Which Lake Garda town to use as a base?
Q. We are planning our first trip to Lake Garda in September 2011 for one week and wonder which part of the lake to choose as our base? We have been told that the northern side of the lake offers the most stunning scenery. Do others agree? If so, which town? We have been looking at Riva del Garda. We will not be hiring a car so will depend on public transport to get around to the various villages, etc but would also like to do some trips a bit further afield and would like to know if staying on the northern side of the lake is easy to reach Venice, etc.
Also, we are flying to Verona and would welcome advice on how to get to, for instance, Riva del Garda.
We would welcome advice on the above and anything else we haven't thought of.
A. Yes the northern part of the lake is definitely the most spectacular scenery! The mountains which surround the lake are very dramatic and look amazing! Just remember though that they make travelling around that area slower and the sunlight is cut off by the mountains earlier in the day, especially on the west side.
Riva is a good town to be if you want to rely on public transport as it is the biggest town in the north and will have the most options. It is a nice town which has nice lake frontage, but it isn't as historic or charming as say Limone or Malcesine and has a more commercial feel away from the lakeside.
The top of the lake is quite a long way from Verona and public transport may take quite a bit of time and planning. Depending on the time you arrive at the airport, you may want to consider an airport transfer. If you have plenty of time, then you could take a train to Peschiera or Desenzano and then use buses or taxis. Taking a ferry all the way up the lake would take too long usually, unless you take the hydrofoil (which is expensive). To get some more ideas take a look at our travel page:
Getting to Venice from the north part of the lake
will take some time. The tricky part is getting down to the train stations at the south end of the lake. Once there, hopping on a train to Venice is pretty straight forward and should take no more than 90 minutes or so.
Hope this helps you and have a fantastic holiday!
Marcus & Sylvia