Lake Garda

Lake Garda is packed with things to see and do. It’s Italy’s largest lake and has some of the country’s most beautiful scenery. Expect snow-capped mountains in the north and rolling countryside in the south. You can just as easily spend your days exploring walking and cycling trails as you can chilling next to the lake.

The south of the lake has some of the most popular resorts. Sirmione is a must-see with its 13th Century castle and pedestrianised centre. It’s a spa town so it’s the perfect please to get in some R&R. Bardolino and Garda are neighbouring resorts that any budding wine connoisseur should visit. You can head into the vineyards from here for some tastings, or just grab a glass in a lakefront bar.

Riva is our favourite resort in the north. It’s perfect for adrenaline junkies with challenging mountain bike routes and fun water sports to try. Malcesine has the best views thanks to the cable car that goes to the top of Mount Baldo. And Limone is a must-see with it’s pretty, colourful buildings and steep streets with bar and restaurant terraces looking out over the lake.

It’s easy to explore more than one resort on you holiday with regular ferries travelling between nearby towns. To make the most out of your time away, combine a stay in the south and the north on a multi-centre holiday.

  • from£439pp

Bardolino sits at the south of Lake Garda, Italy surrounded by green countryside of vineyards and orchards. The long promenade stretches along the lakefront and is filled with restaurants offering al fresco dining.

  • from£399pp

This lively town is at the south of the lake and has a lovely mix of lakeside bars, shops and beaches. It’s well-connected to other towns on the lake and its train station makes for easy day trips to nearby cities like Verona.

  • from£359pp

Garda has winding alleyways and characteristic palazzos - it's one of the most charming towns on the lake. The wide lakeside promenade makes it a popular choice with walkers and cyclists too.

  • from£409pp

This is one of Lake Garda's most elegant resorts - think stunning villas, upmarket restaurants and a leafy promenade. It's a great base for nature lovers with the neaby Heller Botanical Gardens, and it's perfect for foodies too.

  • from£399pp
Limone aerial

Limone clings to the rocks on the northern shores of Lake Garda with dramatic lake views from its vibrant promenade. The narrow lanes that run through the village hide authentic restaurants and there’s plenty of walking opportunities too, with paths leading up into the mountains and lemon groves.

  • from£659pp

Maderno's tucked away on Lake Garda's west coast where there's lots of beautiful views and plenty to keep you busy. Chill out on the beach, head off cycling into the nearby hills or hit the walking trails. There's good ferry and bus links too so you can use it as a base to explore the lake too.

  • from£369pp

Malcesine is one of Lake Garda's prettiest towns, thanks to its recognisable 13th Century castle. Cobbled streets and little cafés give it a really romantic feel. It's also a great place to go if you're looking for an active holiday. The cable car goes to the top of Monte Baldo where you can set off on a mountain hike or bike ride. Head down the coast slightly and you can try some paddle boarding or even learn how to sail.

  • from£339pp

We love the laid back vibes you get in Peschiera. You can mingle with the locals in the centre and there's not as many tourists here as other resorts on the lake. Fill your days here with walks along the river or chilling out on the beach. If you want to get more active, there's two theme parks nearby.

  • from£419pp
Riva del Garda

Lake Garda’s northernmost town has dramatic mountain landscapes and an atmospheric piazza. It's one of the best resorts for thrill-seekers too with windsurfing, sailing and scuba diving in the water. Not to mention some of the best hiking and cycling trails in the mountains. It's an adventurer's paradise.

  • from£489pp
Gulf of Salo

Salò is a lovely Belle Epoque town full of handsome cafes, townhouses and hotels, many the result of rebuilding in the prevailing liberty (Italian Art Deco) style after a 1901 earthquake. Its history dates back to the Romans and Venetians.

  • from£479pp

Sirmione is one of the prettiest towns on Lake Garda with a fairytale-like castle leading into quaint cobbled streets. It’s a renowned spa destination, using thermal waters that have been enjoyed since Roman times. It’s also a fantastic place to sample authentic gelato with numerous parlours serving some of the best ice cream on the lake.

