How to Spend 3 Days in Lake Garda
From relaxing cruises to mountain adventures, three days is ample time to enjoy all Lake Garda has to offer. Trip through the lake’s picture-book waterside towns, cruise around islands and Roman ruins, and head farther afield to go wine-tasting and visit cities such as Venice and Verona. Here are our tips for three days in Lake Garda.
Day 1: Explore Lake Garda
Lake Garda’s towns are fairly widely dispersed around its shores, so consider a convenient, full-day coach tour that covers top sights such as Sirmione and Riva del Garda. Alternatively, break up the day with shorter outings. Ride a motorboat around the Sirmione peninsula, wafting by beaches, the Roman Grotto of Catullus—the relics of the poet’s country villa—and under the bridges of 13th-century Scaligero Castle. Otherwise, cruise north to the more mountainous section of the lake and meander around Garda Island (Isola del Garda), home to the Gothic-style Villa Borghese Cavazza. For a longer sojourn on the water, sail along the quieter west coast, visiting scenic spots such as Salò and Limone sul Garda.
Day 2: City Sightseeing
Take advantage of Lake Garda’s geographical position today on a day trip. History and architecture lovers might head to the squares and canals of Venice or to Verona, home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site Roman amphitheater and the house of Juliet, Shakespeare’s fictional star-crossed lover. Also beckoning nearby is Milan, with its world-famous cathedral and designer shopping. Still within day-trip range (but barely) is Florence, cradle of Europe’s Renaissance and home to Michelangelo’s David.
Day 3: Mountains, Wines, and Adventures
As you’ve covered many of the region’s top sights, devote today to one or two activities of interest. For more history, head for Mantua, a masterpiece of Renaissance town planning and UNESCO World Heritage Site, or, if you’re a nature lover, into Italy’s Dolomite Mountains to visit towns such as Moena and drink in high-altitude views over the peaks of Catinaccio and Marmolada. Alternatively, stay closer to home to enjoy more of Lake Garda’s attractions. Brave a canyoning tour, drive a 3-wheel trike around Garda’s hill villages, or opt for a wine-tasting tour of the Adige Valley, which produces acclaimed Bardolino and pinot grigio. End the day on a private lake cruise that includes appetizers and a glass of prosecco, so you can toast the sunset and soak in Lake Garda’s scenery one last time.