The Best of Lake Maggiore Walking Holiday

Isola Bella and Stresa town aerial panoramic view. Isola Bella is one of the Borromean Islands of Lago Maggiore in north Ita…
Duration: 7 nights
Type: European walking holidays
Walking Grade: 2 & 4
from £1,299pp

Italy’s second largest lake after Lake Garda, the shimmering Lake Maggiore is adored for its beautiful scenery, delicious food, and postcard-worthy towns. Highlights include taking lakeside strolls around Cannero and Cannobio, discovering the picturesque streets of Orta San Giulio, and venturing to the foothills of Mount Rosa and the Anzasca Valley. You can also take an optional boat ride to the Borromean Islands, the most famous of which is the enchanting Isola Bella, which translates as 'beautiful island.'

What you’ll love

  • Visiting the Cannero Riviera and Cannobio
  • Discovering Lake Orta
  • Walking in the foothills of Monte Rosa, one of Italy’s highest mountains
  • The option to take a train to Milan or a boat to the Borromean Islands

What’s included

  • Full programme of guided walks led by local HF Holidays Leaders
  • HF Holidays Tour Manager
  • Comfortable accommodation
  • Half-board (breakfast and evening meal)
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees (as per itinerary)
  • Air-conditioned transport
  • Return flights from the UK including hold baggage and airport transfers

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

See Dates, Prices & Trip Note tab to check which itinerary is running

Welcome to Lake Maggiore. Once you arrive, settle in and get acquainted with where you’ll stay for the week.


Known locally as the chestnut route, this walk starts in a small lakeside village south of Stresa. Hop in a boat and we’ll sail across the lake to Belgirate. Then following old mule trails, we’ll pass by pretty churches, small hamlets, and the gardens of Villa Pallavicino on our way back to Stresa.

Option 1 - Chestnut Walk

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Ascent: 800ft (240m)

Descent: 900ft (280m)

From the shore, we’ll walk up to the Romanesque church of Santa Maria to see the views and the frescoes. Then following a mule track, you’ll see how farming used to be before we arrive at the church of Saint Paolo. Step through a chestnut forest, passing the ruins of Sanin Albino, to the village of Passera and the gardens of Villa Pallavicino.

Option 2 - Chesnut Walk via Calogna

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Ascent: 1,300ft (400m)

Descent: 1,150ft (360m)

Taking the same route as option one until the church of Saint Paolo, we’ll then venture off on another mule trail uphill to the hamlet of Calogna. Crossing moorland to a beech forest, we’ll pass by old shepherd huts while glimpsing the lake down below. Once we reach the village of Magognino, we’ll start descending through Passera to the gardens of Villa Pallavicino.


Option 1 - Suna to Cavandone

Distance: 4miles (6.5km)

Ascent: 900ft (260m)

Descent: 1,150ft (360m)

We start from Suna from where we’ll follow an ancient trail past the chestnut wood and medieval tower, climbing further for impressive views of Lake Maggiore below. At Cardavone, you’ll see a 400-year-old yew tree.

Option 2 - Lake Mergozzo

Distance: 7½miles (12km)

Ascent: 1,200ft (360m)

Descent: 1,200ft (360m)

We’ll take the bus to Verbania to set off on a path that hugs the eastern shore, passing through chestnut woods and meadows that open out onto views over Lake Mergozzo. Stop for lunch in Mergozzo before taking the Sentiero Azzuro (Blue Path), pausing at Montorfano for far-reaching views of Lake Maggiore and the Toce River. We’ll visit the Romanesque church before descending to Verbania where we’ll catch the bus back.


We’ll head north to the town of Cannero Riviera. The village may have a slightly more Swiss feel, but the flora is distinctly Mediterranean thanks to the area’s microclimate.

Option 1 - Cannero to Cannobio 1

Distance: 5½miles (9km)

Ascent: 1,200ft (360m)

Descent: 1,200ft (360m)

Following the lakeside, the path begins to climb gently through citrus groves to Carmine Superiore, a castle-like village carved out of the rock. Visit the church before continuing to the tiny hamlet of Molineggi and the pretty lakeside town of Cannobio. Time to relax with a well-deserved drink in one of the bars.

