The coast, villages and countryside of the Eastern Algarve and then explore the treasures of this most westerly corner of Europe.
Come and discover the Lakeland and mountain paths of the Italian lakes - undoubtedly some of the most picturesque in the world.
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 17450
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain.
Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well.
Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.
Full day walks with appreciable amounts of ascent and descent.
These walks are in more remote areas such as Andorra or northern Portugal.
Similar to Grade 5, but with most of the walks at the upper level of ascent/descent, time and distance.
Como & Maggiore – isn’t this what a real holiday is all about? The magical mix of water and mountains is ever present. Panoramas encompass flower-bedecked lakeside villages across the lakes, rise through wooded hillsides to open meadows and grassy ridges, then climax with the soaring rocky and snowy peaks of the Alps.
Based in Stresa on Lake Maggiore and Bellagio on Lake Como we use ferries, trains and cable cars to discover the very best the area has to offer.
Our grade 4 walks visit lakeside villas, follow ancient cobbled trails between villages, some dating from Roman times, and include easier high-level walks.
Grade 6 walks reach higher peaks; from Monte San Primo above Lake Como, for example, on a clear day you can pick out the Matterhorn as you gaze at the entire Alpine chain along the Swiss-Italian border.
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.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
Fly to Milan Malpensa Airport and transfer to our first centre of Stresa. There should be time for an orientation stroll along the lakeside with its grand hotels as far as the bustling main square.
Grade 4 walkers can enjoy a walk from Stresa to Belgirate. The walk is generally easy underfoot on tracks some of which are cobbled. A coffee stop at Brisino offers magnificent views. Finish in Belgirate for gelato. A lake side bus takes us back to Stresa.
Grade 6 walkers might take a higher-level route, passing through some lovely woodland and small villages on unspoilt paths. The walk is mainly on mule tracks with some outstanding viewpoints, notably our intended picnic spot at the summit of Monte Alle Croci.We descend to lake side Lesa where we can catch a bus or continue walking on to Belgirate.
Grade 6 walkers not wishing to join the excursion to the Borromean Islands can take a walk up from Verbania to the summit of Monte Orfano with its spectacular views, before descending to pretty Mergozzo on the lake of the same name.
Grade 4 walkers might enjoy an excursion to the famous Borromean Islands a short boat journey from Stresa. We visit three islands; lovely green Isola Madre, the more formal palace and gardens of Isola Bella and stop off at tiny Pescatori for lunch. The pace of the day will be relaxed and the gardens outrageously sumptuous.
Grade 4 walkers take the cable car to Monte Mottarone (1490m). After enjoying the fresh air and views to Monte Rosa, the walk descends to the Alpine Gardens at the mid station on the cable car.
Grade 6 walkers also take the cable car to enjoy a lovely varied walk with spectacular views over to Lake Orta, Lake Maggiore and the high peaks of the Alps. The walk passes spectacular granite rocks, and the steep outcrop of Monte Zughero.
This is planned as free day but there are myriad options for walks and sightseeing (could include the fabulous centovalli train excursion to Locarno in Switzerland). Your RWH leaders will be happy to advise.
Today we transfer to Bellagio. The transfer takes the morning, so we have time for a lunch in Bellagio before an orientation walk around this picturesque lake side town.
Grade 4 walkers take the ferry across the lake to Menaggio to enjoy a circular walk into the Val Sanagra hills above the town. We pass through villages and will include a stop at an old inn by a trout farm.
Grade 6 walkers start in the same place but take a longer and more challenging circuit in the Val Sanagra hills with views to Lake Lugano in Switzerland
Grade 4 walkers start with a ferry ride to Lenno, directly across the lake from Bellagio. We walk north on cobbled paths and tracks to reach Cadenabbia and Villa Carlotta.
Grade 6 walkers also cross the lake and walk up to the San Martino Chapel before climbing to the top of SassoSan Martino for fabulous views of the three arms of the lake.
Grade 4 walkers have a relaxed walk from Varenna to Bellano on the eastern side of the lake. Varenna is a pretty lakeside town famous for the lovely gardens of Villa Monastero and Villa Cipressi, while Bellano boasts a gorge which is particularly impressive after heavy rain.
Grade 6 walkers will take the high-level ridge walk to Monte San Primo with panoramic views of Monte Rosa, Matterhorn and Monte Viso. But only if the weather is good.
Grade 4 walkers can follow L’Antica Strada Regina, built by the Romans, along the lake from Menaggio to Rezzonico. Some steep paths afford lovely lake views and we also pass through interesting little villages, finishing at a lakeside beach.
Grade 6 walkers can either do an extended version of the Grade 4 walk, or on a clear day an enthusiastic group might enjoy a classic walk taking the cable car up to Pigra and then climbing up to a high level terrace passing Montes Pasquella and Sertore to Costone, with outstanding views of the Alps all the way..
After one final breakfast together, we will transfer back to Milan Malpensa Airport for our flight to the UK.
