Discover Lake Garda: Sirmione Castle and Lazise
Lake Garda is the ideal destination for all those seeking relax and history. The luxurious nature, the ideal climate, the numerous wellness centres and the luxury hotels make it a true paradise to rest and recharge both the body and the mind.
Known as “the pearl of the islands and peninsulas,” Sirmione’s fame comes from its thermal waters that offer healing properties, and writers like Catullo and Goethe that hailed its beauty.
Ancient Romans discovered the healing properties of Lake Garda’s hot springs and built wonderful villas with thermal pools. The first thermal centre opened around 1900.
But Sirmione is not only thermal springs… There is more to discover!
One of the best places to visit in Sirmione is Scaliger Castle. The Sirmione castle encloses the village, to enter you still pass from its drawbridge that once made him an island, one of the few castles to still have integrated the dock, the drawbridge and the walkways on the wall.
Built in the 13th century, this is one of Italy’s best-preserved castles. It is a real fairytale castle from the exterior. If you decide to get inside for a visit (entrance € 6 per person), you can go up on its tower, from which you can enjoy a beautiful view of both sides of the lake; not miss the overview of Sirmione from the tower.
Another interesting visit is “Catullo Cave!”. It’s located on the northern tip of Sirmione, and are the ruins of the largest Roman villa in northern Italy, the building had to have an imposing spectacular as its panoramic view of Lake Garda. (Entrance € 8 per person) The archaeological site is about a fifteen minute walk from the village centre.
After visits, you can simply stroll in the historical centre of Sirmione (exclusively pedestrianised), this is the best way to explore it.
In the centre of Sirmione, you can immerse yourself in the charm of the streets of the village, among the scents of Italian cuisine, browse the summer markets, shop in the many stores and boutiques, or go for a visit to the oldest church of Sirmione, the Longobard church of San Pietro in Mavino.
Enjoy a boat tour: In front of Sirmione castle, before you enter the old town, you will find the boat station where you can hop on. The tour takes you around the peninsula, which takes about 25-30 minutes. (Prices from € 10 per person) This is definitely one of the best activities in Sirmione.
Sirmione is also a handy starting point for boat trips around the lake, especially to Riva del Garda in Trentino or to Limone, Desenzano and Salo, on the wild and wonderful western shore.
In summer: Jamaica Beach, this beach is a paradise corner and offers clear waters, great views, and warm waves to dip your toes into. It is necessary to wear easy shoes because the rocks are slippery and it is easy to fall.
If you still have some time, or you do not know where to spend the evening, a visit to Lazise is worth it (30 km distance).
Enjoy a long walk on the lakefront promenade and admire its characteristic little port, colourful houses and the particular pavement.
There are plenty of shops, bar, restaurants and ice-cream parlours where you can stop for a short or long break!
How to Get to Sirmione
By plane: Bergamo (Milan) and Verona/Brescia or Verona Airport are popular airports close by. From there, you either head to Sirmione by car or bus.
By car: Sirmione is reachable by car from the A4 Turin/Venice motorway.
By train: You can take the train to the Desenzano station, which is the most popular junction in Lake Garda, where all trains stop.
There are many places that you can walk to in Sirmione. But you are not allowed to drive in the old town. So, if you are driving, make use of one of the (paid) car parks.
Sirmione Hotels – Where to Stay
Best luxury hotel: Villa Cortine Palace Hotel 5*
World-class luxury and excellent service
Fantastic luxury 5 star hotel with a gorgeous park property. Lake pier with sun deck and great lunch restaurant.Close to Catullus’s Villa at the tip of the Sirmione peninsula, at Villa Cortine Palace you will be able to enjoy the same views across Lake Garda as Roman nobles once did. Villa Cortine’s 4 hectares of gardens have fountains and statues. In summer, you can sunbathe on the hotel’s pier or swim in the lake.
Rooms from € 440/night
Best mid-range hotel: Hotel Ocelle Thermae & Spa (Adult Only) 4*
Perfect location and private beach
The hotel is very clean and modern. There are nice spa center with thermal pool and other spa facilities. The breakfast was perfect. The location is really comfortable, no more than 6 min on foot to the historical centre. The hotel also has its own beach and staff is very helpful.
Rooms from € 230/night
Best budget hotel: Hotel International 3*
Excellent base for trips
Hotel International is just 5 minutes’ drive from Sirmione’s historic centre, in the Colombare district just 300 m from Lake Garda. The outdoor swimming pool is set on a large sun terrace. International Hotel is close to sports facilities, shops and cafés. The Terme di Sirmione thermal baths are just a few steps away. Sirmione centre can also be reached by bus.
Rooms from € 88/night
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