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Charming villages and towns are dotted all along the wishbone-shaped lake, surrounded by soaring mountains, exotic flowers and classical villas. The stunning views from all over Lake Como, combined with its tranquil beauty, have inspired generations of composers, artists and poets, such as Verdi, Shelley and Byron.
6 night / 7 day holiday by First Class rail including an overnight stay B&B in a double room at the Hotel Helmhaus (4 star) in Zurich, 4 nights’ B&B in a double room at the Hotel Albergo Lenno (4 star) in Lenno and an overnight stay B&B in a double room at the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (4 star superior) in Montreux from £1,595 per person and based on 2 people travelling together.
Immerse yourself in the buzz of central London this morning before stylishly escaping into the English countryside for the start of your holiday on board the Eurostar service to Paris. Recline with a drink and light meal in the comfort of your Standard Premier Class seat before arriving into the imposing Gare du Nord with its 19th century façade.
Make your way to the end of the platform where you will be greeted by your taxi transfer, which will whisk you across Paris for your connecting TGV service at the Gare de Lyon station. As the train gathers speed, watch as Paris’ urban skyline gives way to lush green pastures, before you reach the foothills of the Swiss Alps and arrive into the charming lakeside city of Zurich.
Upon arrival at Zurich main station take the tram or stroll to the Hotel Helmhaus (4 star), your hotel for the night.
This morning after breakfast you might like to take a stroll along the banks of the River Limmat to explore some of Zurich’s main attractions. The Old Town is an ideal starting point, where you can explore churches and burgher houses and onto the elegant Bahnhofstrasse for some window shopping. The Grossmünster, Fraumünster, and St Peterskirche are three of Zurich’s most impressive Churches and well worth a visit. If time permits, follow the river further and find yourself on the shores of Lake Zurich, where on a clear day you can see the Alps to the south. For idyllic views over the city, make your way up to Lindenhof, a pretty little peaceful square on a hill in the city centre.
You then return to Zurich station for the scenic journey along the impressive Gotthard route through the Swiss Alps. The line transports you through picturesque scenery, climbing to the foot of the snow-capped Alps and through the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world’s longest tunnel and a marvellous feat of engineering. You soon emerge and continue across the Swiss border and into Italy before reaching Como.
On arrival at Como station you can either take the picturesque ferry journey on Lake Como or a taxi (both payable locally) to the delightful small town of Lenno. Your hotel for the next four nights is the friendly and highly-rated Hotel Albergo Lenno (4 star), perfectly placed in a peaceful setting with glorious views over Lake Como.
Enjoy relaxing at your hotel or strolling around Lenno, perfectly positioned along the coastal stretch known as Tremezzina – surrounded by a luxuriant vegetation and washed by calm water.
Why not visit Bellagio, described as la perla del lago (the pearl of the lake) and perfectly situated where the arms of the lake come together. Its narrow cobbled streets, breath-taking views and glorious villas make it an enchanting place to visit.
During your time on the jewel of the Italian lakes make the most of the opportunity to visit some of the nearby attractions. You can travel by ferry to the lovely town of Como where you can visit the fascinating Duomo (cathedral), which reflects changing architectural styles, and wander through the historic centre of the walled town.
Nearly opposite Bellagio is Villa Carlotta, a perfect combination of luxurious interiors (beautiful stuccos, lovely ceilinged frescoes and a great art collection, including an Eros and Psyche by Antonio Canova) and lush exteriors (over 500 species of plants, trees and shrubs from all over the world).
Travel north-east to Varenna (pictured), one of the most picturesque towns on the lake, with its steep winding alleys lined with charming houses, flowering balconies and lace-curtained windows. Just above the town is the ancient castle and close by the famed Villa Cipressi, with terraced gardens cascading right down to the shores, and Villa Monastero.
To experience a different view take the cog railway to the mountain village of Monte Bre and enjoy fabulous views of Lake Lugano or board the funicular and ride up the mountain to Brunate, a quaint town where the views of Lake Como and the distant Alps are breath-taking. You might be tempted to visit medieval Bergamo, a classic Italian mix of architectural styles from Romanesque to Medieval, Renaissance to Neoclassical, epitomised by the Piazza Vecchia.
You bid farewell to charming Lenno and Lake Como as you head south by ferry or taxi to Como where you board the Euro City service for the short journey south-west to Milan.
As you arrive into Milan’s impressive Centrale Station change trains for your onward Euro City service for the stunning journey along Simplon Pass through valleys and across mountain peaks before your arrival at the elegant lakeside town of Montreux, on the banks of Lake Geneva.
Your hotel in Montreux, the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (4 star superior) is ideally located opposite the station, offering wonderful panoramic views across the lake and surrounding mountains.
Make the most of your evening in Montreux with a gentle stroll along the flower-lined promenade which borders the shores of Lake Geneva, a haven of exotic plants and palm trees.
Venture further along the promenade or take the short trolley bus service to Switzerland’s iconic medieval Château de Chillon (payable locally). This castle complex consists of 25 buildings and stands proudly on a rock on the banks of Lake Geneva. It houses treasures such as 14th-century paintings, subterranean vaults, parade halls and original rooms dating back to the time of Bernese rule.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning before you return to Montreux station for the onward journey by Inter Regio service to Lausanne for your connecting super-fast TGV service through France and back to Paris. Enjoy the comfort of your 1st Class journey and reminisce about some of the highlights you have enjoyed on your holiday.
As you arrive into Paris you are met by your taxi transfer which will swiftly transport you through Paris’ bustling city centre back to the Gare du Nord for your connecting Eurostar service to London.
Gaze out across passing French and English countryside, whilst enjoying a light meal and drinks from the comfort of your seat, before the train all too soon reaches your final destination, London St. Pancras International.
The stylish and intimate Hotel Helmhaus Zurich (4 star), located in the Old Town dates from the 14th century, and is a minute’s walk from both the Helmhaus Art Museum and tram stop. The air-conditioned, individually decorated rooms have minimalist modern furnishings and oak wood parquet floors, plus free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and minibars; tea and coffeemaking facilities are available on request. A complimentary hot and cold breakfast buffet is offered daily in an artsy dining room. Other amenities include loaner iPads and seasonal welcome drinks
LENNO, LAKE COMO
The Albergo Lenno (4 star) is set in an elegant building right on the shores of Lake Como, in the fantastic Gulf of Venus. During your stay at this highly-rated hotel you can spend relaxing moments on the lake view terrace or by the swimming pool. All of the comfortable en-suite rooms feature a flat screen TV, air conditioning, and a minibar. There is also a sauna and free wi-fi. The smart hotel benefits from a bar with terrace and its own restaurant serving typical Italian dishes and prestigious wines, where you can enjoy an enchanting view on the lake. Some rooms offer a lake view, other rooms are spacious attics.
The Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (4-star superior) is a traditional Belle-Époque hotel, originally built in 1870 and located right in the centre of Montreux, just a few steps from the railway station. The hotel has 140 rooms and benefits from fabulous views of Lake Geneva and the Alps from its summer terrace. All the comfortable en-suite rooms in this stylish hotel feature air conditioning, TV, minibar, radio and telephone.
Throughout the year and tailor-made to suit your holiday needs
For information and booking Tel: 01347 825292 or email email@example.com