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Stunning Italy

Duo of Italian Lakes - Lake Como & Lake Garda, via Switzerland by First Class rail


Discover two of the most attractive Italian Lakes

First Class Rail travel throughout your journey

8 nights / 9 days
Inc. 3 nights each in Lenno on Lake Como & Desenzano on Lake Garda with overnight stays in Zurich & Montreux

4 star accommodation throughout your holiday & lake view rooms in Lenno & Desenzano

Lake Como & Lake Garda via Zurich & Montreux by First Class Rail

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Duo of Italian Lakes by First Class Rail – Holiday Highlights:

Set in the foothills of the Italian Alps, Lake Como is one of Italy’s most romantic and picturesque holiday destinations.


Enjoy the best of stunning, sparkling, serene Lake Garda and take the opportunity to visit nearby Milan and the Dolomites.

Charming villages and towns are dotted all along the wishbone-shaped lake, surrounded by soaring mountains, exotic flowers and classical villas. The stunning views from all over Lake Como, combined with its tranquil beauty, have inspired generations of composers, artists and poets, such as Verdi, Shelley and Byron.

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.

8 night / 9 day holiday by First Class rail including an overnight stay B&B in a double room at the Hotel Helmhaus (4 star) in Zurich, 3 nights’ B&B in a front lake view double room at the Hotel Albergo Lenno (4 star) in Lenno on Lake Como, 3 nights’ B&B in a superior lake view double room at the Park Hotel (4 star) in Desenzano on Lake Garda and an overnight stay B&B in a double room at the Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (4 star superior) in Montreux from £1,995 per person and based on 2 people travelling together.

Duo of Italian Lakes by First Class rail: Holiday Itinerary

Day 1 – By rail to Switzerland

Your holiday begins at London St Pancras International.

Admire the impressive architecture of this lovingly restored station, including the curved glass roof, before you board the Eurostar to Paris.

Sit back, relax and watch the countryside glide past as you reach speeds of up to 186mph.

Savour the light meal and drinks served at your seat in Standard Premier Class (Eurostar’s First Class for leisure travellers) as you continue towards Paris.

On arrival in the French capital, you are transferred across the city by private taxi to the Gare de Lyon, where you connect with the high-speed TGV service to Switzerland.

You travel through the undulating Swiss countryside to the attractive lakeside city of Zurich. On arrival, make your way to your hotel for tonight, the popular Hotel Helmhaus (4 star).


Day 2 – Free time in Zurich - Through the Swiss Alps to Lake Como

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.

You then return 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 into Italy before reaching Como.

On arrival at Como station you can either take the picturesque ferry journey on Lake Como or a taxi (both payable locally) to the delightful small town of Lenno. Your hotel for the next three nights is the friendly and highly-rated Hotel Albergo Lenno (4 star), perfectly placed in a peaceful setting with glorious views over Lake Como.

Days 3 & 4 – Lenno, Bellagio, Como, Villa Carlotta, Varenna, Montre Bre, Brunate & Bergamo

Enjoy relaxing at your hotel or strolling around Lenno, perfectly positioned along the coastal stretch known as Tremezzina – surrounded by a luxuriant vegetation and washed by calm water.

Why not visit Bellagio, described as la perla del lago (the pearl of the lake) and perfectly situated where the arms of the lake come together.  Its narrow cobbled streets, breath-taking views and glorious villas make it an enchanting place to visit.

During your time on the jewel of the Italian lakes make the most of the opportunity to visit some of the nearby attractions. You can travel by ferry to the lovely town of Como where you can visit the fascinating Duomo (cathedral), which reflects changing architectural styles, and wander through the historic centre of the walled town.  

Nearly opposite Bellagio is Villa Carlotta, a perfect combination of luxurious interiors (beautiful stuccos, lovely ceilinged frescoes and a great art collection, including an Eros and Psyche by Antonio Canova) and lush exteriors (over 500 species of plants, trees and shrubs from all over the world).

Travel north-east to Varenna (pictured), one of the most picturesque towns on the lake, with its steep winding alleys lined with charming houses, flowering balconies and lace-curtained windows.  Just above the town is the ancient castle and close by the famed Villa Cipressi, with terraced gardens cascading right down to the shores, and Villa Monastero.

To experience a different view take the cog railway to the mountain village of Monte Bre and enjoy fabulous views of Lake Lugano or board the funicular and ride up the mountain to Brunate, a quaint town where the views of Lake Como and the distant Alps are breath-taking. You might be tempted to visit medieval Bergamo, a classic Italian mix of architectural styles from Romanesque to Medieval, Renaissance to Neoclassical, epitomised by the Piazza Vecchia.

Castle Sirmione - Lake Garda

Day 5 – Lake Como to Lake Garda

Bid farewell to charming Lenno as you make your way back down the lake to Como station (payable locally).

Here you join the train for the brief journey south to Milan. On arrival at Milan’s art-deco Centrale station you change trains and continue on the Eurostar Italia service to Desenzano on the shores of Lake Garda.

Here your private taxi transfer takes you to your hotel for the next three nights, the stylish Park Hotel (4 star), ideally located overlooking the lake and set in the heart of the town.

Days 6 & 7 – Exploring Lake Garda

Enjoy two full days to explore Lake Garda and its surrounding attractions.

A great way to see Lake Garda at its best is on a relaxing lake cruise (payable locally), marvelling at the cliffs that rise almost vertically from the lake shore and admiring the fabulous views of the picturesque villages nestled between the mountains and lakeside.

The Lake Garda ferry departs just a short walk from your hotel.

Destinations accessible from the ferry include Limone, Riva del Garda or Malcesine in the north or Torri del Benaco, Lazise or Sirmione (pictured) in the south and east. Sirmione in particular is well worth a visit, with its narrow, medieval streets and 13th century castle.

You may wish to relax in Desenzano and admire this attractive little town, which is a delight to explore.

The inter-connected squares of the compact centre are home to an array of shops, ice cream parlours, restaurants and pretty pavement cafés.

Other highlights include the medieval castle and the ruins of a Roman villa.

Alternatively, you could take advantage of the local rail network to explore further afield.

Timeless Venice, the charming walled city of Verona and Bolzano in the heart of the Dolomites are all easily accessible by train.

Montreux luxury holidays by planet rail

Day 8 - Lake Garda to Montreux on Lake Geneva

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.

Day 9 – Montreux to London - Homeward bound

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.


Further information

Your recommended hotels


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


The Albergo Lenno (4 star) is set in an elegant building right on the shores of Lake Como, in the fantastic Gulf of Venus.  During your stay at this highly-rated hotel you can spend relaxing moments on the lake view terrace or by the swimming pool. All of the comfortable en-suite rooms feature a flat screen TV, air conditioning, and a minibar. There is also a sauna and free wi-fi. The smart hotel benefits from a bar with terrace and its own restaurant serving typical Italian dishes and prestigious wines, where you can enjoy an enchanting view on the lake. Some rooms offer a lake view, other rooms are spacious attics.


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.

Departure dates

Throughout the year and tailor-made to suit your holiday needs

Holiday duration is 9 days

For information and booking Tel: 01347 825292 or email

Call us on 01347 82 52 92 to enquire about our tailor made holidays by rail




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