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Sirmione on Lake Garda

4.3 stars(105 reviews)
Gallery Video
Small Group

Uncover beautiful Lake Garda from the ‘Pearl of the Lake’, Sirmione.

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
10 days From £1,795 per person

2022 Tour code: SRL22

About the tour

Known as the 'Pearl of the Lake', stunning Sirmione is perched on the southern shores of iconic Lake Garda. On this exceptional tour we sample Italian wine in the rural wine region of Valpolicella, discover unique culture in Verona and Malcesine, and float along the waterways of Venice on an unforgettable gondola ride.

Something Special Badge

Our Something Special collection features accommodation in 4 and 5-star hotels known for their scenic locations and excellent facilities.


What’s included


Day 1 – London and Lyon

From London St Pancras, we board the Eurostar to Paris. From the French capital, we continue by rail to the handsome French city of Lyon. Arriving in the evening, we check into our hotel for the night before sitting down for our first dinner together.

  • Dinner
  • Eurostar Meal
Day 2 - Sirmione

We take the train from Lyon to Milan, where we join a coach that takes us to picture-perfect Sirmione. Nestled on the shimmering shores of Lake Garda, the town is known as the 'Pearl of the Lake' and is the perfect spot from which to take in all the area has to offer. The largest of the Italian lakes, Lake Garda is known around the world as one of its most stunning, boasting Mediterranean panoramas of rolling vineyards and olive groves. Arriving in Sirmione, we check into our hotel, where we spend the next seven nights.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Sirmione

Today is free in Sirmione, a place bursting with history and charm. Found on a thin peninsula at the southern end of Lake Garda, where the lakefront feels almost sea-like and inviting beaches line the shores, Sirmione is a pleasure to discover. During your explorations, you could step back in time at the Rocca Scaligera, the beautifully preserved 13th-century castle that dominates the town's Old Quarter. Surrounded by a large water-filled moat, the castle's position on the narrowest part of the peninsula means the views it offers across the lake are breathtaking.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – Verona and Valpolicella

We visit historic Verona for a guided tour, seeing Juliet's famous balcony and the great Roman arena. With free time this afternoon, you could stroll along the Piazza delle Erbe, a former Roman forum. Leaving Verona, we head to a local wine cooperative in Valpolicella which has been in the Mazzi family for over a century and is now passionately run by brothers Roberto, Stefano and Antonio. We enjoy an insight into local wine production with a tour and a tasting of the excellent wines, including the famous full-bodied red Amarone, before sitting down to a mouthwatering dinner of homemade dishes in the idyllic surroundings.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Sirmione

Enjoy a free day in Sirmione. You could visit Grotte di Catullo, the remains of one of the largest Roman villas in Italy. Or, enjoy a taste of the region in one of the inviting pavement cafés or bars, where you could indulge in some of the best pizza or pasta you'll ever try. With the enticing vineyards of Lombardy found just to the west of the lake, it's no surprise that wine here is excellent, too. Perhaps take it slow and indulge in an afternoon of people-watching as you soak up the bustling atmosphere of the town, accompanied by a glass of local wine.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – Venice

We head to the 'Floating City' of Venice by rail. Set in its own shimmering lagoon - an incredible environment that has UNESCO World Heritage Status - a boat transports us to St Mark's Square, overlooked by St Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace, and the iconic bell tower. We set out on a guided tour through elegant streets, passing narrow canals and small squares to visit some of Venice's main sights. Later, we're treated to a gondola ride through the city's emblematic waterways, an unforgettable Venetian experience and the perfect way to soak up the undeniable romance of Venice.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Sirmione

You have another free day in Sirmione to unwind or explore a little further afield. You could take advantage of the area's famous thermal springs - our hotel has its own thermal pool, fed directly by hot springs, where you could happily spend the day relaxing. The chance to sightsee by boat is another tempting option. Isola del Garda is the most prominent of Lake Garda's islands and has been owned by the Cavazza family for generations. Here, fragrant acacia and lemon trees frame an extraordinary neo-Gothic style villa, making it a lovely place to while away an afternoon.

  • Breakfast
Day 8 – Malcesine

We travel by coach up Lake Garda's eastern shore to Malcesine. This narrow stretch of the lake more closely resembles the Norwegian fjords, with dramatic cliffs rising steeply from the very edge of the water - a truly striking sight. You have free time to get to know Malcesine. Visit its 14th-century castle, an imposing sight that dominates the town, or take the cable car to the summit of Monte Baldo, Lake Garda's highest mountain. We make our return journey by boat, admiring the scenery of Lake Garda from a new and unique perspective as we cruise the length of the lake back to Sirmione.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 – Sirmione and Turin

Bidding a fond farewell to Lake Garda and Sirmione this morning, we head to the station and join the train to Turin, where we spend the night. The city offers up a charming blend of Italian and French culture and architecture, with wide boulevards lined with baroque buildings and welcoming cafés. With a free afternoon to discover the city, you could see the Shroud of Turin. One of the city's most famous features, it's believed to be marked with an imprint of Christ's face after being crucified and has been displayed in Turin since 1578.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 – Home

Our holiday comes to an end as we leave Turin and take the train to Paris. Here, we join the Eurostar service to London St Pancras.

