Lake Garda, Lombardy & Veneto, Italy
Also known as: Garda Lake, Lago di Garda
Lake Garda, or Lago di Garda in Italian, is the largest lake in Italy, sprawling over 90,000 acres with beautiful vistas. To the north, the lake is graced by the mystical Dolomites, whose awkward and angular rock formations, towering at heights close to 10,000 feet, and soul-inspiring beauty earned them the UNESCO Natural Heritage label in 2009. To the south of the lake, the rather low and…
Keep scrolling to read more.
Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lake Garda! Article topics include:
- All About Lake Garda
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Things to Do
- Known Fish Species
- Lake Garda Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Lake Garda Gifts
Looking for Lake Garda cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.
All About Lake Garda, Italy
Lake Garda, or Lago di Garda in Italian, is the largest lake in Italy, sprawling over 90,000 acres with beautiful vistas. To the north, the lake is graced by the mystical Dolomites, whose awkward and angular rock formations, towering at heights close to 10,000 feet, and soul-inspiring beauty earned them the UNESCO Natural Heritage label in 2009. To the south of the lake, the rather low and gentle rolling hills are accentuated by vibrant and colorful Italian architecture. Along the coasts of the long and narrow water body, in the many towns and villages, are hundreds of historical sites and places for nature, adventure, entertainment and rejuvenation.
Lake Garda is conveniently located less than 20 miles from Verona (think Romeo and Juliet), 60 miles east of Milan, and 80 miles west of Venice. Choose your activity level in this vibrant part of Italy. For cyclists, Largo di Garda is a biker’s paradise with biking trails and pathways suitable for beginners as well as tough climbs and terrains for more advanced cyclists. Regardless of skill level, biking in, up and around the natural landscapes surrounding the lake is a thrilling experience.
Nordic walking and hiking are popular activities. Many walking routes explore the various historical and scenic sights around Lake Garda, and hiking up the mountains proves itself an adventurous and challenging activity. The breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and altering shorelines will be rewarding. Trekking and horseback riding is another way to appreciate the scenery. There are also many opportunities for rock and cliff climbers, paragliders and skiers! Visitors can also ride a cable car to the top of Mount Baldo for panoramic lake views. Cable car tours originate from the town of Malcesine on the lake’s eastern shore.
During a visit to Lake Garda, one must save time to take advantage of its proximity to Italy’s incredible art, culture and history. There are many sites of historical import to explore and appreciate. Begin with the ruins and remains belonging to the early Romans and first settlers to the Lake Garda area. Next, learn how Napolean left his mark on this Italian countryside, how the Red Cross formed as a result of lakeside battle, and why Lake Garda was so important to Mussolini.
The warm, summery Mediterranean climate is a fertile atmosphere for Italy’s grape vineyards, famous olives, and lemons. From Lake Garda, you will have access to some of the finest products.
After you have finished exploring the region, it’s time to explore Lake Garda’s 90,000 acres of water. Sailing and windsurfing are extremely popular — watch the colorful sails glide gracefully over the water. Rent a motorboat, paddleboat or kayak for a cruise on the lake. There are over 30 species of fish in Lake Garda; the most common are trout, chub, carp, salmon, whitefish, pike, perch, bleak, tench, and eel. Swimmers enjoy plenty of choice areas in the lake: Though the southern end tends to be warmer and shallower nearer the shore, Lake Garda is deep with an average depth 346 feet and a maximum depth of over 1000 feet! Take extra care when swimming and keep in mind that you won’t have to venture too far from the shore before the bottom drops out from beneath your feet.
Boat tours are available to the largest island in the lake, Isola del Garda, to view its ornate Venetian villa and magnificent gardens. The island’s long history dates back to the Roman Empire. Saint Francis of Assisi founded a monastery on the island around 1220. Today, the island is owned by the Cavazza family who opened the island to public tours in 2002. Boat tours are available from several locations on the southern and western shores of the lake.
Vacation rentals and real estate are so abundant around Lake Garda that you will have no excuse not to spend a whole summer enjoying one of Italy’s most dynamic destinations.
Things to Do at Lake Garda
These are some activities in the Lake Garda, Italy area visitors can enjoy:
- Vacation Rentals
- Horseback Riding
What Kind of Fish Are in Lake Garda?
Lake Garda has been known to have the following fish species:
Find Places to Stay at Lake Garda
If you’re considering a Lake Garda lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase. Read our full disclosure policy here.
More Sites to Book a Lake Garda Vacation
Our interactive Lake Garda lodging map above is an easy tool for comparing VRBO rental homes and nearby hotels with Booking.com, but there could be times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodations. Here are some other lake lodging partners we recommend:
Lake Garda Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed
Surface Area: 91,520 acres
Shoreline Length: 90 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 213 feet
Average Depth: 446 feet
Maximum Depth: 1,135 feet
Water Volume: 39,749,268 acre-feet
Water Residence Time: 26.8
Drainage Area: 873 sq. miles
We strive to keep information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. If you’ve found something here that needs updating, please touch base by filling out our Content Correction form.
Shop Lake Garda Gifts
More Lake Garda news from LakeLubbers.com
- Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
- The Lake Garda forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
- New Lake Garda photos coming soon!
- You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
- Share this Lake Garda article with your fellow LakeLubbers: