|Departing||September 2012 - October 2013|
* Price shown: 26 Oct 2014 from London Gatwick - LGW
The lakes of the Italian Alps
Join us to discover some of the most alluring and contrasting lakes and mountains scenery in the world. Discover Garda's varied shoreline, visit Lake Como, and explore the Swiss resort of Lugano on fascinating included excursions as you stay on the shores of mighty Lake Garda and tiny Lake Mergozzo.
Single rooms are available for a supplement
This escorted holiday sees us based in two resorts; the first on the shores of beautiful Lake Garda, and the second beside little Lake Mergozzo.
Lying in the southwest corner of the lake, uphill from the shore, pretty Manerba, which boasts an ancient fort surrounded by beautiful gardens, is the perfect base for the first part of the holiday. From the lake shore, there are views across to Sirmione's famous promontory, and the town is a short distance from the pretty resort of Densenzano.
Lago di Mergozzo lies two kilometres from Lake Maggiore, in a peaceful location beneath beautiful Mount Orfano. The village of Mergozzo is one of the prettiest in the whole region, its stonebuilt houses clustered round the lakefront promenade. This is Italy's cleanest lake, and its pristine beaches are perfect for sun-bathers and swimmers.
Fly to Italy, meet your tour manager and board the coach for your journey to Lake Garda. Dinner will be served in the hotel this evening.
Hemmed in by steep hillsides to the east, the craggy Dolomites to the north, and vineyards, olive groves and woodland on its western and southern shores, Lake Garda is the setting for some of Italy's most attractive resorts. And today's coach tour is the perfect way to enjoy the area's marvellous scenery.
Join today's half-day optional excursion to 'the world's most romantic city'. Surrounded on three sides by beautiful lakes, and with a skyline of turrets and towers, Mantova offers a wealth of interest in its ancient cobbled streets and squares, including an ornate Palazzo Ducale - once Europe's largest palace - and the exotic Renaissance Palazzo Te.
Today you'll leave Lake Garda behind and journey west across the Lombardy Plain, and then north towards beautiful Lake Maggiore.
Stopping in elegant Stresa, you'll board a boat for the short journey to the tiny, idyllic Borromean Islands. Stunning Isola Bella, with its 17th-century Baroque palace, picturesque Isola dei Pescatori, still inhabited by local fishermen, and Isola Madre with its Renaissance villa and superb botanical gardens.
Later this afternoon, you'll continue to delightful Lake Mergozzo and your hotel.
This morning's optional excursion takes us to Lake Orta, and the wonderful medieval town of Orta San Giulio, with its narrow streets, wrought-iron balconies and stunning lakeside piazzas. There'll also be a visit to the lakeside town of Omegna to wander around its bustling weekly produce market.
Today's included excursion takes in two of the most beautiful of the Alpine lakes. Journey across the border to the Swiss resort of Lugano, with its pretty villages dotted around the lake. Explore the town centre before heading to idyllic Lake Como, backed by steep mountains, and lined with elegant villas and glorious gardens.
Head to delightful Tremezzo, on the lake's eastern shore, to visit the botanical gardens and museum of the famed Villa Carlotta (entrance payable locally), before returning to Mergozzo in time for dinner.
Enjoy a last day in Mergozzo, or join our final optional excursion and cross into Switzerland, this time on the beautiful Cento Valli train from alpine Domodossola, through the breathtaking "hundred valleys", to sun- kissed Locarno. Take in the stunning views from the train, and soak up the atmosphere of colourful, Swiss Locarno before returning to the hotel.
Transfer to the airport to board your flight home.
The outbound transfer time to Lake Garda is approximately two hours from Milan and Venice airports, and one hour from Verona Airport. The inbound transfer time from Lake Mergozzo is approximately one hour to Milan, two-and-a-half hours to Verona, and four hours to Venice.
We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
Guests on half-board arrangements will be served a three-course evening meal, and can expect a first course of traditional pasta or soup, a main meat or fish course accompanied by one or two types of vegetable, and a simple dessert of fruit, cake or Italian ice cream. Breakfasts will usually consist of bread rolls, jam, cereal, ham, cheese, fruit juice, tea and coffee. Menus will vary from hotel to hotel, but choice will be more limited than in a normal restaurant.
Since certain attractions visited offer free admission to visitors aged under 18 and over 65, we do not include entrance fees. These will be payable locally where applicable. This applies to excursions that are included in the price of your holiday and to excursions booked as optional extras.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair or electric scooter, please let us know as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Some regions of Italy have introduced a room tax of between 1 EURO and 3 EURO per person per night, payable directly by the guest to the hotel on check-out. You will be advised by your tour manager in resort if a particular hotel is implementing this charge.
An Airport Development Fee has been introduced at a few UK Airports. You will be required to pay this charge at the following airports prior to checking in for your flight: Blackpool, Durham Tees Valley, Newquay and Norwich. The amount varies from airport to airport, but it is generally between £5 and £10 per person. Please visit the airport's website for further information.