recommendations for Lake Garda

Old Jun 6th, 2021, 04:21 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 17
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
recommendations for Lake Garda

Hey fellow travelers,
Can anyone recommend any good places/towns/hotels to stay at Lake Garda? I've heard Malcesine is nice. Any other recommendations? I'll be traveling with my husband and 3 older children (13-20 y/o). what are some nice activities to do while living on the lake?
li_mom is offline  
Old Jun 7th, 2021, 01:58 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,847
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Malcesine is small and although it's in a scenically lovely spot, there's not that much to do in the town itself. Lake Garda is dotted with nice towns and places to stay and it depends on your tastes. The lake is shaped like a long thin teardrop with a narrow road that goes all the way round the lake. However it does take a while to do the trip due to traffic and the road distance from top to bottom is about 50kms. You can use the ferries which criss cross the lake, but they are slow going.

RIva del Garda is generally acknowledged as the more up market destination, but Sirmione is good too although daytime tourism is very busy. Will you have a car and where are you coming from? If the Venice/Verona side then east bank, maybe Bardolino or Garda. Coming from the north, then Riva.
Rubicund is online now  
Old Jun 7th, 2021, 09:20 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,303
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What time of year? How many days/nights do you plan to stay at the lake? What sort of town are you looking for... a quiet place to relax or a somewhat larger, busier town with shopping, outdoor sports, streets to wander, etc.? Will you have a car? What sort of "activities" are you hoping to do?

There are lots of towns that would be good bases for hiking, but there is a lot of variety in the difficulty and length of all hikes so you need to decide what you're up for. There are websites (like Komoot.com) that provide maps and descriptions. We enjoyed taking the cable car from Malcesine to access the trails higher up the mountain mostly for flatter trails (we just wore "tennis" shoes) and amazing views. Limone on the western shore is charming-bordering-on-romantic. Riva is good if you want to sail or rent bikes and want a larger town. There are thermal baths near Sirmione and several wineries near the SE end of the lake... Bardolino, Lazise, Sirmione. There are several castles scattered around the lake.

If you want to take a drive into the Dolomites or up into the Brenta Park area (Madonna di Campiglio is a nice destination), you'll want to start from the northern end of the lake. Ditto if you want to visit the Ice Man Museum in Bolzano, the World War I museum in Rovereto or any of the several museums in Trento. The Renon cable car out of Bolzano offers views of the Dolomites in the distance, and there is a railway that operates frequently between the top of the Renon cable car and Collalbo (about 15-20 minutes).
Jean is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2021, 10:05 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 15,401
Likes: 0
Received 22 Likes on 4 Posts
Hotel Il Castello has itís own beach in Malcesine and would be a good place for your children.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2021, 10:44 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,061
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We also liked Sirmione; they could have a look around the castle perhaps and walk down to the Grotto of Cattulus, depending on any interest in history/archeology. Also some lakefront area.

We stayed in Garda and took boat trips around the lake; we didn't get a car this past trip. When we return, we'll probably get a car and check out Riva del Garda and Limone.

There is an amusement park south of Garda (town), if they need a break from other adventures, but I'm not familiar with its specifics.
annw is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2021, 05:20 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 17
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you all for your insight and advice. There's been a change of plans!! Kids will not be joining us (praise Jesus!). It will just be hubby and I. We will be travelling next month (July), coming in from Milan. We have done Bolzano, the Dolomites and the Otzi Museum on a previous visit. Hubby has booked a room at the Grand Hotel Riva (Riva del Garda) for 6 nights. I look forward to exploring all the small towns, castles and sites that you all suggested. If you know of any restaurants/cafes/bars that you would Highly Recommend, please do so! Thanks in advance!!!
Also, does anybody recommend going to Santuario Madonna dela Corona?
li_mom is offline  
Old Jun 13th, 2021, 12:41 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,309
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For Lake Garda, it's hard to make recommendations without knowing whether you'll have a car. Someone else asked for this crucial information.
bvlenci is online now  
Old Jun 13th, 2021, 01:40 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,303
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I assume they'd have a car... I don't think you could reach Santuario Madonna della Corona from Riva without one.

li_mom, we visited the Santuario many years ago but picked a bad day. It started to rain, and the trails turned to mud in many spots. The views of the Santuario are wonderful, but after the effort of the climb, the interior was a letdown for me, although I admit I'm not religious at all. There may be some conveniences added for those who can't manage the climb. We were coming from Verona and ending at Limone. The drive through the hills north of the Santuario (purposely not on the autostrada) made the day for me. If you're coming/going from Riva, you could drive the hills one way and part of the shore the other.
Jean is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2021, 09:21 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 17
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We actually were not planning to have a car. Hoping to use ferries, trains and public transit during our stay
li_mom is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2021, 09:22 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 17
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Jean View Post
I assume they'd have a car... I don't think you could reach Santuario Madonna della Corona from Riva without one.

li_mom, we visited the Santuario many years ago but picked a bad day. It started to rain, and the trails turned to mud in many spots. The views of the Santuario are wonderful, but after the effort of the climb, the interior was a letdown for me, although I admit I'm not religious at all. There may be some conveniences added for those who can't manage the climb. We were coming from Verona and ending at Limone. The drive through the hills north of the Santuario (purposely not on the autostrada) made the day for me. If you're coming/going from Riva, you could drive the hills one way and part of the shore the other.
Thank you for your helpful feedback
li_mom is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2021, 06:24 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,303
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
According to rome2rio.com, you can't reach the Santuario from Riva using only public transportation. R2R isn't always correct, but I tend to think it is on this one.
Jean is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2021, 06:34 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,303
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well, maps.google.com says it's possible, but it takes 3 hours going and perhaps longer on the return in the afternoon. This would require more research of the timetables of the particular bus lines involved.
Jean is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2021, 09:24 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,000
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi li mom,
I've stayed at Lake Garda without a car, so I hope I can be of some help.

