Italy & Switzerland
Walking Tour in Italy and Switzerland, Lago Maggiore, Lago di Como and Lago di Garda
This magnificent walk extends from Piedmont to Veneto and from Switzerland to Trentino in the north. Narrow and long, these lakes are all of glacial origin and their banks are covered with varied and luxuriant vegetation.
The numerous villas with attractive gardens on the lake side, the great variety of flowers throughout the year and the small sailing villages add to the charm and originality of these pre-alpine lakes.
Late spring at Lago Maggiore! With its Mediterranean climate and fantastic food, it is an ideal region to begin our walk. Passing this majestic lake, our route takes us through the narrow gorges of the Verzasca and the Centovalli.
The grottos (restaurants) along the way offer fresh home-grown produce and such delicacies as minestrone, saffron risotto, and rabbit in red wine with rosemary potatoes.
At the enchanting Lago di Como we are surrounded by wooded hills below the majestic mountains. The lake consists of three long narrow arms and has a total length of 50 kms. We walk on old mule tracks through varied and lush Mediterranean vegetation with splendid views across the lake.
The Panoramic Trail, which begins in the picturesque little village of Soglio, just across the border in Switzerland, offers some majestic mountain scenery.
Lake Garda is the largest and perhaps the most beautiful of the northern Italian lakes. Sheltered by the Dolomites, it has a temperate climate and historically was the most northern locality in the world where citrus fruits could be grown commercially.
Our itinerary includes a walk at Monte Baldo, the Sentiero Angelini and a walk to the fairytale castle of Drena. To catch a glimpse of the imposing private villas and gardens, we take a ride on a steamer, which regularly ply the lake and walk from Gargnano to Muslone.
Our Hotels and Cuisine
Our first four nights are spent in a small, traditional village in Ticino, Switzerland in the hills behind Locarno. We stay in a very comfortable family run hotel where you will receive a warm welcome and enjoy delicious home cooked local cuisine.
On our last two evenings you can truly experience the culinary delights in the famous "Da Agnese" Stazione Restaurant - a well-known gourmet retreat converted out of an old railway station!
Our Hotel in Varenna is a romantic villa, right on Lake Como. The big terrace is immersed in flowers and the blues and greens of the lake – an ideal spot to sip a glass of Prosecco and watch the sunset.
Our last five nights are spent in a splendid hotel at Lake Garda. It offers magnificent views across the lake. It is situated in a lovely garden, complete with a wonderful swimming pool and wellness centre.
Our restaurant offers a delicate flavoured cuisine. Risotto, homemade pasta, grilled or sauced meat and lake fish are well prepared and extremely tasty.
Walking Tour Combination
Departure dates have been arranged to allow the "The Italian Lakes" and "A Taste of Europe" walks to be combined.
Tour departure dates
Feedback from previous guests
|What a wonderful experience this was: the schedule, the organisation, the meals, the spectacular locations and, of course, our fellow travellers. Although the weather was brilliant throughout, it did not overshadow the knowledge and passion evident in our hard-working and personable guides, Gabriela and Francesco. The locations were spectacularly varied and the quality of the walks was consistently high, making it a memorable travel adventure. As with most walking paths in European mountains, some sections of the tracks were challenging with steep stairs, uneven rocky ground and tree roots to negotiate but great camaraderie and support helped all of us to enjoy our time in this fascinating part of the world. Each new walking destination was like an unfolding secret and all were immensely satisfying. Brilliant!"
Michael from Brisbane QLD, Australia 
|Our 3rd trip with WGA and what a fabulous time we had exploring the Italian Lakes (2018). We love the small group touring atmosphere and the type of destinations that WGA offer. The scenery was stunning and varied. The walks were challenging and our fellow walkers' good company. My favourite walk: along the Panorama Trail from Casaccia to Soglia in Switzerland. The snow-capped mountains and alpine countryside of this beautiful country are always inspiring. The hotels were outstanding: with plenty of charm in Intragna to superb views over Lago di Como in Varenna and Lago di Garda in Malcesine. Restaurant selection for our evening meals was excellent. The Ristorante Stazione in Intragna provided a unique dining experience. It was a pleasure walking with Gabriela and Francesco who are experienced guides. Many laughs were shared during our daily Italian lessons with Francesco!! All in all, a wonderful trip."
Cheryl from Brisbane QLD, Australia 
|Wonderful experience... this was my first tour with Walkabout and it certainly won't be the last... at the ripe old age of 71... I had no idea of the walks... all 7 were challenging but very satisfying... our wonderful guides Gabriela and Francesco were always very considerate caring and above all very professional... I will always remember Gabriela saying "a little bit up I little bit down."... I remember a bloody lot of up... up... only a little bit of down. I have been very fortunate to travel overseas on many occasions... The Walkabout experience is so different to what of done previously... Planning my next adventure with Walkabout in 2019... And bonus was the wonderful group of fellow travellers!"
Ian from Adelaide SA, Australia 
|Good variety of walks. Well selected hotels."
Jeff from Sydney, NSW, Australia 
|What an awesome experience. I have always wanted to go to Switzerland and found this was a fabulous way to see the real countryside. The scenery was spectacular. We were a group of 15 of similar age and capabilities. Our guides Gabriella and Milo only added to the experience. Thank you for such a wonderful time."
