Holidays in Lake Garda
Home to amazing architecture, villas, and ancient cathedrals, Garda is a little gem with something for everyone to enjoy. On the southern shores of Lake Garda, there’s plenty to explore along the narrow paths, dotted with cafés, restaurants and rows of colourful lemon and orange orchards.
Great all-year round, Lake Garda is still sunny without being too hot.
2 hours 30 minutes
Verona (VRN), 36km south east of the resort.
To explore the glistening treasures of historical Garda and bring the past to life, book your holiday with Thomas Cook today.
Situated on the east coast of the stunning Lake Garda, the characteristic town of Garda is one of the smallest in the province and is just a short distance from the city of Verona. For a taste of history and culture, head to Riva, where you can explore medieval fortresses in the heart of this pretty town. Historical Peschiera is equally as lovely and is a great place to enjoy a glass of the local Lugana. Discover the cultivation of lemons in the authentically Italian and charming town of Limone, which sits on the border of Lake Garda, or get your creative juices flowing at the romantic Malcesine – nestled at the foot of Monte Baldo , it is a beauty spot popular with writers and artists. For a more peaceful retreat, head to Bardolino where you will find the perfect blend of olive groves, vineyards and beaches.
Walk back into time and visit the medieval buildings, stunning Venetian villas and glorious ruins that lie untouched in this town. Take in the great art of ancient etchings and frescos with the luscious green scenery that surrounds the area. Easy to explore by foot, bus or water, the centre of the old town is one of the best places to visit in Garda. Take a break from visiting the sights in one of the little cafés in the lake-front square of the Palazzo dei Capitano and watch the world go by.
Explore the old centre of the town and take a walk between the promenade, by the castle-like Villa degli Albertini, dating back to the 16th-century. Then move on to the Palazzo dei Caitani, with its pale yellow stone and pretty arched windows – a design you will notice a lot as you wander around the ancient areas of the town. Visit the hidden art galleries on the narrow street paths. Chiesa de Santa Maria Maggiore is a must-see, with three naves and alters, one in a baroque style, a 13th-century bell tower and stunning renaissance-style frescos.
With plenty of places to see in Garda and the surrounding area, the famous lake and golden sandy beaches are major highlights. Follow the coast to the east, to find the hidden gem, Baia delle Sirene, Mermaids’ Bay, where the hills are awash with rich olive groves, and bright orange and lemon trees around the shores. The spectacular blue waters of the lake make this one of the best places to go in Garda. Enjoy the natural sights from the south side of the glistening lake.
Experience the rich history of Garda while standing amongst the Gothic and Renaissance-inspired villas and churches in the heart of the old town. Around the centre of the town and surrounding hillsides, discover the Bronze Age etchings, graves and relics found as recently as the 1960s that make great attractions to visit in Garda. Admire the handmade statues of St Peter and St Paul by Veronese sculptor Righetti in Palazzo Carlotti. For a great view of the lake, walk up to the remains of the 5th-century fortress, Rocca.
Best for walkers: Enjoy beautiful coastal walks and hillside climbs for views of the rich blue sea, north or south of the region.
Best for history buffs: Explore the Bronze Age relics, 15th-century frescos and Renaissance villas that dominate the old town centre.
Best for adventurers: Part of Garda’s charm is its accessibility; hop on a bus, boat, hydrofoil or catamaran to start your adventure!
Language: The language spoken in Garda is Italian
Currency: The currency used in Garda is Euro (€)
Local time: Garda is one hour ahead of GMT/UK time
Fly to: Verona (VRN), 36km south east of the resort
Flight time from UK: Approximately 2 hours 30 minutes
Tourist information: Further Garda tourist information can be found at www.visitgarda.com
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Garda.
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.
By foot: The ancient town centre is full of narrow streets to allow you to explore all its hidden treasures. Plus the main part of the town is pedestrianised, making it even easier to access.
By bike: See even more by hiring a bike from your hotel. Cycle out to Rocca or Monte Luppia and save your legs for the climb up to the hills for the picturesque views.
By boat: Choose from a great range of boats to transport you to other lakeside areas.
Music buffs: If you’re into music, then you’ll love being just 20 miles from Verona - a visit to the Arena di Verona opera performances in June and August will be an unforgettable experience. Pink Floyd and One Direction have both performed here.
A taste of Garda: Summer food festivals will give you a taste of Garda’s traditional dishes.