Request a free Brochure

Get a FREE Active Adventures Brochure

Includes info on all of our trips.

By submitting this request, you agree to our Privacy Policy

Italian Lakes District Adventure

Italian Lakes District Adventure

Dolce Vita

4.53 out of 5 (from 34 reviews)

  • 10 Days - US$4799

Trip Introduction

The Italian Lakes District conjures up images of idyllic villages, cobbled piazzas, fine food and beautiful architecture, dramatically steep mountains and deep green forests set against a backdrop of blue waters. On this 10 day adventure you’ll explore both the iconic and lesser known areas of this region of Northern Italy, as well as the rarely visited Sesia Valley (Valsesia). With expert local guides, the culture, history, sights, sounds and tastes of Northern Italy will reveal themselves amidst a backdrop of some of the most stunning scenery on the planet. All experienced in typical Active style – you’ll hike through untouched villages, valleys and ridges of Valsesia at the foot of the Italian/Swiss Alps, sea kayak to quiet villages on Lakes Orta and Como, and embrace the relaxed pace of life, for which the Italians are renowned. For an espresso blend of glaciers, green meadows and forests; stunning lakes, villages and the finer things in life, the ‘Dolce Vita’ is an unforgettable trip.

Highlights

• UNESCO World Heritage area
• Visit Sacromente, Varallo
• Hike Rifugio Crespi
• Hike Walser Hamlets
• Orta San Giulio Island
• Sea Kayak Lake Orta
• Village life in Orta San Giulio
• Hike the Mottarone mountain range
• Experience Lake Maggiore
• Hike Val Grande National Park
• Sea kayak Lake Como
• Hike to Vezio Castle

What's included in our Europe trips?

  • All guiding services
    - Two experienced guides per trip. In Europe you'll have a Kiwi trip leader and a team of local European guides.
  • All accommodations
    - Local lodges chosen for their comfort, charm and sublime views.
  • All meals
    - Breakfast, lunch and dinner. You'll be treated to a culinary experience, to rival any in the world.
  • All activities
    - Hiking, biking, kayaking, via ferrata, historical sites and more.
  • All transport
    - Airport transfers
    - When you're not travelling under your own steam, they'll be comfortable air-conditioned vans to stretch your legs.
Check Availability

Interactive Trip Map

Daily itinerary

Day 1—Arrive Milan Malpensa, visit Sacromonte Varallo

Your trip begins in Milan, one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan cities, and the gateway to the Italian Lakes District. We’ll meet you at Milan Malpensa International Airport in the morning and we’ll head towards the Italian Alps, standing tall in the distance. After a short drive into the Piedmonte region, the wide plains turn to valleys and the horizon turns jagged as we enter Valsesia – one of the Italy’s least visited, but most beautiful valleys. Valsesia’s main centre is Varallo, the largest and first of many stunning towns that line the edges of the Sesia River and narrow side valleys. From Varallo’s town centre, we’ll hike up to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sacro Monte di Varallo. Built in 1491 by a Franciscan friar, Bernardino Caìmi, Sacro Monte is one of the oldest religious structures in Italy. Perched on a steep hillside above the valley, the intricate architecture and setting is surreal, with fantastic views down to the cobbled streets of Varallo below. With no through road to any other region, the dramatic beauty of Valsesia will reveal itself around every corner as we drive further to Alagna village, our home for the next couple of days and a great location to hike the trails of the incredible Monte Rosa range of the Alps.
Hotel Monterosa, Alagna Valsesia (Lunch, Dinner)
HIKING DISTANCE: 5 kilometres (3.1 miles)
ASCENT: 149 metres (490 feet)
DESCENT: 149 metres (490 feet)

