Where to sleep on Lake Garda if it's the first time you go there

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Valery Aloyants
@valeryaloyants
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Il Lake Garda, with its surface of about 370 km², it is the largest lake in Italy. Every year, thanks to its picturesque villages, unspoiled nature, numerous amusement parks and the most varied activities that can be practiced in the area, Garda attracts many foreign tourists looking for a holiday away from the big cities.

Precisely because of its size, however, to organize a holiday on this lake it is necessary to carefully choose the area to be taken as a base.



For example, did you know that Garda is shared between 3 regions? Trentino, Lombardy e Veneto! So I will divide this post into these 3 zones.

In this article, I will try to best advise you where to sleep on Lake Garda: each location, in fact, is more or less recommended depending on the type of holiday you intend to do.

Are you in a hurry? here are the BEST HOTELS ON LAKE GARDA:

Luxury Lake-Front Catullo: it is found at Sirmione (Lombardy)

La Boheme Rooms: guesthouse a Lazise (Veneto)

Hotel Villa Capri: luxury hotels a Gardone Riviera (Lombardy)

  • Which shore to choose to stay on Lake Garda and Mappa
  • Lombard side
    • 1 – Sirmione
    • 2 - Desenzano
    • 3 - Salò
    • 4 - Gardone Riviera
    • 5 - Limone sul Garda
  • Venetian shore
    • 1 - Peschiera del Garda
    • 2 - Castelnuovo del Garda
    • 3 - Lazise
    • 4 – Bardolino
    • 5 - Garda
    • 6 - Torri del Benaco
    • 7 - Malcesine
  • Shore of Trentino
    • 1 - Riva del Garda
    • 2 - Torbole

Which shore to choose to stay on Lake Garda and Mappa

The shores of Lake Garda are dotted with more than 20 distinct villages.



As I told you before, Lake Garda is divided between three regions:

  • La West bank belongs to the Lombardy (in green on the map);
  • La sponda in South - East al Veneto (in red on the map);
  • The shore North part al Trentino (in blue on the map).

The choice of where to stay on Lake Garda starts from which shore to prefer.

However, please note that each shore of Lake Garda has its very specific characteristics.

The southern shore is where the amusement parks of Gardaland, Movieland and Caneva World are concentrated: this is the best area if you are planning a family holiday.

Se you love to play sportsinstead, the North area is the one for you: here you can take surfing lessons, ride a bike, venture on the numerous trekking paths or practice climbing. Riva del Garda it is one of the most popular destinations worldwide for sports such as sailing or climbing.

This area "belongs to Trentino" and is my favorite: sitting at the foot of an imposing mountain, Riva del Garda is surrounded by verdant valleys and splendid views of the lake.

Moving south along the shore you will come to the Venetian shore: here are many countries among which one of the favorites is Garda, a quaint village filled with lakeside restaurants, relaxing walks, breathtaking scenes and historic attractions.


Bardolino it is located just south of Garda. A maze of alleys and alleys, this small village is home to a wide range of restaurants, bars, clubs and cafes.


Sirmione is a delightful and popular village located on a peninsula that extends into the southern part of the lake.
It is a historic city with interesting sights, intriguing attractions and many things to see, do and eat.

And finally, atsouthwestern end of the lake is situated Desenzano. A lively village, Desenzano is a great place to sit, relax and take in the breathtaking landscape.

It is also the place where you will find great deals and where you can have a lot of good times.

La western shore, on the other hand, it is very suitable if you are interested in cultural visits or walks among the small villages.

Obviously choosing one shore rather than another does not exclude that you can move from one side of the lake to the other, but I would like to remind you that given the size, if you have little time available, it is better that you focus only on one. area.

Below I will recommend in detail some of the best locations where to stay on Lake Garda.

Lombard side

The Lombard shore, as I told you, is the one located west of Lake Garda, between Sirmione e Limone del Garda.


1 – Sirmione

Sirmione is one of the most popular locations on Lake Garda and this is due to his particular position, to his spa and characteristic historical center.

The city is spread over a long strip of land that stretches out in the middle of the lake. Medieval towers and narrow alleys are the frame of one of the most beautiful centers in the area.


Walking through small boutiques and craft shops it is not hard to understand that this is also one of the most expensive places to stay on Lake Garda.

Sirmione is located in a strategic position to move around and explore other villages overlooking the lake and, why not, to spend a day in the amusement parks in the area.

Already in the city, however, there are some things to see that I advise you not to miss:

  • The Scaligero Castle: a beautiful example of lake fortification.
  • The Grottoes of Catullus: an interesting Roman archaeological site.
  • Jamaica Beach: an almost tropical looking beach.
  • The Terme di Sirmione: spa where you can relax for a few hours.

