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Anyone been to Lake Garda?

(20 Posts)
SESthebrave Fri 12-Feb-16 19:52:21

DH and I would be going with DS (7yo) and DD (4yo)

Any hotel recommendations with children's activities?

Any other suggestions of things to interest the children?

Behooven Fri 12-Feb-16 20:06:57

Me! 3 times.
Mine are a bit older so we didn't go for children's clubs though there was one (and loads to do with a constant animation programme) at Hotel Paradiso. It's about 10 minutes drive from the lake with a free bus running to and fro all day.
Hotel San Marco Peschiera has family rooms and a pool and is really handy for getting to Gardaland and the Waterpark. You can go all round the lake by bus or dotting around on the ferries or get the train to Verona and Milan again from Peschiera train station.

evilgiraffe Fri 12-Feb-16 20:12:55

We went on honeymoon (pre children), it's a beautiful area. You can get a cable car from Malcesine up to the top of Monte Baldo - good for a picnic and a walk, and the cable car ride would be fun for your DC?

Bunbaker Sat 13-Feb-16 01:38:12

We have been twice, and I would happily go back. It is utterly beatiful and there is loads to see and do. I can't help re children's activities as DD is older. We stayed in Garda town the first time and Sirmione the second time. The nicest way to see the lake is to take a ferry to a different town. We did this on several occasions. We also hired a small boat in Sirmione for an hour.

I can't comment on Gardaland or the waterpark because we don't enjoy places like that, preferring to sightsee, walk or swim and laze around.

SESthebrave Sat 13-Feb-16 06:09:34

Thank you - this really helps.
Behooven - good to have the recommendation of a hotel with family rooms too.

ClaretAndBlue30 Sat 13-Feb-16 06:42:37

It may or may not be the sort of thing you're after but we stayed at a eurocamp park on lake Garda last September. There are various different parks around the lake of different sizes, style etc and they cater really well for children of all ages. Our accommodation was simple but had everything we needed and a stunning view over the lake.

Wherever you end up staying, it really is a very beautiful lake and all very accessible if you hire a car.

Bunbaker Sat 13-Feb-16 10:01:19

We have never felt the need to hire a car as public transport is pretty easy to use. Also it gets extremely busy in summer and parking can be a problem.

NotCitrus Sat 13-Feb-16 10:12:29

We did it and are thinking of taking the children now we have them.
Could stay a night in Verona en route - the amphitheatre is free to climb all over when there isn't an opera on, and hotels are much cheaper. Watching techs create the set of the next show while having a picnic was great. The archaeology museum is basically a hillside with dumped marble and also rather good views.
Then we got bus to Bardolino - there's pedalos, crazy golf (classy red and white marble version!) etc. The wine or olive oil museums do tasting and a short tour. Scaliger castles are cool (small enough to be cheap to enter and hold kids' interest), also the cable car to the hilltops at Malcesine. And of course lots of wandering round the lake and villages enjoying ice creams and pizza.
The water park was excellent but the approach to safety wasn't the same as the UK so there were a couple rides we didn't go on (gaps between riders not enforced, rickety fences around high platforms).

Postchildrenpregranny Sat 13-Feb-16 10:19:12

Loved our stay at Riva del G but our children were old enough to enjoy swimming in and sailing/canoeing on the lake. We also borrowed bikes from the hotel
I certainly wouldn't have hired a car The road is tortuous and very very busy .Going round the lake on the ferries was fun though .As was the cable car .We had several trips out to Venice ,Bolzano and the Dolomites but your DCS probably a bit young as they were long days and tiring

Behooven Sat 13-Feb-16 11:30:52

SES you're welcome, that's a traditional kinda old fashioned hotel right on the edge of the lake within walking distance of the busy town - we found that calling them direct got the best price and room and they speak perfect English.

Reading all these comments makes me want to go back this year, loved the cable car and lunch at the top! We did the opera at Verona last year it was amazing grin

ClaretAndBlue30 Sat 13-Feb-16 12:10:13

I should add we hired a car because we had our 10 month old baby with us so boats/public transport weren't always the best option. With older children, as others say, boats/public transport probably does the job perfectly.

Bunbaker Sat 13-Feb-16 12:52:24

I would have thought it would be very easy to take a 10 month old baby on a ferry. They aren't little boats. As postchild has said the roads are very, very busy and, according to one of my friends who had a hire car there, driving round Lake Garda is not fun.

This is a typical ferry.

ClaretAndBlue30 Sat 13-Feb-16 13:05:19

We did take the ferry, we did take the bus. But we also took the car - personal choice bunbaker!

Bunbaker Sat 13-Feb-16 13:28:31

Tis indeed Claret. I drive a lot at home so it makes a nice change not to on holiday. Although I will be driving in Florida this year.

Behooven Sat 13-Feb-16 13:33:10

We had a car as well, the trains and ferries are great for some trips but we like the freedom to roam as the mood takes us. Mantua is worth a day trip and Castel Toblino (way up behind Riva) is utterly beautiful.

rosebiggs Sat 13-Feb-16 13:34:53

Gardaland is good fun. I don't really like theme parks but my dc's love them, and we had a good trip out. We went in the evening when it was cooler as it gets very hot. The Riva end seems cooler and more breezy than the Sirmione end.

Bunbaker Sat 13-Feb-16 13:35:32

Wow! That is stunning Behooven

Behooven Sat 13-Feb-16 13:40:22

bunbaker totally worth the drive. After leaving the lake road it does get quieter and such lovely scenery on the way there. I think it gets hired out for weddings etc but it has a really nice wee restarant for lunch and ice cream so you sit outside looking over that view. I'm quite nostalgic thinking about it even though I was last there in July 14 smile

Behooven Sat 13-Feb-16 13:40:52

Tut, July 15

Sgtmajormummy Sat 13-Feb-16 13:47:03

If you go to Gardaland it's definitely worth buying your tickets online to save on queues.
We got the season ticket "abbonamento" which gave us 10 queue-skipping tickets, free return to the park (you could do two days if the kids get tired) and free parking for a whole year plus other benefits like cheap meals.

But then we live about 2 hours away and we were already planning to go back to see the Acquarium.

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