Sirmione, Lake Garda, Italy
Situated on a peninsula at Lake Garda’s southern end, this tiny spa town is one of the most popular on the lake. There are many colourful winding streets, relaxing little pavement cafes and a pretty harbour with many modern yachts and elegant shops which are well worth looking at.
Things To Do
Hard to miss at the entrance of the island is the castle Rocca Scaligera, there’s not a lot inside but a climb to the top of the tower provides stunning views over Sirmione's rooftops and beyond. The ruins of Villa Romana are found at the end of the peninsula, this large villa has a prime location, surrounded by the waters of the lake.
There are three spas in Sirmione making use of the natural source of thermal water, each offering a variety of treatments and massages.
Lake Garda is ideal for enjoying land and water sports; with plenty of options available all around the lake, where there are many sailing schools, dives centres and tennis courts to be found. Waterskiing and jet-skis are only available in the south area of the lake where it’s wider and calmer and better suited for these activities.
The southern end of Lake Garda is home to a number of challenging golf courses, most of which are within easy reach of the holiday resorts.
Rock climbing is a popular activity at the more mountainous north end of the lake in particular the town of Arco, with surrounding 2000 metre high mountains and over 2000 climbing routes its ideal for the advanced climbers, while training walls offer a great place to learn.
Windsurfing is another activity more popular at the north end of the lake, due to the dependable winds. The town of Torbole has played host to many major championships.
Out and About
Whilst driving around Lake Garda is possible, narrow windy roads and limited parking spaces mean it’s not the easiest, the simplest option is across the water by boat. There are a number of choices available; car ferry, the slowest option; hydrofoil, the quickest; motorised catamaran; and paddle steamer, though limited towns are covered, the paddle steamer is an ideal choice for a more leisurely journey.
The towns and villages around the lake offer an abundance of cafes, restaurants and ice-cream parlours; good shopping opportunities too, where the larger the town the more shops and greater variety you’ll find. Most of the towns around the lake have a weekly market, and well worth a browse for the wide selection available; the nearest markets are Mondays at Colombare and Fridays at Lugana di Sirmione.
Gardaland theme park at the southern end of the lake just outside the town of Peschiera, is a popular place for families, with lots to do there’s thrilling rides, fun water rides, play areas, shows, and lots of eateries.
Canevaworld Resort found just a little further north up the road from Gardaland, consists of two theme parks; Aqua Paradise Park a water-park with plenty of water-rides and slides, beaches and pools and, Movieland Studios a theme park with rides and shows; as well as a Medieval Times Restaurant and Show.
The city of Verona is around 35km away close enough for a day-trip from Lake Garda, home to an ancient Roman amphitheatre and Juliet’s balcony, it’s a pleasant town to discover by foot and enjoy the buildings, piazzas, monuments and churches.
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