|Departing||September 2012 - October 2013|
* Price shown: 25 May 2014 from Exeter - EXT
A wonderful two-centre holiday
Join us and spend three unforgettable days on the shores of Italy's largest and most spectacular lake, then travel north into the Austrian Tyrol, for five more wonderful days amid breathtaking scenery and crisp, clear air.
Single rooms are available for a supplement
Equally favoured by mild winds in the winter and cooling breezes in the summer months, Lake Garda is one of the most popular of all 'lakes and mountains' destinations. No less blessed is the Austrian Tyrol - a region of jagged, snow-capped peaks and lush green valleys, dotted with picture-postcard-perfect villages.
The liveliest of our resorts, Torbole, on Garda's north-eastern shore, offers a vibrant cafe life and a lakeside promenade, from where, most afternoons, the windsurfing enthusiasts skimming across the water are a colourful sight.
This typically beautiful Tyrolean village lies on the appropriately named Sun Plateau, above Innsbruck. Life here is warm and friendly, and in summer the emphasis is on outdoor recreation and holidaymaking, and there are countless walking trails and mountain bike paths for the energetic to follow.
Fly to Italy, and transfer to Torbole and Hotel Geier. After check-in, spend the rest of your day relaxing.
After a relaxing morning, join our optional excursion to "fair Verona". Explore this historic backdrop for the tragic tale of "Juliet and her Romeo", and home to the famous opera season held yearly in its Roman amphitheatre and bustling, cafe-lined Piazza Bra.
Join today's optional excursion to explore incomparable Venice. With its labyrinth of alleys and waterways, spectacular St Mark's Square and Cathedral, the Doge's Palace, the Rialto Bridge and the mystique of the Palace of Prisons and the Bridge of Sighs, Venice has to be seen to be believed.
Today we leave Torbole and head into the Dolomites, a beautiful region of jagged peaks and green meadows dotted with Alpine villages. The leisurely day will include a stop at Bolzano, famed for its local wine. In the afternoon you'll cross into Austria and head to Gotzens, calling en route at the famous border town of Vipiteno.
Our next, full-day optional excursion is to the Imperial city of Innsbruck. After a chance to see the the imposing Wilten Monastery and Olympic ski-jump, we'll enter Innsbruck through the historic triumphal arch. Our guided tour will reveal the historic old town, the elegant main street and the famous copper-tiled 'Golden Roof' built for Emperor Maximillian I.
After the tour, stop for coffee and cake before we head to the unusual, but spectacular, Swarovski Crystal Worlds. See crystals large and small, and artworks by the likes of Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali, in a highly original setting 'guarded' by a green 'giant', one of the most unusual sights of the whole holiday.
On today's optional excursion you'll discover Salzburg. The birthplace of Mozart is also forever associated with 'The Sound of Music', and you'll travel through the Alpine scenery so familiar from the film to this city that nestles beneath the imposing Hohensalzburg Castle.
Our final full day in the Tyrol gives you the chance to rest and relax, or join our last optional excursion and leave behind the green valleys, heading for the frozen heights of the Hintertux Glacier. Take a scenic rail journey through stunning landscape to a wilderness of ice and snow. Enjoy a glass of schnapps, and then take the coach to the foot of the Hintertux.
Bid "auf wiedersehen" to the Tyrol, as we board the coach for our journey to the airport to catch our flight home at the end of a truly memorable holiday.
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel on arrival is approximately three hours from Milan and one hour from Verona. On departure, the transfer time is approximately two hours to Munich and four hours to Verona.
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.
From filling Gulaschsuppe to Wienerschnitzel and sausage varieties beyond counting, Austrian food tends to be rich. But it is desserts and pastries for which Austria is perhaps best known, and calorie-counters will need strong wills to resist temptation.
Since certain attractions visited offer free admission to visitors aged under 18 and over 65, we do not include entrance fees while in Italy. 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.
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.
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.
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.