Lake Orta by Rail Escorted Tour

1 nights starting from
£1445

  • Quaint lakeside villages - discover typical Italian architecture

  • Spectacular lake and mountain scenery

  • Street markets - Omegna’s is lively and colourful

  • Boat trips - enjoy Orta and Maggiore from the water

  • Religious sites - peaceful and fascinating

This wonderful tour was our first tour by train to Italy and focuses upon Italy's beautiful lakes from our base on pretty Lake Orta. Tour highlights include two of Italy's (and one of Switerzland's) most striking lakes - Orta, Maggiore and Lugano. You will also visit Varallo, the tranquil Santuario D'Oropa, a complex of religious buildings and a hospice, Monte Rosa, the highest mountain in Switzerland and second largest in Europe, the charming resort of Stresa and Lake Maggiore's stunning Borromean Islands with spectacular mountain and lake scenery at every turn. 

One of the tour's most appealing features is our base at Lake Orta staying at the charming family run 3-star Giardinetto Hotel, situated in lovely gardens right on Lake Orta with fantastic lake views. Dinner is included here every night in its lakeside restaurant offering excellent local cuisine and stunning views. 

 

Available Departures

From

20 - September - 2020 £ 1445.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

St Pancras

Departing: 20th September 2020 at 10:24

Returning: 28th September 2020 at 18:13

ITINERARY

Day 1:  Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Paris.
On arrival, transfer by coach to the Mercure Gare de Lyon for a one night stay. The rest of the day is free to spend as you wish.


Day 2:  Travel by TGV from Paris to Novara.
On arrival, transfer by coach to Lake Orta (approx. 1.5 hours) and the Giardinetto Hotel. The rest of the day is free to spend as you wish.


Day 3:  Full day to relax and explore Lake Orta at your leisure.
The Hotel Giardinetto sits on the edge of Orta just two kilometres from the lake’s main town, Orta San Giulio which has a beautiful historic centre containing handsome palazzi and pretty houses with decorative wrought-iron balconies. In the main square is the town hall, a frescoed building dating from 1582 and a host of restaurants with outdoor terraces, perfect for a relaxed lunch. If you are feeling energetic, the amazing Sanctuary of Sacro Monte, high above the town, was built between 1591 to 1770 and contains 21 chapels in which a variety of scenes from the life of St Francis of Assisi are shown. You could take a boat trip to visit the tiny Isola San Giulio with a pretty church containing a 12th century pulpit.


Day 4: Full day tour to Lakes Maggiore and Lugano.
A wonderfully scenic introduction to the area is a full day tour of two of the principal lakes of the region: the relaxing Lake Maggiore and the Swiss/Italian Lake Lugano. With plenty of refreshment stops at delightful lakeside villages and spectacular lake and mountain views, you will be enchanted at every turn. Both lakes have their own character and style whilst all offer wonderful scenery and are lined with elegant villas and pretty villages with typical local architecture.


Day 5: Full day tour to Omegna.
Travelling by boat today we head for Omegna, Lake Orta’s other main settlement, where there will be the opportunity to visit the colourful local market. Omegna’s centre is also very pleasant around the Piazza del Municipio where a bridge spans the River Nigoglia. This evening there will be a wine-tasting at the hotel before dinner.


Day 6: Full day tour to Varallo.
Nestled in the foothills of the Alps, Varallo is a small town on the confluence of two rivers – the Sesia and Mastallone. Visit the 15th century church of Santa Maria delle Grazia to see beautifully restored 16th century frescoes by local Gaudenzo Ferrari. Sitting 150 metres above the town in the Sacro Monte de Varallo, one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in Piedmont. A series of 50 chapels are filled with 800 life-sized religious statues dating back to the 15th century.


Day 7: Full day tour to Macugnaga and Monte Rosa.
The mountain village of Macugnaga sits at the base of Monte Rosa, the second highest mountain in western Europe, in both Italy and Switzerland, and is dramatically surrounded by a series of high peaks. Due to its location it is a quiet place, making it perfect to appreciate the wild and spectacular scenery of the area as well as its charming mountain architecture.


Day 8:  Full day tour to Stresa and the Borromean Islands.
Returning to Lake Maggiore, we start the day exploring the chic lakeside town of Stresa, which has been a holiday spot for the aristocracy of Europe for centuries, who have left behind a wealth of lovely villas. From Stresa we will take a boat out to the Borromean Islands, a group of three islands in Lake Maggiore. Isola Bella is the location of the splendid 17th century Palazzo Borromeo; Isola Madre is home to a beautiful botanical garden; and Isola dei Pescatori, the only inhabited island, has a quaint and picturesque fishing village.


Day 9: Transfer back to Turin station to catch the return TGV to Paris. At Paris, board the return Eurostar service to Ebbsfleet and St Pancras.

NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion. 

Please note for 2019 the maximum group size on this tour is 49 passengers.  

NEW FOR 2020 
Further to analysis of questionnaires received from many hundreds of our valued clients, we have decided to introduce two key changes to our tours in 2020:

1. The group size on all overseas tours is to be limited to a maximum of 35 or lower.

2. All overseas tours will include a welcome drink on the first evening, so that guests can get to know each other.

We hope that these changes will enhance our tours for all participants.

