Fantastic scenery, and spectacular Venice and Verona
On this holiday in Northern Italy, 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.
Meet at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras and take the Eurostar to Paris. Continue by high-speed TGV to Chambéry where you spend the night. On Day 2, travel by train to Milan, and transfer by coach to Malcesine. At this narrow stretch at the northern end of Lake Garda, the lake resembles the Norwegian fjords, with dramatic cliffs rising steeply from the edge of the water. Your base is the nearby Hotel Sole, which boasts an incredible location by the water.
Cruise across Lake Garda to Limone, a beautiful bustling town famed for its lemon trees. Limone was only reachable by boat until 1932 when the first road was built, and still retains its air of authenticity and seclusion. You are free to explore the narrow lanes and picturesque waterfront.
Day 4 is at leisure. Relax at the hotel and take a dip in the pool. Alternatively, why not explore Malcesine, possibly the most picturesque town on Lake Garda? Discover its medieval centre, which clusters around the attractive harbour and 14th-century Scaligeri Castle. Another option is the cable car running from the town to the top of nearby Monte Baldo, offering views over the lake and surrounding alpine peaks.
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, this handsome city is a popular destination with visitors and a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to the diversity and historical value of its architecture. The vestiges of Verona's Roman-era origins are still present today. Take a guided city tour, visiting the Roman Arena - an imposing amphitheatre built by the Romans in the 1st century AD, which is now used as an open-air opera house - Juliet's balcony at Casa di Giulietta, and the magnificent city gates.
Day 6 is free to spend as you wish; perhaps visit 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 its 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 unique flowers, and local and exotic plants. The island also has a small wood which boasts an array of beautiful trees, including pines, cypresses, acacias, lemon trees, magnolias and agaves.
Travel to Venice by coach to explore the famous 'Floating City'. The city is actually made up of 118 small islands which sit in a shimmering lagoon and are linked by canals and bridges.
Enjoy a boat trip along the Giudecca Canal to St Mark's Square, the heart and soul of the city for centuries thanks to its blend of intriguing architecture. From here, 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 encrusted mosaic marble carvings.
This afternoon, you are free to continue exploring at your own pace. Venice is entirely car free, which ensures exploration on foot or by gondola is easy and pleasurable. Venice is steeped in architectural wonder and artistic beauty at every turn, from the Gothic magnificence of the Doge's Palace to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, which features a collection of Tintoretto paintings. Factor in its profusion of churches, art galleries, museums, cultural attractions, fine shops, and restaurants, and its easy to see why romantic Venice is one of the most visited cities on earth.
Enjoy a relaxing 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 the majestic Scagliero Castle, a 13th-century medieval port castle, where the views over the lake from the battlements are truly captivating. Just outside the town are the well-preserved Roman Grottoes of Catullus, ruins of an ancient Roman Villa situated on the tip of the Sirmione Peninsula. Sirmione's ancient charm coupled with an array of cafés, shops, and restaurants, lend it a distinctive atmosphere.
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.
Enhancing your tour
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 7 verified reviews
2nd time with you and both times we were impressed with tour managers, hotels and food. Angela our manager was always available, friendly and professional especially when my wife had serious injury and required assurance.
Tour manger was superb. Very friendly tour group. Two free days on programme welcome. Slight disappointment with size of hotel and room, but didn’t detract from overall holiday enjoyment.
I had a fantastic holiday with Rail Discoveries. Tour manager, hotels, location, excursions, all brilliant. Already planning next year's holiday with them.
Good balance of organised outings and free time in beautiful locations
Mainly because the weather wasn't very good.
Everything exceeded our expectations
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.
Fantastic scenery, and spectacular Venice and Verona