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Irene Clunie, Short Break Specialist

"Explore the dramatic mountain scenery and history of Lake Garda by visiting one of many of the lake’s medieval castles or spend a day at the Rock of Manerba, an archaeological site and nature reserve featuring fantastic views of the lake, walking trails and some of the best beaches on Lake Garda."

Lake Garda at a glance

Shaped by glaciers from the prehistoric age, Lake Garda’s dramatic alpine landscape is home to a number of picturesque lakeside villages, medieval castles and historic villas dating back to when the Romans once laid claim to the prized setting.

Nestled among the three distinct regions of Lombardy, Trentino Alto-Adige and Vento, Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake and boasts a diverse lake culture. Each village or town presents a unique attraction, from the thermal baths and medieval castle of Sirmione to the aristocratic villas and exotic plants of Gardone.

Its varying landscape of sandy beaches, lakeside promenades and jagged mountains makes Lake Garda a natural haven for relaxation while it’s wealth of historic sites will leave you spoilt for things to see and do.

We feature other Italian Lakes such as Lake Como and Lake Maggiore.

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • Picturesque setting
  • A peaceful short break
  • Historic attractions

Getting around

A public bus network operates around the lake.

Lake Garda is also well serviced by a number of boat services, including ferries and catamarans. 

Dining in Lake Garda

With a charming landscape and culture which influences the local cuisine and wine, restaurants here are upmarket but not pretentious and offers fantastic, innovative gastronomy. The extra virgin olive oil from the region is renowned for its light and delicate flavour which transforms their local favourites of freshwater fish, rustic meat dishes and polenta.

Must-try local dishes:

  • Yota – a garlicky stew of beans, sauerkraut, potatoes, ham or smoked ribs.
  • Frico – crafted from thinly sliced cheese such as parmesan, mozzarella or montasio coated in flour and deep fried. A favourite starter served at many restaurants.
  • Tortellini – pasta filled with different meats, mushrooms or cheese. These can be ordered as a starter or main.


Lake Garda is abuzz with colourful markets and sells sumptuous foods but also non-food items such as Italian leather shoes and bags, pottery, tapestry and clothing. There are also plenty of top Italian designer shops such as Versace, Gucci, Prada and Armani which can be found in the town of Desenzano and Riva.

Osprey Holidays top tips

If you’re after a family adventure, then Gardaland Theme Park is the place for you! Located on the stunning Lake Garda between Lazise and Peschiera, Italy, it is the third largest theme park in Europe and number one in Italy.

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Lake Garda designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of Lake Garda hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.

Important information
Languages Italian
Currency Euro
Visa Information No visa required for UK citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Interesting facts

Why not take a day trip to nearby Venice, Verona or Milan to enjoy the unique culture and art on offer.

Distance from airports
Verona Villafranca 33 km
Railway stations

Tours and Excursions

Dolomites Day Tour

Discover the beauty of the Dolomite Mountains during this full-day tour that departs from several locations around Lake Garda. Travel to an altitude of 7300 feet at the Pordoi pass and admire the famous Marmolada, Sella and Catinaccio summits. There will be various stops for lunch (not included), photo ops and souvenir shopping in a traditional mountain village.

Lake Garda Tour

The itinerary of this full day tour differs depending on your departure point, but typically includes Lake Garda’s most scenic spots including Sirmione, Lazise, Riva del Garda and Limone sul Garda. You will be accompanied by a local guide and a boat trip between either Riva del Garda and Limone sul Garda or Salo and Sirmione is included. 


We would be happy to arrange an excursion for you. To discuss options with a member of our knowledgeable team or to book, please contact us on 0131 243 8098.