Discover and explore the picture-perfect Sirmione
About the Tour
Known as the 'Pearl of the Lake', picture-perfect Sirmione is perched on a peninsula on the southern shore of Lake Garda. On this exceptional tour we visit Verona, the wine estate of Valpolicella, Malcesine, and iconic Venice, for a guided tour of this incredible 'Floating City.'
Your vacation start or end can be tailored to meet your travel needs.
- First Class rail and coach travel as described (Standard Premier Class on Eurostar journeys, with a light meal and drinks)
- Hotel accommodations for 9 nights
- 17 meals
- Excursion to Verona, with a guided tour
- Valpolicella wine tasting
- Venice guided tour
- Malcesine excursion with return boat cruise across the lake
- Parts of this tour make use of portable audio headsets on guided tours, allowing you to hear your guide clearly wherever in the group you are.
- The services of a professional tour escort and knowledgeable local guides for touring
Days 1 & 2 - To Chambéry & Sirmione
We meet our group and Tour Manager at our dedicated Departure Office in London St Pancras International today, where our adventure begins. Leaving on the Eurostar to Paris, we travel in Standard Premier Class. On arrival in the French capital, we continue by high-speed rail to Chambéry, where we overnight. On Day 2 we continue by rail and coach to Lake Garda. We arrive at the southern end of Lake Garda, where the lakefront is almost sea-like and inviting beaches line the shores of the wide expanse of water. Our destination is the charming town of Sirmione, situated on a peninsula jutting into the lake. Surrounded on three sides by water, Sirmione is one of Lake Garda's most peaceful towns.
We spend seven nights at the 4-Star Hotel Continental, overlooking the lake. Located close to Sirmione's center, the Hotel Continental offers a wonderful setting and superb service for our stay, and our host Giovanni will be on hand to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. (Day 1 - D, Day 2 - B, D)
Day 3 - At Leisure in Sirmione
Today is yours to spend as you wish. Sirmione is a pleasure to discover; the town is bursting with history and charm, including the imposing Rocca Scaligera - a beautifully preserved 13th-century castle surrounded by a large water-filled moat that dominates the Old Quarter of town. Built by the Scaligeri family of Verona, this enormous square-cut castle looms over the only footbridge into town. From the top of the tower, you can enjoy impressive views of the harbor. One option for your day is to take advantage of Sirmione's thermal springs, which naturally pump out water at a blissful 37°C. (B, D)
Day 4 - Verona & Valpolicella
On Day 4 our excursion takes us by coach to historical Verona - a city of Roman ruins, medieval buildings, Italian culture, and romance - the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. On our guided tour of the city which takes us into Verona's historic heart, we will see Juliet's balcony and Verona's great Roman Arena, which remains largely intact and is still used today as an open-air opera house, with performances taking place during the summer season. There is some free time following our tour to explore Verona at your own pace. Perhaps stroll along the Piazza delle Erbe, a former Roman forum, now home to some of Verona's most elegant buildings. Lined with al fresco eateries and typical Veronese cafes, this is a perfect spot from which to appreciate the buzz of the city. Leaving Verona, we continue to a local wine cooperative in Valpolicella where we enjoy a wine tasting and a talk about the region's wine production. We have a dinner of homemade dishes in the idyllic setting of the rustic farmhouse. (B, D)
Day 5 - At leisure in Sirmione
Enjoy a free day to relax and unwind in the warm local climate. Bursting with history and charm, Sirmione offers plenty for you to explore. Grotte di Catullo, the remains of one of the largest Roman villas in Italy, is one of Sirmione's most famous sights and is well worth a visit. Enveloped by olive groves, the villa occupies an enviable position with stunning panoramic views over the blue waters of Lake Garda. Another option is to take advantage of Sirmione's thermal springs - our hotel has its own thermal pool, fed directly from the thermal springs of the town. This evening, we enjoy dinner together at our hotel. (B, D)
Day 6 - Venice
