Fantastic scenery, and spectacular Venice and Verona
On this wonderful holiday, you have the chance to explore the charming towns and villages surrounding Lake Garda and enjoy excursions to the fabulous cities of Verona and Venice.
Depart St Pancras International by Eurostar, after meeting at the dedicated Rail Discoveries' Departure Office, travelling to Paris. Upon arrival in the French capital, continue by high-speed TGV to Chambéry, spending one night here. On Day 2, travel by train to Milan, and transfer by coach to the Park Hotel Casimiro Village in San Felice del Benaco.
Cruise to Malcesine today and enjoy time to explore at leisure. At this narrow stretch of Lake Garda, dramatic cliffs rise steeply from the very edge of the water giving the region an almost fjord-like feel. Malcesine is home to the 14th century Scaligeri Castle, or you could hike up Monte Baldo from here. There is the option of taking the Funivia, or cable-car, to the top of the mountain, where you'll have panoramic views over Lake Garda and the surrounding mountain ranges. Alternatively, take a short walk along the Tratto Spino towards a beautiful viewpoint.
Today you are free to explore Lake Garda or to venture further afield. The shores of the lake are lined with lovely towns and villages waiting to be discovered.
Today, travel by coach to Verona, the city made famous in Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet.' Straddling the Adige River in north-east Italy's Veneto region, the handsome and dynamic city of Verona is both a popular destination with visitors and a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to the diversity and historical value of its architecture. Enjoy a guided city tour, exploring the vast Roman Arena - an imposing amphitheatre built by the Romans in the first century AD, which is now used as an open air opera house - Juliet's balcony, and the magnificent city gates.
The charming narrow streets and picturesque piazzas of Verona make the city a pleasure to explore, while an abundance of pavement cafés offer the perfect opportunity to relax with a drink, savour the atmosphere and watch the world go by - a truly Italian pastime.
Your day is free to spend as you wish; perhaps visit the stunning Isola del Garda, the biggest island in Lake Garda. Dominated by an impressive neo-Gothic villa, it can be reached only by boat. The island is owned by the Cavazza family, but over the centuries it had various names which were nearly always linked to the different owners. One of its main attractions is the extraordinary Venetian neo-Gothic style villa, designed by the architect Luigi Rovelli at the beginning of the 20th century. Below the villa, the terraces and Italian gardens slope down to the lake. The villa's gardens are rich in local and exotic plants, rare essences and unique flowers. The island also has a small wood of pines and cypresses, acacias and lemon trees, magnolias and agaves.
Travel to spectacular Venice by coach, and explore the unique floating city known for its beauty. On arrival, enjoy a boat trip along the Giudecca Canal to St Mark's Square, the heart and soul of the city for centuries with its blend of intriguing architecture, from where you will embark on a walking tour of this famous city's highlights, seeing the evocative Bridge of Sighs and St Mark's Basilica, renowned for its magnificent exterior and interior covered in spectacular encrusted mosaic marble carvings.
This afternoon, you are free to continue exploring. Venice is entirely car-free, which ensures that exploration on foot or by gondola is a thoroughly pleasurable experience. And there is much to discover: Venice is steeped in architectural wonder and artistic beauty at every turn, from the Gothic magnificence of the Doge's Palace to the Tintorettodecorated Scuola Grande di San Rocco.
Add a rich profusion of churches, art galleries, museums, and cultural attractions, fine shops and restaurants and a relaxed, cosmopolitan atmosphere, and it's easy to see why romantic and remarkable Venice is one of the most visited cities on earth.
Enjoy a fantastic cruise to pretty Sirmione, situated on a promontory on the southern shores of Lake Garda, to explore this charming town bursting with history. Famous for its grand 13th century castle, the views over the lake from the castle's battlements are truly captivating. Sirmione's ancient charm coupled with an array of fine cafés, shops and restaurants, a relaxed and hospitable atmosphere and a distinct lack of traffic ensure that however you choose to spend your time in this delectable town, you will not be disappointed with what you find.
Depart by rail today, travelling to Turin, where you spend the night. On Day 10, depart by high-speed TGV for Paris, where you will join the Eurostar service back to London St Pancras International.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.
Please note: This tour may not be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 11 verified reviews
Excellent hotel, excellent tour manager, excellent guide in Verona. A good amount of free time. An overnight stop in Turin, which we had never visited before - and which we would like to return to.
excellent apart from the last day
Everything about the holiday was wonderful.
Generally all very good, hotel in a superb position on the lake shore and facilities there fine. On the down side we are not great fans of buffet dinners and food becomes a bit samey.
Overall experience was brilliant, well organised and very interesting
Too much changing trains with luggage.
Journey out and back spoiled by French rail strikes, no real 'plan B' but rep was excellent at sorting travel out
Well structured holiday with interesting excursions. Better than average hotel accommodation and meals but packed lunches might have been more varied and interesting. Good location on Lake Garda. Excellent, well organised tour manager. Joining instructions might have been a little more imaginative with more relevant information in place of the random postcards.
We found the luggage carrying difficult especially climbing the stairs on the French railway. Also some of the distances were greater than we expected. BUT we had a wonderful holiday!!!
Everything was splendid - apart from the climbing up stairs and on to the top deck of TGV trains with heavy suitcases. Idyllic location for the hotel.
Fantastic scenery, and spectacular Venice and Verona