Family holidays on Lake Garda: these are the best travel destinations

Lake Garda is one of the most popular holiday regions for families. No wonder: only a few destinations offer so much indescribably beautiful nature and varied activities. In addition, there is the good weather guarantee in the summer months. We tell you the best regions on Lake Garda for your family vacation.

Family vacation in Italy: On to Lake Garda

Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake. Embedded in the most beautiful nature – the foothills of the Alps in the north and the wide Po plain in the south – the lake offers a spectacular backdrop. But green cliffs and turquoise water are not all that Lake Garda has to offer.

  • The lake is known for its diversity. You can hike, climb, surf and cycle in the north.
  • In the east you can climb Monte Baldo, the highest mountain on Lake Garda, with your family, or visit one of the numerous amusement parks.
  • The south, on the other hand, lures with picturesque places, flat beaches and leisurely boat tours, while the rocky western shore is rather quiet.
  • As you can see, there is something for every taste – both for active holidaymakers and those who want to relax on the beach.

Other arguments in favor of Lake Garda are the good accessibility by car , the guarantee of good weather – especially in the summer months – and the proximity to South Tyrol and Austria. You can get by better with German on Lake Garda than with English, so you don’t have to worry about language barriers. You can also spend a comparatively cheap family holiday on Lake Garda. The prices in the restaurants and accommodation are moderate. The attractions such as water and amusement parks, on the other hand, are properly accessed.  

From camping to holiday apartments to holiday resorts

At Lake Garda you will find a wide variety of accommodation options – from cheap to expensive, self-catering to hotel complexes , camping to sports hotels. Only large hotel complexes with all-inclusive offers and childcare are few and far between on Lake Garda.

  • Holiday apartments and holiday homes : For individual tourists there is an almost endless selection of holiday homes and apartments on Lake Garda. There is nothing that does not exist – a chalet in the vineyards on the east bank, an old castle in the mountains in the north, a modern city apartment or a villa with a pool.
  • Camping : Lake Garda offers numerous campsites – most of them are on the eastern shore. The campsites are usually aimed at families and offer bungalows, new sanitary facilities, large pool areas, playgrounds and several restaurants and bistros.
  • Hotel : On and around Lake Garda you will find countless hotels – from simple and functional to sophisticated and located directly on the beach. There are also some family-friendly hotels on Lake Garda. These usually offer child-friendly facilities such as a baby chair or extra bed, a small pool area, plenty of open space or playgrounds to romp around and a quiet location.

Riva del Garda

Riva del Garda is the northernmost town on Lake Garda and is also often referred to as the gateway to Lake Garda.

  • The village with 17,000 inhabitants lies directly at the foot of the mighty mountain massif and offers a sophisticated yet down-to-earth feeling with its narrow streets, the old but mostly restored houses and the many restaurants and hotels.
  • Riva is one of the liveliest and hippest places on Lake Garda. On the one hand because of the mountain bikers who come in droves across the Alps in Riva. On the other hand because of the surfers and sailors, who have the best conditions on the north shore thanks to the strong wind. But the numerous family offers also attract holidaymakers to the north bank.
  • In Riva del Garda there are many playgrounds, a small train that will sway you through the town, delicious pizzerias and spaghetti shops, ice cream parlors and plenty of sunbathing areas in the form of green meadows right on the lake.
  • Another plus point: the kilometer-long beach promenade is equipped with numerous restaurants, bistros and sanitary facilities. Some sections are also guarded by lifeguards. In addition, the distances in Riva are short, so that everything can be easily explored on foot.

Malcesine/Monte Baldo

In medieval Malcesine – on the north-eastern shore of Lake Garda – time seems to run more slowly. In the alleys and at the small harbor you can relax and feast deliciously. Bathing fun is available at the numerous pebble beaches. You can also explore the beautiful nature with the olive tree forests with your family.

  • Tip for your family holiday on Lake Garda: The mighty Monto Baldo. A cable car (with rotating cabins) takes you directly from Malcesine to an altitude of 1,800 meters. Up there you have a free panoramic view over Lake Garda and the snow-capped mountains.
  • For families with older children, the Family Adventure Park in San Zeno di Montagna on Monte Baldo is also worth a visit. There you can prove your acrobatic skills on routes under birch and beech forests.


Lazise is the family region par excellence. There are several amusement and water parks around the village: Movieland Park, Gardaland Sea Life Aquarium, Gardaland Park (the largest amusement park in Italy), the Safari Park Parco Natura Viva and the large water park Caneva Aquapark. In addition, there are numerous family-friendly campsites nearby.


Bardolino on the east bank is not only known for its wine-growing areas, but also for the numerous idyllic beaches such as Passeggiata Rivalunga, Lido Mirabello or Cisano. The beaches offer long shore paths, sunbathing areas, campsites and lidos.

  • But the historic town of Bardolino, which stretches between the promontories of Punta Cornicello and Punta Mirabello, is also worth a visit. Bardolino is one of the most popular places on Lake Garda – also for families.
  • In addition to the beaches already mentioned, the reason for this is the shopping streets, the promenade along the shore, the beautiful old town and, above all, the large selection of accommodation – including cheap ones.


Sirmione is an indescribably picturesque little town on a promontory on the southern shore that protrudes into the lake. The only downside is that you are not alone. Especially in the summer months, crowds of people push their way through the narrow streets. You can lure children with the huge (and not exactly cheap) ice cream scoops of the countless gelaterias – including ice cream cones decorated with chocolate and sprinkles.

  • You have an unobstructed view over the roofs from the moated Scaligero Castle. Also worthwhile is the narrow (and not paved) promenade along which you can walk, balance and climb with your family.
  • You will also find the sulfur springs very close by. Thanks to the consistently warm water temperatures, you can still swim there when the air is already a bit cooler.
  • If you like it quieter, you should go to Jamaica Beach. There you can relax with chilled music with a good wine or an Aperol Spritz while the little ones splash about in the shallow, shimmering water.

Toscolano Maderno

Toscolano Maderno is a small town on the western shore and the perfect starting point to explore the west of Lake Garda.

  • In Toscolano Maderno itself there is a long and very beautiful promenade that invites you to swim, linger and stroll. In the hinterland, the mountain massifs are enthroned, which can be explored on foot or with the tourist train from Toscolano.
  • South of Toscolano Maderno is Salò, the historic capital of Lake Garda. The village is sophisticated and quiet and offers many restaurants of the culinary upper class. Also in terms of price.
  • A highlight for families is undoubtedly the Giardino Botanico André Heller near Gardone. This is a botanical garden with an art and sculpture park and refreshing water features.


If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of Lake Garda, Arco is a real insider tip. The spa town with the pretty old town is located north of Lake Garda on the lower reaches of the Sarca river. You can reach the lake in a few minutes by car.

  • In addition to the town itself, the highlights in Arco include the castle of Arco, the botanical garden arboretum and the climbing stadium (climbing hall), where you can go with the family even in bad weather.
  • North of Arco is the Marocche biotope – a rocky desert formed during the Ice Age, where with a bit of luck and a sharp eye you can discover dinosaur tracks in the rocks.
  • Also worth a visit is the Varone Waterfall, which can be reached in a ten-minute drive. The very nicely laid out facility is designed for tourists (so you are not alone there). What is particularly impressive is how the water tumbles down the rocky gorges.
  • Important: Bring warm and waterproof clothing with you. Even with over 30 degrees in summer, it is significantly cooler and naturally wet at the waterfall.

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