Hidden Gems and Gastronomy of Lake Garda

Hidden Gems and Gastronomy of Lake Garda

Italy's most popular lake coupled with wine tasting & pasta making


Italy's most popular lake coupled with wine tasting & pasta making


Valtènesi is the historic name of the hilly territory west of Lake Garda and, since 2011, it has also become the name of the denomination of controlled origin (doc) of the wines of the area.

In response to the need to be better identified by consumers and the market, the producers have chosen to promote their own wines using the name which has represented their territory for centuries.

Valtènesi doc includes two types of wines  based on the Groppello grape which must be present in a percentage of between 50 and 100%.

1. Valtènesi (understood as red wine even if “red” is not written on the label)

2. Valtènesi chiaretto



Salò is the largest city at the western shore of Lake Garda and belongs to the province of Brescia, situated at the foot of “Monte San Bartolomeo” (568 m) in the Bay of Saló. Salò is the most densely populated municipality of the “Alto Garda Bresciano” and is considered as the “capital” of this area.

The “Riviera bresciana” a region between Salò and Gargnano characterized by wonderful Mediterranean vegetation begins in Salò. The climate is mild due to the geographical location of the town between Valtenesi, “Valle Sabbia” and the upper Lake Garda. Salò is an important centre of tourism, education and culture for the villages located at the western part of the Lake. The beautiful lakeside promenade is the longest of the entire lake. It leads to the idyllic, comfortable shingle beaches in the south of the bay. The “Colle San Bartolomeo” provides numerous walking paths and panoramic tours through the pine forest. The old town consist of a dense network of narrow streets and small squares, with many shops and excellent restaurants. The cathedral of “Santa Maria Annunziata” is considered as the most important church of Lake Garda. A very strong earthquake has almost completely destroyed the city in 1901. The ruins along the promenade are reminders of this tragedy.



Sirmione is one of the most popular holiday resorts on the shores of Lake Garda in northern Italy. The small historic town is located on the tip of a long peninsula protruding from the southern shore of the lake between Desenzano del Garda and Peschiera. Sirmione has thermal springs and was a spa destination even in Roman times - you can visit some impressive Roman ruins at the end of the promontory.



Mantua is a city surrounded by 3 artificial lakes in the northern Italian region of Lombardy. It's known for the architectural legacy of the Renaissance Gonzaga rulers, who built the Ducal Palace. This imposing building houses the Bridal Chamber, decorated with Andrea Mantegna frescoes. The Gonzagas also built the Te Palace, known for the Chamber of the Giants, where every surface is painted with mythological scenes.

Mantua often gets overshadowed by some of its more popular neighbours of Verona, Venice and Milan buit is well worth visiting.

Thursday 7th May

Cumbria to Hull, via York joining the overnight sailing to Rotterdam.

Friday 8th May

Rotterdam to Saarbrucken. Dinner at the Mercure hotel.


Saturday 9th May

A scenic journey today as we travel through Switzerland via Lucerne to Italy and Lake Garda, arriving at our hotel, the Parc Hotel Gritti in Bardolino in time for dinner.

B, D

Sunday 10th May

A day at leisure in Bardolino. Dinner in the hotel tonight.

B, D

Monday 11th May

Today we head south to the stunning city of Mantua. Lesser known than Verona, Mantua boasts a fine medieval centre which is easy to walk around and is home to one of the finest Ducal Palaces in Italy. Enjoy lunch in one of the many restaurants offering local Mantuan specialities. Dinner in the hotel.

B, D

Tuesday 12th May

This morning we drive into the beautiful Valtenesi countryside where we indulge in some delicious wine tastings. From here we continue to the delightful lakeside town of Salo, which boasts the longest promenade in all of Lake Garda. We enjoy free time and lunch in this historic location. Dinner in the hotel.

B, D

Wednesday 13th May

This morning we visit the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Lake Garda - the peninsular of Sirmione with its lovely moated castle and medieval centre. From here we travel into the hills to ‘Trattoria da Arturo’. We will enjoy some of the best hand-made pasta you have ever tasted along with some superb grilled meats washed down with plentiful home-made wine - a relaxing and authentic Italian experience! Final dinner at the hotel tonight.

B, L, D

Thursday 14th May

We leave our hosts at the Parc Hotel Gritti for the return journey through Northern Italy and Switzerland to Germany and our overnight stay at the Mercure hotel Saarbrucken. Dinner in the hotel.

B, D

Friday 15th May

We travel north with a stop for lunch in the Rhine Valley area before arriving in Rotterdam to join the overnight P&O sailing to Hull.


Saturday 16th May

Arriving back to the UK, we return home to Cumbria.

B=Breakfast Included, L=lunch Included, D=Dinner Included

Parc Hotel Gritti

Located at just a short distance from the centre of Bardolino, the Parc Hotel Gritti lies in front of Lake Garda. It is the ideal accommodation for those who wish to have a good, comfortable stay on the lake. There are three restaurants offering a selection of cold and hot dishes for breakfast; a variety of appetizers, first and second dishes, side dishes, salads and desserts for dinner, gluten-free dishes and organic food. The hotel has two bars, the American Bar & the Grill bar where guests can enjoy hot, cold and alcholic drinks. There is an outdoor pool with patio and a wellness centre with indoor pool.

All bedrooms offer en-suite facilities with bath and shower, safe, minibar, telephone, sat. TV, Wi-Fi, air conditioning (working at management discretion). and some rooms with furnished balcony. The hotel has a lift

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
High Hesket Palmerstons Furniture Store
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Old Bus Station Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington
From Price Call Back Telephone Favourites

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Summer Brochure 2019
Autumn Spring 2019 2020
Summer Brochure 2020