Top Viewed Tours of 2017

As we near the end of 2017, we’re taking time to reflect on another fantastic year and what an honour it has been to take so many of you on wonderful holidays.

And we’re thrilled that, with all the hard work of our teams at Leger HQ and, of course, our coach crews and guides out on the road, we’ve helped create incredible memories and a lasting impressions, as you voted us the Best Medium Coach Holiday Company for the second year running at the British Travel Awards.
But, we couldn’t round off the year without giving you the rundown of our most viewed tours on of 2017. So, without further ado, if you’re on the lookout for holiday inspiration or just wanting to know if your favourite tour made it onto our list, here’s what really caught your eye this year…

10. The Beauty of Lake Como and Lake Maggiore

The third largest lake in Italy, and the first of four Italian tours to make it onto our list. But it’s not just our customers who love Lake Como, it’s also a hit with George Clooney, Madonna and Richard Branson.
Lake Como

9. Picturebook Norway – Fjordland Spectacular

Our dream tour seems to be your dream tour, too. With our first departure sold out and our 2019 dates now on sale, the Norway effect is still in full swing.
Norwegian Fjords

8. Splendours of Paris

Paris is always a good idea, and it seems that’s something we can all agree on! The romantic capital city of France comes in at a respectable 8th on our list.
Paris 2017

7. All Quiet on the Western Front

A perfect WW1 Battlefields experience for first-timers and experienced travellers, 2017 has certainly captured your interest of visiting the Western Front.
Tyne Cot Cemetery

6. Lake Garda, Venice and Verona

The mighty Lake Garda, incredible Venice and the home of Romeo and Juliet, Verona, this is three world-class destinations in one impressive tour, we’re not surprised to see this tour make it into our top 10.
Venice 2017

5. Picturebook Italy

A Leger Holidays favourite, Picturebook Italy, of course, makes its way into our top 5. Well, a holiday visiting the best that Italy has to offer, it’s bound to happen.

4. The Wonders of Rome & Pompeii

Italy still seems to be a big hitter in 2017, but the Wonders of Rome & Pompeii comes out top of the Italian pickings. And it’s no wonder when Rome alone attracts around 7 – 10 million tourists each year.
Trevi Fountain, Rome 2017

3. Dutch Bulbfields & the Delights of Amsterdam

Tulip mania lives on! In 2017, the beautiful Dutch Bulbfields really caught your attention, or is it the visit to Amsterdam? Either way, a trip to Holland doesn’t get much better than this.
Dutch Bulbfields

2. D-Day Landings in Normandy

Taking the hypothetical silver medal in 2017, our D-Day Landings in Normandy tour narrowly missed out on the top spot. But, with the recent launch of our D-Day 75th Anniversary tour, could it snag the top spot next year? We’ll have to wait and see.
Pegasus Bridge

1. Nashville, New Orleans & Elvis Presley’s Memphis

And with over 300 tours to choose from, for the third year running, our most viewed tour is our Nashville, New Orleans & Elvis Presley’s Memphis tour. Whether you’re an Elvis fan, a music buff in general or just fancy a visit to America’s Deep South, we seem to have got it right with this one.
New Orleans 2017
From everyone at Leger Holidays, we wish you a very happy New Year!

Picturebook Italy: a snapshot of all things Italian.

From Venice to Rome, Pisa to the Amalfi Coast, despite never setting foot on Italian soil, there’s every chance you’ve already fallen in love with Italy. Despite only being a unified country for 153 years, it’s understandable how the boot of Europe attracts over 43 million tourists a year, making it the 4th most visited country in the world. Home to some of the most iconic cities, with a unique culture and first class cuisine featuring the some of the world’s favourite carbohydrates, with over 350 different types of pasta and after all, Pizza is one of few words understood all around the world, they’re doing something right.

Venice and Rome, both appear on many-a-persons bucket list, so here is our guide to some of the lesser known, but no less spectacular, splendours of Europe’s boot-shaped masterpiece, all of which you can visit on our popular Picturebook Italy tour.