  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar Meal

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 Continental Thermae & Spa, Sirmione

Hotel Continental Thermae & Spa, Sirmione

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4.3 stars4.3 / 5 · 105 reviews

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


3 stars

Submitted 27/Sep

Excellent hotel in ideal location. Excursions were also good. Unfortunately, holiday was adversely affected by tour manager’s performance.

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H Maguire

5 stars

Submitted 23/Sep

A pleasant holiday in a nice hotel with a good tour manager.

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1 stars

Submitted 21/Sep

I will preface this review with the that none of the staff at any of the hotels were anything but excellent in their service and attitude. The only exception is the owner of the Hotel Continental Sirmione (a separate review follows). This holiday was probably one of the most expensive we have booked in over 60 years of travelling the world, but one of the WORST experiences we have ever had. we can only describe the holiday advertised and the one received as Obtaining Money by False Representation. "What's Included" First class rail travel. NOT SO, two weeks prior to departure we were informed one leg had been downgraded. (It transpires that this journey at this time COULD NOT have been booked first class) so why was it advertised as such. "What's Included" Food and Drinks. NOT SO, While we appreciate that this is not an all inclusive holiday so would not expect alcoholic drinks to be included, we would expect water and tea/coffee to be included with meals, this was confirmed in a phone call to GRJ whilst I was at the Hotel Continental but was not forthcoming. "What's Included" Tour of Venice "we begin our tour INCLUDING the square itself (St Marks) AND the Doges Palace, NOT SO we were not given a tour of the Doges Palace we were led to the Basilica but were UNABLE to get entry as the tour guide did NOT have the correct tickets after a 20 minute argument in the blazing heat (guide with security) we were denied entry. (NO REFUND has been forthcoming). There were other small irritations which I will not list here although they will be included in my letter of complaint where I will be seeking compensation. Other Issues that I feel do need mentioning as they ruined the holiday and I feel people should be made aware of these issues when they are about to spend a large amount of money. 1. Because we were a group the hotels especially the "4 star" Hotel Continental Sirmione gave us 2 star treatment for example we were given the smallest rooms, Ours had a balcony which had the next door room toilet window opening onto it, So picture this nice warm evening, sitting on the balcony, glass or wine, sun going down, listening to next door using the toilet HOW ROMANTIC (NOT). 2 Meals. Because of the group booking we had to endure a SET MENU with very limited choice. Obviously the hotels had cut a deal to get a reduced meal cost. NO DRINKS We actually ended up eating elsewhere rather than endure the set menu. The meals in the Mercure Lyon and NH Torino were ok but served warm/cold which you would not expect of 4 star hotels. 3 Tours The main issue with the tours was that they were rushed and did not allow enough time to complete at a reasonable pace give some free time afterwards, The itinerary sheet claims that you will have time after the guided tours to explore a little, this was most definitely NOT the case in Venice. 4 Timings again timings of arrivals and departures have not been thought out for example Turin, by the time we arrived, walked to the hotel, checked in 4.30pm and dinner at 7pm there was not enough time to do anything significant. My advice to anyone thinking of booking this holiday DON'T. If you feel you must then get everything in writing as to what you are and are not getting, I complained before and during the holiday several times but nothing was done and I think the GRJ customer services team are trained in making excuses and splitting hairs on how the advertising is worded (MISLEADING). I shall be complaining and if necessary will take it as far as I can if I do not get a sensible response. We have always wanted to travel to Italy, and this was our first visit, GRJ have tainted that memory forever THANKS FOR THAT. It will not put us off, Italy and its people are fantastic and independent booking of trains, transport, hotels and tours is very easy. (all in English) We shall return, although never with GRJ

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Julia Cunliffe

4 stars

Submitted 20/Sep

Hotel has wonderful location and lovely rooms. Excellent breakfast and dinner variable. Trip to Villa Bettoni a highlight and good addition Suggest Venice a bit far and rushed so leave out of itinerary.

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Mrs Elaine Antcliff

5 stars

Submitted 20/Sep

Great old town, very quaint.

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R Brown

5 stars

Submitted 15/Sep

Fantastic holiday which lived up to expectations. Very good hotels and a superb tour guide. The free time was just right.

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Sirmione on Lake Garda

Uncover beautiful Lake Garda from the ‘Pearl of the Lake’, Sirmione.


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