Lake Garda gastronomic experience with Archers - Part 1
a week at Lake Garda, Italy as a special interest trip with Archers Holidays and what a great time we had! The programme includes a day trip to
Verona, a day in
Venice, wine tasting in Valpolicella region plus a cookery course with an
Italian chef. It was an excellent opportunity to make the most of the visit
with coach journeys each way from our hotel at northern end of the
lake, enjoying fantastic scenery along the way!
It was a good flight time, leaving Gatwick at 10.15am. On Easy Jet you have to be able to fit all your bags into one hand-luggage case, unlike Ryanair, but that is ok as long as you know beforehand. It was an excellent flight, comfortable atmosphere in the plane and a very smooth journey. Eight of us were collected at the airport for the Hotel Continental in Nago, near Torbole at the northern end of Lake Garda..
It is a
long-established family owned hotel, part of the Tonelli chain, a good 4*
recently up-dated over recent
years so a mix of modern and traditional style. There are 94 rooms, the Classic
generally used by
tours operators with king size double bed, a few to sleep three people, all
with shower and balcony.
They do have 8 rooms with a bath as well if you prefer. For UK guests there are
tea and coffee
making facilities in the room as experience told them “Brits” were always
asking for this anyway!
one disabled-friendly room that usually sleeps three but they take out the
extra bed to make more
room to move around. The bathroom is spacious – still a shower cubicle to step
into but the door
opening is wide and they have a seat to fit inside. All floors have lift access
and wide corridors
and you can actually get into the hotel straight from their garage with a lift
to reception. More
unusual is the self-service laundrette on 2nd floor with washing machine and tumble
drier for guests.
There is a small but well-equipped free gym (not just upper body-building
equipment) and a lovely
relaxing massage area so you can book an hour for €60. There is an outdoor
heated swimming pool plus a
small indoor pool 30ᵒ and Jacuzzi.
having a table allocated to you for the week for meals as there is no potential
for a bun fight at
breakfast. As a group of 8 on this trip, they put our tables next to each other
which shows how much
they plan accommodation for guests. There is a good selection of foods to
choose from for
breakfast, with the chef on hand to cook eggs or omelettes, and you can press
your own fresh orange
juice. There is a good salad bar to start with before dinner then a starter,
main course and dessert
with three options for each course.
special, March to May and September to November, they have a buffet with live
music and dancing
downstairs twice a week. It is too hot to be down there during the summer as
dashing up and down for some fresh air apparently! But, it is a great space,
furniture and a real dance floor in the middle. When we were there in June,
there is live music in
the courtyard until 11pm with a ‘happy hour’ from 5-6pm with a different
tempting special offer each
amazed how cheap a glass of Prosecco is at €2.50 in most places, and a spritz
cocktail with Prosecco
base is not much different in price. This is definitely the drink that becomes
an easy habit as it is
light, refreshing and easy to drink (often) so it is the mature person’s
alcopop I think. When you are out
and about, bars that offer the spritz include a bowl of olives, crisps and nuts
at no extra charge.
Although there is a limit to how many crisps a person can eat in one day, there
is clearly no such limit
on the number of spritz drinks you can down.
arrived on Wednesday, we had some free time so just strolled around the village
of Nago to find the
view of the lake we could see from our balcony. We found the Hotel mit Charme
with a wide
terrace overlooking the road down to the lake. The lovely helpful barman
recommended the dry Lugano
wine, soft and easy to drink without food – he shuddered in disgust at the
thought of them
offering sweet wine when I said I only wanted a dry wine! This was a perfect
first afternoon, sitting in
the sun watching the activity on Lake Garda, sampling the local wines and big
fat smoothtasting olives
grown in this northern area which is as far north as they grow. We decided to
stay for a second
glass of wine as recommended by the barman.
Continental is a really pleasant environment in which to spend a relaxing
holiday, or as a good base
from which to explore the Lake Garda region, though not lake-side. All the
staff are excellent, very efficient, and this is
one of the friendliest hotels we have stayed in.
Silver Travel Advisor recommends Cosmos Tours and Cruises.