OVERVIEW

Set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of the Alps, the Italian lakes beckon with their enchanting and romantic vistas, waiting to be explored on foot. Over time, this picturesque region has blossomed into a haven of splendid villas and botanical marvels, thanks to its delightful climate. Embark on an unforgettable walking journey through the most scenic trails, immersing yourself in the must-see sights of two of northern Italy's most stunning lakes: Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta.

Begin your adventure at Lake Maggiore, where the fairytale allure of the Borromean Islands and the grand promenade of Stresa await. Following this, ascend to the summit of Mottarone mountain at 1,489 meters, where you'll be welcomed to a typical mountain refuge, complete with a delectable Italian dinner and breathtaking views of the Alps.

Conclude your tour by exploring Lake Orta, the smallest yet most captivating of the Italian lakes. Wander through olive groves and vineyards, passing by quaint hamlets and charming villages, in a paradise for any walker enamoured with lush nature and picturesque mountain communities.

Highlights

  • Enjoy the stunning villages of Stresa, Mottarone and Orta
  • Uncover the natural splendour of Lake Como's pristine waters, majestic Italian Alps and enchanting Riviera ambience
  • Delve into the exquisite Italian gardens and villas after sailing to the Borromean Islands
  • Spend a night in a sanctuary atop Mottarone at 1480m
  • Immerse yourself in the allure of Orta village and its Sacro Monte
  • Discover traditional medieval villages via walks along the lake and mountain trails

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
6 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate

Grade 3 – Moderate

Short, steep hill sections. Walks that are longer than 12km with varied terrain. A moderate active lifestyle and some walking experience is recommended.

PRICE FROM
$ 1595

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 435

Accommodations charge the same price per room regardless of whether there are one or two people occupying it. To cover the cost of a room when occupied by one person we need to charge the single occupancy fee.

per person

Book now

ITINERARY

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6

DAY 1
Arrival on Lake Como

Upon arriving in Stresa, take the time to explore this stunning and quaint lakeside village adorned with grand 19th-century hotels, charmingly narrow pathways, and a bustling Friday morning market. The tranquil shores boast numerous petite beaches perfect for a refreshing swim.

Walking: No scheduled walking for today
Accommodation: Stresa

DAY 2
The magnificent Borromean Islands

Throughout the day, a boat shuttles between Stresa and the three enchanting islands, offering ample time to explore each and unravel the rich history of the family that left an indelible mark on France and Italy. Isola Bella boasts a 17th-century palace, while Isola Madre captivates with its renowned palaces and botanical wonders, including terraced gardens and an exquisite exotic garden. Conclude today’s magical journey at Isola dei Pescatori, a picturesque fishing hamlet adorned with quaint streets and inviting eateries for a leisurely lunch. Please note, entrance to the Borromean Islands is not included. Enjoy a scenic boat transfer back to Stresa at your convenience.

Walking: 7km/3hrs approximately
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Stresa

DAY 3
The Chestnut Trail

Enjoy breathtaking panoramas along this scenic hiking route from Stresa to Belgirate, a quaint village adorned with traditional dwellings and lush gardens lining an ancient Roman path graced with historic chapels. Return transportation to Stresa via boat or train is available (please note: this is not included and not bookable in advance).

Cap off your day of exploration with an included transfer to the summit of Mottarone mountain, standing tall at 1,489 meters. Here, you’ll reside in a charming mountain refuge, indulge in a delightful Italian dinner and can soak up the unparalleled views of the majestic Alps—a truly breathtaking experience.

Walking: 7km / 3hrs
Elevation: +200m / -200m
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Mottarone

DAY 4
Reach the top of Mottarone Mountain

Embark on a scenic loop hike to the summit of Mottarone, renowned as one of Piedmont’s most extraordinary natural viewpoints. Revel in a peerless 360° vista of the Alps, stretching from the iconic Mount Viso to the majestic Mount Rose. In the afternoon, venture to Orta, a diminutive yet enchanting gem nestled beside the picturesque Lake Orta. This pedestrian village, hailed as one of Italy’s most stunning, beckons with its quaint cobblestone streets, ancient stone dwellings, and stately mansions, promising an unforgettable exploration.

Walking: 9km / 3.5hrs
Elevation: +200m / -200m
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Orta

DAY 5
Medieval Orta San Giulio

Embark on a leisurely stroll to the lakeside pier, where you’ll board a boat destined for the quaint medieval village of Pella on the western shore. Traverse a panoramic path, meandering through forests and charming hamlets with a semi-mountainous allure. Upon reaching Ronco at the trail’s end, take a refreshing plunge into the crystalline waters of the lake.

