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Lake Como Gardens & Villas

Lake Como is the most romantic of the Italian pre-alpine lakes. Steep tree-clad hills, contrasting with the blue waters of the lake, and an essentially Mediterranean climate have made it a place of retreat for the rich and famous in search of the exotic since Wordsworth’s day.

From£1,449

  • Italy

  • 7 nights
  • Half Board + Three Lunches
  • May

    Jun

    Sep

    Oct

  • Guided Adagio Holidays

Tour codes: 51780

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Guided Adagio Holidays

This holiday includes an active sightseeing programme with unchallenging walks, either city tours or strolls on relatively easy terrain in the surrounding countryside. If in a mountainous area, the walks will be amongst the hills rather than up and down them. Local guides, winery visits, traditional villages and time to pause and watch the locals going about their lives are likely to feature.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Sail across Lake Como by ferry to Villa Carlotta to explore the gardens and the beautiful villa
  • Cross Lake Como to Bellagio to visit Villa Melzi and its picturesque lakeside gardens
  • Visit Villa Balbianello and its fascinating gardens
  • Explore Como and take the funicular to the panoramic viewpoint Brunate
  • Visit Varenna by ferry and capture the pretty gardens of Villa Cipressi and Villa Monastero.
  • Stay in a fantastically located hotel, right on the edge of Lake Como

Lake Como, an inverted ‘Y’ shape expanse of water, gouged from the lower slopes of the Italian Alps by glacial erosion has a beauty of its own. Steep tree clad hills, contrasting with the blue waters of the lake have made it a place of retreat for the rich and famous and a popular destination for visitors, in search of the exotic since Wordsworth’s day. The essentially Mediterranean climate of the lake has made it a place of retreat for the Italian rich and famous from the hot plains to the south. Villas have been built along the shores with superb views and gardens have been created with a wonderful diversity of flora. We will seek out these villas and their gardens, reaching them by lake ferry or on foot through twisting lanes and ancient villages.

The lake is an ideal place for an Adagio holiday, beautiful walking with continuous panoramic views of the lake and mountains. We have inspiring gardens and classic architecture, a mild climate and plenty of time to enjoy everything.

This is a chance to sample and enjoy some of the good things the aristocracy has enjoyed over the last few centuries

  • Return flights from London Heathrow to Milan Malpensa with British Airways
  • Airport transfers
  • Half board en suite accommodation
  • Three lunches
  • All local transport costs, entrance fees and tipping to local providers
  • Personal Expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary Tips
  • Optional Excursions
  • Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice. All local transport costs, entrance fees and tipping to local providers are included in the cost of your holiday. 

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

We fly to Milan and drive north to our wonderfully located hotel. We will pass by Como town on the south west corner of the lake and up its western coast to Cadenabbia. We may have some time for a quick stroll around the local area before dinner.

Transfer Time = 1 hour 30 minutes

Day 2

Lenno & Villa Carlotta

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

We walk along the tranquil lakeside to the fascinating Villa Carlotta and can explore the colourful gardens and the beautiful interior of the villa. Perhaps the most famous of Lake Como’s many villas, built in 1690 and home to various wealthy patrons over the years it is now open to the public.

Day 3

Bellagio & Villa Melzi

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Today we offer a feast of horticultural delights. We cross the scenic lake to Bellagio and visit the wonderful Villa Melzi and its lakeside gardens in the ‘English Style’. After lunch, ferry times permitting, we may tour the grounds of Villa Sebelloni. Lunch is included today.

Day 4

Como

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

We have a leisurely journey to Como where we can explore this ancient walled town and take the scenic funicular to the viewpoint at Brunate. Como is renowned for the rich and famous who live in and around the town. George Clooney is perhaps its most famous resident. Celebrity spotters may like to keep an eye out when strolling the town streets.

Day 5

Villa Balbianello

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

We take a short walk with tranquil lakeside views to reach Villa Balbianello and its fascinating gardens. We have the opportunity to tour the impressive house and its collections.

Day 6

Bellano & Gravedona

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We ferry up Lake Como to Bellano to visit its famous and impressive gorge. We continue by ferry to Gravedona, with its fine Romanesque church. We include an enjoyable lunch today in a local cafe in Bellano. From here we have a lake side stroll to Dongo from where we meet our private coach to take us back to Cadenabbia.

Day 7

Villa Cipressi & Villa Monastero

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

We visit Varenna by ferry and take a look at the gardens of Villa Cipressi and Villa Monastero. After lunch (included) we can explore the narrow streets of the town and we can climb to the Castello di Vezio if feeling particularly invigorated by the mountain air.

Day 8

Departure

Meals

Breakfast

It is time to say goodbye but a return adventure here will be at the top of your list! We will enjoy some free time before we transfer back to Milan Airport for our return flight back to the UK. 