Day 2—Hike to Rifugio Crespi

This morning we’ll begin the hike right from our doorstep, making our way through the upper village of Alagna, characterised by immaculately groomed traditional chalets and cobbled pathways. Leaving the village, we’ll hike up through picture perfect pasture land, passing herds of cows and groves of fir trees. After a short time, we’ll arrive at Rifugio Pastore, a small hamlet which couldn’t be more beautiful if it tried – with exquisite chalets, rolling meadows and the backdrop of the south side of Monte Rosa range straight out in front. A perfect place to stop for a mid-morning espresso! After a short break we’ll continue our hike up through the dramatic Bors Valley, before a short steep hike up onto the Crespi basin – a huge alpine amphitheatre you have to see to believe. Dotted on the sides of the basin are the intact remnants of Walser stone mountain huts, built in 1504. Turning 360 degrees in this stunning plateau reveals the incredible Aguas Biancas waterfall, huge rock faces and the moraine walls of ancient glaciers. After lunch in the plateau, we’ll head back down to Alagna where we’ll have time to rest up and relax in the village before meeting for dinner.
Hotel Monterosa, Alagna Valsesia (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 11 kilometres (7 miles)
ASCENT: 569 metres (1866 feet)
DESCENT: 569 metres (1866 feet)

Day 3—Hiking the Walser hamlets of Valsesia

Today we’ll hike through and explore the side valleys that drop down into the main valley of Valsesia. In the fifth century A.D. the Walser people (of Germanic origin) settled in Switzerland. They soon made their way across the Alps into Italy and the Valsesia area. Today, the Walser people are still thriving here and we’ll have the chance to hike their trails and explore their communities and surroundings, characterised by hamlets perched on the side of the mountain slopes, century-old chapels and unique architecture. Our hike today will take us into the heart of the side valleys and up onto the ridgelines above the village of Rimella where we’ll have incredible views of the Monte Rosa range. Later, we’ll return to Alagna where the afternoon is yours to explore the village and visit the Walser Museum. Weather permitting, there is an option to take the gondola up to Passo dei Salati at 2987 metres (9800 feet) – a mind-blowing lookout point to the glaciers of the Monte Rosa range.
Hotel Monterosa, Alagna Valsesia (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 11 kilometres (7 miles)
ASCENT: 667 metres (2187 feet)
DESCENT: 667 metres (2187 feet)

Day 4—Hike down to Pella, boat to Orta San Giulio

This morning we’ll drive a short distance back down the valley. From Varallo, we’ll say goodbye to the steep green walls of Valsesia and head into the forests of the Vercelli province, passing the beautiful villages of Civiasco and Arola. Our next stop is Madonna del Sasso Sanctuary, a stunning complex built in the early 1700s, overlooking Lake Orta and out towards the Swiss Alps – the views are simply spectacular! After taking in the first of the Italian Lakes from this amazing vantage point, we’ll hike down to the lakeside village of Pella where we’ll board a boat across to San Giulio Island – the jewel in the crown of Lake Orta. We’ll have time to stroll the Via del Silenzio pathway around the Island and explore the quiet narrow cobbled streets, quaint courtyards and incredible 12th Century basilica. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time several hundred years! The time travel doesn’t stop there though, as we board our boat again and head a very short distance across to the village of Orta San Giulio, our home for the next couple of nights.
Hotel Santa Caterina, Orta San Giulio (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 4.8 kilometres (3 miles)
ASCENT: 300 metres (984 feet)
DESCENT: 300 metres (984 feet)

Day 5—Sea kayak Lake Orta

After breakfast this morning, we’ll take to the lake by sea kayak and paddle past the numerous villages that dot the shoreline. Enveloped by dark green woodlands and old settlements, Lake Orta is the quietest of the Italian Lakes, making it the perfect place to stop off for a lakeside espresso and take in serene village life. Later we’ll return to Orta San Giulio where there’s time to walk the lakeside pathway and stroll up the cobbled pathways to the Sacro Monte chapels overlooking the village and across the western shores of Lake Orta – the views are breath-taking! If you’re keen to carry on paddling today, there’s plenty of opportunity to go a little further with our guides after we return to Orta San Giulio.