Sonia, Maleny, Queensland, Australia 
|I thoroughly enjoyed the Italian Lakes walk, at times it was challenging but at the end of the day I always felt a sense of achievement. The walks in Switzerland were stunning, my favourite day was when we walked to Soglio, stunning scenery and we ended up having a wonderful chestnut gnocchi dinner in the village. The hotel at Malcesine, Lake Garda was beautiful, incredible scenery and luxurious surroundings. The walk from Gargnono I found steep and tiring but it was also a particularly warm and humid day. My first walking holiday with walkabout gourmet but it won't be my last!"
Kay, Northern NSW, Australia 
|Scenic, beautiful trip. Walks were excellent at all three sites, although tended to be tough, especially walk from Gargnano on Lake Como, and the walk down from the middle cable car station at Malcesine. Both were also hot days. Most spectacular walks were in the Swiss Alps to Sognio, and Monte Baldo amongst the flowers. Hotels were excellent, although the air conditioning at the Bellevue, Malcesine was most problematic in the hot weather we experienced there. Restaurants were great at all three locations, especially the legendary Agnese at Intragna. Of the towns we stayed at Malcesine was our favourite with the Castella, great little shops and restaurants and overall atmosphere. Petra, our trusty guide was excellent and looked after us very well. Thanks again Petra."
Graeme, Shepparton, VIC, Australia 
|Our guide was excellent in all ways. The organisation, accommodation and meals were all good and varied. The group was good company, walking makes one know each other better. I would recommend the Walking tours to my friends."
Helen, Hunters Hill, Australia 
|The walking was fabulous and beautiful and even the easier walks were fine because they allowed us a little rest. The walks in Switzerland and the walk from Menaggio were outstanding but all the walks were excellent and the pace comfortable. We came home feeling very fit. The food on this trip was also excellent and accommodation comfortable. We really enjoyed ourselves. Thanks."
Heather, Templestowe, Australia 
|We enjoyed a wonderful holiday with many varied and interesting walks, comfortable accommodation, good company and the food was excellent. We also enjoyed the days when we travelled, with opportunities to explore a village or island in our own time. We look forward to doing another Gourmet Adventures."
Peter, Templestowe, Australia 
|Our stay in the Hotel Antico was wonderful. The owners were welcoming and helpful and the place had a truly Italian and European atmosphere. I loved it. I would have made good use of the pool which was hidden around the corner if the weather had been better. Leaving this little hotel each night and walking down the stairs, rain or no rain, was a real highlight. Arriving at The Station Restaurant we were greeted as special guests and the food was only surpassed by the view and the table decorations. Getting up the steps to return to The Antico was not so easy however but it did help our fitness and maybe helped us work off a little of the superb food we had eaten. The rain tried to dampen our walks without success. To me it made them more beautiful. Waterfalls tumbled and rushed around many bends and the dripping green branches stretching down towards the water through the mist was magical. Bridges, some manmade and some made of rocks or old logs, which spanned the creeks below the falls, made life a bit exciting at times and we soon knew if our boots were waterproof or not. While sometimes we were puffing and blowing we loved every minute of the experience and always managed to find a group of big rocks, a few wooden stairs leading to a deserted hut or a sheltered spot to eat our lunch and take a few photos as we relaxed and recovered. A special day was it when we arrived at a little grapevine draped cafe where we stopped for lunch. These extra surprises made each day truly wonderful."
Joan, Dromana, Australia 
|Petra was a very good guide, relaxed, amiable, and considerate of our thoughts and needs. I just love the exhilaration of a walking holiday, savouring every moment among the hills, grasses, flowers and streams and reaching hidden villages, ruins, castles or towers, with superb views along the way. I particularly enjoyed the walks from Intragna, the Verzasca Valley with its clear blue river, whitish rock formations, and its stone houses and the village of Sonogno. The cafe had great atmosphere and was so welcome after a damp climb. The forests of Verdasio, the views, the dry stone cottages, the scent of grasses and flowers mesmerised me as we climbed, and downhill to Camedo continued to be exciting. Of course there was Stazione rest and Agnes' meals to await, our taste buds at the ready. Islands of Brissago and Isole Borromeo revealed fascinating history. I loved the Senagra walk too, with its stone bridges and the stone village of Naggio, through fields and flowers amid the soaring green mountainsides and views of distance houses. The walk to Soglio was a standout-our first really sunny day in a landscape reminiscent of Heidi with snow still on mountain tops, flowers in meadows, and water streaming down hillsides. Soglio was an enchanting and unspoiled place, and the hotel meal excellent. Mario was a great host and very keen to ensure our contentment. Drena Tower displayed artefacts in and interesting, uncluttered way; I was glad to see it. Our walk to Muslone in the heat (30+c) was a bit of an endurance trek and I never thought I would enjoy a lemon ice block so much at the tiny general store when we finally arrived. It felt great to sit around and eat lunch on the stone church steps. Monte Baldo was an experience-the ride itself, the cows with large bells at the top, watching the hang gliders prepare for their flight-getting the cords precisely right, the walk-talkies to the bottom, the take-off and effortless gliding-it was some sort of Austro-German club and I was lucky enough to have one of the men explain it all to me. Malcesine hotel in a great position and facilities very good. Thanks to Petra for organising a video show of our meanderings on our last evening. That was fun and sometimes painful, to watch. All in all, I enjoyed the whole trip immensely and thank you for the care and organisation you put in."
Wendy, Nambucca Heads, Australia