Desenzano del Garda Travel Guide

desenzano del garda travel guide small harbour with boats docked

The most beautiful thing about Desenzano del Garda is that you don’t need to know anything at all about the area to still be awed by it and have the best time. Without having any plans at all, Desenzano del Garda will be a truly wonderful place. The relaxed atmosphere, the way the mountains provide a gorgeous backdrop on the lake and the lazy feel around the old town, it was one of our absolute favourites on our road trip from Benidorm to Leicester.

desenzano del garda travel guide sunset over lago di garda

Desenzano is a relatively small town located on the southern shore of Lake Garda in Northern Italy. The town is in the Lombardy region and is easy to get to from Milan airports, Verona Airport, or like us, by car.

The area of Desenzano is fairly flat making it an ideal place to stay for those who prefer light walking and flatter grounds. Without having to battle with steep hills and constant inclines, the area of Desenzano is perfect for those with reduced mobility too. It’s a great base to see other areas of Lake Garda, like Sirmione, which is accessible by boat or car.

desenzano del garda travel guide lauren standing in front of boats at the small harbour

Desenzano del Garda has beautiful winding historic streets situated between the castle and the lake. The inland small peaceful harbour is an absolutely wonderful place to enjoy a latte or a pasta dish whilst watching the ducks float by and the small boats sway.

Quick Guide:

Time Zone: GMT + 1

Plug Socket: European

Currency: Euro

Language: Italian. English was widely spoken.

Climate: Summers are hot and sunny, but there are also quite frequent thunderstorms. Winters are quite cold and there is a moderate amount of rainy days, even though winter is drier than the other seasons. The best times to visit Lake Garda are spring and early summer due to its pleasing temperatures.

How long to stay: We only visited Lake Garda for one night and it definitely wasn’t enough. Although we were able to see everything we set out to see, we’d have loved to spend longer on Lake Garda and exploring the surrounding towns. We’d have also liked to have had a few more days just wandering around the lake. When we return to Lake Garda, we’ll be doing two nights minimum. If you’re looking to explore the surrounding towns then I’d say three nights is a good call.

Where to stay in Desenzano del Garda

beautiful sunset over desenzano del garda travel guide

Hotel Oliveto: We stayed at the Hotel Oliveto which is located on Via Tito Malaguti, 2 Desenzano DI Garda , Lago Di Garda, 25015, Italy. It was a comfortable four star hotel which was an excellent choice for location, comfort and pet friendliness. It was also a fantastic choice thanks to its free parking outside. The hotel balcony provided wonderful views over the lake, which looked absolutely stunning at sunset and the hotel location meant it was a pleasant walk into the old town. The hotel was comfortable and clean. We paid 137€ for the night which was the double room on the top floor with a jacuzzi in the bedroom. We also had breakfast included in our room rate.

hotel oliveto desenzano del garda travel guide

What to do and see in Desenzano del Garda

A trip to Sirmione: We absolutely loved wandering around the cobbled streets and stunning castle in Sirmione. There were some beautiful boutique shops and quaint restaurants which we’d have loved to have spent more time in.

desenzano del garda travel guide sirmione castle day trip

Take a boat trip: You could pair this off with a day trip to Sirmione, but if we had more time in Desenzano del Garda, we’d have definitely loved to have gone on a boat trip to somewhere else on the Lake.

Eat Pasta: Can you go to places in Italy without gorging on pasta and pizza? I don’t think so! There are lots of lovely bars around Desenzano del Garda where you can relax and enjoy Italian cuisine (the best cuisine in the world, am I right?). We ate at Bar Pizzeria Gelateria Cristallo, I had a lovely pasta with tomato based sauce and Alex had a lasagna which were both tasty and quick to be served.

desenzano del garda travel guide dinner in garda pasta and wine

Relax around the lake: Holidays need those moments are pure relaxation and around the lake you’re sure to find it. With the dramatic backdrop of the mountains and the soft sounds of the lake running over the pebbles, it’s a beautiful place to just sit and chill.

Water sports on the lake: With the exact contrast, if you’re not down for chilling and more of an adventurous sort, there are plenty of water sports that were on offer during the summer months.

Explore the old town: With plenty of boutique shops, the castle and interesting corners to discover, a walk around the old town is sure to be a lovely past-time.

We absolutely loved Desenzano del Garda, and I know for a fact that at some point we’ll be back. If you get the chance to visit, I recommend it.

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