“The lake lies dim and milky, the mountains are dark blue, the sky glistens and the light burns gold.”

 – DH Lawrence

Going Grand on Lake Garda

The Grand Hotel on Lake Garda
The Grand Hotel on Lake Garda

Going Grand on Lake Garda

There can’t be many better ways of relaxing and getting away from it all than by taking a few days off and travelling to Lake Garda in North Italy. Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy, over 120 miles if you were to drive all the way around it! Its northern extremities stick into the Alps and its southern portion is on the north Italian plain midway between Venice and Milan.

Fly to Verona

Lake Garda is easy to get to. Fly to Verona from a number of British Airports including Gatwick and Bristol.  Budget carriers offer plenty of cheap flights. Verona is about 20 miles from Lake Garda so access to this beautiful location is quick and simple.

Great Variety on Offer

The wonderful thing about Lake Garda is that is provides something for everyone:
  • On the south shores, in the region of the ancient lakeside city of Sirmione, is the main tourist centre with all the facilities that you would expect to find.  There is plenty of hotels and places to stay. There is loads to see and lots to do including visiting the medieval city centre which is located half-way up a spit that sticks into the lake. You can also visit the remains of a Roman Villa at the very tip of the spit with its wonderful views across the lake towards the Alps.
  • The northerly part of the lake intrudes into the mountains of the Alps.  The atmosphere here is quite different and much quieter and is perfect for mountain walks (even skiing in the winter) and visiting small medieval harbours and villages. The ski-lift at Malcesine is a most memorable experience. Whether winter or summer, this takes you from the lakeside to the top of Mount Baldo; in winter for skiing and in summer for fantastic walks with wonderful views across the lake.
Everywhere on Lake Garda is connected by ferries that plough across the lake during daylight hours. This is a most relaxing way to travel. So you don’t have to stay in one location throughout your visit as it is so easy to make the most of everything on offer.

The Grand Hotel

An alternative to the bustling south shores or the quieter northern regions of the lake is Gardonne Riviera which is just a perfect place. It is a retreat that is not too busy and not too quiet.  It has good restaurants, street markets, a wonderful atmosphere and even better views. But the jewel in the crown on Lake Garda must surely be the Grand Hotel in Gardonne Riviera. This is a superbly run Hotel with really good service and where every bedroom has a wonderful view across the Lake.  The accommodation is very good; the food is just short of excellent; and all the other facilities are top-notch including the swimming pool, sauna, bars etc. Wifi is available in the common areas and even British Newspapers are there to read. It was the favourite retreat of Winston Churchill in whose memory the Hotel’s main Bar is named Winnie’s Bar. When the ferries stop in the early evening, the lake goes calm and the air goes quiet.  This provides the perfect setting for relaxing and forgetting all the troubles of the world.  In Winnie’s Bar the Jazz Band plays while outside couples stroll along the lakeside terrace. And in the morning, as the sun comes up across the lake, breakfast is served on the sunlit terrace to the smell of the chef cooking omelettes to order.
Find Somewhere to Stay in or near Lake Garda: Booking.com


Lake Garda being located midway between Venice and Milan provides a wonderful opportunity to visit these great cities.  It is possible to book day excursions to both of these destinations from Lake Garda.

Information & Links for Lake Garda

Area: 143 Sq Miles. Length: 32 Miles. Surface elevation: 213 feet above sea level. Cities: SirmioneRiva del GardaMalcesinePeschiera del Gardamore Fish: CarpTroutEelNorthern pikePerchTenchBurbotCoregonus lavaretusCommon bleakAlosa Islands: Isola del GardaIsola San BiagioIsola dell’OlivoIsola di SognoIsola di Trimelone
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