Hotel Santa Caterina, Orta San Giulio (All meals)
SEA KAYAKING DISTANCE: 10 kilometres (6 miles)

Day 6—Hike the Mottarone mountain range

This morning we’ll drive a short distance to Armeno, a quaint village nestled in the foothills of the Mottarone mountain range, which runs the whole length of Lake Orta and divides it from Lake Maggiore. We’ll set off from Armeno, hiking along old cobbled pathways to the Church of Madonna de Luciago, with stunning views of pastureland to the south. It’s fields and forest the whole way to the top of the Mottarone, where you’ll be rewarded with expansive vistas from the Po Valley to the summits of the Alps. You’ll be struck by the view of Monte Rosa and the seven lakes that lie in this natural basin. We always allow plenty of time to soak in these views, so you can rest and then take a stroll in every direction. Later, we’ll take the easy way down - utilising the Funivia, which will take us to Stresa, literally across the street from our hotel! There’s time this afternoon to soak in the atmosphere of the narrow streets and lake promenade before we meet for dinner in one of the many charming cobbled squares.
Hotel Lido Perla Negra, Stresa (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 10.5 kilometres (6.5 miles)
ASCENT: 968 metres (3175 feet)

Day 7—Hiking Val Grande National Park

Today we’ll hike through the largest wilderness area in Italy – the Val Grande National Park. Along a panoramic trail into the conifer forests and alpine meadows of the area, we’ll enjoy incredible views of the craggy peaks of the Alps to the north, and the blue waters of Lake Maggiore to the south. Where our hikes in the days before have passed through villages, our hike today is all about the wilderness and the combination of silence and grand views. Afterwards we’ll head back to Stresa for another exceptional local restaurant meal.
Hotel Lido Perla Negra, Stresa (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 8 kilometres (5 miles)
ASCENT: 430 metres (1410 feet)
DESCENT: 430 metres (1410 feet)

Day 8—Journey to Lake Como, hike to Vezio Castle

This morning we’ll head to Lake Como – Italy’s most dramatic and iconic lake. Our home for the next couple of days is San Giovanni, one of the most beautiful stretches of lakeside settlement in the world. It’s easy to fall in love with this place. Just around the corner is Bellagio, sitting on the peninsula where the western and eastern arms of the lake meet, this town known as the ‘Pearl of the Lake’, is surrounded by exuberant gardens, a maze of steep stone staircases, gorgeous lake-side squares and incredible views to the Alps. If you’re keen to hike today, we’ll take a short boat ride across to the village of Varenna with its famous pastel coloured houses that seem to defy the laws of physics, perched on the steep green slopes that rise straight up from the lake. From here we’ll hike on the cobbled pathway and trail up to the hamlet of Vezio. The centre-piece of this tiny settlement is the Vezio Castle, the remains of a fortified watchtower built in the middle ages. The views from up here are spectacular. Later we’ll walk back down to Varenna before catching the boat back across the lake. Tonight you’ll be able to choose from a variety of local restaurants in nearby Bellagio for your evening meal.

Hotel Locanda della Maria, San Giovanni (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 4.1 kilometres (2.5 miles)
ASCENT: 150 metres (495 feet)
DESCENT: 150 metres (495 feet)

Day 9—Sea kayaking Lake Como

The steep walls of the Alps, dropping straight down into the clear waters of the lake, with stunning villages and coves dotted along the edges are a sight to behold. Around every corner, more and more of Lake Como’s charm reveals itself. You’ll be itching to explore! Explore is exactly what we’ll do, and all from a sea kayak, as we glide past the incredible coves, 17th Century houses and gardens that dot the lakeside – if there was a more perfect example of man-made structures and the natural environment coming together, we’re yet to see it! After our paddle, we’ll have time to soak in the charm and beauty of San Giovanni.
Hotel Locanda della Maria, San Giovanni (All meals)
SEA KAYAKING DISTANCE: 12.9 kilometres (8 miles)

Day 10—Back to Milan Malpensa

This morning we’ll head back to Milan in time for afternoon flights. If you’re staying on, our team are happy to offer you suggestions on how best to spend your time. Either way, you’ll go home relaxed and refreshed after the beautiful hiking, kayaking and fine cuisine you’ll have taken in while exploring the Italian Lakes District.
(Breakfast)


