Destination

Clear Destination

Activity

Clear Activity

Date

Italy and Switzerland Lake District Hiking

A Panoramic Journey from Lake Orta to Lake Como

 

Experience the extravagant beauty of Italy and Switzerland's Lake District on this idyllic hiking adventure. Starting at Lake Orta, tucked in the foothills of the alpine chain, visit tiny San Giulio Island before heading to the top of Monte Mottarone (4,895'). Follow scenic paths through forests and meadows above Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano, and take the pretty Wayfarer's Trail around Lake Como. Along the way, discover picturesque islands and the Mediterranean charm of such lakeside towns as Bellagio, Varenna, and Orta San Giulio with its narrow cobblestone streets and pastel-washed houses. Savor hearty local gastronomy and sleep in the comfort of elegant 4-star hotels with stunning lake views.

  • Hike on spectacular trails with superb bird's-eye views of Lakes Orta, Maggiore, Lugano, and Como

  • Explore the enchanting lakeside towns of Orta San Giulio, Locarno, Morcote, Bellagio, Varenna

  • Visit sumptuous palaces on idyllic islands and spend tranquil nights at delightful 4-star hotels

Contact an Expert

Arrive:

Milan, Italy

Depart:

Bellagio, Italy

Price: from $4,995

Duration:

8 Days

Departures:

See Dates

Group Size:

4-14

Min Age:

16 yrs

Activity:

Level 3

Easy to moderately strenuous hiking for 3-4 hours per day up to approx. 6,118ft. Expect a mix of gently rolling terrain and some steeper mountain sections, all with panoramic lake and mountain vistas. Cultural touring of towns includes walking on cobblestone streets.
Learn more here.

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

  • Arrive in Milan & Transfer to Lake Orta

    Day 1

    Meet your guide at Milan Malpensa International Airport in the morning and transfer to serene Lake Orta. Marvel at the stunning mountain backdrop on a pleasant lakeside hike, before visiting picturesque San Giulio Island with its monumental Romanesque Basilica. Next, take a short boat ride to the pretty town of Orta San Giulio, your base for two nights. If time allows, walk up to Sacro Monte, where 20 chapels beautifully depict the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. It's also a perfect vantage point, with great views of the town, lake, and surrounding mountains. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon before meeting up again for a trip orientation and welcome dinner.

    Accommodation: Hotel San Rocco

    With its spectacular lakeside setting and 4-star elegance, the Hotel San Rocco is a perfect stop on your adventure in Italy's Lake District. Set within the walls of an ancient monastery, the hotel blends age-old historical charm with high-end modern amenities. Settle into one of its comfortable and classically furnished rooms, before heading to the Teatro Magico restaurant or White Queen lounge bar. Relax in the Jacuzzi on the Roof Garden or take a dip in the pool as you enjoy views of enchanting San Giulio Island.

    Transportation: 1-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Hike from Monte Falo to Mottarone

    Day 2

    Follow trails through chestnut and beech forests to the quaint village of Coiromonte, known for its fresh air and lovely views. From here, an easy path takes you to the slopes of Monte Falo where you'll get superb vistas of the snow-capped Alps to Lakes Maggiore, Varese, Comabbio, and Monate. Retrace your footsteps through beautiful pastures to the summit of Mottarone (4,895'), an adventure-lover's paradise straddled between Lake Orta and Lake Maggiore. Eat a picnic lunch with panoramic views, before returning to Orta San Giulio. Explore town on your own this afternoon or take a swim in the sparkling lake.

    Accommodation: Hotel San Rocco

    With its spectacular lakeside setting and 4-star elegance, the Hotel San Rocco is a perfect stop on your adventure in Italy's Lake District. Set within the walls of an ancient monastery, the hotel blends age-old historical charm with high-end modern amenities. Settle into one of its comfortable and classically furnished rooms, before heading to the Teatro Magico restaurant or White Queen lounge bar. Relax in the Jacuzzi on the Roof Garden or take a dip in the pool as you enjoy views of enchanting San Giulio Island.

