Mike's Travel Tips

Italy

Day Area Things to do
Day 1 Lake Garda (Lago Di Garda) Getting there: Flight to Milan Italy, and then rent car from airport and drive east toward La Garda on the main toll road. When passing each toll station, make sure that you take the ticket that pops out the toll machine; otherwise, you wont be allowed to exit the highway!
Hotel:Altomincio Family Park is a great place to stay for families with young kids. It is on the Mincio river which starts from the southern point of Lake Garda. The location is about 5 or 10 minutes from the lake and set in a rural area. The park has two big pools and with slides, supermarket, laundry, mini-golf and lots of other activities there. A big plus are the bicycles - not free - but worth it. We cycled along the river bank to a quaint village (see more down below). You stay in what they call mobile homes (they dont move)! Make sure you get ones with air conditioning in the bedrooms. Some have air con only in the kitchen.
Day 2 Sirmione and Thermal Sirmione: Located on the southern part of the lake and a great place to visit due to the its old walled city and inside, the Roman castle -- Scaliger Castle -- that juts into the lake. There are a lot of shops inside the walled city. You can take boat rides as well from it. You can spend half a day here shopping and eating.


Thermal Park - Villa Dei Cedri: Great place to relax at the ned of a long day! It's a natural spa, surrounded by rare plants and trees with thermal lakes, swimming pools, a wellness centre and a fitness facility. The mineral water originates in large amounts from 2 deep subterranean water-bearing strata (at depths of 160 and 200 meters) at a temperature of 37° and 42°C. In the main lake and in the swimming pool the temperature of the thermal water is approximately 33°C and in the special pools (old tubs) temperature reaches 37°/39°C. In the second lake the water temperature is around 29°-30°C..

Day 3 Borghetto Area Borghetto sul Mincio: A tiny quaint village of shops with watermills, located on the Mincio river, a few kilometers from Altomincio Family Park. We took bicycles from the park and cycled on the path along the river to the vilage. It's a beautiful journey. The village is half built on the river and you can see shops with mills run by the water flow. A steepish walk up the hill from the village is a medieval castle (Castello scaligero di Valeggio sul Mincio). We didn't go inside, but it was nice to walk up. From there, you can walk down into the adjacent town Valeggio Sul Mincio and look for a pasta shop - Pastificio Remelli is excellent.


Parco Giardino Sigurtà: It's considered to be one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. A few minute drive from Borghetto, this is a park with water and medicinal herb gardens, walking and cycling trails, plus a maze. They have a train that goes around the park.

Day 4 La Garda - North-East Shore Jungle Adventure Park: Tree-to-tree climbing park for the whole family. You get harnessed and thourough instructions on how to climb. the guides are very friendly and professional. The park is located almost at the top of the mountain, so a bit of a climb with the car, but a must.


Funivia Malcesine - Monte Baldo: Malcesine is a quaint village on Garda Lake with a cable car going to the top of the mountain located behind it. There is nt much to do on the top of the mountain, but it may be worth the cable car ride and the vista. Make sure you book ahead as the lines for the tickets are extremely long! The village is beautiful with fantastic little pizza places and winding alleyways. Walk to the water edge where there are steps to the water - you can simply sit and enjoy the view and tranquility with an expresso.

Day 5 La Garda - South-East Shore Gardaland Park: Fantastic theme park, located on the south-east shore of Garda lake. Download the map of the park before you go to familiarize yourself with the rides so that you dont waste precious time wandering through the park looking for suitable rides. The rides are color-coded, where each color denotes a type of ride. Instead of waiting in long queues, you can buy a quick pass per ride at the booths distributed around the park. It's a little bit pricey but worth it!


Medieval Times at Canevaworld: This is a must for the whole family! You step back into time - medieval era - and watch a battle between medieval knights on horses over a beutiful princess, while you eat your medieval supper - with hands and fingers! It is a fun experience and the food is delicious even though simple. At times it can get a bit raucos by the audience so bring ear plugs. Must book in advance.

Day 6 La Garda - Canyoning Canyoning Center Italia: Do the Torrente Brentino Family Adventure - wander through fresh mountain streams, jump into small water pools, and experience for the first time, abseiling down a waterfall. Pure adventure and family fun.