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The Italian Lakes Como & Garda tour

The Italian Lakes Como & Garda

Exodus Travels Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
8 days
From: $ 1,615 $ 202 / day
Checking price



  • Discover the charming lakeside Bellagio
  • Visit ancient Verona
  • Enjoy gentle lakeside walks
  • See Roman Arena
  • Visit Bellagio, the 'Pearl of Lake Como'.
  • Take ferry to Varenna
  • Visit Villa del Balbianello
  • Visit Lake Como
  • Visit the Scaligero Castle

Short Description

Follow in the footsteps of celebrated authors such as D.H Lawrence and discover the most famous of the stunning Italian lakes. Starting on majestic Lake Garda, the largest in Italy, take in the rich landscape studded with villages and small towns and enjoy a day trip to ancient Verona, the setting for Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’, before moving on to Lake Como. Long favoured as an aristocratic summer retreat, the lake is surrounded by mountains and with banks full of forested slopes as well as striking estates with magnificent gardens, which are a pleasure to explore on leisurely walks.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Brenzone
End City Lecco



Cities & Attractions

Lake Como Lake Garda Star Wars Verona


Culture Hiking Nature

Age Requirement


No Single Supplement
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Trip Includes

  • All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners included
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout

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Day 1: Brenzone, Lake Garda.

Start Brenzone, Lake Garda. Check-in at your hotel, welcome drink and evening briefing


Day 2

Gentle walks taking in villages on the slopes of Monte Baldo to Malcesine; Scaglier Castle visit.

Today we will walk a section of the Nordic Walking Park that covers some of the most charming small villages on the slopes of Monte Baldo. This afternoon we stroll along the lakeside to reach the village of Malcesine and visit the Scaligero Castle, first built by the Longobards back between the 5th and 6th century. A symbol of Malcesine and Lake Garda, its startegic position overlooks the waterfront and offers spectacular views of the lake.


Day 3

Walking tour to explore UNESCO heritage site Verona.

After breakfast we take the public bus to Verona and enjoy a walking tour of the medieval city celebrated in Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. Take in views of the Roman Arena, the best preserved in Italy, and the colorful Piazza delle Erbe among the city's many historical sites. In the afternoon meet an expert on ancient prints who will explain the history of Verona through various rare prints and the engraving techniques once used to create books and prints. Return to Brenzone by public bus.


Day 4
Ferry to western lakeside; walk to St Valentine's hermitage and Villa Igea. Afternoon olive farm visit and oil tasting.

Transfer by ferry to the western side of the lake to Gargnano, where we begin our walk to St. Valentine Hermitage, a small chapel dating back to 1630. After lunch, we walk the “Lawrence Walk",which takes us past the Villa Igea, where D.H. Lawrence lived. Before returning to Brenzone, we stop to visit an olive oil producer. Walking among olive trees hundreds of years old, we get a chance to learn about the production of the oil and taste the delicate variety made along the shores of lake Garda. Our last night at lake Garda will be celebrated with a special dinner.


Day 5
Transfer to Lecco, our base on Lake Como. Visit Bellagio, the 'Pearl of Lake Como'.

After breakfast we check out of our hotel and transfer by public bus and train to Lecco. Located on lake Como, the town inspired Alessandro Manzoni his famous novel The Betrothed. We have some time to discover the city centre, before taking a ferry to Bellagio, the “Pearl of Lake Como". This lovely town is located at the top of the triangular peninsula that divides lower lake Como into two parts. The afternoon is free to wander through this attractive resort town. In the evening, we head back to our hotel in Lecco by ferry.


Day 6
Enjoy a stroll on the 'Lover's Walk' from Varenna to Olivedo and visit 11th century Vezio Castle.

After breakfast we head to Varenna by ferry, on lake Como. The town, gracefully perched on the mountain, is one of the most panoramic spots of the lake. Before lunch, we explore the village and walk along the lake through the "Lover’s Walk" connecting Varenna to Olivedo. In the afternoon we walk up to the ruins of the 11th Century Vezio Castle, that dominates the town, to the source of the Fiumelatte river, said to be the shortest river in the world. An optional visit to the scenic gardens of the lakeside Villa Monastero may be posible. Return to Lecco by ferry.


Day 7
From Ossuccio walk to baroque Sanctuary of S. Maria del Soccorso. Visit 18th century Villa del Balbianello.

