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We pride ourselves for being the specialists for self-guided walking & sightseeing holidays here in Liguria and along the Italian Rivieras. We are based here, we breathe the air daily and have a great passion to share with you our local knowledge to make your holiday just that little bit special.


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Hi Mike

Just back from Italy last night and yes, thanks, we had a wonderful time (as usual!)

Yes, weather at Lago di Como was bright and sunny, although generally fairly cool. Lago di Garda was quite a bit warmer, also very sunny, apart from one storm which passed over quickly. The two lakes, as you say, make a nice contrast, in terms of scenery - both beautiful, and each with its own particular advantages.

The hotel in Bellagio was excellent - location-wise, it's just not possible to imagine anything lovelier or more atmospheric. My husband would happily have sat all day on the balcony, watching the boats coming and going at the jetties right beside the hotel! The room was a fair size, very clean and comfortable, and every member of staff with whom we spoke was friendly, welcoming and very helpful. Breakfast choice was varied and plentiful. Bellagio is definitely the best location on the lake, in terms of facilities and boat links. Some nice, low-level walks around that area, and I believe that there are also some good walks down nearer to Como itself, although we didn't get around to them on this visit. Bellagio is certainly on our 'must return' list!

A couple of comments re transport links towards the Garda area, just in case you have anyone else doing this combination - We found, two years ago, that going straight on to Verona, then changing to another train up to Domegliara-S. Ambrogio was slightly cumbersome route, plus which, D-S.A. is a tiny, rural station, unmanned for much of the time, and with no taxis around. We had to walk to a nearby bar and ask the staff there to call a taxi, which took ages to arrive. An easier route from Malpensa Airport or from the Como area, we found, is to go into Milano Centrale (bus from Malpensa is only 3 euros each), then take the Venice train as far as Peschiera del Garda, from which a regular bus service goes up the east side of Lago di Garda - again, costing about 3 euros each.

Thank you for all your time and patience over the arrangements - very much appreciated.

Until next year, all best wishes!

Janice Menzies, Kincardineshire, Scotland.

Hi Mike

The holiday was superb, we have seen parts of Italy that we would never have visited thanks to your itinerary. Of note was the visit to the spa in Bormio, the day spent there was out of this world, bathing in hot spring waters whilst the snow was falling looking at the snow covered mountains, absolutely idyllic.

We also took the Bernina Express over the Alps, again the views were spectacular followed by a day in St. Moritz walking around the lake.

Just for your future itineraries, the visit to St Moritz was excellent but as it was on a Sunday no shops were open, which was good on my wallet - but maybe worth a mention. Finally, I would like to suggest that the last day in Varenna may be better spent in Benaggio, as we took a boat ride across the lake and spent all day there, lots more shops and different places to eat and drink.

Once again I would like to thank you for a fantastic sightseeing holiday, which your organising and itinerary made very easy to follow and gave us experiences of a lifetime. I hope you find this feedback useful and I have attached a photo of the Spa which you may like to use.

Thank you

Chris Davies, Cardiff, Wales.

Holiday: A401 - 4x4 CROSSING of the SOUTHERN ALPS
Cheers Mike

I had a great week and a lovely journey back via Briancon and Col de Vars. It all went a bit pear shaped with the tunnel being closed, but I took the long ferry from Le Havre to Portsmouth instead arriving home on Saturday night.

I enjoyed the holiday immensely; the route, format and guiding style all worked well for me. In our initial planning we were looking for an alternative to the 'camel train' format, which wouldn't have suited us so well. Especially I found that travelling light, without the weight (and expense) of carrying full expedition gear made the driving a pleasure, rather than a chore.

I liked the way that the routes, views and photo opportunities became progressively more spectacular during the week. We became totally immersed in the adventure and totally forgot which day it was! Now back at home I've had to be absolutely ruthless choosing the photos for the albums and editing the video. I've been telling everyone about the holiday, maybe even bragging a bit to my friends back home and would love to hear about any future 4x4 based holidays you can offer; on the journey back through the French Alps there appear to be many more tracks in the footsteps of Hannibal and around the world renowned 4x4 Club of the Eagles site at Val D'Isere for instance.