Activity Key - zoom in to see activity detail

Hiking Biking Kayaking Boating Flying

Itinerary

Day 1 — Arrive Milan Malpensa, visit Sacromonte Varallo

Your trip begins in Milan, one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan cities, and the gateway to the Italian Lakes District. We’ll meet you at Milan Malpensa International Airport in the morning and we’ll head towards the Italian Alps, standing tall in the distance. After a short drive into the Piedmonte region, the wide plains turn to valleys and the horizon turns jagged as we enter Valsesia – one of the Italy’s least visited, but most beautiful valleys. Valsesia’s main centre is Varallo, the largest and first of many stunning towns that line the edges of the Sesia River and narrow side valleys. From Varallo’s town centre, we’ll hike up to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sacro Monte di Varallo. Built in 1491 by a Franciscan friar, Bernardino Caìmi, Sacro Monte is one of the oldest religious structures in Italy. Perched on a steep hillside above the valley, the intricate architecture and setting is surreal, with fantastic views down to the cobbled streets of Varallo below. With no through road to any other region, the dramatic beauty of Valsesia will reveal itself around every corner as we drive further to Alagna village, our home for the next couple of days and a great location to hike the trails of the incredible Monte Rosa range of the Alps.
Hotel Monterosa, Alagna Valsesia (Lunch, Dinner)
HIKING DISTANCE: 5 kilometres (3.1 miles)
ASCENT: 149 metres (490 feet)
DESCENT: 149 metres (490 feet)

Day 2 — Hike to Rifugio Crespi

This morning we’ll begin the hike right from our doorstep, making our way through the upper village of Alagna, characterised by immaculately groomed traditional chalets and cobbled pathways. Leaving the village, we’ll hike up through picture perfect pasture land, passing herds of cows and groves of fir trees. After a short time, we’ll arrive at Rifugio Pastore, a small hamlet which couldn’t be more beautiful if it tried – with exquisite chalets, rolling meadows and the backdrop of the south side of Monte Rosa range straight out in front. A perfect place to stop for a mid-morning espresso! After a short break we’ll continue our hike up through the dramatic Bors Valley, before a short steep hike up onto the Crespi basin – a huge alpine amphitheatre you have to see to believe. Dotted on the sides of the basin are the intact remnants of Walser stone mountain huts, built in 1504. Turning 360 degrees in this stunning plateau reveals the incredible Aguas Biancas waterfall, huge rock faces and the moraine walls of ancient glaciers. After lunch in the plateau, we’ll head back down to Alagna where we’ll have time to rest up and relax in the village before meeting for dinner.
Hotel Monterosa, Alagna Valsesia (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 11 kilometres (7 miles)
ASCENT: 569 metres (1866 feet)
DESCENT: 569 metres (1866 feet)

Day 3 — Hiking the Walser hamlets of Valsesia

Today we’ll hike through and explore the side valleys that drop down into the main valley of Valsesia. In the fifth century A.D. the Walser people (of Germanic origin) settled in Switzerland. They soon made their way across the Alps into Italy and the Valsesia area. Today, the Walser people are still thriving here and we’ll have the chance to hike their trails and explore their communities and surroundings, characterised by hamlets perched on the side of the mountain slopes, century-old chapels and unique architecture. Our hike today will take us into the heart of the side valleys and up onto the ridgelines above the village of Rimella where we’ll have incredible views of the Monte Rosa range. Later, we’ll return to Alagna where the afternoon is yours to explore the village and visit the Walser Museum. Weather permitting, there is an option to take the gondola up to Passo dei Salati at 2987 metres (9800 feet) – a mind-blowing lookout point to the glaciers of the Monte Rosa range.
Hotel Monterosa, Alagna Valsesia (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 11 kilometres (7 miles)
ASCENT: 667 metres (2187 feet)
DESCENT: 667 metres (2187 feet)

Day 4 — Hike down to Pella, boat to Orta San Giulio

This morning we’ll drive a short distance back down the valley. From Varallo, we’ll say goodbye to the steep green walls of Valsesia and head into the forests of the Vercelli province, passing the beautiful villages of Civiasco and Arola. Our next stop is Madonna del Sasso Sanctuary, a stunning complex built in the early 1700s, overlooking Lake Orta and out towards the Swiss Alps – the views are simply spectacular! After taking in the first of the Italian Lakes from this amazing vantage point, we’ll hike down to the lakeside village of Pella where we’ll board a boat across to San Giulio Island – the jewel in the crown of Lake Orta. We’ll have time to stroll the Via del Silenzio pathway around the Island and explore the quiet narrow cobbled streets, quaint courtyards and incredible 12th Century basilica. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time several hundred years! The time travel doesn’t stop there though, as we board our boat again and head a very short distance across to the village of Orta San Giulio, our home for the next couple of nights.
Hotel Santa Caterina, Orta San Giulio (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 4.8 kilometres (3 miles)
ASCENT: 300 metres (984 feet)
DESCENT: 300 metres (984 feet)

