Lake Garda

Star Travel Rating

5/5

Review type

Destination

Location

Date of travel

September, 2016

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with

Wife

Reasons for trip

This is the largest and most northerly of the Italian lakes – and only about a 90-minute flight from London. Because of its location, wonderful scenery, facilities and weather, it is a very popular resort area for Italians as well as for tourists from many parts of Europe. The northern half of the lake nestles in the foothills of the Dolomite mountains, which also provide a dramatic backdrop to views from the south.
But the size of the lake (approx. 51 x 16 Kms) means that there is a very wide range of lakeside options to consider when planning a visit. The western side is further from the nearest airport (Verona) but is less busy than the towns along the eastern and southern shores, especially during the months of July and August.

Our preference is based on two visits to Lake Garda, in June 2014 and in September 2016 – and you should also read our earlier review (Hotel Villa Florida, Gardone, Italy). It was so good that we returned to the same hotel for an 8-day stay again this year and it continues to be an excellent choice! It is worth adding that not only does the Villa Florida maintain it special and unusual quality, and its wonderful staff, but even in September there is no sense of ‘end of season’ apart from the relaxed atmosphere.

Gardone is a small town on the west side of the lake. The lakeside is known as Gardone Riviera, but the old town on the hilltop provides a contrast and is well worth the climb. There is a good range of hotels and restaurants as well as a place in Italian history – particularly in the remarkable Vittoriale gardens where you find an Italian naval ship, incongruously perched on a hillside 100’s of feet above the lake. It is interesting to discover why and especially how it comes to be there! Adjoining Gardone is the village of Fasano which, among other attractions, has a new and unusual restaurant, Ristorante Il Giglio, which serves only fish and seafood – well worth at least one visit (and probably needing a reservation).

From Gardone, it is easy to take the various leisurely boat trips to visit other notable and busier towns around the lake such at Sirmione, Salo, Garda and Limone and to Riva at the northernmost tip. Each of them has its own character and history.

Peter Marshall

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