Let’s visit the Garda Lake and its most famous villages
Lake Garda, also called Benaco, is the largest Italian lake, located between Lombardy with the province of Brescia, Veneto and with the province of Verona and Trentino-Alto Adige, in the province of Trento. Lake Garda offers its guests a huge variety of options for holidays and various types of stays. It is not only about the beach and the lake, the sun and walks on the lake, but it is also rich in history and beautiful places, often with small distances from each other, but all within easy reach. Let’s visit the Garda Lake and its most famous villages? Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!” Read also: Examples of Itineraries in Italy!
My advice is to do this itinerary on Lake Garda in two or three days. You can choose to visit several tourist locations that offer all kinds of fun, such as admiring picturesque villages overlooking the Lake that offers beautiful beaches and nooks of peace and nature, or decide to visit places rich in history and culture, with castles, villages , museums and churches. As you can see it is a place full of attractions and value, with great historical monuments, which have left their traces in twenty places around the lake and its surroundings, in fact, castles, palaces, forts and villages are still a characteristic of these places.
The waters of Lake Garda reach many places in three Italian provinces. In the province of Verona, there are the cities of Peschiera del Garda, Castelnuovo del Garda, Lazise, Bardolino, Garda, Torres del Benaco, Brenzone and Malcesine, before moving to the province of Brescia, with the cities of Lonato, Sirmione, Desenzano del Garda, Padenghe del Garda, Moniga del Garda, San Felice, Manerba del Garda, Salò, Toscolano-Maderno, Gardone Riviera, Gargnano, Tignale, Tremosine and Limone sul Garda. Finally, Trento, with Riva del Garda and Nago-Torbole.
1) Let’s visit the Garda Lake and its most famous villages: SIRMIONE
Starting our tour based on a stay in Sirmione. Among the many beautiful places that overlook the waters of this lake, this text will visit only the main one. Supposing that, for example, from the west bank in Lombardy, you can start from Sirmione, which is perhaps one of the most peculiar places, being at the end of the narrow peninsula that heads towards the lake.
Sirmione – Lombardy Castle
This place is famous for the beauty of its historic center of medieval origin, and also because it is where the remarkable Catullo Caves are, which are, in fact, the remains of a Roman village where the poet lived. The Sirmione peninsula can be the first stage of your trip, which, by the way, is also a hot spring and tourist center, and due to its location, it is easily accessible by the Gardesana road and the highway, has undergone rapid development last years. Also read What to do in a day in Sirmione? The Pearl of Lake Garda.
2) Let’s visit the Garda Lake and its most famous villages: DESENZANO DEL GARDA, MANERBA DEL GARDA, SALO AND LIMONE SUL GARDA
You can then go to nearby Desenzano del Garda, a historic seaside resort, for a fleeting visit and then stop at Manerba del Garda, where you can appreciate the spectacular fortress that seems to be looking down from above . Just 10 km further north you will visit the city of Salo, famous not only for its historic center, but also for having been, for a year and a half, the capital of the Italian Social Republic of Mussolini, when World War II was drawing to a close.
Salo is located in the Gulf of the same name, on the ‘Riviera Bresciana’ and in the middle of lush Mediterranean vegetation. In addition to foreign tourism, there is also a good influx of Italian tourists. Salo is located not far from Limone sul Garda, which lies between the mountains and Lago di Garda, known for its lemon gardens, called limonaias. This small and peaceful village is full of charming restaurants on the edge of the lake, which are worth for the beautiful view they offer. I advise you to walk aimlessly through its colorful alleys and obviously don’t forget to buy Limoncello and other products based on lemon, which are typical of this city.
3) Let’s visit the Garda Lake and its most famous villages: RIVA DE GARDA, MALCESINE AND BRENZONE
Then we will find Riva de Garda, which develops, among old houses with beautifulparks and modern hotel facilities, in a small bay protected from the winds and the hills of the interior. In recent years, Garda has been transformed from a fishing village into one of the main tourist centers on ‘Riviera of Olives’. Then you move on to Malcesine, one of the most famous places on the Lake, which owes its fame to its magnificent geographical position. Hotels, campsites and tourist villages make the place one of the most ele gant and complete holiday resorts. You can practice many sports, such as sailing, windsurfing, tennis and mini golf. From Malcesine you can go on the cable car ride to the top of Baldo Hill! Unmissable tour to have all the panoramic view of the lake !!!
4) Let’s visit the Garda Lake and its most famous villages: BRENZONE, TORRES DEL BENACO AND PUNTA SAN VIGILIO
The trip can continue in the direction of Brenzone, a pearl located on the Veronian shore of Lake Garda. Located in the center of the lake, it is historically a tourist transit area for trade between the Padana Plain and the Alps. Brenzone de Garda has small villages, centuries-old olive trees, centuries-old churches and woods, with centuries of age, which extend from the banks of the lake to the meadows and the peaks of Baldo Hill. An interior that allows panoramic excursions in the hills among the olive trees, in the mountains and from where you can reach the characteristic mountain shelters.
