Italy’s largest lake is a stunning landscape of mountains and beaches. Explore its shores on foot, on a bike (there are rentals and easy bike itineraries), or by boat or private plane.
During your stay, indulge in the region’s delectable cuisine. And don’t miss a visit to the ancient villa that once belonged to poet Catullus.
A Mediterranean climate makes Lake Garda a year-round destination. Whether you want to spend the day relaxing on a sun-kissed beach or exploring ancient Roman ruins, there’s something for everyone at this scenic lake. For more adventure, the mountainous landscape offers scenic trails that showcase rocky cliffs and lush forests.
If you’re looking to soak up the scenery on a leisurely walk, Lake Garda is home to several gentle lakeside paths, known as “lungolaghi.” These scenic routes are perfect for enjoying the stunning lake views and charming towns. For a more challenging hiking experience, the mountains surrounding the lake offer an array of trails that cater to every skill level.
Desenzano del Garda is a lively town located on the flatter southern shore of Lake Garda. This lakeside resort has a long list of great restaurants and a picturesque old town to explore. You can also find plenty of modern, mid-range accommodation in this area and enjoy quick boat rides to other lakeside destinations.
Limone sul Garda is one of the most popular lakeside towns, thanks to its beautiful lemon groves and stunning beaches. It’s also a top spot for authentic Italian dining and is well-known for its wine. Try a glass of their famous vino while enjoying the spectacular lake and mountain views. And don’t forget to try a slice of their classic dessert, the Cassata Gardesana, made with layers of sponge cake, sweet ricotta cheese, and candied fruits.
Across the lake’s shorelines, you’ll find accommodation to suit all budgets. There’s chalet chic, tucked beneath the cliffs of the amphitheatre stretch of the north; Belle Epoque villas in the riviera towns; and a plethora of Mediterranean-feeling lakeside hotels.
Many lakeside hotels offer spa facilities, so you can enjoy some relaxation and rejuvenation during your stay. Grand Hotel Liberty, for example, is a sleek boutique hotel that has breathtaking views of the lake and mountains. It also has an outdoor pool and a wellness centre.
For those who want to pamper themselves even more, there are a number of 5-star hotels that come with the utmost in opulence. Lefay Resort and Spa is a popular choice, with its lush interiors, fabulous couple’s treatments and a spa that has won awards for improving clients sleep and posture.
Those who don’t have a lot of time to spare can make the most out of their trip by basing themselves in Desenzano del Garda, one of the most convenient Lake Garda town centres. The town has a broad promenade, stunning lake views and plenty of restaurants and cafes to explore. Plus, it’s a great base for exploring nearby sights like the 13th-century Rocca Scaligera fortress and the mosaic-covered remains of a Roman-era villa in Malcesine. It also has a train station, so it’s easy to reach from Milan.
Depending on the season, there are plenty of activities to do. Families will find fun at Italy’s largest theme parks, enchanting castles and beautiful lakefront towns with exciting kid-friendly museums.
Those looking for a bit of adventure can explore the canyons and mountains that surround the lake or enjoy horseback riding to discover hidden corners of the area. Mountain bike lovers will find a number of well-marked trails and the more athletic can try canyoning, descending in torrents in contact with uncontaminated nature.
Lake Garda is also renowned for its variety of fish, which can be savored in many different dishes. A standout dish is the bigoli with sarde del Garda, which pairs homemade spaghetti with sardines caught right from the lake for a unique culinary experience.
Many hotels in Lake Garda offer excellent restaurants and often have a stunning view to go with it. You can even dine on the pier at the Villa Giulia, which is the perfect spot to watch a gorgeous sunset over Lake Garda.
Restaurants at Lake Garda are found in various locations including by the lake, in the town centers and amongst olive groves and vineyards. One of the best is Ristorante Sostaga in Salo, which offers a gastronomic experience with local products combined to create mouthwatering dishes. The menu has a strong Garda influence but with a good balance of flavors and the glazed restaurant is ideal for enjoying the lake scenery during your meal.
Lake Garda is dotted with picturesque towns and villages that offer visitors a range of experiences. Whether you are interested in outdoor adventures, dining, or immersing yourself in history, this Italian lake has something for everyone.
One of the most popular activities at Lake Garda is spending time at the beaches. The lake’s shores are lined with sandy and pebbly beaches, and some are more secluded than others. The waters are perfect for swimming and sailing, and many beaches have lifeguards on duty.
In addition to the stunning beaches, Lake Garda is also home to a number of imposing castles and ancient Roman ruins. Scaliger Castle in Torri del Benaco is a must-see, and it offers visitors a chance to step back in time and learn about the region’s rich history.
Another popular destination is Sirmione, which has a beautiful waterfront and 16th-century castle. Visitors will also find a variety of restaurants, cafés, and shops in the town.
Other notable attractions in this area include the Bardolino Castle and Monte Baldo, a mountain with stunning views of the lake. For those who want to relax, Limone sul Garda is a great choice. It has a beautiful lemon grove and charming alleyways. It is also the starting point for the suspended bike path over Lake Garda. For a luxurious hotel stay, try the five-star Lido Palace. It offers rooms and suites with designer flair, modern gadgets, and huge beds.