Capri Island, Lake Como, and St. Moritz – Your guide to the three most visited destination in Europe

Have you planned an international holiday for this year? Do gorgeous landscapes, mesmerizing natural wonders, epic history, stunning arts and crafts, and delicious food entice you? Then Europe is one of the best places to explore. If visiting all parts of Europe doesn’t fit your budget, then would you consider visiting three countries that are the epitome of impressive UNESCO listed sites, beautiful rivers, fantastic culture, mouth-watering food and more.

Kesari Tours thought of making it easier for you to choose the countries you can visit in Europe for sure with their 8N/9D tour of Capri Island with Lake Como and St. Moritz. Here is a look at what you can look forward to on your Capri tour.

Capri: A visit to Italy is incomplete unless you visit the gorgeous Capri Island. We believe Emperors Augustus and Tiberius often escaped to this gorgeous island when they wanted to get away from the rush in Rome. Whether it is the steep 61m cliffs soaring magnificently, the azure Tyrrhenian Sea, the stunning villas of Sorrento, manicured gardens in Amalfi and starred restaurants, Capri is home to it all. The Capri island is only 6 km long and 2 km wide, yet it’s the place to find your favourite celebrities and people-watch. The best time to visit Capri is from early April to mid-June, and September to November.

Places to visit in Capri

Marina Piccola:

If you’d like to imagine the place where Sirens lured Ulysses, then imagine the Marina Piccola before sunbathers and quaint cafes took over the sidewalks. The small harbour on the southern coast gets a lot of sun while the cliffs protect it from frigid winds, making it the ideal place to soak up the sun even in winter. You can take a bus from Capri or stroll down Via Krupp, taking the stairs down from the Sant ‘Andrea church to reach the Marina di Pennauro and Marina di Mulo beaches.

The Blue Grotto:

Called the Grotta Azzurra, it is a large, flooded cave that opens into the sea. The sun’s mirrored light makes you feel the cave is lit from inside, giving out a strange bright blue glow. You can get onboard the tiny boats anchored near the entrance for a cave tour. The entrance is not more than a meter, so, you may end up lying on the boat floor to get inside. Remember, check for weather before you go. The grotto is Capri’s chief visitor attraction. You can also take a boat tour from Marina Grande or a bus from Anacapri. There are other caves where the light reflects Mediterranean colours like the Green Grotto on the opposite side of the island. Though smaller, it is accessible by boat and free from crowds.

Villa San Michele:

Few houses boast of a flawless setting, but the Villa San Michele’s is known for its stunning beauty and character. Villa San Michele is the Swedish doctor Axel Munthe’s home, whose concept, construction, and life were immortalized in The Story of San Michele. The house and flower garden enveloping it are filled with his personal compilations, right from precious archaeological Roman, Egyptian, and Etruscan artefacts and antiquities to 20th-century art. The panoramic views from its gardens, framed with vine-adorned pergolas and marble statues, make for Insta-worthy moments.

Gardens of Augustus:

Called Giardini di Augusto in Capri these beautiful botanic gardens near San Giacomo, include a verdant terrace where flowers and arbours frame magnificent views of the Faraglioni sea stacks standing in the blue-green water below. You can also see the Bay of Marina Piccola and Via Krupp, a path that leads down to the Marina Piccola 91 m below. The gardens of Augustus are a must-visit on your Capri Island tour.

Things to do in Capri

Boat tour around the island: Get a boat tour to enjoy seeing Capri from the sea, then lie down in a wooden rowboat when you tour the mystical Blue and Green Grottos. These Capri boat tours leave from Marina Grande moving past Tiberius’ Leap on the island’s southern coast to the famous Faraglioni rock formations, go around the Punta Carena to see its quaint lighthouse, before stopping at the Blue Grotto.

Lazing around the beach: Nothing is as good as resting on a sun lounger, drink in hand while you gaze at the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Capri has a few small beaches the wind and water have carved into the craggy coastline with no sand. Shops lining the shore are like salons on seaside offering exceptional seafood and fish where you can laze around all day.

Cocktails and Celeb-watch at the Piazzetta: A stop at the town square called the Piazzetta in Capri is a must. Enjoy an espresso at one of the outdoor cafés lining the square and indulge in people watching. Whether it is for your morning coffee or an apéritif cocktail in the evening, the Piazzetta is the place to be. If you’d like to see your favourite celebs, then make sure you visit between 7pm to 9pm when they get off their yachts for a night out.

Hike to Mount Solari with a chair lift: Take the chairlift up to the peak of Mount Solaro from Piazza Vittoria in Anacapri for fantastic panoramas, memorable photos, and enjoying a drink at the La Canzone del Cielo café nearby. You can walk down the mountain following the signs to reach Cetrella hermitage a small chapel hanging on the mountainside with stunning terraces over the sea.