Day 5 — Sea kayak Lake Orta

After breakfast this morning, we’ll take to the lake by sea kayak and paddle past the numerous villages that dot the shoreline. Enveloped by dark green woodlands and old settlements, Lake Orta is the quietest of the Italian Lakes, making it the perfect place to stop off for a lakeside espresso and take in serene village life. Later we’ll return to Orta San Giulio where there’s time to walk the lakeside pathway and stroll up the cobbled pathways to the Sacro Monte chapels overlooking the village and across the western shores of Lake Orta – the views are breath-taking! If you’re keen to carry on paddling today, there’s plenty of opportunity to go a little further with our guides after we return to Orta San Giulio.

Hotel Santa Caterina, Orta San Giulio (All meals)
SEA KAYAKING DISTANCE: 10 kilometres (6 miles)

Day 6 — Hike the Mottarone mountain range

This morning we’ll drive a short distance to Armeno, a quaint village nestled in the foothills of the Mottarone mountain range, which runs the whole length of Lake Orta and divides it from Lake Maggiore. We’ll set off from Armeno, hiking along old cobbled pathways to the Church of Madonna de Luciago, with stunning views of pastureland to the south. It’s fields and forest the whole way to the top of the Mottarone, where you’ll be rewarded with expansive vistas from the Po Valley to the summits of the Alps. You’ll be struck by the view of Monte Rosa and the seven lakes that lie in this natural basin. We always allow plenty of time to soak in these views, so you can rest and then take a stroll in every direction. Later, we’ll take the easy way down - utilising the Funivia, which will take us to Stresa, literally across the street from our hotel! There’s time this afternoon to soak in the atmosphere of the narrow streets and lake promenade before we meet for dinner in one of the many charming cobbled squares.
Hotel Lido Perla Negra, Stresa (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 10.5 kilometres (6.5 miles)
ASCENT: 968 metres (3175 feet)

Day 7 — Hiking Val Grande National Park

Today we’ll hike through the largest wilderness area in Italy – the Val Grande National Park. Along a panoramic trail into the conifer forests and alpine meadows of the area, we’ll enjoy incredible views of the craggy peaks of the Alps to the north, and the blue waters of Lake Maggiore to the south. Where our hikes in the days before have passed through villages, our hike today is all about the wilderness and the combination of silence and grand views. Afterwards we’ll head back to Stresa for another exceptional local restaurant meal.
Hotel Lido Perla Negra, Stresa (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 8 kilometres (5 miles)
ASCENT: 430 metres (1410 feet)
DESCENT: 430 metres (1410 feet)

Day 8 — Journey to Lake Como, hike to Vezio Castle

This morning we’ll head to Lake Como – Italy’s most dramatic and iconic lake. Our home for the next couple of days is San Giovanni, one of the most beautiful stretches of lakeside settlement in the world. It’s easy to fall in love with this place. Just around the corner is Bellagio, sitting on the peninsula where the western and eastern arms of the lake meet, this town known as the ‘Pearl of the Lake’, is surrounded by exuberant gardens, a maze of steep stone staircases, gorgeous lake-side squares and incredible views to the Alps. If you’re keen to hike today, we’ll take a short boat ride across to the village of Varenna with its famous pastel coloured houses that seem to defy the laws of physics, perched on the steep green slopes that rise straight up from the lake. From here we’ll hike on the cobbled pathway and trail up to the hamlet of Vezio. The centre-piece of this tiny settlement is the Vezio Castle, the remains of a fortified watchtower built in the middle ages. The views from up here are spectacular. Later we’ll walk back down to Varenna before catching the boat back across the lake. Tonight you’ll be able to choose from a variety of local restaurants in nearby Bellagio for your evening meal.