Option 2 - Cannero to Cannobio 2

Distance: 7½miles (12km)

Ascent: 1,700ft (540m)

Descent: 1,650ft (500m)

After leaving Cannero, we’ll follow a short, steep descent mixing small country roads and mule tracks to the village of Viggiona. The views of the lake are spellbinding, and you can enjoy exploring the maze of small lanes and coloured houses. We’ll stay on a ridge gently ascending to Molineggi - once a milling area for rye - passing shepherds’ huts down into Cannobio for a drink.


There are plenty of things to see and do, from taking the train to Milan, or jumping on a boat to visit the Borromean Islands. You could even head to Switzerland for the day on the boat and take the train back.


Today we head over to Lake Maggiore’s little sister, Lake Orta. Both walks start in the hills above the lake and finish in Orta San Giulio, one of the most beautiful towns in Italy.

Option 1 - Armeno to Orta San Guilio 1

Distance: 6miles (9km)

Ascent: 450ft (140m)

Descent: 1,150ft (360m)

We’ll start in the town of Armeno following trails through farms and meadows, crossing a Roman bridge, and entering another village called Armeno. We’ll head down through lush parkland to Vacciago, once a rich retreat away from the lake. We’ll descend to Legro and from here to the lake with time to explore Orta San Giulio.

Option 2 - Armeno to Orta San Guilio 2

Distance: 8½miles (14km)

Ascent: 700ft (220m)

Descent: 1,450ft (460m)

Following option one from Armeno to Armeno, we then ascend to Monte Mesma and the Franciscan convent of the same name. We’ll get a wonderful view of Lake Orta, then after circling the small peak we’ll head down into the village of Vacciago and onto the painted village of Legro. A final descent takes us to Orta San Guilio with time to explore.


Today we head into the mountains and the Anzasca Valley to Macunaga, home to the Walser people. This small region still has its own language and keeps to its historic traditions. After both walks, we’ll take you to the village of Macunaga sitting below Mount Rosa.

Option 1 - Piedimulera to Castiglione

Distance: 3½miles (6km)

Ascent: 1,250ft (380m)

Descent: 500ft (160m)

We start in the pretty village of Piedimulera, which sits at the mouth of the Anzasca Valley looked over by Torre Ferreiro. Our path takes us out of town, through the valley, following the course of the Anza river. Passing chestnut woods, fruit trees, and old watercourses, we’ll see ancient settlements and traces of old trades. We’ll finish in the hamlet of Castiglione before heading to the Walser village of Macuanaga.

Option 2 - Piedimulera to Molini

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Ascent: 1,850ft (560m)

Descent: 1,100ft (340m)

From Piedimulera we’ll follow the same route as option one. After the village of Castiglione, we’ll head along the valley and into the deep forested hills as we follow the old road with occasional glimpses of the cobalt blue torrent. We soon enter the outskirts of the village of Molini, which clings to the hillside flanked by the river. Finally, we’ll have time to explore Macuanaga.


We’ll leave Lake Maggiore for our flight back home.


See Dates, Prices & Trip Note tab to check which itinerary is running

Welcome to Lake Maggiore. Once you arrive, settle in and get acquainted with where you’ll stay for the week.


Known locally as the chestnut route, this walk starts in a small lakeside village south of Stresa. Hop in a boat and we’ll sail across the lake to Belgirate. Then following old mule trails, we’ll pass by pretty churches, small hamlets, and the gardens of Villa Pallavicino on our way back to Stresa.

Option 1 - Chestnut Walk

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Ascent: 800ft (240m)

Descent: 900ft (280m)

From the shore, we’ll walk up to the Romanesque church of Santa Maria to see the views and the frescoes. Then following a mule track, you’ll see how farming used to be before we arrive at the church of Saint Paolo. Step through a chestnut forest, passing the ruins of Sanin Albino, to the village of Passera and the gardens of Villa Pallavicino.

