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Sprawling out against a dramatic horizon of jutting mountains and lush treetops, Lake Garda sits within one of the most dazzling locations in the whole of Italy. Pebble beaches and little lidos ring its whole shoreline, and you’ll be looking out on waters so crystal-clear, and with such shades of turquoise, you'd believe you were on the Med. Meanwhile, handsome castles tower overhead, their crenulated walls heralding the towns of Malcesine and Sirmione, both bedecked with preserved historic architecture. And on the banks around Riva, a picturesque settlement with its own castle, windsurfers whizz this way and that, paddleboards bob on the light swells, and charming wine bars spill out onto the water's edge.
There are lots of bonuses when it comes to booking holiday rentals in Lake Garda over a conventional hotel. For starters, you'll be able to pick from more off-the-beaten-track locations and quirky stays, whether that means old Medieval mansions perched on the hilltops, or converted lemon farms hidden in the terraces of Limone Sul Garda. You're also more likely to have more room to spread out and relax in Lake Garda holiday villas, not to mention the chance to bag extra luxuries like private pools, BBQ spots, sunning terraces and manicured gardens with views down over the cobalt-blue waters.
You might want to pack the swimming gear for that trip to Lake Garda – this isn't hailed as one of Italy's water sports havens for nothing. Windsurfing sessions and paddle boarding outings are the name of the game around the towns of Torbole and Riva del Garda in the north. There are rental places everywhere there, and qualified teachers aplenty for those who've never ridden the swells before. Other Lake Garda holiday rentals will offer direct walking access to historic towns like Malcesine, where you can spend hours wandering the cobbled lanes, exploring the majestic Castello Scaligero, or even riding the cable car to soaring Monte Baldo mountain. There really are things to do to keep every traveller happy.
Most holiday villas in Lake Garda can be found hugging the shoreline or dotting the edge of local lakeside towns, meaning they should be easy to get to using regional transport, or even on the regular water taxis that hop all the way from Sirmione, through Malcesine, and to Riva del Garda in the north throughout the day. However, if you've bagged yourself a stay in the hills, where some of the villages sit perched on the high clifftops, it might be worth considering hiring a car and using the good roads that weave all around the banks of the lake. In fact, going on a leisurely road trip makes for a pleasurable sightseeing outing during a stay in Lake Garda.