Enjoy the highlights of Austria and Italy by rail
Marvellous Alpine scenery makes a brilliant backdrop as we discover the wonderful Austrian Tyrol, enjoying spectacular mountainous narrow-gauge railways before continuing on to the peaceful shores of sparkling Lake Garda. From our base in the pretty lakeside town of Salò we explore beautiful Venice and historic Verona.
We meet at our dedicated Departure Office in London St Pancras, departing by Eurostar to Paris. We make the journey in Standard Premier Class, with a light meal and drinks served at our seats. On arrival in Paris we cross the city by coach and continue in First Class on the high-speed train to Stuttgart, where we overnight.
This morning we travel by high-speed train to Munich, where we change trains. We cross the Austrian border to the town of Seefeld. Set on a plateau amongst Alpine peaks, Seefeld not only enjoys a spectacular backdrop, but has also become one of the Tyrol's premier resorts. Our hotel for five nights is the 4-Star Hotel Seefelderhof.
Please Note: Departure IGS1701 will stay at the Hotel Karwendelhof.
We take a train (Standard Class) this morning to Innsbruck, the capital of the Tyrol region. The delightful city has a beautiful Old Town that is part of a generous pedestrianised area, which makes Innsbruck ideal to explore on foot. As we approach the city you can see a modern icon of the city that stands out above the multicoloured buildings - the daunting Bergisel Olympic ski jump. On arrival we enjoy a guided tour, during which we visit the Old Town, the Imperial Palace and the famous 'Golden Roof', with its 2,738 dazzling roof tiles.
Today is free for you to explore at your own pace. You may wish to take a trip on the narrow-gauge Achenseebahn, Europe's oldest steam-powered cog railway, which runs to Seespitz on the shore of Achensee - the Tyrol's largest lake (operational from 1st May).
Today we enjoy a journey through the lush pastures of the stunning Ziller Valley on the narrow-gauge Zillertalbahn Railway, which opened in 1902. We make our way via Innsbruck to Jenbach by rail (Standard Class), where we board the train, travelling on a steam-hauled service in wonderfully restored fourwheel carriages. The line takes us past pretty, remote villages of traditional chalets and half-timbered houses to Mayrhofen, located at the head of the valley. Here you are free to explore the town, wandering through the cobbled streets. The charming resort lies between the Penken and the Ahorn mountains, which provide miles of green Alpine pastures and create a perfect playground for hiking or rambling. The Penken is reached by a gondola system which is located on the main street in the centre of the village, while the Ahorn cable car (which is the largest cable car in Austria, carrying 160 passengers) is situated at the southern end of the town. On Day 6 you have another day at leisure to explore; perhaps take the train to nearby Garmisch or Munich.
Today we leave Seefeld, travelling by coach to Innsbruck, and then by train (Standard Class) through the stunningly beautiful Brenner Pass to Verona, a city of Roman ruins, medieval buildings, Italian culture and romance; the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.
On arrival we are picked up by coach and taken for a sightseeing tour of the city's main sights. We take in Juliet's house with its famous balcony, and the ancient Roman Arena. We then continue to Salò on the western shore of Lake Garda. Our base for six nights is the 4-Star Hotel Salò du Parc, perfectly situated right on the water's edge.
Today we take a cruise across Lake Garda, making our way across the calm waters to the picturesque town of Sirmione, which occupies a unique position on a thin and craggy peninsula and surrounded on three sides by water. Your time here is free to explore - Sirmione is a pleasure to discover; the town is bursting with history and charm, including the imposing Rocca Scaligera - a beautifully preserved 13th century castle surrounded by a large water-filled moat that dominates the Old Quarter of town. The views of the lake from the castle's battlements are excellent, so it is well worth the climb. Day 9 is free for you to spend at leisure in Salò. One option for your day is to travel by boat to the other side of the lake to Malcesine.
We take a coach to Desenzano, from where we travel in First Class on the high-speed rail service to Venice. Arriving at the city's Santa Lucia station we are greeted by a glorious view of the Grand Canal as we leave the station hall. A private boat transports us along the Giudecca Canal - our first chance to soak up the wonderful atmosphere of this unique city. From here, the rest of the day is free for you to enjoy this truly unique city and its labyrinth of shimmering waterways. You could take the time to visit the magnificent Doge's Palace, the famous Bridge of Sighs, St Mark's Basilica, or even the magnificent domed 'Santa Maria della Salute' Church.
Today is free for you to spend sightseeing independently. Perhaps take a stroll along the promenade by the shores of shimmering Lake Garda (the longest on the lake), or simply take advantage of the hotel's facilities.
Today we travel across Lake Garda to the small town of Bardolino. After some time to explore and to enjoy lunch, we are met by our coach which takes us into the hills above Bardolino for an afternoon wine tasting and tour. Local wine experts provide us with detailed insight into the production process and the different grape varieties and vintages as we enjoy the fantastic local wines. We return to Bardolino by coach, continuing across the lake to Salò by boat, for a scenic return to our hotel.
Leaving Salò, we travel to Turin. After an overnight stay we continue on Day 14 to Paris. After crossing the city by coach we join the Eurostar to London, where our holiday comes to an end.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Enjoy the highlights of Austria and Italy by rail