Holidays in Sirmione

For many, Sirmione leads the race for Lake Garda’s prettiest town, with a storybook medieval castle and lake views all around

Look at a map of Lake Garda, and you’ll see a delicate peninsula unfurling from the southern shore. This is Sirmione – one of the most striking towns in the Italian Lakes. It packs a lot into that thread of land, too. Scaligero Castle is the photogenic crown, but there are also medieval lanes, a beach, Roman ruins, olive groves, thermal spas and a glut of gelaterie to explore – and all on traffic-free streets. Beyond the historic centre, you can continue with lakeside strolls along the promenade or board one of the many ferries that hop between the glimmering towns on Lake Garda’s shore.

Scaligero Castle: immerse yourself in history

Sirmione is framed by jewel-green water and spectacular views on three sides. A moat marks the entrance to the pedestrian-friendly historic centre at the end of the peninsula. Cross it to Scaligero Castle, which was designed to be an all-seeing defensive outpost for the Della Scala family, who ruled the Verona region in the 13th and 14th centuries. Climb all the way up to the balustrade and tower for a bird’s eye view of the terracotta-tiled, green-shuttered streets below. From here, you can also admire the brooding mountains on the more northerly shores of Lake Garda.

Walking away from the crowds

Most people visiting Sirmione are day-trippers who mill around the castle and harbour before going on their way. But by staying for a walking holiday in Sirmione, you’ll have the time to explore the whole 3km-long peninsula (and its famous gelato shops) at leisure. One of the best walks is over-looked by many visitors. Simply continue beyond the castle to the Roman ruins of Grotte di Catullo at the far end of the peninsula. Jamaica Beach sits below, accessed via a path through silvery olive groves.

From Roman spa town to luxury lake-view spas

The spa-loving Romans were the first people recorded to enjoy the waters of Sirmione. These days, weary wanderers can still soothe their legs with a soak in one of thermal baths. Sulphuric, iodine-rich water heats the lake-view pools of stylish spas to a balmy 36°C. For more in the way of relaxation, finish the day with dinner by the lake. For all it attracts day-trippers by the hundreds, Sirmione is a relaxed spot for a drink by the water on a lazy evening after the crowds depart.

Take to Lake Garda

Sailing boats glide across the lake, while canoes and paddle boards are available for hire if you prefer paddle power. Ferries and boat tours are a relaxed option for exploring the rest of Lake Garda. They make a beeline for Bardolino (home of the famous red wine), Garda (for Venetian architecture and prom walks), and Riva del Garda and Limone (pretty gateways to mountainous footpaths). You can even get to Verona in less than an hour by bus.

Why book a summer holiday in Sirmione 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 the Sirmione's best walking routes and activities at your own pace.

With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to the Sirmione 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.

Added value

All holidays include flights from the UK and transfers

24/7 support & tailored advice from our local resort team

Walking in and around Sirmione

On an Inghams walking holiday, you have the freedom to explore the area at your own pace. Make each day a new adventure, with as much or as little walking as you like.

Why we love walking in Sirmione

While Sirmione may not be the first place that comes to mind for the avid walker, this is the ideal resort if you’re looking for some really easy and relaxed walks on a flat piece of land. In Sirmione you’ll really have time to experience the town, the parks, the beaches and the lakeside promenades and there are no strenuous climbs to get to those sought after viewpoints. Stroll along the lakefront with an ice-cream in hand or do a loop of the Sirmione Peninsula, keeping the shoreline in sight every step of the way.

Getting around Sirmione

Buses & Trains

All of our hotels in Sirmione are just a short walk from a bus stop. The buses are great if you’re looking to explore nearby towns such as Desenzano, which you can get to in approx. 20 minutes on the LN026 bus. Desenzano is where you’ll get many bus links to other parts of Southern Lake Garda, including Manerba. Head in the opposite direction and you can also be in central Peschiera in under 20 minutes. If you want to go even further afield for the day, then hop on the bus to Peschiera train station (approx. 25 minutes from central Sirmione) and take a direct train to Milan (approx. 1 hour), Verona (approx. 15 minutes) or even Venice (approx. 1 hour 30 minutes)!

