilst here, it is highly recommended to sample one of the traditional fish restaurants, the local speciality being perch from the lake. You could also visit San Vittore Church to see the wooden busts of apostles Peter and Andrew, the patron saints of fishermen.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Isola Bella
Day 4 - At leisure in Stresa

Today you are at leisure to relax in Stresa, possibly taking the time to explore the town. Although a highly popular Italian resort, Stresa is small enough to explore on foot, rewarding visitors with medieval buildings, opulent and historic villas, public gardens and several museums. Follow in the footsteps of prestigious guests such as George Bernard Shaw, Ernest Hemingway, Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin and Princess Margaret as you enjoy a walk along the pretty lakeside promenade. Alternatively, you could take advantage of the hotel's comforts. Relax on the sun terrace or lounge by the pool and appreciate the Alpine views.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Centovalli Railway

Today, enjoy a journey on the breathtaking Centovalli Railway. With a name meaning "One Hundred Valleys", the Centovalli Railway connects Locarno in Switzerland to Domodossola in Italy. Construction of the line was delayed with the advent of the First World War, so it did not open until 1923. However, with its beautiful bridges over some incredible lakeside and valley scenery, the line has remained open ever since, being especially popular with tourists. You wind through valleys and past deep ravines, over bridges and through tunnels, on a marvellous route between Domodossola and the lakeside town of Locarno. First mentioned in records in 807AD when controlled by Italian nobility, Locarno had previously been a Roman settlement, although this area of Lake Maggiore bears evidence of inhabitation since prehistoric times. Its long and colourful history has bestowed a wealth of historic buildings upon Locarno and today the city boasts nine individual Swiss Heritage Sites of National Significance, including the twelfth century Castello Visconteo, and the Church of Saint Francesco which dates from 1538.

On arrival in Locarno, you are free for lunch and to explore. Perhaps visit the beautiful Sacred Mount Madonna del Sasso, a stunning historical and religious site perched above the village. Reportedly built by a Franciscan friar after an apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared to him on the spot, the church boasts fantastic views over Locarno from the rocky outcrop where it rests. Later, take the scenic route back to the hotel, with a blissful cruise across the lake to Stresa.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Centovalli Railway
Day 6 - Lake Orta

Your excursion today takes you by coach to tranquil Lake Orta, a superbly unspoiled lake with an enchanting atmosphere. Situated on the lake is the charming village of Orta San Giulio, where you have some free time. Popular with writers since the 19th century, Orta San Giulio's elegant streets have welcomed the likes of Nietzsche, Robert Browning, and the current Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. Perhaps admire the paintings in the UNESCO-listed Sacro Monte di Orta whilst you are here. Your excursion also includes a boat ride to the Isola San Guilio, a tiny yet delightful island on the lake, topped with a Benedictine monastery.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
View of Lake Orta
Days 7-8 - Mulhouse and Return to London

Start your journey home today. Travelling via Basel, you arrive in Mulhouse for the night. On Day 8, travel by TGV to Paris. Here, you join the Eurostar to London St Pancras, where you tour ends.

Please Note: For departures 20LMS01 on Day 7 you will overnight in Strasbourg

  • Day 7 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 8 - Breakfast

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Milan Speranza Hotel au Lac, Stresa

Milan Speranza Hotel au Lac, Stresa

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Centovalli Railway

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93% of travellers would recommend this tour

Based on 40 verified reviews

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Mr G Trent

Submitted 06/11/2019

Our first group organised holiday and we really enjoyed it!

Mrs M Standing

Submitted 28/10/2019

Every thing about this holiday was most enjoyable .the staff at the hotel were very friendly and the rooms were a nice size .


Submitted 12/08/2019

Well organised manageable timings good trips plus free day and a half to recharge and explore local areas

Mr G Gibbons

Submitted 22/10/2018

A well thought out and organised trip. Stresa was a lovely friendly destination to stay on the beautiful Lake Maggorie. The excursions were good, although we would have liked to have had some guides included as time is very limited on these trips to take it all in.The hotel was good, rooms nice, friendly, efficient staff with plenty of food which was adequate. Out tour manager went out of his way to ensure everyone had was happy.


Submitted 16/07/2018

Destination lovely. Hotel OK Food not that good Prefer the holidays getting there same day ie Catalon coast holiday



Submitted 24/09/2018

An all round tip top holiday

Escorted Holidays by Rail: Europe, UK & Cruise 2020

Escorted Holidays by Rail: Europe, UK & Cruise 2020

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Lake Maggiore

Fabulous scenery and a relaxing lakeside destination


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