Holidays on Lake Garda: the best places to sleep and visit

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Aina Martin

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Lake Garda is one of the main tourist destinations in Italy, a favorite destination for many Italians, but also for many foreigners who cross the Alps to come and relax and enjoy pleasant holidays along the shores of this wonderful lake.

With an area of ‚Äč‚Äč370 km¬≤ it is the largest lake in Italy e the length of its banks is almost 160 km. Given its size, it is important to choose well where to sleep and which places to visit to spend a pleasant and unforgettable holiday.

All areas of the lake are interesting and offer more than one reason to choose them as a destination for the next holidays, however there are places on Lake Garda that based on preferences and reasons for the trip they are better than others.

For example, there are so many attractions and places to see on the lake, but the most important and most visited attraction on the lake is Gardaland, the largest and most famous amusement park in Italy. If you want to visit this beautiful and fun theme park or if you are traveling with children, it is certainly advisable to book accommodation near the park, in the southwestern area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe lake.

Which area of ‚Äč‚ÄčLake Garda to prefer for holidays

On the southern shore of the lake there are numerous theme parks such as Gardaland and Canevaworld (which includes Movieland Park e Caneva Aquapark), and it is definitely the best area for family holidays with children. These parks are not only for children but also for adults, they have attractions and shows for all ages.

La north area is to be preferred for sportsmen and nature lovers. The north coast is very popular with climbers, cyclists and surfers, but also with cycling enthusiasts. Nature is luxuriant and offers countless paths and activities to do.

Best places to stay on Lake Garda

There are many small towns scattered throughout Lake Garda. Lake Garda is an important tourist destination and almost all locations offer hotels, B & Bs, pensions, hostels, apartments and campsites of various types.

To choose which place to stay, we provide you with a brief description of all the tourist resorts, so you can identify the one that suits you best.

Map of the best places to go on holiday on Lake Garda and where to sleep

Peschiera del Garda

Peschiera del Garda, Veneto - Photo from Istock

This charming little town on the southeastern tip of Lake Garda is a perfect holiday destination for families with children. Nearby are water parks and theme parks, including the famous Gardaland, the most famous amusement park in Italy. The core of the city is located inside an old Austrian fortress.

Check availability and rates for accommodation and hotels in Peschiera del Garda


Desenzano del Garda

Desenzano del Garda Lombardia - Photo from Istock

It is the largest city on Lake Garda and is located on a large bay on the southern shore of the lake. It has good ferry connections to other destinations on the lake. Desenzano has been an important commercial center since Roman times and today it is among the main bathing destinations on the lake.

Check availability and rates for accommodation and hotels in Desenzano del Garda



Lazise on Lake Garda - Photo from Adobe Stock

This quaint town is a great holiday destination in family with children. Among the main attractions a small ancient port and a medieval castle, but the highlight are the parks such as Gardaland and Canevaworld. Lazise with 3,5 million tourists a year is one of the main tourist destinations in Italy. On the shore of the lake there are numerous campsites and hotels of all price ranges.

Check availability and rates for accommodation and hotels in Lazise


Riva del Garda

Riva del Garda - Photo from Adobe Stock

Also known simply as Riva, it is located on the northern tip of Lake Garda, at the foot of Monte Brione. Due to its scenic beauty, warm and sunny climate, and direct access to the Austrian and German railway, Riva del Garda has a notable international tourism. It is a good goal for lovers of cycling and walking, you can choose from numerous itineraries among nature.

Check availability and rates for accommodation and hotels in Riva del Garda



Located on a peninsula in the southern area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe lake, it is an important tourist destination both for the presence of ancient Roman and medieval vestiges, Both for the thermal waters. Among the main attractions, a 13th century castle and the ruins of an ancient Roman villa, attributed by some to the famous Roman poet Catullus.

Check availability and rates for accommodation and hotels in Sirmione



Malcesine on Lake Garda, Veneto - Photo from Istock

This locality is one of the most characteristic of Lake Garda. In summer it becomes a favorite destination for those who want to stay on the lake, and for lovers of nature and sports. The main attraction is the Cableways of Malcesine and Monte Baldo, which in a few minutes allows you to reach the almost 1800 meters of altitude of Monte Baldo, a ski resort in winter and a place for trekking in summer.

Check availability and rates for accommodation and hotels in Malcesine


Gardone Riviera

Located on the western shore of the lake, in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe so-called Riviera dei Limoni, it is an excellent destination for those looking for relaxing holidays. The town is known for the Vittoriale, an eccentric estate with a large park that belonged to Gabriele d'Annunzio.

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Limone sul Garda

This quaint fishing village is now a tourist resort with many modern hotels and apartments. In Limone there are two ports: Porto Vecchio and Porto Nuovo. The city gets its name from the lemon trees that grow everywhere.

Check availability and rates for accommodation and hotels in Limone sul Garda



Salo, Lake Maggiore - Veneto - Photo from Istock

This beautiful lakeside town is known for being the capital of the Republic of Salò at the end of the Second World War. The city has the longest promenade on the shores of Lake Garda. A good choice where to stay for lovers of walks and history.

