Maderno, Lake Garda
Maderno is absolutely breathtaking. The campsite is nestled between the Mountains behind us and the snow-capped mountains the other side of the Lake. Just taking in the views over the lake was so peaceful and relaxing.
Campsite details for the following areas are listed separately here
As with most of the campsites on Lake Garda, we could walk or cycle along the flat path beside the waterfront from outside the campsite into the nearest towns. The town of Maderno is very small & quiet with not much in the way of shops just a couple of bars and restaurants on the lakefront. Nevertheless, the marina is very pretty. There is a ferry that leaves regularly from Maderno to the other side of the Lake.
The pool, bar and shop were closed at the campsite as it was still early in the season and there were a lot of sited touring vans with awnings that had been left out all winter which made it look a bit tatty.
After a couple of days, we travelled round to the other side of the lake to Bardolino. We passed through Riva del Garda, which looked nice and might be worth visiting on our next trip to the lakes. The views on the drive round were again stunning.
The location of the next campsite was perfect. Stepping outside the site the views over the lake were again beautiful and a lovely promenade took you into the town of Garda. Turning out of the site in the other direction is the lovely town of Bardolino and other small towns.
This is the capital of the lake and it is very easy to see why so many people come here. It is located in a huge sheltered bay with dramatic hills and mountains behind it. It has a very attractive lakefront area and further round the bay a large beach area (ok you can’t build sandcastles as it is made up of little white pebbles but you do find people sunbathing on it)
The main attraction is the lakeside promenade which is traffic free and where the heart of the town lies. The hotels, ice cream parlours shops, bars and cafes all spill out onto the pavement.
There is lots of lakeside dining here and we had a meal watching the sunset. Another afternoon we sat relaxing with a coffee at a lakeside restaurant. The area was buzzing with boats and ferries arriving and leaving.
There are plenty of nice shops in the quaint narrow streets leading up from the lake which has lots to offer. One Saturday afternoon there was a lovely market (not selling the usual tat) but selling crafts and speciality foods. The stall holders were dressed in traditional dress.
We found that Garda was a great place to stay and could be used as a base to visit some of the other towns including the cable car to Malcesine. It is a great place for families as Gardaland, Movieland, Aqua Paradise Park are all quite near and in fact, some of the theme parks run complimentary buses in the summer. The beautiful town of Sirmione and Verona are all not too far away from here either.
One place we didn’t get to see this time and will make sure we see next time is Lazise which is a medieval walled town with an attractive harbour area.
The thing I loved about the lake was how easy it was to get around from the campsites to the towns and villages as the whole lakeside area is very flat which is great for walking and cycling along the lakeside path.
Bardolino was in the other direction outside the campsite and has a picturesque shoreline with lots of interesting streets to explore. The town is situated South of Garda Town and North of Lazise. It is best-known for the wine made from the grapes grown in the surrounding hillsides.
There is an endless array of cafes and restaurants all around. You can eat right at the water’s edge and enjoy the lovely lake view while eating your meal. Bardolino is a real town and the local Italians shop in Bardolino too so you will find some serious shops.
There is a market every Thursday morning in Bardolino where among other things wine and oil can be bought directly from producers. We loved both Garda and Bardolino.