Lake Como: Villas & Gardens7 days & 6 nights, Escorted Discovery Group
Escorted Discovery Group
Please select an option before proceeding to Booking Request.
Stay in a beautiful lakeside location on Lake Como, surrounded by panoramic vistas and pristine waters. From here take a boat trip on Lake Como to the delightful town of Bellagio; travel on the Bernina Express, a scenic narrowgauge rail journey over the Bernina Pass skirting snow-covered mountain peaks and glaciers; and visit the Como silk museum to discover the art of silk making.
Day 1Arrive Milan - Como
You will be met and driven from Milan Linate Airport to Como, a distance of approximately 42 miles and a journey time of about 1 hour.The Albergo Firenze - 7 Nights (D)
This morning, take a cruise across Lake Como to Bellagio, known as the 'pearl of Lake Como' and situated on a peninsula between the two southern branches of Lake Como. Visit the Villa Melzi Park, a neo-classical summer residence built between 1808 and 1810. The gardens stretch along the shores of Lake Como while the villa, chapel and orangery have been transformed into a historical museum. The villa became the residence of Francesco Melzi d'Eril at the end of his political career and then his summer residence until his death. The interior is decorated and furnished by some of the most famous artists at that time while the English-styled gardens are beautiful and enriched with sculptures. Lunch at leisure, before returning to the hotel this afternoon.The Albergo Firenze (B)
Day 3Tremezzo - Lenno
Take a boat ride to Tremezzo for a guided tour of Villa Carlotta, museum and botanical gardens, which lies on the western coast of Lake Como and has a wonderful view of the mountains and the villages of Bellano, Varenna and Bellagio. The Italian garden has staircases, balustrades, fountains and a tunnel of citrus plants. There is a fascinating romantic park on the hill with long paths and amazing lake views.The Albergo Firenze (B)
The gardens are particularly noted for their flowering rhododendrons and azaleas as well as great camellia hedges, ancient cedars, cypresses and araucarias. As you wander through the garden you will see the rock garden, the valley of the ferns, the woods of ancient rhododendrons, the bamboo garden and the greenhouse, with an exhibition of agricultural tools.
Continue to Villa del Balbianello. You might recognise the villa from scenes in the James Bond film 'Casino Royale' (2006). Built for Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini at the end of the 18th century, the villa stands on the tip of a steep promontory overlooking Lake Como, almost opposite Bellagio. The villa has a rich collection of Chinese, African and pre-Columbian art and precious English and French furniture from the 1700s. However, the true masterpiece of the villa is the panoramic terraced garden, dominated by the elegant loggia with three arches rising on the highest point of the promontory.
Lunch at leisure. Return to Como and your hotel.
Day 4St. Moritz
This morning, take the coach from Lake Como to Tirano, a distance of about 60 miles and a journey time of approximately 2.5 hours. Here, board the narrow-gauge Bernina Express train to St. Moritz, one of the most impressive scenic rail journeys in Switzerland and the highest railway line in the Alps. The panoramic sightseeing windows maximize the experience of travelling over circular viaducts. The train winds its way through tunnels, passing through Brusio and the Poschiavo valley, before climbing over the Bernina Pass and descending into St. Moritz, a journey time of 2 hours 33 minutes.The Albergo Firenze (B)
Afternoon at leisure in St. Moritz before returning by coach to Lake Como, a distance of approximately 60 miles and a journey time of about 2.5 hours.
Take a morning walking tour of Como including a visit to the silk museum to view the exhibits and learn about the processes involved in creating the silk that Como is renowned for. Como's silk district creates 3,527 tons of silk annually. The museum displays machines, silks, samples and instruments that tell the story of silk production.The Albergo Firenze (B)
Full day at leisure. Perhaps take a train to Milan city center, the average journey time is 46 minutes and will cost approximately €4-8. Tickets can be purchased in advance and are often cheaper than purchasing them on the day. Visit Como's cathedral, largely Gothic in style, elements of Romanesque, Renaissance and baroque can also be seen. Built between the 14th and 18th centuries, it is crowned by a high octagonal dome.The Albergo Firenze (B, D)
This evening join your group for a farewell dinner at the hotel.
Day 7Depart Como
You will be collected at your hotel and driven from Como to Milan Linate Airport, a distance of approximately 42 miles and a journey time of about 1 hour.(B)
At Cox & Kings we believe that a good travel experience is not luck but judgment. We have compiled the following advice to outline the nature of travel in Europe and to help you prepare for your trip. Even with the most meticulous planning, however, minor problems can occur and, while our local representatives are always on hand to rectify such occurrences, we do request that you have a patient and broadminded approach to traveling in Europe.
