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Austrian Christmas and Italian New Year

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Discover the seasonal delights of Austria and Italy on one festive holiday.

13 days From £2,995 per person

2021 Tour code: IGX22

About the tour

Enjoy the festive period in two of Europe's most spectacular winter destinations. Innsbruck at Christmas is enchanting while Lake Garda is the perfect place to enjoy fantastic New Year's celebrations.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – London and Cologne

We travel on the Eurostar from London St Pancras, changing trains in Brussels for the service to Cologne. On arrival in the German city, we check into our hotel for the night.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Days 2-3 – Christmas Eve in Innsbruck

We meet at our Departure Office at London St Pancras, departing by Eurostar for Brussels where we board another train bound for Cologne. On Day 2, we travel by rail to Innsbruck. On the morning of Day 3, which is Christmas Eve, we enjoy a guided walking tour of Innsbruck. Our afternoon is at leisure ahead of a special Christmas Eve dinner.

Includes
  • Day 2 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 3 - Breakfast, Dinner
Days 4-5 – The Stubaitalbahn on Christmas Day

Our Christmas celebrations begin with a journey through the wintry scenery of the Stubai Valley, travelling to Fulpmes past icy forests and Alpine meadows laden with snow aboard the narrow-gauge Stubaitalbahn. Back in Innsbruck, the festivities continue this evening with a traditional Christmas dinner. Enjoy a free day on Day 5 to explore Innsbruck further, perhaps heading into the surrounding countryside for a traditional Boxing Day walk.

Includes
  • Day 4 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 5 - Breakfast
Day 6 – The Zillertalbahn

Travelling on the steam-hauled Zillertalbahn today, we step aboard heritage carriages for an atmospheric journey through the delightful Ziller Valley. The railway's distinctive red engine stands out against the snow-clad landscapes as we marvel at sights such as shimmering Lake Achen, enchanting Tyrolean towns that looks as if they belong on a Christmas card and meadows blanketed in thick, fresh snow. We arrive in Mayrhofen where you have free time to ride to the summit of Penken via a gondola cable car, walk the cobbled streets or visit the Ahorn Eagle's Stage, an observation point for Alpine birds of prey.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 – Verona and Desenzano

Leaving Austria behind, we take the train to Verona, where we enjoy a guided tour of a city filled with Roman ruins, medieval buildings, Italian culture and romance, and famous as the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. A UNESCO Heritage listed destination, we visit the Roman arena, an open-air venue still used for performances today, as well as Juliet's iconic balcony. Afterwards, we board our coach, bound for Desenzano on the magical shores of Lake Garda. We stay here for the next five nights.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Venice

We transfer by rail to the floating city of Venice for a guided walking tour of its main attractions, including the Doge's Palace, St Mark's Square and the Bridge of Sighs. With some free time afterwards, you may like to take a traditional gondola ride through the winding network of canals or take a water taxi to the island of Murano, famed for its age-old glass blowing techniques. Afterwards why not warm up in a cosy café overlooking St Mark's Square with a cup of delicious cioccolata calda?

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Franciacorta wine tasting

Following a relaxed morning, in the afternoon we enjoy an excursion by coach to the Franciacorta wine region. Here, we stop at a local winery for a tour that teaches us all about the production process followed by an expert-led tasting of the vineyard's different vintages.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Days 10-11 – New Year’s Eve in Sirmione and New Year’s Day

New Year's Eve takes us to delightful Sirmione where there's free time for you to look around. Located at the southern end of Lake Garda, where the lakefront is almost sea-like, the town is a pleasure to discover, bursting with history and charm. You could stop off at the imposing Rocca Scaligera, a beautifully preserved 13th-century castle surrounded by a large water-filled moat, take a stroll through the old quarter of town or visit the Grotte di Catullo, the remains of one of the largest Roman villas in Italy. Back in Desenzano this evening, we celebrate the New Year with a gala dinner at our hotel. Day 11, New Year's Day, is free for you to relax or head out into the town for a walk.

Includes
  • Day 10 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 11- Breakfast, Dinner
Days 12-13 – Desenzano, Turin and London

Travelling by train to Turin for the night, we continue our journey to London St Pancras on Day 13, journeying to Paris where we join the Eurostar service.

Includes
  • Day 12 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 13 - Breakfast, Dinner

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

Departure times

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.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Hotel Desenzano, Desenzano

Hotel Desenzano, Desenzano

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Hotel Innsbruck, Innsbruck

Hotel Innsbruck, Innsbruck

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Trains

Eurostar
Stubai Valley Railway
Zillertalbahn

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.0 stars4.0 / 5 · 2 reviews

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Mr E Horsfield

4 stars

Submitted 26 Jan 2018

This was our first experience of a holiday of this sort and generally we enjoyed the experience

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Ms J Saxon

4 stars

Submitted 19 Jan 2018

Why are you sending me this? The tour director made us all fill out a paper copy. I’m not doing this again.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

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Austrian Christmas and Italian New Year

Discover the seasonal delights of Austria and Italy on one festive holiday.

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Helen Laverack
Helen
Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Luke Simpson
Luke
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