Lake Garda is the biggest lake in Italy and this is really destination in itself…
The lake is surrounded by pretty towns and villages, some of them familiar to British ears (Bardolino).
The southern end attracts mostly Italian visitors, the north; German, Austrian and British. The southern end is flatter with gentle hills, leading up to the virtually straight cliffs of the northern end.
Much all of the lake shore is developed, but in a low rise way and despite what local residents think, its all quite low key – especially when compared to the excesses of other Mediterranean shores.
Moniga del Garda
Just inland from Toscolano is the Cartiere valley – this was a major centre for paper production and the valley is littered with abandoned mills, full details here.
Access to the higher part of the valley is on foot.
Desenzano del Garda is the main town of the southern lake and is an attractive centre with a fair selection of restaurants and bars, there is also a wide selection of accommodation but book in advance at peak times. Off season it can be quiet mid week, but picks up at the weekend.
Being a short journey from several large cities, Desenzano punches above its weight in terms of shops, restaurants and bars – also in terms of; what shall I call it; ”entertainment”… Don”t worry, you won”t be fooled… many look like drag queens that have just won the lottery…
Hotels in Desenzano and Sirmione, here