Your Holiday on Lake Garda

Travel Information Lake Garda

Soon you will go on holiday to Lake Garda in Italy. We would like to send you well-prepared, which is why we have listed some useful information for you. We wish you an enjoyable holiday in 'la bella Italia'!

En Route
Toll, Environmental badge & refueling

Most motorways in Italy are toll roads (strade a pedaggio). The current toll rates can be found here: https://www.autostrade.it/en/pedaggio. Payment can be made in cash or by credit card (toll booth Carte) or sometimes with a debit card, without a PIN code. You can also buy a toll badge, which is valid in 4 countries: Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. This can be done online.  Can't pay? Then the toll gate will open anyway, you will receive a ticket and have to pay afterward at, for example, a manned toll gate further away or online.

An environmental zone has been established in many Italian cities, the so-called Zona a Traffico Limitato (ZTL). The rules are complicated and vary by city. There is no environmental badge like in other countries. An environmental zone is indicated by a sign zona trafico limitato. There are high fines. It is best to park outside the zone and continue by public transport or on foot. 

Current fuel prices and petrol stations: https://www.autostrade.it/en/aree-di-servizio1
Refueling on the motorway is always a lot more expensive than on ordinary roads. The prices are lowest for self-service pumps (fai da te/self-service). 

Italy has limited electric vehicle charging points. Especially in the south and in Sicily they are more difficult to find. Charging points along the way can be found on this route planner: https://abetterrouteplanner.com/ or chargemap.com .

It is mandatory to have a warning triangle and a safety vest in the car.

Are you going by plane and renting a car?  An Irish driver's license is valid in Italy, The driver must often be at least 21 years old and have had a driver's license for at least 1 or 2 years. Only with a credit card (with PIN code) in the name of the main driver can a car be rented.

There are several routes to Lake Garda:

Route 1 (via Switzerland) - shortest route, but often busy at the Gotthard tunnel
via Germany - Freiburg - Switzerland (Basel) - Gotthard tunnel - Chiasso - Milan - Brescia

Route 2 (via Munich-Austria):
Cologne – Frankfurt – Nuremberg – Munich – Brenner Pass - Bolzano

Route 2 (via the Fern Pass-Austria to avoid crowds around Munich):
Koblenz – Karlsruhe – Stuttgart – Ulm – Füssen (Fernpass) – Innsbruck – Brenner Pass – Bozen

The most important traffic rules in Italy can be found here.

In 2024, Black Saturday will be on 20 and 27 July and on 3 and 10 August.


Food & Drink
Shopping & Eating Out

Shopping enthusiasts can indulge themselves at Lake Garda. From cheap flip flops and fake t-shirts at the weekly market to exclusive boutiques from Versace, Gucci, Armani, and Prada – you'll find it all here!

Every day of the week there is a market at different places along Lake Garda. The weekly markets with lots of fruit and vegetables are generally in the morning until 13:00. Desenzano has the largest weekly market on Tuesdays. In the towns, you can stroll until late in the evening along nice boutiques and shops with clothing, art, handicrafts, souvenirs, and lots of leather, from cheap to very expensive.

More expensive designer shops and boutiques with the latest fashion, can be found mainly in Desenzano, Salo, and Riva del Garda. And if you don't find enough to your liking at Lake Garda, you can always go to Milan!

La Grande Mela is a large shopping centre near Lugugnano di Sona, along the road between Peschiera del Garda and Verona. With up to 120 shops, 8 specialist shops and – on the third floor – a cinema with 8 halls, bowling alleys and a hall with video games, you can go ahead here if the weather is bad for a day at Lake Garda.

Il Leone is a beautiful shopping centre near Lonato, south of Desenzano. More than 110 shops and a large supermarket provide a wide range. The shopping centre is open every day of the week. from 9:00 to 22:00.

The Grand'Affi Shopping Center with more than 80 shops is located on the east side of Lake Garda near Bardolino, about 2.5 km from Lake Garda.

Well-known supermarkets are Esselunga, Ipercoop, Eurospin, and Conad, but on Lake Garda you will also find the Lidl and the Aldi, among others in Peschiera-del-Garda, Lazise, and Moniga-del-Garda.

Tap water in Italy can generally be drunk safely. If a tap says Acqua non potabile (no drinking water), it is better to drink bottled water.

If you go out for dinner at the campsite, you can often go early.  If you go to a restaurant outside the campsite, you will find many nice restaurants in, for example, Peschiera, Bardolino, Lazise, Moniga-del-Garda and Desenzano. Eating out is generally slightly cheaper than in the Irleand. 