    Activity: 4 hours/7.5 miles with 2,801' elevation gain

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Follow Trails to Stresa & Boat to the Borromeo Islands

    Day 3

    Start the day in the enchanting town of Belgirate on the shores of Lake Maggiore. From here, set off on a panoramic hill walk above the lake passing quaint villages along the way. Explore the narrow lanes in Stresa's charming historical center and transfer by boat to Isola dei Pescatori for a light lunch. Then journey to beautiful Isola Bella for a guided tour of its sumptuous palace and elegant gardens, home to famous white peacocks. Return to Stresa and transfer to lively Locarno, situated at the northern end of Lake Maggiore, in Switzerland. Enjoy a two-night stay in Locarno.

    Accommodation: Hotel Belvedere

    Perched on a hill overlooking Locarno and Lake Maggiore, the Hotel Belvedere is a glorious 4-star retreat. All of its 90 comfortable rooms come with modern amenities and panoramic views! Relax in the pool or take a Turkish bath at the Oasi Spa, before enjoying a delicious meal at the friendly La Fontana Ristorante & Bar. Piazza Grande and the lake are just a short walk from the hotel.

    Activity: 2.5 hours/5 miles hiking with 1,158' elevation gain and 1,145' loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Get a Bird's-Eye View of Lake Maggiore

    Day 4

    Venture high into the mountains above Locarno and Lake Maggiore, starting with an exciting aerial cableway and chairlift ride. At the top you'll be rewarded with epic views spanning the entirety of Lake Maggiore, from the Ticino and Maggia river deltas to the Western Alps. From the viewpoint, follow a well-maintained alpine trail to the summit of Cima della Trosa (6,118') where more astounding 360°-degree vistas await. Descend to a mountain rifugio for a light lunch, then hike back through the woods to the aerial cableway and return to Locarno. Enjoy free time in Locarno this evening.

    Accommodation: Hotel Belvedere

    Perched on a hill overlooking Locarno and Lake Maggiore, the Hotel Belvedere is a glorious 4-star retreat. All of its 90 comfortable rooms come with modern amenities and panoramic views! Relax in the pool or take a Turkish bath at the Oasi Spa, before enjoying a delicious meal at the friendly La Fontana Ristorante & Bar. Piazza Grande and the lake are just a short walk from the hotel.

    Activity: 4 hours/7.5 miles hiking with 1,581' elevation gain and 2,588' loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Lake Lugano Hike From Monte San Salvatore to Morcote

    Day 5

    Begin today's hike with a cable car ride to the summit of Monte San Salvatore (2,992'), rising grandly over dreamy Lake Lugano - a favorite destination for centuries of artists, writers, and vacationing aristocrats. Enjoy awe-inspiring views stretching from the lake to the snow-capped Alps as you head to the trailhead. From here, a short, steep descent leads to a charming hamlet and then meanders through enchanting woodland. Admire the architectural beauty of the ancient village of Carona before following a panoramic gravel path to an open pasture. After lunch, descend into the splendid lakeside village of Morcote - voted "Switzerland's most beautiful village!" End the day with a transfer to Bellagio, known as "the pearl of Lake Como."

    Accommodation: Hotel Du Lac

    Welcome to the friendly, family-run Hotel du Lac, perfectly situated on the shore of Lake Como. The hotel's 30 comfortable rooms exude a simple, high-end elegance and come with modern amenities and dazzling lake views. Head to the rooftop bar for a cocktail and unbelievable vistas, and enjoy a top-rated boutique stay in the heart of Bellagio.

    Activity: 3 hours/6.5 miles hiking with 870' elevation gain and 2,907' loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike the Wayfarer's Trail & Explore Varenna

    Day 6

    Start the day with an uphill hike through olive groves to the 14th-century Castle of Vezio, where you'll get beautiful views of Lake Como and the rooftops of Varenna. From the castle, follow the Wayfarer's Trail - a beautiful lakeside mule - toward Bellano. Pass through hamlets surrounded by vineyards and forests, and take in spectacular views of the Alps along the way. Stroll through Bellano's historical heart before enjoying a lakeside lunch. Return to Varenna by public transport and explore the town's narrow passageways and exquisite waterfront. This may be a good time for a gelato! Return to Bellagio by public boat and explore the elegant town at your leisure this afternoon.

    Accommodation: Hotel Du Lac

    Welcome to the friendly, family-run Hotel du Lac, perfectly situated on the shore of Lake Como. The hotel's 30 comfortable rooms exude a simple, high-end elegance and come with modern amenities and dazzling lake views. Head to the rooftop bar for a cocktail and unbelievable vistas, and enjoy a top-rated boutique stay in the heart of Bellagio.

