Lake Garda’s picturesque shores are dotted with charming towns, each ready to be explored. Visit the attractive lakefront town of Riva del Garda, boasting leafy gardens, inviting shops and a selection of world-class ice-cream parlours. Wedged between steep slopes and the lake, enjoy a meander around Malcesine’s maze of hidden alleys, or discover the beautiful town of Lazise and its quaint harbour. Desenzano is adored by locals and visitors alike; narrow streets wind down from the pretty castle to the shore, where there’s a small harbour and larger marina lined with great bars. Meanwhile, nestled on a finger of land pointing into the lake, Sirmione's cobblestone streets and medieval squares bustle with colour and life.
Food and Wine
Thanks to a perfect micro-climate, grapes flourish in the hillside vineyards around Bardolino, a town famous for its wines. Connoisseurs keen to swig the local delights can follow the wine route, ‘La Strada del Vino Bardolino,’ calling in at the likes of the Zeni Winery & Wine Museum. This is a fantastic place to get a feel for the traditions and special processes of wine-making, as well as sampling and purchasing your favourite label. There’s also the 'Festival of the Grape' held annually in the first week of October, showcasing the best local produce in the form of food and drink.
Comprising striking mountains, alongside the beautiful lake, Garda’s scenery will be sure to captivate you. North of Riva, walking or driving excursions give access to some of the region's most dramatic scenery, including a waterfall at Varone. At Malcesine’s pretty port, a cable car whisks you up to the high grassy summit of the Monte Baldo ridge, where the air is cool, clean and fresh, the views are sensational, and welcoming cafés await stacked with paninis, cakes and ice-creams. Walkers can begin high-level hikes from here.
Alongside its scenery and natural treasures, Lake Garda showcases a number of historical spots. Visit Riva del Garda’s waterfront, dominated by one of Garda's fortresses, the Rocca, which contains the town's museum. Marvel at the remains of a Bronze Age settlement at Lake Ledro, before discovering the crags and fortifications of Castello d'Arco. While showing evidence of pre-historic dwellings, the town of Lazise is renowned for its medieval heritage - in particular, the well-preserved city walls and six-towered Castello Scaligero, the latter an impressive backdrop for summertime concerts. Other points of interest include the 13th-century San Zeno church and the 12th-century San Nicolo church.
When it comes to theme parks, the area around Lake Garda certainly delivers. Gardaland Amusement Park is Italy’s largest and regarded by many as one of the world’s best, with rides including the adrenalin-inducing Blue Tornado and Raptor roller coasters. You can also find Movie Studios Park, featuring more rides, shows and stunts, while Aqua Paradise Park offers hours of watery fun for the entire family. Last up, Bussolengo is a local wildlife zoo known for its safari-style experience.
Nature & Gardens
Giardino Sigurtà features ornamental ponds and lakes, a medicinal herb garden, woodland, maze and topiary-sculpted bushes. All of this is surrounded by carpets of tulips, irises, roses, lilies and asters, each bursting into bloom through the different flowering seasons. Another gem is Giardino Botanico Fondazione André Heller on the Gardone Riviera, showcasing plants, ponds and sculptures with a Japanese twist. North of Riva del Garda, Parco Grotta Cascata Varone is known for its scenery, caves and amazing waterfall that spans a 100m drop – view from above and below, thanks to purpose-built walkways.
Sightseeing in Verona
Verona makes an excellent day trip or evening out. Oozing romance, this pretty, riverside city comprises medieval lanes, elegant palaces, Roman heritage and museums filled with art. Verona is also the setting for Shakespeare’s iconic ‘Romeo & Juliet’. Embark on the special trail dedicated to this famous love story, highlighting points of interest like Juliet’s balcony. Verona’s summertime opera season is a huge event in the cultural calendar, a time when world-class performers draw crowds to the atmospheric Roman Arena. Book tickets in advance.
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
British Airways from London Gatwick to Verona.
From London Gatwick to Verona: 2 hours, 5 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.