Five of Lake Garda’s mesmerising lakeside towns

11th April, 2016
The largest of the Italian lakes, Lake Garda has charmed foreign visitors for centuries, with even the ancient Romans having left behind their presence. Stretching from north to south, on the lake’s northern edge, you’ll find dramatic towering mountains and cliffs, while to the south, you’ll find rolling lowlands and pretty lakeside towns. Our Lake Garda villas offer some truly exceptional views out onto the lake and the stunning surrounding scenery, and though it’s hard to go wrong when deciding where to visit, these five main lakeside towns promise to offer you a memorable visit.


Located on the lake’s southern shore, Sirmione is an incredibly pretty town especially popular in the summer months. While its medieval streets burst with life and colour, its most striking feature has to be its moated castle, the Rocca Scaligera. Once praised by Roman poet Catullus, the extensive remains of a grand Roman villa, believed to be his, can be found at the tip of the peninsula the town lies on.

Desenzano del Garda

Less touristy than many other towns on the shores of Lake Garda, Desenzano del Garda offers visitors an insight into more regular everyday Italian life, such as the evening passeggiata, where people young and old enjoy an after-dinner evening stroll through the pretty streets. Easy to get to by public transport, the town is home to plenty of good restaurants, shops and bars, with the castle on the hill offering outdoor concerts in the summer.

Riva del Garda

Located at the northern end of Lake Garda, Riva is one of the region’s prettiest towns, the waterfront decorated by colourful gardens and the Rocca fortress, which also contains the town museum. The lakeside area is packed with cafes, restaurants and gelateries perfect for enjoying a scenic bite to eat. Just north of the town lie the remains of a Bronze Age settlement at Lake Ledro and a 287-ft waterfall at Varone.

Gardone Riviera

Found on the lake’s long western shore, Gardone Riviera is a quiet but charming resort, with a pretty waterfront promenade. Two of the lake’s most interesting attractions can be found here in the town: the eccentric home of Italian writer Gabriele d’Annunzio and the tropical Andre Heller Botanic Garden.


A maze of historic alleyways, Malcesine lies on the eastern edge of the lake, with mountain slopes rising up from behind the cluster of buildings. A castle with great towers to climb guard the waters, while you can also take the challenging hike or a relaxing cable-car ride to the grassy summit of the Monte Baldo ridge, which offers stupendous views from its cafes and restaurants.

Image: amira_a, available under Creative Commons