The Cinque Terre, Portofino & The Italian Lakes

8 Days from £949 | April, May, September 949

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* - 85%
* 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, Linate and Bergamo are 30 minutes, 1 hour and 1 hour 30 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* - 85%
* as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details

HOTEL MILAN SPERANZA AU LAC ****, Stresa (first two and last nights)
This four-star hotel is in two adjacent buildings in the centre of  Stresa, overlooking the lake and opposite the boat station. The Speranza has a pleasant street-front café while the Milan houses the hotel restaurant. All rooms have bath or shower, wc, hairdryer and satellite tv. Lake view rooms are available at a supplement. Milan Speranza guests have use of the swimming pool at the nearby Hotel Regina Palace. (
Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this hotel* - 80%
*as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details
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).  (
Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this hotel* - 74%
*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: £130 - £140
Twin/Double Lake View (Maggiore): £36 - £39
Supplements on some holidays vary by departure date - the applicable price will be shown when booking.

Fly FromDateDaysAirlineDep.Rtn.AvailabilityPriceFly ToSingle

AberdeenTue 02/04/20198BA via LHR11052225Places Available1069Milan Malpensa130 (on request)18ABZ17PCTD3

AberdeenTue 07/05/20198BA via LHR11051730Places Available1089Milan Malpensa14023ABZ17PCTD4

AberdeenTue 24/09/20198BA via LHR11051730Places Available1109Milan Malpensa14025ABZ17PCTD5

BirminghamTue 07/05/20198Flybe11101610Places Available1029Milan Malpensa14023BHX17PCTD4

BirminghamTue 24/09/20198Flybe11101610Places Available1049Milan Malpensa14025BHX17PCTD5

BristolTue 02/04/20198Ryanair08350810Places Available999Bergamo130 (on request)18BRS17PCTD3

BristolTue 07/05/20198Ryanair08350810Places Available1019Bergamo14023BRS17PCTD4

BristolTue 24/09/20198Ryanair08350810Places Available1039Bergamo14025BRS17PCTD5

DublinTue 02/04/20198Ryanair06151140Places Available999Bergamo130 (on request)18DUB17PCTD3

DublinTue 07/05/20198Ryanair06151140Places Available1019Bergamo14023DUB17PCTD4

DublinTue 24/09/20198Ryanair06151140Places Available1039Bergamo14025DUB17PCTD5

East MidlandsTue 02/04/20198Ryanair13201805Places Available999Bergamo130 (on request)18EMA17PCTD3

East MidlandsTue 07/05/20198Ryanair13201805Places Available1019Bergamo14023EMA17PCTD4

East MidlandsTue 24/09/20198Ryanair13201805Places Available1039Bergamo14025EMA17PCTD5

EdinburghTue 02/04/20198Easyjet20151945Places Available949Milan Malpensa130 (on request)18EDI17PCTD3

EdinburghTue 07/05/20198Easyjet20151945Places Available969Milan Malpensa14023EDI17PCTD4

EdinburghTue 24/09/20198Easyjet20151945Places Available989Milan Malpensa14025EDI17PCTD5

HeathrowTue 02/04/20198BA15101245Places Available989Milan Malpensa130 (on request)18LHR17PCTD3

HeathrowTue 07/05/20198BA15101245Places Available1009Milan Malpensa14023LHR17PCTD4

HeathrowTue 24/09/20198BA15101245Places Available1029Milan Malpensa14025LHR17PCTD5

LiverpoolTue 02/04/20198Ryanair14001335Places Available949Milan Malpensa130 (on request)18LPL17PCTD3

LiverpoolTue 07/05/20198Ryanair14001335Places Available969Milan Malpensa14023LPL17PCTD4

LiverpoolTue 24/09/20198Ryanair14001335Places Available989Milan Malpensa14025LPL17PCTD5

London GatwickTue 02/04/20198Easyjet09001310Places Available949Milan Malpensa130 (on request)18LGW17PCTD3

London GatwickTue 07/05/20198Easyjet13451440Places Available969Milan Malpensa14023LGW17PCTD4

London GatwickTue 24/09/20198Easyjet13451440Places Available989Milan Malpensa14025LGW17PCTD5

LutonTue 02/04/20198Easyjet07201155Places Available949Milan Malpensa130 (on request)18LTN17PCTD3

LutonTue 07/05/20198Easyjet07201155Places Available969Milan Malpensa14023LTN17PCTD4

LutonTue 24/09/20198Easyjet07201155Places Available989Milan Malpensa14025LTN17PCTD5

ManchesterTue 02/04/20198Easyjet16201545Places Available949Milan Malpensa130 (on request)18MAN17PCTD3

ManchesterTue 07/05/20198Easyjet16201545Places Available969Milan Malpensa14023MAN17PCTD4

ManchesterTue 24/09/20198Easyjet16201545Places Available989Milan Malpensa14025MAN17PCTD5

NewcastleTue 02/04/20198BA via LHR11401555Places Available1069Milan Malpensa130 (on request)18NCL17PCTD3

NewcastleTue 07/05/20198BA via LHR11401555Places Available1089Milan Malpensa14023NCL17PCTD4

NewcastleTue 24/09/20198BA via LHR11401555Places Available1109Milan Malpensa14025NCL17PCTD5

StanstedTue 02/04/20198Ryanair08452240Places Available949Milan Malpensa130 (on request)18STN17PCTD3

StanstedTue 07/05/20198Ryanair08452240Places Available969Milan Malpensa14023STN17PCTD4

StanstedTue 24/09/20198Ryanair08452240Places Available989Milan Malpensa14025STN17PCTD5

Prices shown are based on the shared occupancy of twin/double standard rooms, and are subject to availability. 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. All holidays are subject to minimum numbers. Further details in our FAQ.

Data as at 22/02/2019 at 2:47:06

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