2021 ITALIAN LAKES TOUR TO WATCH THE MILLE MIGLIA
( including 10 nights in hotels on 5 different lakes including 6 nights on Lake Garda )
Brian Thorley of CCTI in the 2015 Mille Miglia crossing the finishing line in Brescia in the oldest car a 1921 Fiat 501S
Stirling Moss, who holds the record for the fastest Mille Miglia, in 1995 drove the 1,000 miles road route at an average speed of 98mph
The 2021 Mille Miglia dates are provisional
15 DAY TOUR ( Starts and finishes in Dover )
DATES : MAY 5th-19th (15 day tour )
COSTS PER PERSON: € tbc
The costs are based on 2 people sharing a car and hotel bedroom
9 DAY TOUR ( participants make their own way to Lake Garda and join the main tour there)
DATES : MAY 11th-19th (9 day tour ) COST PER PERSON: €tbc
The costs, per person, are based on two people per car sharing a hotel bedroom and include the following:
- Accommodation in 4 star or 3 star stylish hotels ( 14 nights on 15 day tour or 8 nights on 9 day tour or 6 nights on 6 day tour )
- 3 course dinners ( 12 nights on 15 day tour or 6 nights on 9 day tour or 4 nights on 6 day tour )
- Breakfast daily
- Rally plate
- Comprehensive road book with daily itineraries,detailed route notes etc
- Highlighted Michelin maps of France and Italy north-west
- Return DFDS ferry from Dover to Calais with priority boarding and premium lounge access, ( return ferry ticket open ended) 15 day tour only
- (We offer a cost reduction to participants who prefer to make their own ferry arrangements).
- Services of a Tour Director throughout the tour
NOT INCLUDED ARE THE FOLLOWING:
- Lunches,snacks,coffees etc.
- Drinks with dinner including bottled water and coffee
- Entry to places of interest eg.museums, gardens, villas, chateaux etc.
- Lake ferries
- Autoroute tolls or Swiss autoroute vignette
Starting with an afternoon ferry crossing from Dover to Calais we travel to nearby Tilques to spend our first night in a charming chateau hotel.The next morning we set off on our grand tour travelling through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland into Italy.Days 2 and 3 include some motorway and main road sections to make covering the distance a little easier.Once into Switzerland we have a night on Lake Lucerne before arriving at Lake Orta the first of our Italian lakes where we spend a night. We then drive around Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano to Lake Como where we spend a further night. From Lake Como we drive to Desenzano del Garda on Lake Garda, the largest of the Italian Lakes, where we spend six nights. From Lake Garda we drive west to Talloires on Lake Annecy where we spend the penultimate night of the tour before driving north-west to Beaune where we spend the last night of the tour.
DRAFT ITINERARY ( this may be subject to change )
DATES ARE PROVISIONAL
Day 1 Wednesday 5th May Dover-Calais afternoon ferry then Calais-Tilques, ( 20 miles )
Our tour starts with a 2.00 pm DFDS ferry crossing from Dover to Calais, see photos below:
You will have VIP status so will be first to board and disembark and once on the ferry you have access to the Premium lounge where there are complimentary beverages and snacks.
Arriving in Dunkirk at 5.00pm French time we then drive 20 miles south to our charming hotel, Chateau Tilques, in Tilques near St.Omer, see photos below:
Tonight we celebrate the start of our tour with drinks in the hotel's bar before dinner in the restaurant.
Day 2 Thursday 6th May Tilques -Echternach, Luxembourg, ( 285 miles including 160 on motorways )
After breakfast our morning route takes us on the motorway for two and a half hours south via Lille,Tournai, Mons and Namur towards Liege. After Namur we leave the motorway and drive on country roads into the charming Ardennes countryside south east towards Luxembourg where our lunchstop is Durbuy, a pretty village nestling in a river valley, see photos below:
The district of Durbuy is located in southern Belgium, Wallonia, at the foot of the Ardennes. It is made up of 40 small villages and hamlets and gets its name from one of the most important villages in the area: Durbuy has been recognised as a “town” since the Middle Ages in view of the important legal bodies and commercial activities there. And so it was that the old town of Durbuy became known as ‘the smallest town in the world’, putting this humble corner of the Belgian Ardennes firmly on the map.
