Lake Garda: hotels on the lakeshore, a mild climate and a picturesque scenery, Alpine landscape and Mediterranean flair. Italy’s largest lake is one of the most popular destinations in Europe.
Lake Garda: Most important regions and cities at a glance
The North: aquatics & alpine sports
At its narrowest point the lake is flanked by steep mountains, which creates a fjord-like landscape. Mountain bikers will find spectacular routes; in places such as Torbole and Arco sportsmen from around the world meet (surfing, kite surfing, climbing); older guests appreciate the hiking trails and idyllic destinations like Limone.
The East: winter sports, wine & amusement parks
The ridge of Monte Baldo (2218 meters) dominates the eastern lakeshore and makes it a destination for active travellers in summer and in winter. (Hobby) botanists appreciate the region’s endemic plant diversity. The region around Bardolino is famous for wine and olive-growing whereas Lazise is known for its vast theme parks.
The South: beach vacation, camping, vineyards & spa treatments
Only 50 kilometers away from the North Shore, the southern Lake Garda provides a very different picture. Here the banks of the lake are reminiscent at times of the sea. The climate is milder, palm trees and oleander are thriving, long beaches and campsites lakes line the lakefront. The peninsula of Sirmione provides an insight into the Roman past and is a popular spa resort. Desenzano again is a lively holiday resort.
Western Lake Garda: Noblesse, Luxury & Lifestyle
Around Salo and Gardone life is luxurious and delightful. Villas and noble restaurants amid lush gardens, a stroll through the antique market in Gardone – this is what the Italian residents and guests who appreciate tranquility and leisure enjoy.
Desenzano: Harbour town, City Life & Sightseeing
The largest city on Lake Garda is situated in the south but with 20.000 inhabitants rather a small town. Thanks to one of the most beautiful waterfronts, a well-stocked pedestrian area and the lively nightlife however, you will find a lot more people there. The city is also worth a visit for its historic sights, that vary in age from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages
Riva del Garda: Sophisticated, sporty and touristic
On the northern shore of the lake Riva is the tourist center. Belonging to Austria once and lying amidst the mountains, it has the character of a Tyrolean holiday resort while exuding urbane Italian charm at the same time. Visitors will enjoy the castle and the glamourous marina. However, there is also another side of Riva – it is also a hotspot for surfers and hosts annual blogger meetings.
Lake Garda – good to know
Diverse but touristy: As different as the shores of the lake in the four cardinal directions are the different region’s clientele and the atmosphere. The family that unknowingly books an apartment in the quiet Gardone will be out of place as much as a mountain biker in Sirmione. However, the region’s backbone is tourism and the locals will generally do everything to make everyone feel welcome everywhere. If you want to get to know all facets of the lake you can plan a round trip – possibly with keeping appropriate times for visiting in mind.
A destination for locals: Like everywhere Lake Garda will be even more frequented during holiday periods. If you have a family you can oftentimes not chose a different time to go on vacation, however, try to avoid going to Lake Garda in mid-August - that’ when the whole of Italy will be on summer break and heading towards Lake Garda for weekend trips. If you’re planning to visit main attractions try to go there on weekdays to avoid lining up in queues for hours.
Chic & stylish: Italians know how to dress well, which will become obvious even at the beach or in supposedly “dress code-free” zones. Wearing slippers to the café or in a boutique? Unthinkable for many compatriots. If you do not want to look like the stereotypical tourist: dress up, learn at least a few Italian phrases and order your coffee in Italian. If you are planning a church visit make sure to always cover your shoulders and possibly your knees.