Hotel Locanda della Maria, San Giovanni (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 4.1 kilometres (2.5 miles)
ASCENT: 150 metres (495 feet)
DESCENT: 150 metres (495 feet)

Day 9 — Sea kayaking Lake Como

The steep walls of the Alps, dropping straight down into the clear waters of the lake, with stunning villages and coves dotted along the edges are a sight to behold. Around every corner, more and more of Lake Como’s charm reveals itself. You’ll be itching to explore! Explore is exactly what we’ll do, and all from a sea kayak, as we glide past the incredible coves, 17th Century houses and gardens that dot the lakeside – if there was a more perfect example of man-made structures and the natural environment coming together, we’re yet to see it! After our paddle, we’ll have time to soak in the charm and beauty of San Giovanni.
Hotel Locanda della Maria, San Giovanni (All meals)
SEA KAYAKING DISTANCE: 12.9 kilometres (8 miles)

Day 10 — Back to Milan Malpensa

This morning we’ll head back to Milan in time for afternoon flights. If you’re staying on, our team are happy to offer you suggestions on how best to spend your time. Either way, you’ll go home relaxed and refreshed after the beautiful hiking, kayaking and fine cuisine you’ll have taken in while exploring the Italian Lakes District.
(Breakfast)

Dates

Trip Date Price Status  
Jun 24, 2019 – Jul 03, 2019 US$4799 Filling up Check Availability
Jul 21, 2019 – Jul 30, 2019 US$4799 Filling up Check Availability
Aug 18, 2019 – Aug 27, 2019 US$4799 Filling up Check Availability
2020
Jun 22, 2020 – Jul 01, 2020 US$4799 Great Check Availability
Jul 05, 2020 – Jul 14, 2020 US$4799 Great Check Availability
Jul 19, 2020 – Jul 28, 2020 US$4799 Great Check Availability
Aug 02, 2020 – Aug 11, 2020 US$4799 Great Check Availability
Aug 16, 2020 – Aug 25, 2020 US$4799 Great Check Availability

Useful Info

No Forced Single Supplement:

Most other travel companies charge all solo travellers a single supplement fee. We don't! When it comes to accommodation, our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate, which means we'll match you up with another person of the same gender to share a room with. If there's no one suitable to share with, there's no forced single supplement!

Trip Start:

If you arrive on the first day of your trip, we can either pick you up from our joining hotel at 10:30am or the Milan Malpensa airport (MXP) at 11am.

Trip End:

On the last day of your trip we’ll drop you off at Milan Malpensa airport in time for afternoon flights. You can book a flight home departing anytime after 1pm on this day. If you’re staying on in Milan, we’ll be happy to book you extra accommodation and drop you off at our joining hotel.

Fitness:

We’ve designed this trip to be fun, challenging and varied. Our trips aren’t scenic bus journeys where you observe from a window, or stand on a touristy viewing platform to take pretty pictures. We’ll get you into the back country to experience the Lakes District scenery up close, either by foot or kayak, so you’ll need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy yourself. Age and experience are not important, so you don’t need to be young or extremely fit but you should be in the habit of doing some regular exercise. So get out there with a daypack on a short day hike from time to time and you’ll be ready to join us.

Transport:

Italy is a small country, but not quite small enough to get around under your own steam the whole time.  We have our own comfortable air-conditioned vans with plenty of room to stretch your legs. Our guides make every journey informative and fun and may even play some local Italian music along the way. The great thing is, you won’t be expected to be spending long periods of time in a vehicle anywhere on this trip - getting around the Lakes District will be largely up to you with your hiking boots on!

Reviews

  • A Piece of Heaven

    “This was my 1st Active Adventures trip but not my last. We had 13 participants with 3 professional guides, our Trip Leader, Joanna McHugh, a native hiking guide, and expert kayaking guide, Giuliano. These guides worked so well together and made the trip such fun for us all while revealing this beautiful area to us. Unlike my granite clad mountains of New Hampshire, these hikes were so green passing through summer grazing pastures with ”
    Cecelia Peacock – New Hampshire, United StatesOctober 2018
  • Hike of Rifugio Crespi - Day 2

    “The hike of Rifugio Crespi was my favorite! I loved the sound of the bells as we passed the herd of cows, the beautiful chalets in the hamlet and the delicious lunch with local cheeses and beers and the great capuchino!!”
    Ivette Alonso-Triack – San Juan, Puerto RicoSeptember 2018
  • The Dolce Vita trip is Living the Good Life!

