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Best of the Italian Lakes

Operated by: Trafalgar

9 Days from $2,225 per person
Lake Garda

Countries Visited

Italy ...more Italy

Locations Visited

Milan, Baveno, Lake Garda, Verona, Marostica, Modena, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II ...more Milan, Baveno, Lake Garda, Verona, Marostica, Modena, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
  1. Day 1 Arrive Milan – Lake Maggiore (Baveno) (2 Nights)

    The favourite summer retreat for the who's who of Italy for centuries provides an enchanting backdrop for your first day in Italy. Airport transfers will be provided at set times from Milan Malpensa Airport to your hotel in the charming resort of Baveno on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Enjoy a Welcome Reception this evening to meet your fellow travel companions and Travel Director before embarking on your At Leisure jaunt.

    meals Welcome Reception
    hotel Simplon/Grand Dino
  2. Day 2 Como Excursion and Lake Maggiore (Baveno) At Leisure

    Journey through Italy's exquisite Lake District to scenic Lake Como. Walk through the beautiful Como waterfront or relax alongside the lake indulging in a tasty gelato. Then it's time to ease into la dolce vita, ambling along the glamorous Baveno Marina - the gentle sounds of this lakeside setting are a soulful way to enjoy your afternoon. Spend free time exploring Baveno with its Romanesque bell tower and octagonal baptistery.

    meals Buffet Breakfast
  3. Day 3 Lake Maggiore (Baveno) – Bergamo – Lake Garda (5 Nights)

    The enchanting lanes of Bergamo, near the foothills of the Alps, yield architectural and artistic treasures which we will have an opportunity to explore this morning. Wander past centuries-old Renaissance façades and into the exquisite Piazza Vecchia built on the site of an ancient Roman Forum. See the ornate Contarini Fountain and 12th-century Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica. We continue our love affair with the Italian Lakes, travelling to Lake Garda for a relaxing five-night stay. This evening, we 'Connect With Locals' over a Be My Guest dinner featuring local fare.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with wine
    hotel Villa Maria
  4. Day 4 Verona Excursion

    Romance in the air, we journey to Verona engaging in the tragic tale of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers at Juliet's Balcony. Our walking tour with a Local Specialist will also take us past the Roman Arena, still in use today, followed by some free time to explore the city alone. See the seven medieval towers of Castelvecchio, relax under the shady trees in Verona's expansive Piazza Bra or clamber up Lamberti's Tower for magnificent views.

    meals Buffet Breakfast
  5. Day 5 Marostica and Bassano del Grappa Excursion

    We embark on a full-day excursion today to the ancient walled town of Marostica, most renowned for its living chess event held every second year, although the gigantic chessboard is visible in the Piazza Castello all year round. We enjoy a leisurely exploration of the city's iconic sights, including its old city walls, Castles and Romanesque bell tower. We venture to the banks of the River Brenta for an unhurried visit to Bassano del Grappa, celebrated for its white brandy (Grappa) and magnificent scenery. This evening we return to Lake Garda.

    meals Buffet Breakfast
  6. Day 6 Lake Garda At Leisure

    Indulge in a full day at leisure to soak up the picture-perfect setting of Italy's largest lake. Journey along its tranquil shores, stopping at lakeside villages to savour the intoxicating aroma of lemons around every turn. Enjoy the flavours of delicious local olive oils and cheese at local markets, stroll along flower-lined lakeside paths or visit the lake's extraordinary sights, including the 13th-century Scaliger Castle or Grottoes of Catullus. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to visit the magnificent Dolomite mountain range, a World Heritage Site comprising 18 peaks over 3,000 metres high.

    meals Buffet Breakfast
  7. Day 7 Modena Excursion

    Sparkling Lambrusco, salty prosciutto and the intense aromas of parmigiano await in the gastronomic hub of Modena, which we explore today in the company of a Local Specialist. Wander past pastel-hued façades in Modena's Old Town into the magnificent Piazza Grande which, along with its 12th-century cathedral and Torre Civica, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sample the intoxicating flavours, including their world famous balsamic vinegar, of a city that was the birthplace of Ferrari and Pavarotti, home to Michelin Star restaurants and tortellini. Our gourmet interlude nearing its an end, we take a short drive to the Ferrari Museum where we'll 'Dive Into Culture' and explore the history of this Italian icon founded by Enzo Ferrari. This evening, we enjoy a leisurely dinner at our hotel.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Dinner with wine
  8. Day 8 Lake Garda – Milan Free Time

    In search of spires that reach the sky, we leave our tranquil lakeside setting behind for the chic northern capital of Milan. Admire the extraordinary Gothic Duomo, ornate La Scala Opera House and 19th-century Galleria with its impressive glass and iron-domed roof. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure to jostle with the ambitious Milanese for your spot on the runways of Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga and Via Sant'Andrea. This evening we indulge in a Farewell Dinner, joining our fellow travellers to celebrate the end of an exquisite holiday together.

