Anybody has been to Sardinia or lake Guarda?

(66 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

humphryscorner Thu 17-Oct-13 15:03:53

I'm going to ask dh to take me for my birthday next year for my birthday I'm getting old and it's too fucking depressing to suffer it here

I'm going to take dd2 who will be one.

Anybody been loved/hated it. Where's the best place to go for food hot Italian men ect ..

humphryscorner Thu 17-Oct-13 15:04:33

Need to put my specs on clearly!

TheNunsOfGavarone Thu 17-Oct-13 15:10:03

I went to Alghero a few years ago - pretty town with some lovely sandy beaches and boat-trips.

ButternutSquish Thu 17-Oct-13 15:21:52

I've been to Lake Garda, specifically Limone. It's beautiful! I loved it. If you go to Riva there's a more sporty area with windsurfing and beach type area, down the other end there Sirmione which has a castle type building with a drawbridge. Lots of lovely villages in between. You can get the ferry around the lake to visit. Not far from Verona if you fancy a spot of proper shopping or opera in the amphitheater. I'd go back at the drop of a hat!

ErrolTheDragon Thu 17-Oct-13 15:29:15

Lake Garda was the first foreign holiday DH and I had together. We stayed in a small hotel in Riva some way out of the centre - my favourite eating place was a little local pizzeria nearby.

Lovely place for a holiday - I'd like to go again though DD would probably just want to windsurf! We didn't do anything like that back then but enjoyed the pedalos. grin

In addition to the lake itself, we did a longish walk in the mountains, and took a cable car up to flower-strewn alpine meadows (I think it was about May/June).

I used to spend a lot of my summers at Lago di Garda. <writes in Italian to impress people> Limone is beautiful, in fact the whole lake is. You can get to a lot of Northern Italy for side trips as well.

humphryscorner Thu 17-Oct-13 15:36:00

Ah sounds lovely!

I can't choose between the two.
Ideally we would be near beach/ lake authentic town, water sports not a massive feature though, small restaurants -taverns, some where quiet -ish, me and dh are early risers early to bed.

Did you find it expensive ?


LIZS Thu 17-Oct-13 15:36:59

Been to Lake Garda twice. Beaches , paddling in lake , mountainous at northern end and windier for watersports, ferries to different towns. Malcesine has a castle and a cable car up the mountain and there is a kids' play area by the café. Couple of water/them parks on the south east corner. Sirmione is romantic and has Grotta di Catullo to explore. Reached 35-40oc mid August.

LIZS Thu 17-Oct-13 15:38:26

We had about 15 years between visits, pre/post Eruo and recession, and yes it felt £££. Also went to Italy this year and again very expensive.

campocaro Thu 17-Oct-13 15:41:23

Went to Alghero when DD was about 3. Loved it. Nice vibe in town and some pretty beaches. Locals very friendly and accepting of messy eater (pasta explosion, DD not us) Lots of little restaurants and nice strolls around town and by beach.

Oriunda Thu 17-Oct-13 15:42:37

Two totally different regions food, climate and culture wise. In the south ie Sardinia people eat very late so you'd be hard pushed to find restaurants open for an early dinner. Lake Garda is in the north so I think would suit better. What time of year are you thinking of?

ohmymimi Thu 17-Oct-13 15:51:14

I'm on the Garda team. It's a beautiful area, lots to do and see and plenty of holiday options available. You can do a river trip to Mantova in addition to some of the other activities mentioned above.

humphryscorner Thu 17-Oct-13 15:52:00

oriyunda what's late.......

I think I'm leaning towards Alghero but can only see large hotel type acc would like something small , intimate

They both look fantastic, I flew over lake Garda once and fell in love with it, always wanted to visit but looks like a two hour trip from airport??

RhondaJean Thu 17-Oct-13 15:53:32

We went to Garda on honeymoon almost 15 years ago! It was wonderful - loads to see and do, weather is good, food is great, everyone w so friendly.

Sardinia is on our hit list, I know a few people who have been this year and loved it, you should have a great time at either.

pixiepotter Thu 17-Oct-13 15:55:43

You do realise that there is a whole talk section consisting of 9 boards devoted to travel.You don't have to post everything in AIBU.
Just sayin'....