Our favourite walks in and around Sirmione

Rocca di Manerba

A beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site and nature reserve near Sirmione which has several routes for you to enjoy. It’s above lake-level and so has the most incredible views of the lake, as if you’re on a Greek Island looking over the lapis lazuli sea. For history and archaeology lovers this is a complete hidden gem, as various excavations have uncovered the remains of pre-historic settlements, some dating back to the 4th Century Bronze Age! This nature reserve is well worth a day trip if you’re in the area and will give you a completely different perspective on walking in the South of Lake Garda.

  • Grade: Easy-Moderate
  • Getting there: To get to Manerba from Sirmione it takes about an hour on the bus. Taking the LN026 bus to Desenzano and then changing onto the LN006 bus to Manerba (Via IV Novembre). From there it’s about a 25 minute walk up to the nature reserve.

Rocca Scaligera – Jamaica Beach – Grotte di Catullo

This circular trail bring together some of Sirmione’s most popular sites. From walking along the long stretch of lakeside on the Sirmione pensinsula to admiring the crystal clear waters at the tip on Jamaica beach, Robinson Crusoe style, to the Catullo caves, an ancient archaeological site – where the ruins of a Roman villa from the 1st Century BC still stand. This is a really easy loop to walk along, but it’s full of gems which will help you get to know Sirmione’s hotspots. We’d recommend doing this walk at a quieter time in the day, so you can experience it with less people milling around.

  • Grade: Easy-Moderate
  • Distance: 4km (walking time approx. 1 hour)
  • Ascent and descent: 66 metres 
  • Terrain: Asphalt surfaces, rocky/sandy beaches
Useful Information & Guidelines

Recommended equipment

Suitable walking shoes with good grip, appropriate clothing, rain jacket, sun cream, sun glasses, rucksack, at least a litre of water, a re-usable water bottle, a snack and cash. You may find walking poles useful.

Hiking guidelines

The lakes are a natural paradise, with lots to explore and discover. To help them stay that way, and remain enjoyable and safe places for everyone, we recommend following our little list of do's and don'ts:

  • Plan your route well and don't overestimate yourself
  • Check the weather forecast
  • Tell someone where you're planning to walk and what time you're expecting to be back
  • Take all the recommended equipment
  • Make a note of emergency numbers:
    • Italian Emergency Services: 112
  • Don't leave the marked trails without a guide
  • Let nature stay wild by not picking flowers (it's illegal in some places) or getting close to/making contact with wild animals
  • Always leave gates as you found them and don't climb over fences
  • Leave no trace

Check out our Responsible Walking insider guide if you want more tips for your summer walking holiday.

  • from£719pp
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From Catullo With Love

Hotel Catullo is located in Sirmione's colourful pedestrianised centre right on the lakefront. The hotel's lakeside terrace is one of the best places to watch the sunset in Sirmione. It's an easy walk from the ferry port and a longstanding favourite of ours.

  • from£789pp
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Hotel Continental, Sirmione, Lake Garda, Italy - Exterior from lake.jpg

Hotel Continental Wellness & Spa has lakefront position, great facilities and excellent staff. You're in a prime spot to explore with the resort centre about a five-minute walk away. Or, just chill out by the pool or in the modern spa. The food's great here too - expect traditional Italian cuisine and a varied menu that changes every day.

  • from£759pp
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Outdoor HS

Hotel Sirmione's in the centre of the resort and right on the edge of the lake. It's known for its spa and has a great indoor thermal pool. Head outside and take in the stunning lake views from the lakeside terrace which is the perfect place for an Aperol Spritz!