Next, embark on a return boat journey to explore the diminutive island of San Giulio, home to a historic basilica and Benedictine convent. Pause for a delectable serving of Italian gelato before continuing your aquatic voyage to Orta San Giulio.

Walking: 8km/3.5hrs
Elevation:  +400m / -400m
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Orta

DAY 6
Onward Travel

Savour a relaxed breakfast and indulge in one last lakeside stroll before continuing your travels. Before your departure, be sure to explore the Sacro Monte of Orta, a UNESCO World Heritage site situated atop the hill overlooking the village, ensconced within a vast ancient forest. This sacred site narrates the life of St. Francis of Assisi through 20 intricately adorned chapels adorned with vibrant frescoes and lifelike statues.

Meals: Breakfast

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Accommodation for 5 nights with private facilities
  • 5 breakfasts and 1 dinner
  • Luggage transfers
  • All boat and taxi transfers as described in the itinerary (days 2,3,4 and 5)
  • Our comprehensive set of notes with detailed walking itineraries, integrated maps and insider tips (where to get the freshest baguettes, where to taste olive oil or wine)
  • 24/7 support from our representatives on the ground
  • Awe-inspiring vistas over the Alps

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

The 3-star hotels and one night in a charming refuge accommodation have been handpicked to reflect the character and history of the region. During this tour, you will spend each night in double occupancy rooms with private facilities. Chosen for their location, facilities and history, our accommodation in Stresa, Mottarone and Orta is used to welcoming walkers. The hosts are very knowledgeable about the region and will always be happy to chat with you about its history, food, and wine. Of course, you can always call us if you need anything during your walk.

You will be provided five daily breakfasts after each night’s stay.  With the wide variety of offerings at your fingertips, you can enjoy choosing whatever takes your fancy for lunch and dinner. Lunches are available at various cafes or food stores daily. There are numerous places to get dinner each night; your hosts will happily give you a list of recommendations upon request. If you have any food allergies or intolerances, please let us know when you book so we can let your hosts know. Should you have severe food allergies, it’s always worth bringing a few of your own snacks with you.

  • Night 1 & 2

  • Night 3

  • Night 4 & 5

FITNESS GUIDE

It’s well worth investing some time and effort preparing for your walking holiday. The graph shows the average daily distance, elevation and terrain difficulty for your hike. The dotted line indicates the average across all our walks, which will give you a feel for how challenging your walk is compared to all – and the recommended type, and amount, of preparation needed.  Of course, you can adapt this according to your existing fitness levels and lifestyle.

The graph and the information below can be used in conjunction with the fitness guide to help you prepare for your walking adventure. Across all walks, average daily distance is 16.8km, average daily elevation is 448m, average terrain difficulty is 5/10.

ngraph

DISTANCE - BELOW AVERAGE

Distance is not a major consideration in your training program. However, you should still incorporate some long walks as it will increase your cardiovascular fitness.

ELEVATION - BELOW AVERAGE

Elevation is not a major consideration regarding how you train. However, you should still incorporate some form of resistance training as it will increase your endurance.

ROCKY / UNEVEN TERRAIN

ROCKY TERRAIN

Whilst preparing for walking on rocky terrain, you must focus on the development of balance, strength, and agility. Integrate targeted strength exercises, such as lunges, squats, and step-ups, to fortify your leg muscles, with a particular emphasis on enhancing stability on uneven surfaces. Balancing exercises are essential. Undertake core strength activity, coupled with exercises such as planks and russian twists to enhance balance. As you progress, include hikes on progressively rougher terrain to acclimate to rocky conditions. Additionally, the appropriate footwear with good ankle support and tread for grip are essential. Stay mindful, watch your step, and use trekking poles for added stability.

UNEVEN TERRAIN

Preparation for hiking on uneven terrain demands a nuanced blend of physical and mental readiness. Commence your regimen with balance-enhancing exercises, such as one-legged stands and stability ball workouts, laying a foundational groundwork for stability and coordination. Strengthening the lower body is pivotal, achieved through the incorporation of squats, lunges, and step-ups to enhance both stability and power. Gradually increase the complexity of the terrain on which you walk, moving from gravel paths to rocky trails. Cultivate mindfulness during your practice, directing focused attention to both your immediate surroundings and precise foot placement. The importance of suitable footwear cannot be overstated; prioritize options that offer robust support and reliable grip to navigate varying terrains with confidence. Build endurance through consistent hikes, progressively increasing distance and difficulty.

