Lake Garda sits at the foot of the Alpine Mountains and offers spectacular landscapes everywhere. The mountains also protect this place from the wind, so the climate here is very mild.
The Best Places to stay in Lake Garda
There are many cities around the lake, and it may be difficult to know which one is the best to stay in. To help you figure it out, I’ve compiled a list of the best vacation spots on this famous lake.
For a luxurious holiday, you can stay in one of the lakeside villas. You will also find a variety of mid-range hotels and budget options here.
- Peschiera del Garda
- Riva del Garda
- Desenzano del Garda
- Gardone Riviera
- Limone sul Garda
Sirmione is a famous resort town located on the southern shore of Lake Garda, on a peninsula about 4 kilometers long.
Several interesting sights can be found in the historical part of the city. For example:
- The ruins of an ancient Roman villa – the Grotto of Catullus, which dates back to the 1st century.
- The magnificent Scaliger Castle is the most popular attraction in Sirmione. It was built in the 13th century and its appearance has largely survived to this day.
- You can visit the Boyola thermal spring. Its healing water is used to treat many diseases.
There are also plenty of restaurants, cafes, pubs and pizzerias in the city. They all boast excellent service, an unobtrusive atmosphere and delicious Italian and Mediterranean cuisine.
The ferry, which departs from the city center, takes you to other resorts around the lake.
Most of the hotels in Sirmione are located in the historic center. You can also stay by the lake, where many hotels offer lake-view rooms.
I have identified 3 types of hotels in which to stay in Sirmione: luxury, medium and budget.
- Villa Cortine Palace Hotel – located in a picturesque garden with an area of 4 hectares, with beautiful fountains and statues. From Villa Cortine Palace you can admire the same views of Lake Garda that the ancient Roman nobility once enjoyed. There is an outdoor pool, tennis court and a beach with free parasols and sun loungers. Drinks and meals can be enjoyed on the poolside terrace. The hotel also has a private pier.
- Hotel Flaminia – the rooms offer a stunning view. This 4 * hotel is run by one lovely and very welcoming family. It is located in the pedestrian zone – close to many restaurants and bars.
- Hotel Sirmione – Located just three minutes’ walk from the beach and boasting views of the Old Town and the nearby marina. An outdoor pool with thermal water, where you can soak up the sun while admiring the panoramic view of the lake itself. Guests of the hotel can use the spa center, including the Finnish sauna, free of charge. The hotel houses the famous Dei Poeti restaurant with a panoramic terrace overlooking the lake and serves the best local specialties.
A budget option:
- The Aurora Hotel is located in the pedestrian zone, which allows you to relax, combining relaxation and entertainment. The hotel has a private beach area where a delicious breakfast is served in the open veranda. The old town, with many bars and restaurants, as well as major attractions, is a 10-minute walk away.
2. Peschiera del Garda
Peschiera del Garda is located in the southernmost part of Lake Garda, just a short train ride from Verona. Surrounded by a massive fortress and ancient city walls, this town has a unique beauty.
The old town, where the most popular sights are located, is surrounded by the central Canale di mezzo, along which everyone who wants to feel the history of Peschiera del Garda loves to stroll.
In addition, it is in Peschiera del Garda that some of the best beaches on Lake Garda are located, however, in summer, due to their popularity, they are literally overflowing with tourists.
I recommend this city for beach lovers, as well as families with children, as the amusement parks Gardaland and Caneva World are nearby.
Where to stay in Peschiera del Garda:
- Le Ali Del Frassino. The staff of this 4 * hotel really do their utmost to make their guests feel comfortable and welcoming. The hotel has a huge outdoor pool as well as a spa center with an indoor pool. The rooms are decorated in green tones and natural woods to reflect the natural beauty of Lake Garda.
A budget option:
- Hotel San Marco. The hotel is located on the lakefront, just a short walk from the historic center of Peschiera del Garda. The hotel has an excellent level of service. A delicious breakfast is served every morning on the terrace with magnificent lake views. The spacious rooms are equipped with a private marble bathroom. Some rooms have outdoor terraces with lake views. During the summer months, guests can swim in the outdoor pool.
3. Riva del Garda
The beautiful and vibrant city of Riva del Garda is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and for those who want to calmly soak up the warm sun and enjoy the picturesque nature. Guests can enjoy strolling along the promenade or reading in the public park or simply sunbathing on the beach.
There are several historical sites in Riva del Garda. There are even unusual ruins left from an ancient fortress built by the Venetians in the early 16th century, when the city was part of the Venetian Republic.
Wandering through the narrow streets and ancient squares, you can stumble upon real “pearls” of architecture. For example, on the 3rd November square (Piazza III Novembre) there is the beautiful Pretorio Palace – a 14th century building that reflects the peculiarities of the Venetian style in architecture and is distinguished by unusual frescoes on the facade.
