Your holiday summary

Holiday type Escorted tours
Country Italy
Travel type Fly
Price range From £909
Travel partner Riviera Travel
Duration 7 nights
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Lake Como, St. Moritz and the Bernina express

Take our escorted tour to stunning Lake Como and experience one of Europe’s most scenic train journeys through the Swiss Alps.

The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at a supplement of £89 per person at the Cadenabbia, £199 at the Regina Olga and £219 at the Imperiale. The price includes seven nights half-board, return flights, airport departure taxes, return transfers, all tours as mentioned, one way journey on the Bernina Express in standard class, boat to Bellagio, guided tours of Bergamo and Villa del Balbianello and the services of a Riviera tour manager. Where hotels feature an outdoor swimming pool, this will be open summer months, weather permitting.

  • Return flights
  • Seven nights four star accommodation on a half board basis
  • Visit to St Moritz in the heart of the Swiss Alps
  • Travel on the Bernina Express
  • Visit to Lake Maggiore
  • Guided tour of Bergamo
  • Lake cruise to stunning Bellagio
  • Private visit to the Villa del Balbianello and its gardens
  • Escorted by our experienced tour manager
Not included
Entrance to Villa del Balbianello, approximately €8, payable locally. Entrance is free for National Trust members, on production of a valid membership card.
Day one

Fly to Milan from where you will be taken to your hotel. We use a series of excellent four star rated, fully air-conditioned hotels all situated on the lake, with pools and very comfortably appointed rooms. The four star Grand Hotel Cadenabbia, in Cadenabbia exudes historic charm with elegant high ceilings, columns and intricate plasterwork. The restaurant has panoramic views over the lake with an al fresco terrace where you can savour the typical Italian cuisine. The Grand Hotel Menaggio, set right on the lakefront in the town of Menaggio. This well renowned hotel is located a short stroll from the village centre and is classically designed with a relaxing lounge and bar area opening out onto the heated lakeside swimming pool and sun terrace. The hotel also has two restaurants and the food features many local specialities.

Day two

This morning you take a private boat and tour the 18th century Villa del Balbianello. It features a collection of art and historic furniture including an oak bureau from Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory. The gardens are a series of manicured terraces full of roses and colourful borders, dominated by a classic three arched ‘loggia’, with everything using the rugged topography to great effect. The boat then takes you to the exclusive resort of Bellagio. The afternoon is free to explore the town.

Day three

Today we see spectacular scenery and Swiss engineering. Firstly you ascend up the Valtellina, an alpine valley with peaks rising steeply on both sides to Tirano, where you board the Bernina Express. One of the slowest ‘express’ trains in the world, this remarkable Swiss train twists upwards in a sequence of spirals, loops and tunnels to the summit at Ospizio Bernina, the highest through station in Europe. You are surrounded by vistas over snow-clad peaks and ice-cold glacial lakes which mark the watershed between Mediterranean and Black Sea river systems. You descend through pastures and dense pine forests to the resort of St Moritz, home of the Cresta Run toboggan track, where there’s time for a spot of window shopping or perhaps afternoon tea and cake. Listen carefully and you may notice a rather unusual tongue: here, in this tiny corner of Switzerland, the locals speak Romansch, an ancient and little known Latin language. You return through yet more scenery to Lake Como for dinner.

Day four

After breakfast we visit the historic town of Bergamo. Crowning a striking hill, it was ruled for centuries by Venice, when much of the city was built. Centred around the Piazza Vecchia, its main square is a collection of medieval buildings. There will be a guided tour of the old town followed by some free time to explore as you wish. For art lovers, a short distance from the old town, you may wish to visit the highly acclaimed Galleria dell’Accademia, displaying masterpieces by Canaletto, Holbein, Velazquez and Botticelli.

Day five

We visit nearby Lake Maggiore, and its most attractive resort, Stresa. This town owes its origins to the days of the ‘Grand Tour’, when Europe’s 19th century aristocracy, having crossed the border from Switzerland experienced their first taste of Italy. Unmistakably Mediterranean in character, its shores, lined with oleanders and palms, backed by hotels create a gentle ambience. You can also take the short boat trip to Isola Bella, transformed by a 17th century Count from a barren rock into a terraced garden, admired by Queen Caroline of England, wife of George IV, and Napoleon and Josephine.

Day six

Today we travel to Lugano, seized by the Swiss in 1512. It has since refused any opportunity to revert to Italian status and is an eclectic mix of traditional Swiss values and more laid back Latin influences from across the border. The trains run on time and shops are just as chic, but there’s a distinctive Mediterranean feel unlike anything you’ll experience elsewhere in Switzerland. Tiny alleyways lead to Italian piazzas where you can relax over an Italian style lunch, but like anywhere in Switzerland, the traffic laws are obeyed without question.