Torres del Benaco and Punta San Vigilio
Then comes another charming village on Lake Garda, Torres del Benaco, a characteristic place that has kept its medieval appearance in the historic center with the port and its shops. From the ancient Latin name of the Lake and the location, it has a rich historical past, made of dominations, which left a legacy of extraordinary constructions, such as a Castle. A Roman fortress with three towers that give the city its name and a tower where, inside, there is an ethnographic museum on the local tradition of the fishermen of Garda (Benaco) and on the inhabitants of the interior of Alto Garda. Three kilometers away is Punta San Vigilio, a small peninsula owned by the Guarienti family, perhaps considered one of the most beautiful and romantic places around the lake, with a lush park and a Venetian-style country house.
5) Let’s visit the Garda Lake and its most famous villages: PESCHIERA DEL GARDA
Finally Peschiera del Garda concludes the trip around the Lake, as a suitable place for all needs, which can range from enogastronomy to nature walks, through cultural tours to relaxing spas or swimming in the cold waters of Benaco. In fact, along Lake Garda, there is a succession of sites that present lovely landscapes overlooking the waters of this wonderful lake. It is one of the three main cities on the Lake, it does not live solely from tourism, but that does not mean that there are no good reasons to choose it for your holidays.
A little about Peschiera del Garda
The picturesque port, in fact, has a lot to offer, both culturally and architecturally. With the city’s special atmosphere, you can enjoy a pleasant stroll through the center, which stretches in the shape of a star and is dominated by walls, walls and a powerful fortress. The Fort today is partially destroyed and covered with vegetation. Peschiera is still an important transport hub, in fact, and here is the exit road, as well as being the access point to many places around the Lake.
From here we will return to the starting point of our tour, Sirmione. Remember call that the tour needs two or three days to be very complete and without any major rush. It is important to know that the villages are small, so they can generally be visited quickly.
Map the Garda Lake and its most famous villages
How to get to Lake Garda?
Lake Garda can be easily reached in a variety of ways, either by your own means or by public transport, by plane, by train, by bus.
1) How to get to Lake Garda? BY AIRPLANE
By air, it is definitely the fastest way to reach Lake Garda. There are many airports near Lake Garda, the first of which is Valerio Catullo in Verona or Orio al Serio Airport; there is also Marco Polo Airport in Venice, all very well connected to the lake by bus and train. But if you are arriving from other airports, also read our Special Posts on Airports in Italy:
- HOW TO GO FROM THE ROME AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF ROME?
- HOW TO GO FROM THE MALPENSA AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF MILAN?
- HOW TO GO FROM VENICE AIRPORT TO VENICE CENTER?
2) How to get to Lake Garda? BY TRAIN
You can reach Lake Garda by train. You can, in fact, reach the Riviera dei Limoni without any problem, no matter which direction you come from. Coming from the North, you can leave in Rovereto. Between Rovereto and Verona Porta Nuova stations there is a convenient bus service to Lake Garda.
Know that Trenitalia, is the main Italian company dedicated to the management of rail transport. Find out here “What is the difference between trains in Italy”. Buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot, read the Post “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?”.
3) How to get to Lake Garda? BY CAR
At Lake Garda you can arrive safely by car. The A22 highways run parallel to the East Coast of the Lake, from North to South. Exit at Rovereto Sul or North of Lake Garda, reaching several places on the Lake. During the summer months, you can encounter a lot of traffic on weekends. Read here some Examples of Road Trips in Italy.
If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.
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Important to Know
- Another thing, folks: to drive in Italy, as I have explained several times, is it essential to have an International Driver License AND your original driver license (in English) or with an official translation, ok?! If you don’t have these documents: DO NOT DRIVE, as you will have a lot of problems if you are stopped by the Italian police! READ ALSO: DO I NEED THE IDL TO DRIVE IN ITALY?
- Those who drive cannot drink, the Italian laws on this are very strict and you take the risk of getting a really huge fine. So if you intend to taste great Italian wine during lunch pay attention! Don’t risk ruining your vacation!
- It is not a suitable option for people who do not have the confidence to ask for information, especially if they do not speak Italian, as with the train or the bus not knowing the territory you can end up wasting precious time that could be used for tourist visits.
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Let’s visit the Garda Lake and its most famous villages. A travel destination of international appeal, Lake Garda welcomes visitors each year from around the world. Breathtaking views, nature, picturesque cities and endless opportunities for relaxation, sports and entertainment are the dream of every tourist who has chosen to spend their holidays here.
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