A Family Holiday to Lake Garda, Italy
Back in April we spent ten wonderful days in Lake Garda, Italy. I took so many photos that I decided I just had to blog about the trip purely to have somewhere to share them all. If you are looking for a great, family friendly, holiday destination then look no further. Not only is Lake Garda breathtakingly beautiful, but there is so much to see and do for all ages, and let’s not forget, all of the Italian food you could want. This is our second time staying here as we loved it so much the first time around we just couldn’t resist going back again. I’ll share some photos from each of the areas we visited and a few little tips of what there is to see and do there, which will hopefully be helpful if you are heading to Lake Garda anytime soon.
Peschiera Del Garda
We stayed in Peschiera, in a holiday park called “Butterfly.” We arranged our holiday via Eurocamp, it wasn’t a sponsored or gifted holiday, we had just stayed here with them previously and had a great experience so decided to go back to the same place. It’s quite a small site, which was what we were looking for. There is a shop, and restaurant/takeaway facilities, as well as a park and an outdoor pool complete with slides. The lake is directly opposite the site, so you simply cross the road and you are lakeside. It’s a short and scenic stroll then into Peschiera itself, or you can wander along the lake in the opposite direction to enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Peschiera itself is a lovely picturesque Italian town, with lots of shops, market stalls, and restaurants. If you continue through the town walking along the lakeside path you will also find a lovely little stone beach, which was a perfect spot to enjoy the views and a gelato.
It’s well worth a visit even if you don’t happen to be staying there.
You have to, have to, have to visit Sirmione if you are visiting Lake Garda. It’s just one you can’t afford to miss. It’s built on a little peninsula that sticks out into the lake, giving some very unique views to enjoy, but it also has the most incredible castle that actually was built out into the water. Get there early to beat the queues and head straight into the castle, it’s only a few euros to go in and it is well worth it to get the best view of this impressive castle.
The town is also a walled in town that is so gorgeous to wander around. There are lots of shops and restaurants, and so many lovely lakeside jettys and beaches to enjoy the views from, as well as a wonderful garden area at the far end of town that is well worth a stroll through.
We ended up visiting Deszensa almost by accident. We couldn’t remember if we’d been there on our previous holiday to Lake Garda, but were driving by so thought we would stop. It’s quite different to the other towns, and is very much a port, with lots of lovely boats lining the lake side. It felt a little bigger than other places we’d visited and had some great eateries and shops to wonder around. But the highlight for the kids was a huge park in the car park, right by the lake. So they got to play whilst we soaked up the views.
A walled town right on the lake, Lazise is another town not to miss. Wonderful to potter around and plenty of parking options close by. There is also a park and mini golf and an inflatables/trampoline play area to the left of the town walls if you are facing the lake. The kids loved playing mini golf and it made finding the balance between wandering Italian streets and entertaining the children much easier.
Lazise also won my vote for best Gelato of the holiday. Track down “Break’s Candy.” Not the most Italian sounding name I know, but trust me, they had a triple chocolate ice cream which has me contemplating another visit already!
We visited Garda on a cloudy, showery day and I wished we’d saved it for a sunnier one. It’s a really gorgeous little bay on the lake, and it’s cove like nature makes it a little different to the other towns. It is really beautiful, and well worth a visit.
Malcesine, Monte Baldo and Limone
Probably my favourite day of the holiday. It was a Saturday and the clearest forecast we’d had yet, so we decided it was the perfect day to head to the top of Monte Baldo. Unfortunately, everyone else visiting Lake Garda had the same realisation about the weather conditions and we had to queue for about an hour to get on the cable car, which we hadn’t prepared ourselves for as we had visited in the summer holidays last time and there was no queue. But the kids handled it well, and it was without a doubt worth the wait.
There is a restaurant and a cafe at the top so you can spend the whole day up there if you want to. Our kids had the best time playing in the few patches of snow that remained, whilst we took in the incredible views.
After having a wander around lovely Malcesine and enjoying a delicious lakeside lunch, we got one of the many boat trips running over to Limone. Malcesine is the perfect place for a boat trip to Limone as it’s only about 25 minutes across, and boats run very regularly.
Limone did not disappoint and I only wish we’d had a little longer to explore this unique little town.
Gardaland (and Peppa Pig World)
You can’t go to Lake Garda with children and not visit Gardaland. It would just be cruel. Plus, it is genuinely a really fun day out. We bought our tickets online before our holiday to save a little money but there are lots of ticket points around the neighbouring towns all offering competitive prices. Not only is Gardaland huge, it has such a diverse range of rides that all 3 of my children were able to go on plenty of rides and have the best day. This is unheard of in UK theme parks as we too often find there aren’t enough thrill rides for our oldest or there aren’t enough tamer rides for our risk averse middle child.
As well as more rollercoasters than I could count, Gardaland also has a Peppa Pig World! Yep, you read that right, Peppa Pig has made it to Italy. having visited the Peppa Pig World in England a couple of times, I will admit the Italian one is a little smaller, but it is still awesome, and it was the highlight of our 5 year old’s holiday!
We also spent a morning in Verona, taking in the amphitheatre and of course, Juliet’s balcony. However, our visit largely served to remind me that I’m not really a city kind of person. I enjoyed the lovely architecture and we ate good food and wandered around the shops, but I personally couldn’t wait to get back to the lake and the mountains. It’s just more my speed I think.
Things we didn’t do…
We managed to fit so much into our holiday but there is still so much to do in the area that we didn’t have time for.
It’s an easy location to do a day trip to Venice, but sadly whilst we were there, Venice was having a very damp week, so we decided to stay put in our sunny lakeside location.
There are a few different thermal lakes in and around Lake Garda, which we really wanted to visit, but we didn’t manage to get there this time. But I would definitely suggest looking into it if you are planning a trip, and then come back and tell me what we missed out on.
There are some great, outdoor water parks in the area. We visited one last time we went to Lake Garda as it was 38 degrees and it was the perfect place to cool off. But with slightly cooler temperatures on this April visit, we decided to give them a miss, but if you are there in summer then they are worth a visit.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about our holiday. If you’ve been before, I’d love to hear about your experiences visiting Lake Garda, and if you are planning a trip, then I hope this blog has been helpful, and I don’t doubt you will have the best time.