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If you’re touching down at Verona Villafranca Airport (VRN; also known as Valerio Catullo), there are several ways to get to the lake. In high season, between June and September, an hourly shuttle bus runs from the airport to Lake Garda, stopping in Peschiera, Lazise, Bardolino and Garda. And in Garda, you’ll find handy bus connections to the remaining resorts.
Unfortunately, you’ll be stuck for public buses from Verona Villafranca if you’re travelling out of season. Luckily, the trains run all year round, providing a speedy connection to the southeast section of Lake Garda.
Shuttle buses to Verona Porta Nuova train station leave from the airport every 30 minutes, and from here, you’ll find frequent trains to Desenzano del Garda. The journey takes just 20 minutes, although if you’re staying on the north of the lake, you’ll still be looking at a lengthy transfer from Desenzano by bus or boat.
If you’re flying into Verona Brescia Airport (VBS), it’s a similar story. There are no direct public transfers to Lake Garda from the airport, but a regular shuttle bus runs to Brescia bus terminal, directly alongside the train station, from where you can hop on the train or bus to Desanzano. Alternatively, find some new friends, club together and grab a taxi.
Milan Bergamo Airport (BGY; also known as Il Caravaggio or Orio al Serio International Airport) is located about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the mid-western shores of the lake.
If you’re using public transport, the transfer to Lake Garda will take some time, as you’ll need to pass through Bergamo or Brescia to pick up a connection to Desenzano or Peschiera by bus or train. Then, you’ll need to hop on the ferry or swap to a bus for your final Lake Garda destination. It’s a bit fiddly, but far cheaper than taking a taxi if you’re not fussed about time.
Once you’re all settled in, getting around Lake Garda by boat is the way to go. Catamarans, hydrofoils and pleasure boats ply these waters all day during busy season, giving you access to all of Lake Garda’s hotspots and hidden gems.
If your sea legs leave something to be desired, however, public buses run around the lake, with added tourist services to Venice and Verona over the summer – or you can just hire a car.