Lake Garda holidays

Lake Garda holidays are wild and wonderful. The sweeping lake sits between Milan and Venice, in the foothills of the Italian Alps, where colourful portside towns are backed by rolling vineyards and towering peaks. The best time to visit is during the summer when the weather rarely dips below 25°C. You can soak up the sunshine on the lakeside beaches, or take a dip in the refreshing waters. That's when you're not exploring the majestic castles and bustling café culture. And with scenery straight out of a storybook, it’s no wonder that holidays to Lake Garda are so sought after among nature lovers. 

The northern shores draw in adventurers, with hikers and cyclists taking to the mountainous trails of Monte Baldo. The breezier climate is also perfect for kite surfing and sailing, while kayakers and paddleboarders can take advantage of the lighter winds in the afternoon. The south on the other hand, is the land of lemons and olive groves. Here, the sun-soaked villages and sprawling wineries invite you to take things down a notch. 

Crisp air, dazzling scenery and enchanting towns - holidays to Lake Garda are anything but ordinary.

Things to do

A holiday to Lake Garda is like taking a walk back in time, with so many Venetian villas and ragged ruins lying untouched in this region. If you’ve got the kids with you, make sure to set aside some time for a visit to the best-known amusement park in Italy: Gardaland Resort.

The coastal paths east of the lake make for easy and superbly scenic walks. Those who want more of a challenge on their Lake Garda holidays might fancy mountain climbing on the northern shores. Or, take a leisurely amble through the centre of Garda and watch the world go by from the lakefront cafes.

Excellent beaches

Lake Garda holidays are just as suited for lounging. Soak up the Mediterranean sunshine along the golden bays where soft sand shelves into the glistening, turquoise waters. One of the most spectacular beaches is Baia Delle Sirene (Mermaids’ Bay). Its shores are backed by fragrant orange and lemon trees. Enjoy views over the lush olive groves that roll up the hillside. The combined winds from the surrounding mountains lend the area to windsurfing and sailing, as well as kayaking and fishing. Enjoy a day on the water, then relax in one of the coastline bars, cafes or restaurants when the sun goes down.

History and culture

There is so much more history to uncover amongst the mountainous landscapes and luscious valleys. Poke your nose around the Gothic and Renaissance-inspired villas, churches and medieval castles that adorn the skyline. Visit the historic town of Sirmione to see the ancient ruins of the Grotte di Catullo grotto, or take a dip in the hot springs to soak up the natural therapeutic minerals.

Nightlife

Lake Garda has a whole host of entertainment to suit all tastes both day and night. The after dark scene in particular has quite a reputation. As well as having a huge amount of vibrant bars and clubs, which stay open till the early hours, the region comes alive with concerts, beach parties and theatrical events throughout the summer months. Book your stay during the summer firework season to watch the iconic displays on a boat trip.

More Travel Guides

We also have travel guides available for destinations, including: Amalfi | Ischia Porto | FlorenceLimone | Malcesine | RomeSant'AgnelloSardinia | Sicily | Sorrento | Venetian Riviera | Venice

Map of Lake Garda

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2-20 ℃

Whether you want to go skiing in winter or sunbathing in the summer, Lake Garda holidays have something to offer all year round.

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2 hours 30 minutes

Approximately two and a half hours.

Lake Garda is best for...

Walkers: Enjoy beautiful coastal walks and hillside climbs for views of the rich blue sea, north or south of the region.

History buffs: Explore the Bronze Age relics, 15th century frescos and Renaissance villas that dominate the old town centre.

Adventurers: Part of Garda’s charm is its accessibility; hop on a bus, boat, hydrofoil or catamaran to start your adventure!

Fast facts for Lake Garda

Language: The language spoken in Lake Garda is Italian, but you’ll find that most of the staff in hotels, shops and restaurants have a good command of English.

Currency: You’ll need to exchange your Sterling for Euros, before flying off on your holidays here.

Local time: Lake Garda is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly To: Verona Villafranca Airport.

Flight time from UK: The flight time to Lake Garda is 2.5 hours.

Tourist information: Further tourist information can be found at the Visit Garda website.

Holiday destinations related to Lake Garda:

 

Getting around Lake Garda

By foot: Garda town is full of narrow streets, allowing you to explore all its hidden treasures on foot. The main part of the town is pedestrianised, making it even easier to access.

By bike: Lake Garda offers so many breathtaking cycle routes. The Ciclopista del Garda in particular, has been defined as the most beautiful bike path in Europe. The trail is built into the side of the mountain range, overhanging the lake.

By boat: When you want to hop from town to town, you’ll find many boat tours that will take you to the major locations. From Maderno to Torri del Benaco, Limone to Malcesine and Desenzano to Riva.

Events in Lake Garda

Arena di Verona: If you’re into music, then you’ll love being just 20 miles from Verona, where you’ll find the world-famous Arena di Verona. An enormous Roman amphitheatre hosting everything from traditional Italian opera to contemporary rock: Pink Floyd and One Direction have both performed here!

Food festivals: There are food festivals throughout the year, showcasing the best in Italian food. However, the one that most people seem to get excited about is the Bardolino Grape and Wine Festival, in late September (we wonder why!). In addition to some outstanding wines, there’s also a superb selection of local dishes to sample.

Lake Garda safety and security

Visa / Health: Passport / Visa / Health: Before you travel, visit The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office for recommendations and advice on visas, passports and health for your holiday to Lake Garda. It’s always a good idea to stay up to date with any rules changes before your departure.

Lake Garda weather

Temperature: Mid 20s (°C) in summer and low to high teens in winter.

Best time to visit: Great all-year round, Garda is still sunny without being too hot. The temperatures in the winter are still warmer than in the UK and strong winds can be avoided on the south side of the lake, which is more sheltered.

Best hotels in Lake Garda

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