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For centuries, this stunning part of northern Italy - half way between Brescia and Verona - has been attracting people for Lake Garda holidays. Tree-covered mountains cup this famous lake and lemon and olive groves surround the impressive towns and picturesque villages that are scattered on its banks.
This vast area, coupled with the number of towns, means there is plenty of accommodation, from quaint B&Bs to exquisite hotels and everything in between. But luxury doesn't always need to break the bank - there are plenty of deals to be found if you use the TravelSupermarket search tool.
The main destinations around Lake Garda are Limone, Riva and Malcesine - each has its own particular character, but all are geared up as perfect tourist hotspots, as they have been for decades. You'll find no end of restaurants and delightful little shops that simply ooze the charm of this wonderful place. Remember to look off the beaten track too, where you can find peace and solitude without losing out on the magical appeal of the Italian lakes. The villages of Torri del Benaco or Gargano, for instance, are perfect retreats that have been regular haunts for many notable names including DH Lawrence, Sir Winston Churchill, and Laurence Olivier as well as countless European kings and queens.
Getting to Lake Garda is simple. The nearest airports are Verona (VRN), which is about an hour away, and Brescia (VBS), which is about a 40-minute drive, though the major hub of Milan (MXP) is still only a two-hour journey by car. Each airport also has desks for all the major car hire firms, which should be a consideration if you want to explore the land a little.
Once at Lake Garda, you will be forgiven for thinking the only pastime here is sitting outside lakeside cafés and gently quaffing wine as you watch the world go by through your designer sunglasses, but there's plenty more that can be done. The lake itself offers a wealth of activities, from diving to windsurfing and, if you fancy a real heart-thumping thrill, water skiing or wakeboarding might just be your thing. There's also a huge theme park to the south offering plenty of thrills and spills, or you could look at a relaxing stopover in Simione where the sulphur springs are celebrated for their healing qualities.
Once you've had your fun, dinner overlooking the lake is essential. Italy is proud of its culinary expertise and Lake Garda has its fair share of the country's excellence in this department. Pizza and pasta are the staples in most of the eateries, but the local lamb is regarded as some of the finest in the country. Make sure you wash it down with a splash of the local red wine too.
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Find out more about the climate of Lake Garda with our handy guide...
Lake Garda enjoys long hot summers with days often nearing 30C between May and September and evenings cooling to a pleasant 20C. Winters can be chilly at night but daytime temperatures will, on average, still be a delightful 18C. Watch for the winds though - there's a reason why the lake is hailed as a world-class windsurfing destination.
Food, wine and music are the main ingredients of the annual events and festivals that grace the shores of Lake Garda...
Feast of St Giovanni; June: This is a colourful folk festival at Brenzone with lots of food, music and celebration.
Bardolino Grape and Wine Festival; October: The locals turn out in force to spend five days honouring the local harvest.
Christmas Market; November/December: Head to the town of Salo where the festive season kicks off in style as the main square is transformed into a Yuletide delight every Thursday.
There's a place for you in Lake Garda, and plenty of magical experiences too...
Romance: Grab a picnic and hire a boat for the ultimate in tranquil romance out on the water.
Relaxing: Glass of wine in hand, a bowl of pasta at the end of your fork... and relax. Just take in the stunning views.
Shopping: Lose yourself in the back streets of Garda's towns and you're sure to find plenty of bargains.
Active types: The famous winds of Lake Garda offer up some of the finest windsurfing opportunities in Europe.
Kids and teens: Gardaland theme park, on the southern tip of the lake, has all the fun of the fair and much more with rollercoasters and a great day out.