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Language: Italian | Currency: Euro (€) | Local time: (UTC+1:00) | Average flight time: 2:20hrs
If you’re after stylish escape, look no further than Sirmione. Stretched along a narrow promontory and dubbed ‘the pearl of Lake Garda’, it takes pole position as the prettiest village on the lake.
Home to a romantic maze of cobbled streets, a 13th-century castle, a selection of healing thermal baths and the famous ‘ice-cream alley’, Sirmione attracts an upper-crust bunch with plenty of money to spare.
You’ll find a glut of five-star Lake Garda hotels, luxury spas, sophisticated restaurants and swanky bars, so go ahead and spoil yourself.
Set at the foot of the Dolomites on the north-west nook of the lake, Riva is a breezy town blessed with gorgeous scenery. With both the mountains and the water at your fingertips, it’s the perfect base for active travellers.
Here you can suit up for some windsurfing, set off on sailing trips, hike up into the hills and cycle through olive groves, among many other options. Home to a handful of Lake Garda’s most exclusive luxury hotels as well as more pocket-friendly deals, it’s your gateway to the great outdoors.
Crowned by a castle and ringed by medieval walls, Lazise is a mixture of campsites, modestly priced Lake Garda hotels and family-friendly resorts, making it a great choice for your clan.
Perched on the south-east corner of Lake Garda, it’s like a picturesque outdoor playground for kids, with tennis courts, cycling paths and sailing lessons on your doorstep. Lazise is also the closest resort to Gardaland, Italy’s largest theme park. So if you’ve got little ones in tow, Lazise is the perfect location.
If you’re in the market for a gourmet break with added booze, Bardolino will tick all of your holiday boxes. Situated on the southern half of the eastern shore and surrounded by hillside vineyards, it boasts around 60 Lake Garda hotels that cater for all kinds of budgets.
One of the more lively resorts on Lake Garda, it runs a weekly market on Thursdays and plays host to two wine festivals at either end of the summer season. Pick up an ice-cream on the promenade, hit the beach and round off the day with a glass of Bardolino.
Located towards the north-east of the lake, Malcesine is one of Lake Garda’s most atmospheric resorts. Here, history lingers throughout the cobbled streets leading up towards Castello Scaligero, a 13th-century fortress clinging to the edge of the lake.
Take the cable car up to the peak of Lake Garda’s highest mountain, get glammed up for a night at the opera in Verona and amble through sun-speckled vineyards. The shore is scattered with five-star Lake Garda hotels, but there are plenty of cheaper deals on offer too, especially out of season.