    “If hiking in some of the most breathtaking scenery and dipping your feet in the cool waters of Lake Orta or Lake Como is your idea of "living the good life" then this is the trip for you. The guides were knowledgeable and took us to places that were interesting and beautiful. Our group had fun together and I loved how accommodating the guides were to give each person the experience they wanted based on their physical level. This was my third Active Adventure trip and I keep coming back because they are so well organized and make sure that you have a trip that will stay with you for years to come.”
    Janet Anderson – Louisiana, United StatesSeptember 2018
  • Wonderful way to see Northern Italy, the Alps and the Lakes

    “The Dolce Vita is an excellent way to be hosted and genuinely taken care of as you undertake a couple of wonderful hikes in the northern Italian Alps, then proceed to the famous Lakes to see and kayak on Lake Como and Lake d'Orta. All this, whilst enjoying sumptuous Italian cuisine and their excellent wines, not to forget the daily gelato.”
    Varina Nissen – Queensland, AustraliaSeptember 2018
  • Eataly and Just Ten-minutes More

    “Eataly, as our group called the trip, after a well-known food emporium in Italy and the United States, also describes one of the highlights of it. In addition to spectacular scenery especially near Alagna, the village closest to Switzerland, the hiking and kayaking were what I expected.

    Alas, I’m probably the first person to arrive on an Active Adventure hiking trip with a torn meniscus, the result of an immediately previous trip en route.

    As I was limited to kayaking, the guides, Jo, who I hiked with in New Zealand and known for being the very supportive ten-minutes-more guide, and the two Italian guides, Andrea for hiking and Guiliano for kayaking were excellent and extremely well-qualified.

    The accommodations, especially in Alagna and Bellagio were terrific, with a few glitches at a couple of others, the result of electric storms.

    La Dolce Vita was a sweet trip, easily accessible, and fun. ”
    Julie Semel – New York, United StatesSeptember 2018
  • Another Hit from Active Adventures

    “The Dolce Vita trip was everything I hoped it would be. The guides were professional, knowledgable and responsive to the needs of each individual in our group. Jo, Andrea and Juliano took great care of us and shared all the beauty, culture and food the Lakes District had to offer. The hikes through the mountains and valleys, punctuated by the sounds of running water and cowbells, were breathtaking. I was surprised that our time in the quieter lesser known destinations, Alagna and Lake Orta, were my favorite parts of the trip. We had a very special moment when a large group from a family reunion cheered us on at the top of the mountain after our final long hike. On an especially hot day our guides gave us a choice of activities and we opted to visit beautiful gardens instead of a strenuous hike. Every day we ate and drank our way through delicious Italian cuisine. We had a wide variety of fresh fish and pasta, as well as daily treats of espresso, gelato and awesome desserts. This was my 5th Active trip and I'm hoping to try one more adventure next year.”
    Andrea Rudolph – New York, United StatesAugust 2018
  • Dolce Vita

    “This has been the most fantastic trip I have ever been on. I can pinpoint it to the fact that it turned out to be genuinely personal in all respects. Not only were our 2 guides, Andrea and Jo Jo extremely personable, but their constant cooperation, collaboration, caring, fun loving ways and eagerness to exhibit and display the essence of Dolce Vita through customs, culture and food was always top of mind. Andrea shared knowledge of his homeland, mountain valleys and home turf proudly. We learned about mountain life, mountaineering and rescue and saw many spiritual sights. The choice of hotels was exquisite, each with their own charm. Thanks also to Julianno for bringing kayaks and his expertise all the way from Genoa. The shore lunch of fresh focaccia bread was especially delicious. Our kayaking days were unforgettable, with spectacular views and opportunities for refreshing swims in all 3 lakes. This trip had all 5 senses at work. We SAW spectacular views. We HEARD the sounds of cow bells in the meadows and rushing water in waterfalls and rivers. We SMELLED the fresh air of mountains and glaciers. We TASTED the amazing Italian food and drink especially the desserts at the urging of Jo Jo. Her adventurous spirit wanted us to enjoy every aspect. We FELT the amazing warmth and hospitality of all we met. We especially felt the coolness and silkiness of the refreshing waters of the 3 lakes. I will never forget this trip. Thanks to all.”
    Sandy Drury – Ontario, CanadaAugust 2018
  • Eataly!!!! We Sure Did Live La Dolce Vita!!

