Lake Garda (Lago di Garda) is the largest and most picturesque lake in the whole of Italy. Located in the foothills of the Alps, Lake Garda holidays are some of the most peaceful and romantic holidays you can find, surrounded by colourful natural scenery. Lake Garda holidays have been an Italian favourite since the Roman era, and little has changed! However, there is far more to do on a Lake Garda holiday than you might initially imagine, as the natural landscape provides the perfect setting for many activities, sports and cultural trips. Due to the stunning combination of scenery, atmosphere, climate and leisure options, Lake Garda weddings are extremely popular, and the romance of the area is undeniable.
Almost any sport can be practiced on Lake Garda or in the surrounding area. The ideal conditions of the lake make sailing, windsurfing and scuba-diving a real pleasure. If you decide to try any of these during your stay in a Lake Garda apartment or villa then you can easily arrange both lessons and equipment hire from many stations around the shores of the lake.
The foothills of the Alps leading up to the mountains are also a favoured playground for adventure sports fans throughout the year, who descend on Lake Garda accommodation to practice their sport in testing and beautiful surroundings. During summer, groups of walkers, mountain bikers, climbers and paragliding enthusiasts can be found heading into the mountains to find their perfect spot, usually coupled with awe-inspiring views over the Venito Province. Routes and trail maps can be found from the Lake Garda tourist information centres.
There are also a huge number of other activities in the area, from the famous golf courses of Lake Garda to the clay-pigeon shoots and go-cart tracks which can be found in a selection of destinations around Lake Garda. Property here is hugely sought after by sports fans all year round.
However, you can easily take a self catering Lake Garda holiday apartment without having to get too active! There are a surprising number of elegant gardens, picturesque shopping streets and wonderful restaurants around the shores of Lake Garda to choose from, and the nightlife is amazingly vibrant for such a peaceful area. There is an enormous wealth of fun bars and cafes as well as a handful of clubs in which to dance into the early hours if you would like to.
The enchanting town of Malcesine stands on the banks of Lake Garda, filled with ancient charm, and located at the base of many of the finest walks in the area. A Lake Garda apartment in Malcesine is ideal for exploring the mountains, as there is a cable car from the village into the peaks Monte Baldo, the highest in the area.
If you are interested in the castles and fortifications which surround Lake Garda, the huge castle at Peschiera del Garda makes for essential viewing. The Sanctuary of Madonna del Frassino is a wonderful place to visit too, as it is filled with masterpieces from some of Lake Garda’s local artists from throughout the ages.
Bardolino is one of the liveliest places to take a self catering Lake Garda apartment. Filled with eateries and bars, Bardolino is a centre of activity on the shores of Lake Garda, with concerts, performances and ferry trips on Lake Garda itself.
Lake Garda accommodation is best reached from the tiny Brescia Airport (VBS), 20km outside Brescia. Luckily for British tourists, Ryanair provide direct flights from Stansted (STN). Busses from Brescia Airport to Lake Garda can be found for around £10 return.