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Explore one of Europe’s most special corners as you journey through a picture-book land of vineyards, orchards and castles.
Join a group of friendly, like-minded solo travellers to discover the joys of life in the slow lane in this, part-Italian-speaking and part-German-speaking, sun-kissed region. Journey, from your hotel base near the shores of Italy’s most beautiful lake, on an interesting mix of rail and cableways. Visit charming towns and villages that radiate the warmth and sense of well-being created by their idyllic Alpine surroundings, and enjoy some of Italy’s most delicious food and wine along the way.
Spend seven nights close to beautiful Lake Molveno Ride the Renon narrow-gauge railway to Collabro Discover medieval Bolzano – a wine-producing gem in the Dolomites Journey by rail from Mezzolombardo to Caldes Sample the region’s celebrated wines in Mezzocorona Enjoy the views from the Soprabolzano cable-car Take the rack railway from San Antonio Mendola to the Mendel Pass
Fly to Italy, meet your tour manager and transfer to Hotel Ariston, close to the shores of Lake Molveno, which was named ‘Italy’s Most Beautiful Lake’ in 2017. Idyllically set in the shadow of the soaring Brenta Dolomites, Molveno is a haven for nature-lovers and a climbers’ Mecca, and a perfect base from which to explore this very special region.
Enjoy a Welcome Drink and get-together with your tour manager and fellow travellers before a first dinner in the hotel this evening.
Your first historic railway awaits you, today, as you head along the Weinstrasse (Wine Trail) to tiny San Antonio, or St Anton, to board the Mendola funicular. Enjoy some spectacular views as you climb the heights of the Mendola Pass, at a maximum angle of 64 degrees, to the top station. After the opportunity for yet another leisurely lunch, this afternoon you'll be immersed in the region’s wine-growing industry. Visit the idyllic village of Caldaro, where the South Tyrolean Wine Museum provides a fascinating insight into the local vintages, and enjoy a wine-tasting in Mezzocorona, known as "the most beautiful wine-growing garden of Europe".
Today brings opportunities to savour the delights of your hotel and of Molveno's small selection of shops and café. Rowing boats are available for hire if you'd like to venture out onto the pristine lake, and you can take a cable car to the heights of beautiful Pradel and the Paganella plateau beyond to wander its walking trails.
Alternatively, join today's optional excursion to the former Roman settlement of Trento, the principal town of Italian Trentino, in its mountain-backed setting. Wander the colourful streets, and don’t miss the ancient Duomo cathedral or the vast Buonconsiglio Castle, and perhaps enjoy another leisurely lunch, before completing your day with a relaxing hour or so in Levico, close to the shores of fjord-like Lake Levico.
Continue your exploration of the Dolomites with today’s visit to Bolzano, the capital of the Alto-Adige/South Tyrol region. The city captures perfectly the region's blend of southern Mediterranean and northern Italian influences in its famous food and celebrated wines.
Set in a broad valley, at the confluence of two alpine rivers, Bolzano makes drifting into holiday mode easy. Relax in countless little cafes and explore colourful shops and stores. German – and English – are widely spoken here despite this being Italy, and a leisurely lunch is more likely to consist of wurst and apfelstrudel than pizza and pasta.
After an introductory tour you'll be free to visit the town’s South Tyrol Archaeological Museum – home to the mummified remains of Otzi (the famous Tyrolean Iceman unearthed in 1991 by two tourists). Hopefully no similar startling discoveries await you this afternoon as you enjoy your scenic journey, first aboard the Renon cable car to Soprabolzano on its sunny plateau. After the chance to take in the idyllic surroundings of the Renon Nature Park, and to see its fascinating Earth Pyramids rock formations, you'll finish your day with a ride on the historic narrow-gauge Renon railway to the mountain village of Collalbo, from where you'll return to your hotel by coach.
Enjoy another free day in Molveno and its delightful surroundings, or join today’s optional excursion south to Lake Garda. Highlights of this tour will include visits to elegant Riva del Garda on the Lake's northern shore, and colourful Malcesine, from where you can take the cable car to the heights of Monte Baldo, above the famous resort town (payable locally).
You're free to spend today relaxing, and hopefully soaking up the sunshine by the lake or on the water.
A last day of exploration amid the scenic Dolomites sees you head across the vineyard-covered Rotaliana plain to historic Mezzolombardo, which sits between two beautiful valleys, overlooked by its two castles. Board a regional train, here, for the scenic, 45-minute journey to Caldes. After passing yet more hilltop fortresses, you'll arrive in Caldes, where the restored 13th-century castle dominates the tiny, delightful, apple-growing village.
After time for lunch, you'll return to Molveno where you'll have some free time before your last dinner in this special corner of the world.
Transfer to the airport to board your flight home to the UK.
Seven nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation at the three-star Hotel Ariston, Molveno Wine tasting in Mezzocorona Visits to Bolzano and Renon National Park A Welcome Drink on your first evening Included rail and cable-car journeys Return flights to Italy Coach travel and transfers throughout Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager
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