Best for: Families, Lakes, Scenery, Culture, Active, Weddings
Transfer time: Verona • 44km • 1 hour
Garda is one of the bigger resorts on Lake Garda and is a great all round options, especially for families. It is on the south- eastern shore of Lake Garda and set in a sheltered bay surrounded by gentle hills. The lovely setting of Garda amongst the Olive groves, vineyards and Cypress trees gives the resort a very relaxed feel even though it is a busy place with many interesting shops, Friday market and lively nightlife. All along the lake front and promenade are charming cafes, sophisticated restaurants and enticingly colourful ice-cream parlours. A lovely place to sit, unwind and enjoy the spectacular views.
Garda’s idyllic position, make it the perfect resort to soak up the Italian sunshine and colourful atmosphere. The bustling, traffic-free promenade lies beside the lake and is lined cafes, open-air restaurants and many bars and boutiques. The promenade comes to life in the evening with these candlelit bars and ice-cream parlours the main focus. Most of the night life is found on the lake front and the piazzas and streets found behind it. To taste the Veronese specialities go to 'La Cross' Osteria and enjoy somewhere special, eating with the locals.
Steeped in history with settlements dating back to prehistoric times, there are many historic sites to take in whilst strolling around the quaint, cobbled, traffic-free streets. The Venetian Palace of the Captains used to be at the middle of the bustling harbour, and now in the main piazza it is the centrepiece of Garda. Santa Maria Assunta parish church and the 16th century cloisters that house ancient frescoes are also worth a visit. Along the coast road, walking along the nature trail you can also visit the Villa Canossa with its beautiful garden on the lake edge. Keep going out on the promontory of San Vigilio to the Villa Guarienti, opened as a ‘Palace of delight’ and which in later years served as an exclusive hotel for many dignitaries and celebrities including Winston Churchill. Here you can pay to be on a private beach or enjoy an unforgettable view of Garda from the restaurant on the bay of the Sirens.
A Sardine festival is held in Garda every July to honour the fishing port it once was. Pick up some well priced gourmet treats or Italian leather at the traditional and popular Friday market. The famous Valpolicella vineyards are located on the surrounding hills. Garda is also a popular location for weddings.
From the harbour you can catch any number of hydrofoils and ferries to explore Lake Garda, a relaxing way to experience the unique atmosphere of the many other lakeside villages. Other activities include waterskiing, pedalos and theme parks in Peschiera. For an adventure in the trees, using high and zip wires, head to San Zeno di Montagna, also perfect for getting some of the best lake views.
Other than the ferry service stopping at resorts there is a bus service along the east coast of Lake Garda and a train service from Peschiera.
Lake Garda tour
Bolzano and Renon
Padua & Soave
Mantova and Parc Sigurta
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