Tinlegs Thu 17-Oct-13 15:56:26

Have been to both. Would probably choose Lake Garda, give. The choice. Sardinia is beautiful but a bugger to get around. There is a big road up the middle (fast) but most roads to the coast are much, much slower so you can't easily explore the whole island. We camped in the south. Lake Garda is more interesting, more cosmopolitan etc. Sardinia is a great place for a beach holiday.

dobedobedo Thu 17-Oct-13 15:56:45

Never been to either of those places, but we went to Lake Como. It's absolutely stunning there. If you stay in one of the non touristy towns it's really very reasonably priced. Best holiday we've ever had. Google Mandello del Lario. (train stops right there from Milan airport)

ErrolTheDragon Thu 17-Oct-13 15:59:06

>looks like a two hour trip from airport??

IIRC (I may not, it was over 25 years ago!) it was quite a long transfer from Milan.

dobedobedo Thu 17-Oct-13 15:59:51

George Cloony lives on lake Como.....

dobedobedo Thu 17-Oct-13 16:00:03


Supergeek Thu 17-Oct-13 16:00:08

I've been to Sardinia 3 times, twice to Alghero and once camping and travelling all around. It's beautiful. Not cheap though sadly. The west coast is cheaper and a bit quieter, and the island is quite small so if you hire a car you can get to see quite a lot of it.

ColderThanAWitchsTitty Thu 17-Oct-13 16:01:09


Chopstheduck Thu 17-Oct-13 16:01:59

I love Garda, have been twice. There are some lovely restaurants about. We stayed at Bella Italia camp site one time in a caravan, and the on site restaurants were excellent. Bardolino has excellent wines just round the east side a bit, you can visit the winery, etc. Verona not far south. Even Venice or Milan is close enough for day trips (though personally didn't think Milan was worth the hype). Def rent a boat on the lake for half a day or so (they provide life jackets for children).

Doubtfuldaphne Thu 17-Oct-13 16:02:17

Do NOT go to south Sardinia unless just to visit for the day!
I had my honeymoon there and there was nothing to do. Luckily we hired a car but even so the roads were lethal and we had nowhere to go. everywhere was shut. We took the coach to the north and it was the same. We did go at Easter though which was a mistake as they close down everything.
Lake Garda is so much better.
One good thing that came out of Sardinia however is the boredom resulted in our dd being born!
For Italy I recommend the Amalfi coast and ravello with a trip to the volcanic city of Pompeii and all the glamorous islands around there. Stay away from Naples though as it's pretty dangerous and intimidating!

Bunbaker Thu 17-Oct-13 16:03:33

I would love to go to Sardinia, but have been to lake Garda twice in recent years. It is stunningly beautiful, the food is lovely and the people friendly.

I don't like large impersonal hotels and all inclusive type holidays, or holidays full of noisy hen/stag parties. Lake Garda ticks all the right boxes for me because it is a destination for couples and families and people who want to visit a country to enjoy its culture, food, sights etc, and it doesn't appeal to the all day English breakfast lover who just wants to get drunk and go our clubbing.

Two years ago we stayed in the town of Garda and loved it enough to go back to the lake. This year we stayed in Sirmione and loved it. You can get ferries to visit different towns round the lake, eat in nice little restaurants, eat loads of ice-cream and drink Aperol spritz by the lake.

It has to be one of my favourite holiday destinations.

LIZS Thu 17-Oct-13 16:03:36

About 45mins from Verona airport to Lake Garda, longer in the high season as lakeside traffic is dreadful and motorway gets clogged at weekends with Europeans driving to and fro. West coast a bit longer. Milan is further , about 2 -21/2 hours

Bunbaker Thu 17-Oct-13 16:05:53

We stayed in Sorrento last year and was disappointed with the amount of traffic. The coastline is very built up so you can't walk along the coast, but along busy roads. I enjoyed Sorrento, but Lake Garda was so much better.

I just love Italy.

ksrwr Thu 17-Oct-13 16:08:04

have been to costa smeralda a couple of times, very nice, very pricey though, lots of pools and beaches for kids - but within hotel complexes.

massistar Thu 17-Oct-13 16:14:27

I've been to both and much preferred Sardinia. We were near San Teodoro and the beaches are absolutely beautiful. Depends what you're after really! I found Garda really busy and full of Dutch and English tourists whereas Sardinia was a more unspoiled and relaxed holiday.

