recommendations for Lake Garda

Old Jun 6th, 2021, 04:21 PM
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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?
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Old Jun 7th, 2021, 01:58 AM
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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.
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Old Jun 7th, 2021, 09:20 AM
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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 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).
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Old Jun 10th, 2021, 10:05 AM
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Hotel Il Castello has itís own beach in Malcesine and would be a good place for your children.
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Old Jun 10th, 2021, 10:44 AM
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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.
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Old Jun 10th, 2021, 05:20 PM
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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?
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Old Jun 13th, 2021, 12:41 PM
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For Lake Garda, it's hard to make recommendations without knowing whether you'll have a car. Someone else asked for this crucial information.
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Old Jun 13th, 2021, 01:40 PM
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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.
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