Lake Garda

The largest lake in Europe and the most visited in Italy, with its beautiful shorelines and quaint villages, even for the Romans, Lake Garda was the luxury summer destination.
The town of Sirmione gives you the chance to visit the ruins left behind by this ancient powerhouse, including some inviting thermal spas.
You cannot miss the thirteenth-century Rocca Scaligera. Like something out of a fairy tale, you can head inside and take a look around, take in the sights of Lake Garda. Whilst Sirmione was once a town of great military importance, the only guarding of the fortress happening nowadays are the swans patrolling the moat of the castle, a great sight.


Heading into Medieval Tuscany, to the stunning city of Siena. Famous for the Palio run, where the various areas in which the city is divided challenge in other in a passionate horse race in the heart of the city, the event also features in the James Bond film ‘Quantum of Solace’. This medieval Tuscan town is embroiled in an age-old rivalry with Florence, even tourists get involved, picking a side with their favourite city of the two to champion. Luckily, our tour heads off to both cities so you will be able to pick your allegiance before heading home.
In the heart of the city, the Il Campo is where to take in the true nature of what Siena has to offer. Sit back and enjoy the perfect espresso whilst enjoying Siena’s gothic architecture. The Italians consume over 14 billion of them each year so you can be sure they’ve perfected the art of coffee making.
Piazza del Campo in Siena

Sorrento or Capri

Whilst on the Amalfi Coast, why not visit beautiful Sorrento? Celebrity chef Gino D’acampo has said previously that it is the most romantic place on earth. However, if you’re not quite the romantic type, it could be worth noting that Sorrento is also home to possibly the best Limoncello you could find. Using the famous Sorrento lemons, you will find almost every shop filled to the brim with the famous citrus tipple.
Instead, you could choose to head off to the island of Capri where you can experience the beautiful Blue Grotto. A cave where an underwater cavity illuminates the waters and lights the walls with in a magical shade of blue, it takes its place proudly as one of Europe’s best natural wonders.
A highlight of the Amalfi Coast is the picture perfect views that have plenty to offer. With Mount Vesuvius dominating the horizon, one of only three active volcanoes in Europe. Interestingly, Italy is also home to the remaining two active volcanoes, Mount Etna and Mount Stromboli


Once home to the Godfathers of the Renaissance, the Medici family, Florence is also birth place of the nurse and namesake, Florence Nightingale. Even in modern day Florence captures the hearts of many, Dan Brown set his recent novel, Inferno in the city.
The famous Cathedral, Il Duomo, is most certainly worth a visit. Taking 140 years to build, you can climb the 463 stone steps to reach the cupola for a close up look of the Last Judgement painting that covers the inner dome. Or you can just enjoy the view of this beautiful city from a perfect vantage point.
Whilst appreciating the architecture, you can also admire the streets themselves, Florence was the first city in Europe to have paved streets.


The leaning tower, the mindboggling architecture seemingly defying gravity certainly is the focal point for many in this town. Funnily enough, the tower once leant the other way.
Shortly after building started, the fine soil started to give way. They continued by piling on stone work to counter-balance the lean only for it to slump in the other direction.
The Bell chamber that tops the tower is the only part of the tower that sits true after purposely being laid to incorporate the lean. However, the slight problems with the building work nearly 850 years ago has provided us with one of the most recognisable pieces of architecture in the world.
Pisa, Piazza dei miracoli.

Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Islands

Reaching over the border into Switzerland, Lake Maggiore certainly wouldn’t look out of place on a postcard. We stop off at the town of Baveno, the town famed for its pink granite. Used for numerous famous buildings around the world such as St Paul’s in Rome, Gallerica Vittorio Emanuele in Milan and even the monument to Christopher Columbus in New York City.
Hop onto a boat and head off into the lake to the Borromean islands, each with its own charms.
Isola Bella an elegant island with a 17th century castle, perfect for a budding historian. If you’re interested in a more laid back time, Isola Pescatore is the only inhabited island, with a quaint village featuring charming shops, cafes and restaurants. Isola Madre features 19th century English style gardens and a palace filled with Italian masterpieces and paintings, the islands as a group offer you a perfect snapshot of Italian culture.
Of course being topped off by the Rome and Venice visits, you’re sure to have the perfect Italian tour taking in much of what makes this country one of the most unique in the world. Check out our blogs featuring Venice and Rome coming soon!
You can get your cameras at the ready, our Picturebook Italy tour starts from as little as £849 pp for 12 days. You can view our full itinerary here.
Why not head over to our Facebook page and share your tales and experiences of this magnificent tour with us?

