Desenzano Holidays

Desenzano combines a lakeside setting with a lively atmosphere. The centre's thriving with bars, cafés, pizzerias and an impressive pedestrianised shopping area. Mingle with the locals as you walk around the narrow streets, stopping to browse the unique items found in some of the family-run boutiques. Stroll a bit further and head uphill to the medieval castle that overlooks the town – you’ll get some of the best views of the lake from up here.

If you want to get some sun, we recommend heading to one of Desenzano’s three public beaches. There's sun loungers and parasols to rent as well as lake-view cafés where you can stop for a drink. The lakeside comes alive in the summer evenings with trendy bars welcoming tourists and locals.

One of the best things about Desenzano is how easy it is to get out and explore. The ferries leave regularly so popular towns like Garda, Peschiera and Sirmione are easy to get to. The town's station has regular trains to both Verona and Venice, which are perfect for day trips. But if you’ve already been or fancy escaping the crowds, we recommend heading to Padua. It’s a small, energetic city that doubles as a museum with the Basilica of St. Anthony’s extraordinary frescoes and a jumble of architecture from Gothic to Renaissance.

  • from£699pp
  • 52 rooms
Park Hotel, Aerial View

Hotel Park is a modern hotel in Desenzano's historic centre. The lake is right on the doorstep and you'll get incredible lake views from the rooftop pool. If that wasn't enough, it also has incredible food, wonderful service and a beautiful lakeside terrace that'll be hard to take yourself away from.

  • from£549pp
  • 40 rooms
Piccola Vela Hotel, Desenzano, Lake Garda, Italy - Exterior & outdoor pool.jpg

This hotel has been a favourite with our guests for many years. It's got modern interiors and beautiful gardens that surround the building. You'll find two pools here as well as a small spa and friendly restaurant. The location's great too. The centre of Desenznao and the lake are just a short walk away.

  • 62 rooms
Hotel Villa Rosa, Exterior

Hotel Villa Rosa mixes modern style, relaxation and fine food with the lake just moments away. This is a great sophisticated spot for your Lake Garda holiday. The rooms are fresh and modern and we love the heated outdoor pool. You get some great lake views from there! The centre of Desenzano is a short walk away.

  • from£669pp
  • 50 rooms
Hotel Mayer & Splendid, Exterior

This hotel has a perfect location in the centre of Desenzano. It's right in front of the ferry stop, close to bars, shops and restaurants, and around a 15-minute walk from the station. It's steeped in history and has been managed by the Mayer family for seven generations. Join them for a drink on the fantastic terrace that overlooks the lake.

Useful Information
Information about Desenzano
Resort Code ITDE
Languages spoken English
Time difference GMT+1
Currency EUR
Latitude 45.468121
Longitude 10.537150
Travel and Transportation
Departure day To Depart from Supplement
Wednesday/Saturday
Wednesday/Saturday
Wednesday/Saturday
Wednesday/Saturday
Wednesday
Wednesday/Saturday
Wednesday
Verona Gatwick
Southampton
Birmingham
Manchester
Leeds-Bradford
Newcastle
Edinburgh
Nil/£19
£19/£29
£49/£49
£39/£49
£49
£79/£79
£59

Transfer time: approx. 45 mins by coach.

Supplements: are based on 7 nights departures.

Self drive is available

Car hire available: Yes

Evening resort bus service: No

Local bus services:

Parking available: No

Resort Ski bus available: No

Excursions

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

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)

Departs: Various days from June to September (click here for the 2021 schedule)

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 £70 per person

Departs: Tuesdays and Thursdays

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 £53 per person

Departs: Mondays

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, Salò and Limone.

Price: from £48 per person

Departs: Mondays and Fridays

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 £43 per person

Departs: Tuesdays and Fridays

 

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.

Resort Combination

There's good train links from Desenzano so you can easily add on a couple of nights in Venice, Verona or Milan. You can even get to Rome and Florence in just a few hours.

Things To Do

Sightseeing

With a large ferry port and train station, you won’t run out of things to do in Desenzano. This is one the best places to stay on Lake Garda if you’ve got sightseeing on your agenda. You can travel all round the lake by ferry - head for a leisurely day to Sirmione to try their famous gelato. Or jump on a train for some city sightseeing. There’s so much to see and do in Verona or Venice. Don’t forget about the smaller cities though, they can be a real hidden gem.

Culture

Desenzano is one of the largest towns on the lake with lots of opportunities to experience local life. The weekly market is a must-do! There’s quite a bit of history here too.

Desenzano’s castle looks out over the town and you get some great views over the lake from the tower entrance. You can walk around the walls here and take in the history.

The archaeological museum is a must-see if you’re interested in history. They’ve got a great selection of Bronze-Age artefacts. Grab a combination ticket that includes the castle to save a few euros.

Head to the town’s Roman villa to get an idea of how wealthy Romans used to live when they holidayed on the lakes. It was built more than 2,000 years ago and you can wander around the ruins and see the mosaics left behind. We recommend watching the short video that explains the original layout of the house.

See the Last Supper by Tiepolo at the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maddalena – a 16th Century church. You can’t miss it – it’s in the centre of Desenzano and it’s a great option to escape the crowds for a while.

Nature

The Parco Sigurta botanical gardens are just south of Desenzano but we love visiting them while we’re here. It’s a great, wide-open space where you can get back to nature.

Hotel Europa SkyPool & Panorama, Exterior Harbour

An 11 nights two-centre holiday exploring the contrasts between the north and the south of Lake Garda. It includes 4 nights in Desenzano and 7 nights in Riva. To book this Lake Garda Highlights tour, please call our reservations team on 01483 791 111.

Good to know

  • Take the train for a day trip to one of the nearby Italian cities like Verona or Brescia
  • Experience the buzz of the weekly market in the town’s main square Piazza Malvezzi
  • Visit the old port and feel as though you have been transported to Venice with its lasting influences from the Venetian rule
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