After lunch we continue south on minor roads across the border into Luxembourg to Echternach where our four star hotel, less than 200 metres from the German border in the countryside just north of Luxembourg city.
There should be time to relax in the pool, see photo below:
Dinner tonight is in the hotel's restaurant, see photo below:
Day 3, Friday 7th May Echternach - Riquewihr, Alsace, ( 195 miles including first 50 on motorways)
Our morning route initially takes us south on the motorway for an hour skirting around Luxembourg city and continuing south to Metz where we leave the motorway and drive on a fast scenic road south- east to Chateau Salins stopping for a morning coffee.
After coffee we continue south east to Sarebourg and up the first mountain pass on the tour, the Col du Donon, see photos below:
Just over the summit we enjoy lunch at a mountain side restaurant, see photos below :
After lunch we continue on scenic country roads eventually arriving in France's Alsace region where our next hotel is based, see photos below:
The hotel is based in one of France's most beautiful villages, Riquewihr, famous for its wine and its charming olde-worlde buildings and once you have unpacked don't miss the opportunity to visit the pretty village on foot and sample the local Alsace wines in one of the local bars or wine shops, see photos below.
You are free to make your own dinner arrangements tonight with a wide choice of local restaurants to choose from.
Day 4 - Saturday 8th May Riquewihr to Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, 190 miles
Leaving Riquewihr we drive 10 miles south to Eiguisheim, another of France's most beautiful villages, where we stroll around the picturesque streets, (see photos below).
We then drive 20 miles south to visit the world famous Schlumpf Collection/motor museum at Mulhouse, the French National Automobile Museum which houses a fantastic collection of classic cars including the world's largest collection of Bugattis, (see photos below).
Click here to visit the official site: http://www.collection-schlumpf.com
We then cross the river Rhine into Germany and drive through scenic countryside climbing up to the summit of the third mountain of our tour, the Walparkplatz Kreuzweg at 1,079 metres,(see photos below).
Less than a mile over the summit is our lunch stop a traditional German auberge, where we can have lunch on the terrace with stunning views, see photos below:
After lunch we drive through the Black Forest eventually crossing the border into Switzerland at Badsackingen. Here we take the Swiss motorway south-west to Lake Lucerne where our hotel for the next two nights is based, see photos below.
Dinner tonight is the hotel's restaurant overlooking Lake Lucerne see photo below:
Day 5,Sunday 9th May Lake Lucerne to Orta san Giulio (150 miles)
Leaving Lake Lucerne we head south along the west bank of Lake Sarner and then our route takes us across the Bruinig mountain pass, see photos below:
Descending the Brunig pass we turn left to Meiringen and drive over the Grimsel pass to Gletch, (click here to see a video of a Ford GT driving up the Grimsel Pass )
At Gletch we turn right and drive down a scenic valley to Brig and then up the Simplon Pass where we enjoy lunch on the summit, (see photos of cars below).
We then descend the Simplon Pass southern slope over the Italian border and continue to Domodossola and take the motorway south east towards Lake Maggiore.At Gravellona we turn south to Omegna at the northern tip of Lake Orta, the first of our Italian lakes.We then drive down the eastern shore of this pretty, yet little known, lake to Orta San Giulio where our stylish hotel a converted monastery is based on the lake in the centre of this beautiful medieval town, see photos below :
Our hotel, the San Rocco, is a converted 17th century monastery and is in the centre of the village just two minutes' walk from the main square, see photos below:
Orta St Giulio is absolutely captivating with its cobbled streets and historic buildings with frescoes with a charming square on the lakeside, see photos below:
Dinner tonight is in the hotel's restaurant.
