Lake Garda Holidays

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Lake Garda Holidays

Visiting The Italian Lakes

The beautiful Italian lakes have been attracting visitors for hundreds of years, so whether you’re on your grand tour or just looking for some holiday fun, you’ve made an excellent choice.  Tempting though it is to spend your days eating ice cream and enjoying the amazing views in a lakeside café, you’ve got sights to see and exploring to do.  There are the picturesque villages of Brescia, Moniga and Peschiera and iconic cities such as Verona, Milan and Venice. There are beautiful national parks where you can fill your lungs with fresh mountain air and moonlit restaurants on twinkling marinas where you can fill your boots with seafood, pizza, pasta and local wine.  So come on - let’s go!

Feel The Italian Lakes

Feel the sun on your face and the wind in your hair as you cruise across the waters, smell the mouth-watering aroma of the local dishes, listen to the silence as you hike through the Lake Idro Valley, experience the thrill of glimpsing Venice as the sun sets, gasp as you jump into the clear, cool water of the lakes, scream as you descend from the top of the white-knuckle Raptor ride and relax with a glass of delicious Bardolino wine and share your day with family and friends.

Explore The Italian Lakes

Hop into your motorboat (hired of course) and take a tour around the lakes. Take some day trips to the surrounding towns and cities – you can’t go home with a visit to Venice.  Get your hiking boots on and explore the alpine meadows and hillsides.  Grab a snorkel mask and flippers and see what lies beneath. Wander through picturesque towns and villages and find yourself a lakeside table where you can admire the elegant houses of the rich and famous (if you see George Clooney – send him my love).

Places to visit - Sightseeing

When you’re looking for peace and quiet in beautiful surroundings, camping in the Italian Lakes is the perfect option. Having said that, there’s plenty to see and do here, with some of Italy’s prettiest towns and finest cities within easy reach:

Milan
Milan is a historic and cultural centre, as well as a mecca for those seeking retail therapy at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. The La Scala opera house and the Convent of St Maria delle Grazie, home of da Vinci’s The Last Supper, are also well worth visiting.

Verona
Home of some quite superb Roman remains, Verona’s old town is full of architectural treasures such as the famous Roman Ampitheatre and the Arco dei Gavi triumphal arch, not to mention the houses of Romeo and Juliet.

Venice
The Pearl of the Adriatic is within easy reach of the Italian lakes, and a trip to enjoy the faded grandeur of the Grand Canal, St Mark’s Square and the Bridge of Sighs should be on everyone’s list of things to do here.

Sirmione
Famous for its thermal springs, Sirmione is also home to the fabulous 13th century Scaliger Castle, which is a rare example of a fortified medieval port, as well as the Grotto of Catullus, the most complete Roman villa in Northern Italy.

Desenzano del Garda
The largest of the many towns around Lake Garda, Desenzano has a wealth of picturesque streets to explore, as well as a fine church, medieval castle and the remains of a Roman villa. A market is also held here every Tuesday morning.

Mantua
The walled city of Mantua is home to some of the finest town squares and historic buildings in all Italy, with the Piazza Sordello, Palazzo Te and Palazzo Ducale all worthy of note. It is also a wonderful place to simply sit and watch the world go by.

Peschiera del Garda
Peaceful and beautiful, Peschiera is an ancient fortress town at the point where Lake Garda meets the Mincio River. The fortress is a major attraction here, though the artworks within the sanctuary of Madonna del Frassino are also worth seeing.

Bergamo
This attractive and unusual city is actually a town in two parts, with an upper city and a lower city that are linked by funicular as well as roads and footpaths. Much of it is worth seeing, but the upper city offers the best of Bergamo’s historic sights. 

Great for younger kids

Zoo Safari del Lago Maggiore
An excellent safari park featuring a host of wild animals from tigers to zebras in a vast natural habitat. Small children can also enjoy petting smaller animals, and there are a number of rides for younger children here too.

Parco Natura Viva
Located in Bussolengo, you will find the Parco Natura Viva to be a delight for children of all ages, though little ones especially love the Fauna Park section, where they can see more than 1500 animals, including Italy’s largest chimp colony.

Great for older kids

Gardaland
One of the biggest theme parks in Italy, Gardaland offers more than 30 rides to suit all ages, including the white-knuckle Raptor ride, billed as Italy’s first winged rollercoaster. There are also a number of live shows and a sealife centre here.

South Garda Karting
This outdoor karting track hosts some very serious karting events, but also allows you to hire karts suitable for ages eight and up, including some high-powered machines for teens and adults. 10-minute and 4-hour rentals are available.

Places to visit - Activities & events

Boating
Almost every town around Garda and the other Italian lakes has boats for hire, making it easy for you to enjoy a day’s touring from the comfort of your own motor boat. Licences are required in order to hire powerboats, but not the smaller motor boats.

Diving
The Italian lakes are largely clear and still, yet with plenty to interest you beneath the surface. Snorkelling is a pleasure close to the banks where hire boats aren’t allowed, and you can find diving courses at no less than 12 centres around Garda alone.

Windsurfing
Garda’s still waters and dependable winds make this an ideal location for windsurfing. Torbole, at the North of the lake has hosted a number of major championships and is also home to several hire and instruction centres.

Fishing
The Italian lakes are home to plentiful supplies of more than 30 fish species, including trout, pike, perch, tench and salmon. There are also great fishing spots everywhere here, as long as you have bought a licence from a municipal office first.

Unmissable events in the Italian Lakes

Jazz Ascona
Usually held in late June and early July, Jazz Ascona is a major jazz festival held in a variety of indoor and outdoor venues in the Lake Maggiore area. With everything from New Orleans jazz to Swiss jazz, it’s one for aficionados.

