The Cinque Terre, Portofino & The Italian Lakes

8 Days from £979 | May, August 979

This Italian holiday takes you to the millionaires’ haunts of Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure and the spectacular landscapes of the Cinque Terre and Lake Maggiore, perhaps the most impressive of Italy’s sparkling lakes. Along the way you will travel on the picturesque ‘Three Valleys Railway’ into the heart of Columbus’ maritime city of Genoa, and visit Pavia, a medieval city with a Visconti castle, and whose cathedral boasts one of Italy’s largest domes. While in Santa Margherita, you will enjoy a boat trip to Portofino and a train journey through the Cinque Terre.

The Cinque Terre, Portofino & The Italian Lakes

Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this holiday* - 83%
* as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details

  • 3 nights hb Lake Maggiore, 4 nights hb in Santa Margherita Ligure
  • Visits to Portofino, the Cinque Terre, Genoa and Pavia
  • Journey on the historic Three Valleys Railway

Day One: Flight to Milan, transfer to your hotel on Lake Maggiore for two nights half board accommodation. Transfer times from Malpensa and Bergamo are 45 minutes and 1 hour 45 minutes respectively.

Day Two: Free day to explore Lake Maggiore. Why not take a boat trip on the lake?

Day Three: Today you travel south to the Riviera di Levante. Your first stop is Vercelli, a historic town surrounded by paddy-fields (its rice is exported worldwide). You then continue south to Casella, north of Genoa, arriving after lunch to board the ‘Three Valleys Train’. Since 1929 the red and white carriages of this narrow gauge service has linked Columbus’ home city with the villages and valleys of its hinterland. The trip down to the city takes about an hour, and there are excellent views  of the coastline. In Genoa you will see something of the restored port and old city centre before you complete your journey by coach to the chic resort of Santa Margherita Ligure, where you spend four nights on a half board basis.

Santa Margherita lies in a sheltered bay, close to Portofino. Its harbour is home to many luxury yachts. The journey today is 160 miles.

Days Four to Six: In Santa Margherita with included excursions by boat to Portofino (half day) and by train to the Spectacular Cinque Terre (full day).

Portofino: like the millionaires, you travel to the world’s most beautiful harbour by boat (a 15-minute trip) from the landing stage just 500m from your hotel. Portofino’s colourful hotchpotch of fishermen’s houses embraces its harbour and the luxury craft of the nearby villa-owners – Portofino is the select retreat of Italy’s powerful! Above the harbour is Brown’s Castle, and there are good views from the church. You can see why Disney copied it – the original is stunning!

Cinque Terre: the spectacular coastline, hills and villages landscapes  of the Cinque Terre are UNESCO listed and within the National Park, where the mountains drop almost vertically into the sea. You will travel by the train from Santa Margherita (the station is 600m from the hotel). The ‘Five Lands’ are about an hour away, and comprise the unspoilt traffic-free villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, which nestle in tiny coves, set below the ingeniously terraced vineyards that, together with the fishing, gave the area its livelihood.

Day Seven: You leave Santa Margherita and travel north, following a slightly different route to take in the cathedral city of Pavia. Pavia rivalled Milan as the capital of the Lombard kings until the 11th century, but was then ruled variously by Austrians, Spanish and French. There were 100 medieval towers, just two remain – but there is still plenty to see! You arrive at Lake Maggiore in the afternoon, for one night, again on a half board basis. Total today 152 miles, mainly motorway.

Day Eight: Free time until your transfer to the airport and your return flight.

A Walking Holiday in this area is also available. Details elsewhere on our website and in our Walking Holidays brochure.

Please note: there is a local city tax in Stresa of 2 euros per person per day. It is not included in the price of the holiday and will be payable by hotel guests directly to the hotel.


The Cinque Terre, Portofino & The Italian Lakes

Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this holiday* - 83%
* as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details

LAKE MAGGIORE **** (first two and last nights)
Accommodation on Lake Maggiore will be in a hotel owned by the Zacchera Hotels Group in the lakeside resorts of Baveno or Stresa. GRAND HOTEL DINO (Baveno) ( HOTEL SIMPLON (Baveno) ( HOTEL SPLENDID (Baveno) ( GRAND HOTEL BRISTOL (Stresa) ( All hotels are four-star with air-conditioned rooms with safe and minibar, swimming pool (seasonal), wifi, restaurant and bar. Final hotel details will be sent with your travel documentation ten days before departure.  
New Hotel for PTS. However, our overall hotel satisfaction score average, up to December 2019, was 82.5%.
HOTEL JOLANDA ***, Santa Margherita Ligure (four nights)
The Hotel Jolanda is ideally located in a quiet street in the heart of Santa Margherita, just 200 yards from the pedestrianised town centre. The boat stop and railway station are 8-10 minutes walk away. Rooms are comfortably furnished with bath/shower, wc, hairdryer, minibar, safety box, and satellite tv. There is a garden area, fitness room, safe, spa area and wifi (charges apply to the last two).  ( In May we will stay in the Hotel Tigullio, sister hotel of the Jolanda, situated just around the corner and of the same standard. (
Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this hotel* - 76%
*as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details
Escorted Holiday - The Cinque Terre, Portofino & The Italian Lakes
Holiday code: 7PCT
Supplements per person:
Single Room: £140
Travel Insurance: £59.95
Supplements on some holidays vary by departure date - the applicable price will be shown when booking.