Grab your boots

Lake Garda is a perfect choice for a walking holiday – there’s endless trails here that cater for all abilities. If you’re after gentle lakeside strolls, pick Garda or Bardolino as your base. The promenade stretches for miles so you can really get your steps up. You’ll find more challenging routes in the north. Riva has some great paths that wind up the mountains where you can get birds-eye views over the lake. Malcesine is a good choice too as you can use the cable car to get to the top of Mount Baldo and take in the 360 degree panoramas. Limone is probably our favourite though. There’s about 70 trails here, from flat routes to challenging climbs.

Get pedalling

If you’re serious about cycling, you’ll love Lake Garda. A lot of the promenades here are traffic free so you can relax and enjoy the views. You can cycle around the whole lake in a day if you’re up for it – set off early and make sure you plan your route in advance. We love the scenery of the south, you can pedal past vineyards and countryside. The route from Peschiera to Mantova is wonderful – it runs through Micio park and is well signposted for the 42 kilometres. For the best off-road thrills, head to Riva del Garda or Malcesine.

Time to relax

Sirmione has been known for its healing thermal waters since the Roman times, so we think it’s the perfect place for a spa holiday. The very impressive Aquaria Spa is the place to be. It has over 10,000 square metres filled with termal pools, saunas and steam rooms. Lots of our hotels have great spas too. We love the Hotel Olivi in Sirmione, the Aqualux Hotel in Bardolino and the Du Lac et Du Parc in Riva.


Wine is pretty big business in Lake Garda. There’s two festivals dedicated to it every year in Bardolino and this is the best resort to stay in if you want to visit vineyards to do some tastings. There’s nothing quite like lingering over a lakeside lunch with a glass of local wine here. There’s plenty of restaurants to choose from too – if you want fine dining or family-run, you’ll find it on Lake Garda. Fish feature on the menu a lot and it’s often freshly caught from the lake. You’ll also find local olive oil and citrus fruits used in almost all restaurants. Chickpea polenta, homemade pastas and sauces, risotto and venison are all regional favourites. For desert, head to Sirmione for the lake’s best gelato.

Go exploring

There's no shortage of things to do on Lake Garda. We fill our days here with ferry trips along the lake, hopping on and off to explore the towns. It's easy to do and the views from the water are great. Don't miss the castle in Malcesine, it's at the top of the town so you'll get some pretty nice views from there. For even better views, head up Mount Baldo on the cable car. Limone is the lake's prettiest town so stop here for a coffee in the piazza. Sirmione has lots of history to explore and there's a fun weekly market in Garda. Gardaland is close by too so get some thrills and ride the rollercoaster. You can go further afield too - Venice, Verona and the Dolomites are all easy day trips.

Head to the water

It's not just about leisurely boat trips around the lake here - you can get serious about water sports in the northern resorts. Windsurfing is very popular in Riva and you can normally see it taking place from the piazza. Get involved and try it yourself, there’s plenty of places locally to book lessons or rent equipment. It’s almost impossible to resist taking to the water in Malcesine. Paddle boarding is a great activity for everyone and gives you a nice, unique view of the town. You can even take a sailing or kite surfing course while you're there. It’s always nice to come back from holiday with a few new skills.

Back to nature

We love the diverse scenery of Lake Garda. The mountains in the north are a breath of fresh air and it's hard not to feel relaxed if you get out into the countryside in the south. For a real slice of paradise, we go to the Heller Botanical Gardens in Gardone. They're a real gem for nature lovers. Designed by the internationally renowned artist, Andre Heller, the gardens are a showcase of pioneering ideas on landscape design and how to integrate art into the setting.

Snap away

Budding photographers will be in the their element in Limone. We love the harbour shots but for the best panoramas, you need to head up the mountains. There’s plenty of restaurant and bar terraces that capture the views, so you can enjoy a drink as you snap away. You can also get some great Instagram worthy shots in front of the castle in Sirmione, or from the water looking back at Malcesine.

