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Lake Maggiore - BOTANICO – Spring awakening: the Camellia Festival of Locarno - 6 Days

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From 339 € per person

See off the cold days of Winter and experience the glorious flowers of early Spring in the Italian Lake District. Visit stunning gardens and Villas and enjoy guided tours of three lakes with the tour highlight being a trip into neighbouring Switzerland to take in the incredible colours of the Locarno Camelia Park.

Why should you book this tour?
· Enjoy the stunning varieties of Camelia in Locarno
· Experience guided tours of three different Italian lakes
· Visit stately villas and their glorious gardens


Day 1
Arrive at your hotel on Lake Maggiore to be greeted by a welcome drink before enjoying dinner.

Day 2
After breakfast you head for a short drive west to experience Lake Orta. Small but beautifully formed, it was originally named San Giulio’s Lake after the local patron saint. The current name Lake Orta dates back to the 17th century. On your guided tour, you will visit the stunning Orta San Giulio, one of Italy’s most important medieval villages. After some time to explore the maze of narrow picturesque alleyways and its main Square, the Piazza Notta, you will take a short 5 minute boat trip to the island of San Giulio, dominated by the Romaneque Basilica, the Bishop’s Palace and Benedictine Abbey. After a relaxing half day visit you return to the hotel for some free time to explore your area before dinner.

Day 3
Today is free to explore your surroundings, you may opt to take a boat excursion to the Borromean Islands, which lie a short distance from the shores of Verbania.

Day 4
Today you embark on a full day guided excursion of the famous Lake Como. If Lake Orta is the much smaller, less well known tourist spot, then Lake Como is arguably the most illustrious of the lakes in this corner of Italy, as celebrities such as George Clooney, Sting and Richard Branson are all said to own homes here. Our tour guide will point out Clooney’s Villa Oleandra during your tour, which will also take in the main town Como, with its long history of lace making. You will also see and learn about the Cathedral and Old Town Hall before spending some time on the glorious lakeside promenade. We will also pay a visit to Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo. The Villa boasts a magnificent park which is home to many rare plants and valuable works of art.

Day 5
The best is saved for last as you embark today on a guided tour around Lake Maggiore and follow the lake north as it straddles the border with neighbouring Switzerland. Characterised by lofty peaks, dark blue waters and picturesque villages, Lake Maggiore benefits from a special microclimate which allows plants from all over the world to thrive. This feature has been attracting visitors for years, the shores dotted with sumptuous villas boasting stunning parklands. We visit one such example, the beautiful Villa Taranto with its elaborate gardens, developed by Scottish landscape gardener Capt. Neil Boyd McEacharn who bought the estate in the 1930’s. Some 40 acres ( 16-ha ) were transformed into the gardens we see today. After a relaxing visit to admire the 8000 plant varieties collected from all over the world, we follow the lakeshore north into Switzerland to experience the colour and splendour of the Locarno Camelia Park. Inaugurated in 2005 for the World Congress of the International Camelia Society, the park now features some 900 varieties of this colourful flower. The park is laid out with beds forming a labarinthine trail accompanied by the sounds of birdsong and the gentle lapping of water on the lakeshore. This oasis of peace and beauty has become a major tourist attraction in recent years and is a fitting way to end your tour.

Day 6
Sadly today we must return home, and we depart our hotel after breakfast.

The order of visits included may be amended depending on the day of arrival in Italy

  • Welcome drink on arrival
  • 5 nights with buffet breakfast
  • 5 x 3 course evening meals with salad/vegetable buffet – has this been included?
  • Half day guided excursion to Lake Orta
  • Round trip boat trip to Orta San Giulia
  • Full day guided excursion to Lake Como including entrance to Villa Carlotta
  • Full day guided excursion to Lake Maggiore including entrance to gardens of VillaTaranto
  • Entrance to Locarno’s Camelia Park
  • Ground transportation (if chosen) includes:
    2 x private airport transfers from the nearest hub
    Private coach hire for all the excursions



Choose your dates
March 2023
6 Days
07-03-2023 - 12-03-2023 | 6 Days

PESCE D'ORO Hotel 3*

  • per person in double/twin room WITH GROUND TRANSPORTATION
    444 €
  • per person in double/twin room
    339 €

Additional services

  • Single room supplement
    20 €

PESCE D'ORO Hotel 3*

PESCE D'ORO Hotel 3*PESCE D'ORO Hotel 3*

•Very well maintained family hotel
•Directly on the lake promenade and in the town centre
•4km away from the famous Villa Taranto gardens

Location: Family-run hotel with a well-kept atmosphere, in a prime location, directly on the Verbania-Suna sea promenade, just a few steps from the beach and 1 km from Pallanza with the pier for the Borromean Islands.

Rooms: 57 bright, beautiful rooms with air conditioning/heating, telephone, safe, satellite TV, mini fridge, hair dryer and free Wi-Fi.

Facilities: Restaurant, bar with outdoor terrace, shared lounge, garden.

Coach parking: At the hotel.

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