Mountain landscapes, vineyard-covered countryside and an abundance of picture-perfect villages. It’s easy to see why Lake Garda is the most popular of the Italian Lakes.
Right in the heart of northern Italy, Lake Garda lies between Milan and Venice. A rich yet turbulent history has left behind ancient castles, towering above medieval harbours and charming villages. The dramatic mountainous backdrop in the north gives way to rolling hills in the south.
Each of Garda’s lakeside towns is full of culture and history. Four Scaligeri castles sit proudly on the shores – dating back to the Scaliger Lords of Verona in the 13th and 14th century, these fortifications stand prominently in support of the Roman Empire. Ornate churches and bell towers take centre stage in peaceful piazzas, alongside winding cobbled streets lined with restaurants, bars and ice cream parlours.
Rocky outcrops, hillside villages and harbour towns line the narrower, northern end of Lake Garda. There are ample opportunities for exploring, whether on a walk in the hills above Malcesine or simply a stroll along the promenade of Limone. Known for its breezier climate, Torbole is a favourite for watersports – and even if you’re not taking part, you can spend hours watching from the lakefront with an ice cream or spritz. Historically under Austrian rule, architectural reminders of the centuries-old invasion threats appear in the most northerly towns of Riva and Torbole and are great for exploring.
The other end of Lake Garda is much flatter and wider, with the Sirmione peninsula protruding from the southern shore. Known for its mild Mediterranean climate, an array of olive trees and lemon groves flourish here. Vineyards also surround Bardolino and Lazise, producing a collection of world-renowned wines. The pebble beaches of Desenzano and Garda town slide into the clear waters and provide a relaxed setting for a day of soaking up the sun. The charming harbour of Peschiera, fortress walls of Torri del Benaco and surrounding castles stand in honour to the Veronese and Venetian rulers, offering lots of opportunities to wander, admire and learn.
Slip into the relaxed way of life and wander along by the water. Many towns around Lake Garda have a flat lakefront walkway, with the promenade between Garda town, Bardolino and Lazise being one of the longest. The surrounding hills and mountains are great for a more active hike with panoramic lake views. In the early evening, join the tradition of passeggiata – part of the lakeside culture, and a great way to build up an appetite before dinner, it’s almost a ritual to take a gentle stroll around town as the sun sets.
Experience the north of Lake Garda in all its glory, with a stay at the Hotel Splendid Palace, Limone or the Hotel Savoy Palace, Riva. If you prefer the idea of relaxing on the southern shores, Hotel Eden, Garda or the Hotel Caesius Thermae & Spa, Bardolino could be just what you need.
Pssst. Head to the Discover homepage for our latest articles.
Spanning across seven hills and split into 17 contrada (or districts), Siena...
Famous for its art, architecture and museums, the UNESCO World Heritage site...
Grindelwald, in southern Switzerland’s Jungfrau region, is home to a world-renowned mountain...
Author: Ben Dent
Published: January 4, 2018
Our top deals tailored to you, straight to your inbox Sign up for offers
Shop Finder Ask a question? Contact us
We're part of TUI Group - one of the world's leading travel companies. And all of our holidays are designed to help you Discover Your Smile.
Registered address: Wigmore House, Wigmore Lane, Luton, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom, LU2 9TN
More from TUI
Terms & conditions
Ways to Pay
Google Play Store
App Store for Ios
TUI Travel Money
Holiday Budget Calculator
TUI Credit Card
Travel After Brexit
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and National Travel Health Network and Centre have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad.
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information check www.gov.uk/travelaware and follow @FCOtravel and Facebook.com/FCOtravel
More information is available by checking /destinations/info/travel-aware
Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting www.travelhealthpro.org.uk
The advice can change so check regularly for updates.
Some of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme.
But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website.
This website will provide you with information on the protection that applies in the case of each holiday and travel service offered before you make your booking.
If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it,
those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.caa.co.uk