Also, take a look at the menu or the bill: if there is Serviziothe tip is already included. Coperto is the amount the restaurant charges for the use of crockery, table linen, cutlery etc., and has nothing to do with tips.

Health
Carefree holidays

Italian health care is of good quality.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles you to necessary medical care in the event of illness or an accident during a temporary stay in Italy. Often it is not necessary to advance healthcare costs yourself. The personal EHIC can be found on the back of the health insurance card of your health insurer or in their app.

In the chemist, you can find all kinds of medicines and self-care products. The Italian doctors are always very generous with the provision of medicines.

In case of hospitalization or when specialist medical care is needed, it is best to contact your insurance company directly.

Travelers are not required to show a COVID-19 vaccine certificate, proof of a negative test, or a certificate of recovery to enter Italy.


Weather & Climate
Weather on Lake Garda

Spring on Lake Garda begins in March. The sun shows itself more often and the power of the sun increases noticeably. However, the number of days with rain also increases in spring. In April, the first summer day is often registered (at least 25 degrees Celsius), otherwise, this will happen in the first half of May. Some places on Lake Garda are slightly cooler in spring, such as Riva del Garda in the north.

From June onwards, the precipitation suddenly decreases considerably. The chance of a rainy day or a heavy (thunderstorm) shower remains, but the wonderful weather gets the upper hand. Summer has begun and will continue into September. The temperature during the day is between 25 and 30 degrees, sometimes slightly higher. The lake and the swimming pools are now also pleasant enough for swimming. The outdoors is running at full speed and the beaches on the lake are crowded. Keep in mind that even in the summer there can always be a day or a period in which the weather is just a little less. Severe thunderstorms can also occur, even in the peak months of July and August.

  • When rain falls on Lake Garda in the summer, this is almost always accompanied by thunderstorms, which can sometimes be very intense.

From the end of September, the chance of less pleasant weather increases. The temperature drops in reasonable steps and the campsites slowly empty. In October, the season is far over. Especially in the evening, you notice that the heat has largely disappeared and that it is autumn. Eating outside in the evening now almost always requires a heater and/or a thick sweater.


 

Language & Payment
Buone vacanze!

Google Translate will go a long way, of course, but it's also nice to know some phrases. We'll help you get started: 

Good morning
Buongiorno(bwon-dzjor-noo)
Goood eveningBuonasera(bwo-na-se-ra)
See you laterArrivederci/Ciao(a·ree·vuh·duh·chee/tsjau)
HelloSalve/Ciao(sal-veh/tsjau)
How are you doing?Come stai(koo-me staj)
GoodSto bene(sto be-ne)
PleasePrego/Per favore(pree-go/per-favo-re)
Thank youGrazie(gratsie-ee)
SorryScusi/scusa(sku-zie/skoe-za/skoe-sa-te)
Excuse meScusami(sku-sa-mi)
YesSi(sie)
NoNo(no)
Help!Aiuta!(aij-uu-ta) 
YesterdayIeri(je-rie)
TodayOggi(o-dzji-e)
TomorrowDomani(do-maa-nie)
SupermarketSupermercato(super-mer-kaa-to)
EntranceL’entrata(le en-tra-ta)
ExitL’uscita(le oe-sjie-ta)
OpenAperto(a-per-to)
ClosedChiuso(kjoe-zo)
LeftSinistra(sie-nis-tra)
RightDestra(des-tra)
StopFerma!(fer-ma)
BeachSpiaggia(spiad-dzja)
How much does it cost? Quanta costa?(kwan-ta kos-ta)
I think it's too expensive È troppo costoso (per me)(e trop-po kos-to-so per me)
I would like to...Vorrei..(vo-rei)
No, I don't want to...No, non voglio(no, non- vo-lji-o)
Do you speak English?Parla inglese?(par-la ien-glee-zee)
I don't understandNon ho capito(non ho ka-pie-to)
Where is the toilet?Dov’è il bagno?(do-vè iel-ban-joo)
May I ask something?Posso chiedere qualcosa?(pos-so kje-de-re kwal-kosa)


In Italy, just like in Ireland, you pay with the euro. The price level is on average slightly lower than in Ireland. You can pay almost anywhere with your regular debit card or with a credit card. There are more ATMs in Italy than in Ireland. Please note: withdrawing money with a credit card is usually not free.


Other Useful Info
Good to know
  • If you are traveling to Lake Garda, you will need a valid passport with which you can identify yourself.