INCLUDED

  • Return Eurostar and TGV from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Novara via Paris, returning from Turin via Paris
  • One nights' accommodation at the four-star Mecure Paris Gare de Lyon on bed and breakfast basis
  • Seven nights' accommodation on dinner (set menu), bed and breaskfast basis at the three-star Giardinetto Hotel, Lake Orta
  • Winetasting at the hotel
  • Transfers in Paris and Italy
  • Full touring itinerary as detailed in the itinerary
  • Tour manager throughout

NOT INCLUDED

  • Single room supplement
  • Room upgrades - only twins/doubles available: Standard lake view or Superior lake view 
  • Standard Premier/1st Class upgrade on Eurostar/TGV. On the Eurostar this constitutes upgraded seating and light meal with complimentary drink with upgraded seating only on the French railway leg
  • Holiday insurance 
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities.

PLEASE NOTE: As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages.Trollies are available at St Pancras and Lille, but bags do need to be carried on to the platform.

LUGGAGE TO YOUR HOTEL
Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890

HOTELS

Giardinetto Hotel, Lake Orta
The charming three-star Giardinetto Hotel is located on the lake about 4km from Orta San Giulio and offers lovely views. Facilities at this friendly, family-run hotel include heated pool, lakeside terrace restaurant serving local cuisine, bar and comfortable bedrooms with private bath/shower, TV, telephone and minibar. Rooms with a lake view and balcony are also avaialble subject to availability and supplement. 

Giardinetto Hotel Website

OUR VIEW ON THE HOTEL
The hotel is in a wonderful isolated position directly on the lake with the upgraded lake view rooms with a balcony a worthwhile option. It also has a nice dining room overlooking the lake which is where you shall enjoy dinner (set menu) each evening.

Mercure Paris Gare de Lyon (one night stay)
Modern four-star hotel located in the heart of Paris, right next to the Gare de Lyon train station, ideal for this one night stay. It has a comfortable bar area serving drinks and light meals. Rooms all have a TV, free Wi-Fi, minibar and tea/coffee making facilities.

Mercure Paris Gare de Lyon Website

Pre-tour accommodation is available at the Premier Inn, London Kings Cross St Pancras, about 5 minutes walk from St Pancras International, at an approximate rate of £120 per room. Bookings can be made direct with the hotel on 0871 527 8672 or visit their website

 

Administation
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Review by Anonymous who travelled 09-September-2018


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Our tour manager Tessa, was exceptional. She organised an additional tour on the day off. The return journey was very eventful with both trains running very late. She calmly dealt with the problems and was still checking on us up to midnight when we left St Pancras.

Review by Moore who travelled 09-September-2018


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Review by who travelled 09-September-2018


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Review by who travelled 09-September-2018


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This is the third time that we have used Travel Editions and we consider them to be the best you can get. The holiday was absolutely wonderful with sightseeing tours that were breathtaking. The tour guide Tessa was outstanding, very knowledgeable and helpful. The only downside was that the journey home by train was a disaster. The train frm Italy to Paris was delayed by two hours due to a police operation, causing us to miss our Eurostar connection. Then the Later Eurostar train that we got had turn turn back to Paris due a technical fault. We got home eventually in the early hours of the next day. However, Tessa, the tour guide was an absolute hero. She worked hard on the journey home to get everyone back as efficiently as possible uinder the most difficult of circumstances. We would really commend her professionalism. Regardless, we will not hesitate to use Travel Editions again and intend to in the near future.

Review by Drizen who travelled 09-September-2018


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1. Location of the hotel is, in most respects, very good indeed. However, a slight niggle results from the rather frequent and longish coach journeys that are required to visit "local" places of interest. 2. Room 155 technically had a "Lake view". I fact, it was rather restricted as compared with the other "lake view" rooms. 3. The evening meal was certainly variable in attractiveness and quality. On several evenings one had the distinct feeling that it was made 'down to the budget'. If this was the case then charge us a little more rather than leave this slightly bad taste in our mouths. 4. Hotel staff that we came into contact with were unfailingly helpful, cheerful and polite. However, when our table made a complaint about the standard of the last night's dinner it was lest to the waiters to apologise. No evidence of a Manager, Maitre d' or anyone else in authority. 5. When the toilet in some other rom was flushed it created a noticeable noise in our bathroom. Not very welcome in the middle of the night. Regrettably we did not report this to the Hotel staff. 6. Don't know what you pay the Tour Manager. Whatever that might be, she deserves a substantial rise.

Review by Mr Douglas Brodie who travelled 11-September-2016


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Some of the people on the tour did not like the food supplied by the hotel but on the whole I enjoyed it, especially the soups, the potatoes, the savoy cabbage and the desserts. On the last day we had a four course meal. The first course was very good and the risotto was pleasant but there was too much for me so I did not finish it and I could not eat the third course except for a little taste. I did however manage the dessert which was a light mousse.

