May is a good time of year for us to have a two week holiday – we can both be in an exotic location on our birthday, in this case, the Italian Lakes.
Our first week was in Stresa on the shore of Lake Maggiore. The town of Stresa is a good location for Lake Maggiore, there are lots of restaurants and interesting shops, there is a cable-car to the top of Mottarone, it is a hub for ferry transport, good bus and train connections, plenty of options for walking and excursions.
A full day excursion is the Lake Maggiore Express which we thoroughly enjoyed. Our trip to the top of Mottarone was interesting, great views from the cable-car, then the chairlift to the very top. From there we walked down, four hours of downhill takes a toll on the knees and calves – very stiff the next day!
In July/August these excusrions would be heaving with people but in May they were just moderately crowded. Our accomodation was good, a self-catering flat from the owners direct website. It is well located and the owner is very helpful.
Our second week was in Lenno, on the shore of Lake Como. It took us a little longer to get to like Lenno, until we found the small group of restaurants near the ferry terminal we thought we might be eating in every night, once again our apartment was self-catering through owners direct. There are lovely walks around Lenno, there is a set of cobbled lanes and other paths that you can use to walk along the lake, and ferry trips to nearby town were great – more options here because Como is smaller than Maggiore so easier to get between towns.
- we flew direct from Edinburgh to Milan Malpensa
- from Malpensa we caught a bus direct to Stresa
- to get from Stresa to Como we had to take the train all the way into Milan then out to Como
- from Como to Lenno we took the C10 bus along the shore of Lake Como (very narrow road, great views of the lake)
- we had to book into a hotel near Malpensa for the last nght because our flight was too early to travel from Lenno, we stayed at First Hotel which was fine (booked through LateRooms)