    meals Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
    hotel Starhotels Business Palace
  9. Day 9 Depart Milan

    Our leisurely jaunt through the Italian Lakes has come to an end. We say arrivederci to Italy and your companions. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.

    meals Buffet Breakfast
Price Includes

Dining Highlights

  • 8 hot buffet breakfasts
  • 4 dinners (including Be My Guest) with local wine

First class travel Highlights

  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Daily breakfast and an average of 50% of evening meals
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Hand-picked Insider Experiences
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • VIP entry to many sights

Sightseeing Highlights

  • CITY TOUR in Verona and Modena
  • ORIENTATION of Bergamo and Milan
  • SEE the Roman Arena in Verona
  • VIEW the Piazza del Duomo in Bergamo, Juliet's Balcony in Verona, the Cathedral in Modena and the Duomo and La Scala Opera House in Milan
  • VISIT Lake Maggiore, Lake Como and Lake Garda, Bassano del Grappa, Marostica, the Ferrari Museum in Maranello

Dates & Prices
Airfare is not included, but can be added to quote upon request
  • Definite Departure
Price Discount Availability Price
Optional Add-Ons

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Italian Lakes

Discover Lake Como

Enjoy views of elegant villas and gardens as you cruise with your Local Specialist along Lake Como, one of the most beautiful spots in the Italian Lake District.
Adult Price: €41

Discover The Borromean Islands

We've organised a private launch to take you to the beautiful Isola Bella, one of the lake's Borromean islands. The island's palazzo and exquisite gardens once hosted the nobility of Europe. (This optional is only operated between mid March and the end of October)
Adult Price: €43

Lake Garda Discovery

Discover the largest of the Italian Lakes as we take a route along its scenic shoreline. You’ll get to enjoy views of mountains, lush countryside and its glistening blue waters as you cross the lake, taking in historical towns along the way.
Adult Price: €43

Lake Garda

Spectacular Countryside and Dinner

We take a scenic drive from Lake Garda to the tiny village of Borghetto on the banks of the River Mincio, famous for it’s medieval bridge and ancient water mills. In this idyllic location, we'll enjoy a delicious meal of local specialities with wine and soft drinks included.
Adult Price: €65

Italian Lakes

Bolzano and the Dolomite Mountains

Come with us and follow the Adige Valley to Bolzano, capital of the southern part of the Tyrol. Here you'll have time to shop in the arcaded streets, take a cable car to the top of the Renon and ride on the century-old Tramvia, or Funivia in the local parlance, where you can enjoy incredible panoramas from this famous mountain plateau.
Adult Price: €62


Treasures Of Milan

You will have the opportunity to visit some of the highlights of Milan, including the famous La Scala Opera House, which is still the World's most famous for performing artists and public alike. Afterwards, you’ll visit another of the city’s highlights with our Local Specialist who will bring to life Milan’s eventful history.
Adult Price: €45

