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Lake Garda, Italy

Lake Garda

Visit Lake Garda


Lake Garda is the largest of the Italian Lakes and stretches sinuously from the Italian Plains towards the Dolomites. Its beautiful lakeside towns, palatial hotels, cypress groves and dramatic fjord-like coastline have enchanted visitors for centuries, even the Romans used Lake Garda as a luxury retreat.

Covering three distinct provinces in its 50 km stretch, Lake Garda's shorelines are not only vast but varied. The majestic north offers the perfect opportunity for an active holiday - surrounded by dramatic, mountainous landscapes it’s a hiker’s dream, whilst the breeze at this narrower end of the lake creates a ripple in the water that makes for quite the watersports haven. To the south, the lake widens to bask in the sub-Mediterranean sun and mountains give way to flat, olive tree and lemon grove covered lands. On the water's edge, beguiling harbour towns showcase the wines of surrounding vineyards and clear waters lap at pretty pebbled beaches – it’s really no wonder that so many poets have been captivated by Lake Garda’s countless charms.


Desenzano del Garda, a small town on the lake’s southern shore, is known as the gateway to Lake Garda. Its excellent transport connections make it a popular starting point for a Garda holiday, as well as placing it in prime position for trips and excursions, whilst the historic winding streets and quaint tranquil harbour of the town itself make for pleasant wanderings.

Just a short boat ride away lies Sirmione, an impossibly pretty village located on a slim shard of the lake's peninsula with an ancient castle and Roman ruins. Known for its thermal springs, Sirmione has retained its status as a spa destination since the Roman times and makes for a perfectly picturesque stop off. A stay at the Villa Cortine Palace provides a taste of real Italian luxury on Lake Garda’s shores.

Gardone Riviera

The chic resort of Gardone Riviera, on Lake Garda's southwest shore oozes elegance and features sumptuous villas, lush gardens and luxury hotels. Not to be missed are the flower carpeted grounds, narrow meandering alleys, graceful water features and quirky statues of the famous Hruska Botanical Gardens. Visitors can follow in the footsteps of Winston Churchill with a classical stay in Lake Garda’s original accommodation, the Grand Hotel.


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Top itineraries in Lake Garda

Varenna, Lake Como

Northern Italy and the Lakes fly-drive

13-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,135 pp incl. flights

Calm blue lakes, snow-crested mountains, grand villas and some of Italy's finest Belle Époque hotels provide the backdrop to this tailor-made driving holiday through beautiful northern Italy. Its bookended by stays among Milan's ultra-fashionable repose and Verona's fabled past.

Lake Garda View, Villa Sostaga

Lake Garda in Style

8-day tailor-made holiday from £1,545 pp incl. flights

Showcase the splendour of one of Italy's most beautiful lakes taking in the renaissance romance of Verona, before a week of lazing lake-side on the shores of the glittering Lake Garda.

Italian Lakes - Lake Iseo Italy

Hidden Lakes of Northern Italy

11-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,775 pp incl. flights

Explore northern Italy without the crowds, stepping a little off the beaten track to discover some of the most beautiful scenery in Europe, with stays at four of the region's lesser-known lakes.

Top places to stay in Lake Garda

Villa Cortine Palace Hotel

Villa Cortine Palace, Lake Garda

Small & intimate hotel

This late 19th century villa was converted into a hotel in 1953, adding clay tennis court and poolside luxury to its original antique furnishings.

Grand Hotel Imperiale, Lake Como

Grand Hotel Imperiale, Lake Como

4-night luxury holiday from £1,325 pp incl. flights & transfers

Lying at the foot of the pretty town of Moltrasio on Lake Como's western shore, the Grand Hotel Imperiale offers an attractive lakefront swimming pool and a smart restaurant with lake vistas serving excellent gourmet dishes.

Villa Crespi

Villa Crespi, Lake Orta

Historic hotel

The extraordinary Moorish palace complete with glittering chandeliers, intricate arabesques, and marble columns, combined with a renowned two-Michelin-starred restaurant run by celebrity chef Cannavacciuolo.

Villa Cordevigo

Villa Cordevigo, Lake Garda

Historic resort

Nestled among vineyards a short drive east of Lake Garda, The Italian gardens are embellished with statues, there’s a well-equipped Spa and a Michelin-starred restaurant serving exquisite Mediterranean cuisine

See all places to stay

When to go to Lake Garda

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Summers on the shores of Italy’s largest lake are captivating. With the lake’s soft breeze cooling the hot streets of pretty harbour towns, carrying with it a light citrus fragrance from the surrounding lemon groves, its sub-Mediterranean climate can be enjoyed without activities being stifled by sweltering heat. Whether swimming, sunbathing or general exploration is on the agenda, late spring to early summer is the best time to make a trip.

See regional weather

Lake Garda articles

Lake Garda

Italian Lakes in Focus

From the vineyard lined shores of Garda to the glamorous towns of Como, discover why so many are fawning after an Italian Lake getaway this year.

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Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0796 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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