Kind Regards
Jonathan Buckley, Newbury, England.

Holiday: A401 - 4x4 CROSSING of the SOUTHERN ALPS
Got home safely. Had a good trip. Thanks to the Recaro seat it was in quite good comfort.

Dropped the Land Rover off at the Land Rover dealer's today, hoping they will finally fix the oil leak without spoiling anything else. Guess what kind of car I got as a courtesy car.... a Fiat Panda. For a moment I thought about heading strait back to Liguria to test its off-road capabilities.

We had a great time, thanks again for that Mike. Really enjoyed the tour, the scenery AND the company. Looking forward to looking into your plans for new trips as they grow.

Bernd Voorsluijs, Gorinchem, Netherlands.

Hi Mike

We're nearly there - tried sending photos at the weekend but too large so Darrell is picking up a disc tomorrow so we can send them to you.

Feedback from our holiday - our most favourite day of the whole two weeks was the gorge walking. It was fabulous to be totally alone (not that we're unsociable!) in such wonderful surroundings. We loved the scrambling and jumping into pools and your advice to take our time was really good as it really made us slow down, sun bathe and generally relax. We could repeat that day again and again as you never got too hot as you could always cool down in a pool and I'm sure you would find a different route every time.

The cycling was enjoyable but the heat was a bit too intense that day which made it difficult at times. The route was great but a bit more advice about the exact location of toilets and places to eat would have helped. We need to return and enjoy it in cooler weather.

We also enjoyed floating down the river although Darrell found it a bit frustrating at times as he kept getting stuck. You'll be pleased to know that the football that we found en route came in very useful in Pisa when it was used as a way of squashing mosquitos on a very high hotel room ceiling. Darrell was an excellent shot. In retrospect, the evening barbecue would perhaps have been better after the cycling as it resulted in a very long day, as you had told us already. Another option would have been not to include it in the overall 4 night package but have it as an optional extra - so those people who only spend half a day on the activities might go for it but those who are out all day might not.

The hotel was fab - the most comfortable of our whole trip. The only problem was limited space to dry things - I'm sure most people who stay there do not end up in such a wet, sweaty state. We also really enjoyed the town. Your notes about restaurants could be improved by adding names to the numbers and a short piece about food served and price range.

We stayed at a hotel that you recommended in Pisa - Hotel Locanda La Lanterna. Apart from the noisy air conditioner and mosquitos, it was great - the central location was perfect as it meant we could take a break in our rooms in the heat of the day and easily enjoy the Tower when most of the tourists had disappeared. The room for four was very spacious and comfortable. We stayed centrally in Venice as well which again allowed us to enjoy the city when it was less crowded.

Thanks very much for all your help and advice - we certainly learned alot more about the real Italy by talking to you and getting off the beaten track. It was also very useful having an ex-vegetarian providing us with lunches and cooking a barbecue. We will certainly recommend you to friends.

Cheers, Sue
Sue and Darrell Marchand, Woodstock, England.

Hello Mike

Just wanted to thank you for your advice on our holiday to Italy - we went last week and stayed on Lake Iseo, it was amazing and the best hotel I have ever stayed in. It is most likely we will go to a another part of Italy next year so will be in touch!

Thank you once again

Best wishes

Kath Jones, England

Dear Mike,

I was just sitting down to sending you an email about our holiday when I received your email!!! The whole trip was perfect. I could not believe how close the hotel in Pisa was to the Tower. You were so right to suggest the evening and morning in Pisa... what an interesting city.. we walked our legs off in the evening and the following morning. The hotel staff were great and yes I received the package when we booked in. We took the suggested train to Manarola and WOW.... although we had stopped off 2 years ago for an afternoon in Monterosso, the sheer beauty of the area is overwhelming. Again the choice of the hotel was superb.. very helpful and accommodating.

