The Italian Lakes - Garda and Como
There are several large lakes in northern Italy and we chose to spend a couple of days at each of the two most well known.
Lake Garda is very different north to south and the majority of visitors (as were we) will be based towards the flatter southern end. I don't doubt the northern end of the lake will be prettier as it's surrounded by some impressive scenery but for us, the ease of quickly reaching our accommodation and parking up for a couple of days made the Sirmione area an ideal choice. On the southern shores there are holiday parks, even a theme park and I don't even want to consider how busy it could be in high season (we just caught the very end of it). The middle and northern end are already in mind for a (as yet unplanned) future visit. It looks lovely!
We found Lake Como to be very different geographically as it doesn't really have the flat lands surrounding the main tourist areas. If we were plan another road trip but had to choose either Garda or Como, we'd probably opt for Como. Both are served by the major roads but we found lake Como to be exactly what we expected, beautiful scenery going hand in hand with colourful towns and architecture. There are good passenger ferry links too so wherever you stay, the towns you're likely to visit can be easily reached without using the car and worrying about parking. A point to note though – attractive hills and mountains may dictate your route somewhat and have a bearing on the accommodation choice and ease of parking for low wide sports cars. It took us a while to find hotels to suit because of this.
The pictures below are a selection from both of our stopovers.