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Lake Maggiore & The Swiss Alps

About

Experience the best of Italy and Switzerland with this wonderful two centre tour around the idyllic lakes of northern Italy where mountains plunge to the lakeside and grand villas dot the landscape, and the dramatic scenery of western Switzerland where beauty and nature is abundant amongst fertile valleys, spectacular alpine peaks and luscious pine forests. This is a tour of ultimate beauty and exquisite scenery nature at its best.

You should experience it because...

Lake Maggiore boasts a picture-postcard setting with the Alps as a backdrop and is a most magical destination in Europe – this trip will take you to the best lakes and mountains in the area and you will cross-cross between the two countries, exploring beauty and nature amongst lake-side towns and islands, mountains and valley.

Beauty and nature

Visit Stresa, a setting for Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, and home to a stunning villa

Art and nature come together in perfection in the beautiful Borromean Gulf go exploring

See some pink granite at the small town of Baveno – it is used for numerous buildings throughout the world

Places covered 7 Days
  • Day 1 Arrive Lake Maggiore
  • Day 2 Lake Maggiore – exploring – food and wine
  • Day 3 Exploring – Borromeo – Isola – music and arts
  • Day 4 Indulge the senses – Thermal Baths at Premia – Antigorio Valley
  • Day 5 Locarno and the valleys
  • Day 6 Swiss Alps – Zermatt
  • Day 7 Swiss Alps – exploring
  • Days Details
  • 1 Arrive Lake Maggiore Arrive at Lake Maggiore and get your bearings. The quaint old town of Verbania is across the Gulf of Pallaza from its more touristy neighbour of Stresa. If you are based here, a must visit is the Villa Taranto that has magnificent botanical gardens and is often referred to as the ‘Garden of LakeMaggiore’. For amazing views take the Funivia – a cable car that takes you to heights from which you can see seven lakes – Maggiore, Orta, Mergozzo, Varese, Camabbio, Monate and Biandronno. And from here you can see glorious views of the Po Valley right across to the distant Alpine peaks.
  • 2 Lake Maggiore – exploring – food and wine Today, go exploring. From the top of Funivia you can rent mountain bikes and ride on many marked trails along beautiful valleys and past spectacular views. Explore Stresa on the western shore of the lake and take in its atmosphere of luxury and elegance so popular during its heydey. Take a stroll into the hills around Stresa and Verbania that are studded with a wealth of picturesque little villages with splendid views over the Borromean Gulf and the Islands. Or bike out to the Fondotoce Reed Bed on the western shore of the lake and see the immense variety of flora and fauna including green frogs, terrapins, mallards and swans. Or simply relax at a lakeside restaurant and enjoy local dishes such as risotto with fresh perch fillets and beef braised in Barolo wine.
  • 3 Exploring – Borromeo – Isola – music and arts Take a boat ride out to the Isole Borromee (Borromean Islands) in the centre of Lake Maggiore. Boats to the three islands depart every 15-30 minutes from the dock at Stresa, and there’s also a boat from Verbania. From romantic little coves, to long stretches of untouched beaches, these picturesque islands are a haven in a magical setting. The most picturesque island is Isola Pescatori (Fishermen’s Island) and is the only one to be permanently inhabited. Walk through its ancient little village and narrow lanes and see the tiny two-storey houses with long balconies that are traditionally used for drying fish. The lake is home to many cultural festivals and events throughout the year – enjoy the Settimane Musicali of Stresa from May to September or the Festival of Theatre and Comedy in Luino every summer.
  • 4 Indulge the senses – Thermal Baths at Premia – Antigorio Valley Enjoy a natural pampering session at the thermal baths at Premia in the Antigoro Valley these mineral spas and hot springs have always been a top attraction in and around Lake Maggiore. Indulge in a hydro massage or dip in the Jacuzzi before spending a couple of hours in the beauty spa. What better way to while away a few hours and rest your soul while gazing up at the spectacular surrounding scenery of forests, mountains and pastures.
  • 5 Locarno and the valleys Spend a day exploring the unspoilt romantic valleys of Locarno – the most well known are the Centovalli, the Onsernone, Maggia and the Verzasca valleys. The Onsernone Valley is a realm of woodland, water and rocks.Take a walking trail through wild, deep cut valleys and picturesque villages to panoramic peaks and glassy mountain lakes. Just at the end of the unspoilt valley you will hit the charming village of Cornologno with its splendid palazziaround the village square. Or ride along the Centovali railway along Centovali Valley of a Hundred Valleys – along deep gorges, over impressive bridges, through chestnut woods and pretty villages. The Maggiatal is criss-crossed by a network of 700km of footpaths and the narrow Verzascatal is characterised by its steep sides and the emerald-green river Verzasca. This is nature and beauty at its very best.
  • 6 Swiss Alps – Zermatt Make the scenic train journey through the Valais, across the Forclaz Pass, through the Rhone valley enjoying the Berner Alps to the left and the Pennines Alps to the right. Arrive at the rustic resort of Zermatt and check in to a charming mountain chalet hotel as you catch your first view of the famous Matterhorn. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon orientation walk through this charming Alpine village and learn about its history and the famous Matterhorn expeditions of the past. In the evening enjoy an elegant dinner at the Schonegg restaurant whilst marvelling at wonderful views of the Matterhoon as you dine on delicious Swiss cuisine.
  • 7 Zermatt – the Matterhorn Experience first-hand the fascinating world of Alpine peaks, glaciers and expansive ice fields, and make the 43 minute ascent to the Gornergrat on Europe’s highest tunnel free railway, the Gornergratbahn. This ride offers an ever-changing panorama of glorious Alpine scenery beginning with slopes of luscious green forest gradually opening up to a rocky summit where, perched on top, is the Gornergrat Hotel. From the terrace here you can enjoy breathtaking views and see the tallest mountains in Switzerland including Monte Rosa and the Dom and the splendid isolation of the nearby Matterhorn. Below a river of ice called the Gornergletscher will fascinate you with its immense size and its crystal blue icy sculptures.
€ 1,800 per person (Prices are in Euros and exclude international flights)
Price Per Person in Twin Sharing Accomodation
(Prices are in Euros and exclude international flights)

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About Us
Freedom Holidays is passionate about creating inspirational tailor-made travel to Europe and beyond. Our business is your pleasure and our expert and dedicated team is here to listen to your travel needs down to the ‘nth’ degree, leaving you ‘free’ to enjoy your holiday of a lifetime with no gimmicks, no hassle, and no stress. What makes us different? With 14 years experience of providing quality tailor-made customised holidays with an ‘off-the beaten-track’ themed approach, we take you to well-known destinations as well as far flung locations (or a mixture of both), leaving you safe in the knowledge that you will be looked after every step of the way.
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Our accreditations
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  • accreditation-SLH.png
  • accreditation-i_feel_slovenia.png
About Us
Freedom Holidays is passionate about creating inspirational tailor-made travel to Europe and beyond. Our business is your pleasure and our expert and dedicated team is here to listen to your travel needs down to the ‘nth’ degree, leaving you ‘free’ to enjoy your holiday of a lifetime with no gimmicks, no hassle, and no stress. What makes us different? With 14 years experience of providing quality tailor-made customised holidays with an ‘off-the beaten-track’ themed approach, we take you to well-known destinations as well as far flung locations (or a mixture of both), leaving you safe in the knowledge that you will be looked after every step of the way.
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