What to do in Lake Garda in Italy and what is the best time for visit? Where to go with kids, interesting facts and pictures. How to get to Lake Garda from Verona, Milan or Venice, other cities – in the material of good Time for Trip.
Lake Garda is one of the central attractions of Italy and Europe in general. One of those sights that everyone needs to visit at least once in their life.
Moreover, it is quite simple to do this. After all, Lake Garda is located in northern Italy about halfway between Verona and Brescia. And it can be easily reached by public transport from Milan or Venice.
Lake Garda is 152 kilometers long and less than 17 kilometers in the widest part.
The water area is something about 2,350 km2. Which makes Garda the largest lake in Italy.
Best Time To Visit Lake Garda
The climate on the shores of Lake Garda, despite its glacial origin, is extremely mild. But it’s still surprising to see the blooming citrus trees against the background of the harsh Alpine foothills.
This positive natural anomaly, an oasis in northern Italy, has been the reason for the popularity of the lake in the eyes of powerful and simply rich people since ancient times.
Even in the days of ancient Rome, there were patrician villas here. Today, every well-off person strives to acquire real estate on the shores of the lake.
In May, it is not hot here: up to +23-25 °C with a consistently high precipitation rate. Sunny days, however, are numerous, which attracts those who want to sunbathe or just warm up to the shores of the lake. So tourists tired of the rains in Venice in May can always keep warm on the shores of the lake – the end of spring is the best time to visit Garda!
Swimming here in late May will not appeal to everyone – the water is invigorating. But boat and yachts trips that time are extremely in demand. As well as heated swimming pools at local hotels and villas.
In June it gets hot. Equally very sultry weather is standing here in July and August – the air temperature rises to +32-35 °C sometimes.
But in September the local weather became quite cool, this month is equally considered the good time for visiting Lake Garda. The air temperatures slightly drops down to +23-25 °C, preparing for the off-season. And this period is also in demand among those tourists who don’t tolerate hot.
Main Attractions of Lake Garda
The northern end of the lake is narrow. But the southern one, adjacent to the motorway between Verona and Brescia, on the contrary, is wide. And it is here, on a narrow peninsula that cuts far into the lake surface, that the ancient town Sirmione is located. De facto it’s considered the capital of the region, seeing it is the first thing to do at Lake Garda.
By the way, Sirmione was a resort back in ancient times!
In particular, the greatest ancient Roman poets, Virgil and Catullus, drew inspiration here. The latter was vacationing at the family villa and repeatedly praised the beauty of Lake Garda in his works.
The Scaligerian family castle has been perfectly preserved in Sirmione. As you (may be) know the tombs of a number of representatives of this family – the Scaliger Arches – are among the top attraction of Verona.
You can go inside the castle in Sirmione any day except Monday. There are usually a lot of tourists, but the views from the walls and towers 47 meters high are worth the work. The entrance ticket will cost but it costs quite a bit, though…
In the Middle Ages, noble families from Verona also rested in Sirmione. Surely Juliet, if she existed in reality, would spend her weekends on Lake Garda..
Family villas have been preserved, but you will be allowed there only at the invitation of the owners. But that aspect should not upset the tourist – there are plenty of hotels with excellent service and views from the windows.
By the way wonderful panoramas open from the rooms and halls of the Hotel Eden. And the Hotel Porto Azzurro, which is slightly inferior to it in this sense, takes in silence, a huge swimming pool and delicious breakfasts.
You can easily get to Sirmione from Milan. Take the train to Desenzano del Garda station, get off and go to the port. There you buy a ferry ticket and sail, enjoying the beauties along your trip.
Ferry Services on Lake Garda
The ferry services around the lake are operated by the company Navigazione Laghi, which boasts a fleet of two dozens vessels of various sizes. This fleet includes even a car ferry between Maderno and Torri del Benaco, offering comprehensive services.
Carefully review the ferry schedule to make the most of the convenient timetable and various types of unlimited passes – www.navigazionelaghi.it.
On the west coast of the lake there is the resort town Salo – it has been famous since Roman times. Here, as well as in the Gardona Riviera a little to the north, representatives of the European cultural bohemia in the XIX-XX centuries liked to relax and even settle.
The towns Tignale and Tremosine are less well-known, but popular to this day. Surely you will also enjoy the views in located exactly at the northern tip of the lake, Riva del Garda.
On the eastern shore of the Garda is situated the town Malcesine. Where you can not only have a great swim experience, but also climb Monte Baldo (2,218 meters). From the mountain it seems that the whole lake can fit in the palm of your hand.
The Scaligerian castle of the XIII century, which is inevitable for this area, is incredibly beautiful and towering over the place.
The ferry from Siomione to Malcesine takes about 3 hours, from the pier in 15-20 minutes you can walk to the lower station of the funicular. We look at its opening hours and ticket prices here – funiviedelbaldo.it/en/timetable-rates/.
Not far from Sirmione there is a huge theme park Gardaland. The one of the largest institution of its kind in Italy and one of the best in Europe. It is in order to visit Gardaland that families with young kids often go to Lake Garda.
The park is located just 2 kilometers from the town of Peschiera del Garda, through which the Milan-Venice railway line passes. Gardaland is only about 5 minutes away from the train station by free bus.
The prices for tickets to the park, however, are quite high. By becoming a participant in early booking, you will get a significant discount on accommodation in a local hotel and entertainment.
The kids will be happy, because the park has everything necessary for a fun pastime. There are a lot of attractions, themed mini-excursions, entertaining jousting tournaments, there is even a show with dolphins!
How to Get to Lake Garda
Lake Garda is located near a crucial intersection of highways in northern Italy, and is surrounded by easily accessible airports. It’s no wonder that the ease of reaching the lake has contributed to the growth of tourism.
The nearest passenger airdrome to Lake Garda is located near Verona, at the intersection of two major highways. Verona Airport is most convenient for getting to the resorts on the southeast shore of Lake Garda, such as Peschiera del Garda (distance 22 km). However, the airport in Brescia is also convenient for thoes who want to spend their vacation in cities on the southwest, like Desenzano del Garda (21 km).
To get to Lake Garda by train, you can consider the following options:
Desenzano Railway Station
- Located on the southern shore of Lake Garda
- Easily accessible by train, and a good choice if you plan to stay in resorts on the southern part of the lake.
Peschiera Railway Station
- Another station on the southern shore of Lake Garda
- Convenient for travelers heading to resorts in the southern part of the lake.
Bolzano to Verona Railway Line
- This railway line runs from Bolzano to Verona, passing from north to south
- The Rovereto railway station on this line might be the most suitable for accessing the northern resorts on Lake Garda.
It’s important to note that there is no railway station in Sirmione. Therefore, if you plan to visit Sirmione, you may need to use alternative transportation methods from the nearby railway stations.
Before planning your journey, it’s advisable to check the current train schedules, routes, and availability, as they may vary – trenitalia.com/en.html. Additionally, you can inquire about local transportation options from the railway stations to your specific destination on Lake Garda.
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