  • The voltage found in Ireland and Italy is exactly the same (230V and 50Hz).
    You will not need a transformer/converter but you should bring a travel adaptor as there are three associated plug types, types C, F and L.  Plug type C is the plug that has two round pins (most common), plug type F is the plug which has two round pins with two earth clips on the side and plug type L is the plug type which has three round pins.  

  • Major holidays in Italy :
1st Easter Day
Pasqua
31 March
2nd Easter Day
Lunedì dell'Angelo
1 April
Liberation Day
Giorno della Liberazione
25 Aapril
Labour DayFesta del Lavoro
1 May
Republic Day
Festa della Repubblica
2 June 
Assumption Day
Ferragosto
15 Aug
All Saints' Day
Ognissanti
1 Nov


  • Italy is a dog-friendly country, all breeds are allowed, but they must be at least 15 weeks old. In public places, your dog must be on a leash and muzzled. For your dog or cat, you will need an EU pet passport, available from the veterinarian. Dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days before travel. The mandatory chip must be inserted before the rabies vaccination (may be on the same day). More information can be found here.

  • Italy is 1 hour ahead of the center of Ireland. We are using the Europe/Dublin and Europe/Madrid time zones.  

  • Are you traveling alone with a minor child, for example, because you are divorced? Or are you taking a boyfriend or girlfriend of your child with you? Then you must be able to prove that you have permission from the parent(s). This can be done with a declaration of consent.

  • Put a contact's phone number in case of emergency as an ICE (In Case of Emergency) number in your phone.

Tip: hotograph your passport/ID, insurance card, debit card, emergency numbers and other important matters before departure. Mail or app them to yourself or other travel companions, so that you still have important data at hand in the event of loss or theft. 

10 tourist trips on Lake Garda

Peschiera-del-Garda

Peschiera del Garda is a lively and busy fortified town (10,000 inhabitants) on the south side of Lake Garda. Peschiera has a cozy center with squares, terraces, romantic vistas, many flowers, shops, and restaurants. There is always something to see at the port and the Canale, a side arm of the Mincio, is very beautiful.



Monte Baldo

Malcesine is the starting point of the cable car to Monte Baldo. On clear days you have a view over the vast lake and the Alps, Dolomites and Po valley! The cabins of the cable car rotate 360 degrees around their axis. On Monte Baldo you can go hiking, cycling or paragliding.

Read more


Canevaworld

Canevaworld near Lazise is a large amusement park with two theme parks: Movieland and Aquapark. There are also three themed restaurants. It is located between the seaside resorts of Lazise and Peschiera del Garda, not far from the popular Gardaland theme park.

Read more


Boat Hire

What better way to explore Lake Garda than from the water? Rent a boat from one of the many boat rental companies. A license is not required for the smaller boats. So bring your picnic, dive into the water, sail to a beach or visit a village across the lake.


Parco Grotta Cascata Varone

On the north side of Lake Garda, near the towns of Torbole and Riva del Garda lies Parco Grotta Cascata Varone. A cave in which a waterfall plunges down. A nice outing, also for children, A little further is the ice-cold, crystal-clear lake Lago di Tenno. This lake, with meltwater from the mountains, is one of the clearest freshwater lakes in Italy,



Gardaland

Gardaland is an amusement park near Castelnuovo del Garda, on the east side of Lake Garda. It is the largest and most popular theme park in Italy, with more than 40 rides, spectacular roller coasters, water rides, and dazzling shows in various themed countries.


Sirmione

The town of Sirmione is located on the south side of Lake Garda and is one of the most beautiful towns on the lake. Upon arrival, the castle Rocca Scaligera from the 13th century immediately stands out. From here you have a beautiful view of the peninsula and the lake.


Lazise

Lazise is an attractive town, located between Bardolino and Peschiera, on the east side of Lake Garda. Lazise has a medieval character, a large part of the old city wall has been preserved, including battlements and towers. In addition, there are many small shops and a cozy boulevard with restaurants.


Opera in Verona

From mid-June to early September there is an almost daily performance of an opera in the beautiful Arena of Verona. A great spectacle! Famous operas with gigantic sets and mass scenes, together with 25,000 spectators in the stands of this ancient amphitheater of Verona provide an unprecedented experience!



Borghetto sul Mincio

From Peschiera del Garda, a 43 km long cycle path winds along the Mincio River to the town of Mantova. This car-free road crosses the Parco del Mincio Natural Park. During the bike ride, you will come across old water mills, beautiful fishing spots, and inviting terraces. Stop for lunch in the quaint town of Borghetto sul Mincio.

Read more


Disclaimer: The information on this page has been carefully compiled. However, we do not accept any liability for incorrect or incomplete information. The links we use to other websites are for information purposes only. These websites are not maintained by us,