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Lake Garda embraces diverse scenery, from towering cliffs to tiny harbours and palm tree lined promenades, from hilltop castles to lemon orchards and olive groves.
Relax and unwind or soak up some of Italy’s most wonderful history, culture, scenery and gastronomy on this fantastic 6 night / 7 day holiday by First Class rail on daytime trains throughout, staying overnight in Zurich and Montreux, and including 4 nights staying in a double room at the Park Hotel (4 star) from £1,595 per person (based on two people travelling together) in low season.
Immerse yourself in the buzz of central London this morning before stylishly escaping into the English countryside for the start of your holiday on board the Eurostar service to Paris. Recline with a drink and light meal in the comfort of your Standard Premier Class seat before arriving into the imposing Gare du Nord with its 19th century façade.
Make your way to the end of the platform where you will be greeted by your taxi transfer, which will whisk you across Paris for your connecting TGV service at the Gare de Lyon station. As the train gathers speed, watch as Paris’ urban skyline gives way to lush green pastures, before you reach the foothills of the Swiss Alps and arrive into the charming lakeside city of Zurich.
Upon arrival at Zurich main station take the tram or stroll to the Hotel Helmhaus (4 star), your hotel for the night.
This morning after breakfast you might like to take a stroll along the banks of the River Limmat to explore some of Zurich’s main attractions. The Old Town is an ideal starting point, where you can explore churches and burgher houses and onto the elegant Bahnhofstrasse for some window shopping. The Grossmünster, Fraumünster, and St Peterskirche are three of Zurich’s most impressive Churches and well worth a visit. If time permits, follow the river further and find yourself on the shores of Lake Zurich, where on a clear day you can see the Alps to the south. For idyllic views over the city, make your way up to Lindenhof, a pretty little peaceful square on a hill in the city centre.
Then make your own way back to Zurich station for the scenic journey along the impressive Gotthard route through the Swiss Alps. The line transports you through picturesque scenery, climbing to the foot of the snow-capped Alps and through the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world’s longest tunnel and a marvellous feat of engineering. You soon emerge and continue across the Swiss border and through the outstanding Italian Lakes before arriving in Milan.
On arrival at Milan’s imposing art-deco station change trains and join the Trenitalia Frecciarossa service to Desenzano on the south-western shores of Lake Garda, arriving in the evening. From here your private transfer will transport you to your hotel for the next four-nights, the friendly, relaxing and stylish Park Hotel (4 star), ideally located in the centre of Desenzano, overlooking the lake and a short transfer from the station.
Allow yourself to unwind and soak up the unique atmosphere of Lake Garda and the pretty town of Desenzano. If you time it right you will be able to visit the old town on market day with its colourful stalls and locally produced food and crafts. Wend your way along the narrow streets and picturesque waterfront or hop on a ferry to discover more of Italy’s largest lake.
The ideal way to enjoy Lake Garda at its best is on a relaxing lake cruise. The Lake Garda ferry departs just a short walk from your hotel, and you can easily get a ferry ticket which allows you to choose where to go on the lake whether to Limone, Riva del Garda or Malcesine in the north or Torri del Benaco, Lazise or Sirmione in the south and east.
In the north we recommend Malcesine, arguably the most attractive town on the lake, with its medieval castle, maze of cobbled streets and backdrop of Monte Baldo towering above. Enjoy the opportunity to stroll around this pretty town before heading south.
In the south we recommend Sirmione, situated on a narrow promontory in the southern waters of the lake. Here you can explore Sirmione’s narrow, medieval streets and perhaps visit the 13th century Rocca Scaligera Castle or the Grotte di Catullo, the impressive remains of the largest Roman villa in Italy. Return to Desenzano in time for dinner at one of its many attractive restaurants.
One of the attractions of Desenzano is its accessibility to the Italian rail network. Your may choose to purchase a return rail ticket to allow you to experience the magic of Venice for a day. As you arrive and walk out of Venezia Santa Lucia station enter immediately into a different world, greeted by the sights and sounds of the Grand Canal and this unique floating city.
Today you leave Italy behind as your private transfer takes you from your hotel back to the station in Desenzano before you board the Trenitalia Frecciarossa service for the First Class journey to Milan.
From here join the comfortable Euro City service as it snakes its way into the Alps for the spectacular journey through the Simplon Pass and onto pretty lakeside town of Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva.
On arrival in Montreux your hotel for the night is the belle époque Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (4 star superior) located right next to the station. Take a stroll alongside Lake Geneva and visit this elegant lakeside town which is home to the famous jazz festival.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast this morning before you return to Montreux station for the onward journey by Inter Regio service to Lausanne for your connecting super-fast TGV service through France and back to Paris. Enjoy the comfort of your 1st Class journey and reminisce about some of the highlights you have enjoyed on your holiday.
As you arrive into Paris you are met by your taxi transfer which will swiftly transport you through Paris’ bustling city centre back to the Gare du Nord for your connecting Eurostar service to London.
Gaze out across passing French and English countryside, whilst enjoying a light meal and drinks from the comfort of your seat, before the train all too soon reaches your final destination, London St. Pancras International.
The stylish and intimate Hotel Helmhaus Zurich (4 star), located in the Old Town dates from the 14th century, and is a minute’s walk from both the Helmhaus Art Museum and tram stop. The air-conditioned, individually decorated rooms have minimalist modern furnishings and oak wood parquet floors, plus free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and minibars; tea and coffeemaking facilities are available on request. A complimentary hot and cold breakfast buffet is offered daily in an artsy dining room. Other amenities include loaner iPads and seasonal welcome drinks
DESENZANO, LAKE GARDA
The Park Hotel (4-star) enjoys an outstanding location right on the promenade of Lake Garda in Desenzano, next to the town’s historic centre. This modern, yet elegant hotel provides exceptional service in an exclusive setting designed to promote relaxation, comfort and well-being. All 56 en-suite rooms are stylishly furnished and fully-equipped. The hotel benefits from a restaurant, café and charming garden with outdoor seating and views to the lake. Guests can also benefit from a wonderful rooftop swimming pool with sundeck and whirlpool.
The Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (4-star superior) is a traditional Belle-Époque hotel, originally built in 1870 and located right in the centre of Montreux, just a few steps from the railway station. The hotel has 140 rooms and benefits from fabulous views of Lake Geneva and the Alps from its summer terrace. All the comfortable en-suite rooms in this stylish hotel feature air conditioning, TV, minibar, radio and telephone.
Throughout the year and tailor-made to suit your holiday needs
For information and booking Tel: 01347 825292 or email firstname.lastname@example.org