Tailormade tour Lake Garda by train holiday Italy

9 nights /10 days

Overnight train Paris to Verona return • Eurostar London to Paris return • Lake Garda

This rail holiday to Lake Garda allows you to experience the beauty of the largest lake in Italy, renowned for its mild climate, beautiful Mediterranean and sub-tropical vegetation and pretty villages along the lake shore. You travel to Verona and back by sleeper train from Paris and then there is a private transfer to your hotel on Lake Garda. This holiday offers you a choice of a 5-star hotel at Gardone Riviera or a 4-star hotel at Malcesine, both attractive lakeside villages.

Holiday price guide

Available year-round subject to the opening period of the hotels, from about £1,890 per person.

Luxury rail tailormade holiday to Lake Garda

This 9-night rail holiday to Lake Garda transports you quickly to and from Italy maximising your time at your holiday destination on Lake Garda, where you are based for seven nights. You take the Eurostar from London to Paris and then the overnight Thello sleeper train from Paris to Verona. At Verona you are met by a car and driver who will transfer you to your hotel on Lake Garda. In this rail holiday to Lake Garda, we are offering you a choice of a 4-star hotel in the resort of Malcesine on the eastern shore and a boutique 5-star hotel set on a hillside above the lake at Gardone Riviera, on the western shore. Both hotels are charming, with lake views, grounds and restaurants. Whilst at your hotel you might want to have the use of a hire-car for part of the time or you can get around by the public boat services that criss-cross the lake. Lake Garda is the largest of the Italian lakes and scenically offers enormous variety in that the southern end of the lake is very wide, like a sea, with flatter surrounds, and the northern end is much narrower and flanked by mountains. The mild climate allows Mediterranean plants to flourish, and on the lower slopes are a profusion of lemons and olives, chestnuts and palms, magnolias and camellias. There are numerous pretty ports and fishing villages, often with colourfully painted houses. During your stay it is possible to visit Verona or Venice for a day’s excursion by train. At the end of your holiday you are transferred by private car back to Verona for the overnight Thello sleeper to Paris, and on to London by Eurostar. Instead of travelling by sleeper train to Verona, you can take a morning Eurostar to Paris and then an early afternoon high speed train to Lausanne in Switzerland. You reach Lausanne early evening for the night. The next morning is at leisure to explore Lake Geneva and the charming lake-side town of Lausanne before taking a train at about 14.00 hrs. The railway follows the course of the Rhone into the Alps before passing through the Simplon and into Italy. You pass close to Lake Maggiore before reaching Milan where you change trains for Desenzano del Garda. From here a private car and driver will take you to your hotel on Lake Garda.

Highlights

Overnight train Paris to Verona return • Eurostar London to Paris return • Lake Garda • Visit Sirmione • Visit Verona • Day-trip to Venice • Cable car to Monte Baldo • Vittoriale d’Italia • Visit the gardens of Isola del Garda

Day by day

You begin your rail touring holiday to Lake Garda by travelling out on an afternoon Eurostar service from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord. Following a change of station in Paris continue by Thello sleeper train overnight to Verona. We recommend the two bed sleeper compartments on the Thello train. There is a washbasin in the compartments and shared toilets in each carriage.

The sleeper train arrives in Verona just before 08.00 hrs. You are met by a car and driver who will take you to your hotel on Lake Garda where you spend seven nights. If you would like us to arrange an early check-in, we can do so for you, but there is usually a charge for it if you want it to be guaranteed. Spend the rest of the day acclimatising to your hotel and its location.

Spend six days at leisure on Lake Garda. On the lower slopes of the hills around Lake Garda are a profusion of lemons and olives, chestnuts and palms, magnolias and camellias. Pretty villages hug the sheltered bays and fishing boats moor next to sailing boats. Monte Baldo, above the lake, can be reached by cable car and affords spectacular views. At Gargnano on Lake Garda you can see the stone pavilions where lemons were traditionally cultivated. Sirmione behind its mediaeval walls enjoys a beautiful position at the southern end of the lake, dominated by Scaligero castle. You can also visit the residence of Gabriele d’Annunzio, Il Vittoriale, at Gardone Riviera. Another beautiful excursion is the Isola del Garda, an island in the lake where you can visit the Italian and English gardens and some rooms inside the neo-gothic Venetian-style villa dating from the early 1900s. In terms of getting around whilst you are staying on Lake Garda, if you don’t want to have the use of a hire-car, it is easy enough to use the lake ferries that criss-cross the lake between all the main points.