Destination Italy – A Country of Contrasts

Lake Como

Imagine being sat outside a restaurant along the shores of Lake Garda after a day filled with amazing scenery, fine buildings, works of art and lavish history with a delicious freshly baked pizza and a glass of fine wine, followed by one of many varieties of ice-cream and a first-rate Italian coffee. Heaven!
It’s easy to see why Italy appeals to so many travellers year after year. ‘La Bella Italia’ has it all! The serene elegance of Venice, Renaissance treasures of Florence, the ancient wonders of Rome, stunning scenery around Lake Garda, the romantic charm of Verona and the spectacular cliff-top panoramas of Capri. The chances are you’ll find much more than you ever dreamed of when you visit Italy.

Italian Dolomites
Sunrise over Rifugio Lagazuoi in the Italian Dolomites

Best for Amazing Mountain Vistas

Picture the first rays of the morning, sun shining on the mountain tops and during the summer months forcing the wonderful alpine flowers into bloom on the surrounding pastures, or during winter reflecting off the crisp white snow.
The Italian Dolomites in the Sud Tirol are some of the most gorgeous mountain-scapes in Europe, dotted with pretty little villages and surrounded by lush green meadows.
From the tranquil Sud Tirol, the charming towns of Lake Garda with landmarks such as Riva’s Rocca Fortress and famous sights of Venice like St Mark’s Square and the Bridge of Sighs, are not too far away meaning true Italian culture and history can also be experienced.

Best for Superb Scenery and Sightseeing

The beautiful lakeside towns around Lake Garda have charmed visitors for centuries.
The southern lakeshore is low, rolling land. In contrast, the dramatic fjord-like northern end is surrounded by towering mountains and cliffs.
Most of the towns which nestle along the shore, such as Sirmione with its striking Scaliger Castle and Limone with its charming old fishermen’s houses and lemon groves, are popular as holiday resorts and have a very friendly and relaxed feel.
Wonderful sightseeing opportunities aren’t far away with the two largest cities in the Veneto area, Venice are Verona, just around the corner.

Lake Como
Sunset over Lake Como

Best for Stunning Lakeside Views

Not far from the cosmopolitan city of Milan you’ll find stunning Lake Como, which has been a popular tourist resort since the days of the Roman Empire.
Visitors ever since have admired the clear blue waters, delightful lemon trees and olive groves and luxurious villas dotted in the wooded lakeside slopes above.
The best way to appreciate the beauty of the area is by taking to the water. You could visit two of the loveliest villas on the lake, Villa Carlotta and Villa del Balbianello.
Another stunning lakeside region is Lake Maggiore with its beautiful gardens growing rare and exotic plants. Once you spend time there you will soon become familiar with the name of the Borromeo family, who own the islands named after them.

Best for Excursion Variety

Visiting Italy really can mean mountains, lakes, city sights, shopping, history, architecture, relaxation and art all in one visit.
You can spend a day in each place and experience it all. Then maybe choose one of two of your favourite places and come back again next year.
Imagine two glorious weeks in a country of contrasts.
You could visit Lake Garda to experience the ambience and charm of this lovely area and finish the day off with a delicious ice-cream along the shoreline of Sirmione, then move on to Venice to see the maze of bridges, weaving canals and Renaissance architecture.
Next visit Rome, the ‘eternal city’ with its unique and colourful atmosphere built on its ancient Roman past with famous sights such as the Colosseum and Trevi Fountain.
Then have a more relaxing day in the popular resort of Sorrento on the Neapolitan Riviera with its many shops and fantastic views. You could see all of this and much more!

