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  • Departing from?Dublin + 3
  • Travelling to?Italy + 1
  • When?March 2015
  • How long for?7 nights
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Lake Garda, Venice & Bolzano Christmas Markets from Belfast - 4 Nights
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Lake Garda, Venice & Bolzano Christmas Markets from Belfast - 4 Nights

  • 4 Night Holiday
  • Half Board
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Lake Garda is one of our all time favourite holiday destinations, and a place to which our customers return again and again, beguiled by its scenic mountain backdrop, picturesque towns and welcoming people. The lead-up to Christmas is a truly magical time in Northern Italy, and we’re delighted to offer a very special trip to Lake Garda this festive season, including a visit to the wonderful Christmas Markets in Bolzano, Italy’s Christmas Capital. 

Just a ninety minute drive from Riva del Garda, Bolzano offers traditional Christmas Market stalls in a breathtaking historic setting, with a backdrop of twinkling lights. Browse through stalls selling home made trinkets, cosy jumpers, Italian sweet treats and more, and enjoy a delicious warming ‘scaldadentro’ (local mulled wine)! Our hugely popular excursion to Venice is also included, as well as free time to relax at your hotel and savour the special atmosphere of the lovely town of Riva, all lit up for Christmas.

High water tides occasionally occur in Venice during the winter months. In the event of inclement conditions, your local guide may substitute the excursion to Venice with a full day visit to Verona instead.

 

 

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Euro (€)     
Local Time
Ireland/UK Time +1 hour
Passport
A valid passport is required for this holiday. EU citizens do not need a visa, however non-EU citizens should check requirements. 
Airport
Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate, Bergamo and Verona airports service Lake Garda. Approximate journey time to your hotel from Malpensa is 3 hours, Linate is 2 hours 30 minutes, Bergamo is 2 hours and Verona is 1 hour, 15 minutes. 
Climate

Lake Garda is renowned for its mild and pleasant climate. The weather is most warm and dry in spring and autumn. Summers are warm and winter days can be cool. Mist often enhances Venice’s mysterious atmosphere.

Food & Drink

Northern Italian food tends to be richer and heartier than that found in Italy’s Mediterranean regions, but no less delicious, with fine cheeses, cured meats, risottos and filled pastas on every menu. Try fresh water fish from the lake, drizzled with olive oil and juice from local lemons and accompany it with a glass of fragrant white Nosiola or Lugana wine. The high quality meats from the Alpine regions may be matched with a classic Valpolicella or refreshing Bardolino.  Exquisite seasonal specialities such as chestnuts, pears and peaches will enhance your Lake Garda dining pleasure. 

Tourist Tax

Compulsory taxes and levies apply for entry to certain historic cities in Italy and are not included in the holiday price. A fee of €18 per person is payable to your guide, to cover entry to Venice (including water taxi transport to St Mark’s Square).

Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: €1.45
  • Beer: €4.00
  • Glass of wine: €3.50
  • Main course: €12.00
  • Soft Drink: €2.00
  • Bottled Water: €0.50
Packing List
  • Your valid passport
  • Sun cream
  • A continental plug adaptor
  • A rain jacket
  • A small backpack
  • A sun hat
  • Sturdy, comfortable shoes
  • Camera
Recommended Reading

Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare

The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt

The Metal Green Mercedes by Timothy Williams

 

Holiday highlights

Lake Garda

Riva del Garda - Surrounded by imposing mountains and sparkling blue water, this town is known for its medieval towers, Renaissance churches, and narrow cobblestone streets. The Bastion, a Venetian fortress, was built on the steep slopes of the nearby Mount Rocchetta and affords a splendid view of the city and the northern part of the lake.

La Casina Restaurant – located in an idyllic woodland setting, a short distance from Riva del Garda in lovely countryside, this quaint Italian restaurant is a ‘must’ for foodies, offering the chance to sample delicious typical dishes of the region, made from incredible fresh local produce.  An optional excursion featuring La Casina is available to all Travel Department customers staying in Riva del Garda. 

Piazza III Novembre – as well as being filled with history, this square is an ideal location to take a rest after a long day of sightseeing with a cool drink or glass of local wine.

Venice

St. Mark's Square & Basilica – the main public square in Venice and one of the most famous in the world, every day hundreds of tourists descend on this magnificent public space. The Basilica is one of the most spectacular in the world, both in its façade and interior. The numerous domes and arches are adorned with an incredible array of artistic, iconographic and religious works from some of the greatest Italian and European artist throughout the centuries. 

Ca' d'Oro – This magnificent Gothic structure houses the Galleria Franchetti, an impressive collection of bronzes, tapestries and paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries, with many works by Titian. A big incentive for visiting is the chance to take in the panorama from the balconies over the Grand Canal on the first and second floors.

Rialto Bridge – one of four bridges to cross the Grand Canal in Venice, the Ponte di Rialto is the oldest. The busy bridge connects the districts of San Polo and San Marco and one of the top visitor attractions in the city. 

Bolzano

Bolzano Christmas Markets - This traditional market take place in the main square of Bolzano, “Piazza Walther”, where you will find over 80 stalls selling handmade Christmas goods. There is a wide variety of food on offer which you can sample as you move between stalls, from mulled wine to apple fritters and apple juice to Strudel- all tastes are catered for at the Bolzano Christmas Markets.