Lake Garda Music Festival
Held in mid-April every year, this fascinating event brings together choirs and orchestras from all over the world to perform in the San Giuseppe Auditorium at Riva del Garda.

Garda Jazz Festival
Held in a number of towns around Garda, including Arco, Torbole, Drena and Riva del Garda, the Jazz festival is a popular tourist event usually held in late June and early July, featuring a host of big names from the international jazz scene.

Centomiglia Regatta
Held on Lake Garda every year in early September, this is one of Europe’s most prestigious sailing events, with more than 300 racing yachts fighting it our over a number of races including the 100-mile main event.

Places to visit - Eating out

While pizza and pasta are as prevalent here as anywhere in Northern Italy, you will find that most restaurants in the Italian Lakes offer a variety of extremely fresh fish:

  • Sun-dried perch – Sun-dried fish are something of a Garda speciality, and the perch is especially good.
  • Pesto risotto with lake salmon – A gently flavoured risotto dish topped with grilled trout from the nearest lake.
  • Wine – Both Soave and Bardolino originate close to Lake Garda, and some of the very best examples can be found here.

Campsites in region

Summary IL011
Rio Vantone | Lake Idro

Mix the peaceful seclusion of the Italian lakes with a dash of exploration and you’ll get Rio Vantone.

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Valle Romantica Pool
Valle Romantica | Lake Maggiore

There’s something special about finding yourself just 2 km away from Lake Maggiore, one of Italy’s most beautiful lakes, and just breathing in all that amazing scenery.

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Summary IL015
Fornella | San Felice del Benaco

Looking for your slice of authentic Italian adventure? Then why not give Fornella a whirl?

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Summary IL016
La Rocca | Del Garda

Imagine stepping out of your tent, feeling the grass between your toes and taking a short stroll to view your slice of beautiful Lake Garda in Italy.

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Summary IL019
Bella Italia | Peschiera

On the south eastern tip of Lake Garda, at the start of the ‘Olive Tree Riviera’, lies Bella Italia, a beautiful, sprawling parc packed full of activities, making it the ideal choice for active families.

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Summary IL020
Cisano San Vito | Cisano

Staying in one beautiful parc on the shore of Italy’s Lake Garda is one thing but Cisano San Vito is two parcs in one.

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Summary IL022
Camping Del Garda | Peschiera

Are you after a child-friendly, fun holiday parc, near to Italy’s beautiful Lake Garda, but you don’t want to have to walk or drive miles to the local town? No problem.

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Summary IL023
Eden | Portese

Eden is a garden of fun and games for little ones. It’s also a haven of energetic pursuits for water sports enthusiasts. But most importantly, it’s a superb, entertaining, lakeside holiday in the sun for families.

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Summary IL024
Zocco | Manerba

Retaining an authentic Italian ambience, Zocco is an attractive, relaxing parc on the peaceful western shore of Lake Garda.

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Summary IL025
Weekend | San Felice del Benaco

Step onto this hilltop parc and you’ll find yourself surrounded by ancient olive groves, not to mention the spectacular views of Lake Garda below, too. We reckon the best way to enjoy these stunning sights is over a relaxing drink at the bar and restaurant...

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Summary IL026
Butterfly | Peschiera

No wonder this immaculate little parc on the edge of Lake Garda, is called Butterfly. It’s a place where great ideas for fun are transformed into a compact, family-friendly holiday destination.

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IL044, Lake GArda, Altomincio Family Park
Altomincio Family Park | Salionze

There’s nothing like the sight and sound of your kids screaming with delight as they scoot down a fantastic water slide in an amazing swimming pool. Get ready for this feeling at Altomincio, a high-quality parc for families of all ages.

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Apartments in region

The Garda Village Pool complex
The Garda Village | Sirmione

Ever wondered why Lake Garda is regarded as the most beautiful of the Italian Lakes? Discover its pretty waterfront villages, dramatic mountains and sandy coves for yourself and you might just agree.

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IL045 Belvedere Spa
Belvedere Spa | Lake Garda

You can see for miles at Belvedere Spa - which is good to know, when the view over to the foothills of the Italian Alps is such a showstopper.

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Location reviews

Italian Lakes reviews collected by Reevoo

Overall rating
9.0
Scores 9.0 out of 10 based on 575 reviews
Reviews and scores from the last 12 months.
9 out of 10

John

derby
so many places to visit by bus train boat or car
Confirmed stay: 17 October 2013
10 out of 10

Christopher

Bristol
The lake and associated scenery and lakeside towns. Historic towns, Verona, Mantua, Milan, and ease of access to them.
Confirmed stay: 15 October 2013
8 out of 10

Derek

Broughshane, Ballymena
Beautiful views from the campsite of the lakes and the mountains. Some lovely villages and towns to see but only if you have a car. We were delighted with the service everywhere we ate or drank around the various places we visited around the lake.
Confirmed stay: 13 October 2013
8 out of 10

Martin

Biddenden
Fabulous scenery, weather permitting, but the roads around Garda become very busy
Confirmed stay: 06 October 2013
10 out of 10

Eileen

East Boldon
This region has everything, good swimming trips on the lake, nearby places to visit by train or bus eg Verona Vicenza Padova Venice.
Confirmed stay: 03 October 2013
8 out of 10

Deborah

Sidcup
Pleasant, Definitely worth going to Simonie and if you get a chance get the bus into Verona which is an excellent place to walk around. Good transport links ferries/buses/trains
Confirmed stay: 01 October 2013
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