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Sirmione on Lake Garda

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10 days From £2,495 £2,295 per person
4.4 stars(267 reviews)
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Discover the gems of Lake Garda from the enchanting ‘Pearl of the Lake’, Sirmione.

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Save £200pp on selected Lakes & Mountains 2024 holidays, when you book by 31st July 2024

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Mobility Rating 2

2024 Tour code: SRL24

About the tour

The beautiful fortress town of Sirmione is our base, in an elegant Spa hotel, set on a picturesque peninsula overlooking Lake Garda. On this captivating tour, we glide through Venice's turquoise canals on an unforgettable gondola ride - passing Venetian palazzos, intriguing architecture and by zantine churches - we taste renowned wines and enjoy a delicious homemade dinner at a rural winery in Valpolicella, and explore history and culture in Roman Verona and medieval Malcesine.

Unforgettable experiences

Experience the unique ambience of Venice
Experience the unique ambience of Venice
Float through the dreamlike waterways of Venice on an ethereal gondola ride, into its ancient labyrinthine canals, and enjoy a fascinating guided walking tour.
Private wine tasting and dinner in Valpolicella
Private wine tasting and dinner in Valpolicella
Travel into the green rolling hills of Valpolicella for a private wine tasting and homemade dinner at a rustic winery, run by the Corte Merci, savouring delicious regional flavours and aromas.
See the historic highlights of Verona
See the historic highlights of Verona
Discover Shakespeare’s view of Verona on a guided tour, visiting Juliet’s balcony, an ancient piazza and the impressive Roman Arena, now an open-air opera house.
Stay in an elegant spa hotel on the shores of the lake
Stay in an elegant spa hotel on the shores of the lake
Experience warm Italian hospitality and excellent facilities from our authentic family-run hotel, directly overlooking Lake Garda on the pretty Sirmione peninsula.
Visit Malcesine, a striking medieval hamlet
Visit Malcesine, a striking medieval hamlet
Explore the beautiful towns which grace the shores of Lake Garda, including the impressive medieval hamlet of Malcesine with its imposing castle, fortress and Venetian palace which overlook the steep rugged cliffs of Lake Garda’s dramatic western shores.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – London to Freiburg in the Black Forest

Our holiday begins when we meet our fellow travellers and Tour Manager at London St Pancras. We board the Eurostar service to Paris in Standard Premier Class, enjoying a light meal in our seats. From the French capital, we continue by First Class rail to Karlsruhe in Germany, passing through the Champagne and Alsace regions enroute.

In Karlsruhe, we change to the First Class train to Freiburg im Breisgau. Nestled at the edge of the magical Black Forest, Freiburg has a charming Old Town with cobblestone squares lined by gabled buildings and a magnificent Gothic cathedral. Our overnight hotel is near the train station and, after checking in, we head out to a local restaurant to enjoy our first dinner together as a group.

Includes
  • Dinner
  • Eurostar light meal
Day 2 - Arrival in delightful Sirmione

Leaving Freiburg after breakfast this morning we walk to the train station to travel in First Class to Milan, via Basel. Our spectacular journey takes us through the Swiss Alps, marvelling at views of lakes, mountains and the magnificent Gotthard Tunnel enroute. We emerge in Ticino - an Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland - before passing the shores of Lake Lugano and Lake Como on our way to Milan.

From this stylish city, we are taken by coach to the picturesque peninsula of Sirmione, on the southern shores of Lake Garda - Italy's largest lake. The town's most distinctive feature is its handsome fortress, which guards the entrance to Sirmione. We cross the drawbridge and water-filled moat on the way to our stylish hotel, near the fortress. This family-run hotel is a favourite among our customers and, with its stunning lakeside setting, swimming pools and a fabulous luxury spa whose thermal pool is fed directly by hot springs, it's hardly surprising. There's time to settle in to our surroundings and soak up the idyllic setting, before dinner in the lakeview restaurant.