    “The Dolce Vita trip was beyond amazing. Had an incredible journey as mother and daughter exploring the little known gems in Northern Italy. Our guides were full of knowledge (was there anyone Andreas didn’t know?) and humour, especially our DBB, even helped me with my very shaky Italian. We were never short of adventure be it hiking up mountains or through valleys to stunning views, to paddling around and swimming in stunning lakes to finding a random cafe to stop for espresso or if the time was right a spritz. Now that I’m home it’s got me dreaming of Italy again. Thanks a million guys (especially our guides Jo, Andreas and Giuliano)!!”
    Kelly Oliver – Victoria, AustraliaAugust 2018
  • I would go back to the Italian Lakes in a heartbeat!

    “This was my second trip with Active and it won't be my last! The hiking in the mountains was unlike any hiking I have done before. It was stunning! The days spent kayaking were equally amazing. What's not to love when you get to kayak, get out to swim and drink espresso, kayak some more, take a break for a picnic lunch, kayak again, take a gelato break?! Nothing, I tell you! The scenery, food, guides, and travel companions all made for an amazing trip!”
    Melissa Munno – California, United StatesAugust 2018
  • Best Trip....EVER

    “No regrets. Not one bad thing to say. Jo and Andrea, our guides, were the best. They worked so well together. They were funny, encouraging, flexible. We were fortunate in only having five hikers. What a treat. If there were occasions you doubted your capabilities, Jo and or Andrea were there to help you through. The meals, (remember it’s pronounced Eataly) were outstanding. Accommodation was very good. Small local hotels were utilized. My experience was so good, I am now seriously considering Mt. Blanc or the Dolomites next year. Thank you Active Adventures.”
    Christine Jenkins – Ontario, CanadaAugust 2018
  • First Time But Not Last!

    “This trip gave me a lot of fresh air and good feelings! I haven't had an experience like this before!
    Very good!”
    Lan Xie – North Carolina, United StatesJuly 2018
  • La Dolce Vita!

    “This trip far exceeded my expectations, which were already high because it was our second Active Adventures trip. Our guides showed us the best of Northern Italy in a way that few tourists get to experience. They managed the logistical details seamlessly and all we had to do was enjoy the beauty and culture of Italy. I highly recommend La Dolce Vita!”
    Claudia Worth – Massachusetts, United StatesJuly 2018
  • Does It Get Any Better Than This?!

    “An amazing and unforgettable trip. Awesome fellow travellers, incredible guides and scenery, food and adventures that invigorated the mind and body.”
    Anne Oliver – , New ZealandJuly 2018
  • Dolce Vita 2016

    “We have taken many trips in our 60+ years to places across the United States, Canada, South America, Asia, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. Our trip with Active Adventures to the Italian Lakes District and our extended visit in Italy has to be in our top three if not our favorite trip of all time! It was definitely Dolce Vita, the SWEET LIFE. The Italian Alps and the Lakes, the hikes and the paddling were certainly up to Active Adventure’s high standard. The beauty of the mountains and the Lakes and the invigorating way we experienced them were fantastic! The things that set this trip apart and put it over the top were the culture, food, and history of the region. Having the combination of Andy, our New Zealand guide, and Enrico, our native Italian, was awesome. Enrico helped us understand first-hand the Italian people and their way of life and gave us insights and access to more than we could imagine. It seemed everywhere we went, they all knew Enrico. The food experiences were unbelievable. The small size of our group and the relationship we built made it seem as if we were family and friends completing a once in a lifetime adventure. I can’t give enough kudos to Active Adventure these two guides for this marvellous experience.
    Ernest Alphin – North Carolina, United StatesOctober 2016
  • Best trip ever!

    “Spectacular! There is just no other way to describe this trip. Gorgeous scenery, wonderful company and amazing guides. Andy & Enrico did an incredible job and I can't say enough positive things about them. Great job guys! Thank you so much for a fabulous trip. This has been my 3rd trip with Active and is the best to date!”
    Jacqui Nielsen – Ontario, CanadaAugust 2016

Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

Get your FREE Brochure Now!
Active Adventures Brochure