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Simply Lake Garda

4.5 stars(52 reviews)
Small Group

Uncover one of Italy’s best-loved lakes

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
10 days From £1,495 per person

2022 Tour code: DZL22

About the tour

Picturesque, peaceful, and perfectly placed for our visits to enchanting Verona and Venice, Desenzano forms the ideal base for our holiday. Stay on the shores of Lake Garda - one of Italy's best-loved lakes, take to the waters as we cruise to Isola del Garda and Sirmione, and soak up the elegance of Venice on a gondola ride.


What’s included


Day 1 – London and Turin

We meet at London St Pancras and take the Eurostar to Paris. We continue by rail to the handsome Italian city of Turin, where we spend the night in a local hotel.

  • Dinner
Day 2 – Lake Garda

We continue through northern Italy, making our way to Lake Garda. The largest of the Italian lakes, Lake Garda attracts visitors with its crystal-clear waters, mountainous backdrops and charming lakeside towns. We stay in the charming town of Desenzano, nestled on the lake's southern shore and boasting beautiful views of the Alps to the north. The town's centre Is filled with picturesque squares lined with cafés, ice cream parlours and bars. We spend seven nights here at the Hotel Desenzano, a charming family-run hotel within walking distance of the lake.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Sirmione

We take a scenic cruise across the lake, making our way to Sirmione, one of Lake Garda's most delightful towns. Surrounded on three sides by water, Sirmione is one of the most peaceful towns on Lake Garda and is fantastic to explore on foot. The winding lanes and pretty piazzas are mostly pedestrianised, which makes strolling through the town a pleasure. There is free time here. Perhaps visit Rocca Scaligera, a beautifully preserved 13th century castle surrounded by a large water-filled moat that dominates the Old Quarter of the town, where you'll enjoy beautiful views over the lake from its ramparts.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – Desenzano

Enjoy a free day in Desenzano. Take a stroll through the pretty centre, taking your pick from the welcoming cafés and restaurants, all of which offer the perfect opportunity to relax. The ruins of a Roman villa can also be found in Desenzano, complete with a mosaic and a small museum about the building. Other highlights include the archaeological museum, which tells the fascinating story of the town's long history, and the magnificent 16th-century Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene.

  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Venice

We travel by rail to the glorious 'floating city' of Venice. A boat transports us to St Mark's Square where we're greeted by a local guide for a fascinating walking tour. Next, we're treated to a leisurely gondola ride along the iconic canals, meandering through narrow waterways and under bridges; the perfect way to admire the city's old-world Gothic grandeur. With free time this afternoon, you could visit the Bridge of Sighs or cross the famous Rialto Bridge. Perhaps head out on a stroll, discovering the inviting pavement cafés, bars, and shops that line the historic streets.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – Desenzano

Enjoy another free day to explore Desenzano, or to relax at your hotel. If you'd prefer to explore further afield, you could visit stylish Milan. Famous as the 'style capital of the world', Milan is an exciting architectural mix of old and new and is filled with fascinating sights and landmarks. Make sure to visit the incredible Duomo - the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, and the famous 'Teatro alla Scala' opera house.

  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Isola del Garda

We cruise across Lake Garda to wooded Isola del Garda, the biggest island on the lake and only reachable by boat. The island is owned by the historic Cavazza family and is dominated by Villa Borghese-Cavazza, a superb example of neo-Gothic architecture designed by the architect Luigi Rovelli at the beginning of the 20th century. The island also has a small wood of pines and cypresses, acacias and lemon trees, magnolias and agaves. We explore the exquisite villa and extensive gardens on an insightful guided tour before relaxing with an aperitif of local wine, joined by a member of the Cavazza family.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Verona

We travel by rail to beautiful Verona, famous as the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. A guided tour introduces us to the city's rich history as we wander amongst Roman ruins and medieval buildings, seeing Juliet's balcony and the Roman Arena. With free time afterwards, you could discover the remarkable Gothic architecture of the Scaligeri tombs, where the remains of the 'Scaligeri', the former rulers of Verona, are interred. Or, you could spend some time perusing the designer shops on the fashionable Via Mazzini. An abundance of pavement cafés offer the opportunity to relax with a drink and watch the world go by - a truly Italian pastime.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 – Turin

Bidding farewell to the beautiful surroundings of Lake Garda, we board a train to Turin, where we spend the night.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 – London

Continuing our way home, we travel by rail to Paris, where we join the Eurostar to London St Pancras.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

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.


Hotel Desenzano, Desenzano

Hotel Desenzano, Desenzano

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4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 52 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Mr P Collett

4 stars

Submitted 21 Oct 2019

Logistics, organisation excellent little disappointed in location of hotel and did not agree with its 4 star categorisation

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr B Cross

5 stars

Submitted 30 Sep 2019

An excellent holiday with a good group and an excellent tour guide in a lovely part of Italy

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs M Day

4 stars

Submitted 23 Sep 2019

Well organised courier was informative and always available.Hotel was comfortable and well maintained.Trips were varied and and well run to interesting places.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs L Aljian

5 stars

Submitted 21 Aug 2019

Everything was well planned and Justine, our Tour guide was very knowledgeable and caring

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr A Williams

5 stars

Submitted 19 Aug 2019

Excellent trip really enjoyed

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs C Williams

5 stars

Submitted 15 Jul 2019

Wonderful. The right amount of free time & trips. Well organised.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

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Europe by Rail 2022

Europe by Rail 2022

The definitive guide to our 2022 summer rail holidays to a wide range of destinations in Europe. When ordering for postal delivery, you will only receive our collection of European holidays. If you are interested in UK holidays, these are available on the website.

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Simply Lake Garda

Uncover one of Italy’s best-loved lakes


Luke Simpson
Helen Laverack
Lynne Broadley
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