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Great Rail Journeys - Simply Lake Garda
from £1395 pp

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Picturesque, peaceful and perfectly placed for our visits to Verona and Venice, the lakeside town of Desenzano forms the ideal base for a wonderful holiday with a delightful setting on the shores of tranquil Lake Garda - one of Italy's best-loved lakes.

 

What's Included
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An escorted experience and all travel arrangements

The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
First Class rail travel throughout
Flight from London to Pisa

Comfortable accommodation in your destination

6 nights' hotel accommodation, including 4 nights at the 4-Star Starhotels Michelangelo in Florence and 2 nights at the 4-Star Hotel Splendid in Venice
1 night on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Delicious meals included

13 meals, including 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 dinners, including a farewell dinner in Venice

Exciting excursions and free time to explore

Guided tour of Florence
Visit Siena, with a guided tour
Excursion to a Tuscan winery
Visit Pisa, including the Leaning Tower, and Lucca
Discover Venice with a local guide
Embark on a journey on the world-famous Venice Simplon- Orient-Express
Complete your journey on board the Belmond British Pullman
Parts of this holiday make use of portable audio headsets on guided tours, allowing you to hear your guide clearly wherever in the group you are

Tour Highlights
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  • Desenzano
  • Lake Garda
  • Venice including a walking tour
  • Isola del Garda by boat & its Neo-Gothic villa
  • Verona including a guided tour
  • Cruise to Sirmione
Accommodation
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HOTEL DESENZANO, DESENZANO

The family-run 4-Star Hotel Desenzano is close to the centre of the town and is located within walking distance of the harbour and just 50 metres from the railway station. Boasting immaculate furnishings and impeccable service the hotel has its own outdoor swimming pool, solarium, roof terrace and cocktail bar.

Tour Itinerary
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Day 1: London to Turin 

Our holiday begins at our St Pancras Departure Office, where we board the Eurostar to Paris. From here we continue by rail to Turin, where we overnight. We have dinner together this evening.

Day 2: To Lake Garda 

From Turin we travel by TGV on the wonderfully scenic route to Milan, a powerhouse of Italian fashion. On arrival in Milan, we transfer to a coach for our journey east towards Lake Garda, travelling past the Italian Alps to the north and the vast Lombardy Plain to the south.

Day 3: Excursion to Sirmione

This morning, we take a short cruise across the lake by boat to picturesque Sirmione. The town occupies a peculiar position on a thin and craggy peninsula jutting 4km into the lake. Surrounded on three sides by water, Sirmione is one of Lake Garda's most delightful towns. 

Day 4: At Leisure 

Today is free to relax in Desenzano, enjoying the warm local climate and the hotel's facilities. Desenzano's town square is bordered with restaurants and cafés, where you can view the beautiful architecture and scenery while savouring the local cuisine. 

Day 5: Exploring Venice

Today we board the high-speed train in Desenzano for a full-day excursion to the fabulous city of Venice. Arriving at the city's Santa Lucia station close to the Grand Canal, we are greeted by a truly glorious view of the shimmering Venice lagoon. A private boat transports us along the Giudecca Canal - our first chance to soak up the wonderful atmosphere of this unique city.

Day 6: At Leisure 

Your day is free to discover Desenzano, with its narrow streets, medieval castle and picturesque waterfront. Today is Desenzano's Market Day; make your way to the Old Town where you will find the main square filled with stalls selling locally produced food and crafts.

Day 7: Isola del Garda

Today's excursion takes us on a wonderful cruise across the waters of Lake Garda to the wooded Isola del Garda, the biggest island in the lake. Dominated by an impressive neo-Gothic villa, the island can only be reached by private boat, and we travel out to see the elegant house and fl ower-filled gardens, scented with lemon and pine. 

Day 8: Verona

Our excursion today takes us by coach to beautiful Verona - a city of Roman ruins, medieval buildings, Italian culture and romance, and the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.

Days 9-10: To Strasbourg and London

We travel via Milan and Basel to Strasbourg, where we overnight. On Day 10 we board the TGV to Paris, where we connect with the Eurostar to London.

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