The Islands & Gardens of Lake Maggiore

8 Days from £949 | September, October

This holiday includes a week on Lago Maggiore, Italy’s second largest lake, which stretches north from Lombardy and up into Switzerland. It lies, sheltered, on the south side of the Alps, making for a mild climate and consequent lush vegetation. Famed gardens feature Mediterranean and exotic flora, including azaleas, rhododendrons and camelias.

The Islands & Gardens of Lake Maggiore

Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this holiday* - 89%
* as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details

  • 7 nights hb Lake Maggiore
  • Full day excursion by boat to the Borromean Islands, and boat excursion to Captain McEacharn’s fabulous Villa Taranto garden
  • Excursion to Lake Orta

Day One: Flight to Milan, transfer to your Lake Maggiore Hotel for seven nights half board accommodation. Transfer times from Malpensa, Linate and Bergamo are 45 minutes, 1 ¼ hours and 1 ¾ hours respectively.

Days Two to Seven: These are spent on Lago Maggiore, where beautiful villas line the shores. Our hotel is in Stresa, the lake’s main resort, halfway up the lake and from where boats and steamers frequently traverse the lake from the landing quay close to the hotel. The lakeside promenade near the hotel allows for a pleasant stroll to the pretty town centre – around the main Piazza there is a good range of shops, bars, and restaurants. As long as it is operating, you will have the chance to travel high onto Mount Mottarone by cable car – fabulous views!

We have included three excursions during your stay.

  1. The Borromean Islands. Your first excursion features Lake Maggiore’s three best-known islands, which lie in the bay, a short way from the shore. Your first island Isola Madre, ‘Mother Island’, has an impressive villa and gardens with towering palm trees – the tallest in Italy. You then have free time for lunch on the pleasant quays of Isola dei Pescatori, the ‘Fishermen’s Island. It is a very short crossing to Isola Bella, the ‘Beautiful Island’, with its 17th-century palace – you are following in the holiday footsteps of Goethe, Byron, Stendhal, Wagner and Hemingway! The formal gardens, patrolled by peacocks, contain plants from all over the world. Entrance fees and Guide Service on both Isola Madre and Isola Bella are included.
  2. The Villa Taranto Botanic Garden. You take the boat across the bay to Pallanza. Although supposedly created as an ‘English’ garden, Villa Taranto’s heritage is very much Scottish – its creator, Captain McEacharn, was a proud Scot: the Taranto name comes from one of his Macdonald ancestors, who was given the title ’Duke of Taranto’ by Napoleon and whose father sped ‘over the sea to Skye’ with Bonnie Prince Charlie! The entrance to the garden is through ‘Conifer Alley’. Highlights include the water gardens, the Dahlia Garden and the herbarium and the fine terraces.
  3. Lake Orta. A relaxing trip to one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe, Lake Orta. Surrounded by lush woodland Orta really is a hidden secret. There is free time to stroll and admire the quaint cobbled streets of Orta S. Giulio and for taking a coffee at a café in the picturesque lakeside piazza. There is also the opportunity for a boat ride to the enchanting S. Giulio’s Island, where you can visit the 12th-century Basilica and crypt of S. Giulio (ferry not included). The afternoon continues through the scenic countryside of the Vergante Hills and along the southern tip of Lake Maggiore and the towering statue of S. Carlo Borromeo, said to be the largest in the world, with panoramic views of the lake.

Some optional excursions will also be available.

Day Eight: Free time until you depart for the airport for your flight home.

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 1.20 euro 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 Islands & Gardens of Lake Maggiore

Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this holiday* - 89%
* as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details

HOTEL MILAN SPERANZA AU LAC ****, Stresa (seven 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* - 83%
*as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details
Escorted Holiday - The Islands & Gardens of Lake Maggiore
Holiday code: 7MAG
Supplements per person:
Single Room: £140
Lake View Twin/Double Room: £84
Travel Insurance: £44.95
Supplements on some holidays vary by departure date - the applicable price will be shown when booking.

Fly FromDateDaysAirlineDep.Rtn.AvailabilityPriceFly ToSingle

AberdeenTue 11/09/20188BA via LHR11051730Fully Booked1099Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0ABZ17MAGF2

AberdeenThu 04/10/20188BA via LHR11051555Places Available1069Milan Malpensa140 (on request)22ABZ17MAGF3

BirminghamTue 11/09/20188Flybe12051655Fully Booked1019Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0BHX17MAGF2

BirminghamThu 04/10/20188Flybe12051655Places Available989Milan Malpensa140 (on request)22BHX17MAGF3

BristolTue 11/09/20188Ryanair08350810Fully Booked1029Bergamo140 (on request)0BRS17MAGF2

BristolThu 04/10/20188Ryanair12251710Places Available999Bergamo140 (on request)22BRS17MAGF3

