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Suggestions for places to stay Lake Garda with 2 teens

12 replies

RedskyThisNight · 16/01/2022 20:06

We're thinking about going to Lake Garda in July with our 2 teens (18 and 16) with possibly a couple of days in Venice afterwards.

However, feeling very overwhelmed with trying to work out where is best to stay.

Ideally we wouldn't hire a car but would use public transport (although not averse to the idea).
DH and I would probably be interested in sightseeing that the teens wouldn't be, so want options to leave them on their own to do something.
DS is quite active and would be interested in watersports etc.
DD has mobility issues and so would need thing to be in easy walking distance.

Any suggestions of places to stay very welcome.

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KirkstallAbbess · 16/01/2022 21:14

The south is the flatter bit I think, Peschiera is nice and has a main line station to Venice and Verona. Bardolino, Garda and Torri del Benaco are lovely.

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Meadowbreeze · 17/01/2022 11:49

We were there in 2019 with a then 12 and 10 year old. We stayed in an Airbnb and travelled around the different lakes. There are some much smaller and warmer ones than lake Garda which we found was very cold and a bit dirty. Lake iseo was nice but our favourite was lugano. We took the train from Varese for a day trip and we could've stayed for ages. It was absolutely breathtaking. There is an amazing pool complex with diving boards and beach. The return journey on the train was €15 and if was a really cool experience. Its very very expensive there but pool entry was cheap and we brought our own food. If you buy a return ticket in Italy it's much cheaper than buying on the Swiss side.

In terms of lake Garda though i would strongly recommend you rent a car. The mobility issue might be a problem too as there are very few actual beaches around the lakes. The ones that are there are often attached to a bar or restaurant and you pay to use them. They are almost never sandy and it's often just grass with a steep entrance or a dock. This was the most annoying part of the whole trip for us to be honest. If you're thinking no car than I would find a nice beach you like and find accomodation around that, otherwise it's a bit tricky.

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MissAmbrosia · 17/01/2022 11:59

We stayed in Desenzano last summer and no car needed. There's a station to take you to Verona/Venice/Milan. We did lots of trips by boat to other towns on the lake. The centre of town has lots of restaurants, a castle, archeological museum. Sirmione has a huge roman site at the Grotte di Catullo, and another castle. Our hotel had free bikes you could borrow and my teen happily went cycling up and down the lake front. A huge weekly market. Possibility to rent a small boat for a few hours. We didn't do Gardaland etc but I think you can reach easily enough by public transport. The only time we used our car in 2 weeks was to go to an animal park. Food and wine was very reasonably priced. hotelvittorio.it/en/ We stayed here. There were nice apartments with pool I will see if I can find a link for, but we went for the view.

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MissAmbrosia · 17/01/2022 12:00

The boat dock was practically across the road.

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Pearlyqueen21 · 18/01/2022 17:40

@KirkstallAbbess

The south is the flatter bit I think, Peschiera is nice and has a main line station to Venice and Verona. Bardolino, Garda and Torri del Benaco are lovely.

We stated at Bella Italia campsite in Peschiera, and i would highly recommend it. Lake-side, big enough to have a choice of bars/food in the evenings plus good pools, but near enough to walk into Peschiera which seemed a beautiful little town. We got the train from there to Venice very easily. Gardaland is a good theme park not too far away, if your teens would enjoy that - we had a hire car, not sure if it’s accessible by public transport. There were also various places to do water sports all round the lake.
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rookiemere · 18/01/2022 22:15

@MissAmbrosia where did you fly to when you stayed in that hotel ? It looks lovely.

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Verite1 · 19/01/2022 00:10

We have just booked to stay in bardolino and riva. Bardolino for sightseeing and exploring the lake and Riva for chilling and watersports. Someone mentioned Lugano above. We stayed in an amazing resort on lake Lugano called parco San Marco. On the Italian side of the lake (most of it is in Switzerland). We went twice, but fancied trying a different lake this time.

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GrumpyPanda · 19/01/2022 00:16

@Verite1

We have just booked to stay in bardolino and riva. Bardolino for sightseeing and exploring the lake and Riva for chilling and watersports. Someone mentioned Lugano above. We stayed in an amazing resort on lake Lugano called parco San Marco. On the Italian side of the lake (most of it is in Switzerland). We went twice, but fancied trying a different lake this time.

Parco San Marco is amazing! Some of my family members love it so much they go at least once a year (from Southern Germany mind you). Great with smaller kids as well but so so much to do with teenagers or also just for adults.
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MissAmbrosia · 19/01/2022 11:06

[quote rookiemere]@MissAmbrosia where did you fly to when you stayed in that hotel ? It looks lovely.[/quote]
We drove. But Milan or Verona are not far and doable by train.

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guygadouis · 09/02/2022 04:24

You’ll need a car but head north (west side) on Lake Garda till you get to Limone Sul Garda. Look east over the lake—most beautiful view in Europe. Like most places in Italy, good food is easy to find, there’s good windsurfing and excellent hiking.

You’ll need some Italian or German language skills—not a lot of English speakers.

Incidentally, the opening scene in Quantum of Solace (the start of the car chase) was filmed on the road just south of Limone.)

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Geamhradh · 09/02/2022 06:08

If you stay on the south end you don't need a car and Desenzano, as pp have said, is on a direct train line from Verona airport.
Almost everyone in the tourist industry in Italy speaks English far better than any Brit speaks Italian, many seasonal workers employed in Italian lakes tourism are from the area of Italy where German is used in schools as much as Italian.

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shinynewapple22 · 15/02/2022 23:22

As others have said, both Peschiera and Desenzano are on the train line which runs Venice-Verona-Milan. You can also get about using the steamer on the lake. The north of the lake is prettier, but less accessible and during holiday season the traffic is bad on roads around the lake, so maybe just take a day cruising on the steamer . Malcesine and the cable car up Monte Baldo are worth a visit . I recall a couple of theme parks between Peschiera and Lazise but not sure if they would be of interest to older teens, DS was around 10 when we visited . Sirmione is nice and close to Desanzano for bus (or lake transport).

The last couple of times we've traveled we've booked an apartment - the think the agency we used is now VRBO.

I've been several times and never had a problem with not speaking Italian.

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