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Coach Holiday To Lake Garda Review – Helpful Things to Know

Are you looking for a coach holiday to Lake Garda?

This is a detailed itinerary review of the Southern Shores of Lake Garda tour which is offered by Saga Holidays.

This tour stays in beautiful Sirmione, at the Southern end of Lake Garda. It has a great mix of free time and excursions to help you make the most of your time in this wonderful spot.


I am sharing this review to help you get a better insight into this holiday and to highlight any areas you might want to get further information on before you book.

I do not work for Saga Holidays.

Itineraries and details do change so please double-check the details on the Saga website.

Let’s get cracking and see if this is your ideal coach holiday to Lake Garda.

Coach Holiday to Lake Garda – An In-Depth Review of the Southern Shores of Lake Garda

Is Lake Garda Worth a Visit?

Lake Garda is a beautiful lake and well worth a visit. There are fantastic views, plenty of attractions, nice markets and beaches. It is easy to explore using public ferries too.

This is purely a review to give you a more in-depth view of the holiday program. Itineraries, pricing, and other holiday details change so always double-check on the Saga website.

I am writing this based on my experience as a Tour Manager taking coach holidays all over the world so that I can give you a better idea of what this holiday is like. I also spent my very first year working in Lake Garda 30 years ago so it is somewhere I love.

Coach Holiday to Lake Garda

Holiday Headlines

  • 8 days
  • 7 nights in the hotel
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 7 evening meals
  • 4 included excursions with local guides
  • Tour Manager
  • VIP transfers from home to the airport and return at the end of the holiday
  • Return flights from Gatwick Airport
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Coach Holiday to Lake Garda

Included VIP Transfers

  • There are several options included with SAGA for getting to your UK departure for your flight to Verona.
  • You can choose a VIP transfer service with a driver which is available from your home or from that of a family or friend.
  • You can also choose to travel by rail.
  • If you want to make your own way free airport parking is included.
  • If you choose an internal flight to get to your departure point from the UK you can also have your luggage collected from home and taken directly to your river cruise ship and returned to your home after your holiday.
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Coach Holiday to Lake Garda

Lake Garda Hotel Details

The hotel used for this hotel is the Hotel Du Parc located in Sirmione, Lake Garda.

This is a locally rated 4-star hotel. It has 90 rooms, a bar, a restaurant and lifts to all floors.

The hotel is located 3km from the old town of Sirmione, where the castle is located.

View the hotel website here

There is also an outdoor swimming pool (you have to wear a swimming cap).

The hotel scores 4 out of 5 on Tripadvisor. There have been some comments about the WIFI signal not being available in all rooms and the quality of the food at the buffet.

Coach Holiday to Lake Garda

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 – Fly from London Gatwick to Verona

The flights from London Gatwick depart at 7.55 am and arrive in Verona at 11 am. The flights are with British Airways. As these are short-haul flights there are no refreshments provided on the flight other than tea, coffee, or water. You can pay for additional snacks and drinks on board.

Verona airport is located 35km from Sirmione. The journey time is around 45 minutes.

Given the likely arrival time in Sirmione, the hotel rooms may not be ready on arrival.

The Hotel Du Parc has 90 bedrooms. It has a swimming pool and a spa area. Included in your holiday is the use of the spa area for 30 minutes.

There is a restaurant and a bar. The bar serves snacks and drinks all day, and lunch is available at the hotel too.

There are lifts to all floors. Standard rooms have a small terrace or balcony. Each room has an LCD TV and a safe in the room. There is free WIFI throughout the hotel.

The Hotel Du Parc is located close to the marina area of Sirmione. There is a small beach not far away, along with some cafes and restaurants.

Nearby is a bus stop where you can take a bus along the peninsula to the Scaliger castle and Sirmione peninsula. There is also a tourist shuttle bus that runs from April to September and costs around 1.50 Euros each way.

You can also walk 3km from the hotel to the peninsula.

The evening meal is at the hotel. There have been some comments about the food at the hotel, including the arrangements for dinner. Dinner is at a set time for the whole group and according to one guest review, diners have to sit in the same seats for each dinner service.

coach holiday to lake garda post picture sirmione
Lovely view from Scaliger Castle showing the Hotel Grand Terme and boat trip departure point

Coach Holiday to Lake Garda

Day 2 – Free Day in Sirmione

Breakfast is included this morning.

After that, your day is your own.

The old town of Sirmione is around 3km away from the hotel.

The Scaliger castle is the first thing you will see as you cross the bridge into the oldest part of Sirmione. It is free to look around and there are some great photo opportunities from the top of the castle building as well.

There are cute beaches, lovely walks along the edge of the lakes, and pretty shops and views to enjoy as well.

Sirmione is famous for its gelato shops. You will see piles of gelato in all sorts of delicious flavours, which you can sample before you buy too.

If you walk all the way to the end of the peninsula there are very interesting remains of a Roman villa to explore. When you have finished exploring there is also a lovely beach and beach bar which has lovely views across Lake Garda.

If you want another view of Sirmione then why not take a boat trip? They are 10 Euros for half an hour and during that time they take you right around the peninsula. It’s great fun.

Here is a short video that gives you a flavour of what the peninsula of Sirmione is like, including some shots of the marvellous ice cream shops!

Coach Holiday to Lake Garda

Day 3 – Venice Included Tour

After an included breakfast there is an included tour to Venice.

It is 155km to Venice from Sirmione with a travel time of around 2 hours. Generally, coaches have to park at the Tronchetto parking area. You then have to talk a walk to board a boat which takes you into Venice. The boat takes around 20 minutes to get from the Tronchetto to the San Marco area of Venice. The boat may be one of the scheduled services or it might be a private boat.

