Visit Lake Garda By Motorhome
This destination has to rank in my top ten places on earth. Lake Garda is absolutely stunning and if you haven’t been you should go. The lake and mountains surrounding it are just amazing. Some of the best views you will ever see.
The weather is reasonably good all year round, with a decent amount of sunshine, it can get very warm in the summer and if you visit then you will get to experience some incredible thunder storms looking out from the campsite in to the mountains. The lake is beautifully clear with water coming from the surrounding snow topped mountains. Obviously this means that the lake is pretty cold in the Spring and Winter, but it is usually warm enough to swim in by May.
When To Visit
Because of Lake Garda’s incredible beauty it is worth noting that it does get busy during July and August. We have always visited during August and haven’t been put off by its popularity and visitors. However when the time comes that we no longer have to holiday in school holidays I would very much like to experience this area during May, June or September. I think that with less people it would become even more enticing.
How to get to Lake Garda
When you look at a map of Europe you will see that Lake Garda when visited by road is not on our door step. Don’t let this put you off. When you go long distance in a motorhome it is far more comfortable and manageable than the same distance in a car. Firstly there is something about driving a motorhome that makes you a more relaxed driver. We seem to spend our lives always in a rush. When we need to go anywhere by car we often find ourselves just wanting to get there as quickly as we possibly can. When you drive a motorhome it is a more relaxed style of driving. It’s part of your holiday. It’s comfortable, you have everything you need on board. If you need to stop, no hassle. Just find somewhere safe to pull over. No need to find a service station, you have a loo on board. No need to find somewhere to eat, you can make something at the roadside. You can even get up and stretch your legs, have a lie down and rest your eyes, sit in a different chair, all while pulled over. It’s a completely different way of travelling. It’s easy.
This brings me on to the route, of course there are many ways to make your way down to Lake Garda but the two most straightforward routes are:
Reims, Metz, Strasbourg, Basel, Lucerne, Milan, Lake Garda. This route has a driving time of around 19 hours by motorhome. A distance of 970 miles from us here near to Bristol. We would suggest breaking the journey up in to several stopovers, not necessarily in the places listed above but around some of those places so as to keep to the route and mileage. How long you stop for and how many times you stop really depends on how long you have for your holiday and what you want to do. You shouldn’t think of these stopovers as just the journey to Lake Garda. They need to form part of your holiday. Lake Garda is not the only destination, it is the final destination. This is where motorhome holidays are different to plane holidays. There is not one destination, there are many.
The second suggested route is: Reims, Metz, Strasbourg, Stuttgart, Innsbruck, Lake Garda. A different route to the one above that takes in Germany and Austria instead of Switzerland. This one is slightly longer with a driving time by motorhome of around 20 hours. A distance of 1038 miles from here. Both are nice routes, take your pick.
Why Visit Lake Garda
Apart from the reasons I mentioned previously this aims to give you some information on what you can expect when you visit Lake Garda. What there is to do there.
Lake Garda is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, granting a unique array of sights, sounds, tastes, and adventures.
A Family Adventure
The perfect place for a family adventure on the lake! There are a number of different camp grounds located on the shores of Lake Garda, some of these facilities are large and full of fancy amenities, while others are smaller and more intimate. We have a particular favourite campsite called Camping San Francisco which has lakeside pitches as well as pitches further back, a swimmimng pool and restaurant.
The surrounding snow covered mountains drain directly into the lake, meaning the water is so clean and clear.
Lake Garda is a sport lover’s paradise. If you love participating in heart-pumping sports, there are so many things for you to try out at Lake Garda. The lake sports alone are varied and awesome, including jet-skiing, snorkeling, windsurfing, sailing, fishing, water-skiing, or just swimming and boating around!
On land you can enjoy golf courses with incredible views, mountain biking, tennis, paragliding, skiing, hiking and more. From classic sports to extreme sports, Lake Garda has something for everyone.
If you enjoy a bit of history then Lake Garda is a good place to visit. Back in 4000 B.C. the first people settled at Lake Garda, since then so much history has unfolded here. As a result there are numerous ancient Roman remains to discover, as well as castles, ancient graffiti, and more.
The lake was formed when a huge glacier ripped down and cut through the valley, carving out this now very old lake.
It’s good for food lovers, particularly local produce. When the glacier that formed Lake Garda took down the valley, it transformed rich deposits of magnesium limestone into a paste that built up along the edges of the glacier. When the glacier eventually melted into a lake, these deposits remained along the shoreline, creating an incredible soil composition. Due to this, the fruit, olives and wine grown locally have their own unique flavorful tastes.
Enjoying The Area
You can spend a couple of days or a couple of weeks in the area and you will not get bored. Lake Garda has charming old towns, beautiful landscapes and plenty of sightseeing possibilities.
Drive around the lake. Round trip around Lake Garda is about 150km (95 miles) and in principle you can do it in one day, but the roads are narrow and traffic is very busy, so you won’t have much time left to discover the villages along the way. That being said, driving around the lake is still worth doing, as long as you don’t expect to see the very best of Lake Garda in one day.
Don’t miss Sirmione. Located on the South shore of Lake Garda, Sirmione is probably the most popular tourist destination on the lake. Sirmione is a beautiful old town located at the end of a small peninsula that towers about 4 km into Lake Garda. If you want to discover this town to the fullest, you should count on spending the whole day here. Sirmione is close to our favourite campsite.
Riva Del Garda
Visit Riva Del Garda. Riva del Garda is a nice little town surrounded by steep cliffs and high mountains on he Northern shore of Lake Garda and it’s particularly impressive if you arrive there by boat. Riva has a nice little old town with picturesque narrow streets and plenty of shopping and dining options. You will have a tough time trying to resist buying at least some of the local specialities and all kinds of traditional Italian gifts.
You must try a boat trip. You cannot truly appreciate how spectacular Lake Garda is if you don’t see it from the water. If you don’t have the time, the money, or the desire to spend the whole day touring the lake, I suggest that you take a boat from either Limone or Malcesine to Riva. You will be really glad you did. We would highly recommend hiring a boat yourself. This is by far the best way to see the lake.