Bunbaker Thu 17-Oct-13 16:22:58

Most of the holidaymakers in Sirmione were Italian when we were there in August. I think it also depends what part of the lake you are staying in. Further north you get more Germans, English and Dutch, probably because they have driven down.

humphryscorner Thu 17-Oct-13 16:39:08

chops hiring a boat on the lake is exactly what I'd love to do. I would also enjoy camping but DH is a camp hater.

dobedo if I went there I would probably get arrested for stalking...Ive never really got over the old E.R days

bunbaker the food is important as me and DH are foodies that's our excuse as we could do with shedding a few pounds grin

also had any one seen the two greedy Italians cookery show? Ive hankered at theses two places after seeing them on there also!!

Bunbaker Thu 17-Oct-13 16:52:35

I wouldn't want to camp in summer because it is too hot at night to sleep without aircon.

We hired a boat and it was brilliant - 65 euros for an hour. The markets are worth visiting. I bought a lovely dress at Peschiera market.

magichamster Thu 17-Oct-13 16:55:01

I love Lake Garda. We've stayed in Riva. There's loads to do and you can also get out and about to places like Venice and Verona.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 17-Oct-13 17:11:35


We're afraid YABU to post this in AIBU grin

We've moved it to Shorthaul now.

Best of luck - hope you find an excellent location.

PortoFiendo Fri 18-Oct-13 09:32:41

I have been to both - they are very different holidays so hard to compare really. We stayed in Cannigione in Sardinia which was very nice. You need a car to get to the best Costa Smeralda beaches though. It's a small town with a handful of bars and restaurants. I had my best ever meal there. Pics Scroll down past the sad flowers.....

PortoFiendo Fri 18-Oct-13 09:37:13

And talking of Como, we stayed here a couple of years ago in a Dependance room with dd. Its a small hotel run by a young couple with kids. Views were to die for. Easy walk to the boat stop and bars and restaurants. Nice little park on the lake front. Bellagio and Villa Balbionella (in Star Wars/Casino Royale) close by. Really beautiful area.

roughtyping Fri 18-Oct-13 09:58:20

Lake Garda is just amazingly beautiful. I've been to Riva twice and Peschiera once (opposite ends of the lake) and both were lovely. I would love to stay in Malcesine though, it's just gorgeous, and has the cable car up to Monte Baldo.

<sighs, wishes she could go back>

Bunbaker Fri 18-Oct-13 12:22:42

Wow! That looks lovely PortoFiendo. I shall bookmark that. We were thinking of doing a different lake next time. Which is the nearest airport?

LIZS Fri 18-Oct-13 16:01:38

We did Lake Como this summer , Milan is the nearest airport , takes just an hour to hour and half depending on traffic and whereabouts you stay on the lake . Lake Como is far quieter and more sedate than Lake Garda, and it is fun villa spotting from the ferries (including GC's). Less accessible walking, not as family friendly and fewer watersports bases though. Como itself was a lovely surprise.

Bunbaker Fri 18-Oct-13 16:50:20

DD is 13 and isn't interested in children focused activities. She likes to explore, sightsee, shop, swim and lounge about - basically what I like to do on holiday. And we don't do watersports either - I can't see without my glasses on sad

LIZS Fri 18-Oct-13 17:28:09

In that case you'd probably find it ideal , our dc are similar and enjoyed the area but a week was plenty unless you hire a car and visit Lugano and beyond.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 18-Oct-13 17:34:12

>And we don't do watersports either - I can't see without my glasses on

neither can my DH (he's seriously shortsighted and can't tolerate contacts)... he uses a spectacle tie just like I do for sunglasses, no problem sailing/windsurfing in glasses at all. Don't let that stop you if you fancy it!

Bunbaker Fri 18-Oct-13 17:43:50

I want to go to Lake Como.

Sorry for hijacking the thread BTW

ErrolTheDragon Fri 18-Oct-13 17:47:59

>I want to go to Lake Como.

does sound nice - definitely somewhere to go with DH once DD is off our hands if not before. (BTW my comment about watersports - the Italian lakes probably aren't the best place to learn, just didn't want you to be sad unnecessarily if it's something you like the sound of trying smile

PortoFiendo Sat 19-Oct-13 01:16:02

Milan would be the nearest airport. We had the car but I think it is relatively easy to get to the port in Como to get ferries.

NeverTalksToStrangers Sat 19-Oct-13 01:22:19

Has nobody else mentioned Garda Land? LOVED it. Bit awkward with a baby (we had 2 under 4 there) but still brilliant.

Bunbaker Sat 19-Oct-13 10:51:18

We're not interested in places like Gardaland. We don't like theme parks.

Chopstheduck Sat 19-Oct-13 13:21:43

I didn't like como. Bugger all there, horrendous traffic, no where to park, queues for ferries. Very expensive too.