Riva del Garda offers a wide range of hotels to suit every budget – from large luxury hotels located along the lake to affordable apartments with all the necessary conditions.
Where to stay in Riva del Garda:
- The Hotel Lido Palace is the only high class luxury hotel in Riva del Garda and in the entire Tretino region. The hotel is housed in a building dating back to the European Belle Epoque. Having visited the Lido Palace Hotel at least once, you will never forget this place. The modern spa center includes a sauna and Turkish bath, as well as indoor and outdoor pools. The hotel’s main restaurant, which features a Michelin-starred chef, specializes in traditional Mediterranean cuisine.
- Du Lac Et Du Parc Grand Resort – located in the parkland of the city. It features an outdoor pool with beautiful mountain views. The design of the room is discreet and modern, without intrusive decor, some have a balcony. SPA center with indoor pool and sauna. There is an outdoor terrace on the roof. Here you can rent a bike and ride around the city and the surrounding area to admire all the beauty of this picturesque place.
A budget option:
- Hotel Canarino. This hotel is surrounded by picturesque mountain landscapes and is just a few minutes’ walk from Lake Garda. There are a variety of room types to choose from to suit every guest – from single travelers to couples with children. The hotel has a large outdoor pool, sun terrace and a bar where you can sip your favorite drink while taking in the beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. It offers a spa center with a hot tub, Turkish bath and sauna.
4. Desenzano del Garda
This small and cozy town, located on the southern coast of Lake Garda, is very popular with tourists, especially those who prefer to travel around Italy by train.
Desenzano del Garda, with its many bars and discos, is the center of the nightlife in the southern part of Lake Garda. In the evenings, local Italians, dressed in bright modern outfits, throw fun parties, gathering in pubs and clubs for drinks, dancing and socializing.
Along the lake in Desenzano del Garda there are both modern and mid-range hotels. If you are visiting Lake Garda for the first time, stay at one of the local hotels for a few days, and then take a boat trip to other cities.
- Palace Hotel. The hotel is located a short walk from the center of Desenzano del Garda. 2 outdoor swimming pools, one of which is seawater and located on the roof. The hotel has a spa with Turkish bath and Finnish sauna, where you can pamper yourself with a variety of treatments, before heading out into the city, where you can sample delicious Italian cuisine in one of the nearby restaurants.
A budget option:
- Hotel Nazionale. The hotel is conveniently located near the train station and 10 minutes walk from Piazza Malvezzi in the city center. The lake is a 5-minute walk away.
The small town of Lazise is considered one of the most popular local resorts. One of the main attractions of the city is the Scaligers Castle (Castello di Lazise) with five towers, which was built in the 11th century to protect local residents from enemy attacks.
There are luxury villas throughout Lazise, one of the most luxurious is Villa Bernini, built in the second half of the 19th century.
Lazise offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit any budget, from campgrounds, motels and modest bed and breakfasts to luxury hotels.
Where to stay in Lazise:
- Hotel Bella Lazise. The hotel is located 1.5 kilometers from Lazise and the Scaliger Castle, surrounded by picturesque countryside. Here, surrounded by nature, a quiet and relaxing country-style holiday awaits you. It offers an outdoor pool and snack bar, and a spa center with an indoor pool. The rooms are elegantly decorated with modern furnishings. The hotel staff is very friendly, ready to help guests with any questions.
Bardolino is located on the east coast of Lake Garda. It is surrounded by hills covered with olive groves and vineyards. The old town is a maze of alleyways and streets filled with shops and charming restaurants.
The city is known for producing high-end red wine, named after the city. In Bardolino, in general, every self-respecting winemaker will prove to you that it was in his cellars that the ancestors sold wine to Julius Caesar.
For wine connoisseurs, the city has a “Wine Route”, where you can not only taste different varieties, but also get acquainted with the history of local wine and the technology of its production. You can ask any local winemaker for a Wine Route map for free.
Hikers in nature can delight themselves with walks in the picturesque surroundings, which offer magnificent views and landscapes.
Where to stay in Bardolino:
- Parc Hotel Germano Suites. This slightly extravagant hotel offers stylish suites or apartments. Some suites have a private pool. The hotel has a lovely bar with panoramic views of the lake and surroundings. The hotel is located in a large park where you can wander in peace and quiet.
A small but very picturesque town located on the eastern side of Lake Garda. During the summer, Malcesine offers a variety of sports such as windsurfing or even diving. Tourists looking for a relaxing holiday choose fishing or Nordic walking, or simply prefer to bask on the beach.
If you want to enjoy the picturesque nature and beautiful views of Lake Garda, you can climb Monte Baldo by cable car. It is also ideal for hikers and mountain bikers.