GENERAL INFO

WALKING

This walk is graded as easy.

AVAILABILITY

March through to October.

HOW TO GET THERE AND AWAY

Travelling to the Start of the walk

The walk starts in Stresa and finishes in Orta. You will need to organise your own transport to get there. The easiest option would involve flying into Milan and then training from Milan directly to Stresa. To make it easy, we have collated some useful information that will assist you in making arrangements for your travel.

By plane: There are regular flights to Milan from different countries around Europe. There are many airlines that fly these routes. Below are possible websites that provide a number of different carriers to choose from.

https://www.kayak.com/flights 

http://www.google.com/flights

Train: The train from Milan to Stresa will take around 1-2hrs and will cost around AUD$15. Please find below ways to book.

https://www.thetrainline.com/en/train-times

https://www.rome2rio.com/

WEATHER

From March the temperature begins to rise so be prepared for warmer days if you walk in summer. Shoulder season is by far the best time as the weather is perfect for walking and the added advantage of having fewer people around in the villages and on the coast (we walk away from the populated areas on the walk so crowds are not an issue.)

See the weather information about average temperatures and rainfall at different times of the year.

INFORMATION PACK

For nearly 30 years we have taken pride in providing seamlessly organised walking holidays, but we know, even with that in mind, that you’ll have many more questions. You will receive a very detailed information pack and itinerary approximately 6 weeks out from departure outlining all the fine detail and much more.

INSURANCE

We require that you have adequate travel insurance against potential losses, damage or injury, including cancellation costs and loss of luggage.

For all trips that require international travel, you must have purchased travel insurance that also includes medical evacuation coverage.

We also charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it to cover costs incurred from our suppliers and in the office.  See the FAQ section for more information.

CONTACT

If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our destination consultants. You can get in touch with us via our contact form, email us at info@auswalk.com.au, or call us on +61 3 9597 9767.

MAP

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    PER PERSON
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 1 Mar 2024 - 31 Oct 2024
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $1595

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $435

    Charming Hotels

  • 1 Mar 2025 - 31 Oct 2025
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $1695

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $455

    Charming Hotels

SIMILAR TRIPS

There are no any similar trips available.
Overview

OVERVIEW

Set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of the Alps, the Italian lakes beckon with their enchanting and romantic vistas, waiting to be explored on foot. Over time, this picturesque region has blossomed into a haven of splendid villas and botanical marvels, thanks to its delightful climate. Embark on an unforgettable walking journey through the most scenic trails, immersing yourself in the must-see sights of two of northern Italy's most stunning lakes: Lake Maggiore and Lake Orta.

Begin your adventure at Lake Maggiore, where the fairytale allure of the Borromean Islands and the grand promenade of Stresa await. Following this, ascend to the summit of Mottarone mountain at 1,489 meters, where you'll be welcomed to a typical mountain refuge, complete with a delectable Italian dinner and breathtaking views of the Alps.

Conclude your tour by exploring Lake Orta, the smallest yet most captivating of the Italian lakes. Wander through olive groves and vineyards, passing by quaint hamlets and charming villages, in a paradise for any walker enamoured with lush nature and picturesque mountain communities.

Highlights

  • Enjoy the stunning villages of Stresa, Mottarone and Orta
  • Uncover the natural splendour of Lake Como's pristine waters, majestic Italian Alps and enchanting Riviera ambience
  • Delve into the exquisite Italian gardens and villas after sailing to the Borromean Islands
  • Spend a night in a sanctuary atop Mottarone at 1480m
  • Immerse yourself in the allure of Orta village and its Sacro Monte
  • Discover traditional medieval villages via walks along the lake and mountain trails

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
6 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate

Grade 3 – Moderate

Short, steep hill sections. Walks that are longer than 12km with varied terrain. A moderate active lifestyle and some walking experience is recommended.

PRICE FROM
$ 1595

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 435

Accommodations charge the same price per room regardless of whether there are one or two people occupying it. To cover the cost of the accommodation when occupied by one person we need to charge the single occupancy fee.

per person

Book now
Itinerary

ITINERARY

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6

DAY 1
Arrival on Lake Como

Upon arriving in Stresa, take the time to explore this stunning and quaint lakeside village adorned with grand 19th-century hotels, charmingly narrow pathways, and a bustling Friday morning market. The tranquil shores boast numerous petite beaches perfect for a refreshing swim.