Free Excursion: Pre-book three excursions per person and receive a FREE full day excursion to Verona

Please note that Lake Garda excursions are not pre-bookable for summer 2021 - some excursions are available to book locally, but will only run subject to meeting minimum numbers.

Verona Opera (evening)

The Verona Opera is definitely one for the bucket list! The season runs from mid June to early September and covers all the classics including Aida by Verdi or Turnadot by Puccini. Whichever performance you choose; you’ll have an incredible evening. We’ve included transport to and from the arena so you won’t have to worry about a thing. You can find out more about the opera and see the 2021 programme here.

Price: from £64 per person (price based on un-numbered steps tickets, upgrades are available) - Not available from certain resorts in summer 2021

Venice Classic (full day)

Spend a day in this rich and indulgent city; known for its spectacular Renaissance architecture, dramatic theatre history, cobbled streets and charming waterways. It’s not to be missed! Our Venice Classic excursion allows you to explore the city with a guide as well as at your own pace. You’ll arrive there by coach and a water taxi transfer is included into the historic centre. You’ll also have the option to add on a gondola ride (payable locally). There’s plenty of time to take in sights of the Basilica, Doge's Palace, St Mark's square and the Rialto bridge in your own time – this is the perfect introduction to one of Italy's most magical cities.

Price: from £68 per person

Venice Special (full day)

Extend your day in Venice with this excursion. You’ll spend the day exploring the cobbled lanes and canals. We’ve included a lagoon boat trip that takes around an hour – you’ll get to see the Laguna islands as well as other famous spots and monuments. There is so much to see and do in the city, and with your departure time back to your hotel not until 9pm, you won't be rushed to fit them all in.

Price: from £77 per person - Not available for summer 2021

Majestic Dolomites (full day)

We think the Dolomites are the most breath-taking part of the Alps and this excursion gives you the chance to embrace mountain life with one of our fantastic tour guides. It starts with a scenic drive through the exceptional South Tyrol, Val di Fiemme, Cavalese and Moena regions. You’ll then stop off at Passa Pordoi and take in the incredible views from this 2,000-metre-high vantage point. Then there’s some free time to explore the terrain at your own pace, either by taking one of the trekking paths or simply enjoying an Aperol at a refugio and taking in the views. A stop off at the chocolate box town of Ortisei is included on the way back to your hotel as well as plenty of stops for photo opportunities in this awe inspiring landscape.

Price: from £51 per person - Not available from certain resorts in summer 2021

Tour of Lake Garda (half day)

Get ready to explore the best of Lake Garda on this excursion – there’s so much natural beauty and picturesque towns to discover. See the spectacular mountain scenery of the north and the sunny plains of the south. Travelling by both coach and ferry, the tour itinerary for this excursion varies depending on where you start but will usually follow the famous Gardensana road lined with fragrant olive and lemon trees to reach the likes of Malcesine, Sirmione, Salo and Limone.

Price: from £48 per person

Verona (full day)

Verona is one of Italy’s most charming little cities. This day trip dips into the romance of the medieval city, reliving the scenes from Romeo and Juliet while wandering around through the cobbled streets and past ancient buildings. The impressive 2,000-year-old Roman arena is one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world and is currently home to the Verona Opera, and the marble paved shopping street of Via Mazzini leads you to the stunning Piazza Delle Erbe. The handsome city mixes its rich past and modern present with great style.

Price: from £37 per person

Milan (full day, bookable locally)

Milan is one of the most stunning cities in Italy and has transformed what comes to mind when we think of the industrial landscape. This hive of activity and industry plays host to the heavyweights of haute couture fashion, art and baroque architecture. From the towering and awe inspiring Duomo to Da Vinci's Last Supper housed in the Santa Maria delle Grazie, a guided tour of Milan is to be missed.

Please note that the price of excursions will vary depending on the resort you are staying in. We act at all times as a selling agent for the suppliers. All excursions require minimum numbers to run and are subject to change. Some excursions may not be available to pre-book in low season but may be available to book locally subject to numbers. Prices will be confirmed at the time of booking. Please see our Terms & Conditions.

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