Beautiful Italian mountains and speed boats cutting across stunning blue lake waters. Picturesque Italian villages right out of a postcard. Welcome to Lake Garda, Italy. The undiscovered Italian Lake you have never heard of. But we are here to change that!
Spread across three regions, Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake. With a rich history and stunning beauty, everyone should visit at least once in their life. Due to its sheer size, figuring out where to stay, what to do, and how to get around can be daunting. Esprit Errant is here to help! This guide will help you determine which towns to visit, where to stay, and where to eat around Lake Garda Italy.
Whether you are here for a couple of days, or several weeks, you will not run out of things to do in this region of Italy. Lake Garda is perfect for water sports and adventure seekers looking to try out windsurfing or paragliding!
Round trip around Lake Garda is 95 miles so staying at a central location is recommended. We encourage you to spend a few days driving around and exploring the 20 cities that surround the lake!
Without further ado, let’s explore our top three cities that you can’t miss!
We will start with Sirmione. Famous (and touristy) Sirmione sits on a peninsula stretching into the lake. It’s also home to the ruins of a vast Roman villa, the Scaligero Castle, and thermal baths. Keep in mind that in summer, Sirmione swarms with visitors; to best enjoy this charming town, try to visit in the off-season.
Furthermore, Sirmione is easily accessible, and is located upon the popular tourist route between Milan, Verona, and Venice. We recommend spending a full day in this area to experience this town to the fullest.
Equally impressive, is the city of Malcesine. Undoubtedly, Malcesine is stunning – and impressive. Most visitors come here for the striking Castello Scaligero and Palazzo dei Capitani. Additionally, we recommend taking the cable car to Monte Baldo for breathtaking, 360-degree views of Lake Garda.
Seeing that Malcesines was built on relatively steep terrain, it can be a difficult city for people with mobility issues.
Lastly, we recommend Limone sul Garda, a popular destination that’s retained its small-town charm. Lying at the foot of the steep Dosso di Roveri mountain, it is known for its lemon groves. Without a doubt, a must-visit is the 18th-century Castel lemon house; acquired by the city in 1995, it houses a museum and an educational center. Also worth a visit: The San Pietro church, with beautiful 13th- and 14th-century frescoes.
Overall, it is an extremely colorful city with picturesque views that look like they are straight from a postcard.
Lake Garda is serviced by a fantastic transport network. Whether you prefer to fly, drive, or take the train, getting to Lake Garda is very easy. Once you are there you can travel around the lakeside towns using the ‘Gardesana Orientale’, a road that circumnavigates the lake. On the other hand, if you prefer to leave your car, there is a regular ferry service that covers the whole of the lake.
Just half an hour from the south-east corner of Lake Garda, Verona is by far the most popular arrival point for travellers to Lake Garda. The city is home to two airports – Valerio Catullo (VRN) airport, also known as Verona Villafranca, and Verona Brescia (VBS) airport.
Firstly, we suggest one of the most exclusive Hotels at Lake Garda, the romantic Victorian styled Villa Giulia. Its luxury rooms are enclosed by a splendid garden with a swimming pool and a solarium and offer all the comforts of a modern, exclusive setting.
In addition to its exclusity, this hotel features romantic old world balconies that overlook the lake, with Murano glass chandeliers, and prosecco under the stars. The beautifully maintained gardens are a feast for the senses with climbing roses, olive, and lemon trees.
Another five Star luxury stay on the shores of Lake Garda is Lido Palace. This stunning building is home to designer contemporary flair, with rooms and suites that have all glass walls, modern gadgets, huge beds, and stand alone bathtubs. Markedly, Lido Palace is known for its fabulous spa, gourmet restaurant, and grounds.
The Lido Palace on Lake Garda opened in 1899 as a resort for European royalty. With attention to detail, the hotel was renovated with top quality design that has been used to create a stunning, luxurious environment.
Finally, we recommend Hotel Bellariva. This hotel offers a mix of comfort, modern sensibility, extraordinary style with an exceptional level of service in a unique, contemporary, and friendly environment. Without a doubt, this hotel has gorgeous views over Lake Garda.
Contemporary, but still classic, this hotel has fabulous rooms and suites, an excellent restaurant, bar, and pool. Overall, this hotel is a great choice for families, an outdoor holiday, or a romantic break.
Firstly, we suggest visiting one of Italy’s best preserved castles. The Scaligero Castle is a fortress from the Scaliger era, an access point to the historical centre of Sirmione, on Lake Garda.
Following that, we reccomend the Grottoes of Catullus. Markedly, this site was built between between the end of the 1st century BC and the beginning of the 1st century AD. These ruins of a Roman villa built at the northernmost end of the Sirmione peninsula on the southern shore of Lake Garda are a must see.
The Cascate del Varone is located in the town of Tenno in Trentino, 3 km from Riva del Garda. The falls has a height of almost 100 metres, and is sourced from the river Magnone, which runs beneath the valley of Ravizze and down to Lake Garda
Car ferries cross Lake Garda between Desenzano and Riva del Garda several times a day, stopping at various ports en route (including Sirmione, Salò, Gargnano, Malcesine and Limone). While the pedestrian ferry boats and high speed catamarans are more frequent, they may cost you more.
Additionally, there are many Taxi companies offering transfers from the airports and train station.
Overall, Lake Garda is a great destination for new as well as seasoned travelers. Ready to jet off to a luxurious Lake Garda Italy adventure? Esprit Errant is here to help! Contact us here today to plan your Italian dream.