You have most of the day free, although you would need to check-out of the hotel late morning (ask us to request a late check-out for you), until your return car transfer to Verona for the sleeper service that leaves for Paris just before 21.00 hrs.

You arrive into Paris Lyon at about 9.30am, and after changing stations you then take the Eurostar back to London where you arrive at lunchtime.

Holiday price guide Hotel Villa del Sogno from £2,190 per person for second class rail travel, £2,310 per person for first class rail travel
Bellevue San Lorenzo from £1,890 per person for second class rail travel, £2,010 per person for first class rail travel

Holiday Code ITBR01

Luxury rail tailormade holiday to Lake Garda

You begin your rail touring holiday to Lake Garda by travelling out on an afternoon Eurostar service from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord. Following a change of station in Paris continue by Thello sleeper train overnight to Verona. We recommend the two bed sleeper compartments on the Thello train. There is a washbasin in the compartments and shared toilets in each carriage.

The sleeper train arrives in Verona just before 08.00 hrs. You are met by a car and driver who will take you to your hotel on Lake Garda where you spend seven nights. If you would like us to arrange an early check-in, we can do so for you, but there is usually a charge for it if you want it to be guaranteed. Spend the rest of the day acclimatising to your hotel and its location.

Spend six days at leisure on Lake Garda. On the lower slopes of the hills around Lake Garda are a profusion of lemons and olives, chestnuts and palms, magnolias and camellias. Pretty villages hug the sheltered bays and fishing boats moor next to sailing boats. Monte Baldo, above the lake, can be reached by cable car and affords spectacular views. At Gargnano on Lake Garda you can see the stone pavilions where lemons were traditionally cultivated. Sirmione behind its mediaeval walls enjoys a beautiful position at the southern end of the lake, dominated by Scaligero castle. You can also visit the residence of Gabriele d’Annunzio, Il Vittoriale, at Gardone Riviera. Another beautiful excursion is the Isola del Garda, an island in the lake where you can visit the Italian and English gardens and some rooms inside the neo-gothic Venetian-style villa dating from the early 1900s. In terms of getting around whilst you are staying on Lake Garda, if you don’t want to have the use of a hire-car, it is easy enough to use the lake ferries that criss-cross the lake between all the main points.

You have most of the day free, although you would need to check-out of the hotel late morning (ask us to request a late check-out for you), until your return car transfer to Verona for the sleeper service that leaves for Paris just before 21.00 hrs.

You arrive into Paris Lyon at about 9.30am, and after changing stations you then take the Eurostar back to London where you arrive at lunchtime.

Holiday price guide Hotel Villa del Sogno from £2,190 per person for second class rail travel, £2,310 per person for first class rail travel
Bellevue San Lorenzo from £1,890 per person for second class rail travel, £2,010 per person for first class rail travel

Holiday Code ITBR01

Our prices include ● Second-class travel on all trains, with standard class on Eurostar (first and standard premier can be booked at a supplement)
● Double sleeper compartment on Thello sleeper train Paris to Milan, Milan to Paris overnight each way
● Private car transfers from Verona to your hotel and back to Verona
● 7 nights’ bed and breakfast in a Lake view room at Hotel Villa del Sogno, Gardone Riviera or 7 nights’ half board in Lake view room at Bellevue San Lorenzo, Malcesine
● Concierge service and Expressions Holidays regional helpful hints

Our prices do not include ● Early check-in or late check-out at any hotels (although we can arrange this on request at additional cost)
● Any other services not mentioned above, such as transfers and meals except breakfast at hotels
● Personal holiday insurance. This is essential and cover should be in place from when you book the holiday.
● Local tourist tax, usually between Euros 1 and 3 per person per night, and payable locally to the hotel
● Transfers in Paris

Holiday price guide Hotel Villa del Sogno from £2,190 per person for second class rail travel, £2,310 per person for first class rail travel
Bellevue San Lorenzo from £1,890 per person for second class rail travel, £2,010 per person for first class rail travel