  • from£859pp
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    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

Hotel Olivi and Spa on the Sirmione Pensinsula

Hotel Olivi & Natural Spa is at the end of Sirmione’s peninsula and an easy walk from the historic centre. Spend time in the pools or the stylish bar and look forward to some Italian food and drink each night for dinner.

  • from£1034pp
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    We rate all of our accommodation based on their facilities, service level, character and customer feedback. Our ratings may vary from the official star rating.

Sirmione Peninsula, Summer

Hotel Ideal is at the end of Sirmione's peninsula. It has lovely gardens with olive trees and an outdoor pool where you easily spend the whole day with a good book. The centre of Sirmione is only a short walk away so it's easy to get out and explore.

  • from£919pp
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    3.5 Rating

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Hotel Miramar on the Sirmione Strip

If you're looking for a welcoming hotel with delicious food, unbeatable lake views and easy access to town, the Hotel Miramar's definitely the place for you. With its own private beach and stunning lake view terrace, there's no better place to relax and take in Sirmione's calming atmosphere.

Excursions

Pre-book your excursions online or give us a call

Venice Classic from £86 per person (full day)

Venice is not to be missed! This excursion allows you to explore the city with a guide and at your own pace. You’ll arrive by coach and grab a water taxi to the 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  – this is the perfect introduction to one of Italy's most magical cities.

Departs on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Majestic Dolomites from £68 per person (full day)

Start 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. 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 rifugio 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.

Departs on Fridays. Guests may have the opportunity to go up in a cable car for an additional fee of approx. €23pp (payable locally). Make sure you take some warmer clothes as temperatures really drop when you get up to the top!

Tour of Lake Garda from £54 per person (full 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. This is the ideal taster tour of the entire lake where you'll get to spend a short period of time in a variety of stunning towns.

Departs on Fridays

Verona from £61 per person (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. On a walking tour of the city you'll see the impressive 2,000-year-old Roman arena. It's one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world and is currently home to the Verona Opera. Explore the marble paved shopping street of Via Mazzini which leads to the pretty market square Piazza Delle Erbe.

Departs on Fridays, entry tickets to the Roman Arena are not included

 

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.

Things To Do

Things to see and do in Sirmione

The town has a rich history so there’s lots to see and do. Grotte di Catullo are fascinating Roman ruins at the tip of the peninsula. It’s easy to get to other resorts on the lake too as ferries run all day from the central port. Jump on the bus, and you can be in Verona in under an hour. It’s a great city to walk around – it’s compact size means you can see all the sights in one day, too!

Sirmione’s been known for its healing thermal waters since the Roman times and there’s plenty of places to enjoy them on the tiny peninsula. Aquaria’s our go-to place when we need to relax - it has the biggest pools and over 10,000 square metres to chill out in.

Food & wine

You can't leave Sirmione without having a scoop of gelato. There are plenty of gelaterie in the pedestrianised centre, so pick out your favourite flavour (or two!) and enjoy as you wander around. When it's time for lunch or dinner, head for Piazza Carducci where you'll be spoilt for choice.

Canal_View_Venice.jpg

Spend a few days exploring the canals and piazzas of Venice before heading to Italy's largest lake. Spend your days walking along the lakefront, sipping wine in the vineyards and heading up the mountain trails of Lake Garda.

Good to know

Walking trails: Relaxed lakeside paths and historic trails through the old town and up to the Ancient Roman Villa, Grotte di Catullo and the famous Scaligero Castle

Terrain: Flat terrain, from cobbled streets to pebbly beaches, paved promenades and parks

Best time to go: May-Jun & September-October. It can get very hot and busy in high summer, so going off peak is recommended for a more relaxed and cooler experience

Best for: Easy walking, families, sightseeing, history lovers

Fly into: Verona (approx. 2 hours)

Fly from: Manchester, London Gatwick, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stansted, East Midlands, Leeds Bradford

Transfer time: approx. 45 mins by coach

24/7 Support and advice: In person or over the phone from our local resort team based in Sirmione

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