Known as the 'Pearl of the Lake', picture-perfect Sirmione is perched on a peninsula on the southern shore of Lake Garda. On this exceptional tour we sample renowned Italian wine in the rural wine region of Valpolicella, and discover unique culture in Verona, Malcesine, and the iconic 'Floating City' of Venice.
We meet at our dedicated Departure Office in London St Pancras today, and board the Eurostar to Paris. We continue by rail to Chambéry, where we spend the night.
On Day 2 we continue to Lake Garda, arriving at the southern end of the lake, where the shores are almost sea-like and lined with inviting beaches. Our destination is the peaceful town of Sirmione, which sits on a peninsula jutting into the lake, surrounded on three sides by the waters of Lake Garda. We spend seven nights at the 4-Star Hotel Continental. Located close to Sirmione's centre, the Hotel Continental offers a wonderful setting by the lake, and the owner, Giovanni, will be on hand to make your time here as enjoyable as possible.
Today is yours to spend as you wish. Sirmione is a pleasure to discover; the town is bursting with history and charm, including the Rocca Scaligera - a beautifully preserved 13th-century castle surrounded by a large water-filled moat that dominates the Old Quarter of the town
On Day 4, we take a coach to historical Verona, a city of narrow streets, picturesque piazzas, Italian culture, and romance - and the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. On our guided tour we're introduced to Verona's historic heart. We see Juliet's famous balcony and the great Roman arena, which remains largely intact and is today used as an open-air opera house. Later, you have time to discover Verona at your own pace. Perhaps stroll along the Piazza delle Erbe, a former Roman forum. Lined with al fresco eateries and typical Veronese cafés, this is a perfect spot from which to appreciate the buzz of the city, or to relax with a drink and watch the world go by - a truly Italian pastime. Leaving Verona, we continue to a local wine cooperative in Valpolicella, which has been in the Mazzi family for a century and is currently run by three brothers, Roberto, Stefano, and Antonio. We enjoy a tour and a tasting of excellent local wines, before a dinner of homemade dishes in the idyllic setting of the rustic farmhouse.
Enjoy a free day in Sirmione today. You could visit Grotte di Catullo, the remains of one of the largest Roman villas in Italy and one of Sirmione's most famous sights.
On Day 6 we head to the 'Floating City' of Venice by rail. This glorious city is set in its own shimmering lagoon - an incredible environment that has UNESCO World Heritage Status. On arrival a boat transports us to St Mark's Square, overlooked by St Mark's Basilica, Doge's Palace, and the iconic bell tower. Here, we set out on a guided tour of the unique city, taking us through elegant streets, passing narrow canals and small squares to visit some of Venice's main sights. Later, you're free to explore. You could choose to ride along the canals on an iconic Venice gondola, or discover the city's culinary offerings. Venice presents an enticing selection of dining options, including a Venetian version of tapas called cicchetti - delicious snacks usually washed down with a glass of wine.
You have another free day in Sirmione today. If you'd like to unwind, one option is to take advantage of Sirmione's thermal springs - our hotel has its own thermal pool, fed directly from the thermal springs of the town.
On Day 8 we travel by coach up Lake Garda's eastern shore on the way to Malcesine, a picturesque medieval town with cobblestoned streets and an impressive castle. Here, the lake almost resembles the Norwegian fjords, with dramatic cliffs rising steeply from the water. You have free time in Malcesine. You may wish to visit the 14th-century Scaligeri Castle, or take the cable car to the summit of Monte Baldo, Lake Garda's highest mountain. We make our return journey by boat, a wonderful way to soak up views of the lake and surrounding scenery from its waters. This evening, we enjoy a farewell dinner together in the hotel.
We begin our journey home, transferring to Desenzano station for the train to Turin, where we spend the night.
On Day 10 we take a train to Paris and join the Eurostar to London St Pancras.
All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.
The high speed Eurostar trains link St Pancras International in London with Paris and Lille in France as well as Brussels in Belgium.
Eurostar's Standard Class coaches feature two seats on either side of the central aisle, most of which is arranged in an 'airline' seating configuration with drop down tray tables. There are two tables for four per carriage. Passengers travelling in Eurostar Standard Class coaches can take advantage of the Bar-Buffet which sells a range of snacks, meals, hot and cold drinks - including Champagne!
The highest class of Eurostar travel available for leisure customers is Standard Premier Class. In your dedicated Standard Premier carriage you'll find a less dense seat configuration, meaning the seats are larger and you have ample space to relax and stretch out. As part of the service you'll enjoy complimentary drinks and refreshments, served at your seat by friendly, helpful waiting staff.
For the class of travel used on your chosen tour, please refer to the 'What's Included' section of the tour page.
With a smart and futuristic appearance, and sleek interiors, the Frecciargento can zip you across the magnificent colours and landscapes of Italy in a matter of hours. In English, it's title means Silver Arrow and this fine locomotive can travel up to speeds of around 160 mph on certain routes.
