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Sirmione on Lake Garda

(Tour code: SRL6)Discover and explore the picture-perfect Sirmione

Known as the 'Pearl of the Lake', picture perfect Sirmione is perched on a peninsula on the southern shore of Lake Garda. On this exceptional tour we visit Mantova, the Sigurta Gardens, and iconic Venice, where we enjoy dinner in a palace on the Grand Canal.

Tour Highlights
  • Overnight in Paris
  • Lakefront hotel in Sirmione
  • Malcesine
  • Verona guided tour
  • Valpolicella ‘Agriturismo’ wine tasting and dinner
  • Mantova guided tour
  • Sigurta Gardens
  • Venice including a guided walking tour
  • Dinner in a Venetian Palazzo
What’s Included (Full details)
  • First Class Rail
    Eurostar Standard Premier
    Eurostar Meals
  • 4* Hotel Accommodation
    Breakfast Every Day
    Selected Evening Meals
  • Optional Bag Concierge

Itinerary & Map

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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.

Eurostar
Days 1-2

Eurostar and First Class rail to Lake Garda

We meet our group and Tour Manager at Great Rail Journeys' dedicated departure office in London St Pancras International today, where our adventure begins. Leaving on the Eurostar to Paris, we travel in Standard Premier Class, enjoying a light meal and drinks on board. We spend tonight in Paris, and this evening is free for you to explore the romantic French capital. You could enjoy dinner in one of the many superb restaurants the city has to offer. On Day 2 we continue by rail across the Italian border to Milan, then continue by coach to Lake Garda. We arrive at the southern end of Lake Garda, where the lakefront is almost sea-like and inviting beaches line the shores of the wide expanse of water. Our destination is the charming town of Sirmione, situated on a peninsula jutting into the lake. Surrounded on three sides by water, Sirmione is one of Lake Garda's most peaceful towns. We spend seven nights at the 4-Star Hotel Continental, overlooking the lake. Located close to Sirmione's centre, the Hotel Continental offers a wonderful setting and superb service for our stay, and our host Giovanni will be on hand to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.

Includes:
  • Day 1 - Eurostar meal
  • Day 2 - Breakfast, Dinner
Juliet's Balcony, Verona
Days 3-4

Verona and Valpolicella

Today is yours to spend as you wish. One option is to take advantage of Sirmione's thermal springs, which naturally pump out water at a blissful 37°C. Day 4 Our excursion today takes us by coach to historical 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 takes us into Verona's historic heart, we will see Juliet's balcony and Verona's great Roman Arena, which remains largely intact and is still used today as an open-air opera house, with performances taking place during the summer season. There is some free time following our tour to explore Verona at your own pace. Perhaps stroll along the Piazza delle Erbe, a former Roman forum, now home to some of Verona's most elegant buildings. Lined with al fresco eateries and typical Veronese cafes, this is a perfect spot from which to appreciate the buzz of the city. Leaving Verona, we continue to a local wine cooperative in Valpolicella where we enjoy a wine tasting and a talk about the region's wine production. We have a dinner of homemade dishes in the idyllic setting of the rustic farmhouse. 

Includes:
  • Day 3 - Free day
  • Day 3 - Breakfast
  • Day 4 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 4 - Verona Tour
Mantova
Day 5

Mantova and Sigurta Gardens

This morning we drive to the wonderful Sigurta Gardens, an oasis of colourful plant life set in the foothills around Lake Garda. We have time to stroll around the grounds, and admire its different flora, follies and water gardens. Later we drive to the beautifully preserved medieval city of Mantova, briefly stopping at the picturesque village of Il Borghetto en route, with time to explore. Mantova became one of the leading Renaissance cities under the guidance of the all-powerful Gonzaga family. On arrival we visit the sumptuous Ducal Palace where the family resided. During our guided tour we explore the formidable complex of buildings and some of its 500 rooms before returning to Sirmione.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Tour of Mantova
Venice
Day 6

Venice and the Palazzo Pisani

Following a leisurely morning in Sirmione, we head to the incomparable, romantic city of Venice. The glorious city is set in its own shimmering lagoon - an incredible environment that has UNESCO World Heritage status. On arrival a private boat transports us along the myriad of waterways to St Mark's Square, without a doubt one of the world's most beautiful city squares. Overlooked by St Mark's Basilica, the large open space is surrounded by the Doge's Palace, the famous Sansoviniana Bookshop and the iconic bell tower, as well as the waters of the lagoon. Our guide greets us in St Mark's Square and takes us on a tour of the city, leading us around the narrow winding streets, and small squares to visit some of Venice's main sights. After the tour, you are free to explore this unique city. Later we make our way to the Palazzo Pisani, a spectacular palace set on the Grand Canal. Much of the palace is still furnished with its 18th century splendour bestowed upon it by the Pisani family, who remain in residence today. We enjoy an aperitif ahead of dinner in this splendid palace, and later this evening return to Lake Garda by coach.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Tour of Venice
Sirmione
Day 7

At leisure in Sirmione

Enjoy a free day to relax and unwind in the warm local climate. Bursting with history and charm, the town is a pleasure to discover. The Grotte di Catullo, a ruined Roman villa, is well worth a visit, as is the 13th century Rocca Scaligera. Built by the Scaligeri family of Verona, this enormous square-cut castle looms over the only footbridge into town. From the top of the tower, you can enjoy impressive views of the harbour. Certain departures will enjoy an additional dinner this evening.

Includes:
  • Breakfast
  • Free Day
Malcesine
Day 8

Malcesine

Travelling by coach up Lake Garda's eastern shore, we make our way north to Malcesine, where the lake resembles the Norwegian fjords; a narrow stretch of Lake Garda where dramatic cliffs rise steeply from the very edge of the water. We enjoy time to explore Malcesine at leisure. You may wish to take this opportunity to visit the 14th century Scaligeri Castle which dominates the town. Or, you could travel by cable car up to the summit of Monte Baldo, Lake Garda's highest mountain. The modern Malcesine cable car is the simplest and most spectacular way to get to the summit. Later we cruise back to Sirmione, passing many small villages along the shore. Tonight, we enjoy a farewell dinner together in the hotel.

Includes:
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Excursion to Malcesine
Colmar
Days 9 -10

First Class rail via Basel to Colmar

We transfer to the local station by coach as we leave Sirmione and travel back through Italy to France. We reach the half-timbered town of Colmar, where we overnight. On Day 10 we take the TGV service to Paris. Here we join the Eurostar service back to London.

Includes:
  • Day 9 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 10 - Breakfast, Eurostar meal
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