This included tour is with a local guide that you meet in Venice. Given the travel time and the included tour, it is likely that this day will involve an early start, probably between 7 and 8 am. This means a very early breakfast.

Some guests have commented that the walking tour is quite long. However, you can skip the walking tour if you would prefer more free time in Venice on your own.

In order to depart Venice you will need to board the boat and return to the Tronchetto, taking the same 2-hour journey back to the hotel.

Some guests commented that the evening meal is a fixed time of 7 pm with some of the trips not returning until after 6 pm. Given the distance and timings, this trip is likely to be one that returns after 6 pm.

Evening meal included at the hotel.

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Coach Holiday to Lake Garda

Day 3 – Lake Garda Tour

After an included breakfast there is an included excursion around Lake Garda with a local guide.

The first stop on the lake tour is Malcesine. It is 67 km from Sirmione to Malcesine with a travel time of 1.25 to 1.5 hours.

This is a pretty cobbled village set on the Eastern side of Lake Garda. It has a very picturesque castle set on the edge of the lake.

The coach will most likely drop off at the top of the town near the main road. There are some lovely lakeside cafes to enjoy.

The next stop on the lake tour is Riva. This is at the Northern end of Lake Garda. It is 18km from Malcesine to Riva with a travel time of around 30 minutes.

Riva is a pleasant lakeside town with lovely cafes and a pleasant lakeside promenade.

Riva is a popular spot for watersports due to the fairly consistent winds that come from Lake Garda.

From Riva, the itinerary says you will take a ferry to Limone. This is a public ferry that takes 45 minutes to travel from Riva to Limone. On the way, you should have great views of the road tunnels running alongside the edge of the lake. These were used to store munitions by Mussolini during WW2. You might also recognise them from the James Bond film Quantum of Solace.

Limone is a lovely spot. There are cobbled streets, cute cafes, and some nice shops to enjoy. There are also great views across Lake Garda. The name Limone comes from the lemons that used to be grown extensively here.

After your visit to Limone, you will travel back to Sirmione by coach. This journey travels down the Western side of Lake Garda passing through Moderno and Gardone Riviera. You then turn inland and continue down to Sirmione. The journey is just under 2 hours to get back to the hotel.

Your evening meal is included once again this evening.

Coach Holiday to Lake Garda

Day 5 – Dolomites Tour

After breakfast, there is an included tour of the Dolomites.

It is just under 200km from the first stop at Lake Carezza. There are some toilets and snack bars at this stop. The lake is small and very lovely.

As you climb into the Dolomite mountain area the road becomes more twisty with some really lovely views. It is around 24km from Lake Carezza to Canazei and it will take around 40 minutes to travel that distance.

Canazei is a small town that caters to skiers. After a stop here it’s on to the Pordoi Pass.

The Pordoi Pass has 28 hairpin bends. At the top of the pass is a cable car that runs all year round. The cable car is an optional extra.

The cable car costs around 10 Euros each way.

Here is a video that shows the descent from the top, Sass Pordoi, on a lovely day.

At the base of the cable car is a cafe, which also has some lovely views, plus toilets of course, and parking for cable car visitors.

After the stop at Pordoi, it’s back down the valley to Moena.

Moena is a small village at the Val di Fassa. Again it caters to skiers. If you want to check out the views of the village then have a look at their webcams.

After a stop at Moena, it’s back to Sirmione. Again this journey is just under 200km and it will take around 2.75 hours to get back.

There is an included evening meal this evening.

Coach Holiday to Lake Garda

Day 6 – Free Day

Breakfast and your evening meal are included today.

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Coach Holiday to Lake Garda

Day 7 – Verona Guided Tour

After an included breakfast there is an included tour to Verona.

It is 45km from Sirmione to Verona and the journey will take an hour, or perhaps more depending on traffic.

There is an included walking tour with a guide in Verona. The guide will take you to the main sights in Verona including the famous balcony of Juliet. Romeo must have been quite athletic to get up there!

After some free time to explore on your own, the coach will return back to the hotel.

The evening meal is included this evening.


Coach Holiday to Lake Garda

Day 7 – Return Home

Breakfast is included this morning.

The flights depart from Verona Airport at 11 am. This is likely to mean a departure from the hotel somewhere between 7 am and 8 am.

The flight, with British Airways, lands at London Gatwick at 12.55

Coach Holiday to Lake Garda

Departure Dates

  • May 16th and 23rd
  • June 13th and 20th
  • September 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th

Coach Holiday to Lake Garda


For a departure on the 12th of September, a double occupancy room is £1729 per person.

A single occupancy room on the same date is £1879 per person.

Saga Travel Insurance

This holiday is offered by Saga.

Saga includes insurance in their pricing which adds £40 per person to the prices above. However, this insurance is optional so you can book without it.

(Please note that if you take out your own travel insurance and you need medical assistance on your holiday your Saga representative may not be able to assist you. This is due to data protection laws. If you do have a Saga insurance policy they can usually speak with the insurance company to help make any arrangements that you need. If this is important to you then check it before booking)

Find out more on the Saga Website

Coach Holiday to Lake Garda – Professional Traveller Summary

  • Sirmione is a great location on Lake Garda – it’s a very pretty place to visit and enjoy
  • 2 free days give you plenty of time to explore on your own
  • 4 full day excursions are included in this tour, all with local guides and headsets
  • The Hotel Du Parc is in a pleasant location with a beach nearby
  • There is a Tour Manager who can help you make the most of your free time
  • VIP travel is included from to and from your home – it means you don’t have to worry about timings
  • The excursions require some travelling on the coach – the views are lovely so use this time to enjoy them
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Further Reading

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