Walking: No scheduled walking for today
Accommodation: Stresa

DAY 2
The magnificent Borromean Islands

Throughout the day, a boat shuttles between Stresa and the three enchanting islands, offering ample time to explore each and unravel the rich history of the family that left an indelible mark on France and Italy. Isola Bella boasts a 17th-century palace, while Isola Madre captivates with its renowned palaces and botanical wonders, including terraced gardens and an exquisite exotic garden. Conclude today’s magical journey at Isola dei Pescatori, a picturesque fishing hamlet adorned with quaint streets and inviting eateries for a leisurely lunch. Please note, entrance to the Borromean Islands is not included. Enjoy a scenic boat transfer back to Stresa at your convenience.

Walking: 7km/3hrs approximately
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Stresa

DAY 3
The Chestnut Trail

Enjoy breathtaking panoramas along this scenic hiking route from Stresa to Belgirate, a quaint village adorned with traditional dwellings and lush gardens lining an ancient Roman path graced with historic chapels. Return transportation to Stresa via boat or train is available (please note: this is not included and not bookable in advance).

Cap off your day of exploration with an included transfer to the summit of Mottarone mountain, standing tall at 1,489 meters. Here, you’ll reside in a charming mountain refuge, indulge in a delightful Italian dinner and can soak up the unparalleled views of the majestic Alps—a truly breathtaking experience.

Walking: 7km / 3hrs
Elevation: +200m / -200m
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Mottarone

DAY 4
Reach the top of Mottarone Mountain

Embark on a scenic loop hike to the summit of Mottarone, renowned as one of Piedmont’s most extraordinary natural viewpoints. Revel in a peerless 360° vista of the Alps, stretching from the iconic Mount Viso to the majestic Mount Rose. In the afternoon, venture to Orta, a diminutive yet enchanting gem nestled beside the picturesque Lake Orta. This pedestrian village, hailed as one of Italy’s most stunning, beckons with its quaint cobblestone streets, ancient stone dwellings, and stately mansions, promising an unforgettable exploration.

Walking: 9km / 3.5hrs
Elevation: +200m / -200m
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Orta

DAY 5
Medieval Orta San Giulio

Embark on a leisurely stroll to the lakeside pier, where you’ll board a boat destined for the quaint medieval village of Pella on the western shore. Traverse a panoramic path, meandering through forests and charming hamlets with a semi-mountainous allure. Upon reaching Ronco at the trail’s end, take a refreshing plunge into the crystalline waters of the lake.

Next, embark on a return boat journey to explore the diminutive island of San Giulio, home to a historic basilica and Benedictine convent. Pause for a delectable serving of Italian gelato before continuing your aquatic voyage to Orta San Giulio.

Walking: 8km/3.5hrs
Elevation:  +400m / -400m
Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Orta

DAY 6
Onward Travel

Savour a relaxed breakfast and indulge in one last lakeside stroll before continuing your travels. Before your departure, be sure to explore the Sacro Monte of Orta, a UNESCO World Heritage site situated atop the hill overlooking the village, ensconced within a vast ancient forest. This sacred site narrates the life of St. Francis of Assisi through 20 intricately adorned chapels adorned with vibrant frescoes and lifelike statues.

Meals: Breakfast

What’s Included

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Accommodation for 5 nights with private facilities
  • 5 breakfasts and 1 dinner
  • Luggage transfers
  • All boat and taxi transfers as described in the itinerary (days 2,3,4 and 5)
  • Our comprehensive set of notes with detailed walking itineraries, integrated maps and insider tips (where to get the freshest baguettes, where to taste olive oil or wine)
  • 24/7 support from our representatives on the ground
  • Awe-inspiring vistas over the Alps
Accommodation & Dining

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

The 3-star hotels and one night in a charming refuge accommodation have been handpicked to reflect the character and history of the region. During this tour, you will spend each night in double occupancy rooms with private facilities. Chosen for their location, facilities and history, our accommodation in Stresa, Mottarone and Orta is used to welcoming walkers. The hosts are very knowledgeable about the region and will always be happy to chat with you about its history, food, and wine. Of course, you can always call us if you need anything during your walk.

You will be provided five daily breakfasts after each night’s stay.  With the wide variety of offerings at your fingertips, you can enjoy choosing whatever takes your fancy for lunch and dinner. Lunches are available at various cafes or food stores daily. There are numerous places to get dinner each night; your hosts will happily give you a list of recommendations upon request. If you have any food allergies or intolerances, please let us know when you book so we can let your hosts know. Should you have severe food allergies, it’s always worth bringing a few of your own snacks with you.