First, though you already have reservations in Riva, I have to say that you may want to change them. I stayed in Malcesine, and I found it very tough to get to other spots on the lake by public transport. Busses only ran about every 2 hours, and they were routinely 10 or 15 minutes late. Some of my destinations would have required a transfer, and I was afraid that I'd miss the connecting bus and be stranded somewhere for hours. I looked into ferry transport as well, but for me the fast ferries were too expensive, and the cheaper ferries were too slow.

Because of that, I decided that I would stay in Garda town for any future visits. Garda sits in the middle of the lake, and it's a transport hub, so it's convenient to go up or down.

Secondly, do some deep research for the bus schedules. I was there in 2016, so hopefully the bus situation has improved since then. Rome2Rio is good for macro info on transport, but it often misses micro/local info. You may want to start your research at

https://www.visitgarda.com/en/Bus-timetables/

Have fun as you plan!

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2021, 10:08 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,000
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
P.S.

The website of the church gives directions to get there:

How to get there

By car: From the A4 Milan-Venice, exit Peschiera del Garda and continue towards Spiazzi (km 38); or from the A22 Brennero-Modena, exit at Affi, Spiazzi direction (20 km).

By train: the station of Peschiera del Garda or Verona Porta Nuova, take the bus, line Spiazzi Caprino.

Have fun!

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2021, 02:37 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,309
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by li_mom View Post
We actually were not planning to have a car. Hoping to use ferries, trains and public transit during our stay
If you won't have a car, it might be best to stay somewhere on the midlake. Someone else has suggested Garda, which is not really midlake, I would say more to the south. It's a big town, and, as was already said, it's a transportation hub. I myself would prefer to stay in a smaller town. We stayed in Pai, but we had our car, although we did use the boats.

The boats are indeed slow, but a long, slow boat ride, especially in the scenic upper end of the lake, is a very pleasant way to spend several hours.

​​​​​​​Riva is a great place to stay if you only want to visit places in the upper part of the lake. Boat service is relatively frequent between Riva and Malcesine, which comprise the most scenic part of the lake. If you want to take the cable car to the top of Monte Baldo, you might want to stay in Malcesine, because if you don't get to the ticket office very early, you might find a horrendously long line. We were about to give up the idea, but one of the ticket sellers suggested we come back at lunchtime. We had a look around Malcesine, a cute town, wall to wall with tourist shops. We had an early lunch, and returned to find a much shorter line. However, that doesn't leave you much time at the top before a long line begins to form in the other direction. If you want to take a hike and eat at the refuge at the top, it would be best to arrive very early, which would be easiest if you were staying in Malcesine.

Even the fast boats on the lake are rather slow. They take an hour and a half to go from Garda to Malcesine; the slow boat takes about 2 1/2 hours, and that's not the whole length of the lake. To go from top to bottom takes over four hours. The boat service is not very frequent, so you have to plan your schedule carefully. The busses are not much better. We never used one, but the lakeside road is very heavily trafficked, so they crawl along at times.

Last edited by bvlenci; Jun 16th, 2021 at 02:57 AM.
bvlenci is online now  
Old Jun 16th, 2021, 05:28 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,309
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Riva del Garda is a pretty good location if you mostly want to visit the northern part of the lake, which is the most scenic part. There are relatively good boat connections between Riva and Malcesine, taking in some other towns, such as Limone. From Riva to Malcesine is just a little over an hour by boat, or half an hour by fast boat.

If you want to go to the top of Monte Baldo, and don't have a car, be sure to get to Malcesine very early, or go at lunchtime, as the lines for the cable car can be very long. We drove to Malcesine, but the queue was so long that we nearly gave up the idea of Monte Baldo. Then one of the ticket sellers suggested that we return at lunchtime. So we took a stroll around Malcesine (a cute town with wall-to-wall tourist shops), had an early lunch, and returned to find a much shorter wait. However, then we didn't have much time on Monte Baldo before a long line for the trip back down began to form. If you want to take a hike and have a meal at the refuge, it would be better to arrive as early as possible.
bvlenci is online now  
Old Jun 20th, 2021, 10:00 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9,061
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We chose not to drive on our last trip; we took the train from Verona to Peschiera del Garda and then took a taxi to Garda where we stayed for 3 nights. We took ferries around the lake from there. We chose that location because we weren't getting a car this trip. It worked out fine for us and the slow boats were ok, since we were wanting to slow down and take our time.
annw is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
lavender
Europe
3
Apr 11th, 2015 02:47 AM
Olegis
Europe
11
Oct 10th, 2010 02:06 AM
riverfisher
Europe
5
Mar 22nd, 2007 07:53 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:16 AM.