The Islands & Gardens of Lake Maggiore

8 Days from £949 | May, July, September, October 949

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 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 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: £91
Supplements on some holidays vary by departure date - the applicable price will be shown when booking.

Fly FromDateDaysAirlineDep.Rtn.AvailabilityPriceFly ToSingle

AberdeenTue 14/05/20198BA via LHR11051730Places Available1109Milan Malpensa14022ABZ17MAGF4

AberdeenWed 24/07/20198BA via LHR11051755Places Available1069Milan Malpensa14027ABZ17MAGF5

AberdeenTue 17/09/20198BA via LHR11051730Places Available1119Milan Malpensa140 (on request)12ABZ17MAGF6

AberdeenTue 08/10/20198BA via LHR11051730Places Available1069Milan Malpensa14034ABZ17MAGF7

Belfast IntlWed 24/07/20198Ryanair06301155Places Available999Bergamo14027BFS17MAGF5

BirminghamTue 14/05/20198Flybe11101610Places Available1049Milan Malpensa14022BHX17MAGF4

BirminghamWed 24/07/20198Flybe11101610Places Available1009Milan Malpensa14027BHX17MAGF5

BirminghamTue 17/09/20198Flybe11101610Places Available1059Milan Malpensa140 (on request)12BHX17MAGF6

BirminghamTue 08/10/20198Flybe11101610Places Available1009Milan Malpensa14034BHX17MAGF7

BristolTue 14/05/20198Ryanair08350810Places Available1039Bergamo14022BRS17MAGF4

BristolThu 25/07/20198Ryanair12251710Places Available999Bergamo14027BRS17MAGF5

BristolTue 17/09/20198Ryanair08350810Places Available1049Bergamo140 (on request)12BRS17MAGF6

BristolTue 08/10/20198Ryanair08350810Places Available999Bergamo14034BRS17MAGF7

CardiffWed 24/07/20198Flybe10101500Places Available1009Milan Malpensa14027CWL17MAGF5

DublinTue 14/05/20198Ryanair06151145Places Available1039Bergamo14022DUB17MAGF4

DublinWed 24/07/20198Ryanair06151140Places Available999Bergamo14027DUB17MAGF5

DublinTue 17/09/20198Ryanair06151145Places Available1049Bergamo140 (on request)12DUB17MAGF6

DublinTue 08/10/20198Ryanair06151145Places Available999Bergamo14034DUB17MAGF7

East MidlandsTue 14/05/20198Ryanair13201805Places Available1039Bergamo14022EMA17MAGF4

East MidlandsThu 25/07/20198Ryanair18002245Places Available999Bergamo14027EMA17MAGF5

East MidlandsTue 17/09/20198Ryanair13201805Places Available1049Bergamo140 (on request)12EMA17MAGF6

East MidlandsTue 08/10/20198Ryanair13201805Places Available999Bergamo14034EMA17MAGF7

EdinburghTue 14/05/20198Easyjet20151945Places Available989Milan Malpensa14022EDI17MAGF4

EdinburghWed 24/07/20198Easyjet15251455Places Available949Milan Malpensa14027EDI17MAGF5

EdinburghTue 17/09/20198Easyjet20151945Places Available999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)12EDI17MAGF6

EdinburghTue 08/10/20198Easyjet20151945Places Available949Milan Malpensa14034EDI17MAGF7

HeathrowTue 14/05/20198BA15051955Places Available1029Milan Malpensa14022LHR17MAGF4

HeathrowWed 24/07/20198BA15001245Places Available989Milan Malpensa14027LHR17MAGF5

HeathrowTue 17/09/20198BA15101245Places Available1039Milan Malpensa140 (on request)12LHR17MAGF6

HeathrowTue 08/10/20198BA15101245Places Available989Milan Malpensa14034LHR17MAGF7

Leeds-BradfordMon 13/05/20198BA via LHR11051805Places Available1109Milan Malpensa14022LBA17MAGF4

Leeds-BradfordMon 16/09/20198BA via LHR10001705Places Available1119Milan Malpensa140 (on request)12LBA17MAGF6

Leeds-BradfordMon 07/10/20198BA via LHR11051805Places Available1069Milan Malpensa14034LBA17MAGF7

LiverpoolTue 14/05/20198Ryanair14001335Places Available989Milan Malpensa14022LPL17MAGF4

LiverpoolThu 25/07/20198Ryanair13451320Places Available949Milan Malpensa14027LPL17MAGF5

LiverpoolTue 17/09/20198Ryanair14001335Places Available999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)12LPL17MAGF6

LiverpoolTue 08/10/20198Ryanair14001335Places Available949Milan Malpensa14034LPL17MAGF7

London GatwickTue 14/05/20198Easyjet13451440Places Available989Milan Malpensa14022LGW17MAGF4

London GatwickWed 24/07/20198Easyjet08551310Places Available949Milan Malpensa14027LGW17MAGF5

London GatwickTue 17/09/20198Easyjet13451440Places Available999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)12LGW17MAGF6

London GatwickTue 08/10/20198Easyjet13451440Places Available949Milan Malpensa14034LGW17MAGF7

LutonTue 14/05/20198Easyjet07201155Places Available989Milan Malpensa14022LTN17MAGF4

LutonWed 24/07/20198Easyjet18301800Places Available949Milan Malpensa14027LTN17MAGF5

LutonTue 17/09/20198Easyjet07201155Places Available999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)12LTN17MAGF6

LutonTue 08/10/20198Easyjet07201155Places Available949Milan Malpensa14034LTN17MAGF7

ManchesterTue 14/05/20198Easyjet16201545Places Available989Milan Malpensa14022MAN17MAGF4

ManchesterWed 24/07/20198Easyjet14401410Places Available949Milan Malpensa14027MAN17MAGF5

ManchesterTue 17/09/20198Easyjet16201545Places Available999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)12MAN17MAGF6

ManchesterTue 08/10/20198Easyjet16201545Places Available949Milan Malpensa14034MAN17MAGF7

NewcastleTue 14/05/20198BA via LHR11401555Places Available1109Milan Malpensa14022NCL17MAGF4

NewcastleWed 24/07/20198BA via LHR09001930Places Available1069Milan Malpensa14027NCL17MAGF5

NewcastleTue 17/09/20198BA via LHR11451540Places Available1119Milan Malpensa140 (on request)12NCL17MAGF6

NewcastleTue 08/10/20198BA via LHR11401555Places Available1069Milan Malpensa14034NCL17MAGF7

SouthendMon 13/05/20198Ryanair17352130Places Available1039Bergamo14022SEN17MAGF4

SouthendWed 24/07/20198Ryanair17352130Places Available999Bergamo14027SEN17MAGF5

SouthendMon 16/09/20198Ryanair17352130Places Available1049Bergamo140 (on request)12SEN17MAGF6

SouthendMon 07/10/20198Ryanair17352130Places Available999Bergamo14034SEN17MAGF7

StanstedTue 14/05/20198Ryanair08452240Places Available989Milan Malpensa14022STN17MAGF4

StanstedWed 24/07/20198Ryanair08452240Places Available949Milan Malpensa14027STN17MAGF5

StanstedTue 17/09/20198Ryanair08452240Places Available999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)12STN17MAGF6

StanstedTue 08/10/20198Ryanair08452240Places Available949Milan Malpensa14034STN17MAGF7

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 3:47:06

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