Many people will recognise the name Garda from Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, and they would be correct in assuming that the town lies on its shores. It is not, however, a principle town in the region, and in fact is but a small and peaceful commune, and actually one of the smallest towns in the entire province, being home to just 4,000 residents. Garda, Verona should not be confused with its namesake in the Brescia Province.
The interesting and attractive town of Garda sits on the eastern shores of Lake Garda, and offers plenty to see and do despite its small size. Lake Garda is a fascinating and aesthetically stunning place, where families can enjoy water sports such as water skiing, windsurfing and sailing amongst a rich and varied backdrop. Walking, hiking and mountain climbing are just some of the many other activities on offer in the region.
Within Garda itself are a number of old sites, with the town itself being centuries old but still well preserved. Once a fortified town, Garda has narrow, winding streets that are home to places of interest such as the Captain’s Palace – a 14th century Venetian palace, as well as the 18th century Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Another site worth visiting is the Rock of Garda, which looms 300 metres over the town, and offers panoramic views of the lake and surrounding countryside from its summit.
Garda has a decent selection of shops, where you can pick up the local specialities such as wines and olive oils. Nightlife is fun without being over-the-top, with most of the bars situated along the promenade area. In terms of restaurants, pizzerias and seafood joints rule the roost in this part of the world, though you can always self-cater in your Garda holiday rental apartment if you fancy something a little different.
A popular day trip for visitors to Garda is the neighbouring town of Bardolino, just 4km south along the shores of Lake Garda. Bardolino has a pebble beach, a decent selection of restaurants and a surprisingly vibrant nightlife for a relatively small town. Garda is also just 40km from the city of Verona, made famous by its Roman amphitheatre, love of opera and artistic heritage.
The best time to visit Garda is between early May and late October, when the average daily temperature is 25C, and the festivals of the region are in full swing. July and August are the hottest months, with peak temperatures edging over the 30C mark.
There are several destination airports to choose from when heading to Garda from the UK. The nearest option is Verona Airport (VRN), which receives a small selection of Thomson Airways and British Airways flights, and is 24km from Garda. An alternative is Brescia Airport (VBS), which receives budget flights via Ryanair, and is 32km from Garda.