The eponymous town of Garda is a sought-after holiday spot – but that’s nothing new. People have flocked to Lake Garda for millennia, each leaving their storied stamp; from Bronze Age rock art and Roman vineyards to Venetian villas and historic hotels. Summer holidays in Garda are all about whiling away time strolling around the old town and along the promenade. But there’s still more to see beyond this sheltered bay. The rest of Lake Garda calls – as well as the cities of Venice and Verona, just a ferry and train ride away.
Walking in Garda
Walking holidays to Garda embrace laid-back lakeside living. Drift along the promenade, stopping at one of the many bars for an Aperol spritz or a generous scoop of stracciatella gelato. The historic centre is a lovely wander too, with its Gothic-Venetian church and villas. Make sure to drop by the Friday market to browse stalls piled high with bottles of Bardolino wine and marbled mountain cheeses from the nearby Dolomites.
Must-see holiday sights: Bardolino, Punta San Vigilio and La Rocca
The tree-lined promenade stretches south to Bardolino and further still to Lazise – a beautiful lakeside stroll or cycle. Follow it north instead, and it’ll guide you to Punta San Vigilio. This scenic headland is topped with cypress trees, a 16th-century villa and a trattoria with tables laid out in the summer just a pebble’s throw from the water. Mermaid Bay is just around the corner – one of the best summer beaches and sunset watching spots on Lake Garda, and well worth forking out a few euros for the entry fee. If you fancy giving the calf muscles a workout, make sure you climb the 6km up to La Rocca for panoramic views. Look out over the pin-striped vineyards and sailing boats that characterise the eastern shore of Lake Garda.
Exploring Lake Garda by boat, bus and cable car
Buses and ferries pootle between the towns of Lake Garda all summer long. Torri del Benaco is a 10-minute ride away. Here, a museum castle that once belonged to the ruling Scaliger family exhibits local curiosities like antique olive presses and Bronze Age carvings found in Garda’s hills. Alternatively, head for the ferry port. It’s a short hop across the water to the Heller Botanical Gardens and castle-crowned Sirmione. The further north you venture, the more mountainous the vistas. Jump off in Malcesine to peruse the pretty terracotta-tiled town before boarding the cable car up Monte Baldo.
V for Venice (and vineyards)
Olive groves and vineyards fill the hills behind Garda – an excellent chance to sample the famous Bardolino red within reach of its namesake town. For a mini adventure, catch the boat to Peschiera on Lake Garda’s southern edge, where the train station offers direct services to Verona (just 20 minutes away) and Venice (a scenic 1 hour 15 minutes).
Why book a summer holiday in Garda with Inghams?
At Inghams, we do walking holidays differently. With no fixed itinerary, you have more time in your destination and the freedom to walk as much or as little as you like, discovering some of Garda's best walking routes and activities at your own pace.
Plus, we've included two optional guided walks every week in Garda. Join a professional mountain guide and really get to know the area (see more details in the ‘walking’ tab below).
With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to Garda include flights, transfers, and accommodation, so you can relax and leave the small details to us. Our experts can help you choose the best holiday for you, and our team in resort can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.