Lake Garda: Where to stay?

Old Jan 31st, 2011, 09:55 AM
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Lake Garda: Where to stay?

My husband and I are planning a trip to northern Italy with another couple for the last half of May. We are all in our 50's, very active and have traveled quite a bit. We'll spend 3 days at Lake Maggiore, 3 days at Lake Como, 3 days at Lake Garda, 4 days in the Dolomites and 3 days in Verona. We will have a car.
We would like your input on where to stay at Lake Garda. We're considering Gardone Riviera or Torri del Benaco. We want to stay away from Gardaland. Sirmione looks great for a visit, but we don't want to navigate the traffic in and out of there multiple times. We don't want to stay in the northern part of lake since we'll go to the Dolomites next. We like walking, hiking, eating, tasting wine, olive oil and enjoying the local sights. We will not spend time just sleeping on the beach.
Would you please share any pros or cons of staying in Gardone Riviera or Torri del Benaco?
Thanks for your help!
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Old Jan 31st, 2011, 11:05 AM
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That is a very good question--you have done your homework.
Dolomites or not, I would still advise the north end---Riva, Limone, or Malcesine. If not, then Torri del Benaco sure is cute---I would opt for that. I love your overall trip.
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Old Jan 31st, 2011, 11:45 AM
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Sirmione's traffic navigation really applies only to hotels inside the walls of the town, although I've stayed in there twice in high season without any problems getting in or out.

There are many hotels along the road leading to the walls where you won't have a problem either. I always prefer to stay at the bottom of the teardrop that shapes the lake, as it's then easy to head to either side. Gardone Riviera is not particularly attractive and I prefer Bardolino to Torre. Overall though, Sirmione would be my choice.
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Old Feb 1st, 2011, 06:29 AM
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Lifeman,
Just curious - why do you prefer Bardolino to Torri?
Thanks
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Old Feb 1st, 2011, 01:18 PM
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Drebby:
We also are doing a similar trip to yours in late May. We are two couples traveling together in Northern Italy and will have a vehicle. Instead of actually staying in the Dolomites, we thought it might be better to stay in Bolzano. I was concerned if we made bookings in the Dolomites, we might have a problem getting there if the snow was still around. so, I thought day trips from bolzano might work for us. We also will be 3 nts on Lake Come and 3 on lake Maggiore. Instead of staying on Lake Garda, we're in Verona for 2 nts and thought we would do a day trip around the lake. We will be in Parma before Verona and now I'm rethinking this. Maybe we should drive from Parma, stop at Varona and take a look around and then perhaps onto Sirmione? We will be heading up to Bolzano after Lake Garda/Verona. Can anyone suggest nice accommodations in Sirmione if we elect to stay there instead of Varona?
Thanks
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Old Feb 1st, 2011, 02:04 PM
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Hi Drebbie,

we stayed in Garda itself which we liked a lot, though it may be a bit busier than you want. but it was great for us as we liked using the boats to get around [who needs to use a car to get in and out of Sirmione when you've got the boats?] and Garda is ideal because it's in the middle of the lake so you can get to both ands, and the fast boats stop there - they don't stop everywhere - so you can get to places a little more quickly when you want to.

and if you don't want to go to Gardaland, then don't. it need have no impression upon you whatsoever, unless you want it to.

if you don't stay at Gardone, at least go to the Vittorale up above the town and the botanic gardens. the other place we liked was Malcesine where you can catch the cable car up Monte Baldo.

have a great trip!
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Old Feb 5th, 2011, 03:41 AM
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Hi Drebbie, just seen your question. I prefer Bardolini because the small town is quaint and charming, and it has a really nice lakeside promenade with shops and restaurants. I think that it's one of those personal preferences and I just like the feel and atmosphere of the place.

Torri is very nice with its small harbour etc. but as I said, I just prefer Bardolino.
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Old Feb 5th, 2011, 04:07 AM
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www.sirmione.com is the prettiest town with lots to do

aka "the Pearl of Lake Garda" Castle beautiful views

Roman Villa ruins of the Poest Catulla Termes central

easy ferry all over the lake.

www.travelpod.com/hotel/Eden-Sirmione.html

One of my favs there LAKE VIEWS awesome breakfast

from 110 euro/nt...

Also like Desanzano di Garda Hotel Vittorio is nice there.

The north of the lake colder remote not as pretty

Gardone area is nice north of Salo acess elsewhere not as good

Happy Hunting,
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Old Feb 5th, 2011, 04:11 AM
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have also stayed at

www.villafiordaliso.it

for something special around Gardone

former home of Mussolini's mistress.
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Old Feb 5th, 2011, 04:28 AM
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it's been years but Sirmione is wonderful! Don't miss it.
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