Independent Reviews
Trusted Customer
Saturday, October 13, 2018
The tour director is very responsible and knowledgeable lady who made the trip more enjoyable.
The optional experiences were pricey, specially the boat tour of Lake Cumo which did not worth the money.
Trusted Customer
Saturday, October 13, 2018
The main tour director, Patrizia was excellent. However, the time constraints in some of the cities forced us to choose between seeing certain attractions or having lunch. Italy is all about food and it's a shame we didn't experience more of it. There was never any time for shopping. If we participated in all of the optional experiences, there was no free time at all. I was extremely disappointed to have missed a visit to the Bolzano Archaeology Museum to see Otzi the ice man due to the long lines and trip schedule. This was to be one of the highlights of my trip that I was really looking forward to. The local guide should have been aware of the possibility of long lines and advised us accordingly. We could have skipped the church and walk in order to see this important exhibit. On another note, the farewell dinner was a disgrace. While the food was barely edible, the service was even worse. Half the people at our table were still waiting for their first course when others had finished. The only saving grace was the tiramisu. I have traveled extensively with various tour groups including Insight, Globus, Monograms, Gate 1, Ritz and Tauck. Of all these groups, only Trafalgar does not give singles their own seat on the bus. Also, a tour group of 48 people is a bit much . For these reasons, I will not use Trafalgar again and will not recommend them to my friends.
As noted above, there were some big misses. While it was nice to have 5 days in the same hotel, this meant 4 hours on the bus each of those days. Hotels closer to the towns we visited would have been appreciated.
Kathryn Williams
Sunday, June 3, 2018
The people I talked with were each and every one very kind and helpful in answering my questions and responding to requests. I was rather amazed that there was not much information from GET between sign-up and the "Its time to go pack" (final papers, schedule, suitcase tags). I know Trafalgar actually offered this trip so don't know how much input came from GET but I must give the Tour Director a less than average rating. Too, the selection of the second hotel was not good. The hotel was fine, the location was nott. For a tour advertised as the "best of the Italian Lakes" and not be on or near a lake for 5 of its days (no lake view, no way to get to attractions just isn't right. I could go on but would rather talk to someone about my thoughts on this trip. The service given by GET was good. And, overall the tour was enjoyable--especially the first two days at Lake Maggiore. Those days were totally awesome. The add-on excursion to Bolzano was also well done.
A good tour director probably would have made this tour much better. Our tour director counted heads well but that is about all the service he gave. He rambled on--start to give some info abt the places we would see but would go off onto something else When we got to the local we would realize he did not give us a clue as to what to do, what to see, how to get to the most important attractions, etc. A remark he used often was here we are, "Just wander and around and spend money". Mostly we were turned over to local guides for a time then given some time to :wander around and spend money: but each of the destinations had attractions that were either "must see" or a museum or something that would add interest or memories to the visit but we didn't get clues or hints about those. I've been on a number of guided tours. Again I kept expecting more and getting less than expected from this tour director. He wasn't bad or offensive, he was just there. This tour offered "special discoveries" or little extra surprise moments for the tour participants--little extras the tour guide would basically include---there was not a single such happening on this tour. Now, Did I have a good time. Yes. Did I enjoy Italy? I did. The places on the tour for the most part were worth seeing/doing. Several of the local guides were not particularly good. But I appreciated their efforts. And, I was glad to be there.
David Comfort
Saturday, October 14, 2017
The travel service provided by Grand European travel is simply the best. Michelle, our travel specialist, knows what extras we want when we travel and sees to all the smallest details for Loretta and me. I would recommend Grand European Travel to everyone.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much!  We are so happy to see that you enjoyed the Italian Lakes trip.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
This was one of the best trips we have taken in Europe.
David Light
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Your service was generally very good. 1. The instructions where to meet after arriving at Milan Airport was not clear and had to wait around. 2. At the first night dinner at the hotel, there were no member introductions, so we didn't know about half of the group were from Australia and Canada until much later. For that dinner at the Grand Hotel Dino, Elaine ordered fish, and it was was not good at all. I ate only a little although I like fish and eat often at home. Another person ate only one bite an gave up. David ordered Lamb which turned out be very tough and was very disappointed. 3. The expected trip schedules were changed often by the tour director and sometimes confusing. On the Free Day on Wed, she scheduled a side trip, so we did not have any rest day. It was rather a strenuously scheduled trip, rather than leisurely trip. She did not redo the schedule on paper because she wanted to save paper
We enjoyed every place we visited.
Trusted Customer
Saturday, May 27, 2017
I didn't like traveling with a severely handicapped woman. I like Grand European Travel service and would use their service again, and I would recommend them to others.
I had a very enjoyable trip. The mountains are gorgeous.
Trusted Customer
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Except for the Dolomites the trip was disappointing. The tours were uninteresting. Too much walking in general. After finishing the daily tours we walked quite far to the coach and again for the evening meal.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We're very sorry to see you did not enjoy this trip. All of the trips we offer include a great deal of walking. We do try to prepare our guests for that in all of our materials. We do hope that despite the walking, you were able to enjoy some of the trip. We appreciate your feedback. Grand European Travel
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
See above
Trusted Customer
Thursday, September 15, 2016
I wasn't on this trip
Trusted Customer
Sunday, November 15, 2015
We have traveled with Grand European several times and think that they do a good job. The tour director, Danilo, was very good and very helpful. We will hopefully travel with them again in the future.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for taking the time to provide your honest feedback. We will share your comments with our quality control team in hopes that they can improve the schedule of the trip. Grand European Travel
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
This trip was a little "busy." The arrangement and scheduling of trips could have been better. The order of some things seemed awkward and out of place in some instances.
Trusted Customer
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Service by Taylor was always timely and informative plus the price was excellent for such a great trip. The travel packet provided allowed for ease of travel.
Response from Grand European Travel:
I'm so happy to see that you enjoyed your trip to Italy! Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. Liz, Grand European Travel
Thursday, September 24, 2015
This was a fabulous trip and may even be understated in the brochures. The majestic beauty of the Dolomites and Lake Garda was memorable. Danilo, our travel director, worked very hard to add to this wonderful experience. His knowledge was so very helpful and his positive attitude, even in the rain, was contagious. If you want to see less touristy and not so crowded areas of Northern Italy, this is the trip.
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