Lake Garda Extension: A Hidden Gem

on request

Discover Italy’s largest and most beautiful – yet least well-known – lake. Intense blue waters and a diverse shoreline create endless holiday options. Choose from a series of enticing itineraries, where you can be active or luxuriate in thermal spa waters – or both!

  • Length 3 Days / 2 Nights
  • Trip Type Extension
  • Activity Level Easy to Moderate
  • Start / Finish Lake Garda

Highlights

  • Discover Lake Garda, Italy’s most beautiful, yet least well known lake!
  • Explore Gargnano on foot, by bike, or from the water
  • Spend a day soaking in the Terme di Sirmione, with its healing mineral waters
  • Play with the kids in one of the most famous amusement parks of the world, and live the magic atmosphere of Gardaland!
  • Choose from luxury or standard hotel accommodations, an active adventure, or a spa like retreat!

  

OVERVIEW

Lake Garda is a hidden gem. Tucked into Northern Italy, blessed with beautiful beaches, intense transparent blue water, vertical rocky cliffs, rolling hills, and towering mountains, all are just waiting to be discovered. Just a few hours drive from Milan, Venice, and the Dolomites, Lake Garda (Lago di Garda or Lago Benàco) is the largest, yet least well known of Italy's lakes. The diversity of the landscape here is truly remarkable – the wider southern portion of the lake is surrounded by hills formed by glacial moraines, while the narrow northern part is enclosed by mountains that create beautiful fjords. What’s more, the temperate climate and flourishing vegetation – mainly olive and lemon groves, orange trees, palms, cypresses, and oleanders – combines with the landscape to provide a lush background to the remarkable historical and cultural remains dotting the shoreline. Plus, the Dolomite Mountains are never far away, and can be seen towering above the lake.

The beautiful setting is rivaled by the cultural diversity and activities on offer. Surrounded by three distinct regions – Lombardy, Trentino Alto-Adige, and the Veneto – the lake attracts an international, cosmopolitan crowd. From poets to politicians, divas to dictators, the famous – and infamous – have long been drawn to these deep blue waters, and locals return here year after year. The history here is ever present, as it is throughout Italy, ranging from villas to Roman ruins, preserved and waiting to be explored. And the active life abounds – from water- to land-based adventure, this lake destination has the potential to keep you very busy! Alas, if you prefer just to relax, there is a thriving spa culture to soothe away your every worry.

Lake Garda is vast, with over 158 kilometers (98 miles) of shoreline. Not only is there ample opportunity for exploration and adventure, but also choices regarding where you stay. We offer a variety of options throughout the region, with accommodations and activities that best exemplify the character of each village. From spa luxury to active days with a soft bed at night, Lake Garda’s beauty is sure to charm you into returning again and again!

Day by Day

Discover Italy’s largest and most beautiful – yet least well-known – lake. Intense blue waters and a diverse shoreline create endless holiday options. Choose from a series of enticing itineraries, where you can be active or luxuriate in thermal spa waters – or both!


With over 158 kilometers (98 miles) of shoreline, there are many options around Lake Garda for what you see and where you stay. We offer a variety of itineraries throughout the region, with accommodations and activities that best exemplify the character of each village. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Let us create a custom Lake Garda itinerary, just for you!



LAKE GARDA – LUXURY IN GARGNANO

Day 1 ~ Arrive in Gargnano, Lake Garda
If you are joining us from the Dolomite Mountains, after breakfast take a private transfer to Lake Garda (4 hours from the Dolomites). If this is your first destination in Italy, take a private transfer to Lake Garda from the Venice Marco Polo International Airport (VCE, 2 hours) or the Milano Malpensa Airport (MXP, 2 hours).