Option 2 - Chesnut Walk via Calogna

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Ascent: 1,300ft (400m)

Descent: 1,150ft (360m)

Taking the same route as option one until the church of Saint Paolo, we’ll then venture off on another mule trail uphill to the hamlet of Calogna. Crossing moorland to a beech forest, we’ll pass by old shepherd huts while glimpsing the lake down below. Once we reach the village of Magognino, we’ll start descending through Passera to the gardens of Villa Pallavicino.


Option 1 - Suna to Cavandone

Distance: 4miles (6.5km)

Ascent: 900ft (260m)

Descent: 1,150ft (360m)

We start from Suna from where we’ll follow an ancient trail past the chestnut wood and medieval tower, climbing further for impressive views of Lake Maggiore below. At Cardavone, you’ll see a 400-year-old yew tree.

Option 2 - Lake Mergozzo

Distance: 7½miles (12km)

Ascent: 1,200ft (360m)

Descent: 1,200ft (360m)

We’ll take the bus to Verbania to set off on a path that hugs the eastern shore, passing through chestnut woods and meadows that open out onto views over Lake Mergozzo. Stop for lunch in Mergozzo before taking the Sentiero Azzuro (Blue Path), pausing at Montorfano for far-reaching views of Lake Maggiore and the Toce River. We’ll visit the Romanesque church before descending to Verbania where we’ll catch the bus back.


Option 1 - Torno village

Distance: 3 miles (4.5 km)

Ascent: 650 feet (200 m)

After travelling to Como by coach, we’ll join a boat and sail across to the quaint hamlet of Torno. We’ll walk through the old village and up quaint alleyways, arriving at the wooded summit of Monte Piatto. Soak up surrounding panoramas of green hills and the glittering lake, before following a different trail back to Torno.

Option 2 - Monte Piatto

Distance: 7 miles (11 km)

Ascent: 1475 feet (450 m)

We head by bus to Como, then join the boat across to Torno, on the eastern side of the lake. We walk through the old village and up the quaint alleyways, arriving at the wooded top of Monte Piatto. Soak up the surrounding panorama or the green hills and glittering lake, before joining a different trail back to Torno.


There are plenty of things to see and do, from taking the train to Milan, or jumping on a boat to visit the Borromean Islands. You could even head to Switzerland for the day on the boat and take the train back


Today we head over to Lake Maggiore’s little sister, Lake Orta. Both walks start in the hills above the lake and finish in Orta San Giulio, one of the most beautiful towns in Italy.

Option 1 - Armeno to Orta San Guilio 1

Distance: 6miles (9km)

Ascent: 450ft (140m)

Descent: 1,150ft (360m)

We’ll start in the town of Armeno following trails through farms and meadows, crossing a Roman bridge, and entering another village called Armeno. We’ll head down through lush parkland to Vacciago, once a rich retreat away from the lake. We’ll descend to Legro and from here to the lake with time to explore Orta San Giulio.

Option 2 - Armeno to Orta San Guilio 2

Distance: 8½miles (14km)

Ascent: 700ft (220m)

Descent: 1,450ft (460m)

Following option one from Armeno to Armeno, we then ascend to Monte Mesma and the Franciscan convent of the same name. We’ll get a wonderful view of Lake Orta, then after circling the small peak we’ll head down into the village of Vacciago and onto the painted village of Legro. A final descent takes us to Orta San Guilio with time to explore.


Today we head into the mountains and the Anzasca Valley to Macunaga, home to the Walser people. This small region still has its own language and keeps to its historic traditions. After both walks, we’ll take you to the village of Macunaga sitting below Mount Rosa.

Option 1 - Piedimulera to Castiglione

Distance: 3½miles (6km)

Ascent: 1,250ft (380m)

Descent: 500ft (160m)

We start in the pretty village of Piedimulera, which sits at the mouth of the Anzasca Valley looked over by Torre Ferreiro. Our path takes us out of town, through the valley, following the course of the Anza river. Passing chestnut woods, fruit trees, and old watercourses, we’ll see ancient settlements and traces of old trades. We’ll finish in the hamlet of Castiglione before heading to the Walser village of Macuanaga.

