Lake Como Gardens & Villas
Discover paradise along the shores of Italy's Lake Como
- 7 nights
- Half Board + Three Lunches
Tour codes: 51780
Discover paradise along the shores of Italy's Lake Como
Tour codes: 51780
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.
Lake Como is the most romantic Italian pre-Alpine lake, where steep, tree-clad hills contrast perfectly with the expansive blue waters. The gorgeous Mediterranean climate continually attracts the rich and famous, who have sought out this exotic spot since the days of William Wordsworth.
This gentle walking holiday in Lake Como lets visitors relish relaxing strolls, admire panoramic surroundings of shimmering turquoise waters and inhale the fresh mountain air. The balmy temperature here is perfect for exploration. Beautiful villas border the shore and gardens have been created with a wonderful diversity of flora. We seek out and explore these picture perfect villas and gardens, reaching them by lake ferry or on foot through twisting lanes, narrow streets and charming Italian villages. Now is your chance to sample some of the experiences that have been enjoyed amongst aristocrats for years.
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
Itinerary & Travel
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.
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 continue along its western coast to Cadenabbia. We may have some time for a stroll around the local area before dinner.
Transfer Time = 1 hour 30 minutes
Our itinerary is expected to follow the daily schedule outlined below but please bare in mind that the order of the days may be amended, or walks substituted, due to weather conditions, attraction opening times, public transport timetables or changes beyond our control.
We take a walk along the tranquil lakeside to the fascinating Villa Carlotta, perhaps the most famous of Lake Como’s many villas, built in 1690 and home to various wealthy patrons over the years. We spend time exploring the beautiful villa and its museum, home to paintings purchased by Giovanni Battista Sommariva and belongings to Princess Carlotta, who received the Villa as a wedding gift. The gardens are a delight, meander between the roses and azaleas in the Romantic garden, pass through its bright citrus tunnels and wander past the fountains and tropical plants of the Italian garden.
Today we offer a feast of horticultural delights. We cross the scenic lake to Bellagio and visit the wonderfully elegant Villa Melzi, built in the early 19th century for Francesco Melzi d’Eril. Its English style poetic gardens are now declared a national monument.
We enjoy a delightful Mediterranean lunch in Bellagio. After lunch, ferry times permitting, we may tour the grounds of the grand Villa Serbelloni.
We take 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!
We take a short walk with tranquil lakeside views to reach Villa Balbianello, an 18th century mansion built by Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini in 1787. We have the opportunity to tour the impressive house and its collections, plus time to enjoy its beautiful terraced gardens. The villa has been used as a setting for a number of films including A Month by the Lake, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Casino Royal!
We ferry up Lake Como to Bellano, a small fishing town with colourful buildings and traditional streets located on the eastern shores of the lake. We visit its famous and impressive gorge, the l'Orrido, formed by erosion from the waters of the Pioverna Torrent. We include an enjoyable lunch today in a local cafe in Bellano.
We continue by ferry to Gravedona, a small Italian town located on the north-western banks of Lake Como. Gravedona is rich in history with traditional buildings and a fine Romanesque church.
Later we take a lake side stroll to Dongo from where we meet our private coach to take us back to Cadenabbia.
A ferry takes us to Varenna, a traditional picturesque village located on the eastern shore of Lake Como. Varenna is a charming village and a much quieter destination compared to the larger well known neighbouring towns along the lake. The streets are filled with colourful buildings and old fisherman houses, and a pretty waterfront and small stone beach decorate its shores.
We visit the fairytale gardens of Villa Cipressi, home to plant species rarely found in northern Italy because of Lake Como's local climatic conditions! We also explore Villa Monastero, home to a large botanical garden with rare flora species from all over the world because of the mild climate, meaning a garden full of colourful blooms all year round.
After a delicious lunch in pretty Varenna, we explore the narrow streets of the town and we can climb to the Castello di Vezio if feeling particularly invigorated by the mountain air.
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.
Departure dates for your selected tour
1st May 2022 - 8th May 2022 (7 Nights)
22nd May 2022 - 29th May 2022 (7 Nights)
12th Jun 2022 - 19th Jun 2022 (7 Nights)
25th Sep 2022 - 2nd Oct 2022 (7 Nights)
16th Oct 2022 - 23rd Oct 2022 (7 Nights)
We fly from London to Milan Malpensa Airport and return
We continue by private coach to Cadenabbia on the west side of Lake Como.
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.
Cadenabbia is a compact little town in a sheltered spot on the western shore of lake Como. It is an ideal location to enjoy lakes and mountains, and a perfect setting with incredible panoramic views for our holiday! The town is spread along the lake shore but all facilities are accessible from our hotel, including shops, supermarkets, bars and restaurants, plus a tourist information centre and post office. Mary Shelley enjoyed a stay here in 1840. All that attracted Ms Shelley then remains to be enjoyed today.
Formerly a private villa, the Grand Hotel Cadenabbia dates back to 1820 and provides the perfect combination of glorious tranquil views of the lake within the comfort of a modern hotel. The main reception rooms are adorned with ancient stucco-work, a sweeping staircase, artwork, superb frescos and majestic columns. Unwind on the sun terrace or take a dip in the swimming pool (opening hours vary depending on the season). Or sit back and enjoy the beautiful panoramic lake and mountain views from the rooftop bar. Venture through the large gardens located at the rear of the hotel. The scenic position of the charming Grand Hotel Cadenabbia provides picture perfect scenery and an ideal location for our itinerary as it is close to the ferry port.
We stay in bright double/twin and single bedded rooms with traditional furnishings and décor. Facilities include:
Tea making facilities are not provided in rooms.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Getting to your Holiday
We fly from London to Milan Malpensa Airport and return.
We continue by private coach to Cadenabbia on the west side of Lake Como. The transfer time is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.
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.
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.
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.
Breakfast and dinners are included in the holiday cost. Buffet breakfasts are taken in the hotels restaurant and include a variety dishes such as pastries, cold meats, cheese, fruit, yoghurt and breads.
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 in local restaurants and cafes, your leader will provide more information during the holiday. Remaining lunches are not included and can be taken in local cafes, restaurants or as a picnic brought from a local cafe or supermarket.
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:
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:
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.
Ideal Maps & Guidebooks
Many local libraries stock a selection of travel guides and books which may offer you more information. Apart from any books available in local libraries, the internet is now an excellent resource for information about holiday destinations. You may find the below websites, books and programmes useful.
Maps of the areas we visit (1:200 000 scale) are available locally and at specialist map shops in the UK.
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
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.
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.
It is a condition of booking with Adagio that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.
Your travel insurance policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation. Please ensure your policy covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are walking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover are not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
Looking for travel insurance cover?
If you have not already arranged cover, please visit SunWorld who offer travel insurance.
SunWorld policies include cover for COVID-19, subject to applicable terms and conditions.
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.
It is important to ensure while purchasing insurance that you are insured for guided walking upto 1000m.
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.
Visas and Passports
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