Please note - For departures 09/06, 16/06, 23/06, 30/06, 07/07, 14/07, 21/07, 25/08 and 01/09 we will travel via Domodossola instead of Milan.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Exploring Sirmione at your leisure

After breakfast overlooking the lake, you have a free day stretching out ahead of you. You may choose to get to know enchanting Sirmione, which you'll have already noticed is bursting with history and charm. The lakefront feels almost sea-like and not far away, towards the tip of the peninsula is the inviting Jamaica Beach. You could visit the beautifully-preserved medieval Scaligero Castle, which we passed through as we entered the town. The castle was constructed in the 12th century by the Scaligeri, the ruling family of Verona, and it's possible to enjoy great views across the lake from the top of its fortified walls. The old town - also called the 'centro storico' - is a pleasure to discover. Here you'll find a maze of medieval churches, charming restaurants, cafés, and interesting buildings such as Palazzo Callas, home of the opera singer Maria Callas, in the 1950s. The Maria Callas Parco, a small park with a viewpoint, is a peaceful green space, just outside the 'centro storico' on the opposite side of the old town from our hotel. This evening we enjoy dinner at our hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – Touring Verona, tasting classic wines and dining in rural Valpolicella

Today starts with a visit to historic Verona and a guided tour. We see Juliet's famous balcony and the city's awe-inspiring Roman Arena, which predates Rome's Colosseum and is now an open-air Opera House. With free time over lunch you could stroll into the heart of romantic Verona to the Piazza delle Erbe, the city's oldest square. Or wander down the main shopping street where Italy's great fashion houses are represented. Leaving Verona this afternoon, we head to a charming wine cooperative in rural Valpolicella to indulge in one of the highpoints of our holiday. This traditional winery lets us relax in a relaxing and tranquil setting as we learn about local wine production during a tour and a tasting of excellent red wines, including their full-bodied red Amarone. We then enjoy a mouth-watering dinner of homemade traditional dishes at the vineyard, surrounded by the hills of Jago de Negrar.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - A full day to explore enchanting Sirmione

Today you have another opportunity to explore lovely Sirmione at leisure. You could visit Grotte di Catullo, the remains of one of the largest Roman villas in Italy, set on a small hill at the tip of the peninsula, with wonderful views from the top, or enjoy coffee or lunch at one of the inviting pavement cafés. Sirmione has an excellent choice of eateries, from traditional osterias or trattorias to fine dining restaurants. Fresh fish and seafood, pizzas and delicious homemade pasta, including pumpkin ravioli and tortellini with meat or vegetables, feature on many menus. With the famed vineyards of Lombardy and Veneto nearby, it's no surprise that the wine here is notable too. You might choose to take it slow and indulge in an afternoon of people-watching as you soak up the atmosphere while enjoying a glass of local wine. This evening, we dine at our hotel restaurant.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – The delights of Venice

Today we experience another highlight of our holiday, starting the day with a First Class rail journey to Venice. Known as 'La Serenissima', this enchanting city is made up of many islands, linked by bridges and intricate canals, and set in a shimmering lagoon. On arrival, we're taken by boat to St Mark's Square - the epicentre of this magical city, surrounded by the ornate St Mark's Basilica, the delicate pink Doge's Palace, and 300-year-old cafés which were once frequented by Lord Byron and Charles Dickens. We're taken on a guided tour through fascinating streets and characterful squares to see Venice's main sights.

The finale of our experience in Venice is a delightful private gondola ride. Gliding through the city's luminous canals - beneath ancient arched bridges, passing exquisite Venetian palazzos and beautiful ruins - is an unforgettable experience and the perfect way to soak up the ethereal atmosphere. With free time this afternoon and a great choice of places to eat, you might like to order an aperitif with cicchetti, a bite-sized open sandwich, at a counter of one of the many bars, or call in at an enticing Pasticceria for coffee and a Venetian pastry. We return to Sirmione and this evening we dine at our hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Discovering Lake Garda

With a free day and evening ahead, today is an ideal time to discover the captivating towns of Lake Garda, or maybe to explore a little further afield. The chance to sightsee by boat is a 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. On the western coast of the Lake is Gardone Riviera, a hidden gem and one of Italy's most beautiful small towns. Surrounded by mountains, the town features the André Heller Botanic Garden, with unusual plants from all over the world - Japanese gardens, water features and grottoes - decorated with contemporary art sculptures. If you would like to venture further, there are frequent trains from Desenzano station. This evening you are free to dine independently and there are many enticing eating places to choose from in Gardone, or in the old town of Sirmione.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 – Discovering medieval Malcesine

