This escorted holiday sees us based in two resorts - on the shores of Lake Garda and beside Lake Maggiore.
On the southern shore of Lake Garda, the small, charming, historic town of Sirmione is one of the lake's most popular holiday resorts. The town has a good selection of bars, restaurants and shops lining cobbled, pedestrian streets, and the town's 13th-century castle, Rocca Scaligera, is certainly worth a visit.
Sirmione, Lake Garda
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.
Meina, Lake Maggiore
Italian Lakes Holiday Itinerary
Fly to Italy and board the coach for the scenic journey to Lake Garda where we'll stay in the celebrated resort of Sirmione. The resort is famed for its fairytale Rocca Scaligera castle - which perches on a promontory jutting into the lake.
Day One: Travel to Sirmione on Lake Garda
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.
Day Two: Coach tour of Lake Garda
Join today's optional half-day 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.
Day Three: Optional Mantova tour
Bid farewell to Lake Garda and cross the Lombardy Plain to Maggiore, in its idyllic setting amid gently rolling hills.
Day Four: Travel to Maggiore
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.
Day Five: A day trip to Lake Como
Enjoy a day relaxing in the hotel, or join our optional excursion and cross into Switzerland, heading to sun-kissed Locarno. Soak up the atmosphere of this colourful Swiss resort before boarding the Cento Valli train for a ride, through the breathtaking "hundred valleys", to alpine Domodossola.
Day Six: Optional Switzerland excursion
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.
Day Seven: Explore Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Islands
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, and picturesque Isola dei Pescatori, still inhabited by local fishermen.
Transfer to the airport to board your flight home at the end of a wonderful week.
Day Eight: Travel home