Originally known as the Italian Eurostar, the Frecciargento forms up part of Le Frecce, a series of high speed trains operating up and down the country. These trains are operated by the Ternitalia company, and were originally introduced in 1997 as the Eurostar. By 2012, the Italian Eurostar trains were changed into different categories, with Frecciarossa being the fastest and Frecciargento being the second fastest. Each Frecciargento train offers First and Standard Class along with a restaurant for comfortable dining.
Italy's fastest train, the Frecciarossa runs up to a magnificent top speed of 190mph and offers a slick and punctual service up and down Italy. Translating to the Red Arrow in English, the Frecciarossa is Trenitalia premier rail service, offering four different class with each one providing comfortable seats, capable air-conditioning and superb staff who are helpful and professional.
Originally known as the Italian Eurostar, the Frecciarossa forms up part of Le Frecce, a series of high speed trains operating up and down the country. These trains are operated by the Ternitalia company, and were originally introduce in 1997 as the Eurostar. By 2012, the Italian Eurostar trains were changed into different categories, with Frecciarossa being the fastest and Frecciargento being the second fastest, and the Frecciablanco being the least fast. The Frecciarossa offers Executive, Business, Premium and Standard Class as well as a well-stocked restaurant car.
Introduced in 1981, France's TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) was the original European high-speed train. Linking Paris with Lyon, the new service revolutionised train travel and meant that travelling by air over medium and short distances was no longer seen as the best option, even for business travel.
The network has expanded rapidly and today these sleek, stylish trains offer links to over 60 destinations throughout France. Operated by SNCF, the French national rail operator, TGV trains travel over specially-constructed high speed lines. The trains can achieve speeds of up to 186mph (300km/h) on most long distance routes and 200mph (320km/h) on the new TGV Est line, which links Paris with Strasbourg, Luxembourg and Basel. With the exception of shorter journeys, TGVs almost always have an on-board buffet car, serving a selection of drinks and light refreshments.
Connecting the romantic splendour of Italy, crisscrossing its
way through Renaissance cities, along golden coastline and around
ancient volcanoes, Trenitalia is Italy's superb rail network.
Featuring an excellent fleet of well-maintained and modern trains,
this rail company is owned by Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, which
is run by the Italian government. Operating regional and national
services, Trenitalia prides itself on its punctuality and the huge
range of services provided by the operator, several of these which
include railways such as the Frecciarossia, the Frecciargento and
the Frecciblanco services.
Italy by rail is simply stunning. From the flowing green hills and elegant cities of the north, to the Mediterranean climes and the enchanting beaches of the south, an Italian rail journey is not only one of the easiest ways to travel, but is also one of the most panoramic and beautiful. Circumnavigating the magnificent Mt Etna, gliding down the Amalfi Coast, entering the stunning Milan railway station, these are all experiences which are hugely enhanced from the comfort of an air-conditioned Trenitalia carriage.
The 4-Star Hotel Continental Thermae & Spa is located close to the historical centre of Sirmione overlooking the shores of the lake and just a short walk from the town centre. The hotel has been completely renovated, yet retains traditional features including its impressive white marble staircases and Venetian Murano chandeliers. The hotel has a restaurant and a lounge bar as well as a garden terrace and a private jetty. Leisure facilities include an outdoor swimming pool and a well-equipped wellness centre, which boasts a sauna, steam bath and an emotional shower, as well as a choice of iodine therapies, massages and beauty treatments (payable locally). The rooms are classic in style and have a balcony with a view of the gardens or lake. Other facilities include a hairdryer, safe, telephone, television, minibar and air conditioning.
We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!
To arrange for a second suitcase to travel door to door, just let us know when you book. Prices start from £65 per bag (size and weight allowances may vary depending on airline polices), Please call for more details.
Upgrade your double room to a Superior Room in Sirmione:
From £185 per person (twin occupancy only)
**Please note both standard and Superior rooms have partial lake views there are no rooms with full lake view**
Spending a night in London before your tour can make such a
difference to the first day of your holiday - you can arrive in the
capital in good time, relaxed and ready to join your Tour Manager
the next morning. You may even want to take in a show on the West
End, or dine in one of London's famous restaurants. Perhaps on your
return to London, you would like to break your journey with an
overnight stay before continuing home.
We are able to book a wide range of hotels in central London or, for our holidays beginning with a flight, at Heathrow, Gatwick or Manchester Airport for the night before or after your holiday. The hotels listed below are some of the more popular hotels our customers book in Central London, others are available on request.
|Hotel||Room Rate From Price|
|The Ambassador Hotel||From £65 per person|
Above prices are approximate, subject to availability, and per room per night based on two people sharing. If you require a quote for single occupancy at any of the hotels please contact us on 01904 734 805.
Buying tickets for UK train services can be a tricky business - there are so many fares to choose from, each with different rules and restrictions. As you are connecting with an international departure, we strongly recommend that you book a fully flexible ticket to ensure that should the departure times for your holiday change, your rail ticket can allow for these changes.
We can book fully-flexible UK rail tickets from your local station to join your holiday whether this be a European holiday from St Pancras or a UK holiday. The prices are competitive and tickets are not restricted to a particular train or time of day, and in most cases offer you a free choice of routes.
For an up to date quote from your local station, please ask one of our Tour Advisors.