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Loving Life On The Lake

Linda Leslie, Senior Sales Consultant at our Ipswich travel agents, recently visited beautiful Lake Garda. Here are her highlights and recommendations from a wonderful trip.

Destination: Lake Garda
Operator/Host: Classic Collection
(Hotel names/Ship name): 
Villa Cortine, Aqualux Hotel
Airline: Easyjet
4 nights


The EasyJet flight was good. It was on time and only took 1 hour 40 minutes.


Villa Cortina was really lovely and well-kept in old Italian traditions with a secure gate entrance. The hotel was a ten-minute walk from the town centre but is not suitable for people with walking difficulties as this is uphill and through a park where young children play football. The food was ok, but the hotel being quite empty and the chef just cooking just for us – and the same with breakfast – didn’t quite have the same special feel about it. If you do want to have Wi-Fi whilst on holiday, the hotel provides free access which is a great speed.


The Aqualux Hotel is quite large and very modern, with lots of glass windows which give the resort a feeling of spaciousness. It is in a good location, as it’s only a ten-minute walk to the resort of Bardolino. The main restaurant is very intimate but does cater for larger parties as well and the food was amazing. Again, if you want Wi-Fi here, the access in the lobby is good and free but in the rooms get only 30 minutes complimentary and then after that you have to pay for it according to the amount of time you will need.


  • Visit and lunch at the Villa Cortina
  • Visit Park Hotel Imperial
  • Visit and dinner at the Villa Madrina
  • Visit Hotel Due Torri
  • Visit and lunch at the Palazzo Victoria
  • Visit and dinner at the Aqualux
  • Visit and lunch at the Villa Cortine
  • Visit and Dinner at the Hotel Olivi
  • Visit and Lunch at the Hotel Savoy
  • Visit Lefay Resort and Spa
  • Visit and dinner at the Hotel Continental
  • Boat trip around the resort of Sirmione
  • Two-hour tour of Verona with private guide

Trip Highlights


For me, the best part of this trip was twofold. Firstly, the camaraderie of the group that we travelled with was fantastic and, secondly, my favourite touristy part of this trip had to be Verona.

Possible Improvements

The only part which I feel could have been improved upon – and I think this may be just me personally – is to have stayed in more hotels overnight rather than the two we did stay at. I know it would have meant packing and unpacking, but I enjoy the experience of overnight stays in hotels more than just hotel visits and the reason for this is that I believe it stays with you longer in your memory.

Apart from that, this trip was just amazing and there is nothing else I would have done any differently.


I would definitely recommend this trip to travellers of any age. The lake caters for everyone, with different activities available, and it could also be twinned as a city break. It’s easily accessible via the roads around the different resorts, so good for a self-drive, and Venice is just an hour and a quarter’s drive away. It’s an all-round good location for any type of holiday.

Additional Comments


Italian food and wine are of exceptional quality and there appears to be this misconception that everybody eats just pasta and pizza, but this is not the case at all.  A vast variety of food is openly available in all restaurants and if you are a meat lover then this is definitely the place for you. Lake Garda and Verona should be on everybody’s list of places to visit.

Must see? Verona and the Arena Amphitheatre
Must do? Walk through the tiny cobbled streets
Must try? Italian Ice Cream – 100s of flavours available

If you would like to enjoy a trip like Linda’s, Fred Olsen Travel will create the best package for you. Visit one of our travel shops in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire, or those on the south coast, and speak to a member of our team today.