Located in the mountainous region of northern Italy,Lake Garda has a diverse range of attractions. From sports enthusiasts making the most of the steep hills, rocky mountains, and forested trails to those fond of pampering in luxurious spas, dining top class restaurants and world class shopping; Lake Garda has something for everyone.
Towns line the lake’s shore, each with its own unique twist on local dishes, varying attractions and atmosphere. The area is popular with tourists, particularly during summer months. There are, however, ideal locations to stay in and visit around Lake Garda whatever the time of year…
Spring is the perfect time to visit the fortified Roman town of Sirmione. On a long, thin peninsula jutting in to the south side of Lake Garda the ancient town sits on top of natural hot springs. The town has a striking 13th Century castle, and a grand, moated entrance. Climbing to the top of the castle gives the most spectacular views over the villas, pools, and gardens of the town, out over the emerald green calm southern waters of Lake Garda, and to the lush green rolling hills beyond. Wandering around the ancient stone streets leads to street side cafes, boutique shops, and the most incredible array of ice-cream parlours (or ‘gelaterie’!). As this spot gets busy during the summer months, head here before the crowd. Spring time offers perfect temperatures with an average high temperature of 22 C for the month of May. Luxurious spa accommodations featured here thanks to the town’s location on natural thermal springs.
As schools break up for the long summer holidays, flocks of tourists head toLake Garda. As many of the lake’s better known shoreline towns fill to full capacity it can be near impossible to find accommodation. This is an ideal opportunity to make the most of the smaller, less well known gems of the beautiful lake. Take for instance Gardone Riviera; a tranquil haven from the hustle and bustle of other nearby towns. Set on the Western shore and famed for its natural beauty, Gardone Riviera is surrounded by lush green forested hills. The traffic-free town centre is full of cafes with a lakeside promenade. Sitting just above the town is the tropical Hruska Botanical Gardens. In honour of its founder Arthur Hruska, the gardens have modern works of art spotted amongst over 500 species of plants from every continent varying from Tibetan primroses to bamboo and banana plants.
Summers are long, with weather staying warm until late on in the year. As the tourist season starts to wind down, autumn is an ideal time to make the most of the fine weather. Riva, at the northernmost point of the lake enjoys a Mediterranean climate and dramatically steep rocky, mountains as a backdrop. At this end of the lake the there’s a stronger wind; ideal for water-sports such as sailing and windsurfing. In the steep surrounding hills there are paths for hiking and mountain biking, plus higher up there’s jaw dropping views and excellent rock climbing. Riva’s town is based around a harbour side square with access to a level lakeside path connecting it with Torbole and Arco.
Make the most of the cooler winter temperatures by getting active. The steep hillside trails of the mountainous northern ‘Trentino’ area ofLake Gardaare ideal for a multitude of sports and activities. Riva and smaller villages heading up in to the mountains, are an ideal base for mountain biking, hiking, Nordic walking, and cliff-top walks are exhilarating whilst making the most of the jaw-dropping views of the fjord like landscape below. When the snow comes, alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, and snow-shoeing are available thanks to the cable car that whisks you straight to the slopes at Mount Baldo being just 15 minutes away.