  • Night 1 & 2

  • Night 3

  • Night 4 & 5

Fitness Guide

FITNESS GUIDE

It’s well worth investing some time and effort preparing for your walking holiday. The graph shows the average daily distance, elevation and terrain difficulty for your hike. The dotted line indicates the average across all our walks, which will give you a feel for how challenging your walk is compared to all – and the recommended type, and amount, of preparation needed.  Of course, you can adapt this according to your existing fitness levels and lifestyle.

The graph and the information below can be used in conjunction with the fitness guide to help you prepare for your walking adventure. Across all walks, average daily distance is 16.8km, average daily elevation is 448m, average terrain difficulty is 5/10.

ngraph

DISTANCE - BELOW AVERAGE

Distance is not a major consideration in your training program. However, you should still incorporate some long walks as it will increase your cardiovascular fitness.

ELEVATION - BELOW AVERAGE

Elevation is not a major consideration regarding how you train. However, you should still incorporate some form of resistance training as it will increase your endurance.

ROCKY / UNEVEN TERRAIN

ROCKY TERRAIN

Whilst preparing for walking on rocky terrain, you must focus on the development of balance, strength, and agility. Integrate targeted strength exercises, such as lunges, squats, and step-ups, to fortify your leg muscles, with a particular emphasis on enhancing stability on uneven surfaces. Balancing exercises are essential. Undertake core strength activity, coupled with exercises such as planks and russian twists to enhance balance. As you progress, include hikes on progressively rougher terrain to acclimate to rocky conditions. Additionally, the appropriate footwear with good ankle support and tread for grip are essential. Stay mindful, watch your step, and use trekking poles for added stability.

UNEVEN TERRAIN

Preparation for hiking on uneven terrain demands a nuanced blend of physical and mental readiness. Commence your regimen with balance-enhancing exercises, such as one-legged stands and stability ball workouts, laying a foundational groundwork for stability and coordination. Strengthening the lower body is pivotal, achieved through the incorporation of squats, lunges, and step-ups to enhance both stability and power. Gradually increase the complexity of the terrain on which you walk, moving from gravel paths to rocky trails. Cultivate mindfulness during your practice, directing focused attention to both your immediate surroundings and precise foot placement. The importance of suitable footwear cannot be overstated; prioritize options that offer robust support and reliable grip to navigate varying terrains with confidence. Build endurance through consistent hikes, progressively increasing distance and difficulty.

General Info

GENERAL INFO

WALKING

This walk is graded as easy.

AVAILABILITY

March through to October.

HOW TO GET THERE AND AWAY

Travelling to the Start of the walk

The walk starts in Stresa and finishes in Orta. You will need to organise your own transport to get there. The easiest option would involve flying into Milan and then training from Milan directly to Stresa. To make it easy, we have collated some useful information that will assist you in making arrangements for your travel.

By plane: There are regular flights to Milan from different countries around Europe. There are many airlines that fly these routes. Below are possible websites that provide a number of different carriers to choose from.

https://www.kayak.com/flights 

http://www.google.com/flights

Train: The train from Milan to Stresa will take around 1-2hrs and will cost around AUD$15. Please find below ways to book.

https://www.thetrainline.com/en/train-times

https://www.rome2rio.com/

WEATHER

From March the temperature begins to rise so be prepared for warmer days if you walk in summer. Shoulder season is by far the best time as the weather is perfect for walking and the added advantage of having fewer people around in the villages and on the coast (we walk away from the populated areas on the walk so crowds are not an issue.)

See the weather information about average temperatures and rainfall at different times of the year.

INFORMATION PACK

For nearly 30 years we have taken pride in providing seamlessly organised walking holidays, but we know, even with that in mind, that you’ll have many more questions. You will receive a very detailed information pack and itinerary approximately 6 weeks out from departure outlining all the fine detail and much more.

INSURANCE

We require that you have adequate travel insurance against potential losses, damage or injury, including cancellation costs and loss of luggage.

For all trips that require international travel, you must have purchased travel insurance that also includes medical evacuation coverage.

We also charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it to cover costs incurred from our suppliers and in the office.  See the FAQ section for more information.

CONTACT

If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our destination consultants. You can get in touch with us via our contact form, email us at info@auswalk.com.au, or call us on +61 3 9597 9767.

Map

MAP

Departure Dates

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    PER PERSON
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 1 Mar 2024 - 31 Oct 2024
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $1595

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $435
  • 1 Mar 2025 - 31 Oct 2025
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $1695

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $455
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ENQUIRE NOW

If you’re looking for further information on any of our walking holidays please fill out the enquiry form and we’ll be in touch.

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