Check in to your luxury hotel, perched on Lake Garda’s western shore in Gargnano, one of the largest, and most picturesque villages on the lake.  In the afternoon, take your time to relax and explore the surroundings. Gargano offers one of the most beautiful historic centers on Lake Garda. Following the shoreline from your hotel, a lakeside excursion will reveal other majestic villas, set within the glorious shimmering light cast by the lake, and ancient limonaias or lemon tree gardens. These gardens are among the best known and most important historic monuments on Lake Garda. Comprised of wonderful yet unusual architectural structures made of local stone and wood, the limonaias here are found nowhere else – a tangible witnesses to an era and civilization.
B…Hotel in Gargnano (5-Star)


Day 2 ~ Lake Garda – Hike, Bike, or Boat Ride
Today you have countless options on and around the lake to choose from! Go on a hike, take a boat ride, visit incredible gardens and museums, or attend a festival! All of these are readily available to you to explore.
Spend your day hiking to the San Valentino Hermitage, one of the most striking hiking destinations of Lake Garda because it affords a panoramic view of the lake and Mount Baldo chain. Or hike through olive groves and lemon greenhouses, seeing churches and incredible views, walking along ancient routes steeped in history. You may also choose to walk in the footsteps of the English writer D.H. Lawrence, so thoughtfully written about reminiscing about the time he spent here.
Lake Garda is also a fantastic place for bike lovers. More than one thousand kilometers/miles of waymarked mountain and road biking trails are available in a variety of distances and ability levels. Take a short flat ride to a picnic, or head out all day and climb over steeps to get the best views of the lake!
Or, spend today enjoying the lake itself!  There are many different types of boat rentals available, ranging from kayaks, canoes, and pedalos (paddle boats), to small motorboats to a large, powerful speedboats, where you can zip across the lake at high speed! Prefer a more relaxing day? Ride a ferry around the lake! From the boat, you can see just how dramatic the lakeside mountains are, and see so much more than you can appreciate from the road. It is a relaxing and awe inspiring experience, especially as you travel north on the lake.
B… Hotel in Gargnano (5-Star)


Day 3 ~ Depart
Breakfast and departure (private transfer to the airport or to your next destination in Italy).
B…



LAKE GARDA’S SOUTHERN SHORE – DESENZANO DEL GARDA

Day 1 ~ Arrive in Desenzano del Garda, Lake Garda
Arrive in Desenzano del Garda and check in to your hotel. Desenzano del Garda is situated in the southwest part of the lake, and is the largest town on Lake Garda with over 27,000 inhabitants.  It is set in the center of a gulf bounded on the west by the high ground of “Monte Corno” and on the east by the peninsula of Sirmione – a wonderful location that offers outstanding views of the entire lake!  What’s more, the mild climate offers pleasant temperatures and Mediterranean vegetation including palms, laurels and oleander.
Desenzano boasts origins in the Bronze Age, with an ancient history that dates back many centuries before Christ.  It has been an important lake-dwelling settlement throughout history, and was a residence of many wealthy Romans in the first and second centuries. The Roman expansion and economic heyday was due in large part to Desenzano’s proximity to the Via Emilia, the important trading route between northern and southern Italy, as well as countries further north.
Today, Desenzano del Garda is the most vibrant and lively town of all those along lake Garda, with an enchanting Medieval town center, beautiful promenade, impressive Venetian-style buildings, and scenic, cultural, and architectonic treasures. Among the treasures we recommend vising are the Castle, Villa Romana, Saint Maria Maddalena Cathedral, and the Rambotti Archeological Museum.
For those who love relaxing holidays, the parks and beaches of Desenzano del Garda are very beautiful too. You’ll find Desenzanino Beach, Spiaggia d’Oro  (Golden Beach), and Spiaggia di Rivoltella (Rivoltella Beach) well equipped with sun beds, sun umbrellas, and bar / restaurants. If you prefer a more active exploration of the area, hiking and bicycling routes are plentiful through the beautiful green Mediterranean landscape.
Hotel in Desenzano del Garda (3-Star)


