Lago di Garda is the largest lake in Italy. It is also a popular holiday destination. Normally we would like to find our own hidden gem accommodation, but that is not how it is going to work in peak season. We rushed into internet and booked ourselves a Bio Agriturismo Vojon in Ponti sul Mincio. This is a village about 5 km from the southern part of the lake.
Although we got a small room and the air conditioning didn’t work our entire stay, we really liked this agriturismo. Friendly owners, great breakfast and a stunning location between the vineyards and olive trees. A big swimming pool to relax and enjoy the view. We spend 3 nights here and it really felt too short!
What to see and expect to see around Lago di garda?
We didn’t look too much into the information given on internet. Our friend Geanina, from Bucharest gave us a few tips.
The first tip was Sirimione. I think this village is well known by many people. It is a peninsula at the southern part of the lake. The peninsula goes 4 km on the lake. It is small and long. We drove there with the car. Finding a parking spot wasn't that easy, a lot of parking lots where full. We had to walk a bit to get to the town. Parking cost was high.
The historic center starts after castle Scaligera. Walking underneath the gate you find yourself small streets loaded with restaurants, gelateria’s and souvenir shops. They are all settled in old and colorful buildings.
If it wouldn’t be to crowded, this would be my favorite town. But it was so crowded you could walk over heads, sort of speaking. I really loved the view over the lake all the time. Gorgeous!
Best tip we got! We visited this village in the afternoon. Parking the car was easy, just a short walk to the historic center.
The village has nice, small streets. A grocery selling their products, clothes shops established in old buildings, it all looks so cozy!
But the best part is the harbor and the long boulevard where you can stroll a few hours. The boulevard is nicely set up with great walking paths, benches and chairs to rest, even a big stretch of grass field so you can do some sunbathing, together with the locals.
Many hotels, campsites and restaurant are settled right behind the boulevard. If you want to go for a drink or food, go to Lindo Mirabello beach. Not an actual beach, but there are sun chairs set up in a garden on a grass field. If that doesn’t appeal to you, you can take a seat at the terrace next to the lake. With that panoramic view you might want to take one more drink!
We also took an ice-cream at the harbor. Eating it on a bench, with the view over the harbor. It couldn’t make me happier.
My husband had to work, so I borrowed a bike from Bio Agritursimo Vojon. To the center of the town Peschiera del Garda it was only 5 km. The road was very busy, cars will pass me continuously. When I had the change, I took a side street to get rid of the busy road. From there it went smooth. The old city is settled in the south east of the lake.
Passing the old ramparts it gives a glimpse of a medieval city. The old ford is dated back from the medieval. But now they only have historic parts. The historic center has some car free streets, which are small and narrow. They are filled with souvenir and clothing shops.
The best part I think is the street next to the channel Viale Cordigero, this street is filled with nice restaurants, settled in old, colorful buildings.
In the evening we came back here to eat our dinner. We choose Ristorante Pizzeria Al Canal Peschiera Del Garda. We had the best pizza, but most of all, the best lemon curd pie! Just give it a try!
Another day which Timo had to do some work. I took the car and drove a few kilometers to the small town of Borghetto sul Mincio. From another tourist staying in our agriturismo I got this tip. The town is famous for the old waterwheels still running. I could park the car close to the entrance. From there it was only as short walk.
After seeing the waterwheels up close, I took a small walking tour to have an overview. I really loved this quiet little town. The tourist haven’t woken up jet and with only a few other tourists I wandered around.
I took my time to explore and decided to go to the main center. After walking up to the castle, which wasn’t opened, I visited the center. I think this wasn’t unique so I left.
A nice place to visit for a morning or afternoon!
On the way back after we visited our friend in Cesena, we decided to spend some time in the northern part of the lake Garda. Since it was a busy season, I had some struggles to find decent accommodation. We found Albergo Garni, which worked together with Hotel Primavera. The swimming pool was available and we could take breakfast in that hotel.
We drove to Arco and parked the car. From here we start walking towards the ruin of Arco castle. This castle is settled on a hill. With the awesome view over the city and the lake, this was a great walk! The castle itself we didn’t think it was worth to visit. But we did love the pick nick field in front of the castle. Great view, great vibe.
The historic center was filled with more tourist, but not too overcrowded and great for a visit. Small streets, souvenir shops and gelaterias was the main sights for us.
This village at the northern side of Garda lake is well known for windsurfing and other water sports. It is mostly visited by posh people, but maybe that seems the look of them. It is nice city, with loads of shops. I didn’t find it too authentic, like Arco. The hotels where bigger, with at least 3 floors.
At the lakeside there where loads of restaurants, all with a magnificent view. The mountains, almost seemed to surrounded the lake, looked amazing.
Again this city is busy, but it didn’t bother me. I liked to walk around and eat my dinner at the lakeside. I think it wasn’t too expensive in those restaurants, even they are in a top location. The lasagna I ate was one of the best I tasted this holiday. (the best was in Rome, you can read about this visit here.)
Our stay in Albergo Garni was in another village which was about 30 minutes walk from Riva del Garda. This stroll was pleasant, with some vineyards to pass by.
The positive thing about Lago di Garda is the atmosphere. Loads of lovely villages and restaurants. I’m really fond of the Italian kitchen and I love to try more and more food. We were lucky to have tasted the local food at our friends, which was delicious.
Most villages have something to like, so something to do for everyone.
Now I see why so many people go on a holiday to Lago di Garda!
The only negative point I could find is the overcrowds in high season. Too many people and therefor too expensive in this period.