It is surrounded by hills, mountains and pretty little towns and villages making it worth visiting for the scenery alone. However, landscapes don’t tend to cut it for long for young children so luckily there are also plenty of activities to keep the whole family happy.
1/ Explore the lake by ferry
Don’t miss the ancient town of Sermione and the wine-making region of Bardolino. Daily unlimited family passes are available for around 50 euros.
More info: www.navigazionelaghi.it
2/ Ride rollercoasters at Gardaland
During the summer period you can go after 6pm for a reduced price, fewer queues and a cooler temperature. Our favourite ride was Raptor.
More info: www.gardaland.it
3/ Visit Juliet’s balcony in Verona
Yes, she may be a fictional character but it’s still somehow a romantic destination, a beautiful building and all the padlocks clipped on by romantic couples are quite cute.
4/ Explore the parks and gardens
There are several around Lake Garda including Parco Giardino Sigurtalis which is a park with wooded area of tall trees as well as flowers and ornamental plants. The park was used by Napoleon III as his HQ in 1859 and won Italy’s Most Beautiful Park in 2013.
More info: www.sigurta.it
5/ Be in a movie
Or at least pretend to be. Movieland is a theme park with rides and shows based around popular films.
More info: www.canevaworld.it
6/ Go to the opera
The Roman amphitheatre in Verona holds an opera festival every summer. Seats may be uncomfortable and rain may stop play but it’s inexpensive, the staging is amazing and it’s a real experience. Tip: Take blankets for potentially sleepy children (the show doesn’t even start till 9pm) and hire cushions on the way in.
More info: www.arena.it
7/ Lie on the beach or enjoy the water
Lake Garda is surrounded by little beaches and there are watersports available all over the lake. The South of the lake is calmer while the north is the place to head for sailing and windsurfing.
8/ Look at classic cars
Museo Nicols is an unusual museum with a huge exhibition of classic cars and motorbikes as well as other antique bits and pieces such as typewriters, cameras and music players. A great place to while away a rainy afternoon.
More info: www.museonicolis.com
9/ Pretend you’re tarzan
Park Jungle Adventure has swings, ropes and zip wires with course suitable for any one aged three and up.
More info: www.jungleadventure.it
10/ Go to Venice
Venice is an easy day trip away. You can drive yourself in under two hours or most tour operators will run excursions for trips by day or night.
How to get there: British Airways flies from London Gatwick to Verona, from £78 return.
Travel time: The flight from London takes 2 hours, and the transfer from Verona to Lake Garda takes around 45 minutes.
Where to stay: We stayed at the Parc Paradiso & Golf Resort in Peschiera at the South end of the lake.
The resort has three pools (two fairly calm and quiet, one with music and entertainment), a very good a la carte restaurant, Il Pirlàr ,with lovely views, as well as a very reasonably priced pizzeria, a buffet restaurant and a poolside snack bar.
There is also a golf course for which guests receive a 20% reduction in their green fees and a health and wellness centre and other sporting facilities.
Price: Thomson Lakes offers a week at the Eden Apartments at the Parc Paradiso & Golf Resort from £1,936 for a family of four from Gatwick, including flights and transfers. It’s £809 per person all-inclusive at the Parc Hotel during the summer holiday period.
Book: thomsonlakes.co.uk; 020 8939 0740
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