Fly FromDateDaysAirlineDep.Rtn.AvailabilityPriceFly ToSingle

AberdeenWed 06/05/20208BA via LHR11052230Places Available1099Milan Malpensa140 (on request)20ABZ17PCTD7

AberdeenMon 31/08/20208BA via LHR11252230Places Available1119Milan Malpensa140 (on request)31ABZ17PCTD8

Belfast IntlWed 06/05/20208Ryanair11251100Places Available1029Bergamo140 (on request)20BFS17PCTD7

BirminghamWed 06/05/20208Flybe11101610Places Available1039Milan Malpensa140 (on request)20BHX17PCTD7

BristolWed 06/05/20208Easyjet13451845Places Available979Milan Malpensa140 (on request)20BRS17PCTD7

BristolMon 31/08/20208Easyjet18052255Places Available999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)31BRS17PCTD8

EdinburghWed 06/05/20208Easyjet09401940Places Available979Milan Malpensa140 (on request)20EDI17PCTD7

EdinburghMon 31/08/20208Easyjet10251940Places Available999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)31EDI17PCTD8

HeathrowWed 06/05/20208BA15001950Places Available1019Milan Malpensa140 (on request)20LHR17PCTD7

HeathrowMon 31/08/20208BA14551820Places Available1039Milan Malpensa140 (on request)31LHR17PCTD8

London GatwickWed 06/05/20208Easyjet07001310Places Available979Milan Malpensa140 (on request)20LGW17PCTD7

London GatwickMon 31/08/20208Easyjet07001310Places Available999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)31LGW17PCTD8

LutonWed 06/05/20208Easyjet07201155Places Available979Milan Malpensa140 (on request)20LTN17PCTD7

LutonMon 31/08/20208Easyjet07201155Places Available999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)31LTN17PCTD8

ManchesterWed 06/05/20208Easyjet16551615Places Available979Milan Malpensa140 (on request)20MAN17PCTD7

ManchesterMon 31/08/20208Easyjet16551615Places Available999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)31MAN17PCTD8

NewcastleWed 06/05/20208BA via LHR11252215Places Available1099Milan Malpensa140 (on request)20NCL17PCTD7

NewcastleMon 31/08/20208BA via LHR11452215Places Available1119Milan Malpensa140 (on request)31NCL17PCTD8

StanstedWed 06/05/20208Ryanair08452255Places Available979Milan Malpensa140 (on request)20STN17PCTD7

StanstedMon 31/08/20208Ryanair08452250Places Available999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)31STN17PCTD8

Prices shown include carriage of one piece of hold luggage per person (maximum size and weights vary). Prices include return transfers between airport and hotel and are based on the shared occupancy of twin/double standard rooms. Please refer to 'Accommodation' for details of any room supplements (including single rooms) and extended stay costs that apply to this holiday. All flight details are provisional and subject to confirmation when known. All holidays are subject to minimum numbers and are subject to availability. Further details in our FAQ.

Data as at 26/02/2020 at 5:47:07

Thank you for an excellent holiday to the Cinque Terre, Portofino and the Italian Lakes. We had a thoroughly enjoyable time thanks mainly to your wonderfully patient and caring tour guide. Nothing was too much trouble for her and she was very knowledgeable of the area. The three hotels were very good too. Thank you again.

Mrs P, Stafford

Preferred Travel Services Representative Pauline, excellent. Tours were very well organised and very interesting. A very enjoyable holiday. Well done, Pauline and Preferred Travel Services.

Mr & Mrs M, Ayrshire

Brilliant holiday! first time on an escorted tour and our tour guide’s warmth and sincerity in caring for our very large group made our holiday even more special. Thank you.

Mrs V, Essex

Tour Guide was extraordinary. She helped us constantly, was always patient and took time to make us feel very special. We were looked after very well – beyond the call of duty. Both dining rooms were very well run and staff were most considerate.

Mrs M, West Midlands

Had a great time. Good Food, good hotels and service. Tour Guide Valentina excellent.

Mr & Mrs S, Ayrshire

We have just returned from our first holiday with Preferred Travel. The holiday fulfilled all our expectations, from the flights being on time, to all the tours working well and even the weather was perfect! We have been on many European tours and been disappointed at being put in substandard hotels. The two hotels used by Preferred Travel were excellent. A special thank you to the guide who worked so hard to make the holiday interesting giving lots of information and history on the areas we visited. A memorable holiday!

Mr and Mrs B, Devon

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Don't forget, we fly from 20 airports right across the UK.
Most of our holidays include half board as standard.
All of our holidays have included visits and tours.

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The Cinque Terre, Portofino & The Italian Lakes