Review by Mrs Frances Shawcross who travelled 11-September-2016


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This was our 5th tour with the company and the most enjoyable. What made it so was Tessa Saye who must have returned exhausted after the effort put in for our benefit. On day 2 at the hotel she had organised tables for 9 at the evening meal and suggested we mingled over the course of the week. The result was more like a reunion than first off meeting. The only disappointment was the evening meal. We were not expecting cordon bleu but good local dishes, in fact the majority of dishes were bland.

Review by Mr Michael Sheridan who travelled 11-September-2016


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Review by who travelled 11-September-2016


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Misunderstanding as to who were to share the room. Single passenger's tickets not sent separately. Very friendly and helpful hotel. Very good and well informed Tour Manager. Very good coach driver and local guide-Sylvia.

Review by Mrs Elisabeth Murphy who travelled 13-September-2015


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With hindsight we would prefer to have flown to our destination. It was hard work managing a small suitcase transferring on 2 trains and 2 coaches email to follow.

Review by Mrs Ann Pollock who travelled 13-September-2015


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We enjoyed this trip despite the inclement weather for part of the time. The hotel was comfortable and accommodating. The menus were varied and interesting and of good quality. The tour manager, Serge Bertini, went out of his way to uphold the Travel Editions philosophy. We were certainly treated as travellers not tourists and in league with the coach driver, Enrico, varied the itinerary according to the weather and traveller requests with even additional places visited or routes taken at the request of travellers . He treated everyone as an individual. We will definitely travel with Travel Editions again( it will then be our 3rd trip).

Review by Mr C Pepper who travelled 13-September-2015


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Tour guide was excellent. Sergei. Always helpful to everyone.

Review by Mrs Sheila Morrison who travelled 13-September-2015


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The only reason I have given a 'good' for the sightseeing tours rather than 'excellent' is that we had quite a lot of rain during the first 5 days of the holiday. I realise that you can do nothing about that. The holiday was very enjoyable - our tour manager and the other guide that we had both did an excellent job.

Review by Mr Roger Dangerfield who travelled 13-September-2015


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Very enjoyable despite the awful weather (not your fault). Lovely hotel, but typically Italian in that not altogether practical for oldies - no drawer or shelf space, light didn't work despite reporting it twice, bath so high it almost needed a ladder to get in and out. A kettle in the room would have been welcome though we were aware from brochure that there wuoldn't be one. Food was excellent though, and hostess most hospitable. Serge, our Tour Manager, was excellent - very helpful, very knowledgeable. Administration fell down somewhat in getting our rooms muddled - allocating double room to me and my sister instead of to me and my partner. (thought that would have been clear from the booking form). Overall, this was our second trip with Travel Editions and we would use them again. Thank you.

Review by Mrs Elisabeth Murphy who travelled 13-September-2015


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Because of the torrential rain, two of the excursions which involved lengthy coach journeys were marred as it was difficult to appreciate the beauty of the area. It might have been sensible to offer an alternative excursion to, for example, Milan and its culture. The very long return journey back to the UK could have been made more bearable by an overnight stop in Paris for which we would happily have paid extra.

Review by Mr Nicholas Brewster who travelled 13-September-2015


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Giardinetto hotel served good food with friendly staff. Rooms were not modern. Ours had no dressing table and the only mirror in dark corner. The area fronting the lake was a modern extension with lovely views. The rear would benefit from modernisation. Difficult to walk from hotel as it is on busy road without pavement. Nontheless enyoyed our stay.

Review by Mr Graham Oliver who travelled 14-June-2015


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Review by who travelled 14-June-2015


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Hotel generally excellent but the food was very bland and disappointing, and often not very warm when served.

Review by Mr Keith Foggin who travelled 14-June-2015


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Tour manager was outstanding. Brochure should make clear that Orta St Giulio only accessible by boat/taxi. Suggest drop trip to Lugano - too long and rather dull. Make more of Lake Orta itself e.g. tour on day 1 or 2, to include Omegna which only needs an hour or so.

Review by Dr Lynne Ridler-Wall who travelled 14-September-2014


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It would have been nice to have had tea/coffee making facilities in our room. Only put satisfactory for train because of problem with outward Paris/Milan train where we had to change trains. This was not the fault of Travel Editions.

Review by Mrs Kay Hardy who travelled 14-September-2014


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Review by who travelled 31-August-2014


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Review by Yan Kam Cheong who travelled 15-September-2013


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Lovely location. Excellent tour manager. Out-dated bedroom. Faulty TV not put right. 'Information overload' from local guide. Disappointing dinners, especially vegetarian options.

Review by Simmons who travelled 15-September-2013


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Very excellent tour Manager, a lot of coach travel on the sightseeing tours, rooms were good but not that good, food very good.

Review by Allsop who travelled 15-September-2013


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We would have preferred the return journey to include an overnight stop and not to have such an early start. Some more elderly travellers found it difficult and some had long onward travel in the UK. Whilst the hotel was excellent, the dinner was sometimes rather disappointing. Finally can we say how wonderful Tessa was - very caring, thoughtful and always with a cheery smile. All in all, a very enjoyable experience - we shall travel with you again.

Review by Savage who travelled 15-September-2013


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Review by Pagler who travelled 15-September-2013


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Review by Smith who travelled 12-September-2013


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