Gardone Riviera is home to some of the best Blue Flag beaches on Lake Garda. Lido Cisano is ideal for families, with a children's play area and sun loungers. Alternatively, Lido di Fasano has excellent facilities that include changing rooms, toilets and showers. Baia Bianca is a 30 minute drive away but is well worth the added travel for its gorgeous sands that have been imported from Caribbean beaches.
If you want to get out and about, there are plenty of opportunities to take boat rides from the port in Piazza Wimmer. Boats run throughout the day and stop at several of the lakeside resorts along the eastern shore. You can also catch a boat to the pretty Isola del Garda to visit its impressive palace and gardens.
Must-see local attractions
As well as offering a picturesque place to stay, Gardone Riviera has a number of famous attractions nearby. Just a short walk uphill from the promenade is the intriguing Vittoriale degli italiani – an extravagant complex of buildings and gardens formerly owned by the eccentric poet Gabriele D'Annunzio. One of the most popular tourist destinations on Lake Garda, you can easily spend a day exploring the hillside estate with its unusual gardens and artefacts.
Known for its rich flora and fauna, no trip to Gardone Riviera would be complete without a visit to one of its beautiful gardens. The Heller Botanical Gardens is a paradise for nature lovers, where you can walk among 2,000 different types of exotic plants and modern art displays.
Gardone offers a range of scenic walks, both in the town and in the surrounding countryside. Start off with a wander along the leafy promenade and up to the Gardone Sopra – the charming village centre. If you want to venture further afield, the pavements that snake around Lake Garda will take you past various parks, gardens and historic villas, with hilly terrain the more inland you go.
The Alto Garda Bresciano Park that stretches out behind the resort is also a prime spot for walking. The mountainous terrain is ideal for an energetic hike, with woodlands, flower-filled hills and rocky peaks. The hour-long uphill walk to San Michele is well worth it for the fantastic views and makes a great base for further walks like the Via della Calma trek to Mount Spino.
If you're looking for somewhere to enjoy a pre-dinner drink, there's a selection of bars and cafés in the village and dotted along the lake. Relaxed night-time strolls are also popular with both locals and those on package holidays to Lake Garda, with plenty of benches along the promenade where you can sit and watch the world go by. For something a little more lively, take a taxi to the nearby towns of Salò or Desenzano where you'll find more bars and nightspots.
Food wise, there's a good mix of affordable pizzerias and fine-dining eateries spread out around the town, many of which offer spectacular views of Lake Garda. There are also some hidden gems, such as the intimate Locanda Trattoria Agli Angelli, which has a lovely outdoor seating area and serves inventive Italian dishes.