We are planning a trip to Italy for early June and would like to include a visit to Lake Garda, either before or after visiting Venice. I would love any recommendations as to how long you would recommend we stay there, in which town we should stay (we are currently considering either Sirmione or Riva), or if it is better to stay in Verona, etc. and make Lake Garda a day trip. Any other advice as to great restaurants, accommodations, activities, etc. would be greatly appreciated. We will not have a car, so any travel tips are also welcome! Thank you!
If you're into wind surfing, Lake Garda is the place to be. Valpolicella wine is great too.
Kara: the decision is really yours and depends on your preferences. Lake Garda can be visited in a day trip from Verona, but you might also enjoy spending one or two nights there, if you like a slower pace approach. The place is truly beautiful and in June you might actually enjoy a couple of relaxing days in one of those towns. Also not having a car restricts your ability to visit a lot of it in a day. I like Limone (North West shore) and Riva (Northernmost tip) the best. Sirmione is also beautiful especially because of the castle on the water, but if I had to choose for an overnight stay I'd probably choose Limone or Riva. I would devote a full day visit in Verona and a full day at the lake. I would therefore spend at least 2 nights inn the area. It's up to you if you want to spend all nights in Verona and do the lake as a day trip, or if you want to spend those nights at the lake and do Verona as a day trip. Both would work. I used to visit Verona as a day trip from Florence when I lived there, and Florence is at least 2 and 1/2 hours away, so you could do it from the lake, which is much closer. It really depends on what kind of environment you prefer to stay in the evening: big busy town (Verona) or laid back and quiet lakeside village. Both will have plenty of tourists, however the lake will be quieter in the evenings since the real peak season is July/August. If you could rent a car at least a day to drive around the lake, you'd probably be able to see more. However there is bus service around the lake. PS: Take your bathing suits with you. There are several nice beaches too.