Northern Italy boasts a wealth of spectacular scenery and the glittering expanses of Lakes Maggiore, Como, Iseo and Garda do not disappoint. They lie at the foot of the gigantic Alpine chain on the border of Switzerland and are hemmed in by awesome cliffs. The magnificent lakes are becoming ever more popular due to their exquisite villas and lush gardens where camellias and rhododendrons spill over terraces.
The 48 walks in this guidebook are suitable for a wide range of holidaymakers and range from 2 to 13 miles in length. There is something for everyone, from easy leisurely strolls for first-time walkers to strenuous climbs for those with experience up panoramic peaks. Every route has been designed to fit into a single day.
The four lakes are quite distinct in flavour and atmosphere – and all strikingly beautiful. Lake Maggiore boasts a bevy of picturesque islands-cum-villages that vie with the quintessentially romantic Lake Como for elegance in terms of villas and gardens. Garda is somewhat more dramatic and alpine in flavour with awesome cliffs around the upper lake, whereas, Lake Iseo is petite and more remote than the other three.
Each walk has been classified by grade, although adverse weather conditions will make any route more arduous.
-Grade 1 refers to an easy route on clear tracks and paths, suitable for beginners.
-Grade 2 refers to paths that cross hill and mountain terrain, with lots of ups and downs; a reasonable level of fitness is required.
-Grade 3 refers to strenuous walks, entailing some exposed stretches and possibly prolonged ascent. Experience and extra care are recommended.