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Austrian Christmas & Italian New Year

(Tour code: IGX17)Combine Austria and Italy in one on this festive break

Enjoy the festive period in two of Europe's most spectacular settings on this truly memorable rail holiday. Innsbruck at Christmas is enchanting, and Lake Garda is the perfect place to enjoy a fantastic New Year.

Tour Highlights
  • Strasbourg
  • New Year's Eve gala dinner and celebrations
  • Innsbruck including a guided tour
  • Special Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners
  • Christmas Day excursion on the Stubaitalbahn
  • Journey on the Zillertalbahn to Mayrhofen
  • Verona including a guided tour
  • Wine tasting in the Franciaorta wine region
  • Venice including a guided tour
  • New Year's Eve excursion to Sirmione
What’s Included (Full details)
  • 1st & Standard Class Rail
    Eurostar Standard Premier
    Eurostar Meals
    Heritage Rail Excursions
  • 3-4* Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
  • Optional Bag Concierge

Itinerary & Map

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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.

Day 1

Standard Premier Class Eurostar to Strasbourg

We depart St Pancras International by Eurostar for Paris, travelling in Standard Premier Class, with complimentary light snacks and refreshments served on board. In the French capital we join our onward train for the journey to pretty Strasbourg. Beforehand why not go and see the grand cathedral of the beautiful Alsatian capital, or admire the twinkling stalls in Strasbourg's Christmas Markets?

  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2

First Class rail travel to Innsbruck

This morning we travel by First Class rail southwards into Switzerland, passing through the dramatic scenery of deep valleys and towering snow-covered mountains for which the area is justly famous. Our journey then continues over the Austrian border to stylish Innsbruck, the capital of the scenic Tyrol. We stay here for five nights at the 4-star Hotel Innsbruck.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3

Guided tour of Innsbruck on Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve morning we enjoy a guided tour of Innsbruck. We take in the highlights of this striking Alpine city, such as the Golden Roof, built for Emperor Maximilian I as a royal box from where he could observe the tournaments below, and including nearly 3,000 gold-plated copper tiles. The Golden Roof sits within Innsbruck's beautiful Old Town, close to Maximilian's Imperial Palace and the impressive 15th century City Tower. Following the tour, your afternoon is at leisure for you to explore the city further. Perhaps stroll around the maze of cobbled alleyways in the medieval Old Town, a perfect place to sample a coffee and some of the exquisite local cakes. This evening we enjoy a special Christmas Eve dinner together.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Tour of Innsbruck
Day 4

Christmas Day on the Stubaitalbahn

On Christmas Day, we take a trip out on the Stubaitalbahn, a narrow-gauge tram line, first opened in 1904, which connects Innsbruck to the surrounding snow-covered mountain hamlets. Our scenic journey takes us past icy forests and Alpine meadows laden with snow, to more than 1,000 metres at the line's peak. This evening we dine together in the hotel, enjoying a festive turkey dinner.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Journey on the Stubaitalbahn
Day 5

A day at leisure exploring Innsbruck

Today is free to explore Innsbruck. Located in the Inn Valley beneath the unique backdrop of the Alps, Innsbruck is known for its imperial buildings. The Tyrolean capital's magnificently preserved Old Town still reflects the city's historic and cultural past with its wonderful Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Alternatively, you could perhaps venture further afield - the delightful towns of Igls and Seefeld are both interesting to explore, and are easily accessible by rail. Another popular option is the Hungerburgbahn Funicular Railway, which runs from Innsbruck's city centre to the Hungerburg plateau - 2789 ft (850m) above sea level - affording spectacular views over the city and the surrounding mountain ranges.

  • Breakfast
  • Free Day
Day 6

A journey on the Zillertalbahn to Mayrhofen

This morning we travel by train (Standard Class) to Jenbach where we embark on a fantastic rail journey on the Zillertalbahn, in wonderfully restored four-wheel carriages hauled by a steam engine. This narrow-gauge railway runs along the dramatic Inn Valley, travelling through breathtaking scenery on its way to Mayrhofen. Here you are free to explore the cobbled streets lined with shops and restaurants before our return journey.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Journey on Zillertalbahn
Day 7

Through the Dolomites to Garda by rail

This morning we head south, through the soaring icy peaks of the Dolomites into Italy and on to Verona (Standard Class). We enjoy a guided tour of the beautiful city of Verona before continuing by coach to the lakeside city of Desenzano, on the shores of Lake Garda. Here we spend five nights at the Hotel Desenzano.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Tour of Verona
Day 8

An excursion to a winery

This morning you are free to relax by Lake Garda and to explore Desenzano at leisure, possibly by enjoying a lakeside stroll. This afternoon we enjoy an excursion by coach to the Franciacorta wine region, where we enjoy a visit to a local winery and have the chance to taste some local wines.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Franciacorta Wine-tasting
Day 9

Excursion to Venice & a guided tour of the city

This morning we travel by coach to the mesmerizing floating city of Venice. A private boat takes us along the Giudecca Canal to St Mark's Square to meet our local guide. During our guided tour we see many of this unique city's famous sights, including St Mark's Basilica. You also have some free time to explore at your own pace. Perhaps visit the impressive Doge's Palace and the iconic Bridge of Sighs, or one of the city's many art galleries. Otherwise, why not get an alternative view of this fabulous city with a ride along the waterways in one of its famous gondolas?

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Tour of Venice
Day 10

New Year’s Eve exploring Sirmione

On New Year's Eve we visit Sirmione, one of the most popular holiday resorts on the shores of Lake Garda, located on the tip of a long peninsula protruding from the southern shore of the lake. The town is dominated by its imposing castle, the Rocca Scaligera, and is known for its thermal springs - it was a spa destination even in Roman times. This evening we enjoy a gala dinner and celebrations at the hotel - a great way to see in the New Year.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Excursion to Sirmione
Champagne Glasses
Day 11

New Year's Day at leisure

On New Year's Day you are free to relax and maybe take a stroll along the lakefront to blow the cobwebs away. For the more adventurous and energetic, take a walk into the hills for panoramic views across the surrounding countryside. One popular option is Malcesine, a particularly atmospheric town that boasts a number of picturesque Old Town buildings and a quaint harbour.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Free Day
Piazza Castello
Day 12

To Turin by First Class rail

This morning we travel in First Class, past shimmering Lake Garda and Milan, to the delightful city of Turin, Italy's first capital. Here we transfer to the Holiday Inn Turin for an overnight stay. This afternoon, why not take a stroll into the centre of this lovely city to admire its Baroque architecture, or maybe explore the majestic cathedral, home to the famous Shroud of Turin?

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Eurostar Winter
Day 13

First Class rail to London

Leaving Turin behind, today we travel in First Class on the high-speed train to Paris. After crossing the city by coach we join the Eurostar to London.

  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

Please note

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


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