Lake Garda Journals

Lago di Garda

A June 2007 trip to Lake Garda by mooncross

Rocca di Manerba Photo, Lake Garda, Italy More Photos
Quote: Lago di Garda, or Garda Lake, is the largest lake of Italy. Located in the north of the country, it's a popular holiday destination, with the Northern half slightly more crowded than the Southern, that still displays a bit more of typical Italian charm.

Riva del Garda


Riva del Garda Photo, Lake Garda, Italy
Riva del Garda is one of the bigger tourist centers around the Garda Lake, and the main resort town on the northern shore. With its two harbors, Riva is well equipped for many kinds of water sports, and one can also do rock climbing, or visit the Varone waterfalls a few miles to the north. Riva is also a good base for daytrips up the Monte Baldo, or the mountains to the west of the lake, where mountain biking is a popular recreation. Each year in spring, Riva hosts a world-renowned mountain bike festival.

Parco Grotta Cascata del Varone

Attraction | "Ancient Waterfalls"

Parco Grotta Cascata del Varone Photo, Lake Garda, Italy
The Varone Falls and Caves are located a few miles north of Riva, along route 421 in the direction of Ponte Arche. The falls can be admired from two points that are accessible by stairs. The park is open year-round, with hours ranging from 10am to 5pm in winter, and 9am to 7pm in summer. Entrance fees are € 5.- each.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 19, 2009

Parco Grotta Cascata del Varone

Lake Garda

Gardone Riviera Photo, Lake Garda, Italy
Gardone Riviera is one of the many small resorts on the steep hills of the western side of the Garda Lake. It's divided in two parts: Lower Gardone and Upper Gardone. The lower part has a car-free boulevard where the small waves of the Garda Lake lap the shore. On a clear day, the waterfront provides a view of the Monte Baldo on the opposite shore. Stroll along the boulevard, relax and enjoy an espresso on one of the many street terraces. Or climb the short distance to the upper part of town and wander through quaint, old alleyways.

Fondazione André Heller

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Small but Fine Botanical Garden"

Fondazione André Heller Photo, Lake Garda, Italy
The André Heller botanic garden may not be the largest in the world, it's certainly one of the finest. In a relatively small area, you can admire flora from all over the world: large plants from Africa and South America are mixed with small blooms from Europe and Asia. Streams and waterfalls mingle with rock formations and ponds housing koi carp and trout. Narrow and winding walkways lead through the many wonders of the botanic garden. There is even a bamboo forest, where a little imagination will take you away from this beautiful Italian garden to the forests of Asia.The botanic garden run by the Fondazione André Heller in Gardone Riviera is open daily from March to October, from 9 a.m. t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 19, 2009

Sirmione Photo, Lake Garda, Italy
Sirmione is located on a peninsula on the south shore of the Garda Lake. The first human settlers arrived around 6,000 years BC. In the first century BC it became a popular summer destination for rich Roman families from Verona. Among them the poet Catullus, whose villa Grotte di Catullo, now in ruins, is one of Sirmione's most popular attractions.Other sights include the 13th century Scaliger castle and several churches. Or one can simply wander the narrow medieval streets and browse for souvenirs. Be warned, though, Sirmione is incredibly popular, and as a result it's also very crowded, especially on weekdays or in summer. Try to get there early, when most of the crowds are still enjoyin...Read More

Parco Giardino Sigurtà

Attraction | "Parco Giardino Sigurtà: 600,000 sq. Meters of Park"

Parco Giardino Sigurtà  Photo, Lake Garda, Italy
Imagine nearly 600,000 sq. meters of park, filled with flowerbeds, wooded areas and ornamental, plants, and you've pictured the Parco Giardino Sigurtà. Located a handful of miles inland from Desenzano, it's easy to pass a full day strolling the many walkways (a free and handy map is provided at the entrance).

Too lazy to walk? Or tired? Hire a bicycle or a golf cart, or hop a ride on the fun train.

The park is open from March to November, from 9 am to 6 pm (5 pm in March, October and November). Fees are 12 Euro for adults, 6 Euro for children aged 5-14, and the little ones go in for free. To get to the park, travel to Valeggio sul Mincio and follow the roadsigns.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 15, 2009



Desenzano Photo, Lake Garda, Italy
Desenzano is the main town on the Southern shore. It can be reached by train and is also easily accessible by car. The nearest cities are Milan and Verona. Desenzano is less tourist-inundated than its Northern counterpart Riva, which translates into a slightly more authentic atmosphere that is most notable in the restaurant menus.Life in Desenzano takes place around the harbor, that sports both an ancient inner harbor occupied by small, local fishing boats, and an outer harbor that serves larger guest yachts. Many of the streets are small, except for the main thoroughfare, which is wider. Cars are not allowed in the heart of the center, but various parking lots offer space for short time p...Read More

Rocca di Manerba

Attraction | "The Easiest Amazing View"

Rocca di Manerba Photo, Lake Garda, Italy
The Rocca di Manerba is a high hill not far from Desenzano, near the town of the same name, Manerba. It's located on the south-western shore of the lake. Just beyond the village, you can park for free, before climbing the hill.

Visit the ruins on the top and enjoy the amazing view across the lake. On a clear day, it should be possible to see all the way to Riva. Descend the hill again on the other side (note: it's steep!) and continue through the farmlands before returning to your car.

It makes for a pleasant afternoon stroll that—aside from the brief, steep descent—isn't too strenuous.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 15, 2009

Hotel Benaco

Hotel | "Hotel Benaco - Close to the City Center"

Hotel Benaco Photo, Lake Garda, Italy
Despite it's location not far from the railway station, the hotel Benaco offers quiet accommodations about 10 minutes on foot from the Desenzano city center. The hotel offers a garden, private parking and a swimming pool, as well as a delightful buffet-style breakfast and friendly staff. Rooms are bright and spacious, decorated in light classic style, each with a private bathroom, as well as a/c and central heating, TV, phone, WI-FI internet system, safe and a hair dryer. Prices for a double room range from € 85.00 a € 120.00, including parking and breakfast.We had a very pleasant and comfortable stay with the Hotel Benaco, and would certainly consider revisiting if we ever end...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 15, 2009

Hotel Benaco
viale Cavour 30, I-25015

+39 030 9141710