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Tour 8 days / 7 nights
A tour to discover the spectacular Italian Alps scenery with its breathtaking landscapes. Switzerland’s panorama train routes are among the most beautiful rail routes in the world. They pass through the most majestic mountain scenery, idyllic valleys and villages; along crystal-clear lakes and ice-blue glaciers. You will explore the elegant Stresa on the Lake Maggiore, opposite the Borromean Islands. The Lake Orta and all the beauty of this small alpine lake.
We arrive Milan and transfer to Tirano in the Italian Alps driving pass the estern side of Lake Como.
Lunch today is organized at a local farmhouse. We have a visit of the farm, an experience of ancient flavours and traditions as we explore the products of the Valtellina Valley .
This morning we enjoy a spectacular bus ride along the Valtellina Valley, surrounded by the imposing peaks of the Rhaetian Alps, several of which exceed 10,000 feet in height. We reach the charming town of Livigno where there will be free time for lunch and to explore as well as for shopping in this tax free heaven.
We return to Tirano in the afternoon and have some free time to explore before a typical dinner in the hotel restaurant.
This morning we board the famous Trenino Rosso (Red Train). A day of incredible scenery as we board the magical Bernina Express, a narrow gauge mountain train that climbs through lakes and valleys to the summit of the Ospizio Bernina, the highest station on the Bernina Railway and also on the entire Rhaetian Railway network. We will travel all the way to St Moritz where we will have a typical Swiss lunch at an historic hotel. There will be some free time in the afternoon to discover the town before travelling to Chur by Bernina Express. Dinner tonight is organized in the hotel restaurant.
Breakfast in the hotel restaurant. After some free time to explore, we transfer to the railway station. Day dedicated to the famous Glacier Express, the slowest express train in the world that in about 7 hours and 30 connects Davos with Zermatt passing through 291 bridges and 91 galleries. Our program includes the ride on the Glacier Express through one of the most attractive sections, from Chur to Brig through the Rhine Gorge (the grand canyon of Switzerland) and then to Brig through the Oberalp Pass. While on the train you can enjoy unspoiled landscapes, historic towns, extraordinary railway engineering works, all set in a stunning alpine setting. Lunch on the Glacier Express with the dish of the day. We arrive in Brig at 15h40 continue by bus to Lake Maggiore, through the Simplon Pass. Check in beautiful Stresa, situated opposite the Borromean Islands and accommodation at our hotel on the lake front. Dinner and overnight.
Breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Meet your guide and departure by private boat to discover the Borromean Islands. The famous Isola Bella, with the sumptuous Palazzo Borromeo, and Isola dei Pescatori. Isola Bella is a surprising place due to the fantastic vegetation and priceless works of art of the Palace. A day that allows you to immerse yourself in a bygone era where the Baroque style blends virtuously with the green architecture of the garden, creating a combination that is unmatched.
Continue to the small Isola dei Pescatori, the only Borromean Island inhabited during all months of the year, it has a small village with a small square surrounded by narrow and winding streets that lead to the promenade on the northern tip of the island.
Today’s full-day excursion takes us on one of Europe’s most scenic railways, the narrow-gauge Centovalli Railway, on an excursion to Locarno in Switzerland. The line threads its way across ‘a hundred valleys’ that give the railway its name, all the while passing through outstanding scenery of idyllic landscapes. We pass over deep ravines and gushing waterfalls, and alongside thick forests and through sleepy villages during the journey. On arrival in Locarno, you are free to have lunch and explore at your leisure. As well as a picturesque Old Town, Locarno has beautiful subtropical gardens filled with palm trees and exotic flowers, lakeside promenades and great shopping under the arcades of the Piazza Grande. Later we cruise back down Lake Maggiore to Stresa – a splendid way to take in your surroundings on the homeward journey.
We set off for Lake Orta, Lake Maggiore’s smaller but no less enchanting neighbour. We enjoy a private boat cruise to the stunning Isola San Giulio, a tiny island dominated by its impressive basilica, before returning to explore the delightful Orta San Giulio, the atmospheric town known as the ‘Jewel of the Lake’.
Situated on a tiny promontory against the dramatic backdrop of the Alps, this lovely town is truly a gem, with cobbled streets and a piazza overlooking the lake’s sparkling waters. Free afternoon in Stresa. Dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Transfer to Milan Airport.