Lake Garda is a beautiful holiday hotspot in Northern Italy, nestled between Milan and Venice at the foothills of the Alpine mountains.
This breath-taking landscape coupled with the magnitude of the lake and its stunning, sapphire-blue water create an incredible, unique holiday setting. The land surrounding Lake Garda is extremely fertile resulting in beautiful countryside with lots of olive and lemon groves, palms and orange trees.
Things to do
Lake Garda is very popular with holidaymakers who enjoy water activities… after all, it’s a giant expanse of water! It’s not just any water though – the lake water is beautifully clear glacial water and warms up to a pleasant temperature in the summer, making it a great destination for swimmers and people who enjoy water sports. Windsurfers, be sure to make the most of the Pelér and Ora winds which blow across the lake at different times of the day and head to the north of the island for plenty of windsurfing centres. If you want to experience the beauty of the lake properly, take a boat trip and marvel at the truly stunning scenery that surrounds Lake Garda. Paragliding and hand gliding are very popular as are walking and hiking; with such amazing scenery around you and the Dolomites to explore, getting out and about is one of the top things to do in in this picturesque destination.
There are over 28 miles of beach in Lake Garda; most of these are made from natural shingle which comes in a variety of sizes, from large and pebbly to small and coarse. The beaches in Sermione are said to be particularly lovely. There are a few sandy beaches created by local residents covering the shingle with lots of beautiful, soft sand: Spiaggia Baia del Vento and Lazise are both sandy, making them great for children to play on or for sunbathing with a towel.
Gardaland Park is an amusement park located on the south-eastern banks of the lake. It’s owned by the Merlin Group, who are the same people that own Alton Towers and Thorpe Park, and was voted the fifth best amusement park in the world by Forbes magazine in 2005. Visit the Gardaland Sea Life Aquarium for a beautiful glimpse into a wonderful, underwater world. The park itself has some world-class adrenaline rides such as the Raptor and the Blue Tornado, plus lots of family friendly rides, places to eat, shows and shops. It can get very busy in the summer months, particularly at the weekend, so I’d recommend a mid-week visit so that you can make the most of the park.
Lake Garda is made up of lots of enchanting towns and villages, the majority of which have colourful weekly markets selling food, local produce, clothes and gifts. If you’re looking for something more upmarket from this fashion-forward country then browse the clothes shops and boutiques, which play host to top designer name such as Gucci, Armani and Prada. There are also some traditional wineries to visit which offer tours and tasting sessions, plus lots of lovely bottles to buy. When it comes to dining, Lake Garda has an abundance of restaurants, cafes and bars to choose from. Each town has a great selection of places to eat, all serving delicious local produce and fresh ingredients. Watching the sun set over the lake whilst you enjoy an evening meal is a truly special experience.
Weather in Lake Garda
The climate here is typically Mediterranean… mild in the winter and warm in the summer. There are north and south breezes that blow that help keep you cool when temperatures soar in the summer months (they can reach up to and beyond 30°C). Lake Garda can be rainy in early Spring and late Autumn (which is why the countryside and vegetation are so lovely and lush) but the summer months, especially July and August, are mostly dry. The water temperature can be very cold in winter and early Spring as snow and ice from the mountains trickle down into the lake, but from mid-May onwards the water starts warming up and is a pleasant enough temperature to swim in. Head to the more sheltered and shallow areas for the warmest water.
Where to stay?
*Prices based on 2 adults sharing 21-28 September . Prices correct when checked 18/09/2014