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Garda Lake: Day Trips and Tours from Milan

A day trip to Lake Garda from Milan is a perfect way to escape the city and dive deeper into Northern Italian culture.

Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and is a popular tourist destination thanks to its quaint villages, crystal clear water and dramatic mountains.

The area is also steeped in history, with a number of Roman ruins and castles dotting the landscape. A Lake Garda jaunt truly is a must-do activity during your time in Milan.

How to get to Lake Garda from Milan?

Lake Garda is located in Northern Italy, 130 kilometers east of Milan. Therefore, taking a Lake Garda day trip from Milan is easy.

From Milan to Lake Garda by car

It takes roughly two hours to get from Milan to Lake Garda by car. The fastest route is via the A35 Lake Garda motorway. Once you arrive at Lake Garda, there are a number of car parks located in the main towns.

From Milan to Lake Garda by train

There is no direct train from Milan to Lake Garda, but you can take a regional train from Milan's Central Station to Peschiera del Garda.

The journey takes approximately two hours and tickets start from €8 each way. From Peschiera del Garda, you can then take a local bus or ferry to your Lake Garda destination.

From Milan to Lake Garda by bus

There are a few direct buses that run from Milan to Lake Garda. The journey takes approximately three hours and costs around €16 for a one-way ticket.

Guided tour to Lake Garda from Milan

Since it's a popular tourist destination, there are several day trips to Lake Garda available from Milan. Lake Garda day trips often start at the Central Station in Milan or in the city center.

A full-day Lake Garda day tour typically lasts between eight and ten hours, although half-day tours are available.

How much does the entrance ticket to Lake Garda cost?

There is no entrance fee to Lake Garda. However, if you're planning on visiting attractions, such as Sirmione Castle or the Lake Garda Thermal Park, you will need to purchase a ticket. Prices vary, but expect to pay between €5 and €45.

What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to Lake Garda from Milan?

Usually, day tours to Lake Garda either begin at Milan Central Station or in the city center. However, some private tours offer hotel pick-up instead. Typically, you'll travel by minivan, bus or train.

Most tours include a visit to Sirmione, a picturesque town located on a peninsula in Lake Garda. Sirmione is home to a number of Roman ruins, such as the Grotte di Catullo, as well as medieval castles.

There, you'll typically have some time to explore the medieval city center, do some shopping or explore the local cafes lining the streets. Your trip may also include a visit to the Scaligeri Castle, a 14th century fortress located in Sirmione, or another Lake Garda village.

Many Lake Garda excursions also include a walking tour of nearby Verona. This small city is famous for being the setting of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It's also home to an abundance of well-preserved Roman architecture and some delicious local food.

What kinds of tours are available to go to Lake Garda?

There are a number of Lake Garda tours available from Milan. You can choose between guided tours, small group tours or private tours. You may also want to include a visit to Verona or Brescia as part of your Lake Garda excursion.

Guided Tours from Milan to Lake Garda

Guided tours are a convenient way to visit Lake Garda from Milan, as they include transportation and a guide.

Most Lake Garda tours from Milan are full-day excursions, but there are also half-day options available.

Private Lake Garda Day Trip with Local Guide

If you want a more personalized Lake Garda experience, a private tour is the way to go. Private tours can be customized to your interests and needs, and they often include a local guide.

You have the convenience of setting the pace of the tour and choosing the meeting point. Private tours typically cost more than group tours, but they offer a unique and customized experience.

Small Group Lake Garda Day Tour from Milan

Small group tours are a good middle ground between private and guided tours. You'll still have the benefit of a knowledgeable guide, but you'll be traveling with a small group of people.

Small group tours to Lake Garda from Milan usually include a boat ride and a gelato tasting.

Lake Garda and Verona Day Trip

Many Lake Garda tours from Milan include a visit to the nearby city of Verona. Here you'll have the opportunity to explore the well-preserved Roman architecture and learn about the city's connection to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

Lake Garda and Brescia Private Guided Tour

For a more intimate Lake Garda experience, consider a private tour that includes a visit to the nearby city of Brescia.

Brescia is a beautiful medieval city with a rich history. Your guide will take you to see the best of what Brescia has to offer, including the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the Castle of Brescia.

How much does a tour to Lake Garda from Milan cost?

Typically, day trips to Lake Garda from Milan cost between €99-350. The price of your tour will depend on the length of the tour, the type of tour and whether or not it includes transportation and other admission fees.

Small group and private tours cost more than guided tours, but they offer a more personalized experience. If your Lake Garda journey includes a stop in another destination, such as Verona or Brescia, the cost of your tour will be higher.

What will you see and do in Lake Garda?

A Lake Garda day tour from Milan allows you to enjoy the region’s highlights, such as:

A Guided Tour of Sirmione

Sirmione is a beautiful Lake Garda village located on a peninsula. Here, you'll be able to explore the ancient cobbled streets and learn about the village's history. Often, private tours include a boat ride to Sirmione so that you can enjoy the Lake Garda scenery.

A Visit to the Scaligeri Castle

The Scaligeri Castle is a 13th-century fortification located in the village of Sirmione. The castle is open to the public and offers stunning views of Lake Garda.

Explore the Catullus Grottoes

The Catullus Grottoes are a series of Roman ruins located in the village of Sirmione. The grottoes were once a large villa and are now an impressive archaeological site.

A Walking Tour of Verona

Verona is a historic city located in the Veneto region of Italy, best known for its association with Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Here, you'll have the opportunity to explore the city's Roman architecture and learn about its connection to the famous playwright.

Ice Cream Tasting

Italy is famous for its gelato, and Lake Garda is no exception. On a Lake Garda tour from Milan, you'll have the opportunity to taste some of the best ice cream in the region.

When is the best time to visit Lake Garda?

The best time to take a Lake Garda day trip from Milan depends on what you're looking to do.

If you're interested in swimming and beaches, the best time to visit is between June and September when the weather is warmest. This is the most popular time of year to visit, which means higher prices and more tourists.

For those who primarily want to enjoy the Lake Garda scenery and history, it's better to visit during the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn. From April-May and September-October you will encounter fewer crowds and milder temperatures.

Are there any tours to Lake Garda from other cities in Italy?

Yes, there are other tours departing from other cities in Italy:

Travel tips

●  Lake Garda is located in the Lombardy region of Italy, which is known for its high prices. Be prepared to budget accordingly.
●  Many Lake Garda day tours from Milan include stops in other destinations, such as Verona or Brescia. If you would like to see multiple destinations, look for a tour that includes transportation and admission to multiple attractions.
●  Lake Garda is a popular destination, so be sure to book your tour in advance.
●  If you're visiting during the summer months, remember to bring sunscreen and plenty of water.
●  Gratuities are not included in tour prices, so be sure to bring cash to tip your servers and guides.
●  Lake Garda is a large lake, so the weather can vary depending on which side of the lake you're visiting. Be sure to check the forecast before you go.
●  Bring your camera. Lake Garda is one of the most beautiful places in Italy and you'll want to capture its scenery and architecture.
●  Wear comfortable shoes. Lake Garda day tours often involve a lot of walking.
●  If you get the chance, sample the region's famous food and wine. Lake Garda is home to some of Italy's best cuisine.
●  Don't forget to pack your Lake Garda map. With so much to see and do, it's helpful to have a guide.