April - October 2015
Where the Mediterranean meets the Alps
Join us to discover some of the most alluring and contrasting lakes and mountains scenery in the world as you stay on the shores of beautiful Lake Maggiore and mighty Lake Garda. Sail out to the exquisite Borromean Islands, visit Lake Como, explore Garda's varied shoreline, and perhaps join optional excursions into Switzerland or to historic Mantova, "the world's most romantic city".
Tour Highlights And Inclusions
- Take a guided tour of Maggiore and the beautiful Borromean Islands
- Spend a day exploring Lake Como
- Sirmione on Garda's sun-kissed southern shore
- Enjoy a full-day tour of glorious Lake Garda
- Seven nights' dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation in four-star hotels in Meina, Lake Maggiore (4 nights) and Moniga del Garda, Lake Garda (3)
- Return flights from your chosen airport to Italy
- Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers
- Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced Tour Manager
Single rooms are available for a supplement
This escorted holiday sees us based in two resorts - the first on the shores of beautiful Lake Maggiore and the second beside marvellous Lake Garda.
Meina, Lake Maggiore
Meina sits on Maggiore's western shoreline, a little way south from Stresa and the Gulf of Borromeo. Sumptuous villas and hotels line the lake shore, while the piazzas and tree-lined squares are filled with the bustle of the cafes and shops. In the distance, the view is framed by the surrounding Southern Alps.
Moniga del Garda, Lake Garda
On the western shore of Lake Garda, Moniga del Garda is a small town with a pretty harbour area and wide pebble beaches. It is famous for its local rose wine, Chiaretto, and offers a small selection of bars, restaurants and cafes.
Fly to Italy, meet your Tour Manager and board the coach for the scenic journey to Lake Maggiore, in its idyllic setting amid gently rolling hills.
Join our Tour Manager for a guided introduction to Maggiore's shores, today. Here, elegant villas are surrounded by beautiful gardens, and resort towns like Arona, Baveno and Stresa exude a Mediterranean-like charm.
Stopping in elegant Stresa, you'll board a boat for the short journey to the tiny, idyllic Borromean Islands. Among them are 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.
Today's wonderful included tour takes in one of the most beautiful of the Alpine lakes. Backed by steep mountains, with a shoreline dotted with elegant villas and glorious gardens, Como combines Italian sophistication with stunning scenery. Head to Tremezzo, on the lake's eastern shore, to visit the museum and gardens of the famed Villa Carlotta (entry payable locally), then sail across the calm waters to Bellagio, said to be one of the most beautiful towns in Italy.
Enjoy a day relaxing in the hotel, or join our optional excursion and cross into Switzerland, heading to alpine Domodossola. Ride the Cento Valli train, through the breathtaking "hundred valleys", to sun-kissed Locarno. Take in the stunning views from the train, and soak up the atmosphere of the colourful, Swiss resort before journeying back along the lake to the hotel.
Bid farewell to Maggiore and cross the Lombardy Plain to Lake Garda. We'll stop in the celebrated resort of Sirmione, perched on a promontory jutting into the lake, and famed for its 'fairytale' Rocca Scaligera castle. Take in the views from the battlements, or even take to the water on a lake steamer, before continuing to our hotel in Moniga del Garda, close to Garda's south west corner.
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. Today's coach tour is the perfect way to enjoy the area's marvellous scenery.
Join today's optional excursion and experience '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.
Transfer to the airport to board your flight home at the end of a wonderful week.
Please note that remaining 2014 departures follow a different itinerary, staying in Manerba del Garda and then Lago di Mergozzo, and offering alternative excursions to Lugano and Lake Como (included) and Lake Orta (optional).
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately two hours and 30 minutes from Verona, one hour and 30 minutes from Bergamo and one hour from Milan. The transfer back to the airport at the end of your holiday is approximately 45 minutes to Verona, one hour to Bergamo and two hours, 30 minutes to Milan.
Combining hotel transfers
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.
Meals in Italy
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. In some instances, individual guests who have booked with the hotel independently may be offered a different menu from those who are staying at the hotel as part of a package tour.
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.
Italian hotel room tax
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.
Airport development fees
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.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
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