    Activity: 3 hours/6 miles hiking with 2,312' elevation gain and loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Hike to Monte San Primo

    Day 7

    Set out through the woods and across peaceful pastures, abloom with wildflowers in spring and early summer, to the ridge of Monte San Primo - a wonderful vantage point. Admire the limestone spires of the Grigne mountains on the way and revel in unparalleled views of Lake Como and the Alps from the top. On a very clear day you can even see Milan and the Apennines! Descend to a mountain restaurant for a hearty, traditional meal before returning to Bellagio. Enjoy an afternoon at your leisure.

    Accommodation: Hotel Du Lac

    Welcome to the friendly, family-run Hotel du Lac, perfectly situated on the shore of Lake Como. The hotel's 30 comfortable rooms exude a simple, high-end elegance and come with modern amenities and dazzling lake views. Head to the rooftop bar for a cocktail and unbelievable vistas, and enjoy a top-rated boutique stay in the heart of Bellagio.

    Activity: 3.5 hours/4.5 miles hiking with 1,673' elevation gain and 1,430' loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Depart from Bellagio

    Day 8

    After breakfast, transfer to the train station in Como for onward travel, or bid farewell to the group in Bellagio.

    Meals: Breakfast

Italy and Switzerland Lake District Hiking

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

This perfectly paced weeklong adventure includes stunning lakeside hikes and exploration of quintessential Italian lake towns, getting you to the heart of the Lake District.

Reason #02

MT Sobek has been operating hiking in adventures in Italy for over 40 years and works with the best local guides in the business

Reason #03

We seek out top experiences, from the best trails to the best 4-star hotels, so you can enjoy every moment.

Meet your guides

Anna Bezzola

Anna Bezzola

Anna Bezzola was born in northern Italy, raised in Switzerland, and has been hiking in the Alps since childhood. She has been an MT Sobek guide for more than 15 years. In addition to being multilingual, Anna truly enjoys people, and her passion and love for nature and her country are contagious. She is extremely knowledgeable about the flora, fauna, history, and customs of the area, and currently lives in Bellinzona, the capital of Ticino, the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. Anna leads several departures in Italy and Switzerland, and has even led The Chomolhari Trek in Bhutan, as well as escorted trips in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Activities

Leisurely to moderately strenuous hiking for 3-4 hours per day on gently rolling paths and steeper mountain terrain, all with incredible lake views. Easy strolls in beautiful lakeside towns.

Lodging

Elegant 4-star hotels, including a former monastery on Lake Orta, a secluded retreat in Locarno and a lakefront boutique hotel in Bellagio. All accommodations have comfortable en-suite rooms and high-end amenities.

Climate

The weather in the Italian Lake District is warm and mild April to October, with an average daily high temperature of 75°F.

FAQ

Who will meet me on arrival?

Arrive at the Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) on Day 1. Your trip leader will meet you in the arrivals hall and transfer the group to our hotel in Orta San Giulio.

Where does the trip end?

The trips ends on day-8 at the hotel in Bellagio. There is one group transfer to the main train station in nearby Como.

Do I need hiking boots for this trip?

Yes. We recommend comfortable, worn in hiking shoes with ankle support due to uneven terrain.

Is this trip suitable for beginner hikers?

Yes. While previous hiking experience is not necessary, you will enjoy this trip more if you are in your best physical condition and already love the outdoors.

Can you accommodate my diet?

Yes. Northern Italy is home to a variety of delicious and healthy food options. With advanced notice, almost any diet can be accommodated.

2022

Scheduled Dates

  • May 16 - 23, 2022
    $4,995 price per person dbl occ
    +$800 single supplement
    Available
  • Sep 12 - 19, 2022
    $4,995 price per person dbl occ
    +$800 single supplement
    Available

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts where necessary
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted in the Trip Planner)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Airport transfer at the end of the tour
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses (sodas/alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, etc.)

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Private

Go Private

Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private Trip.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

Private Trip Pricing:

2022 Pricing

6 to 7 guests from $5,795 per person double occupancy

8 to 9 guests from $5,595 per person double occupancy

	

Take Over One of These Dates

Make Your Own Dates in These Months

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts where necessary
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted in the Trip Planner)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Airport transfer at the end of the tour
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses (sodas/alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, etc.)

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.