Lake Garda Panoramic View

Where to Stay in Lake Garda: Best Towns & Villages

There are 26 towns around Lake Garda (the largest lake in Italy) making it hard for first-time visitors to choose where to stay. In this guide, you will find where to stay on Lake Garda depending on your individual preferences such as where to stay if you don’t have a car, the best towns for families, water sports and hiking, or romantic gateways for couples.

I visited Lake Garde in 2014 for the first time and instantly fell in love with it. Since then I have been visiting this magical lake almost every year. Its picture-perfect old towns, and turquoise water surrounded by majestic mountains make it a great destination for holidays.

All the places and towns mentioned in my list include the top things to do in that area and the best accommodation with free parking. I have done extensive research and hand-picked the best hotels (including the ones where I stayed) for you with top reviews. All you need to do is make sure to book in advance as the best ones tend to sell out quickly!

Pro Tip: The best way to explore Lake Garda is by car/ferry and most locations are stroller-friendly. If you are traveling by car make sure to book hotels with parking, because it can be difficult to find parking directly on the lakeside. 

Panoramic View over Lake Garda from Mount Baldo

Map of Lake Garda with Towns

Lake Garda is divided into three provinces:
Lombardy -clockwise: south to north
Veneto – clockwise: north to south
Trentino Alto-Adige (Südtirol) – clockwise: west to east

On this map you find the best towns on Lake worth visiting. Just zoom in to see more details.

Best Areas to Stay on Lake Garda for Couples

Entire Lake Garda and its surrounding towns are full of a romantic atmosphere and typical Italian flair. But Veneto province with towns Bardolino, Malcesine, Lazise, and Torri del Benaco are the most romantic areas perfect for couples to fully enjoy their time together. 


Nestled on the eastern shore of the lake, Malcesine is a picturesque town with narrow streets, a medieval castle, and stunning views. 

Malcesine Lake Garda

Top Things to Do in Malcesine

  • Visit Scaliger Castle
  • Take a cable car to Mount Baldo to enjoy the best views over the lake
  • Visit the Pallayzo dei Capitani (Miniscalci Palace)
  • Have a romantic dinner at lakeside restaurants overlooking the small harbor  
  • Take a ferry to Limone and Riva

Where to Stay in Malcesine

Wellness Hotel Casa Barca – ⭐️ RATING: 9.4/10 Stars
A modern family-run hotel offering fantastic panoramic 360° views across Lake Garda and Wellness and Spa. All the rooms have private balconies overlooking the lake. Guests can relax in the garden with a large olive grove and outdoor pool.
Top Facilities
Free parking, free breakfast, and fast Wi-Fi

Bardolino and Lazise

Both Bardolino and Lazise (located only 5 km away from each other) are important tourist destinations on the south of Lake Garda easily accessible from Verona. Their picturesque historic centers are full of charming bars and restaurants, as well as endless boutique stores and souvenir shops. 

This part of Lake Garda, especially Bardolino is famous for traditional vineyards and has a long history of wine making. The signature wine from the region is the Bardolino light red wine with DOC title (meaning the origin of the grapes is certified) with an authentic and unique taste. You can try it in surrounding vineyards or wine bars in the town center.

Best place on Lake Garda for couples

Where to Stay in Bardolino and Lazise

Quellenhof Luxury Resort Lazise – ⭐️ RATING: 9.5/10 Stars
This luxury 5-star resort features a wellness area, a heated swimming pool, and an infinity pool. The half-board includes a luxury six-course dinner menú a la carte, served at the hotel’s roof restaurant overlooking Lake Garda. The nearest international airport is only 23 kilometers away.
Top Facilities
Free parking, free shuttle service, heated outdoor pool open in winter

Bed & Breakfast Lucy – ⭐️ RATING: 9.1/10 Stars  
This bed & breakfast features family rooms and bicycle rental. It is located directly in the historic center of Bardolino making it a perfect option if you are travelling without a car.
Top Facilities
Free parking, Ironing facilities and airconditioning

Tori del Benaco

Torri del Benaco is a small historic town on the eastern shore of Lake Garda, in the Veneto region. Its historical center is surrounded by medieval walls and towers. It is famous for 14th century Scaliger Castle, which currently hosts a historic museum.