From Lecco we cross the lake and visit Ossuccio, with its historical centre and famous bell tower. There we walk to the Baroque Sanctuary of S. Maria del Soccorso and enjoy a picnic lunch en route. After lunch we continue to Villa del Balbianello, built at the end of the 18th Century for the Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini. The views of the lake and surrounding hills from the villa are magnificent. We return by ferry to Lecco for our farewell dinner at a local restaurant.


Day 8: End Leco, Lake Como









Checking price
Price From $ 1,615
Price Per Day: $ 202 per day
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13,250 Exodus Travels Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 9,337
Great 3,210
Average 536
Disappointing 113
Terrible 54

The Italian Lakes Como & Garda

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Company Reviews


I was introduced to Antarctica in the most amazing way. When we arrived there
was a blanket of heavy fog the team got us on the zodiac and navigated on
compass bearings. Suddenly like the curtain of a stage being pulled back we
sat in sky of blue surrounded by a wild and pristine environment.
See above. Watching whales breech. Smelling penguins before you could see
them. Filming Leopard seals with my gopro. You truely need to be awake 24hrs
a day and have eyes in the back of your head for this trip.

Shelly and the team were amazing. Their passion and commitment and tirless
effort to show what they love and care about the most was amazing

Do take European travel plugs for Ushuaia as well as American.

Enjoy everything this trip has to offer. Remember this is an expedition and
not a five star hotel as some travellers on my trip thought. Things can go
wrong and weather is unpredictable. A real once in a lifetime trip.

Read more


Another fantastic trip to the wilderness that is Antarctica. Brilliant from
start to finish with awesome scenery and wildlife experiences throughout on a
fantastic ship.
Experiencing the beauty of both Oraca's and Humpback whales upclose to to
zodiacs and a brillient night spent camping on the Ice of Antartctica.

Woody was excellent from start to finish, extremely knowledgeable and
passionate about Antarctica, friendly, open and worked brilliantly with
the Ships Captain/Crew to get us lots of fantastic landings and cruising
opportunities. He was ably assisted by the rest of his expedition crew who
were all also fantastic.

Go... A definite must do atleast once in your life. Antarctica is awesome.

Although some people might conside this type of trip as being expensive,
I'd qualify it by saying this was my second trip to Antarctica and
althought it is not a cheap holiday it is great value for money, I
wouldn't have returned otherwise.The Ship is fantastic, food was
excellent and all the crew were so friendly, helpful and ofcourse

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A holiday that exceeded all expectations. Stunning scenery, abundant
wildlife, a great team and a superb boat and crew
Seeing that being a penguin parent is true dedication!

"Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of
shape....." A quote from a member of the group that sums up Woody.
Excellent does also.

Book it NOW!

I knew we'd see a lot of wildlife and had hoped I'd see an albatross
- there were 6 gliding around the boat on the first day! The excesses just
got greater each dayafter that!

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An absolutely amazing trip!  It had been a long time coming as I booked
it 18 months previously, but it did not disappoint.
There was so much that was fantastic....the sheer beauty and enormousness
(don’t know if that is a real word) of it all, unspoilt by humans, but
the most inspiring moment was watching an iceberg calve, and then because
its’ centre of gravity had changed, virtually turn over.......and I
think I was the only one sitting there watching it!   And yes,
Paul, I do have photographic evidence!!

Kirsten was professional, and made the best of the weather conditions.

Travelling to Ushuaia is very long and tedious, especially if you are on the
early flight from Gatwick to Madrid (8 hour wait at Madrid), and even if you
have been checked straight through to Ushuaia, you need to collect your
baggage, even if you have the domestic flight from the international terminal
(very confusing....nearly left my luggage at BA airport). 3 days
travelling on board without setting foot on land, can seem a long time, but
there are presentations given by various members of the expedition staff that
give you an insight to the Antarctic region, its wildlife, and history. You
can also go on deck if weather permits, or up to the bridge viewing platforms
to pass the time of day and take pictures of the birdlife, or icebergs on
your journey south.Once you make your first zodiac trip though, everything
previously is forgotten, and take Paul’s advice....don’t have
your viewfinder surgically implanted to your eye, make sure you take stock of
where you are, and enjoy every moment of it.We were lucky with the weather,
and only missed 1 landing, but be prepared that if the weather is bad, you
will not be able to go ashore or do the zodiac cruises, and be prepared for
some ‘iffy’ moments on the zodiacs if the sea is a bit
rough.  It was my first time on zodiacs, and now feels that I could cope
with anything. It didn’t happen to me, but remember the Aerolineas
 Argentinas weight restrictions for hand-luggage; 5kg.  If you can
put your camera equipment in a backpack and have it on your back, they
don’t seem to mind.  Also, leave room in your case/bag for the
Quark Parka.  I wore the inner fleece for flying and packed the outer
shell, but still fairly cumbersome.

