Venice and Italian Lakes
Staying in boutique 4-star hotels, this wonderful walking tour gives a new twist to some of the classic destinations of northern Italy: the back canals of Venice; the medieval trails high above Lake Como; the hidden valleys of Ticino; the entrancing shores of Lake Orta; the elegant arcades of Turin.
The tour starts in magical Venice and finishes in elegant Turin. Strung along the foot of the Alps, for millennia the Italian Lakes have been a gateway to the colour and life of the Mediterranean world for the pilgrims, traders and armies who marched across the Alps on foot. The walks on this marvellous tour follow these same routes, ancient stone paths that wind high above the lakes far from the madding crowds, passing through forests and isolated hamlets all with spectacular views across to the mountains and valleys on the other shores.
This thirteen day walking tour to Venice and the Italian Lakes takes you to the two most beautiful and interesting Italian lakes, Como and Maggiore, both forming part of the border between Italy and Switzerland, visiting the smaller lakes of Lugano and Orta along the way. The walking tour starts on the canals of Venice (two nights) and finishes in the elegant arcades of Turin (two nights). In between, we spend four nights based in a 17th century villa on the shores of Lake Como, before crossing the Swiss border into the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, and spending four nights in a marvellous 400 year old hotel in the lush, green valleys above the northern reaches of Lake Maggiore, finishing in stylish Turin.
The seven guided walks that are included in this tour follow stone paths that have been used for centuries - the views over the lakes and mountains along the way are breath-taking. They are from 8 to 12 kms and take from 3 to 4 hours, ranging from easy lake shore strolls to more demanding walks above the lakes with steep climbs. In some cases it is possible to shorten the walk or to opt out and join the walkers for lunch. Gradings for the individual walks are on the itinerary - click the link for each day to see the details.
The accommodation for the tour is in 4-star boutique hotels: in a quiet corner of Venice Venice; tucked away on the edge of Lake Como, with breakfast terrace and rooms looking over to Bellagio; in a quiet cul de sac in the pedestrian heart of Turin. The exception is during the four days in Ticino, where we stay in a small, 400 year-old, family-run hikers hotel in the centre of our village.
The food during the tour celebrates the culinary diversity of northern Italy: seafood beside the canals of Venice, elegant dinners looking the twinkling lights of Lake Como, picnics in the mountains, robust lunches at country trattorie and an elegant dinner on our last night in Turin. Wine is included with all meals. With its mild days and cool, autumn is the ideal time to be in this area.
The tour leader
Born in Sicily and raised and educated in Australia, Carmelina returned to Italy for a brief visit in 1992 and has been there ever since. After 15 years of working in tourism throughout Italy (including stints running boutique 5-star hotels in Tuscany and the Italian Alps as well as managing and tour-guiding for several American and English walking companies) Carmelina returned to her native Sicily, setting up home near Cefalu. Carmelina has been with Hidden Italy since 2010. Click here for an introduction to Carmelina.
"Carmelina is a wonderful and generous guide. We really felt her enthusiasm and passion for her country and feel that she really wanted us to share all those emotions. ...she had friends in every town and was greeted so warmly .... her popularity was evident."
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Venice and the Italian Lakes in autumn: 13 days/12 nights
28 August to 9 September, 2020
The 2019 tour is fully booked.
Tour Size7 to 15 people
Single supplement $850 (double room for single use)
- 12 nights accommodation in 4-star boutique hotels (see itinerary for details)
- All breakfasts, and all lunches and dinners (with wine) listed in the itinerary.
- All land and lakes transfers listed in the itinerary
- All taxes and service charges at the hotels
- All paid admissions during the tour
- 7 guided walks
- Full-time services of a fully experienced bi-lingual guide
Venice and the Italian Lakes walking tour in autumn FAQs
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We had one of our best times ever. The tour was way beyond our expectations, and they were high! Every aspect, the walks, itinerary, guiding, food and hotels, was wonderful... I found the tour to be the most delicious and interesting experience.
– Cate T, Venice and the LakesView all Testimonials ›