The small town of Garda is a pretty resort on the east coast of Lake Garda, in north-east Italy. This side of the lake is in the Veneto region of Italy (the west side is in the Lombardy region).
Italy This Way comment: although it is quite a small resort, Garda is one of our favourite resorts on the shores of Lake Garda and we recommend you visit when you explore the lakes of northern Italy.
There are two parts to the town of Garda: the lakefront and the old town.
You will probably want to start with a promenade along the shores of the lake, and this is a very lovely place to do it. There is a promenade along the waterside that goes all the way through the town, and in many places is shaded by pretty trees.
To one side you have lovely views across Lake Garda, and walk passed the harbour with its fleet of small boats - this is also the place where you can organise your boat trips across the lake. To the other side of the promenade are innumerable small bars and cafes where you will certainly want to pause and enjoy a drink, perhaps the bright orange drink called an aperol spritz if you want to fit in with everyone else!+
The old town behind the promenade is also very charming. The streest are narrow and lined with colourful houses, many of them now shops selling tourist products, and you will enjoying strolling around the old town looking in the shop windows. There are also more restaurants here, the old town perhaps an easier place to find a shady spot than on the lakefront.
If you walk west of Garda there is a promontory where you reach the Punta di San Viglio, a small place with a harbour and a few pretty buildings and the advantage o being a quiet excursion compared with the business o Garda town.
A short distance further on the promontory you can visit the Parco Baia delle Sirene, a park and resort with a lake beach, picnic areas and snack bars. Although an entrance fee is payable (about 12 euros per adult) this entitles you to use the loungers and other facilities.
As well as taking boat trips across the lake, we also recommend you take a trip to visit Malcesine, a short distance north of Garda, and Lazise to the south of here. Slightly further afield, excursions to Verona, Venice and the dolomites are all popular with visitors.
If you want to cross the lake, ferries operate from Torri del Benaco, a few kilometres north of Garda, to Toscolano Maderno on the west coast near Gardone Riviera.
You can find more local travel ideas in the Venice-Veneto guide.