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Simply Lake Garda

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4.3 stars(144 reviews)
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Small Group

Uncover one of Italy’s best-loved lakes

10 days From £1,595 £1,495 per person
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2023 Tour code: DZL23

About the tour

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

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – London and Turin

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

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – Lake Garda

Making our way through northern Italy we arrive at Lake Garda. The largest of the Italian lakes, it attracts visitors with its crystal-clear waters, mountainous backdrops and charming lakeside towns. We stay in Desenzano, nestled on the lake's southern shore and boasting beautiful views of the Alps to the north. The town centre is filled with picturesque squares lined with cafés, ice cream parlours and bars.

Includes
  • 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 peaceful and fantastic to explore on foot. The winding lanes and pretty piazzas are mostly pedestrianised, making it easy to visit Rocca Scaligera, a beautifully preserved 13th century castle surrounded by a large water-filled moat. Dominating the Old Quarter of the town, you can enjoy beautiful views over the lake from its ramparts.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – Desenzano

Enjoy a free day in Desenzano. Perhaps take a stroll through the pretty centre, where there's plenty of welcoming cafés and restaurants to choose from. The ruins of a Roman villa are also worth visiting, complete with mosaics and a small museum detailing its fascinating history. Other highlights include the archaeological museum, telling the story of the town's long history, and the magnificent 16th-century Cathedral of St Mary Magdalene.

Includes
  • 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 its iconic canals, meandering through narrow waterways and under bridges - the perfect way to admire the city's old-world Gothic grandeur. With free time in the afternoon, you could visit the Bridge of Sighs or cross the famous Rialto Bridge. Perhaps explore some of the streets that locals frequent and discover inviting pavement cafés, bars and shops.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – Desenzano

Enjoy another free day in Desenzano. You could relax at your hotel or explore further afield. Perhaps catch the train to stylish Milan, famous as the 'style capital of the world'. An exciting architectural mix of old and new, the city 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.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Isola del Garda

Cruising across Lake Garda, we head to wooded Isola del Garda, the biggest island on the lake and only accessible 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. There's also 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.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Verona

We travel by coach to 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 visit the Scaligeri tombs, where the Scaligeri - the former rulers of Verona - are interred in the Gothic architecture. Or you could spend some time perusing the designer shops on the fashionable Via Mazzini. An abundance of pavement cafés offers the opportunity to relax with a drink and watch the world go by - a truly Italian pastime.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 – Lyon

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

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 – London

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

Includes
  • 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

Hotel Desenzano, Desenzano

Hotel Desenzano, Desenzano

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Trains

Eurostar
TGV

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Upgrades

Inclusive Luggage Upgrade
Upgrade to Standard Premier Class on Eurostar
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Reviews

4.3 stars4.3 / 5 · 144 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (76)
  2. 4 stars
    (41)
  3. 3 stars
    (20)
  4. 2 stars
    (6)
  5. 1 star
    (1)

David Firmin

4 stars

Submitted 10 Nov 2022

A very enjoyable trip helped by very fine weather and good company. We have several friends who have expressed strong interest and are quite likely to participate in future.

Collected by Trustpilot

Ian Roger Beaumont

5 stars

Submitted 05 Nov 2022

Can't think of any negatives - I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

Collected by Trustpilot

Kevin Darnell

3 stars

Submitted 05 Nov 2022

Desenzano made a great base from which to tour Lake Garda and Milan, Venice and Verona. But the hotel is definitely not 4-star, with a very limited choice of evening meals and retro decor. I did much individually and enjoyed my holiday but the included excursions are too short with no flexibility on returning by train to Desenzano and our return journey via Turin was changed to Basel in Switzerland.

Collected by Trustpilot

Leanne

5 stars

Submitted 01 Nov 2022

Was unsure what to expect as this was our first rail holiday. It far exceeded expectations and we are already looking to book our next one.

Collected by Trustpilot

J Seymour

4 stars

Submitted 30 Oct 2022

Enjoyable, great guide and the group friendly/easy to get on with. Georgina the guide was always at hand to help/ answer questions/prepared for all tours and journeys, arranging daily newsletters. The excursions/free time balanced well. Hotel concord Turin, was lovely, central to station, comfortable. Hotel lingotto Turin comfortable, interesting history to building/shopping centre. Hotel desanzano, great location for station, for top of a sloping hill so going down to town/harbour ok but coming back if have mobility issues may struggle but taxis available. The waiting staff, chef and reception staff were fab, welcoming and friendly. Management were not so accommodating at times. Food was lovely with breakfast having a good assortment of choices. No tea and coffee facilities in the room which maybe a knock on effect of the pandemic but hopefully that can be restored. Overall a truly lovely experience and one I would recommend

Collected by Trustpilot

Hugh Mullen

5 stars

Submitted 30 Oct 2022

We thoroughly enjoyed the trip Lake Garda was beautiful

Collected by Trustpilot

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