Check availability and rates for accommodation and hotels in Salò



This small town, named after the lake, is located on the eastern shore and is a good choice for nature lovers. In and around the village there is a luxuriant vegetation, typical of the Mediterranean. Garda is characterized by the lakeside promenade and the small port with the "Palazzo dei Capitani" from the Venetian era, and is an important tourist destination. Among its attractions is Villa Albertini, one of the most splendid villas on the lake.

Check availability and rates for accommodation and hotels in Garda



This picturesque village with narrow, winding medieval streets is a perfect destination for those looking for a romantic holiday. Among the most characteristic aspects: a small promenade with a marina and a large church with an impressive spire. Most of the shops and restaurants are located a few hundred meters from the seafront.

Check availability and rates for accommodation and hotels in Gargnano


What to do on Lake Garda

There are many activities you can do along the shores of the lake, as well as sunbathing on the many beaches. The main ones are the outdoor activities, such as: trekking, cycling, fishing, swimming and above all taking long walks.

Rent a pedal boat it can be an interesting and fun activity to do as a couple, with friends and family. Paying attention to children, and in general all people who cannot swim, it is better that they use a life jacket.

Visit the parks themed and water parks. The main amusement parks in the area are: Gardaland, Gardaland Sealife, Movieland Park, Caneva Aquapark, and nearby the Sigurt√° Garden Park and the Natura Viva Naturalistic Park.

Get on the cable car on Monte Baldo to practice winter sports in winter or trekking and spectacular panoramic views throughout the year. You can also stop at the intermediate station, for those who do not want to reach the summit.

For lovers of well-being and personal care, but also for those looking for romantic travel and holidays, there are numerous spas.

What to see around Lake Garda

Not far from the lake, there are many interesting destinations to visit. Verona it is the perfect and must-see destination for day trips. Also Mantova it is quite close, and offers interesting places to visit such as the Palazzo Ducale and Palazzo Te.

Other destinations like Venezia, Milan e Bologna, you can visit them either with excursions of at least 2 days, or during the trip, while arriving at the lake or returning from vacation.

When to go on holiday on Lake Garda

The climate is Mediterranean and mild, and it is very pleasant during a good part of the year. During the winter the water of the lake gives some heat to the air, in fact the places around the lake have slightly higher temperatures than those located a few kilometers away. In summer, however, the effect is the opposite, the lake slightly refreshes the surrounding areas.

Most tourist facilities, including accommodation, bars, restaurants and shops they open at the end of March and close at the beginning of October. The period of high season it is represented by the months of July and August, which are also those with the highest accommodation rates.

Il best time to go on holiday on Lake Garda is late spring-early summer (May and June), and late summer (September). In these periods and months the rates for accommodation are lower than in July and August, and the climate is very pleasant.

For those looking for low cost holidays on Lake Garda the best times are autumn and winter, with the exception of the festive period of Christmas and New Year when the rates increase again. In the winter months the activities that can be done in the open air decrease, however it can still be a good time to visit the lake, especially on days of good weather.

How to get to Lake Garda

The lake is located in one of the most beautiful and touristic areas of Italy, close to other important Italian tourist destinations, such as Verona (25 km) and Milan (95 km). Located in northern Italy, between the Alps and the Po Valley, its banks touch 3 regions: Trentino - Alto Adige to the north, Lombardy to the west and Veneto to the east.

Reaching the tourist area of ‚Äč‚ÄčLake Garda is very simple from all over Italy, especially the places located in the southern area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe lake. L'auto is the best choice, especially for families with children, while buses, trains and airplanes can be a good alternative choice.

By car

Lake Garda is surrounded by a well-developed road network. The two main motorway sections are theHighway A22 (Autostrada del Brennero), which run along the lake from north to south, with the exits: Verona Nord, Rovereto Sud and Affi; and theHighway A4 (La Serenissima) Milan-Verona-Venice, which runs east-west, in the south with exits: Desenzano, Sirmione and Peschiera del Garda.

By train

On the southern shore of Lake Garda runs the Verona - Milan railway line. Useful railway stations are that of Peschiera del Garda and Desenzano del Garda. The closest station in the northern part of the lake is that of Rovereto.

By ferry

The ferry, even if it is not a means to reach Lake Garda directly, is certainly one of the most comfortable means to move between the various locations that rise on the shores of the lake. In addition to ferries, hydrofoils and catamarans are used.

By bus

La north coast it is connected by numerous bus services with Trento and other destinations in Trentino, including the Rovereto railway station. There Oriental Coast it is mainly served by ATV Verona.

There are numerous transport companies that make bus trips from many of the main Italian cities to the locations of the south costa. There are both daily lines and private buses specially organized to reach the main tourist destinations, such as Gardaland.

By plane

If you want to reach Lake Garda by plane, theVerona airport is the nearest airport, located 15 km to the south. Me too'Brescia-Montichiari airport it is not very far, it is located about 30 km to the southwest, although it is only served by charter flights.

THEBergamo airport it is about 75 km from the southern area of ‚Äč‚Äčthe lake and offers numerous connections with low cost flights from almost all airports.

Other airports, albeit more distant, useful for reaching the lake are:Milan Linate airport about 110 km away, theVenice airport 150 km away and theMilan Malpensa airport 160 km away.

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