We are open tomorrow from 9:00 am. Call 020 7590 0796
Villa Crespi

Hidden Lakes of Northern Italy

8-day self-drive from £1,705 pp incl. flights


Short description

Experience the picturesque beauty of the Italian Lakes without the tourist rush

British Airways Sale

The British Airways Sale is now on, with some superb savings in Club World and World Traveller to a wide range of destinations – ends 4th October 2022.


  • Discover three of Italy's hidden gems – Iseo, Lugano & Orta
  • Stop in at Lake Garda, Lake Como and Lake Maggiore on your scenic driving route
  • Stay in unique lakeside accommodation
  • Discover a blend of Swiss and Italian culture in border-straddling towns

In Brief

  • 3 Nights Lake Iseo
  • 2 Nights Lake Lugano
  • 2 Nights Lake Orta


Recommended for:
History & culture | Natural world | Self-drive

The Italian lakes are a hotspot for tourists, but stepping a little off the beaten track will see you discover some of Europe's most beautiful scenery without the crowds. This self-drive itinerary includes visits to the big-hitters Como and Garda, but you'll stay at three of the lesser known lakes – Iseo, Lugano and Orta. Their sparkling waters and mountainous backdrops are just as appealing, and with stays at lakeside properties or historic villas you'll find yourself immersed in Italian – and Swiss – culture. 

Day by day itinerary

Days 1-3
UK to Verona & Lake Iseo

Enjoy complimentary airport lounge access before boarding your flight to Verona, where you'll pick up your hire car. You're headed today for Lake Iseo, but along the way, stop at the southern tip of Lake Garda, the largest of the Italian Lakes. Charming towns surround its tranquil mirrored waters; you might want to pause at Peschiera del Garda for lunch on the harbour or sit on the beach at Rivoltella del Garda for a while. Then, continue onwards to Lake Iseo, an unspoilt gem near the wine region of Franciacorta. It's also home to the biggest inhabited lake island in southern Europe – and you can stay on the island if you wish, surrounded on all sides by crystal clear lake water. Alternatively, stay in a luxury 14th century wine resort on the mainland, just in from the lakeside.

Stay: Castello Oldofredi, Monte Isola (Superior), Podere Castel Merlo, Villongo (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Days 4-5
Lake Iseo to Lake Lugano

Today you'll leave the picturesque shores of Lake Iseo and drive past the southern tip of Lake Como, bypassing Milan. Stop in Como's town centre in the foothills of the Alps, where you can take a boat trip on the lake and visit the Gothic Como Cathedral before continuing your journey north. En route to Lake Lugano, you'll hop in and out of Switzerland, as the lake straddles both countries. Your hotel for the next two nights is in the town of Lugano on the Swiss side, though there's a decided Italian influence here. Enjoy the spectacular waterfront, charming old town and regional markets over the next two days.

Stay: Hotel Lido Seegarten, Lugano (Superior) or Villa Principe Leopoldo, Lugano (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Days 6-7
Lake Lugano to Lake Orta

This morning you'll take the scenic drive to the northern point of Lake Maggiore, also bordering both Italy and Switzerland – if you wish to extend your stay here, we recommend a couple of nights at the Grand Majestic. Then, you'll head down Lake Maggiore's western banks and branch off to Lake Orta for your final three nights. This sparkling gem is such a well kept secret that many Italians don't know about it, so it has an authentic, untouched feel, with less crowds than the bigger lakes. And, in the centre of the lake is the Isola San Giulio, reachable by boat from the town square and well worth the trip.

Stay: Casa Fantini, Lake Orta (Superior), Villa Crespi, Lake Orta (Deluxe)

Meals: B

Day 8
Return to the UK

This morning, drive to Milan to drop your hire car and head back to the UK. Alternatively, extend your stay with a couple of nights in cosmopolitan Milan, Italy's fashion and design capital.



Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Superior

8-day self-drive from £1,705 pp incl. flights


Low Season

from £1,705 pp. incl. flights

High Season

from £2,015 pp. incl. flights


  • Complimentary access to airport departure lounge
  • Return flights between UK and Milan
  • 8 days car hire
  • 3 nights accommodation Lake Iseo on a BB basis
  • 2 nights accommodation Lake Lugano on a BB basis
  • 2 nights accommodation Lake Orta on a BB basis

Weekend surcharges are in place for many hotels in the Italian / Swiss Lakes so considerable savings can be made by planning your itinerary to include midweek days where possible

Terms & Conditions

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.

Meet our experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0796

Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0796 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

Expert advice & support

Visit us in our London office

Let our travel specialists curate the perfect holiday:

  • Inspirational ideas based on experience
  • Established for over 50 years
  • Tailor a holiday to your precise requirements
  • Personalised quotes and documentation

Every step of the way

Every step of the way

Our services are with you from start to finish:

  • Dedicated personal consultants
  • Free airport lounges on qualifying bookings
  • Care and guidance pre, post and during holiday
  • Full financial security: ABTA & ATOL protected