A visit to Italy isn’t complete without enjoying some local cuisine

Italian Food… bellissimo!

The southern region of Italy is known for growing red, ripe, juicy tomatoes. Vegetables such as sweet peppers also grow with exuberance and are added to Italian dishes of the region.
Naples is king of pizza in Italy and claims to be the birthplace of one of the most popular Italian foods around the world.
Cheeses such as ricotta and mozzarella add richness. Northern Italian cuisine highlights dairy products with rich sauces made of butter, cream and eggs. Ingredients native to the area are used. Meat and seafood from the coast is also common.
You’ll find many pasta dishes to try in Italy. Common pasta sauces in Northern Italy include pesto and ragù alla bolognese, which usually adds meat to the sauce. In Central Italy there are simple sauces such as tomato, amatriciana and carbonara. Southern Italian sauces include spicy tomato, garlic and olive oil, with the pasta often paired with fresh vegetables or seafood. There are approximately 3,500 different types of pasta. Examples include spaghetti, macaroni, fusilli and lasagne.
Italian desserts range from sweet to slightly bitter and are always delicious. Many desserts are made from cookies and biscotti, which are flavoured with nuts, candied fruit and light glazes.
A custard dish from Siena is now very well known outside of Italy, tiramisu. The layered dessert includes biscuit fingers soaked in espresso, liqueur, eggs, cocoa, and mascarpone cheese.
No visit to Italy would be complete without trying the different varieties of ice-cream or ‘Gelato’. Traditional flavours include almond, chocolate, coffee, mint, pistachio, rum raisin, strawberry and vanilla. Ice cream took hold in Europe when Marco Polo brought the Chinese recipe to Venice in 1292. Now 54% of Italians eat ice cream at least once a week.
If you would like to escape to Italy with Leger Holidays then you can view our collection of Italian tours on our website now.
Images courtesy of flickr user Bill Stanley, digitalurbanlandscape and avlxyz.

Savour a taste of La Dolce Vita… enjoy life as it should be lived!

Back in 2007 we launched our ‘Beauty of Lakes Como and Maggiore’ tour, which combined splendid lakeland scenery with fantastic excursions to Milan, St. Moritz and Lugano. It proved to be very popular with our customers so our Senior Customer Services Executive, Rita Lamb decided to see it for herself, below she shares he thoughts of the trip with us.

What made you choose this holiday?

I love Italy and have previously visited Lake Garda so wanted to see some of the other lakes. I also wanted to visit one of the shopping capitals of the world, Milan. Plus the excursions on this tour all sounded so lovely.

Rita Lamb and her husband
Rita Lamb and her husband

Was there a favourite place that you visited?

I think it would have to be the lake cruise including the villas Carlotta and Balbianello. This was a very relaxing day and after the Villa Balbianello we returned to Tremezzo and had lunch together before taking a short stroll up the road to the Villa Carlotta. Both villas have the most amazing gardens and you can go inside the Villa Carlotta which has beautiful interiors.

If our guests could only go on one optional excursion which should it be?

I really enjoyed the trip to Lake Maggiore & the Borromean Islands, again because of the beautiful gardens at the villa. The trip to Milan was exciting to see all the fashion houses and the ride on the Bernina Express gave us some of the most spectacular sights of the holiday.

Can you recommend any restaurants or cafes?

There is a nice little restaurant directly outside the Hotel Bazzoni in Tremezzo which does lovely salads and lunches. A little further along try the Bar Red & White where the staff are really friendly and again they do nice lunches, snacks and drinks.

Do you have any tips for people visiting the area?

In Milan, if you want to go inside the cathedral don’t forget to cover your shoulders and gents must not wear shorts. Comfy shoes are needed for the villas as there are steps plus you will be getting on and off the boats. When you go to the restaurant in the evening in Tremezzo ask the waiters if you can sit on the terrace and then you can enjoy the unrivalled views across the lake whilst having your evening meal.

If you like the sound of our Lakes Como & Maggiore tour you can find out more about it on our main site.

Cover image courtesy of flickr user Riccardo T