This morning we travel by coach along Lake Garda's eastern shore to the gorgeous medieval hamlet of Malcesine which has a striking castle and palace, overlooking the fjordlike lake and facing the dramatic mountains of Lake Garda's western shores. With free time from late morning and over lunch, you may like to visit the impressive 14th-century castle, which dominates the town. There are plenty of restaurants, cafés and street food stalls to choose from in this relaxed and friendly lakeside town. We make the return journey by boat, admiring the diverse scenery of Lake Garda from a different perspective as we cruise the length of the lake back to Sirmione. This evening we enjoy a final dinner at our wonderful hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 – From Sirmione to Lausanne, Lake Geneva

We bid farewell to Sirmione and Lake Garda this morning, but our adventure isn't over yet. Our sightseeing continues by train as we head north to Milan - from here we travel by First Class rail, passing Italy's northern lakes, through the Simplon tunnel which connects Italy to Switzerland. Once we emerge from the tunnel, we travel alongside the stunning Swiss alps, then follow the picturesque shores of Lake Geneva. We arrive in Lausanne, a vibrant Swiss lakeside city, in the late afternoon for an overnight stay. There's time to explore this fascinating university city - with its cobbled, car-free old town and an exquisite Gothic cathedral - before we meet at a local restaurant this evening, for the last dinner of our holiday.

Please note - For departures 09/06, 16/06, 23/06, 30/06, 07/07, 14/07, 21/07, 25/08 and 01/09 we will travel via Domodossola instead of Milan.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 – Homeward bound

After a leisurely breakfast, this morning we say farewell to the lovely lakeside city of Lausanne and continue by First Class rail to Paris. As we travel homewards, our comfortable train journey provides time to reflect on the special moments and unforgettable experiences of our Italian lakes adventure. In Paris, we join the Eurostar service to London St Pancras, travelling in style in spacious Standard Premier class with drinks and a light meal served at our seats.

Includes
  • Breakfast
  • Eurostar light 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

Hotel Continental Thermae & Spa, Sirmione

Hotel Continental Thermae & Spa, Sirmione

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Trains

Eurostar
Frecciargento
Frecciarossa
TGV
Trenitalia

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Upgrades

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London Hotels
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Reviews

4.4 stars4.4 / 5 · 267 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (162)
  2. 4 stars
    (63)
  3. 3 stars
    (24)
  4. 2 stars
    (10)
  5. 1 star
    (8)

Derek

5 stars

Submitted 16/Jul

Everything was as expected, a really good holiday free of worries or hassle.

Collected by Trustpilot

Freda Kelly

3 stars

Submitted 16/Jul

The journey to and from Sirmione somewhat spoiled our trip. The numerous train changes and coach journeys, which included double decker trains and stairs in stations, made manoeuvring suitcases and hand luggage strenuous. Seriously consider sending main suitcases ahead if you are considering this trip. The hotels are superb and Sirmione itself is wonderful. Tour manager and tour guides were excellent. All meals provided were very good.

Collected by Trustpilot

Alan Tea

5 stars

Submitted 16/Jul

Tour Manager very efficient and friendly. All hotels excellent. Organisation of trip very good. Locality superb

Collected by Trustpilot

Iris

4 stars

Submitted 15/Jul

Lovely hotel in quiet area of Sirmione ( a very busy little town) Food excellent. Enjoyed breakfast on terrace. Staff exceptional .

Collected by Trustpilot

Mary Walton

1 stars

Submitted 9/Jul

Hotel excellent. Spoilt by the heat

Collected by Trustpilot

MR G R STALLARD

5 stars

Submitted 8/Jul

Sirmione is a perfect holiday destination Picturesque and well located tor exploring Lake Garda although tends to get very crowded during the day due to high volume of visitors

Collected by Trustpilot

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Europe Holidays 2024

Europe Holidays 2024

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