WHAT IS IT?: Lake Garda is a lake known for its crystal clear waters that stretches nearly 52 km across northern Italy, sandwiched between Milan and Venice. It is a popular tourist destination, especially during the Summer months. Many people choose to stay here for its luxury resorts, watersports, or beautiful scenery. Some of the more popular towns and villages located in the area are Peschiera Del Garda, Riva Del Garda, and Sirmione. The city of Verona is located just 24 km east of the lake.
HOW TO GET HERE:
Verona Airport – Although there is no direct bus to Lake Garda this is the closest airport. However, this is still the most convenient airport to fly into. You can take bus number 199 to Verona Porta Nuova where you can then switch to a train and in less than 15 minutes you will be in Peschiera Del Garda, a popular tourist destination.
Bergamo Airport – This is one of the best-connected airports in Europe. If you visit in the summer months FlixBus operates a bus service that takes just over an hour to get to Lake Garda. Another way is by getting a shuttle bus to Bergamo’s main station and taking a bus to Desenzano Del Garda.
Venice Airport – The distance between this airport and Lake Garda is 130 km. This is the least convenient way of getting here. You will have to get a bus from Venice Airport to Venice city center, then a train or bus to Verona and finally another train to Peschiera Del Garda or Desenzano Del Garda.
WHERE TO VISIT: No matter what part of Lake Garda you visit you will fall in love with its beauty but since the lake is so big there are different areas to visit depending on what you’re expecting out of your visit here. For example, the north is much more rural and very mountainous so for anyone who enjoys hiking this might be better for them. The south still has gorgeous mountain scenery but it is more built up, so if you are looking for tourist attractions and nightlife this might be a better option for you.
1. PESCHIERA DEL GARDA (South East) – This town is ideal for anyone visiting Lake Garda for the first time. It’s the most easily accessible town in Lake Garda as it has its own train station that’s connected to Verona and Bergamo. Many tourist attractions can be found near such as Gardaland and the Sea Life aquarium. You can find many cheap accommodation options here so budget travelers should look here first.
2. RIVA DEL GARDA (North) – Anyone looking for a luxury getaway put this on top of your list. Many celebrities spent their vacations here, including the likes of Tom Cruise and David Beckham. People may come here for luxury hotels and fine dining but this is also a great area for windsurfers because of the strong winds in the area.
3. DESENZANO DEL GARDA (South West) – This is probably the largest town around the lake and it is great for seeing attractions, historical sighs and its nightlife. As it’s one of only three train stations in Lake Garda, you can easily reach here from the airports. Another great thing about staying here is you can take day trips to cities such as Milan, Bergamo, Verona or Brescia.
4. GARDA (East) – This is one of the smaller towns of Lake Garda and its great for a peaceful and relaxing trip. You can explore the charming medieval town then spend the evening strolling down the promenade or sitting in a pizzeria taking in the beautiful scenery of the lake and the mountains. You can reach Verona in just half an hour from here.
5. MALCESINE (North East) – This picturesque village is great for anyone who loves outdoor activities such as hiking and watersports. The most popular thing to do here is to catch the cable car up to the top of Monte Baldo and take in the breathtaking views. Sailing and kayaking are also very popular in this area.
TRANSPORT: Anyone who hasn’t got a driver’s license or doesn’t feel like driving is better off staying around the south of the lake. The two out of the three train stations are located here at Peschiera Del Garda and Desenzano Del Garda. These two stations are well connected to Milan, Bergamo, Verona, and even Venice. If you are on a budget you should purchase a ticket for the Italia Rail service but if you are looking for a more comfortable or 1st class ticket you should look out for Italotreno. There are also buses that run frequently to Verona from most towns around the east side of the lake. Up north in Riva Del Garda you will find a train station but the further north you travel the less accessible public transport will be to use due to the mountainous terrain.
ACCOMMODATION: There are numerous accommodation options in Lake Garda. They cover a huge range from small camping plots to fancy 5-star luxury resorts. People looking for a luxury holiday should begin their searches up north away from most of the tourist attractions. Budget travelers should start by looking at Peschiera Del Garda. There are many budget options available such as apartments or mobile homes, especially on camping grounds. I spent 24 EUR per night in a 2 bedroom apartment at Camping Bella Italia. Not only will budget travelers find cheaper accommodation around this area but it will also be cheaper to get to from the likes of Bergamo and Verona airport.
CLIMATE: Lake Gardas climate is sub-Mediterrraniean year-round. The coldest month is January with average lows of 2 degrees Celcius, its hottest month is July with average highs of 28 degrees Celcius where its water temperatures can reach 27 degrees Celcius. After leaving your accommodation you should always carry an umbrella or a rain poncho as this region can receive sudden bursts of violent thunderstorms, I have been caught in a few myself.
For more information about visiting Lake Garda you can click on the link down below.
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