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Day Trip to Lake Garda From Verona

Verona is a great base from which to explore Northern Italy. The stunning city is compact so travelling between some of the most beautiful Veronese sights and attractions is very easy. If a trip is for more than a couple of days and you’ve ticked off the star crossed lovers trail, marveled at the beautiful Roman Amphitheatre and sighed at the stunning sunset points, consider adding a day trip to Lake Garda on the list. And make time to experience La Dolce Vita in the truest sense!

overlooking the beach full of people in lake garda

Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links whereby I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps with the costs of running my blog so I can keep my content free for you. Thanks as always for your support! See my full disclosure here.

From Verona To Lake Garda

Lake Garda is the largest of the Italian lakes with an area of 370 square kilometres. Its close proximity to Verona makes it easily accessible for a jaunt away from the city. Imagine being surrounded by the most picturesque lake towns and charming villages – the landscape will take your breath away. Peschiera del Garda, Desenzano del Garda, Sirmione, Lazise, Bardolino, Garda, Torri del Benaco, Monselice, Torbole and Riva del Garda are some of the towns on Lake Garda which you can reach with ease for a memorable day trip from Verona.

sima in white dress holding yellow and green pole behind rope on Lake Garda jetty overlooking the turquoise coloured sea

On a recent trip to Verona we minimised travel time and maximised sightseeing (and Aperol Spritz consumption) visiting only two lakeside towns – Desenzano del Garda and Sirmione.

Desenzano del Garda

overlooking the habour with small boats and people swimming plus tall buildings heading up the mountains

Desenzano del Garda is located on the south shore of Lake Garda and the largest town on the lake. Easily accessible by rail and motorway, it’s a popular destination.

terracotta building overlooking the harbour

There is something for everyone in this authentic Italian town. Visitors are greeted with an impressive ancient harbour, vibrant palm lined piazzas and an attractive pedestrianised centre. Cobbled alleyways lead to trendy cafés, upmarket boutiques and a medieval castle. From the waterfront you can also hop on a boat for a leisurely ride to nearby resorts of Salò, Gardone Riviera and Sirmione.

Sirmione

an open square area within Sirmione surrounded by yellow, jade and red coloured shops. stone floors

This small historic town is probably the most enchanting on Lake Garda. It juts out from the southern shore of the lake between Desenzano del Garda and Peschiera on the tip of a long peninsula.

view of the Scaliger Castle from the surrounded by turquoise water

The majestic Scaliger Castle dominates the entrance to the picturesque town which boasts a real Mediterranean feel with a climate to match.

Millions of visitors arrive on the shores of the prettiest village to take a dip in its thermal spring and wander the beautiful narrow winding lanes dotted with cafés, bars, boutiques, restaurants and gelaterias.

How to get there?

turquoise water with white and blue boat, cafe bars with red umbrellas and yellow buldings

There are plenty of options to travel from Verona to Lake Garda, from trains, local bus services to private hire ranging from the cheap to very expensive.

Train

Train travel is very economical and efficient in Italy (as long as there isn’t a strike!). Italo and Trenitalia are the two major train companies who operate a route from Verona to Lake Garda with around 44 trains running daily between the destinations and taking between 35 – 45 mins.

Verona Porta Nuova is the main station with trains departing approximately every 30 minutes. Both rail companies offer similar timings and destinations but the major difference is in the pricing. Train tickets can range from 4€ all the way to €60, dependant on day and time, so choose your route carefully.

BUs

Travelling by bus is one of the cheapest ways which also provides the opportunity to pass through some of the local towns on route. There are three local bus companies that provide buses from Verona to the Lake Garda – Linee bus, Lago Di Garda, and Opera bus services.

Head to Verona Stazione FS bus station or you to the train station Verona Porta Nuova as it stops here.  The journey from Verona to Lake Garda is around an hour and ten minutes. Buses run every hour and make 13 stops. A few of these are Lake Garda towns such as Peschiera del Garda, Colombare, Sirmione, Rivoltella before arriving at Desenzano.

Taxis and transfers

The simplest and of course the most expensive option is to hire a taxi. The damage is around €60-70 and it will take around 30 minutes. If you have lots of suitcases (for longer stays) it helps remove the hassle of lugging baggage. Or when travelling with friends, splitting the fare can prove cost effective. Definitely the smoothest way to travel to Lake Garda.

Hire a car

If you fancy tackling the Italian roads yourself, hire a car! Book in advance and collect on arrival at Verona airport, if you decide to explore the surroundings areas. All the usual rental companies are available Herts, Dollar, Europcar, Avis, Budget, Alamo, Thrifty and Enterprise.

Travelling by car, Italian style can take just over an hour dependant on traffic.

TOURS

There are also tours available if public transport or driving yourself doesn’t appeal. Personally, a big fan of a small tour as they help to fully immerse tourists in the history, culture, and beauty of the area.

overlooking the turquoise water of Lake Garda with a boat sailing to the left

Even if you’re seriously limited on time and a full day in Lake Garda would be a struggle; you can still squeeze in a chance to marvel at the scenic lakeside landscapes with a half day tour. 

TRAVEL TOOLKIT TO HELP PLAN YOUR TRIP

No excuse now not to visit the largest lake in Italy when in Verona. Have you visited any of the Lake towns? Let me know in the comments box below.


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12 Comments

  • Bejal 21st October 2019 at 6:56 am

    Well you certainly had me reminiscing! I love how east train travel is in Italy and how well organised it all is for day tripping. The Lake looks gorgeous just as I remember it and Verona has been on the list for a while!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 21st October 2019 at 8:30 am

      The best way of getting around Italy with the congested streets and yes super easy to navigate.

  • Angie Silver 24th October 2019 at 8:24 am

    Verona and Lake Garda are both on my list of places to visit!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 24th October 2019 at 10:11 am

      Stunning places…next time I’ll be spending more time in Lake Garda for sure.

  • Stuart Fahy 24th October 2019 at 5:18 pm

    It looks so beautiful and somewhere I’d like to visit in future. I had no idea it was so close to Verona though. I’ve only ever spent one night in the city and would really like to go back sometime. Now I know I can combine it with a trip to Lake Garda all the better.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 27th October 2019 at 11:10 pm

      Neither did I until I’d booked my stay, otherwise would have planned a couple of extra days to stay on Lake Garda – Next time!

  • Sally Akins 25th October 2019 at 9:27 am

    I visited Lake Garda many years ago and the sheer beauty of the landscape took my breath away. I’d love to go and visit Sirmione, it looks very pretty!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 27th October 2019 at 11:10 pm

      This was such a whistle-stop visit. Next time I’d like a stay a few days.

  • Wie belt mij 30th October 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Awesome blog! This blog has an amazing information about the destination. The post is very unique and capture are very impressive photos. Thank you so much for sharing the details.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 31st October 2019 at 12:38 pm

      Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Emma @ Adventures of a London Kiwi 5th November 2019 at 4:06 pm

    This, and your social, makes me really, really want to visit Verona!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 6th November 2019 at 11:39 am

      Make it happen next year Kiwi!

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    I'm Sima, join me as I explore, experience and eat my way around the globe. Inspiring you to escape the everyday through my adventures... Read More

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