Luxury Lake-Front Catullo: offers accommodation with free private parking.

The apartments are furnished with parquet floors and have every comfort, including a garden and a swimming pool.

Eden Hotel: This bright hotel offers four-star luxury, stunning views and a wide range of services, including free wifi and laundry.

The rooms are modern and spacious, perfect for parties or families. This is undoubtedly one of our favorite hotels on Lake Garda.

Other Hotels in SIRMIONE

2 - Desenzano

Not far from Sirmione it rises Desenzano, the most populous center of the lake.

The town is very beautiful, it is full of attractions to visit and is much loved by young people for its lively nightlife. Its center, in fact, is dotted with trendy restaurants and clubs where you can spend a pleasant evening.

In addition to the nightlife, Desenzano offers numerous beaches not far from the center and some points of interest not to be missed. Here are some of them:

  • The Castle of Desenzano: to visit above all for its panorama.
  • Il Duomo: it preserves a "Last Supper" attributed to Tiepolo.
  • The Archaeological Museum: it houses what is considered the oldest plow ever found.

In addition, daily boat trips depart from Desenzano to explore Lake Garda "by water".

Park Hotel: the best hotel in Desenzano del Garda, a 4-star hotel with swimming pool 5 minutes from the port. Every morning breakfast is served on the veranda or in the garden overlooking the lake. It offers all the comforts: WIfi, restaurant and rooms with air conditioning.

Hotel Benaco Desenzano del Garda: this elegant hotel is our favorite in Desenzano. It is located near the center of the village and is surrounded by restaurants, shops and bars and is equipped with 36 elegant rooms, modern comforts, an outdoor swimming pool and free wifi.

Hotel National: located just 5 minutes walk from the lake shore, the Nazionale offers elegant and well-kept rooms and common areas and enchanting views. Relax in the large outdoor pool or enjoy a cocktail at the sophisticated lounge bar.

Other Hotels in DESENZANO

3 - Salò

Salò is the right destination for a romantic stay on Lake Garda.

The lakeside promenade is a must, as is a drive along the panoramic road that goes north from the town.

Don't miss a walk up to the Church of San Bartolomeo from which you can enjoy a magnificent view of the lake.

Numerous departures also from Salò boat trips to visit other towns in the surrounding area in an alternative way.

Borgo il Mezzanino: a romantic farmhouse that offers a terrace and a view of the beautiful garden. It also has a sun terrace and a hot tub, and guests can enjoy a drink at the bar.

The rooms have a flat-screen TV and are equipped with a private bathroom with a bath or shower. WIFI is free throughout the hotel.

Hotel Spiaggia d'Oro - Charme & Boutique: this elegant hotel overlooking the lake offers a lush garden and a swimming pool with panoramic views.

Each room is elegant and comfortable with wooden floors and partial lake views. Most of the rooms have a private balcony. You will enjoy free WiFi throughout the hotel, a satellite LED TV and air conditioning.

Other Hotels in SALò

4 - Gardone Riviera

Continuing along what is called Riviera dei Limoni is situated Gardone, perfect destination for a relaxing holiday full of walks and nature.

Gardone is famous above all for the Vittoriale degli Italiani, a complex consisting of buildings, squares, streets and gardens and monuments that was built by Gabriele D'Annunzio to celebrate Italy's victory in the Great War. Here also stands what was for a long time the poet's own house.

Hotel Villa Capri: inside their private garden with swimming pool, the Hotel Villa Capri offers spacious rooms with balconies and views of Lake Garda. Wi-Fi and parking are free.

The breakfast buffet, made with local products during the summer, is served on the terrace.

Hotel Bellevue: this hotel with swimming pool and private parking, offers its guests breakfast every morning on the terrace overlooking the lake.

The Hotel offers comfortable rooms with air conditioning, free WiFi and TV.

Other Hotels in GARDONE

5 - Limone sul Garda

Finally, the last place on the Lombardy side where I recommend you to stay is Limone sul Garda. The city, as the name suggests, is famous for the cultivation of lemons and for the production of olive oil. Unmissable, then, if you decide to stay here, will be a visit to a lemon house.

Limone sul Garda is a perfect destination if you want to rest and live a few days of pure Relax: its center still retains the typical atmosphere of a small fishing village where life flows slowly and without haste.

Hotel Limone: Hotel Limone offers an outdoor swimming pool with hydromassage and views of Lake Garda. All rooms have balconies, some with lake views, and on-site parking is free.

The buffet breakfast is based on typical and traditional products.

Hotel Caravel: another 4-star hotel (on Lake Garda there are many high-end hotels) perfect for families, which offers, in addition to the restaurant and free parking, a seasonal outdoor pool and a fitness center.

