Almost all of the adrenaline-fuelled activities are to the north of Lake Garda, where the lake cuts spectacularly into the Italian Dolomite mountain range. But we had no intention of adding to our Family Adventures . So no white water rafting, kayaking or climbing, this time we'd be adding to our Bike Adventures alongside the south-east corner of Lake Garda, leaving our well placed campsite at Piani di Clodia and heading for Lazise & Sirmione.
As all families probably discover here at Lake Garda, there's so much choice!! Some will prefer to head for family attractions/theme parks like GardaLand or Movieland... others will prefer to head for the climbing & watersports in the north... It's easy to get lost in the amount to do around the 50 mile long Lake Garda but this article might help give you a flavour of what can be found here (click here)
If you've only got a few days to visit. Forget the olive and lemon groves, or the theme parks.. why not try one of Italy's hidden gems at Sirmione.... You'll probably still see lemons the size of a small child's head... and if you visit this summer, you'll see the thrilling sight of sports cars heading through the impossibly small streets as part of the Mille Miglia 2017
You couldn't visit Lake Garda without a boat trip.... so the choices begin again!!! You can choose between standard ferries, historic paddle steamers, high-speed catamarans or hydrofoils. Most of the boats carry passengers only, but there are some car ferries, from Riva to Desenzano, Limone to Malcesine and Maderno to Torri del Benaco... or you could even find one of the smaller boats that offer 'jazz sunset cruises'!!!
The popular and pretty historical town of Sirmione was recommended by the girl's other grandparents... and it didn't disappoint!! Its long and narrow peninsula divides the gulfs of Desenzano and Peschiera. Delving a little deeper into Sirmione's peninsula, the older town gradually unfurls into a series of small squares that offer plenty of opportunities to taste the local gelato... but not before you walk under a historic 13th century Scaligeri Castle with its large moat and exquisite Lake Garda views
Strolling the narrow, cobbled streets you cross the drawbridge to enter the old town beyond. From its walls there are lovely views across red-roofed buildings towards the trees hiding the ruins of a huge villa that belonged to 1st century BC Roman poet Catullus. Part of the complex included baths benefitting from the thermal waters, and the town still has a spa today on the opposite side of the promontory. Whilst nearby is the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore with its 15th-century frescoes, and the surrounding narrow, cobbled streets are home to stone buildings
Perhaps as enjoyable as Sirmione, was the opportunity to test out the bike paths that surround the shores of Lake Garda (see here for more details). Having cycled down the mountains of Norway or along the banks of the Loire, France... we've loved adding to our Bike Adventures.... and Lake Garda proved a brilliant addition to our European Bike Adventures (see full details here with over 20+ to choose from). Opting to explore the stretch between Sirmione and Lazise, each cycle path is well signposted and easy enough for all ages to enjoy the lake side views!!
It's a truly beautiful part of Italy and offered us a great opportunity to spend time together on our bikes as a family.... and as for those gelato!!!! Just Delicious!!!
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