Holiday Code ITBR01

Luxury rail tailormade holiday to Lake Garda

About Italian Lakes

An Expressions tailor-made holiday to the Italian Lakes spans the northern Italian regions of Lombardy, Piemonte and the Veneto. We offer hotels located by the undisputedly beautiful Lake Maggiore, Lake Como and Lake Garda and also the smaller, quieter lakes of Orta and Iseo, both well-worth exploring in their own right. Each lake has its own character and atmosphere, distinctive terrain, architecture and style. Placed as the lakes are to the south of the Alps and to the north of the Po Valley, they naturally possess a charming mixture of the vibrant coolness associated with the Alps but enlivened by the warmth of the South. The landscape around the Italian Lakes is one of deep blue waters surrounded by greenish-blue tinged mountains, often snow-capped. On the shores of the lakes and the lower slopes of the hills you find a profusion of lemons and olives, chestnuts and palms, magnolias and camellias. Pretty villages with rustic stone and wood houses hug the sheltered bays and fishing boats still moor next to sailing boats. Wrought-iron balconies and colourful shutters adorn gaily-painted houses with terracotta roofs. Dining is usually al fresco in the summer months and a magical atmosphere is created with the lapping of the waters and the twinkling of the lights around the lake and in the hills above. The close proximity to Milan and Verona as well as other less well-known but artistically interesting cities means that you can visit the Italian Lakes quite easily for just a weekend or short break as well as a longer holiday. The Italian Lakes can all be visited as part of a rail holiday, and the many beautiful gardens located in the vicinity of Lakes Como and Maggiore are well worth a visit as part of a garden tour holiday. Our favourite four and five star hotels for luxury holidays in the Italian Lakes include Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni and Villa d'Este on Lake Como, and the Hotel Cannero Lakeside Resort on Lake Maggiore.

Highlights of the Italian Lakes

Historic villas are to be found on every lake from the Grotte di Catullo Roman villa at Sirmione on Lake Garda to Villa Melzi and Villa Olmo on Lake Como and the Palazzo Estense in Varese. Most of these villas also have extraordinarily beautiful gardens (which can be visited as part of an Expressions Garden Tour holiday) such as the Villa Carlotta on Lake Como, the Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore and Villa Taranto at Punta della Castagnola on Lake Maggiore. Monte Mottarone above Stresa on Lake Maggiore and Monte Baldo above Lake Garda can both be reached by cable car and afford spectacular views. At Gargnano on Lake Garda you can see the stone pavilions where lemons were traditionally cultivated. Within the region there are national parks such as the Stelvio National Park north of Orta and the Parco Nazionale della Val Grande above Verbania on Lake Maggiore.

Cultural highlights of the Italian Lakes

Much of the artistic and architectural cultural wealth in the region is concentrated in the great cities such as Milan and Verona but also in the less well-known but culturally-rich centres of Bergamo, Brescia, Pavia, Mantova and Vicenza (not directly on the Lakes but within reach for a day`s excursion). Highlights include the frescoes by Masolino at Castiglione Olona, the Rocca (castle) at Angera, the Flemish tapestries on the Isola Bella Lake Maggiore, the marble cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore at Como and the works of art in the Galleria dell`Accademia Tadini at Lovere on Lake Iseo. Milan has La Scala, the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, the Brera Gallery (containing Raphael`s `Marriage of the Virgin` and the Montefeltro altarpiece by Piero della Francesca) and its Gothic cathedral. Verona has its annual opera festival from June until the end of August, the Romanesque church of San Zeno, the Renaissance Loggia del Consiglio and the Roman Arena.

Festivals in the Italian Lakes

The Verona Opera Festival takes place in the Roman Arena every year with performances running from June until the end of August. Verona also celebrates Carnival every year culminating on the Friday before Shrove Tuesday. Como holds a flea market, the Fiera di Pasqua, over the Easter weekend. Music festivals take place in Bergamo throughout the year. The Mille Miglia veteran car race starts and ends in Brescia (via Ferrara to Rome in May each year).

Gastronomy in the Italian Lakes

The cuisine of northern Italy tends to contain more meat and butter than further south and rice and polenta compete with pasta. Saffron is used extensively as in Risotto alla Milanese. Bresaola is cured raw beef served as an antipasta (now often with rocket and parmesan). Manzo al Barolo (beef in Barolo wine), Costolette alla Milanese (veal cutlets in breadcrumbs) and Ossobucco (veal in wine and tomatoes) are all popular dishes. Panettone cake and Zabaglione are two regional desserts. This region produces some of Italy's most famous cheeses such as Gorgonzola, Bel Paese, Fontina and Taleggio as well as some of Italy's most exportable wines such as Soave, Bardolino and Valpolicella. Less well known but interesting wines are produced in the Valtellina in the north of Lombardy and in Franciacorta near Lake Iseo.

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