Option 2 - Piedimulera to Molini

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Ascent: 1,850ft (560m)

Descent: 1,100ft (340m)

From Piedimulera we’ll follow the same route as option one. After the village of Castiglione, we’ll head along the valley and into the deep forested hills as we follow the old road with occasional glimpses of the cobalt blue torrent. We soon enter the outskirts of the village of Molini, which clings to the hillside flanked by the river. Finally, we’ll have time to explore Macuanaga.


We’ll leave Lake Maggiore for our flight back home.


Hotel Pesce D'Oro (2024), Lake Maggiore

A family-run hotel with a friendly atmosphere and in one of the best locations, Hotel Pesce D'Oro in Suna Di Verbania is sitting directly on the promenade, just a few steps from the beach and only 1km from Pallanza. 57 bright, beautiful rooms, many with sea views include all of the mod-cons you would expect from a three-star hotel

Hotel Belvedere (2025), Pallanza, Lake Maggiore

Hotel for 2025: Overlooking the stunning Lake Maggiore, Hotel Belvedere offers an exquisite 4- star stay in an elegant lakefront setting. Guests enjoy easy access to Pallanza’s historic centre and boat trips to the beautiful Borromean Islands. The hotel features light-filled rooms with private bathrooms, TVs, air conditioning, toiletries, hair dryers, and complimentary Wi-Fi, ensuring a comfortable stay. Additional amenities include an outdoor terrace and a bar, perfect for relaxation. The hotel’s exceptional restaurant serves sophisticated Italian cuisine, promising a delightful culinary experience.

Essential information

It's best to be prepared for all weather conditions. To make it easier, here is a list of items you should consider packing.   

Essentials  

  • Walking boots 
  • Waterproof jacket 
  • Waterproof trousers 
  • Insulated jacket/top 
  • Walking clothing  
  • Walking socks (plus spares)  
  • Sunhat 
  • Gloves/mitts and warm hat
  • Water bottle (minimum 2 litre capacity)  
  • Headtorch 
  • High-factor sunscreen (minimum SPF 30)  
  • Sunglasses with a dark lens 
  • Rucksack (15-30 litres)  
  • Mobile phone 
  • Personal first aid kit (containing your medication, blister plasters, etc.) 
  • Passport 
  • Visa (if applicable) 
  • Copy of your travel insurance policy 
  • UK Global Health Insurance Card (formerly known as EHIC

Recommended

  • Collapsible walking poles 
  • Swimwear and travel towel
  • Snacks
  • Dry bags
  • Rubbish bags
  • Insect repellent

Optional extras

  • Camera 
  • Sit mat
  • Flask for hot drinks 
  • Durable lunch box
  • Gaiters 
  • GPS device 

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised prices listed below show the lowest economy flight price option for that departure. On holidays where we offer local UK airports, details will appear in the “Important Information” section below and available alternative flight options will be offered when you book. Seating upgrades may be available on request and at an additional charge, please call 020 3974 8865 for a quote.

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

07 Sep - 14 Sep 2024

7 nights

Itinerary 2024
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£1,529 pp

from

£1,529 pp

Call to Enquire
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Trip Notes
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14 Sep - 21 Sep 2024

7 nights

Itinerary 2024
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£1,499 pp

from

£1,499 pp

Call to Enquire
Call us to book
Trip Notes
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21 Sep - 28 Sep 2024

7 nights

Itinerary 2024
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
Call to Enquire Call to Enquire Trip Notes

28 Sep - 05 Oct 2024

7 nights

Itinerary 2024
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£1,459 pp

from

£1,459 pp

Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Book Now
2025

10 May - 17 May 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2025
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£1,778 £1,703

Double from

£1,499 £1,424 pp

from

£1,499 £1,424 pp

from

£1,778 £1,703

Save £75 Per Person Trip Notes
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17 May - 24 May 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2025
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£1,778 £1,703