Today we head to the incomparable, romantic city of Venice. The glorious city is set in its own shimmering lagoon - an incredible environment that has UNESCO World Heritage status. On arrival, a private boat transports us along the myriad of waterways to St Mark's Square, without a doubt one of the world's most beautiful city squares. Overlooked by St Mark's Basilica, the large open space is surrounded by the Doge's Palace, the famous Sansoviniana Bookshop and the iconic bell tower, as well as the waters of the lagoon. Our guide greets us in St Mark's Square and takes us on a tour of the city, leading us around the narrow winding streets, and small squares to visit some of Venice's main sights. After the tour, you are free to explore this unique city. Perhaps visit the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, located in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni. After losing her father on the Titanic, the famous heiress became one of the greatest art collectors of the 20th century, amassing works from up to 200 artists. Alternatively, you could choose a ride along the canals onboard one of Venice's famous gondolas, or simply use the time to explore the culinary offerings of the city. Venice presents an enticing selection of dining options, with most restaurants offering a mouth-watering array of Mediterranean dishes and seafood. The Venetians even have their own version of tapas called cicchetti - delicious snacks which they wash down with a glass of wine. (B, D)
Day 7 - At Leisure in Sirmione
Today is at leisure to explore your surroundings further. Alternatively, why not spend the day at your hotel, enjoying all that is has to offer? Boasting a splendid lakeside setting and offering fantastic leisure facilities, you could easily spend a day relaxing here. Take a dip in the spectacular infinity pool, soak up the tremendous lake views from the thermal pool or whirlpool, or unwind in the modern wellness center, complete with a sauna, steam room and a range of beauty treatments and massages (payable locally). (B)
Day 8 - Malcesine
Traveling by coach up Lake Garda's eastern shore, today we make our way north to Malcesine, where the lake resembles the Norwegian fjords; a narrow stretch of Lake Garda where dramatic cliffs rise steeply from the very edge of the water. Enjoy time to explore Malcesine at leisure, you may wish to take this opportunity to visit the 14th-century Scaligeri Castle which dominates the town. Or, you could travel by cable car up to the summit of Monte Baldo, Lake Garda's highest mountain. The modern Malcesine cable car is the simplest and most spectacular way to get to the summit. Later we cruise back to Sirmione, passing many small villages along this delightfully scenic route. Tonight, we enjoy a final, farewell dinner together in the hotel. (B, D)
Days 9 & 10 - The Journey Home
We transfer to the local station by coach as we leave Sirmione and travel to Turin, where we overnight with dinner at our hotel. On Day 10 we take the TGV service to Paris. Here we join the Eurostar service back to London, from where you are free to make your own way home. (Day 9 - B, D, Day 10 - B)
Hotel Continental, Sirmione
The 4-Star Hotel Continental is located close to the historical center of Sirmione overlooking the shores of the lake and just a short walk from the town center. The hotel has been completely renovated, yet retains traditional features including its impressive white marble staircases and Venetian Murano chandeliers. The hotel has a restaurant and a lounge bar as well as a garden terrace and a private jetty. Leisure facilities include an outdoor swimming pool and a well-equipped wellness center, which boasts a sauna, steam bath, and an emotional shower, as well as a choice of iodine therapies, massages and beauty treatments (payable locally). The rooms are classic in style and have a balcony with a view of the gardens or lake. Other facilities include a hairdryer, safe, telephone, television, minibar and air conditioning.
Connecting the romantic splendour of Italy, crisscrossing its way through Renaissance cities, along golden coastline and around ancient volcanoes, Trenitalia is Italy's superb rail network. Featuring an excellent fleet of well-maintained and modern trains, this rail company is owned by Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, which is run by the Italian government. Operating regional and national services, Trenitalia prides itself on its punctuality and the huge range of services provided by the operator, several of these which include railroads such as the Frecciarossia, the Frecciargento and the Frecciblanco services.
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