Contact Us
ABTAATOLTravel Awards 2015

01904 734 356

Open 7 Days A Week
ViewHide Gallery

Simply Lake Garda

(Tour code: DZL17)Relax on the shores of Italy’s largest lake

Picturesque, peaceful and perfectly placed for our visits to Verona and Venice, the lakeside town of Desenzano forms the ideal base for a wonderful holiday with a delightful setting on the shores of tranquil Lake Garda - one of Italy's best-loved lakes.


Secure your Italian holiday for only £50pp low deposit when booking on or before 9th December 2016, plus save up to £30 per person when booking on or before 31st October 2016. Terms & Conditions

Tour Highlights
  • Desenzano
  • Lake Garda
  • Venice including a walking tour
  • Isola del Garda by boat & its Neo-Gothic villa
  • Verona including a guided tour
  • Cruise to Sirmione
  • 4-Star hotel accommodation on the shores of Lake Garda
What’s Included (Full details)
  • Standard Class Rail
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
  • Optional Bag Concierge

Itinerary & Map

top ^
Departure Times

All departures on this tour depart on Eurostar after 12pm, allowing morning travel into London from most of the UK. 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

London to Paris on the Eurostar

Our holiday begins at our St Pancras Departure Office, where we board the Eurostar to Paris. We overnight in the French capital, where you are free for dinner this evening.

Desenzano del Garda
Day 2

To Italy by rail

From Paris we travel by TGV on the wonderfully scenic route to Milan. Our journey from the French capital takes us southeast towards the mighty Alps and across the border into Italy, passing through Turin on our way to Milan. On arrival in Milan, we transfer to a coach for our journey east towards Lake Garda, travelling past the Italian Alps to the north and the vast Lombardy Plain to the south. We arrive in the bustling town of Desenzano, located on the wide, sea-like southern shores of Lake Garda, Italy's largest lake. We spend the next seven nights here at the friendly Hotel Desenzano, run by Gigliola and her family. Gigliola is well known to Great Rail Journeys' customers for her warm Italian welcome. We dine in the hotel this evening.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3

Excursion to Sirmione

This morning, we take a short cruise across the lake by boat to picturesque Sirmione. The town occupies a peculiar position on a thin and craggy peninsula jutting 4km into the lake. Surrounded on three sides by water, Sirmione is one of Lake Garda's most delightful towns. The narrow winding lanes and pretty piazzas of Sirmione are mostly pedestrianised, which makes strolling through the town a pleasure. A panoramic walk leads out around the promontory, and on a clear day you can enjoy great views over the lake and towards the mountains in the north. There is free time in Sirmione to explore the imposing Rocca Scaligera - a 13th century castle surrounded by a large water-filled moat that dominates the Old Quarter of town and offers beautiful views over Lake Garda from the ramparts.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4

At leisure

Today is free to relax in Desenzano, enjoying the warm local climate and the hotel's facilities. Desenzano's town square is bordered with restaurants and cafés, where you can view the beautiful architecture and scenery while savouring the local cuisine. You could travel further afield to visit stylish Milan and explore the city's sights, including the incredible Duomo (the largest Gothic cathedral in the world) and the world's most famous opera house, the 'Teatro alla Scala'.

  • Breakfast
Day 5

Exploring Venice

Today we board the high-speed train in Desenzano for a full-day excursion to the fabulous city of Venice. Arriving at the city's Santa Lucia station close to the Grand Canal, we are greeted by a truly glorious view of the shimmering Venice lagoon. A private boat transports us along the Giudecca Canal - our first chance to soak up the wonderful atmosphere of this unique city. We arrive at St Mark's Square, one of the most beautiful city squares in the world. Overlooked by St Mark's Basilica, the large open space is surrounded by the Doge's Palace, the Procurator's residence, the famous Sansoviniana Bookshop and the iconic bell tower, as well as the waters of the lagoon. Our local guide greets us in St Mark's Square and takes us on a walking tour of the city, leading us around the narrow winding streets and small squares to visit some of Venice's main sights. Your afternoon is free to explore at leisure - you could view the Bridge of Sighs, cross the famous Rialto Bridge, discover the historic Jewish Quarter or visit the magnificent domed 'Santa Maria della Salute' Church.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6

At leisure

Your day is free to discover Desenzano, with its narrow streets, medieval castle and picturesque waterfront. Today is Desenzano's Market Day; make your way to the Old Town where you will find the main square filled with stalls selling locally produced food and crafts.

  • Breakfast
Isola del Garda
Day 7

Isola del Garda

Today's excursion takes us on a wonderful cruise across the waters of Lake Garda to the wooded Isola del Garda, the biggest island in the lake. Dominated by an impressive neo-Gothic villa, the island can only be reached by private boat, and we travel out to see the elegant house and flower-filled gardens, scented with lemon and pine. Exotic plants jostle for position among verdant foliage, and beautifully manicured terraces run down to the water, as we enjoy a guided tour of the house and gardens. The Villa Borghese-Cavazza is a superb example of neo-Gothic architecture, with the 19th century fortifications a particularly stunning addition to the building. The island is still to this day home to the Cavazza family, and often the guided tours are run by the Countesses themselves. After exploring the exquisite villa, and the extensive garden with its wide selection of fragrant roses, we enjoy an aperetif of local wine. A stroll around the island's picturesque shoreline offers fantastic vistas of the tranquil lake waters. 

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8


Our excursion today takes us by coach to beautiful Verona - a city of Roman ruins, medieval buildings, Italian culture and romance; the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. On our guided tour of the city, which boasts UNESCO World Heritage status, we stroll into Verona's historic heart, we will see Juliet's balcony and Verona's great Roman Arena. We end our tour at the imposing amphitheatre which is now an open air opera house. There is some free time following our tour to explore Verona at your own pace - you could take a tour of the Roman Arena itself. You could also discover the remarkable Gothic architecture of the Scaligieri tombs, a series of Gothic monasteries where the remains of the Scaligieri family, former rulers of Verona, are interred. Alternatively you could peruse the designer shops on the fashionable Via Mazzini.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Days 9-10

To Strasbourg and London

We travel via Milan and Basel to Strasbourg, where we overnight. On Day 9 we board the TGV to Paris, where we connect with the Eurostar to London.

  • Day 9 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 10 - Breakfast

Please note

Please note that whilst every departure of Simply Lake Garda will feature the same excursions, the order of the itinerary may differ from that given above.


Get in touch with one of our Travel Specialists

Helping you plan your holiday...

Phil Conde
Kathryn Cambridge
Lynne Broadley
James Eaton



Sign up for our free newsletter

Order Brochures Contact Us View Shortlist 0