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Holidays to Lake Garda offer visitors some of the most stunning scenery in the country. Situated in the north of the country, just west of Verona, Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy. It’s surrounded by dramatic peaks, elegant towns and scenic castles. Some of the most popular places around the lake include Peschiera del Garda, with its Venice like canals, the charming lakefront town of Lazise, Garda itself with its lakeside walkways, and elegant Bardolino, which is hemmed in by vineyards.
To the north you’ll find a more local, quieter and less crowded side to Lake Garda, with epic mountain views and picturesque viewpoints. Explore the lesser known villages around the area, such as Riva del Garda and Limone Sul Garda. Lake Garda is a chilled and relaxing holiday destination, ideal for those who love nature, architecture and culture, but there’s still plenty to keep you occupied, from castles and museums to hiking, dining and wine tasting.
At Citalia, we have almost 90 years of expertise in Italy, and being the leading Italian holiday specialist we can help you to enjoy a trip to Lake Garda like no other.
Lake Garda may be one of Italy’s most popular summer destinations, but if you know where to go, like we do, you can find lots of space and places off the beaten track with a more local flavour. If you’re a fan of botany, or simply gardens, a visit to the Parco Giardino Sigurtà is a must. It’s filled with manicured lawns, sculpted gardens, sparkling ponds and peaceful walkways.
To get a taste of local life, visit one of the local markets held in the area. The town of Desenzano holds its weekly market on a Tuesday and is known for its fine Italian cotton shirts, while Bardolino hosts a market on Thursdays and sells everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts.
For a spot of relaxation and a bit of indulgence, make a visit to Sirmione Spa, in the town of the same name, where you can indulge in massages and hot springs.
If you’re a fan of castles, you’re in luck, as the lake shores boast so many magnificent castles that you probably won’t be able to visit all of them on one trip. Some of the most popular include the Castello di Sirmione fortress, one of Italy’s most well-preserved; the Medieval Castello Scaligero di Lazise with its charming gardens; and Castello Scaligero of Malcesine with its science and history museum.
Or perhaps you prefer graceful villas and palaces to imposing castles? Lake Garda has plenty of those too. Visit the Roman villa in Gargnano, the impressive Bettoni Palace fit for a king, or the lakeside Palazzo Terzi Martinengo museum in Salò.
For one of the most spectacular views of the lake, take the cable car up to the top of Monte Baldo, standing at 1760 metres high. It’s unique because it rotates, giving you a 360 degree view of Lake Garda’s landscapes.
The closest airport to Lake Garda is Verona (VRN). Direct flights to Verona are available from Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Glasgow, London Gatwick, London Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle and Southampton and take approximately 2 hours.
Lake Garda is traditionally a summer getaway, with hotels usually welcoming guests between April and October. Temperatures hover around 25°C in July and August – and this is when Lake Garda is at its liveliest. However, the climate in Lake Garda is very mild in spring and autumn, with temperatures rarely ducking beneath 20°C. Fancy avoiding the busiest months? Consider visiting in May, June or September – you’ll avoid the crowds and still be treated to warm weather.
The area around Lake Garda is known for its citrus fruits, and in particular its lemons. The lake is surrounded by historic lemon houses, some of which even date back to the 13th Century, when monks brought lemons here from Southern Italy. The lemons are used in everything from desserts and liquors to sweets.
Polenta and fish both feature heavily on menus around Lake Garda. Polenta is soft savoury corn cake, which can be eaten fried and topped with various classic Italian ingredients such as cheese or tomato sauce. Fresh fish straight from the lake is of course popular here too and there are many varieties, from trout to pike. You will also find traditional dishes which pair fish and polenta together.
Lake Garda is also one of Italy’s best wine producing regions and the mountains and fertile soils around its shores are ideal for vine growing. You can visit vineyards such as Villa Calicantus and Guerrieri Rizzardi Winery, or even visit the Wine Museum in Bardolino. One of the best reds in the area also bares the Bardolino name and is light and fruity, pairing well with pastas.
To pre-book one of our specially selected excursions, please call our Italy Experts on 01293 762410*.