Take a walk to Tragara: If you walk to the Hotel Quisisana from the Piazzetta, you can window shop at the luxury stores on the way. Around the corner is the sunny, quiet Via Tragara. This lane edges the gardens of the most stunning hotels and villas on Capri, with the azure sea gleaming past the sweet jasmine and colourful bougainvillea, culminating at a scenic vista facing the Faraglioni rock formations.

A candlelight dinner: The best way to end your fabulous Capri tour is enjoying a romantic dinner with a panorama or a traditional Capri dinner that offers island specialties. If you’re visiting Capri for the first time don’t forget to sample the traditional local favourites the ravioli capresi, and torta caprese, made using almonds and chocolate.

Lake Como

Another place that is a must-visit in Italy is the Lake Como Julius Caesar founded in 1 BC as an Alpine stronghold and holiday resort in Lombardy. Called Lario, this stunning lake is the third largest in Italy with a depth of 410m, making it one of the deepest lakes in Europe. Its distinctive shape, like an inverted Y, results from melting glaciers with erosion the ancient River Adda causes creating to two southern branches, with the renowned Bellagio sited in between.

Found at the foothills of the Alps, Lake Como offers the most picturesque vistas, rising Alpine amphitheatre, medieval watchtowers, extraordinary Romanesque cathedrals, stunning villages and quaint towns you can explore. The best time to visit Lake Como is from March to November, when weather is warm and the sun shines brightly. But the weather in July and August are the best.

Place to visit

Most attractions in Como are within walking distance of the railway station and boat landings. Travel around the lake town revolves around its lakefront boulevard and the adjacent Piazza Cavour.

Como Cathedral (Duomo): The 14th-century front of Duomo almost takes up one side of Piazza Duomo. A purely Gothic structure the stone carvings and statues around a rose window, flanked with elegant carved pinnacles highlight the marble face of the cathedral. Strangely, you won’t find statues of saints but statues of Roman residents Pliny the Elder and Younger on each side of the door.

This church is Italy’s finest example of the 14th-century transition from Gothic to Renaissance patterns. Polychrome paintings and ornamentation on the side altars modernize the traditional rose window and deeply carved main altar look seamlessly. If you’re don’t mind the exercise, then climb to the 18th-century dome.

Villa del Balbianello:

For fascinating architecture and Instagrammable snapshots, a visit to the Villa del Balbianello is a must.

Sited on the western bank of the lake, the villa offers an entrancing view of the area. You can reach via boat or a short hiking trail that features a fantastic garden with gorgeous flowers and plants. The gardens surround a late 16th-century structure creating a mix of art and nature hard to find somewhere else.

Basilica di Sant’Abbondio

A walk from the town center will take you to the fascinating early 11th-century Basilica di Sant’Abbondiobuilt in the Lombard Romanesque style. The towering, narrow interior feels more like the Christian basilicas adorned in the 13th-century Gothic fresco cycles, in good condition.

The church was built by the 11th-century master stoneworkers known across medieval Europe as the Como Masters. You can see most of their elaborate stone carvings on façade of Sant’Abbondio in the Museo Civico, where it is displayed in controlled conditions to protect it from climate and ecological damage.

Top things to do in Lake Como

Take a taxi-boat tour from Varenna: You can plan for short or long trips from Varenna to see the various attractions on the lake. The short trips last for 30 minutes while the long trips can last for more than an hour. The longest Lake Como boat tour is the George’s tour that takes you past the villas peppering the coastline to George Clooney’s villa in Laglio. The whole tour lasts for 2.5 hours.

Visit the Jungle Raider Park

For the adventurous the Jungle Raider Park is the best place to be. With seven different pathways based on different degrees of difficulty, this park has everything you may want to try from ziplining to bungee jumping in nature. There are pathways designed specifically for children or beginners. Jungle Raider Park has two locations, one in Civenna and the other in Margno, making it easily accessible wherever you are.

Hotel Villa Cipressi’s Botanic Gardens

The Botanic Gardens are a part of the Hotel Villa Cipressi, a magnificent 14th century building built on the lake. The garden is open to the public. The garden is a 100-year-old attraction touching the lake showcasing several rare plants and flowers that nature enthusiasts would love to explore. It is located on different tiers overlooking the waters in marvellous ways.

Forte di Fuentes

This stronghold has a local historical significance as it is one of the very few examples of Spanish dominance of the area. It dates to the 17th -century and is in the northern part of the lake, near Colico. If you love local history, then a visit to this fort is a must. The fortress has a main square and a church that tell tales of culture and war.