The rooms are air conditioned with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. The property provides room service, a shared lounge and tour arrangements for guests and a playground for children.

Other Hotels in LIMONE

Venetian shore

Let's now move on to the Venetian shore of Lake Garda, the perfect one if you want to spend your days in the numerous amusement parks in the area.

The Venetian territory extends from fishpond a Malcesine

1 - Peschiera del Garda

Peschiera del Garda is one of the most popular locations on the lake thanks to its convenient location near Gardaland and its small, characteristic and lively center.

Peschiera is a perfect destination for any type of traveler: from couples to families, up to groups of friends.

The center is full of restaurants and clubs, in the surroundings there are beautiful beaches to relax and from here you can easily move around to explore other places.

Riviera Carducci Rooms: This beautiful guesthouse is located in front of the lake and offers accommodation with free WiFi and air conditioning. Guests can relax on the terrace overlooking Lake Garda.

Vision Hotel: a few km from Gardaland, this good hotel offers restaurant, free parking, garden, terrace and rooms with private bathroom, equipped with air conditioning and flat screen TV with satellite channels.

Other Hotels in PESCHIERA

2 - Castelnuovo del Garda

If your main idea is that of visit Gardaland, then the perfect place to stay is for sure Castelnuovo del Garda.

Prices are much cheaper than in nearby locations and the park entrance is really easy to reach.

The center of the town is pleasant and you will not struggle to find restaurants where to dine at reasonable prices.

Gardaland Adventure Hotel: This hotel offers themed rooms, each uniquely decorated, free WiFi throughout the property, and guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant and 3.000 m² outdoor area with swimming pool, water jets and waterfall .

Bosco Del Gal Farmhouse: a farm in a paradise, surrounded by fields and vineyards, 12 minutes by car from Peschiera and the shores of Lake Garda.

The rooms are decorated in a rustic style and equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, garden views and a private bathroom with free toiletries.

Guests of the Bosco Del Gal have access to a garden with a playground for children, a seasonal outdoor pool, free parking and WIFI.

Gardaland Hotel: located 2 km from Lake Garda, it has fairytale-themed rooms or rooms with garden views, a large lagoon pool and free parking. It also offers a free shuttle to Italy's most famous theme park every 30 minutes.

Other Hotels in CASTELNUOVO

3 - Lazise

Always not far from Gardaland it rises Lazise, delightful place to spend a relaxing holiday in one of the most characteristic villages of Lake Garda.

Lazise has a special place in my heart. It was where we stopped when as a child I spent my holidays on the Alpe di Siusi with mum and dad: lunch in Lazise was a must.

I will avoid telling you that here I got the first hangover of my life because dad made me drink a glass of wine (diluted with water) to be witty: by a hair I did not fall into the lake!

I was 3 and a half years old. 

But oh well these stories of another time and that are of interest only to me.

Do not miss a walk along the lakefront, on foot or by bicycle, to admire the majestic villas dating back to the nineteenth century. For a gourmet break, choose one of the many restaurants in the area serving lake fish.

Hotel Giulietta Romeo: just 400 meters from the lakeshore, this hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool, garden and WIFI connection. The rooms all have balconies and Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel.

A buffet breakfast with homemade cakes awaits you every morning!

La Boheme Rooms: this guesthouse features an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant and a bar and offers rustic furnished apartments with wooden beam ceilings and terracotta floors. The property is located just 900 meters from the shores of Lake Garda.

The air-conditioned apartments have an open-plan dining and lounge area with satellite TV.

Other Hotels in LAZISE

4 – Bardolino

Bardolino it is an excellent solution to sleep on Lake Garda in a strategic position to visit other places in the surrounding area. You can travel by car or by boat.

The center is lively and full of restaurants and clubs for an after dinner.

I recommend this location for both a family stay (given its proximity to the parks), either for a holiday as a couple or with friends.

La Rocca Camping Village: immersed in a large park with playground and fitness center on the shores of Lake Garda, it offers modern mobile homes and the apartments are equipped with air conditioning, terrace. It also offers a summer outdoor pool and sun terrace.

The mobile homes have a patio overlooking the garden.

Hotel Speranza: a delightful family-run hotel in the center of Bardolino. It features air-conditioned rooms, a bar and free Wi-Fi in the business center. The rooms are furnished in a classic style.

The continental breakfast includes sweet and savory items such as croissants, jams, cold cuts and cheeses, as well as tea and coffee.

Other Hotels in BARDOLINO

5 - Garda

Garda is a small but characteristic village that I recommend if you want to spend a relaxing holiday.