We started exploring Manarola after a welcome shower and freshen up and Geoff had to try the Gelati.. he considers a day without gelati in Italy is not worth living!!! We walked around, had a pre dinner drink, and then dined looking over the ocean. We found everywhere we went on the Cinque Terre that the people were quite lovely, and nowhere did we feel that they were overcharging the tourists. As you know the seafood is fabulous and we dined everynight on it.. the prices were very reasonable for the quality of the food. That night at 9 oclock we were treated to the local marching band circulating through the various levels of the town..then at 11pm, being the feastday of a local saint, there was a parade which started at the church at the top of the hill, priests, altar boys, choir, candles, marching band, and a sacred relic being carried through the town. They went right past our hotel, and we were very impressed that you had this organized just for us!!!!!!

We spent the second day hiking the trail. We followed your suggestions to the letter since you had done such a great job for Pisa and Manarola. We caught the train to Monterosso and walked in 30 degree heat to Vernazza. Walking the trail in that direction was a stroke of genius, because we got the stair climbing section done before we wilted, and then had a swim in Vernazza. After a stroll around town we headed to Corniglia which is a gem.. quite a different vibe from the other towns.. great lunch there. We then caught the train to Riomaggiore where we swam again, Geoff continued his in-depth study of gelati, and then the Via del Amori home. An outstanding day.

The next day we took the train to Santa Margherita.. another beautiful town with really interesting buildings and a beautiful view of the ocean. We walked around to familiarize ourselves with the town and after some more gelati, took the bus to Portofino. They should advertise that 1 Euro ride as the best deal in the world.. we have ridden the Amalfi Coast local bus and figured we had experienced it all, but the bus to and from Portofino was the best. 100 people in 30 degree heat standing on a bus designed for 50. The bus driver is in training for the Formula One, and the road is only wide enough for 2 scooters, not a bus. The horn blowing at every turn added to the excitement, and the views were marvellous. Portofino is well worth the trip.. we stopped for-yes of course- gelato, and then hiked up through Castillo Brown gardens.. beautiful. The views, the boats, the plants everything was perfect. We arrived back in Manarola in time for another fabulous seafood dinner.

The family at the hotel arranged a wake up call for us and even though they start breakfast at 8 they would not hear of us leaving without breakfast.. We bid Manarola good-bye and headed for La Spezia and the train to Rome.

We can't say enough good things about your plans and suggestions. Every one of our friends will have your website address within the next couple of weeks. Great job.. thanks again for helping us make this memorable journey.. we will certainly be repeat customers.

Stella and Geoff
Stella and Geoff, Richmond BC, Canada

Hi Mike,

We got home yesterday at the end of our two weeks in Italy. It was throwing it down with rain and the temperature was 15 degrees! Quite a change from the 32 when we left.

Thank you again for a wonderful holiday. We did complete the three extra days at Sestri Levante. The hotel was great and in such a unique position. We completed the two trips as detailed and enjoyed very much the activities. Thank you again for the excellent documentation and organisation and also for your personal guidance and support which was very much appreciated by us all.

Jon and Jan send their best wishes and I do expect we will return, that is if you will have us.

Very best wishes.

Colin and family.
The Briddick Family, Fordingbridge, England

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Enjoy relaxed, independent walking holidays in Italy along the Italian Rivieras using self-guided itineraries. Explore the beautiful mediterranean countryside and coastal mountains by foot taking in some of the regions most famous and magnificent towns and coast - the Cinque Terre, Portofino, Genova (Genoa), Santa Margherita, Rapallo, San Fruttuoso, Camogli, Chiavari, Sestri Levante, Vernazza, Manarola, Riomaggiore, Monterosso al Mare, Corniglia, Portovenere, Savona, Spotorno, Noli, Finale, Alassio, Imperia, San Remo and it's national parks to name but a few.

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Holidays & Adventures in Italy and on the Italian Rivieras

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