Day 2 ~ Sirmione & Terme di Sirmione, Lake Garda
Located at the southernmost point of Lake Garda, Sirmione is a picturesque peninsula that lies to the east of Desenzano del Garda, just a 20-minute drive away. The landmass extends 4 kilometers (2 miles) into the lake, rising about 30 meters (98') above lake level, which not only offers a gorgeous panoramic view, but was also an important strategic point throughout history.
While Sirmione is famous for the unique charm of its old town with narrow and irregular streets, it perhaps best known for the Terme di Sirmione – thermal baths.  The thermal waters come from a hot-water spring that bubbles up close to the northern end of the peninsula. The 70°C (158°F) water is believed to have first been brought to land via a system of metal pipes, discovered in ancient Roman ruins. It was not until the late 19th century that the waters again were channeled to land, leading to the eventual birth of spa tourism in the region.
The properties of sulphur, bromine, and iodine found in the waters and are said to have curative powers over a variety of ailments.  There are several facilities where you can you can immerse yourself in the warm mineral-rich waters of the Terme, including two thermal centers, Terme Virgilio and Terme Catullo, and the Aquaria Thermal Wellness Centre. Bask in the waters of wellness with thermal swimming pools, or choose from an assortment of hydromassages, aromo-chromatic showers, vascular programs, effervescent beds, inhalation treatments, mud and bath therapy, underwater massages, or vascular and skin rehabilitation treatments.
B… Hotel in Desenzano del Garda (3-Star)


Day 3 ~ Depart
Breakfast and departure on your own. Private transfer to the airport or to your next destination in Italy available on request.
B…
 



LAKE GARDA FOR FAMILIES

If you are traveling with children, why not visit Gardaland? Just a short 30-minute drive from Desenzano del Garda, or a ferry ride across the lake from Desenzano or Gargnano, Gardaland is the most famous themed amusement park in Italy, included in the top ten of European theme parks. 



Trip itinerary may vary based on weather conditions, and/or fitness levels and abilities of participants.

Cost

Cost per person on request.


Cost Includes:

  • In/Out airport transfers (luxury itinerary only; available on request for Desenzano del Garda itinerary)
  • 2 nights accommodation in Lake Garda
  • All breakfasts
  • Tourist Tax
  • Italian VAT Tax

Accommodation

At Dolomite Mountains, we hand pick accommodations that best reflect the style of each region, to provide you with the most authentic experience of the unique cultures found in the different cities and towns where we travel. We work directly with the owners of each property, forging strong relationships to ensure you receive the best service and care during your stay. Regardless of whether it is a five-star luxury hotel or a cozy bed and breakfast you desire, we choose the best-in-class accommodations within each category, providing you stays at the most sought after hotels in each region. And, we always make sure you have access to inspired, regional cuisine!

Group Trip Dates

Trip name   Trip dates   Min persons   Trip status   Price    
15-21 Feb
2017
4
Available
€ 1900
22-27 Feb
2017
4
Available
€ 1540
22-27 Feb
2017
4
Available
€ 2200
23-28 Feb
2017
4
Available
€ 1220
29 Feb - 3 Mar
2017
4
Limited space
€ 2200
5-10 Mar
2017
4
Limited space
€ 1190
12-17 Mar
2017
4
Available
€ 2200
12-17 Mar
2017
4
Available
€ 1540
12-17 Apr
2017
4
Available
€ 2200
12-17 Apr
2017
4
Available
€ 1190
19-25 Apr
2017
4
Available
€ 1900
26-31 Apr
2017
4
Available
€ 1220
26 Apr - 1 May
2017
4
Limited space
€ 1900
25-30 Jul
2017
4
Available
€ 890
27 Jul - 3 Aug
2017
4
Available
€ 1260
8-14 Aug
2017
4
Available
€ 1520
15-21 Aug
2017
4
Limited space
€ 2660
16-21 Aug
2017
4
Limited space
€ 890
16-20 Aug
2017
4
Available
€ 890
18-24 Aug
2017
4
Available
€ 1260
23-30 Aug
2017
4
Available
€ 1730
26 Sep - 1 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 1520
26 Sep - 1 Oct
2017
4
Limited space
€ 2660
3-10 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 1730
3-7 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 890
3-10 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 1730
10-15 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 890
12-18 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 1260