Here you can admire the ancient villas (not to be missed Villa Albertini), enjoy the great cuisine of the area or push yourself to Punta San Vigilio, a small peninsula considered one of the most beautiful places on the lake.

Ca 'Barbini Resort: a 5-minute drive from the city center and the shores of Lake Garda, this hotel offers Wi-Fi connection, private parking on site, a wellness area with hot tub and a lake-view pool.

Most of the rooms have air conditioning and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a balcony or terrace and some offer lake views.

Sky Pool Hotel Sole Garda: featuring a panoramic roof terrace with swimming pool and restaurant, this 3-star superior hotel is located in the center of Garda, 500 meters from the nearest beach. WiFi is free throughout the property.

The bright and colorful rooms are equipped with air conditioning and a private balcony or terrace, satellite TV, minibar and private bathroom with hairdryer and toiletries.

A buffet breakfast is served each morning, while the restaurant serves Italian cuisine.

Other Hotels in GARDA

6 - Torri del Benaco

Torri del Benaco it is perfect for a summer holiday thanks to its numerous and beautiful beaches.

The center is very characteristic and its marina looks like it came out of a postcard.

Do not miss a visit to the impressive Scaliger Castle which houses ainteresting museum on local history.

Residence Ca Del Lago: immersed in a private park and overlooking Lake Garda, this residence offers an outdoor swimming pool and sauna. The suites and apartments have a balcony or a small garden.

All apartments and studios are equipped with air conditioning, kitchenette, microwave and refrigerator. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel.

Residence La Corte Danese: Just 250 meters from the shores of Lake Garda in Torri del Benaco, La Corte Danese offers a swimming pool and spacious apartments with lake-view balconies, air conditioning, flat-screen satellite TV and kitchenette. It has a garden and free parking.

The spa town of Lazise is 20 km away and the Gardaland theme park can be reached by car in 30 minutes. Picturesque Sirmione can be reached in just under 1 hour by car.

Other Hotels in TORRI del BENACO

7 - Malcesine

Finally, on the Venetian side, I also suggest you Malcesine, a well-kept location that recalls, in its atmosphere, Lazise.

This location, however, it is especially perfect for sports lovers: in the surrounding area, in fact, you can indulge yourself with the many activities to practice.

Do not miss the ascent with the Malcesine cable cars and Monte Baldo which in a short time will take you to an altitude of 1800 meters. Here in winter you can ski and in summer you can enjoy the many paths in the middle of nature.

Hotel Villa Smeralda: with an outdoor swimming pool with Jacuzzi surrounded by a green garden, Villa Smeralda is located in a quiet area 750 m from the center of Malcesine. The sun terrace with free deck chairs offers beautiful views of Lake Garda.

Rooms are air conditioned with private balconies, some with lake or mountain views. Breakfast is served on the panoramic terrace.

Wellness Hotel Casa Barca (Adult Only): is an intimate family-run hotel located on the shores of Lake Garda that offers truly spectacular views and is surrounded by a large olive grove.

All rooms at the Casa Barca Hotel have balconies with beautiful lake views. You can relax in the hotel's brand new wellness center or in its fabulous private garden complete with swimming pool.

Other Hotels in MALCESINE

Trentino side

Finally, let's move to the north on the Trentino shore of the lake, the one most loved by sportsmen.

1 - Riva del Garda

One of my favorite locations is Riva del Garda, at the north end.

I must admit that the town is one of the most romantic but adventurous of all Lake Garda: it will be the natural landscape with the mountains behind it, the gliding of sailboats on the water or the colors of the facades of the houses in the center, but a walk , here, it is regenerating.

Suitable for couples, Riva del Garda is also perfect for lovers of walking or cycling: in the surroundings there are several bike paths not to be missed.

If you want to stay in the city I recommend:

  • The visit to the MAG (Alto Garda Museum);
  • The visit to the Hydroelectric power plant;
  • The excursion up to Bastion (it is also possible to reach it with a panoramic lift).

Not far from Riva del Garda, moreover, I suggest you visit the Varone Waterfalls Park and Lake of Tenno with the homonymous village.

Read my post on WHERE TO STAY in RIVA DEL GARDA AND SURROUNDINGS

2 - Torbole

Finally, the last suggested place to stay on Lake Garda is Torbole, a town also loved by the poet Goethe and today a favorite destination among windsurfers. In fact, even the less experienced here can try their hand at this sport thanks to the numerous schools that offer lessons.

Like Riva, Torbole is also an excellent starting point for excursions in the midst of nature. Don't miss the Busatte Tempesta trail which offers breathtaking panoramic views.

Now that you know what the best places to sleep on Lake Garda, you just have to choose the one that suits you best and organize your stay.

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