Holidays to Lake Garda contrast the dramatic mountain backdrop with the peaceful, glistening waters of the lake, and the collection of traditional towns and villages with Italy’s most iconic cities, right on your doorstep.
Landscape of contrast
Much like the sweetness of the Hugo Spritz and the bitterness of the Aperol, Lake Garda is a region of contrasts. The largest and most popular of the Italian lakes, Lake Garda lies midway between Milan and Venice, and is the beating heart of northern Italy. With shorelines stretching over 90 miles, covering three regions, and 15 chocolate-box towns, there is a perfect destination for everyone. Each town has retained its character and culture, its relaxed way of life and its ability to celebrate life and the land.
The dramatic north
Mountainous landscapes, hillside villages and harbour towns line the shores of the narrower, northern end of Lake Garda. There are ample opportunities for adventuring, on a walk through the hillside of Malcesine, or simply a stroll along the cobbled promenade of Limone. Known for its breezier climate, watersports are somewhat of a favourite here – and even if you’re not taking part, you can spend hours watching the water, while sitting on the lakefront of Torbole with an ice cream or spritz. This area was historically under Austrian rule, so reminders of the centuries-old invasion threats appear in the most northerly towns of Riva and Torbole.
The sun-wrapped south
The south of Lake Garda is much flatter and wider, with the Sirmione peninsula protruding from the south. Known for its mild, Mediterranean climate, an array of olive trees and lemon groves flourish here, which is unusual this far north of the equator. Vineyards also surround Bardolino and Lazise, and produce a collection of world-renowned wines. The pebble beaches of Desenzano and Garda town slide into the clear waters and provide a relaxing setting for a day of soaking up the sun. The charming harbour of Peschiera, fortress walls of Torri del Benaco and Scaligeri Castles stand in honour to the Veronese and Venetian rulers and offer plentiful opportunities to wander, admire and learn.
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Winemaking, medieval churches and 12th century city walls - Bardolino has lots to offer for everyone. It's well known for its lakefront presence and excellent transport links on and off the water. The stunning sunsets aren't to be missed either.
Garda's tree-lined promenade stretches along the water's edge for over a mile and is the centre of town life. Filled with gelaterias and cafés, it makes for a pleasant stroll to the historic Punta San Vigilio villa, or along the shore to Bardolino. Look closely and you might spot the peninsular of Sirmione on the lake’s southern edge.
Desenzano is famous for its museum, Roman villa and the fashionable boutiques crammed into its narrow streets, as well as the gelaterias, cafés and bars dotted throughout. And each week it hosts a large market that spreads along the lakefront. From the harbour, follow the esplanade along the shore and you’ll reach shingle beaches either side of the town.
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A day of two halves with a part-city, part-scenic trip through the Italian South Tyrol. Enjoy a walk through the bustling…View details »