It’s so easy to explore the beautiful lakeside towns and villages of Lake Garda. Ferry boats come and go regularly to take visitors all around the lake. Ferry boats range from foot passenger boats up to larger car ferries. The lake is over 50 kilometres long and up to 16 kilometres wide, with so many unique places to visit such as Tignale, Riva del Garda and Peschiera. Market days are especially popular days to visit and each town will hold them regularly. There are also many companies operating on Lake Garda where you can hire a self-drive boat for the ultimate adventure.
Cycling is very popular around the shores of Lake Garda and there are various options depending on your ability. Advanced cyclists can choose to venture into the mountains for the ultimate test with challenging terrain and steep climbs, this is a favourite area with many cyclists. There have been many cycle paths developed in recent years, all of which offer stunning views of the lake and the surrounding Italian mountains.
Lake Garda’s towns are immersed in history of which the locals are very proud. The most beautiful architecture has been lovingly cared for and, as a result, the Lake is home to many well-preserved castles and fortresses. Scenes of many battles between the neighbouring regions, all vying for ownership of the magnificent towns on Lake Garda, to visit is truly a fascinating step back in time. The most impressive castles can be found in Sirmione, Riva del Garda and Desenzano.
Fishing is a big industry and pastime in Lake Garda. Freshwater fish is offered on menus year-round and is as fresh as it comes. Fishermen are greeted on the dockside by chefs, restaurant owners and locals alike to choose their catch. Garda pilchards are very popular and are breaded and fried in local olive oil and enjoyed as a starter with homemade bread. Freshwater Pike is also a popular choice and is plentiful in Lake Garda. Of course, this is accompanied by fresh vegetables that are a product of the fertile soil and ideal climate at the foot of the mountains and some of the best wines in the region.
Most definitely worth a visit, Malcesine is nestled at the foothills of Monte Altissimo on the northeast coast of Lake Garda. Malcesine is well known for its cable car which climbs over 1,500 metres and takes roughly 30 minutes to get to the top of Lake Garda’s tallest peak, Monte Baldo, giving the most breath-taking views. There are many walking routes at the top and a café where one can watch the many paragliders taking off and soaring through the skies. Back in the town, the castle, Castello Scaligero, is in an impressive sight and was declared a national monument in 1902. The castle is very popular for daytime visitors and occasionally used for light Opera evenings. Malcesine is home to an impressive Natural History Museum which is great for all ages.
This well-known and popular amusement park near Lake Garda is Italy’s premier theme park. An ideal day out for families with numerous attractions, huge rollercoasters and organised shows. There is also Gardaland Sea-Life for those who want to explore the impressive aquarium and even have some hands-on fun. Gardaland attracts over three million visitors per year and can easily be reached by shuttle bus or taxi from Peschiera on Lake Garda’s south coast.
The romantic city of Verona is a mere 30 minutes’ drive from the south of Lake Garda. Steeped in history, Verona is perhaps best known for being the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The famous balcony at Juliet’s house can be visited in the centre of the town. Verona is well known for its huge Roman amphitheatre that hosts various concerts and events. The medieval old town sits on the River Adige which is popular for rafting down with people paddling under the numerous bridges and seeing the city from a completely different viewpoint. Verona also boasts a bustling main piazza where it’s very popular to order a strong Italian coffee and simply watch the world go by.
Summers in Lake Garda (June to August) are the best time to visit, when temperatures are high and rainfall is low. The heat is combatted by pleasant lake breezes. Winters in Lake Garda can be cold, with some snowfall in the region of Riva del Garda.
If you are a British citizen, you don’t need a visa to enter Italy but you must have a valid passport. For the latest information on European travel regulations, visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy.
The currency used is the Euro (EUR).
The main langaugae spoken is Italian.