Charming towns to visit at Lake Garda, Italy

best towns near Lake Garda Italy
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When it comes to Lake Garda best places in Northern Italy, we’ve got a lot to discuss! You’re asking what towns are near lake Garda? Or some inspiration for Lake Garda best places to visit? What are the best towns near Lake Garda Italy, and Lake Garda best places to see is what we’ll share! One of the most stunning destinations in northern Italy and one of the most beautiful lakes in the country is Lake Garda.

This article was first written in 2020, while I had less experience talking about the area. With this in mind, in 2021 we’re doing a complete update since I was able to visit the area a couple more times in the past months. Sirmione, and other towns that can be found around Lake Garda keep me wanting to go back more and more times. The landscape and the charming towns near Lake Garda are one of the most amazing destinations for day trips or a few day-getaway.


What towns are near Lake Garda? 5 Town on Lake Garda Italy

So what towns are near Lake Garda? You can find below 5 of the best towns near Lake Garda Italy to visit. Starting on the south shore of the lake, we’ll discuss some of the best places to visit in Lake Garda Italy. We’ll go through Desenzano, Sirmione, and Peschiera del Garda on the south shore. Within these towns, we will also discuss the best place to stay at Lake Garda Italy, as well as the top Lake Garda places to see and Lake Garda places to eat!

Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy, and it’s located halfway between Milan and Venice, being really close to Verona. The lake is part of three regions, Lombardy, Veneto, and Trentino Alto Adige. Most of the south shore and the west belongs to Lombardy, while the east shore belongs to Veneto, and the north shore belongs to the Trentino region.

All of these three regions have so many beautiful destinations to visit and let’s not forget that some of the most famous cities in Italy are also located in these regions. North of Italy’s biggest natural attractions are the Italian Alps, and the four largest Italian lakes located between the mountains. Lake Garda, as well as the whole north of Italy, can be a year-round destination! If you love winter sports, the Italian Alps are the perfect spot for you for skiing, and other winter sports. There are many thermal baths, castles, and cities that are better to visit in the cold months too. In the summer, those up for outdoor activities can plan trips in the north of Italy for rock climbing, hiking, via ferratas, and vacations on the stunning lakes.


From Venice, Verona or Milan to Lake Garda day trip

Sirmione – photo from ifilari-agriturismo.it

As I have mentioned, Lake Garda is easily accessible from either of the three big cities. If you’re planning from Venice, Verona, or Milan to Lake Garda day trip, you can think about the towns near Lake Garda Italy like Desenzano, Sirmione, and Peschiera del Garda as destinations. Since these three towns on Lake Garda Italy are on the south shore, it’s the quickest and easiest to reach them, especially if you’re planning a day trip to Lake Garda by train.

There’s a train line connecting Milan and Venice. On this line, there’s a stop in Verona as well, and then, the train stops at Desenzano and Peschiera del Garda. This makes it easy for those who are planning day trips by train to Lake Garda to reach these towns easily. Anyway, if you’re looking for Lake Garda places to see or Lake Garda best places to visit, Sirmione is always the top choice!

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5 towns near Lake Garda Italy


1. Desenzano del Garda

Desenzano del Garda – photo from dovedormire.info

So, repeating the question about what towns are near Lake Garda. The first one we’re going to highlight is Desenzano. Desenzano is located in Lombardy, and it’s the first stop at lake garda if you’re planning a day trip from Milan to Lake Garda by train. The town belongs to the comune of Brescia, and it’s definitely one of the cutest towns on the south shore of Lake Garda.

If you’re looking for towns near Lake Garda Italy that are easy to reach, they are charming and you can enjoy some time in this amazing area, Desenzano is the best place to stay at Lake Garda Italy right after Sirmione. Desenzano is a bit cheaper than Sirmione and it’s also very close. The town itself is bigger too, so there are more possibilities for accommodation, and you can reach Sirmione’s old town too easily by bus, taxi or bicycle.

