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Group Travel Tour Operator for holidays to Lake Maggiore

Spring Camellias on Lake Maggiore

  • Looking over to the Borromean Islands from Baveno, Lake Maggiore

    Aosta Looking over to the Borromean Islands from Baveno, Lake Maggiore
  • Looking over to Isola San Guilio from Orta, Lake Orta

    Looking over to Isola San Guilio from Orta, Lake Orta
  • Bellagio panorama, Lake Como, Italy ©Courtesy of Settore Turismo – Provincia di Como

    Bellagio panorama, Lake Como, Italy ©Courtesy of Settore Turismo – Provincia di Como
  • Tremezzo Villa Carlotta, Lake Como, Italy ©Courtesy of Settore Turismo – Provincia di Como

    Tremezzo Villa Carlotta, Lake Como, Italy ©Courtesy of Settore Turismo – Provincia di Como
  • Centre Lake Como Valsassina, Lake Como, Italy ©Courtesy of Settore Turismo – Provincia di Como

    Centre Lake Como Valsassina, Lake Como, Italy ©Courtesy of Settore Turismo – Provincia di Como
8 day tour
From £595 per person - minimum 25 passengers

Marvel at the Camellias and see Lake Maggiore In Bloom

This springtime, discover the beautiful camellias flowering in Locarno’s Parco delle Camellie, on the northern banks of the stunning Lake Maggiore. The Parco delle Camellie houses 900 different varieties of camellia in a beautiful lakeside setting – a delight for all the senses.

What’s more, in addition to camellias, the area boasts many more excellent flower gardens to discover.  See the terraced tree-filled gardens of the royal palace on Isola Bella, one of the Borromean Islands in Lake Maggiore. Villa Carlotta, with its wonderful collection of exotic flora on nearby Lake Como, is a favourite of plant and art admirers alike and affords visitors stunning views over to Belaggio.

Picturesque Villages and Stunning Landscapes

Lake Maggiore offers a relaxing, all year round Mediterranean climate and some spectacular Alpine scenery. While there, visit Stresa, the main town on the west shore of Lake Maggiore which offers plenty to do. Explore the colourful cafés and unique boutiques at your own pace here before arriving at Italy’s picturesque Baveno. Here, you will enjoy a relaxing atmosphere with pleasant lakeside cafés and beautiful views over the lake and mountains.

There are many more excursions possible from Lake Maggiore. Perhaps head to Milan, Italy’s fashion capital. Alternatively, nearby Lake Orta is quieter than the larger lakes and offers quaint villages. Or why not travel through 100 valleys on a scenic train ride before cruising back down Lake Maggiore.

With much to see and do, Lake Maggiore is a destination for all to enjoy!


March - April 2023

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1-2

Travel to Lake Maggiore

Having crossed by ferry to Calais, head south through France. Make an overnight stop and enjoy the spectacular scenery as you as you travel to your hotel in Baveno.

Day 3

Camellia Park in Locarno

Visit the beautiful Camellia Park in Locarno, lying just over the border from Italy on the Swiss banks of Lake Maggiore. Each Springtime, this unusual park boasts 900 different types of camellias spread over 10,000 square metres and is a joy to discover. Created in 2005 for the International Camellia Society World Congress (ICS), it is a riot of colours and smells!

The nearby lake ensures constant humidity and the trees provide partial shade. Two small lakes with water features, an information pavilion and a small arena evoke the camellia’s native countries.

Day 4

Borromean Islands and Palaces

Sail out from Baveno or Stresa and explore the fascinating Borromean Islands and Palaces. Enjoy a spectacular day on Lake Maggiore visiting up to three of the islands owned by the local ruling Borromeo Family.

Isola Madre with the Borromeo Palace, built in 1590, is world-famous for its collection of antique puppets.

Isola Bella, perhaps the jewel in the crown, has a splendid Baroque Palace, with stunning interiors, a grotto, many works of art and beautiful views. What’s more, it boasts majestic terraced gardens, featuring many types of plants and flowers and numerous citrus trees. It is also home to a flock of albino peacocks. It is a delight for the greenfingered and flower lovers.

The smaller and quieter Isola Dei Pescatori, a romantic ancient fisherman’s island village, is home to many restaurants and cafés and a great spot for lunch.

