I get many a discerning traveller asking my advice on stunning Lake Garda and I admit that I take great pleasure in enlightening them. Gorgeous towns and villages enjoy lakeside proximity, and many hotels boast private terraces and decking on the lake itself. Why not visit in the summer months when the place comes alive with festivities and spectacles?
3 Fabulous Summer Festivals near Lake Garda
The Medieval Festival
If you happen to be staying in Malcesine this summer and want a really authentic holiday experience, you really must make sure that you visit The Medieval Festival. Every year at the castle this town comes alive and whether you are a history buff, a culture lover or are just looking for a good time, you really must go. The festival gets off to an interesting start with a medieval traders’ market, and even if you are not normally into buying artefacts from this time, you are bound to be enticed by the array of bronze and copper offerings.
For anyone who wants to really get into the spirit of things, you can always don a costume or two or have a go at playing some old traditional games. As the festival hots up, there is entertainment galore. From fire eating to dancing and from music to falconry, there is something for everyone here. You can also take a tour round the castle and enjoy the magnificent firework display at the end of the night.
I can really recommend that you put this one in the diary for this year: 25th-26th July.
The Bisse Races
This spectacular event that takes place in July is like no other. Once used by local fishermen, the Bisse are long narrow boats that are now treated as racing vessels in the annual Bandiera del Lago races. Sirmione is one of many towns that put out a four man rowing team to take part in the races, with every team fighting to win the Bandiera del Lago (flag of the lake). If you find yourself staying in Hotel Flaminia in this vibrant little town, make sure you head down to see the races and to cheer on the local team.
Summer Music Festival in Salò
The beautiful little town of Salò is a wonderful spot to be based during the summer months and, if you are interested in indulging in a little local culture, we can definitely recommend the summer music festival at the Vittoriale Theatre. Every August, this prime spot with its open air design and incredible vistas over Lake Garda hosts a number of globally acclaimed artists who bring you an array of magnificent performances. Past names include the Vienna Opera and Lou Reed.
We would advise you to book tickets though, as this stunning evening sells out fast.
This charming hotel in Sirmione offers the perfect base from which to explore these summer festivals. Each room enjoys a view of the lake (larger rooms and suites offer a full lake view) and many have a French balcony, perfect for observing the evening sunset.
After indulging in a delicious breakfast overlooking the lake, you can set out to discover the local area or choose to stay put and make the most of the beautiful lakeside terrace.
Ideal for the traveller looking for a high quality service, yet in an intimate setting, Hotel Bellerive is an elegant spot, meticulously furnished and beautifully appointed. Most rooms have a balcony and the bathrobes and slippers are a welcome sight when you get in from a long day sightseeing. Staff are professional and helpful, and the property has several comfortable lounge areas, a freshwater swimming pool and an excellent à la carte restaurant that leads out onto a secluded terrace. Eating ‘al fresco’ at this beauty spot is something I always look forward to.
Why not enjoy a pre dinner walk along the lakeside promenade which stretches along the length of Salò and which is directly accessible from the hotel?