Day seven

Today you are free to explore as you wish. Have an Italian coffee in one of the cafes, or simply relax by the hotel’s pool. Alternatively you may decide to take the boat to the lakeside town of Como or visit the gardens of Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo.

Day eight

Return to the airport for your return flight.
Grand Hotel Cadenabbia - four-star

In the typically Italian town of Cadenabbia. The hotel, with a position on the lakeside, dates back to 1820 and has long welcomed the rich and famous, including Queen Victoria. It exudes historic charm and elegance with ‘classic’ public rooms featuring high ceilings, columns and intricate plasterwork, whilst constant refurbishment ensures modern comforts. All rooms have air-conditioning, TV, mini-bar, hairdryer and safe plus the hotel boasts a swimming pool too. The restaurant has panoramic views over the lake with an al fresco terrace where you can savour the typical Italian cuisine in a relaxing atmosphere.

Lake view £75 per person; Lake view with balcony £159 per person

Hotel Regina Olga - four star

In the lakeside resort of Cernobbio and located on the southern shores on undoubtedly one of the most picturesque parts of the lake with views across the waters to Como, this is a classical Italian styled hotel facing the lake and has a very good quality restaurant, outside terrace and swimming pool in its private gardens. All the comfortable air-conditioned rooms are well appointed with phone, satellite TV, mini-bar, safe and hairdryer.

Lake view £105 per person

Grand Hotel Imperiale - four-star

In the lakeside village of Moltrasio. This late Art Nouveau style property, set in its own landscaped gardens, has a lakeside location. It features a lakeside pool, and rooms decorated in a modern style. The hotel is a mixture of modern elegance and period features including a bar area with intricate tiled floor and crystal chandeliers where you can relax in peaceful surroundings. All the rooms have air-conditioning, telephone, satellite TV, mini-bar, safe and hairdryer.

Grand Hotel Menaggio - four star

Set right on the lakefront in Menaggio. This hotel is located a short stroll from the resort centre and is classically designed with a relaxing lounge and bar area opening out onto the heated lakeside swimming pool and sun terrace. The hotel also has two restaurants and the food features many local specialities. All rooms are air-conditioned and have recently been renovated with private facilities, safe and satellite TV. Some have lake views with Juliette or full balcony overlooking the waters of the lake.

Lake view £109 per person; Lake view with balcony £199 per person

Please note: Where hotels feature an outdoor swimming pool, this will be open summer months, weather permitting.
11 results
Departure date Departing point Departure UK Arrive at Destination Nights Price  
01-Sep-2015 Gatwick Airport 15:20 18:15 7 1079.00 please call
01-Sep-2015 Nottingham East Midlands 12:00 15:10 7 1109.00 please call
06-Sep-2015 Birmingham International 06:45 09:50 7 1079.00 book
22-Sep-2015 Gatwick Airport 15:20 18:15 7 1049.00 please call
22-Sep-2015 Bristol 15:55 19:05 7 1079.00 please call
29-Sep-2015 Edinburgh Airport 12:45 16:15 7 1069.00 please call
29-Sep-2015 Gatwick Airport 13:05 16:00 7 1049.00 please call
06-Oct-2015 Gatwick Airport 13:05 16:00 7 969.00 please call
06-Oct-2015 Bristol 15:55 19:05 7 999.00 please call
20-Oct-2015 Gatwick Airport 13:05 16:00 7 909.00 please call
20-Oct-2015 Bristol 15:55 19:05 7 939.00 please call
11 results
4 results

I would just like to congratulate you on an excellent tour. We would recommend your company to others and intend to book another tour with you next year.
Jun 2012
Mr C Soltysiak

I wanted to say we had a wonderful holiday on Lake Como.we were on the tour. We stayed at the Grand Hotel Cadenabbia which was excellent. The food was very good , the bedroom was nicely decorated and very clean . Really we couldn't fault it. Deborah our tour guide was lovely and very helpful. Thank you even the lady who took our booking was really pleasant so we would like to say thank you to all of you. Believe me I am not known for being effusive.
Oct 2011
Ms G Ridley

The lakeside hotel in Mennagio was delightful - good rooms and excellent service. Despite a very early start, the trip on the Bernina Express was outstanding and once we were up in the mountains the early start became worthwhile. The days out were well organised by our excellent tour manager, Donald, and provided a good balance between help and a wealth of interesting information about the places we were visiting and free time to explore. This was my first experience of an organised tour and I'll certainly be doing it again.
Oct 2011
Ms P Petch
An enjoyable holiday. Accommodation was splendid and food was first class.
Alexandra Kirkpatrick
4 results