Day 5

Camellias d’Oro

This morning, travel the short distance along the coast of Lake Maggiore to visit the garden of Villa Anelli. Currently the garden is run by the descendants of the founder. The garden is formed by a dynamic variety of paths, types of arboreal species, and views; mature trees such as the weeping beech and the hornbeam were planted at the time of the foundation and are still alive to this day. The camellia collection includes 500 plants from 318 cultivars that bloom in the springtime, 40 that bloom in the winter, and 30 botanical species.

The garden of Villa Anelli is the first Italian private garden that has received the award of «Camellia Garden of Excellence», in 2015 by the International Camellia Society. Here, enjoy a guided tour of the gardens by the cultivator before stopping for a light lunch then in the afternoon and enjoy tasting of the tea produced with our camellia sinensis (camellia is the plant of tea) and wines from the local winery.

Day 6

Lake Como and Villa Carlotta

Lake Como, one of Italy’s most famous and spectacular lakes with its stunning mountain scenery is only a short drive away.Enjoy some free time to explore at your leisure.

Perhaps, you’d like to visit a beautiful hillside villa and gardens overlooking the lake, Villa Carlotta is a must for both the green-fingered and art lovers alike. With sumptuous interiors featuring sculptures and paintings, the superb gardens amaze with their vast array of flora and fauna from all reaches of the globe and beautiful lake views.

At the bottom of the lake, the historic town of Como is steeped in history with its 14th century cathedral, silk shops and Roman ruins.

Day 7-8

Ciao for now

After breakfast, it is time to bid ‘Arrivederci’ to Lake Maggiore as you make your way home via Calais, making an overnight stop in France.

Alternatives and Extras

Centrovalli Train and Cruise

Travel north to the mountain town of Domodossola, from where it is possible to join the Centovalli train. Marvel as it crosses the wild and romantic ‘One Hundred Valleys’ region from Italy into the Switzerland and to the chic lakeside town of Locarno. From here, board a leisurely three hour lake cruise back to Baveno or Stresa.

Discover Lake Orta

A short drive to romantic Lake Orta and the town of Omegna with a chance to visit a traditional Italian market (Thursday mornings only). Continue to the medieval lakeside village of Orta, famous for its tiny streets and sacred hillside. Take an optional boat trip across to the little island of St. Giulio famous for its 4th century church. Head south to one of the regions vineyards for an optional wine tasting before returning via Arona, overlooked by the statue of Saint Charles Borromeo.

Suggested hotels – All hotels inspected by Greatdays staff 

Hotel Milan & Speranza, Stresa ****

Comfortable hotel with lakeside location directly opposite the boat landing stage in the centre of Stresa. Coach parking nearby (around €30/day, payable locally).

Grand Hotel Dino, Baveno ****LUX

Luxury lakeside hotel with three restaurants, two bars, terraced gardens and wellness centre. Onsite coach parking available. Located next to Baveno’s landing stage for Borromean Island excursions.

Hotel Splendid, Baveno ****LUX

A firm favourite with Greatdays’ clients. The lakeside hotel has a panoramic restaurant, private beach and gardens. Onsite coach parking.

You may also be interested in:

Captivating Lake Como

Lake Annecy and the French Alps

Dates Half Twin Single Supplement
March – April 2023 From £595.00 per person From £180.00 per person

City tax – A local city tax is payable per passenger per night directly to the hotel.

Price based on exchange rate of £1.00 = €1.168. All prices are per person based on sharing a double or twin room and with one free place in a single room, based on a minimum 25 full fare paying passengers. Prices do not include UK coach hire or travel insurance. Dates are subject to availability. Smaller groups can be quoted for on request. Greatdays Holidays Limited is a member of ABTA (Y0380) which means you have the benefit of ABTA's assistance and Code of Conduct. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. Greatdays Holidays Limited has an ATOL licence (4279) and all of our air package tours are protected under this licence. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the Civil Aviation Authority will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any monies you have paid to us for an advance booking. All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this tour are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: Our website policy is to use only copyright free images or images which have been authorised to us for free use by the owner. If you consider an image to be unauthorised or to be your property, please contact us immediately and if invalid we will have the image removed. If your image requires crediting or is missing a copyright statement then we will be pleased to add this to the webpage, contact us at

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