An Italian playground of luxury and beauty, book hotels in Lake Garda to find your own slice of lake-side heaven...
Lake Garda is situated halfway between Verona and Brescia, which are near Venice and Milan respectively. While there is much to enjoy in the area, Lake Garda's proximity to the both the Alps and the Dolomite mountains allows visitors to enjoy walking and hiking, while there is a vast array of restaurants and cafés. Many wealthy Italians have summer homes in the lake's towns and, as result, there is a great selection of high-end shops, offering everything from designer clothing to gifts and souvenirs. Verona, Venice, Milan, Padua and Bolzano are within easy travelling distance, as are Lake Maggiore and Lake Como.
See our guide to the areas around Lake Garda to decide where you will take your break...
The town of Peschiera is characteristic of Garda. Sitting on the low shore of the lake, this historic town is within easy reach of Verona by car or train. Other towns around the lake can be reached by boats from here too. Hotels in Peschiera range from small, family-owned buildings to luxury golf and spa resorts.
Sirmione is on the peninsula that stretches 4km into the lake from the south shore. It still holds the ruined villa of the poet Caio Valerio Catullo, dating from the first century BC. Since 1405 it has been part of the republic of Venice. Hotels in Lake Garda range from those offering cheap deals to luxurious five-star accommodation.
The largest town on Lake Garda is Desenzano, which is bounded by Mount Como to the west and the peninsula of Sirmione to the east. As with the other towns around the lake, there is no shortage of hotels in the town, many of which are family owned.
Bardolino, on the eastern shore of Lake Garda, is set against the backdrop of the Moraine hills, where the Bardolino wine grapes are grown. The Church of San Zeno in Bardolino is one of the few Carolingian churches in Italy. Lake Garda hotels in Bardolino vary from those offering cheap rooms to bed and breakfast establishments and luxury four- and five-star hotels.
Many visitors to Lake Garda believe that the climate and waters have healing properties. Gardone is particularly renowned for these qualities. Protected by the hill that sits behind the town, the climate remains favourable throughout the year.
The town of Lazise is very old in origin, with Roman ruins and a castle built in the Middle Ages. The most prominent building in Lazise, which was known as the Customs of Veneto, used to be an arsenal for ship maintenance. Lazise was formerly a poor town with a small population of fishermen and farmers, before becoming an important centre for tourism and a popular holiday destination with hotels, camping sites and restaurants.
Malcesine is a charming little town, built around a fortress, with a small harbour and streets full of quaint shops and restaurants. Near Della Scala Castle is a natural arena called the Lacaor Theatre, where many arts and cultural events are held during the summer.
Lake-side attractions are in abundance and never fall short of elegance and excellence...
Tour the sights and work up an appetite for some famous Italian cuisine, perhaps followed by a tasting of the delicious wines produced here.
Top five attractions
Sirmione Castle (Rocca Scaligera)
A fairy-tale-style castle is the main attraction in this busy and vibrant town on Lake Garda. Surrounded by water, visitors can access the castle by drawbridge and climb its tower for superb views of the surrounding town.
Malcesine - Monte Baldo cable car
Soaring mountains greet visitors to Malcesine and a cable car ride to the summit of magnificent Monte Baldo will reward you with breath-taking views.
This picturesque town is a must-see on the lake with churches and shrines to explore and a small pebble beach.
The promenade at Salo is the longest on Lake Garda and the town has numerous shops, restaurants and cafés to relax in.
Wine tasting in Bardolino
Book a wine-tasting trip in the vineyards of Bardolino where you will be able to sample the area's wine of the same name.
There's always something happening somewhere around the shores of this stunning lake...
Lake Garda presents a lively calendar of events; here are three of the best:
Fairy tale night; August: Held in Riva del Garda, this festival takes you on a journey into fairy-tales with music, plays, theatre and an impressive fireworks display.
Bardolino Wine Festival; September-October: This five-day festival is a celebration of the new grape harvest and visitors can sip on a glass or two of Bardolino, chomp on local produce, enjoy music concerts and watch fireworks.
Lake Garda Marathon; October: This race starts in Malcesine; to compete in this annual marathon is a unique way to take in the villages, towns and varied scenery of Lake Garda.