From (GBP)£1,449

Departure dates for your selected tour

2nd May 2021 - 9th May 2021 (7 Nights)

23rd May 2021 - 30th May 2021 (7 Nights)

13th Jun 2021 - 20th Jun 2021 (7 Nights)

26th Sep 2021 - 3rd Oct 2021 (7 Nights)

17th Oct 2021 - 24th Oct 2021 (7 Nights)

Travel Details

We fly from London Heathrow to Milan Malpensa Airport and return with British Airways. 

We continue by private coach to Cadenabbia on the west side of Lake Como.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is a summary of the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

Grand Hotel Cadenabbia

Cadenabbia is a compact little town on the western shore of lake Como. It has been of particular attractions to the Brits over the centuries. Mary Shelley enjoyed a stay here in 1840. All that attracted Ms Shelley then remains to be enjoyed today. The town is spread out along the lake shore but all facilities are accessible from our hotel. 

Formerly a private villa, the Grande Hotel Cadenabbia dates back to 1820 and provides the perfect combination of stunning views of the lake within the comfort of a modern hotel. The main reception rooms are adorned with ancient stucco-work, mirrors, frescos and majestic columns. The Hotel has a rooftop bar and a swimming pool which may be open in season.

Hotel room facilities include: 

  • Satellite Television
  • Minibar
  • Safe
  • Air Conditioning
  • Hairdryer 
  • Wi-Fi

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

All Adagio holidays are expertly designed to allow you to immerse yourself in the destination. Leisurely exploration of the must-see, as well as lesser known, highlights together with relaxed enjoyment of local food and wines is what we have in mind. 

There may be days of sightseeing on foot around a spectacular city or unchallenging strolls on easy terrain in open countryside interspersed with winery visits, guided tours, boat trips, cafe stops and traditional restaurants. 

Walks & Excursions

We use a mix of privately hired vehicles, taxis, and public transport which gives us some flexibility in our itinerary. We have a wonderful programme of walking, sightseeing and visits planned to let you fully experience the area along with opportunities to relax at our wonderful hotel and enjoy your surroundings.

Local Costs

Holiday Budgeting

Local transport costs, entrance fees and tips to local providers are included in your holiday price. You may wish to budget for any meals and drinks not included in the holiday arrangements, non-included entrance fees and any optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Tipping

We include tips in the holiday cost and your Adagio Leader will take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers.  If you feel that someone has gone out of their way to make your holiday enjoyable or help you in anyway, please feel free to give a personal tip to the person should you wish. If you are having an independent lunch or other service not included in the holiday arrangements, tipping is at your own discretion.

Your Group

Group Size

We believe that the best things come in small packages, and our Adagio holidays prove just that. We limit our groups to a maximum of 18 persons, plus the Adagio Leader, so that everyone has the opportunity to mix, share their love of travel and return home with new friendships. Small groups also have less detrimental local impact, allows us to use public transport on some days, eat at small local restaurants and, we believe, offers a better experience.

Your Leader

An Adagio Leader will accompany you throughout the holiday. They are all experienced travellers with a love for exploring and will help capture the true essence of the destination with their stories, knowledge and insights.  They are well-organised, pay great attention to detail and enjoy being with people.  They are there to help make your holiday as enjoyable and stress free as possible.

Leaders Evening Briefing

Your Adagio Leader will discuss the programme for the following day with the group at each evening briefing. This will be your opportunity to find out more details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. Also, if you have any questions or concerns on clothing or lunch arrangements, this can be discussed then. If you wish to opt out of the organised group programme, this is fine, just let your Leader know.

Local Guides

Visiting historical sites, churches or museums are much more rewarding with a local guide. They give an insight to the local culture, language and traditions and can bring a destination alive. Many of our Adagio holidays include a knowledgeable English speaking guide on at least one of the days. Please refer to your daily itinerary to see where a guide is included.

Travel Plans

Getting to your Holiday

We fly from London Heathrow to Milan Malpensa Airport and return with British Airways. Details of your baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days before departure. 

We continue by private coach to Cadenabbia on the west side of Lake Como.

If you intend joining and leaving the party in Cadenabbia, we assume, unless you have advised us otherwise, that you will meet and leave the party at our hotel. If this is not your intention, please let us know in writing at least 5 weeks before departure.

Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements

If you wish to organise your own flights from either a non-UK or UK regional airport, or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. If you choose to do this, before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.

If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at the hotel. Although airport/train station transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport/train station, depending on your flight/train arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details. 

Please note that your flight/train must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight/train to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight/train number, arrival time and departure point so that your Adagio Leader is able to meet up with you.

Luggage Allowance & Tickets

When booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday with us, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.

Personal Details Check

Please ensure that the personal details we have on file for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. 

Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to accurately manage your holiday booking are correct at the time of booking (including health and dietry requirements). You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.adagio.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 386700. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passport Information

General Passport Advice

It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport page (with your photo on). Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country. Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements. 

General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.

Brexit Passport Advice

You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.

If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.

You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.

Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance. 

UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.

The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules  which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.

In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit

Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.

Meals

Breakfast and dinners are included in the holiday cost. Buffet breakfasts with a variety of local and international dishes are taken at the hotel. 

Dinners are taken both at the hotel and at local restaurants. Italian dishes are usually created using locally sourced fresh ingredients. Usually we can expect a variety of international and local delicacies such as pasta, risotto, meat and fish! Local restaurants allow us to enjoy an authentic experience and sometimes lively atmosphere in a traditional Italian restaurant along with local diners and the Italian hospitality. 

In Italy, traditional meals usually have four courses, antipasto or antipasti, primo, il secondo, and dolce; but this varies depending on restaurants and the regions of Italy.

Antipasto and Antipasti are a traditional course in formal Italian meals and translate as 'before the meal' as they are usually before the primo course. Antipasto refers to one portion and Antipasti refers to more than one portion. This usually includes cured meats such as salami, pepperoni, prosciutto or mortadella. Rich cheeses such as fresh mozzarella, gouda, provolone or Parmigiana-Reggiano are also included. Seafood like shrimp, anchovies and salmon are sometimes included too. 

The first course, known as primo, is served as an appetiser and usually consists of rich pasta, soup or risotto. The main course is called il secondo and usually includes meat, fish or vegetarian. The dolce refers to the dessert and ends a traditional Italian meal. Coffee usually follows too. 

Light lunches are also included on three days. Your leader will specify which days. Remaining lunches are not included and can be taken in local cafes, restaurants or as a picnic, brought from a local cafe or supermarket.  

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Comfortable, broken in, walking boots or shoes with a good sole are recommended for this holiday. Walking shoes or other comfortable footwear will be suitable for sightseeing days.

General Kit List

We recommend you bring the following items with you:

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers. It does rain sometimes! 
  • A sunhat, fleece and gloves… to cover all eventualities. 
  • Sun cream. The sun can be strong in Italy.
  • A water bottle. Just in case we can’t get to the local café. 
  • A picnic knife, fork and spoon, as required. 
  • A simple basic first aid kit. 
  • A daypack to hold all the above. 
  • Sensible footwear as some paths we walk are stony. 
  • Insect repellant.

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Travel Document Checklist

To ensure your holiday gets off to a good start, please make sure that you bring the following documents and information with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday currency
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Electricity in Italy

Electricity in Italy is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found Power Plugs Sockets.

Maps & Guidebooks

Ideal Maps & Guidebooks

The Rough Guide to Italy has some useful insights into the area and sites we will be seeing and lots of other in-depth information about the country.

Lonely Planet The Italian Lakes Guide by Lonely Planet

Italian Gardens of Lake Como by Lucia Impelluso and Dario Fusaro

Walking Lake Como and Maggiore by Gillian Price

Discover Como includes more useful information on the areas we will be visiting. 

Gino's Italian Escape: Hidden Italy: Lombardia - Gino continues his culinary adventure in the region of Lake Como

Rick Steves' Europe - Milan and Lake Como - Although now dated, this see's all the greatest sites of the area

The Map Shop

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
WR8 0HJ
England

Tel: 01684 593 146
Website: www.themapshop.co.uk
E-mail: [email protected]

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.

Staying Healthy on Holiday

Health Advice for Italy

No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Italy.

You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK. 

You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis.

Further Health Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Please make sure you are insured for guided walking. It is important that you bring your travel insurance documents with you on holiday, including your policy number and 24-hour assistance telephone number.

EHIC Cards

Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance. 

For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.

Height

It is important to ensure while purchasing insurance that you are insured for guided walking upto 1000m.

Our Ethos

Responsible Travel

We're committed to operating responsible tours in all our destinations as best we can. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel Ltd’s (inc Adagio) profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. 

In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. 

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Italy

  • Capital

    Rome

  • Currency

    Euro

  • Language

    Italian

  • Time Difference

    UTC +02:00

  • Flight duration

    2.5hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    6°C

    Avg. Rain: 67mm

  • February

    7°C

    Avg. Rain: 62mm

  • March

    9°C

    Avg. Rain: 63mm

  • April

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 61mm

  • May

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 56mm

  • June

    20°C

    Avg. Rain: 47mm

  • July

    22°C

    Avg. Rain: 35mm

  • August

    22°C

    Avg. Rain: 48mm

  • September

    20°C

    Avg. Rain: 64mm

  • October

    15°C

    Avg. Rain: 89mm

  • November

    10°C

    Avg. Rain: 96mm

  • December

    7°C

    Avg. Rain: 82mm

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