Beautiful lakefront harbor on Tori del Benaco on Lake Garda

Top Things to Do in Tori del Benaco

  • Visit the Scaliger Castle of the Tori del Benaco
  • See Torri del Benaco’s clock tower
  • Have a walk along the lakefront promenade
  • Have a romantic lunch or dinner with a view of the charming harbour

Where to Stay in Tori del Benaco

Casa Serena – ⭐️ RATING: 9.6 /10 Stars
Casa Serena is a modern luxury apartment with fantastic panoramic views over Lake Garda. This apartment is particularly interesting for those guests who value their privacy.
Top Facilities
Free parking, privacy, and a quiet street

Hotel Eden  – ⭐️ RATING: 8.8/10 Stars  
This modern 3-star hotel located at the beachfront features an outdoor pool, panoramic views over Lake Garda, and a terrace bar. 
Top Facilities
Free parking, free breakfast, and an excellent location

Best Areas to Stay on Lake Garda for Families

Lombardy province in the southern part of Lake Garda between towns Pachiera del Garda and the Garda town is best suited for families with young children. This part of the lake has theme parks, waterparks, aquariums, and beautiful walking promenades making it an ideal place for families.

Lake Garda old town

Peschiera del Garda 

Pachiera del Garda is the best town for visiting theme parks, waterparks, aquariums, and other activities for families with young children. Moreover, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (thanks to its stilit houses) and has many canals which can be explored by boat. 

Things to Do in Pachiera del Garda

  • Visit Gardaland Sea Life Aquarium
  • Visit the Sanctuary of Madonna del Frassino 
  • Have fun in Gardaland Theme Park  – the largest amusement park in Italy
  • ​​Walk around Parco Giardino Sigurtà – a huge park with thousands of tulips and roses
  • Visit Movieland 
  • Walk along the beautiful canalside promenade
  • Take your dog out for a swim in Bracco Baldo Beach

Where to Stay in Pachiera del Garda

Vision Hotel – ⭐️ RATING: 9.0 /10 Stars
Located directly in Pachiera del Garda this 4-star hotel is located only 6 kilometers away from Gardaland at the beachfront. It features an outdoor swimming pool, a hot tub, and a sun terrace.
Top Facilities
Free parking and airport transfer 

Garda Town

Garda Town has a family-friendly atmosphere with a beautiful lakefront promenade, playgrounds, and parks. The old town is full of small colored houses and has kept the charm of a medieval town. Surrounded by green slopes of Rocca di Garda,  Garda town it is hidden in a stunning bay. If you scramble to the top of Rocca di Garda you will be able to enjoy picturesque views of the southern shore of Lake Garda.

One of the main attractions in the area is the Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona. Located near Spiazzi town. It is a short driving distance from Verona and Garda Town. The Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona is a  hidden gem lying on the cliffs of Monte Baldo which for centuries has been a pilgrimage site. Located on a cliff about 774 meters (2,539 feet) above sea level the sanctuary provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. There are two ways of getting to Madonna della Corona: either by taking a longer hike called the Pilgrim’s Trail or taking a short walk from Spiazzi.

Madonna della Carona Italy

Where to Stay in Garda Town

Tobago⭐️ RATING: 9.4 /10 Stars
This a great 4-star boutique hotel on Lake Garda just 10 minutes walking distance from the Garda town center and the beach. It features an outdoor pool, hot tubs,  a sun terrace with great panoramic views, 2 saunas, a steam bath, and relaxation areas.
Top Facilities
Free parking, airport transfer, and excellent breakfast

Best Places on Lake Garda for Roman Villas and Castles


Sirmione is a chick resort town on the southmost tip of Lake Garda famous for its thermal baths and Roman Villa. Its historic old town is located on the Sirmio peninsula, a long narrow stripe of land. Sirmione is the most chich resort town on Lake Garda (also called the Bellagio of Garda) with the most luxury resorts, as well as several historic attractions and the most famous castle on Lake Garda, the Scaliger Castle of Sirimone.

Sirmione Castle

Top Things to Do in Sirmione

  • Visit the Scaliger Castle
  • Explore the Grotte di Catullo Roman Villa
  • Go to Jamaica Beach
  • Take a boat tour around Jamaica Beach and the Roman Villa
  • Stroll through Sirmione’s charming historic town
  • Relax at Sirmione’s Thermal Baths

You can find more information about what to do in Sirmione including how to get there by public transportation in my article below:
Best Thins to Do in Sirmione and How to Get There

Where to Stay in Sirmione

Villa Cortine Palace Hotel  – ⭐️ RATING: 9.4/10 Stars  
Located only a 5-minute walk away from Sirmione’s historic center, this 5-star hotel offers a truly luxurious experience on Lake Garda. At Villa Cortine Palace you will be able to enjoy the same views across Lake Garda as Roman nobles once did.
Top Facilities
Free parking, private beach, and tennis court

Desenzano del Garda

Desenzano is the nightlife hotspot of Lake Garda with many bars and clubs, accompanied by many beautiful beaches and hotels. Desenzano’s Roman villa is another historical site worth visiting featuring ancient mosaics and a small museum.