Where to stay in Malcesine:
- Hotel Augusta. The hotel is surrounded by a magnificent garden with a swimming pool. Not far from the hotel there is a marina for boat trips to the neighboring town of Monte Baldo. A delicious breakfast is prepared daily on the hotel’s terrace with stunning lake views.
Surrounded by green slopes and picturesque landscapes, Garda is nestled in a magnificent bay on the shore of the lake. Nearby is the largest theme park in Italy – Gardaland. Therefore, if you are traveling with children, be sure to visit this place to spend an unforgettable time there.
During the summer months, hotels in Garda are overcrowded, but you will still have the opportunity to find inexpensive rooms. If you are looking for high-class service, there are also some beautiful hotels for you to enjoy a calm and relaxing holiday.
Where to stay in Garda:
- Sky Pool Hotel Sole Garda. The hotel is located in the center of Garda, a two minute walk from the lake shore. There is also a main road next to the hotel that you can take to travel to other towns around Lake Garda. It features a panoramic rooftop terrace with pool and restaurant.
The small town of Salo, protected by a mountainous landscape, is nestled in a small bay on the western coast of Lake Garda. The peaks of Monte San Bartolomeo, towering over the city, create spectacular landscapes worthy of the best shots.
You will be amazed at how much incredible beauty and a large number of all kinds of entertainment this town contains, which seems very small against the backdrop of the high and rugged mountain of Monte San Bartolomeo.
Transport links are not as well developed as in other major tourist centers around Lake Garda. Therefore, Salo is ideal for those who dream of spending a secluded romantic getaway with their soulmate in a beautiful place.
In the city of Salo, you can choose to stay either in luxury villas, most of which are located in the immediate vicinity of Lake Garda. Or you can stay in one of the traditional hotels – with swimming pools and gardens surrounded by beautiful scenery.
Where to stay in Salo:
- Hotel Spiaggia d’Oro. This elegant hotel is located on Lake Garda, surrounded by beautiful gardens. The hotel has two outdoor pools (one for children) and a sun terrace with a restaurant serving local and international cuisine.
Nago-Torbole is a small tourist town, which is comfortably located on the northeastern part of the coast of Lake Garda and is conditionally divided into 2 parts: Nago and Torbole and Tempesta. Both areas offer fantastic, breathtaking views of the lake and mountains.
Nago-Torbole is truly the ideal family destination, suitable for anyone – water sports enthusiasts, walks among olive groves, and beach lovers alike.
Where to stay in Nago-Torbole:
- Caravel Bike Hotel. This is a themed hotel for cycling enthusiasts. It is located on the slopes of Monte Baldo, a 5-minute walk from Lake Garda. Just 4 kilometers from the hotel (can be reached by bike) there is another equally picturesque resort – Riva del Garda with the famous medieval fortress of La Rocca. Buffet breakfast is included in the price. There is also an outdoor pool with great lake views, where you can relax after a busy day of cycling in the hills.
11. Gardone Riviera
The tiny town of Gardone Riviera is less known among tourists, but many come here to spend a relaxing holiday in one of the most beautiful places away from the hustle and bustle.
In Gardone Riviera there is always something to do with your day – in the morning on the beach you can soak up the sun, then dine in street cafes, and in the evening, after a walk along the picturesque promenade, go to rest at one of the hotels with a spa.
Where to stay in Gardone Riviera:
- Grand Hotel Gardone. Built in 1884, this Art Deco hotel is in fact the first hotel built on the shores of Lake Garda. In fact, this is the former House of the poet Gabriele d’Annunzio. With stunning lake views, this hotel offers spacious and elegant rooms. For dinner, the restaurant has a lakeside terrace. A rich breakfast buffet is served every morning at the hotel.
12. Limone sul Garda
The incredibly beautiful town of Limone sul Garda is located on the picturesque northwest coast of Lake Garda, surrounded by mountainous landscapes. According to one version, the city got its name in honor of the lemon groves growing here.
The narrow streets of the Old Town with shops and restaurants line the shore of the lake. The waterfront terraces invite passers-by to sample Mediterranean cuisine and sunbathe on the local beach in the afternoon.
You can stay in one of the luxurious 5 * hotels, located among olive and lemon groves.
Where to stay in Limone sul Garda:
- Park Hotel Imperial. A chic hotel with elegant rooms, located just five minutes walk from the beach and 15 minutes from the historic center of Limone sul Garda. This luxury hotel features a spa, fitness center and a restaurant serving delicious Italian cuisine. Live music is played on Friday nights.
- Hotel Capo Reamol. This spacious hotel, nestled among cypresses and olive trees, is the ideal base for windsurfers. The modern rooms of this 4 * hotel are decorated in a simple style. The hotel has a restaurant and bar with a terrace offering stunning lake views. There is an outdoor pool, sauna, small fitness center, and a private beach.