LOW DEPOSITS - JUST £49 PER PERSON!
Where the Mediterranean meets the Alps
OFFER ENDS 31st JULY*
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 mighty Lake Garda and beautiful Lake Maggiore. 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".
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
Fly to Italy and board the coach for the scenic journey to the shores of Lake Garda. Check in to your hotel base in Sirmione, one of the lake's most celebrated resorts, perched on a rocky promontory jutting into the blue waters, and famed for its fairy-tale Rocca Scaligera castle, with its turrets and towers. Dinner will be served this evening.
Today's included tour offers the chance to get to know beautiful Lake Garda, as you journey by coach around its sun-kissed shores. Hemmed in by steep hillsides on its eastern shore, backed by the craggy peaks of the Dolomites to the north, and surrounded on its western shores by vineyards and olive groves, which in turn give way to the tree-lined southern shore, the lake is the setting for several attractive resorts, at some of which you'll call during an enjoyable day.
Enjoy the opportunity to rest and relax at the hotel, perhaps to head to the lake shore - a short bus ride away - or join a half day optional excursion, to discover stunning Mantova, which has often been called "the world's most romantic city". Surrounded on three sides by beautiful lakes, and with a skyline of turrets and towers straight out of an 'Arabian Nights' fantasy, Mantova, or Mantua, 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, a true Italian gem.
Transfer to the shores of beautiful Lake Maggiore, in its idyllic setting amongst gently contoured hills. Enjoy your first evening in the hotel and its surroundings.
Join our Tour Manager for a guided introduction to Maggiore's shores, where elegant villas are surrounded by beautiful gardens famed for their colours and scents, and resort towns like Arona, Baveno and Stresa exude a Mediterranean-like charm. Stopping in elegant Stresa, the most celebrated of all the shore-side settlements, you'll board a boat for the short journey to the tiny, idyllic Borromean Islands. Here, you can choose to visit 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, which are as delightful to explore as they are to view from the shore or the water. After a wonderful day, you'll return to the hotel in time to relax before dinner.
Today's wonderful included excursion takes in one of the most beautiful of the Alpine lakes, as you journey to the wooded shores of idyllic Como, elegant playground of the Milanese. Backed by steep mountains, with a shoreline dotted with elegant villas and glorious gardens - a scene that has inspired artists and writers for generations - Como combines Italian sophistication with stunning scenery.
Tremezzo, on the western shore, is one of its most delightful settings, and home to the famed Villa Carlotta, with its extensive botanical gardens. After the chance to explore, you'll enjoy a boat trip across the calm waters to stunning Bellagio, said to be "the most beautiful town in Italy". Nestled beneath beautiful hills and with an enchanting old town, Bellagio is also home to several exquisite fin de siecle villas, adding to the glory of the scene.
Rest and relax at the hotel and its surroundings, or join today's optional excursion, which heads into Switzerland and sun-kissed Locarno on Maggiore's northernmost shore. There will be plenty of time, upon arrival, to take in the atmosphere of this colourful Swiss resort town before you board the Cento Valli train to travel through the breathtaking scenery of the 'hundred valleys', from which it takes its name, and onward to the alpine town of Domodossola.
It's "arrivederci, Italia" as you make the transfer to the airport and the return flight to the UK, at the end of a wonderful week.
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 45 minutes from Verona, one hour and 30 minutes from Milan Bergamo and two hours and 30 minutes hour from Milan Malpensa. The transfer back to the airport at the end of your holiday is approximately two hours and 30 minutes to Verona, one hour 30 minutes to Milan Bergamo and one hour to Milan Malpensa.
Hotel transfer times
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.
Combining hotel transfers
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.
Meals in Italy
Since some attractions visited offer free admission to visitors at certain times of year, 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, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Some regions of Italy have introduced a room tax of between 1 € and 3 € 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.
Italian hotel room tax
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.
Airport development fees
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.
*Low deposit of £49 per person applies to new bookings made between 21st June and 31st July 2017 (inclusive) only. This offer only applies to selected air-inclusive holidays. This offer is subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time.