Lake Garda - Italy's biggest lake

Getting to Lake Garda

Lake Garda is located just south of the Alps near an important motorway junction in northern Italy and surrounded by airports which are very accessible. It's hardly surprising that the ease of getting to the lake has contributed to the growth in tourism over the last few decades.

Nearest Airport To Lake Garda

There are eight different options within a reasonable distance for those choosing to arrive by flying. The nearest airport to Lake Garda is the one just outside Verona at the junction of two important motorways. Verona airport is most convenient for the resorts on the southeastern shore of Lake Garda like Peschiera del Garda, although the airport at Brescia, which it just beats in terms of distance, is the nearest airport for the southwestern towns, such as Desenzano del Garda.

Aeroporto Valerio Catullo di Verona Villafranca
Verona airport is located outside the city to the southwest near the junction of the A4 and A22 motorways and is extremely convenient for all the resorts on the southern end of the lake.
Distance from Verona Airport to Lake Garda (Peschiera del Garda): 22 kilometres

Aeroporto Gabriele D'Annunzio di Brescia Montichiari
Brescia airport is situated to the southeast of the city whose name it bears and nearer the village of Montichiari. It is close to Lake Garda and the southwestern resorts such as Desenzano.
Distance from Brescia Airport to Lake Garda (Desenzano del Garda): 21 kilometres

Aeroporto di Orio al Serio - Bergamo
Orio al Serio airport actually manages to mention Milan in its online copy, even though it is just outside the city of Bergamo and convenient for the western side of the lake.
Distance from Bergamo Airport to Lake Garda (Desenzano del Garda): 79 kilometres

Aeroporto Linate - Milano
Linate is one of two airports just outside Milan - Malpensa is the other one and is further to the west. Linate is located in the eastern suburbs of the city.
Distance from Milan Linate Airport to Lake Garda (Desenzano del Garda): 110 kilometres

Aeroporto di Venezia Marco Polo
Marco Polo airport is on the northern side of the Venetian lagoon and a couple of hours away from the southern end of Lake Garda.
Distance from Venice Airport to Lake Garda (Peschiera del Garda): 146 kilometres

Aeroporto di Treviso Canova
Treviso airport is an alternative to Marco Polo airport just a little further to the north of the Venetian lagoon and again a couple of hours away from the southern end of Lake Garda.
Distance from Treviso Airport to Lake Garda (Peschiera del Garda): 163 kilometres

Aeroporto Bolzano Dolomiti
Bolzano airport is a possible option for those travelling to the resorts on the northern end of Lake Garda. Mainly used for internal flights, although sometime international charters are available.
Distance from Bolzano Airport to Lake Garda (Riva del Garda) : 104 kilometres

Flughafen Innsbruck
Innsbruck airport is over the border to the north in the Austrian Tyrol. However its popularity for scheduled flights and international charters in the summer make it an option for visitors to Lake Garda as well.
Distance from Innsbruck Airport to Lake Garda (Riva del Garda): 224 kilometres

Getting to Lake Garda by Train

On the southern shore of Lake Garda there is a train station at Desenzano and another at Peschiera. Note that there is no stop for Sirmione.) Another train line which may be of interest runs from north to south between Bolzano and Verona. From this line the train station at Rovereto is probably best for access to the northern resorts.
Italian railways - and
Trentino bus service (for Rovereto and Trento) -
Verona regional bus service (for eastern and southern shore of Lake Garda) -
Brescia regional bus service (for southern and western shore of Lake Garda) -

Lake Garda Ferry Services

Ferries around the lake are provided by the Navigazione Laghi, with a fleet of 25 different sizes of vessel (including a car ferry between Maderno and Torri del Benaco) offering a comprehensive service. Visitors should study the ferry timetable carefully to make the best use of the schedule and the various types of unlimited travel tickets. The ferry company have an excellent and extensive website in English which puts many other Italian transport operators to shame.

Getting to Lake Garda by Car

Resorts to the south of the lake are best accessed from the Milan - Venice motorway (the A4) while, for travellers coming from the north, the Brennero motorway between Austria and Affi (the A22 - exit Rovereto Sud for the north of the lake or Affi for Garda town and Bardolino) is the best bet. Travel connections to the individual resorts are given under the specific pages in the navigation to the right.

Driving a car around Lake Garda can lead to extreme levels of frustration in high season, as the narrow access roads on either side of the lake are filled with cyclists, coach tours, public buses and motorhomes from all over Europe. Out of season, a car is a pleasant and convenient way to get to some of the more out-of-the-way attractions.

A view of the northern end of Lake Garda
View over the northern end of Lake Garda