The Islands & Gardens of Lake Maggiore

8 Days from £949 | May, 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, half way 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
The Islands & Gardens of Lake Maggiore
Holiday Code: 7MAG
Supplements per person:
Single room £140
Lake view £84 (twin/double rooms only)

Fly FromDateDaysAirlineDep.Rtn.AvailabilityPriceFly ToSingle

AberdeenTue 15/05/20188BA via LHR11051730Places Available1079Milan Malpensa140

AberdeenTue 11/09/20188BA via LHR11051730Places Available1099Milan Malpensa140

AberdeenThu 04/10/20188BA via LHR11051555Places Available1069Milan Malpensa140

BirminghamTue 15/05/20188Flybe12051655Places Available959Milan Malpensa140

BirminghamTue 11/09/20188Flybe12051655Places Available979Milan Malpensa140

BirminghamThu 04/10/20188Flybe12001135Places Available949Milan Malpensa140

BristolTue 15/05/20188Ryanair08350810Places Available1009Bergamo140

BristolTue 11/09/20188Ryanair08350810Places Available1029Bergamo140

BristolThu 04/10/20188Ryanair12251710Places Available999Bergamo140

CardiffMon 14/05/20188Flybe10001445Places Available959Milan Malpensa140

CardiffMon 10/09/20188Flybe10001445Places Available979Milan Malpensa140

CardiffThu 04/10/20188Flybe10001445Places Available949Milan Malpensa140

DublinTue 15/05/20188Ryanair06151145Places Available1009Bergamo140

DublinTue 11/09/20188Ryanair06151145Places Available1029Bergamo140

DublinThu 04/10/20188Ryanair06151140Places Available999Bergamo140

East MidlandsTue 15/05/20188Ryanair12001650Places Available1009Bergamo140

East MidlandsTue 11/09/20188Ryanair12001650Places Available1029Bergamo140

East MidlandsThu 04/10/20188Ryanair12301720Places Available999Bergamo140

EdinburghTue 15/05/20188Easyjet20051935Places Available959Milan Malpensa140

EdinburghTue 11/09/20188Easyjet20051935Places Available979Milan Malpensa140

EdinburghThu 04/10/20188Easyjet13001230Places Available949Milan Malpensa140

GlasgowTue 15/05/20188Easyjet09350905Places Available959Milan Malpensa140

GlasgowTue 11/09/20188Easyjet09350905Places Available979Milan Malpensa140

GlasgowThu 04/10/20188Easyjet09350905Places Available949Milan Malpensa140

HeathrowTue 15/05/20188BA15101245Places Available999Milan Malpensa140

HeathrowTue 11/09/20188BA15101245Places Available1019Milan Malpensa140

HeathrowThu 04/10/20188BA15051300Places Available989Milan Malpensa140

Leeds-BradfordTue 15/05/20188BA via LHR14301845Places Available1079Milan Malpensa140

Leeds-BradfordTue 11/09/20188BA via LHR14301845Places Available1099Milan Malpensa140

Leeds-BradfordThu 04/10/20188BA via LHR09301835Places Available1069Milan Malpensa140

LiverpoolMon 14/05/20188Blue Air11151630Places Available1009Bergamo140

LiverpoolMon 10/09/20188Blue Air11151630Places Available1029Bergamo140

London GatwickTue 15/05/20188Easyjet13451440Places Available959Milan Malpensa140

London GatwickTue 11/09/20188Easyjet13451440Places Available979Milan Malpensa140

London GatwickThu 04/10/20188Easyjet06551310Places Available949Milan Malpensa140

LutonTue 15/05/20188Easyjet06101825Places Available959Milan Malpensa140

LutonTue 11/09/20188Easyjet06101825Places Available979Milan Malpensa140

LutonThu 04/10/20188Easyjet07301205Places Available949Milan Malpensa140

ManchesterTue 15/05/20188Easyjet14401410Places Available959Milan Malpensa140

ManchesterTue 11/09/20188Easyjet14401410Places Available979Milan Malpensa140

ManchesterThu 04/10/20188Easyjet14401410Places Available949Milan Malpensa140

NewcastleTue 15/05/20188BA via LHR11401555Places Available1079Milan Malpensa140

NewcastleTue 11/09/20188BA via LHR11401555Places Available1099Milan Malpensa140

NewcastleThu 04/10/20188BA via LHR11251550Places Available1069Milan Malpensa140

SouthendTue 15/05/20188Flybe17452215Places Available959Milan Malpensa140

SouthendTue 11/09/20188Flybe17452215Places Available979Milan Malpensa140

SouthendThu 04/10/20188Flybe17452215Places Available949Milan Malpensa140

StanstedTue 15/05/20188Ryanair08452240Places Available959Milan Malpensa140

StanstedTue 11/09/20188Ryanair08452240Places Available979Milan Malpensa140

StanstedThu 04/10/20188Ryanair08452240Places Available949Milan Malpensa140

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 22/10/2017 at 21:47:04

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

Overall an excellent value for money holiday. Top marks!

Mr & Mrs F, Edinburgh

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

The tour director and hotel staff were all very polite, friendly and accommodating and worked very hard to make our holiday special.

Mrs H, South Yorkshire

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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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