One of the most beautiful things in Desenzano is to have walked in the town under oleander trees, palm trees, and being surrounded in the meantime by stunning villas. The town has three major beaches called Desenzanino Beach, Spiaggia d’Oro, and Porto Rivoltella beach. If you’re looking for Lake Garda best places to visit, the historic center of Desenzano is packed with many great restaurants, gelato shops, and bars to pick from. The fact that the historic center is by the lake makes it even more fascinating with its cute promenades, small piazzas, and colorful buildings.


2. Sirmione

sirmione italy

And we’re still at the same question about Lake Garda best places to visit: What towns are near Lake Garda? Sirmione is definitely the top place when it comes to towns near Lake Garda Italy! Being one of the most beautiful towns on Lake Garda Italy, Sirmione has many things to offer no matter if you’re planning a day trip to Lake Garda, or a longer vacation. You can also find in Sirmione one of the best Lake Garda places to eat if you crave pizza. If you’re looking for where to eat in Sirmione, definitely stop by Al Cavallo restaurant!

The town of Sirmione is spread on a narrow peninsula, where you can find the historic center of Sirmione. Coming back from the peninsula, Sirmione continues down east on the shore of the lake for about 4km. This area is the best for budget accommodations, larger beaches, and the above-mentioned amazing restaurant!

When it comes to Lake Garda places to see, Sirmione is the number one must-see of the towns on Lake Garda Italy. Explore the historic center, walk under oleander trees, and visit the Scaliger Castle. You can get lost on the tiny piazzas, and buy your biggest gelato ever! During the colder months, you can also visit Sirmione if you’re looking for nice thermal baths in the North of Italy.

There are plenty of beaches as well in Sirmione! On the peninsula, you can visit the Spiaggia delle Muse, Spiaggia Brema, and Lido Galeazzi. Outside the peninsula, you can visit my personal favorite, Lido di Lugana,the Lugana Marina, and Spiaggia Punta Grò. The Al Cavallo restaurant I mentioned before when I highlighted the best Lake Garda places to eat is right near Lido di Lugana.


3. Peschiera del Garda

Peschiera del Garda – photo from Cosmopolitan

Let’s see another of the towns near Lake Garda Italy, shall we? Peschiera del Garda is the 3rd town on the south shore, and it’s another best place to stay at Lake Garda Italy. If you’re planning to visit Lake Garda from Verona, this town is not even 10 minutes away by train. The charming canals, the lake, the views, and the beaches make it all worth visiting!

Go for a walk to discover the town dressed in flowers, then enjoy the beautiful beaches and go to some great drinks and food in the town center. Peschiera is a great spot if you’re looking for nightlife at Lake Garda. Some of the best beaches in Peschiera are Vecchio Mulino, the beach of Cappuccini, and the largest, Lido ai Pioppi.

If you’re looking for Lake Garda best places Northern Italy, or Lake Garda best places to visit, then don’t miss this cute town on the south shore of the lake! From both Milan and Venice you can reach it by train. From Sirmione, you can use buses to get there easily.

4. Limone sul Garda

So what towns are neal Lake Garda that are worth visiting? Leaving the south shore, and heading up north on the west shore of Lake Garda you will arrive about halfway near the lake to Limone sul Garda. If you’re searching for stunning towns near Lake Garda Italy with stunning mountain views, Limone sul Garda is definitely a nother best place to stay at Lake Garda Italy!

Also, if you’re looking for Lake Garda places to eat, Limone sul Garda you’ll find packed with great restaurants to pick from! This charming and elegant town is surrounded by steep mountain slopes. Arriving to Limone sul Garda you have to drive through dozens of tunnels, all the way along the lake. The whole car ride is worth on its own for all the stunning landscapes that you can see in the meantime.

In Limone sul Garda you should visit the Torre Apponale, a 13th-century clock tower, along with the Rocca fortress as well as the historic center and several beaches. Get a bike and drive through the incredible cycling road that’s built just above the lake, on side of the cliffs! It was an amazing experience to admire the stunning landscapes surrounding Limone sul Garda. Definitely one of the best places to visit in Lake Garda Italy!

