The Islands & Gardens of Lake Maggiore

8 Days from £949 | 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 17/09/20198BA via LHR11051730Fully Booked1119Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0ABZ17MAGF6

AberdeenTue 08/10/20198BA via LHR11051730Places Available1069Milan Malpensa14019ABZ17MAGF7

BirminghamTue 17/09/20198Flybe11101610Fully Booked1059Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0BHX17MAGF6

BirminghamTue 08/10/20198Flybe11101610Places Available1009Milan Malpensa14019BHX17MAGF7

BristolTue 17/09/20198Ryanair20502025Fully Booked1049Bergamo140 (on request)0BRS17MAGF6

BristolTue 08/10/20198Ryanair20500810Places Available999Bergamo14019BRS17MAGF7

DublinTue 17/09/20198Ryanair06151145Fully Booked1049Bergamo140 (on request)0DUB17MAGF6

DublinTue 08/10/20198Ryanair06151145Places Available999Bergamo14019DUB17MAGF7

East MidlandsTue 17/09/20198Ryanair13201805Fully Booked1049Bergamo140 (on request)0EMA17MAGF6

East MidlandsTue 08/10/20198Ryanair13201805Places Available999Bergamo14019EMA17MAGF7

EdinburghTue 17/09/20198Easyjet20151945Fully Booked999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0EDI17MAGF6

EdinburghTue 08/10/20198Easyjet20151945Places Available949Milan Malpensa14019EDI17MAGF7

HeathrowTue 17/09/20198BA15101245Fully Booked1039Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0LHR17MAGF6

HeathrowTue 08/10/20198BA15101245Places Available989Milan Malpensa14019LHR17MAGF7

Leeds-BradfordMon 16/09/20198BA via LHR10001705Fully Booked1119Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0LBA17MAGF6

Leeds-BradfordMon 07/10/20198BA via LHR10001705Places Available1069Milan Malpensa14019LBA17MAGF7

LiverpoolTue 17/09/20198Ryanair14001335Fully Booked999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0LPL17MAGF6

LiverpoolTue 08/10/20198Ryanair14001335Places Available949Milan Malpensa14019LPL17MAGF7

London GatwickTue 17/09/20198Easyjet13451440Fully Booked999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0LGW17MAGF6

London GatwickTue 08/10/20198Easyjet13451440Places Available949Milan Malpensa14019LGW17MAGF7

LutonTue 17/09/20198Easyjet07201155Fully Booked999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0LTN17MAGF6

LutonTue 08/10/20198Easyjet07201155Places Available949Milan Malpensa14019LTN17MAGF7

ManchesterTue 17/09/20198Easyjet16551615Fully Booked999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0MAN17MAGF6

ManchesterTue 08/10/20198Easyjet16551615Places Available949Milan Malpensa14019MAN17MAGF7

NewcastleTue 17/09/20198BA via LHR11451540Fully Booked1119Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0NCL17MAGF6

NewcastleTue 08/10/20198BA via LHR11401555Places Available1069Milan Malpensa14019NCL17MAGF7

SouthendMon 16/09/20198Ryanair08001205Fully Booked1049Bergamo140 (on request)0SEN17MAGF6

SouthendMon 07/10/20198Ryanair17352130Places Available999Bergamo14019SEN17MAGF7

StanstedTue 17/09/20198Ryanair08452240Fully Booked999Milan Malpensa140 (on request)0STN17MAGF6

StanstedTue 08/10/20198Ryanair08452240Places Available949Milan Malpensa14019STN17MAGF7

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 17/08/2019 at 21:47:07

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