Where should we stay in Lake Garda?
August 29, 2011 4:59 AM   Subscribe

Lake Garda filter - where to stay?

My boyfriend and I have finally gotten around to taking a much needed holiday. We have taken the first leap and booked the last week of September off work, and now need the destination! We really like the idea of Lake Garda - we have both always wanted to go to Italy, and have heard a lot of great things about Lake Garda as a place to visit. However, there seem to be so many little towns all around the lake that all look so great we can't decide which one to stay in! My boss recommended Limone, but that's the only input we have had. We aren't very seasoned travellers (Paris and Prague have been our only 'abroad' holidays together, neither of us have ever been outside of Europe - we are from the UK) so we aren't sure how to pick a good holiday destination. A few key points -

- we won't be hiring a car, so we really need to be in walking distance of a town and any transport links to other towns
- a short walk from the lake is a must
- good food is probably the most important thing to us both!
- rest and relaxation will be important, but we would like to be able to see and do a few things while we are there

Please help us pick a super holiday destination for a relaxing escape!
posted by Mnky197 to Travel & Transportation around Lake Garda, CT (2 answers total)
Hah. I am from Lake Garda so forgive my biases.

Limone is absolutely beautiful but Riva del Garda is prettier, bigger, and better served by public transportation (which is not going to be good regardless of where you are on the lake, unfortunately). There are excellent restaurants there, one in the Bastione (the 16th century fort up on the side of the Rocchetta mountain), many in the old city center. Try the lake fish and eat polenta at least once. You can stroll along the lake all the way to Torbole on the other side of the valley. If you like outdoorsy things, you can rent either city bikes or mountain bikes, you can surf or sail (though the water might be slightly nippy at the end of September), or hike. The entire Sarca valley (which is the northern tip of lake Garda) is beautiful. There's a tourist information center right downtown by the lake.

Transportation is trickier, but there's ferries that cross the lake so you can pick one home base (and I strongly suggest Riva) and travel to other small towns along the lake for day trips, like Limone or Malcesine. Which airport are you flying in to? Verona is the most convenient, then you can take a train to Rovereto and a bus from there (or a bus directly from Verona, which will give you the scenic tour of the gardesana road along the lake). Weather in September is usually amazing, clear skies and warm sunshine. Extra bonus, fewer tourists.

Buy some local olive oil when you're there, it's the best you'll ever have. Most locals will speak at least some rudimentary English, better German, but you'll be able to communicate with no problem.

Full disclosure: I'm from Arco, a town about three miles from Riva, nestled up against the foot hills in the back of the valley. I'm going home for a week on Friday and I can't wait. The Northen half of the lake is much, much more beautiful than the Southern half, the scenery is incredibly dramatic with the mountains cutting vertically down into the water. Hike if you can, it'll be worth it. Bring a camera.
posted by lydhre at 6:02 AM on August 29, 2011

Response by poster: Wow couldn't have found a better reference! Thank you so much!
posted by Mnky197 at 6:48 AM on August 29, 2011

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