Just book it!!  You’ll not regret it.  This was my first
polar trip, but certainly not my last!!

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A fantastic trip encompassing magnificent scenery and wildlife viewing.
The whole trip was an incredible experience from start to finish, but for me
the highlight was the afternoon spent kayaking in Paradise Bay.  Imaging
360 degrees of snow capped mountains, blue skies, sea ice and perfect
mountain reflections in the sea and you still won't be close to
experiencing how beautiful the place was.

Kirsten was professional throughout and made sure we experienced the best
that the Antarctic Peninsula has to offer. 

Be prepared for the fact that you have 3 days at sea from Ushuaia before you
reach the Peninsula and 2 days on the way back. There are plenty of
presentations on the ship to help pass the time and prepare you for the trip
but it can seem like a long time since you have left home before you are able
to leave the ship and do some landings.  Having said that, the sea days
are forgotten in an instant as soon as you reach the peninsula and the trip
starts properly.We were incredibly lucky with the weather; there was only 1
landing which we were unable to make as the conditions would not allow it.
 You need to be aware though that if weather conditions aren't
favourable you won't be able to do all of the landings or zodiac cruises
which could potentially detract from the overall enjoyment of the
trip. Aerolinas Argentinas can be quite strict with their luggage
allowances; there is a 5kg limit for hand luggage on the internal flight. If
you are carrying a lot of photographic equipment then your hand luggage will
be way over this.  However, if you have your backpack on your back when
you check in then they do not seem to weigh it; if it is on a luggage trolley
then they will weigh it and potentially ask you to pack some of your hand
luggage into your checked luggage. Do not wear expensive jewellery in
Buenos Aires and leave your valuables locked in the safe in the hotel. 

Go ahead and book the trip - it is truly an experience of a lifetime.

Read more

Lovely country, people, and food.

This review describes the revised, Lombok-less itinerary. So, no Rinjani,
sadly, but Sumeru is a decent (and difficult) substitute if one is willing to
ascend it (the summit is optional).

For me, this trip was a fine mix of culture (food, people, history, temples)
and hiking, with photographic opportunities wherever one looked. We had three
fantastic sunrises, some dynamite sunsets (especially Merbabu), and we got
very lucky with weather, being barely affected by rain. Our only real
disappointment came at Ijen where the gases from the crater would not clear
enough for a good view - but we got a good workout in while testing our
strength against that of the miners whose loads sulphur are very heavy.

There are some long drives, but most of our group found it easy to sleep on
the bus.
Ascending Sumeru. It's a difficult and frustrating climb (like summit day on
Kilimanjaro) but the view from the top is special.

Our guide (Wira) was attentive, helpful, fluent in four bazillion Indonesian
languages, and a damned good multitasker.

Most of the hiking is gentle but very dusty (we were there in the dry season)
so a buff is recommended to avoid "volcano nose" and care is needed to
protect camera mechanisms. The extension at Candidasa was a perfect and
relaxing way to end (I recommend staying as long as you can :)). Indonesians
are very friendly and you will be asked to pose for THEIR travel photographs,
so be prepared to feel like a rock-star.

Read more


Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 16


2-star hotel on Lake Garda, 3-star hotel on Lake Como

We spend 4 nights in a comfortable 2-star hotel in Brenzone, usually Hotel Sorriso. The family-run hotel is located on the lakefront near the centre of Brenzone and offers magnificent views from its terrace and is locally renown for its delicious cuisine. Our last 3 nights are spent at a 3-star hotel in Lecco, Lake Como, usually the Hotel Lungolago. The recently renovated property overlooking the lake features wifi throughout and modern décor. All rooms en suite.


Age Notes

Min. Age: 16

Trip ID#:


Trip Excludes

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request) GBP170
  • Visas or vaccinations

Meals Included:

All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners included.
Breakfasts in Italy are usually continental style and include pastries, yogurt and cereal.
The cuisine of that Italian lakes region is a real treat for travellers. On Lake Garda visitors can expect to taste some wonderful freshwater fish and polenta-based dishes, as well as excellent local Bardolino wine. Staples on Lake Como also include fish and polenta, and are complemented by hearty mountain fare including cheeses such as taleggio, smoked meats and 'pizzocccheri' buckwheat pasta.

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