Day 1 Check in at your chosen airport for your flight to Milan Malpensa, where on arrival we will transfer you to your chosen hotel near the centre of Stresa. Dinner in the evening may be a cold platter depending on your arrival time.
Day 2 After breakfast there will be a Welcome meeting during which our representative will introduce you to the area, then the day is free to explore your resort.
Day 3 Breakfast today and then we embark by private boat on our tour of the Borromean Islands, located on the western side of Lake Maggiore, visiting Isola Pescatori (Fishermen's Island), a lovely island with simple, quaint houses lining the cobbled lanes and fishing boats bobbing around gently in the harbour, and Isola Bella, the most famous of the Borromean Islands, with its gorgeous Palace and Gardens, featuring ornate rooms, grottoes and spectacular formal terraces (admission is included in the tour). We'll return to the hotel in time for dinner.
Day 4 After breakfast today we go on a tour of three beautiful lakes in two different countries, starting with Lake Maggiore itself, and then heading north past the snow–capped peaks of the Alps to Lake Lugano in Switzerland. Lugano town nestles between the peaks of San Salvatore and Monte Brè where you can take a stroll along the palm–lined promenade, or enjoy a coffee in the delightful Piazza Riforma. We continue on to Lake Como, a former glacier lake, generally regarded as one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe. Como town has an attractive 14th–century Duomo (cathedral) and a vast array of silk shops. You'll also have a chance to visit Villa Carlotta (admission not included) and its terrace gardens, featuring over 500 plant species from giant sequoia to camellias, overlooking beautiful Bellagio.
Day 5 A day at leisure, perhaps to do a bit of souvenir hunting. If you're feeling in expeditionary mood though, you can get to Milan by rail in just under an hour.
Day 6 Today we take the train from Stresa to Domodossola then transfer to the narrow gauge Centovalli ('Hundred Valleys') train for one of Switzerland/Italy's most scenic Alpine railway journeys, winding eastwards up to Locarno across many bridges, viaducts and vertiginous drops. Locarno is well known for its International Film Festival, and has an attractive harbour and a castle thought to have been designed by none other than Leonardo da Vinci. You'll have some free time in Locarno before returning to Stresa in the late afternoon.
Day 7 Another day at leisure today.
Day 8 Breakfast first, then at the appropriate time we transfer you to the airport for your flight home.
The above itinerary applies equally to Friday and Sunday departures. For example, the Borromean Islands cruise takes place on Sunday (day 3) for the Friday departure, and Tuesday (day 3) for Sunday departures.