Italian Lakes: Hike, Bike & Kayak

Trip Code: ZGXI

Why we love it

Spend your time immersing yourself into the tranquil lifestyle of Lake Como and Garda – admiring the views, getting active by the lake, and indulging in regional food and wine., Explore the beautiful villages, estates and gardens dotted around Lake Como, meandering the lake by ferry. Feel the fanciful vibe on the grounds of Bellagio's grand Villa Melzi, then see the shore from a kayak., Leave your bags at Milan’s central station and explore the wonders and urban history of this magical city while in transit between Como and Garda., Consider the option of taking a cable car up Monte Baldo – with varying degrees of mountain hikes available, or just to sit at the mountaintop restaurant for lunch, this experience gets you sky high above Garda., Have plenty of free time lakeside in Garda, perhaps taking up one of the water sports on offer or visiting nearby wineries in the Bardolino region.

Is this trip right for me?

This multi-activity trip requires a decent level of fitness, as you will be doing some kayaking, cycling and a fair amount of walking. Some of the treks involve steep hills and steps that you'll need to be able to climb, although sometimes there are easier, alternative routes you can take. Daily walking times vary between 3 and 6 hours, but the rewards are worth every step.

Don’t let the heat keep you from exploring the world! Summer temperatures can be very high in the Italian Lakes district (over 40°C), which can make things uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat, and drink plenty of water.

As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, solo travellers will share a room with other travellers of the same gender. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. Please note that a single supplement is available on this trip (subject to availability). Space is at a premium in Europe and your hotel is no exception. Rooms are often small, but usually the central location makes up for that. For those travelling as a duo, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together. In some cases, bathroom facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.

Important information

1. This multi-activity trip requires a decent level of fitness, as you will be doing some kayaking, cycling and a fair amount of walking. Some of the treks involve steep hills and steps that you'll need to be able to climb, although sometimes there are easier, alternative routes you can take. Daily walking times vary between three and six hours, but the rewards are worth every step.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent.

What to bring/pack

PACKING
On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list., WALKING EQUIPMENT
In addition to your 'normal' daily clothes, you will need the following essential items:
- Walking boots with good ankle support and tread
- Good quality waterproof/windproof jacket and trousers
- Sun hat, sun cream and sunglasses
- A warm sweater or fleece
- Day pack, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

Physical rating

3

You’re in for an active trip! Whilst previous experience isn’t essential for getting involved, a decent level of fitness will help you get the most out of this tour, as you will be doing some kayaking, cycling and a fair amount of walking. Some of the walks involve steep hills and steps that you'll need to be able to climb, although sometimes there are easier, alternative routes you can take. Daily walking times vary between three and six hours, but the rewards are worth every step. If you’re already a regular exerciser, you’re probably good to go. If you’re not, it might be an idea to add it into your routine in the weeks leading up to your departure. Anything cardio related (swimming, running, cycling, etc.) would definitely help you to enjoy this action-packed adventure to the max. There’s always a choice to opt out of certain activities too.

Joining your group

Hotel Borgo Antico, Via Borgovico 47, Como, ITALY, Phone: +39 0313380150

The 3-star Hotel Borgo Antico is a 10-minute walk from the centre of Como and the shore of Lake Como. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi throughout its property. All rooms are air-conditioned and feature TV and private bathrooms with hairdryer. A buffet-style continental breakfast is available in the mornings.

Joining instructions

The closest airports to Como are Milan's 3 airports. The main international airport is called Malpensa (airport code MXP), from which taxis are readily available. The drive to Como takes about an hour. Alternatively you can take the train directly to Como (every 2 hours), or take a more frequent train connection with a change in Saronno (every half hour). The airports of Linate (airport code LIN) and Bergamo (airport code BGY) are usually used by budget airlines. Public transport and taxis are available at both these airports.

Milan Centrale railway station is a major Italian transport hub (and Europe's largest railway station by volume) with direct services from all over Italy and neighbouring countries. Arriving by rail into Milan is a feasible alternative to flying. From Milan onward train transportation to Como is straight forward. For train schedules and tickets please consult the Italian national rail operator's website trenitalia.com.

Once at Como's San Giovanni Railway Station walk down the stairs in front of the station that lead into the park. Once you hit the road turn left and follow the service lane. The lane becomes a narrow one-way street. This is Via Borgo Vico. The hotel will be on your left after about 300 metres. The walk from the train station takes about 5 minutes.

Pre booked arrival transfer from Milan Malpensa (MXP) or Milan Linate (LIN) airports: If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, your transfer driver will be waiting in the arrival hall holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the emergency phone number listed in the emergency contact section in these trip notes.

Finishing your trip

Hotel Bisesti, Corso Italia, 34/36 37016 Garda (VR), Garda, ITALY, Phone: +39 00457255766

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 7

Lunches included: 

Dinners included: 

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

VEGETARIANS
Vegetarians might find the menu selection in Europe less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

BREAKFASTS
There are some continental breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).

Climate & seasonal information

SUMMER
Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

SHOULDER SEASON
In contrast, weather in shoulder season can be unpredictable, and snow is not unheard of at higher altitudes. If you travel at the start or towards the end of the European season please pack accordingly with warm and/or waterproof clothes (preferably layers). The advantage of travelling during this time is that there are less tourists around.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency please call our Italian operator on the below number:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +39 089 79 1896, +39 393 9375299 or +39 328 64 81 735

Accommodations

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

FACILITIES
Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Transportation

TRANSPORT IN EUROPE
Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a local train, watching the scenery roll by from the window of a long distance bus, arriving on a high speed train in the city centre of your next destination, or navigating each city's public transport system. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.


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