5. Riva del Garda

lake garda

Riva del Garda is probably one of the most picturesque towns near Lake Garda Italy. If you’re asking what towns are near Lake Garda to visit, well Riva del Garda should definitely be one of your choices! When it comes to Lake Garda best places to visit, I personally fall in love in the summer of 2021 with Riva del Garda.

Riva del Garda is located in the Trentino region, and it’s situated on the north shore of Lake Garda. It’s a great destination for Lake Garda places to see, and Lake Garda places to eat, but most importantly, it’s the best choice if you’re looking for via ferratas at Lake Garda! One of the most stunning, mid-level via ferrata you can do is just minutes away by car from Riva del Garda, and this place offers the most beautiful views while you’re climbing up the cliff. Check out the via Ferrata of Cima Capi if you’re up for these types of activities!


When to visit and how to arrive to Lake Garda?

sirmione italy

Now that we’ve discussed what towns are near Lake Garda, it’s time to speak about when to visit lake Garda and how to arrive at the towns on Lake Garda Italy. If you want to visit in the summer, you should definitely pick the towns near Lake Garda Italy that are designed for summer vacations. Such as Desenzano, Sirmione, Limone sul Garda or Peschiera del Garda but also Riva del Garda are.

If you’re planning to visit in the winter, you can consider Sirmione for the thermal baths, but also the northern side, as Rida del Garda, if you’re planning to go skiing. Indeed close to the lake there aren’t many ski resorts, but if you’re planning a longer trip, and visiting more things in the area by car, then Riva del Garda can be one of the places to visit in Lake Garda Italy during winter.

To arrive at Lake Garda by car it’s really easy, and it’s not much to talk about it, as you just need a GPS. If you’re planning to travel in the area by train, you can get a train from Milano Centrale in Milan, or Verona, but also Venice or north from Trento or Bolzano. You can always visit Valle del Chiese, Trento, and many other beautiful places in Trentino – Alto Adige region, South Tyrol.

Best place to stay at Lake Garda Italy

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When it comes to towns near Lake Garda Italy and deciding for the best place to stay at Lake Garda Italy, I’d say to always consider either the south, either the area of Lime sul Garda. However below you will find some of our top picks for every one of the above-mentioned towns!

In Sirmione, if you’re looking for a lovely budget place with a pool, consider Hotel Riel. They also have bikes included in the price! If you’re looking for beautiful luxurious places, then consider the Villa Cortine Palace Hotel. In Desenzano we recommend you checking Villa Rosa Hotel Desenzano, which is really pretty and highly rated! Then if you’re planning to stay rather in Peschiera del Garda we’d say you check this stunning place called Le Ali Del Frassino. In Limone sul Garda a resort you can choose for a relaxing stay is Park Hotel Imperial. And as of last, in Riva del Garda you should check this amazing place that’s all about recharge and relaxation, Du Lac Et Du Parc Grand Resort.

Wrapping up the 5 best towns near Lake Garda Italy

So as you can see these were the 5 best towns near Lake Garda Italy. Since I’m based in a northern region in Italy, this article will be expanded with more Lake Garda places to see and Lake Garda places to eat once I’ll start visiting the other, fewer knowns towns as well in the next period. When it comes to Lake Garda best places to visit, the above-mentioned 5 times are the most popular, and definitely the most beautiful. Though, there is some more to discover about the places to visit in Lake Garda Italy!


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Charming towns to visit at Lake Garda, Italy

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6 thoughts on “Charming towns to visit at Lake Garda, Italy

  1. I love lake Garda! I was there 2 years ago and it was magical. Absolutely one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen.

  2. Peschiera del Garda looks so charming and it definitely seems like the classic Italian town! I love Italy and cannot wait to return. Definitely pinning so I have this as a reference.

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