Double from

£1,499 £1,424 pp

from

£1,499 £1,424 pp

from

£1,778 £1,703

Save £75 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

07 Jun - 14 Jun 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2025
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£1,928 £1,828

Double from

£1,649 £1,549 pp

from

£1,649 £1,549 pp

from

£1,928 £1,828

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
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14 Jun - 21 Jun 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2025
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£1,928 £1,828

Double from

£1,649 £1,549 pp

from

£1,649 £1,549 pp

from

£1,928 £1,828

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
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20 Sep - 27 Sep 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2025
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£1,878 £1,803

Double from

£1,599 £1,524 pp

from

£1,599 £1,524 pp

from

£1,878 £1,803

Save £75 Per Person Trip Notes
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27 Sep - 04 Oct 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2025
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£1,878 £1,803

Double from

£1,599 £1,524 pp

from

£1,599 £1,524 pp

from

£1,878 £1,803

Save £75 Per Person Trip Notes
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04 Oct - 11 Oct 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2025
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£1,878 £1,778

Double from

£1,599 £1,499 pp

from

£1,599 £1,499 pp

from

£1,878 £1,778

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
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11 Oct - 18 Oct 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2025
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£1,828 £1,728

Double from

£1,549 £1,449 pp

from

£1,549 £1,449 pp

from

£1,828 £1,728

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
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Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

07 Sep - 14 Sep 2024

7 nights

Itinerary 2024

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£1,359 pp

from

£1,359 pp

Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Book Now

14 Sep - 21 Sep 2024

7 nights

Itinerary 2024

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£1,329 pp

from

£1,329 pp

Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Book Now

21 Sep - 28 Sep 2024

7 nights

Itinerary 2024

Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
Call to Enquire Call to Enquire Trip Notes

28 Sep - 05 Oct 2024

7 nights

Itinerary 2024

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£1,299 pp

from

£1,299 pp

Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Book Now
2025

10 May - 17 May 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2025

Single from

£1,678 £1,603

Double from

£1,399 £1,324 pp

from

£1,399 £1,324 pp

from

£1,678 £1,603

Save £75 Per Person Trip Notes
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17 May - 24 May 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2025

Single from

£1,678 £1,603

Double from

£1,399 £1,324 pp

from

£1,399 £1,324 pp

from

£1,678 £1,603

Save £75 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

07 Jun - 14 Jun 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2025

Single from

£1,778 £1,678

Double from

£1,499 £1,399 pp

from

£1,499 £1,399 pp

from

£1,778 £1,678

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

14 Jun - 21 Jun 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2025

Single from

£1,778 £1,678

Double from

£1,499 £1,399 pp

from

£1,499 £1,399 pp

from

£1,778 £1,678

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
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20 Sep - 27 Sep 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2025

Single from

£1,738 £1,663

Double from

£1,459 £1,384 pp

from

£1,459 £1,384 pp

from

£1,738 £1,663

Save £75 Per Person Trip Notes
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27 Sep - 04 Oct 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2025

Single from

£1,738 £1,663

Double from

£1,459 £1,384 pp

from

£1,459 £1,384 pp

from

£1,738 £1,663

Save £75 Per Person Trip Notes
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04 Oct - 11 Oct 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2025

Single from

£1,728 £1,628

Double from

£1,449 £1,349 pp

from

£1,449 £1,349 pp

from

£1,728 £1,628

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
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11 Oct - 18 Oct 2025

7 nights

Itinerary 2025

Single from

£1,698 £1,598

Double from

£1,419 £1,319 pp

from

£1,419 £1,319 pp

from

£1,698 £1,598

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Important information

  • With flights holidays: Price includes return flights to Milan Malpensa Airport, hold baggage and airport transfers
  • Regional flights: Please click BOOK NOW to view alternative UK airport options
  • Our airport taxi service operates at this resort - price available on request
  • Independent travellers can join our transfer from Milan Malpensa - please contact us for prices
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
European walking holidays
Walking Grade:
2 & 4

7 nights from £1,299pp

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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Carbon Footprint 573Kg of CO₂e

Average carbon footprint per person Learn More