Top Things to Do in Desenzano del Garda

  • Go swimming at Feltrinelli Beach
  • Enjoy a drink at Porto Vecchio Old Harbor
  • Visit the castle of Dasenzano (Castello di Desenzano)
  • Visit the Cathedral of St Mary Magdalene ( Santa Maria Maddalena)
  • Check out an archaeological museum (Museo Civico Archeologico)
  • Explore Roman villas (Villa Romana) 

Where to Stay in Desenzano

Park Hotel⭐️ RATING: 8.9/10 Stars  
Located only 5 minutes walking from the harbor and the beach, this beautiful 4-star hotel features a rooftop pool with a hot tub and sun terrace.
Top Facilities
Free parking, meeting rooms with high-speed internet 

Best Areas on Lake Garda for Water Sports and Hiking

The northern shore of Lake Garda in the province of Trentino, has more wind making it a great destination for water sports such as kitesurfing, windsurfing, and sailing. 

If you are into hiking and mountain biking, then Trentino province in the northern Garda will offer you a lot of options as well. Nested between mountains this part of Garda is closest to the Dolomites. Riva del Garda and Nango Torbole in Trentino are the best towns on Lake Garda for hiking and water sports. Moreover, they are very close to Limone Sul Garda, the prettiest town on Lake Garda.

Mount Baldo bird eye view

Riva del Garda

Riva del Garda is the largest town in the northern parts of Lake Garda. It is a charming and vibrant town with a stunning landscape and a beautiful waterfront promenade.  The clear blue waters of Lake Garda combined with the mountainous backdrop create a breathtaking panorama. This is a perfect base for people looking for outdoor adventures such as hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. Several beautiful hiking and mountain biking trails are starting directly from Riva offering great views over Lake Garda. 

Panoramic view from Riva del Garda

Things to Do in Riva

  • Stroll through a charming historic center with narrow streets
  • Go to Piazza 3 November, the central square of Riva
  • Explore the medieval fortress, Rocca di Riva
  • Walk along waterfront promenade
  • Rent a bike and drive along the old Ponale Road path with amazing panoramic views
  • Go hiking (Monte Brione, Punta Larici,etc.)
  • Explore Verone Waterfalls

Where to Stay in Riva

Du Lac Et Du Parc Grand Resort ⭐️ RATING: 9.0/10 Stars  
Located just a few hundred meters away from the beach and Riva town center, this 4-star resort is a real green oasis featuring 2 swimming pools, wellness facilities, beautiful gardens with mountain views, and a fitness center.
Top Facilities
Free parking, bike rental, spa, and indoor pools

Nango Torbole

The best town for water sports on Lake Garda is Nago-Torbole. Although it is much smaller than Riva, Is has a lot of equipment rentals for watersport enthusiasts and campsites. It is also a walkable distance away from Riva where you have more options for dining and going out. 

Nango Torbole Sailing Boats

Limone Sul Garda

According to many visitors, Limone is the most charming and beautiful town on Lake Garda. As its name suggests Limone is famous for lemon groves and other citrus fruits as well as olive oil production. Due to its small size, you can easily explore Limone in just one day. In summer it gets very crowded, that’s why I do not recommend staying here overnight. Instead, you can easily visit Limone as a day trip from Riva. 

Limone sul Garda, the most beautiful city on Lake Garda
Lake Garda Sunset

Best Place to Stay on Lake Garda Without a Car

Although Lake Garda is best explored by car, there are ways to enjoy the lake and its charming towns without a car if you pick where to stay strategically.
​​There are two train stations around Lake Garda, one located in the town of Desenzano del Garda and the other one in Peschiera del Garda. You can easily access the southern shores of Lake Garda from Verona or Milan.

Desenzano del Garda is the largest resort town located on the southern shore of Lake Garda. It is famous for its antique Roman Villa, majestic Desenzano Castle, and historic old town. From Desenzano del Garda you can easily access other lakefront towns in the south of Lake Garda, such as the renowned Sirmione. Both Desenzano and Sirmione are great places to explore Lake Garda without a car. They offer a good connection via ferry to other towns around the lake.

If you love watersports and hiking, then the best town to stay on Lake Garda without a car is Riva del Garda in the north. You can access is via a train from Rovereto. 

What to Read Next

Where to Stay in Lake Como Without a Car
Best Things to Do in Sirmione Italy
How to Get from Verona to Lake Garda
Best Time to Visit the Dolomites
Verona One Day Itinerary
Most Beautiful Hikes in the Dolomites

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