Lake Orta by Rail
- 8 Days
- From £899
- London to Frankfurt by high-speed trains
- Through the Swiss Alps to stunning, unspoilt Lake Orta
- Spend 5 nights in Pettenasco, on the shores of the lake
- Return via French capital Paris, with a night there to break your journey home
- Decide when you would like to travel
- Adapt the route to suit your plans
- Upgrade hotels and rail journeys
- Add extra nights, destinations and/or tours
- Standard Class rail travel with seat reservations
- 7 nights’ handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- City maps and comprehensive directions to your hotels
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
Board a Eurostar at St Pancras this morning bound for Brussels, where you make an easy platform change and pick up a German InterCityExpress (ICE) train to the financial capital of Germany, Frankfurt. On arrival, check in at the Steigenberger Metropolitan Hotel (or similar) for an overnight stay.
You arrive in perfect time for dinner in Frankfurt. This city may have a reputation as a banking centre, but it’s also got some great attractions and lovely green spaces. You could perhaps head to the medieval Altstadt for your evening meal.
After breakfast at the hotel, make your way back over to the station and take another sleek ICE train south to Basel. Here, you change onto a service in the direction of Milan. This journey takes you through the Swiss Alps, passing through the capital of Bern, and alongside Lake Spiez. You then pass through the Lötschberg and Simplon Tunnels which take you into Italy.
At the northern town of Domodossola you disembark and board a regional train to Pettenasco, on the shores of Lake Orta. Check in at the Hotel Giardinetto, situated right on the lake shore.
Lake Orta is the smallest of Italy’s lakes, divided from its larger and more famous neighbour Lake Maggiore by Monte Mottarone. This is undiscovered gem is the perfect setting for a relaxing break in stunning surroundings.
Pettenasco itself is a small cluster of medieval buildings set around a picturesque harbour. Just down the lakefront, there is also the pretty village of Orta San Giulio, offering the best views of the small, picure-perfect island of San Giulio. Also well worth a visit is the town of Omegna at the northernmost tip of the lake.
Make an early start this morning and board a regional train back to Domodossola, where a quick connection takes you to Lausanne. This journey passes along the Upper Rhône Valley, then alongside Lake Geneva, where you’ll catch a glimpse of Chateau de Chillon near Montreux. Once in Lausanne, you have ample time to make your connection onto a French TGV service to Paris.
On arrival in Paris, make your way to the Hotel Saint-Paul Rive-Gauche (or similar) for an overnight stay and head out for a Parisian evening meal.
After breakfast and perhaps a morning stroll in the French capital, its time to head to Gare du Nord, Europe’s busiest station, for your Eurostar back to London. Fly through northern France and through the Channel Tunnel at speeds of up to 180 mph and arrive back into St Pancras to complete your onward journey home.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
Located next to Frankfurt’s main station, the Steigenberger Metropolitan offers luxurious accommodation and facilities. All non-smoking bedrooms come with a flat-screen TV, minibar, iPod docking station and complimentary Wi-Fi. There is also a health club with a sauna, steam room and gym as well as a brasserie and bar with an outdoor terrace.
Located directly on the shores of Lake Orta, the Hotel Giardinetto is a friendly, family run hotel boasting a rooftop bar and lakefront restaurant, both with panoramic views. The comfortable and welcoming bedrooms all come with free WI-FI internet access and there is also an outdoor swimming pool for those who don’t want to swim in the lake.
The Saint Paul Rive Gauche is a family-run boutique hotel, located in the Latin Quarter of Paris. The building dates back to the 17th century and was once the home of Franciscan monks. The individually decorated bedrooms range from the traditional to the contemporary and there is also a cosy lounge area.