St. Moritz

St. Moritz in Switzerland is more than a holiday resort. It’s been the place people flock to for high-altitude winter sports since 1864 where two Winter Olympics were also held. St. Moritz became popular for its mineral springs, discovered 3,000 years ago making it the summer spa resort. The town is in in the Upper Engadine 1,856m high with plenty of bright sunny days. The sun was legally safeguarded as the symbol of St. Moritz in 1930. The best time to visit St. Moritz is from December to early April.

One of the first places where the first electric light went on during Christmas in 1878, host to the first golf tournament in the Alps in 1889 and home to first ski lifts in Switzerland in 1935. You can enjoy every modern luxury you can think of with renowned restaurants that satiate your gourmet demands and hotels that are considered standards internationally in every category, and events.

Whether it is the leaning tower, the Segantini Museum, hiking, mountain biking, sailing, rowing, windsurfing, kite surfing, tennis, mini-golf or horse-riding St. Moritz has it all. You can enjoy ice skating, and romantic carriage rides around the lake too.

Places to see in St. Moritz:

St. Moritz Lake:

St. Moritz draw avid skiers in the winter, and the lake below the mountain attracts thousands of visitors in summer. Two kilometres from St. Moritz Dorf on the eastern side of the lake you will find several hotels with restaurants and cafés, favourite stores and more for walkers on the path around the lake. Another kilometre from Meierei hotel is the Staz hotel on the eastern shore of Lake Staz. You can enjoy the forest paths to Celerina if you don’t mind walking for an hour.

Engadine Museum:

Set in a model Engadine house from the 17th century, the museum is home to over 4,000 items that show local life from the 13th through the 19th centuries. It is known for its early home interiors and furnished rooms. You will also find examples of embroidery, costumes, household utensils, mountainous farm implements and Alpine woodcarvings. The museum also has artefacts unearthed in the Engadine from Neolithic and Bronze Ages and the Roman era.

Silvaplana:

5 km away after the River Inn southwest from St. Moritz Bad, you will pass the Champferersee before reaching the wide Silvaplanersee and the Silvaplana health and winter sports resort. The town is on the flat land the alluvial deposits from the Ova dal Vallun created as it flowed down from the mountains during the millennia. It is home to a late Gothic parish church built in 1491 and a 19th-century baronial castle beside the lake.

Segantini Museum:

The Segantini museum was built in 1908 on a ridge overlooking the Schafberg, where artist Segantini died while finishing his most famous series of Alpine Triptych, Life – Nature – Death. They exhibit these three paintings in a domed gallery. The building was designed based on the plans, the artist drew to house his Engadin Panorama at the Paris World Exhibition in 1900. This memorial museum, has the world’s most complete collection of his art.

Things to Do:

St. Moritz-Celerina Bobsled Run:

A fantastic experience you can have only in St. Moritz is an exhilarating bobsled ride down the oldest natural bobsled run in the world. Racing down with experienced pilots, you’ll get almost the same experience as Olympic and World Championship bobsledders do as you plunge down the 1722m course. Be ready for speeds up to 135 km per hour too. It’s 75 seconds of pure adrenaline rush not meant for the faint-hearted.

Glacier Express:

Switzerland’s breath-taking mountain journey goes from St. Moritz to Zermatt, on the most famous railway in the world the Glacier express. The Express travels for seven daytime hours through glorious, untouched mountain landscapes, deep ravines, and remote green vales, traversing 291 bridges – some at astounding heights. It spans over the Oberalp Pass, which is 2033m high and travels through other peaks crossing 91 tunnels. Be ready for spectacular scenery, mesmerising panoramas and plenty of photo opportunities. A day on the Glacier Express is a must on your St. Moritz tour.

Corviglia Funicular:

If you take the funicular from St. Moritz Dorf, it climbs 2.1 km to Corviglia through an intermediate station at 2,005m at Chantarella. Corviglia, at 2,486 m offers the best Alpine views and exceptional skiing options. The lift carries tourists and hikers in the summer. From here, you can take a cabin cable car up to Piz Nair, for wider panoramic views from its 3,057m elevation.

Go on a walk to Hahnensee:

Walking in Europe is expected. To reach Hahnensee an hour-and-a-half easy walk from St. Moritz Bad crossing magnificent forest paths through Quellenberg at 1920m or Johannisberg at 2002m. You can eat out on the restaurant with a terrace enjoying the valley views.

There’s plenty you can see and explore in the three places mentioned above. What’s more the 9-day trip takes you to Naples, Pompeii, Milan, in Italy, Lu Lugano 1N, Bellinzona, St. Moritz, Rhine Falls in Switzerland and Titisee Neu Stad, Stuttgart, and Cologne in Germany. To know more click here. You can also speak to us for more details, call 1800 22 1100 or visit https://www.kesari.in/.

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