CardiffMon 10/09/20188Flybe10051500Fully Booked1019Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0CWL17MAGF2

CardiffThu 04/10/20188Flybe10001445Places Available989Milan Malpensa140 (on request)22CWL17MAGF3

DublinTue 11/09/20188Ryanair06151145Fully Booked1029Bergamo140 (on request)0DUB17MAGF2

DublinThu 04/10/20188Ryanair06151140Places Available999Bergamo140 (on request)22DUB17MAGF3

East MidlandsTue 11/09/20188Ryanair12201710Fully Booked1029Bergamo140 (on request)0EMA17MAGF2

East MidlandsThu 04/10/20188Ryanair12301720Places Available999Bergamo140 (on request)22EMA17MAGF3

EdinburghTue 11/09/20188Easyjet20151945Fully Booked979Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0EDI17MAGF2

EdinburghThu 04/10/20188Easyjet20151945Places Available949Milan Malpensa140 (on request)22EDI17MAGF3

GlasgowTue 11/09/20188Easyjet09350905Fully Booked979Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0GLA17MAGF2

GlasgowThu 04/10/20188Easyjet09350905Places Available949Milan Malpensa140 (on request)22GLA17MAGF3

HeathrowTue 11/09/20188BA15101245Fully Booked1019Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0LHR17MAGF2

HeathrowThu 04/10/20188BA14551245Places Available989Milan Malpensa140 (on request)22LHR17MAGF3

Leeds-BradfordMon 10/09/20188BA via LHR11051805Fully Booked1099Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0LBA17MAGF2

Leeds-BradfordThu 04/10/20188BA via LHR11051655Places Available1069Milan Malpensa140 (on request)22LBA17MAGF3

LiverpoolMon 10/09/20188Blue Air11151630Fully Booked1029Bergamo140 (on request)0LPL17MAGF2

London GatwickTue 11/09/20188Easyjet13451440Fully Booked979Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0LGW17MAGF2

London GatwickThu 04/10/20188Easyjet06551310Places Available949Milan Malpensa140 (on request)22LGW17MAGF3

LutonTue 11/09/20188Easyjet07201155Fully Booked979Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0LTN17MAGF2

LutonThu 04/10/20188Easyjet07201155Places Available949Milan Malpensa140 (on request)22LTN17MAGF3

ManchesterTue 11/09/20188Easyjet16001530Fully Booked979Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0MAN17MAGF2

ManchesterThu 04/10/20188Easyjet16001530Places Available949Milan Malpensa140 (on request)22MAN17MAGF3

NewcastleTue 11/09/20188BA via LHR11401555Fully Booked1099Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0NCL17MAGF2

NewcastleThu 04/10/20188BA via LHR11401555Places Available1069Milan Malpensa140 (on request)22NCL17MAGF3

StanstedTue 11/09/20188Ryanair08452240Fully Booked979Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0STN17MAGF2

StanstedThu 04/10/20188Ryanair08452240Places Available949Milan Malpensa140 (on request)22STN17MAGF3

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. Further details in our FAQ.

Data as at 21/07/2018 at 6:47:05

Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your holiday to Lake Maggiore. I was particularly impressed by how many people had travelled with you in the past and remained faithful to you. It was a very nice group of people and the organisation was extremely good. Lake Maggiore is fantastic!

Mrs J, Gloucestershire

Beautiful location, terrific hotel staff – all so friendly and very helpful. Representative couldn’t have been more helpful and informative.

Mrs B, Glasgow

Loved this holiday, it ran like clockwork. Pauline our Tour Guide was fabulous. The organisation of everything was excellent. This was my first escorted tour and I liked that there was a day break between the excursions, so it was not too tiring. Please let me have next year's brochure.

Mrs, S, Glamorgan

Thoroughly enjoyable holiday! Excursions well organised and nicely spread over the week. Hotel staff friendly, welcoming – dining room staff efficient and worked very hard. Would recommend this holiday to friends. Miss G, West Yorkshire

Miss G, West Yorkshire

Had a wonderful time on the Islands and Gardens of Lake Maggiore holiday. Pauline our Tour Director was very nice, helpful and organised and the hotel was wonderful with lovely staff and food.

Mrs L, Middlesex

Thank you, Preferred Travel Services, for organising an amazing holiday at Lake Maggiore. We had a fantastic time and all arrangements etc. were perfect. Really commend your organisation. I am already looking at your recent brochure and am confident that whatever we choose we will find it as good as our recent tour with you. Apart from arrangements we highly commend your tour escort Pauline who made this trip so lovely and relaxing. Hope we will have many more tours with you. Once again thank you for your very helpful staff and arrangements.

Mr & Mrs S, Glamorgan

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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 Islands & Gardens of Lake Maggiore 949