Cruises & Train Tours
The river cruises and train tours in this brochure are offered subject to the conditions of carriage of the individual Train Company. PLEASE NOTE that in exceptional circumstances they may vary their itineraries with little or no notice, if water levels become unsafe, train lines become blocked or to avoid areas of dense traffic. Such changes are rare, but you should check the final itinerary at reception when you embark.
A number of flights within Europe arrive / depart early in the morning, and while we will endeavour to schedule your tour with a flight which arrives / departs at a reasonable time, sometimes there is little or no alternative and early check-in / check-out times may be required.
Accommodation standards vary dramatically throughout Europe, and hotels in Eastern Europe, Albania, Macedonia and regional Turkey, should not generally be compared to Western European standards. For our tours we have chosen hotels primarily for their location and the facilities available. We will endeavour to supply any extra information that you may require on these hotels. The hotels listed in the tour itineraries may occasionally be unavailable for the required dates. In this event, we will advise you of alternative hotels, which will, where possible, be of the same or of a higher standard than those featured in the itineraries. There are many new hotels being built in Europe and we may upgrade those featured in the brochure if better options in the same category become available. Please note all rooms reserved on your tour are standard; however, if you wish to upgrade your room (e.g. to a lake view or suite etc.), please speak to your tour consultant, who will be able to advise you about the options and the applicable supplements.
Check-in & Check-out Times: For all group and individual tours, hotel check-in/out time is normally 12 noon, but this does vary between hotels. Early check-ins and late check-outs cannot be pre-booked, but can sometimes be negotiated on site.
Many of the sites in Europe are quite spread out, and our tours consequently involve a reasonable amount of walking. Whilst the walking is normally easy going, a full-day’s sightseeing can be quite tiring and sometimes strenuous.
Although tourism is not a new concept in most parts of Europe, many of the areas visited are still extremely traditional. Therefore kindly respect local customs and dress codes.
Many countries require passports, visas to be presented before entry is permitted. Please ensure that all traveling members, including infants and children, are in possession of a passport, valid for at least 6 months, prior to departure. It is convenient and safe to have the visa process facilitated by Cox & Kings Limited from the concerned Consulates / Authorities on your behalf. Please note that it is totally at the discretion of the concerned Consulates / Authorities to grant / reject your visas. The consulate may require further documentation and / or personal appearance.
Area: 212,935 sq. miles
Official Language: French
What To See: Everyone loves Paris, as much for its shady boulevards, cafe life and general romantic atmosphere as for the more famous sights such as the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame Cathedral. The Burgundy region is famous for its attractive countryside - including the Morvan Regional Park - and its wine. The Loire Valley in northern-central France boasts lovely vineyards and quaint little towns.
Area: 6,592,800 sq. miles
Official Language: Russian
What To See: Formerly the capital of Russia and home of the tsars, St. Petersburg is a city of canals and cathedrals, palaces and terraces. A diverse and vibrant city, Moscow boasts Red Square, St. Basil’s cathedral, the Kremlin and many famed museums and galleries. One of the most fascinating regions in Russia is the Golden Ring of cities to the northeast of Moscow, with their whitewashed city walls and venerable onion-domed churches. Adventurous explorers will fall in love with Kamchatka, as it is the only place on earth that boasts active volcanic activity, mountains, rough river rapids and seas, and beautiful coastal waters, all in one place. The Volga Delta is a must-see for anyone interested in wildlife. Its marshland climate has become a refuge for beavers, otters, and countless birds from herons to the great bald eagle. Another must for nature lovers is the Samara Bend National Park, famous for its woodland hikes.
Area: 30,420 sq. miles
Currency: Sterling Pound
Official Language: English
What To See: Edinburgh is one of Europe’s most attractive and historic cities. Its famed international festivals attract the world’s leading performers, and its galleries display cutting-edge art. The “Granite City” of Aberdeen has spectacular architecture and captivating museums, fascinating history and a wealth of art and culture. Dundee is a lively commercial and artistic center, while Glasgow is brimming with style and culture, thanks to its irresistible blend of internationally acclaimed museums and galleries, stunning architecture and vibrant nightlife. Inverness’s enviable location on the River Ness at the head of the Great Glen, makes it an ideal base for exploring the many attractions in the surrounding countryside.
Area: 233,090 sq. miles
Official Language: Ukrainian
What To See: Kiev is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with historical and architectural gems, ethnic restaurants and cafés, fantastic theaters and museums, and friendly people. The resorts in Crimea are famous for their mineral waters, and the area is also known for its wines. Yalta, a seaside resort surrounded by steep mountain peaks, is the jewel of the Crimean peninsula. Explore the forests and alpine meadows of the lovely Carpathian Mountains. Wander the cobblestone streets of medieval Lviv, and explore its mysteries, myths and legends.