Day 6 Monday, May 10th, Orta San Giulio to Lake Como, Italy (110 miles)
We leave the captivating Lake Orta then drive 20 miles east to Lake Maggiore where our morning coffee stop is the stylish Stresa overlooking the Borromeean islands where we can stroll along the promenade and admire the grand hotels which look out towards the Borromean islands, see photos below:
We then continue north up the western lake shore road to Cannobio our charming lunch stop, see photos below:
After lunch we continue around Lake Maggiore crossing into nearby Switzerland through Brissago and Ascona to Locarno at the top of Lake Maggiore.Continuing around the lake we head down the eastern shore back into Italy to Luino on the north eastern shoreline.From here we leave Lake Maggiore and drive east to Ponte Tresa where we drive around the southern shore of Lake Lugano on a charming, picturesque, minor road to Morcote.We then drive through Lugano town up the western shore of Lake Lugano leaving Switzerland.At the top of Lake Lugano at Porlezza we leave the lake and drive east over the mountain pass by Lake Piano to Lake Como and Menaggio, on the west lake shore, our afternoon coffee stop
We then drive down the lake for 20 miles to our Villa hotel on the outskirts of Como town
Dinner tonight is in the hotel's restaurant overlooking Lake Como.
Day 7 Tuesday May 11th, Lake Como to Desenzano del Garda, Lake Garda, Italy
We drive back up the west shore of Lake Como then around the top of the lake and east to Sondrio then drive up to the Aprica Pass to Aprica, our lunch stop. We then continue to Edolo where we turn south to Lake Iseo and drive down the scenic west shore of the lake passing the Riva boat factory, see photos below:
Lake Iseo is the home of Riva boats, see photos below
We then drive to nearby Brescia where we visit the Mille Miglia museum, our afternoon coffee stop in the former Sant' Eufemia monastery in Brescia, see photos below:
Click here to visit the official museum website: http://www.museomillemiglia.it/en/where-we-are.aspx
It is then only half an hour to our hotel, for the next two nights, in Desenzano on Lake Garda, at the bottom left hand corner of the lake.
Our stylish hotel, the 4 * Villa Rosa, is a 5 minute walk from the town centre and overlooks Lake Garda, see photos below:
Dinner, tonight is in the hotel's restaurant.
Day 8 Wednesday, May 12th, Desenzano to Brescia ( 40 miles return )
Today is the start of the 2021 Mille Miglia so after breakfast we drive 20 miles to Brescia and walk around the streets to view the Mille Miglia cars being presented to the public before they set off on their 1,000 mile journey to Rome and back see photos below:
At mid-day we drive back to the Mille Miglia museum where all the Mille Miglia participants park their cars and assemble for lunch, see photos below:
We then return to Desenzano which is the first check point on the 2021Mille Miglia route and the cars start to arrive mid-afternoon.
In the evening you are free to make your own dinner arrangements.
Day 9 Thursday, May 13th, Desenzano local excursion; Sirmione, Lake Garda ( no driving today )
A day relaxing and exploring Desenzano and Lake Garda with a boat ride to Sirmione
Desenzano town centre with its restaurants, bars and cafes is a 10 minute walk along the lake, see photos below:
After coffee we take a boat ride to nearby Sirmione, our lunch stop, described as "the jewel in the crown" of Lake Garda. Sirmione is a charming and atmospheric, medieval town on a peninsula at the south of the lake less than 10 miles east from Desenzano. The town can only be accessed on foot by crossing the moat of a 16th-century castle at the town's entrance, see photos below:
Return to Desenzano del Garda by ferry in the afternoon.
Dinner tonight is in the hotel
Day 10 Friday, May 14th, Desenzano to Maranello return ( 205 miles ) or a day trip to Venice by train
Option A Visit Venice for the day by train
In the morning you can catch the train at approximately 9.00am from Desenzano to Venice where you can spend all day exploring this fascinating, unique city.
In the evening return back to Desenzano and our hotel.
This evening you are free to make your own dinner arrangements.
Option B. Visit the Ferrari museums in Maranello and Modena and the Lamborghini museum in S'ant Agata, (205 miles return).
