Photo of Garda

About Garda

The great glittering, gilded mass of Lake Garda was actually named for the 10th century fishing village of Garda — so this little town, still not much more than a fishing hamlet, is arguably the region’s capital! Our recommendations for the best places to stay in Garda include an elegant hotel run by an Italian Count, a family friendly villa in the hills above town, and a surprise find: a spa hotel — which there aren’t many of in this region.

Today Garda is often called Garda Town, and many just pass through it on the busy road that rings the lake. One of the perks of choosing Garda is the lakeside promenade linking Garda to Bardolino, a flat and charming walk, with fantastic views of Sirmione peninsula. More serious walkers will probably want to tackle the Rocca di Garda which is another great lookout spot. Our Gurus also recommend Garda as a base for exploring further afield around the lake; it’s about halfway up the eastern shore, ideal for getting to the mountains at the northern end, the pretty towns of the sourthern end, and the wine regions of the east. If you stay in Garda it’s definitely worth taking a boat out to nearby Isola del Garda, a stunning private island with an impressive Gothic villa and beautiful formal gardens. Garda is also very close to Gardaland, which is Italy’s largest theme park, so we recommend it for families too.

As with the whole Lake Garda region, the town gets incredibly busy during the peak summer months. So our advice, if you want to guarantee a room in one of the best places to stay in Garda, is either to book early, or else come in shoulder season when it's easier to bag that room with a view!

The Best Places to Stay in Garda

For a Special Occasion

  • The Locanda San Vigilio is an elegant, and intimate, 14 room hotel owned and run by an Italian Count! The Locanda’s waterside location is idyllic, as is the historic facade with its shaded balconies and sunny terraces. It’s been a hotel for 500 years during which period it’s been immaculately decorated with antiques and beautiful objets several times over. The hotel even has its own Emporium where you can buy beautiful things, as now it has such a surplus! Very special, yet also relaxed and friendly.

For Spa Facilities

  • Our Gurus’ list of the best places to stay in Garda doesn’t have many really contemporary hotels, but there’s an argument that it’s easier to build impressive, bespoke spa facilities in a new hotel, which is what the Tobago Wellness Hotel offers. Including a Finnish sauna, Kneipp hydrotherapy, hammam, steam rooms and a saline waterfall. It also has a beautiful outdoor pool and sun terrace. The 18 rooms and suites are contemporary too, with plenty of white, and there’s a chic Italian restaurant known for its versatility and seafood.

For Families

  • Relais Rossar is a secluded villa in the hills above Garda, surrounded by a large garden and peaceful countryside. Its 16 rooms and suites are smart and unfussy, and the villa itself has had some stunning renovation work, where larger windows have been added and spaces opened out to let in more of the views, and the light. Rooms and suites an be configured in a number of ways, so it’s a good choice for families, and most have a private terrace or balcony. There’s a great pool, and while there’s no restaurant they have a large wine cellar, and offer a packed lunch service. They also have great storage facilities for bikes.

Prefer a Self-catering Apartment or villa?

  • Sometimes a villa or apartment is the best option if you're travelling in a larger group, so if you decide that you'd prefer a self catering option, check out our online booking partner, booking.com for some inspiration.

Travel Information

  • Garda is on the south-eastern shore of Lake Garda, positioned between several international airports: Verona-Villafranca and Brescia-Montichiari. It’s also about 100kms from Venice Marco Polo airport and from Milan’s Linate and Malpensa. Verona-Villafranca is closest, around 30 minutes a car, or an hour and a half on public transport. The nearest railway station is Peschiera, 15kms away, or you’re only around 30kms from Verona.
  • If you want to hire a car — which we strongly advise if you’re staying on Lake Garda and want to explore the wider area — we recommend you visit our online partner, Rentalcars.
  • Garda, like all of Lake Garda, is very popular in the summer, so if you want to join the cheerful bustle of this time of year you’d be advised to book your hotel/s and restaurants early. it is charming well into autumn and winter too, and spring is also very beautiful, so it’s more about what sort of holiday you’re planning. May and June are a good compromise if you’re still hoping for warmth and sunshine, with temperatures reaching about 25°C, and September is similar, but with a different set of plants flowering.

Still not sure where to stay?


Monthly Weather in Garda

Best Hotels in Garda

  • Relais Rossar Garda 16 rooms from £108

    Active Holiday  -  There are so many different activites to choose from and great storage facilities on site for bikes etc.
    Families  -  With flexible accommodation options this is perfect for families or groups
    Great walks  -  This is lovely walking area from strenuous hikes to a more sedate amble
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool open from April to October
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViews

    A hot spot for bikers, groups and families - this secluded villa has a comfortable and friendly atmosphere. The peaceful countryside and large garden provide the perfect place to unwind. Bedrooms are spacious and homely- some spread over two floors. Helpful staff can organise excursions. See More

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  • Tobago Wellness Hotel Garda 18 rooms from £189

    Spa breaks  -  Boasting a Turkish bath, Kneipp hydrotherapy, waterfalls, hot tub baths and much more - totally relaxing
    Romantic Break  -  Couples packages, hot tub baths and a spoiling spa
    Sights nearby  -  Parco Baia delle Sirene
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Air conditioningSpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    Offering guests a large outdoor pool with sun terrace and an extensive spa facilities. Bedrooms are fitted with contemporary furniture and stylish modern features. All have glorious views of the surrounding lake and hills. Enjoy fresh fish and Italian classics at Tobago's restaurant. See More

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  • Locanda San Vigilio Garda 14 rooms from £234

    Writing a novel  -  This enchanting place has been inspiration for many great minds, from Churchill to Napoleon and Laurence Olivier
    Honeymoons  -  Private balconies overlooking the lake, palatial fourposters and romantic walks through fragrant gardens.
    Local markets  -  The hotel has its own Emporium where you can buy prints of drawings by Venetian artists, painted ceramics and fabrics.
    Tennis  -  Tennis club di Garna is 4 km from the property and equippment can be rented on site.
    Air conditioningTennisRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Great Small Hotels

    Elegant and intimate lakeside hotel, full of character, owned and run by an Italian count. A hotel for 500 years, the property is right on the waterside in a charming location, full of antiques and objets. A very special and relaxed place to stay. See More

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