Departure dates for your selected tour
3rd May 2021 - 13th May 2021 (10 Nights)
31st May 2021 - 10th Jun 2021 (10 Nights)
14th Jun 2021 - 24th Jun 2021 (10 Nights)
6th Sep 2021 - 16th Sep 2021 (10 Nights)
13th Sep 2021 - 23rd Sep 2021 (10 Nights)
27th Sep 2021 - 7th Oct 2021 (10 Nights)
Below is 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.
The Hotel Della Torre is located close to the lake shore, a short distance outside Stresa town. It is ideally located for the cable car ride up Monte Mottarone which we take for one of our walks. The hotel is well equipped with swimming pool, gym and rooms are finished in a pleasant modern style with a/c, telephone, minibar and safe. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.
The recently renovated Hotel Fioroni is located above the centre of this pretty little town with beautiful views across the lake. The family run hotel is a 10 minute walk down the hill into town.
All rooms are air conditioned, have satellite TV, telephone, en-suite facilities, mini-bar and safe and some have amazing views of the mountains.
An expansive buffet breakfast is served every morning and we will take dinner in local restaurants. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.
This a Grade 4 and 6 walking holiday divided between Stresa on Lake Maggiore and Bellagio on Lake Como. Both centres offer some outstanding walking at either grade taking in lake shore paths, mountain peaks, lake views and stunning alpine vistas.
Two Grades, Two Leaders, Two Walks
On ‘2x Walks, 2x Leaders, 2x Grades’ departures, where we provide two tour leaders and offer a choice of easier or harder walks each day, we hope to be able to accommodate your choice of walk. However, safety considerations do govern the sizes of groups in each walking grade; the minimum number of participants for a guided walk at a given grade and the maximum group size will be as indicated for the walk grade.
On most departures we are able to accommodate most clients' first choice of walk most of the time, however some flexibility and co-operation may be required. In unusual circumstances where a disproportionately high number of clients wish to walk at one grade, for safety reasons, we may not be able to provide you with your choice of walk each day. Although we will endeavour to accommodate as many clients’ choices as possible, it may be necessary for you to switch between higher and lower grade walks during the holiday. Any decision regarding group sizes and the participants in the day’s walking programme rests with our tour leader(s).
For safety reasons the minimum number of participants on a walk will be 4 plus the leader.
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.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Entrance fees are not included in the holiday arrangements. If you have a Royal Horticultural Society membership card, bring it with you as you can get free entry to some villas and gardens. Members of the National Trust in the UK may also be interested to know that the Italian sister organisation FAI offers free or reduced entry to its Italian sites on the production of a valid national trust membership. Please consult http://eng.fondoambiente.it for further information.
Currency in Italy
The currency in Italy is the Euro.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
We fly from London (Heathrow) and Manchester to Milan (Malpensa) and return with British Airways. Manchester flights are operated by Flybe. Details of your baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents sent to you approximately 10 days before departure.
Please note that we have separate transfers meeting London and Manchester flights on arrival and on departure.
Transfers between Malpensa Airport and Stresa are by road and take approximately 1 hr.
From Stresa we use the cable car, local trains and buses, while most of our Lake Como walks will begin and end with a relaxing ferry ride.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
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 your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight 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 must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Regional Flights (R3). We offer regional flight options on this holiday and there will be one or two transfer vehicles between the airport and hotel to minimise any waiting time at the overseas airport on the outward or return journeys.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, 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
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold 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 properly manage your holiday booking. 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.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. 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. 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.
Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday price. Dinner be taken at our hotel in Stresa and includes an extensive starter buffet followed by a set meal. In Bellagio we visit a selection of local restaurants serving speciality Italian dishes, usually including a “pizza night”. Most dinners while we are in Bellagio will involve a 10-15 min walk, perfect for walking off that after dinner gelato. Lunches are not included.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take 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 at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
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.
Maps, Guidebooks & More
The following maps have proved useful:
Many local libraries stock a good selection of travel guides/books which may offer you more information on the Trentino region. You may find the following websites useful:
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
Health 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 at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
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 Travel 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.
You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.
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.
From January 1st, 2021 UK travellers can continue to use their European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) – which can last up to five years, until its expiry date, to gain access to medical assistance during your holiday. However, you will no longer be covered in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Travellers without a valid EHIC can apply for a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replaces the EHIC once it has been phased out. Please note however that the EHIC/GHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk/ehic
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
Italian Laws & Customs
In some Italian towns and cities you may be fined for dropping litter and in some towns or cities it’s an offence to sit on monument steps or to eat and drink in the immediate vicinity of main churches, historic monuments and public buildings. It’s also an offence to enter or bathe in public fountains.
In May 2019, the Municipality of Capri introduced a law forbidding the use of any disposable plastic objects such as bags, cutlery, plates, cups, food packaging, trays, straws on the island of Capri. Violations can incur a fine of up to 500 euros.
Illegal traders operate on the streets of all major Italian cities, particularly tourist cities like Florence, Venice and Rome. Don’t buy from illegal street traders. You could be stopped by the local police and fined.
It is illegal to remove sand, shells or pebbles from coastal areas in Italy. Doing so may result in heavy fines. It’s also forbidden to collect various species of flowers, plants and herbs from mountain and wooded areas. For more information, check with the regional authorities of the area you’re visiting.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. 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.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s 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. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
Visas and Passports
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