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Euro (€)     
Local Time
Ireland/UK Time +1 hour
Passport
A valid passport is required for this holiday. EU citizens do not need a visa, however non-EU citizens should check requirements. 
Airport
Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate, Bergamo and Verona airports service Lake Garda. Approximate journey time to your hotel from Malpensa is 3 hours, Linate is 2 hours 30 minutes, Bergamo is 2 hours and Verona is 1 hour, 15 minutes. 
Climate

Lake Garda is renowned for its mild and pleasant climate. The weather is most warm and dry in spring and autumn. Summers are warm and winter days can be cool. Mist often enhances Venice’s mysterious atmosphere.

Food & Drink

Northern Italian food tends to be richer and heartier than that found in Italy’s Mediterranean regions, but no less delicious, with fine cheeses, cured meats, risottos and filled pastas on every menu. Try fresh water fish from the lake, drizzled with olive oil and juice from local lemons and accompany it with a glass of fragrant white Nosiola or Lugana wine. The high quality meats from the Alpine regions may be matched with a classic Valpolicella or refreshing Bardolino.  Exquisite seasonal specialities such as chestnuts, pears and peaches will enhance your Lake Garda dining pleasure. 

Tourist Tax

Compulsory taxes and levies apply for entry to certain historic cities in Italy and are not included in the holiday price. A fee of €18 per person is payable to your guide, to cover entry to Venice (including water taxi transport to St Mark’s Square).

Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: €1.45
  • Beer: €4.00
  • Glass of wine: €3.50
  • Main course: €12.00
  • Soft Drink: €2.00
  • Bottled Water: €0.50
Packing List
  • Your valid passport
  • Sun cream
  • A continental plug adaptor
  • A rain jacket
  • A small backpack
  • A sun hat
  • Sturdy, comfortable shoes
  • Camera
Recommended Reading

Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare

The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt

The Metal Green Mercedes by Timothy Williams

 

Trip Itinerary - Day by day

Day 1 - Travel to Italy

Full Day

Travel to Italy

Upon arrival in Italy, you will be met in the arrivals area of the airport by our local representative who will accompany you to your hotel, located in the beautiful town of Riva del Garda. As you travel to your hotel, your guide will share some information about the local region, suggest activities for you to enjoy and answer any questions you may have.

Day 2 - Venice

Full Day

Venice

Today you will explore the enchanting warren of canals, quaint alleys and busy squares that make up the fascinating city of Venice. Known as 'La Serenissima' or ‘The most Serene,’ Venice is a prized jewel in Italy's glorious crown.  In Venice you will witness famous landmarks such as the bustling St. Mark's Square, the stunning Gothic building of Ca’ d’Oro, and the imposing marble Palazzo Ducale. Admire 16th and 17th art in the Gallera Franchetti or take a photograph on the Ponte di Rialto. You will also have free time to explore the numerous piazzas, bridges and dwellings that adorn the quaysides of Venice's extensive network of canals. 

Day 3 - Bolzano Christmas Markets

Full Day

Bolzano

Today you will travel to Bolzano to visit the magical Christmas Markets. This traditional market is the biggest of its kind in Italy and takes place in the main square of Bolzano, “Piazza Walther”. Here you will find over 80 stalls selling handmade Christmas goods and local food and drinks. From mulled wine to apple fritters and apple juice to Strudel, you will be spoiled for choice. 

Day 4 - At Leisure

Full Day

At Leisure

Today will be free for shopping and sightseeing of your choice.  Speak with your guide the previous day to see what they would recommend for you to do today.

Day 5 - Return Home

Morning

Return Home

Time to say farewell to Lake Garda - until the next time! Depart by coach from your hotel to the airport, with guide assistance, for your flight home.

* Please note that the order of your excursions on the itinerary above is provisional and subject to change

Hotel & accommodation available for this trip

Astoria Park Hotel 4

This elegant hotel, located just a short walk from the historic centre of Riva del Garda, is an ideal spot for those looking to unwind and enjoy stunning views, while discovering the scenic lake and mountain surroundings. Immersed in a green park, it offers modern, comfortable ac... read more read more read more

This elegant hotel, located just a short walk from the historic centre of Riva del Garda, is an ideal spot for those looking to unwind and enjoy stunning views, while discovering the scenic lake and mountain surroundings. Immersed in a green park, it offers modern, comfortable accommodation and excellent leisure facilities. On a warm day, the outdoor swimming pool provides a place to lounge under blue skies, while enjoying drinks from the pool bar.  The Social Spa seeks to enhance the guest’s wellbeing through a variety of means, including massage, aromatherapy, pools, and spas. 

Hotel address
Astoria Park Hotel



View available dates for this hotel

*Some hotel facilities are seasonally operated and may not be available at the time of your stay. Charges may apply for certain facilities.

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Price, taxes, flight times & availability are subject to change. E&OE. Price based on per person, sharing. Single Supplement cost may apply.

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  • Baggage from €40.00
  • Insurance from €12.50
  • Single Supplement from €149.00

Peace of mind with Belfast Telegraph & Travel Department

Why us

  • The ease of booking a complete itinerary.
  • We offer you affordable luxury.
  • We are experienced and dedicated to your experience.
  • Customers often return to travel with us again.

Our guides

  • Friendly and welcoming everywhere you go.
  • Local experts, enthusiastic about their area.
  • Take pride in making your holiday engaging.
  • Innovative itineraries with amazing excursions.

Our promise

  • To remember your holiday is a very precious time of the year.
  • To go the extra mile for you, our customers.
  • To describe our holidays in an honest manner.
  • To use your feedback to continually improve our service.

Fully protected

  • 24/7 emergency contact number while abroad.
  • We are a privately owned company and have been in business for over 20 years.
  • Travel Department holidays are fully licenced by the Civil Aviation Authority and are ATOL Protected.