Iwaswatchingthat Sat 19-Oct-13 13:26:04

I loved lake garda, but be warned we were bitten by flying insects day and night. Take plenty of insect repellant and piriton!!!

NorbertDentressangle Sat 19-Oct-13 13:29:13

We went to Alghero a couple of years ago and loved it - would definitely go back!

bebopanddoowop Sat 19-Oct-13 13:42:42

I went to Sardinia as a young teenager with my family and I loved it. I don't have a lot of advice on where to go because I don't remember, and we stayed in a all inc resort cos that was easiest with 4 kids. But I just wanted to say I disagree with PP that said there's nothing to do - there's wonderful little villages and history - beautiful nature and the beaches are gorgeous and I'm not really a beach-lover but I vividly remember being the happiest and most energised I had felt in the sea there! But yes it is quite mountainous there and the roads up there are pretty scary driving along!

Bunbaker Sat 19-Oct-13 23:55:04

Yes, Garda has a mosquito problem, although we didn't see any in Sirmione this August.

LIZS Sun 20-Oct-13 08:32:48

I got bitten more on Como than Garda !

Lake Guarda is beautiful but I really love Lake Como. Sardinia is on my list of places to go.

PortoFiendo Sun 20-Oct-13 22:22:52

It's Garda, not Guarda. Pedant alert ;-0

Hehe portofiendo I noticed I'd misspelled it but as I'd killed the thread thought no one would see! wink

PortoFiendo Mon 21-Oct-13 11:52:03


mignonnette Mon 21-Oct-13 11:58:36

Bored in Sardinia? The mind boggles!

Have been there loads of times and it is stunningly beautiful, gorgeous food, beaches, mountains and very safe too. Avoid the NE coast as very ££££ but La Pelosa beach is breathtaking as are the beaches near Alghero if you don't have a car. I have a Sardinia pinterest page here.

We have travelled all over by car and by moped too. There's a fabulous cross island train journey through the mountains you can take, stay overnight then return that is quite the adventure. For mountain and outdoor pursuits Su Gologne is a good base with fabulous hotels. St Theresa Di Gallura is a lovely beach resort as are the coastal regions above Alghero up to Stintino with hundreds of deserted coves to be discovered.

How anybody can be bored in Sardinia is a mystery!

I am Italian and I would always pick Sardinia over the lakes in Northern Italy.

I missed the post where you say when you want to go, if the date is off season (from mid september to mid June), you will find good bargains for Sardinia.

If it's only for a long weekend I suggest Cagliari. You can fly direct. The city is small and lovely. From the city centre you take the bus and in 15 minutes you are at Poetto, which is a long, beautiful beach with lots of restaurants. here. The area around Cagliari is also quite cheap.

Costa Smeralda is very expensive and not that genuine (thogh the sea is amazing).

mignonnette Mon 21-Oct-13 12:27:42

I always go to Sardinia before the start of June and after the last week of September. The last time we went was the middle of April and we sunbathed at La Pelosa beach in 80 degrees of heat and had a glorious two weeks. The seas are warmer in September and it is still around 80 degrees n the sun. Avoid August as it is the national holidays and the beaches are rammed.

Oh la Pelosa is the one in Stintino, no? Gorgeous.We were in Puglia in Easter, 24 degrees in the sunshine. It was 10 degrees colder here in Milan grin

mignonnetteZOMBIEKILLEROFHQ Mon 21-Oct-13 12:56:41

Yes, La Pelosa is at Stintino. There are no words for the beauty of this beach. We swam over to the island in such warm waters. I got a little teary when I first saw the beach and also seeing Spinosa Cove at Capo Testa quite by chance. We were driving up to La Pelosa via Argenteria (deserted silver mining town) when we turned off down a little gorse clogged track and there was Spinosa Cove. Magical. I'll never forget it.

mignonnetteZOMBIEKILLEROFHQ Mon 21-Oct-13 12:57:34

I want to go to Matera next, Franca. Where would you suggest in Campania/Basilicata/Le Marche?

Mignonette I haven't visited Matera yet blush and it is in fact in my "to go" list. Friends of ours stop there on their way back to Milan this summer and loved it. There are some nice hotels too, I am told.

Not an expert on Molise and Basilicata (again on my to go list), but I know Le Marche quite well, shall I send you a private message?

mignonnetteZOMBIEKILLEROFHQ Mon 21-Oct-13 14:08:58

Yes thank you Franca. That would be lovely.

Yes will do asap

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