We take the motorway and drive approximately a hundred miles south east down to Modena and then drive 15 miles south of Modena to Maranello and visit the Ferrari Museum which is just around the corner from the Ferrari factory, see photos below:
We also visit the various Ferrari shops as well as taking a peak over the wall at the Ferrari test track the famous "Pista di Fiorano", ( see photo below right).
There is an option to have lunch in the Cavalino restaurant, a Ferrari themed restaurant just across the road from the Ferrari factory and often frequented by Ferrari managers and directors.
We then drive 15 miles to S'ant Agata where the Lamborghini museum is located next to the factory see photos below:
Late afternoon we drive 10 miles to Modena and visit the Ferrari museum devoted to the life of Enzo Ferrari which opened in March 2012.
Some years the Mille Miglia cars come to the Museum where there is a check point, see photos below:
In the evening there is an option to visit Parma to watch the 2021 Mille Miglia cars arrive for their overnight stop before arriving tomorrow in Brescia at the end of their 1,000 mile journey.We then return to our hotel.
Tonight you are free to make your own dinner arrangements.
Day 11 Saturday, May 15th, Desenzano to Brescia
After a leisurely breakfast at our hotel we drive to Brescia to watch the 2021 Mille Miglia cars returning after their 1,000 mile trip see photos below:
Late afternoon we return to our hotel on Lake Garda. Dinner tonight is in the hotel
Day 12 Sunday, May 16th, a clock-wise tour of Lake Garda
We drive around Lake Garda in a clockwise direction enjoying dramatic scenery further north ending in impressive rocky cliffs, sometimes swathed in pines which hug the shoreline of the northern tip. Our morning coffee stop is at Gardone Riviera just north of Salo where we visit the fascinating Il Vittoriale villa and beautiful botanical gardens, see photos below:
Our route then takes us clockwise up the western shore of Lake Garda .We then drive up the western shoreline to Gargagno after which we turn left onto a narrow winding road which leads to Tignale and then across the plateau and down the valley to Tremosine where we drive back to the main road again. Along this 20 mile deviation there are incomparable views of the lake.Continuing north along the western lake shore we stopto admire Limone Sul Garda before arriving at Riva del Garda our lunchstop at the top of the lake and Lake Garda's most famous holiday resort.In the afternoon we drive down the east shoreline of Lake Garda to our coffee stop Malcesine which, after Sirmione, is arguably the prettiest village on the lake.After this we continue back around the lake to Sirmione on the southern shore our afternoon coffee stop.Sirmione, a charming and atmospheric ,medieval town on a peninsula at the south of the lake less than 10 miles east from Desenzano is often described as "the jewel in Lake Garda's crown. The town can only be accessed on foot by crossing the moat of a 16th-century castle at the town's entrance. Return to Desenzano for our last dinner at the hotel.
Day 13 Monday May 17th Desenzano to Talloires, Lake Annecy
Leaving Lake Garda we take the autostrada and drive west via Milan and Turin into France to Talloires, on the eastern shore of Lake Annecy, where our hotel is located.
Our hotel is the Abbey de Talloires sitting on the shore of the lake in arguably the prettiest village on Lake Annecy and in 2018 the site celebrated its 1,000 anniversary !
The interior of the hotel maintains many of its original features as an abbey
Dinner tonight is in the hotel's restaurant
Day 14 Tuesday May 18th Talloires to Beaune ( 200 miles including 110 miles on motorways )
We drive up the east shore of the lake to Annecy then take a scenic mountain route north-west to our lunch stop, Baume Les Messieurs, one of France's most beautiful villages. After lunch we join the autoroute north west for 50 miles to our hotel in Beaune.
Day 15 Wednesday May 19th Beaune to Calais to Dover ( 340 miles including 275 miles on motorways )
We leave our hotel and drive north west for 60 miles on D roads then join the A5 autoroute leading to the A26/A4/ A26 to Calais where we catch the late afternoon DFDS ferry to Dover.