The best time to visit Lake Garda
There’s a popular destination in the north of Italy: Lake Garda. The Lago Di Garda offers almost everything to everyone: if you simply love to lie in the sun or if you’re more the active type of holidaymaker, Lake Garda is a wonderful destination. There’s Limone on the west shore, Sirmione in the south of Lake Garda or, one of the most popular cities in the region, Riva del Garda in the north. Lake Garda has a great diversity. The south of the lake features flat, rolling countryside, yet work your way further north and you’ll come across breathtaking mountain vistas. If Lago di Garda is the next destination on your bucket list, you will get all details about the best time to visit Lake Garda here in my article. Check out the weather conditions and the climate table to have an overview of the temperatures and which season will be the best for you. This way, you will be ideally prepared for your holiday in this beautiful region in Italy.
When is the best time to visit Lake Garda?
The best time to visit Lake Garda is during July and August – but this is also the peak season as well. You will experience ideal weather conditions for a holiday full of sunshine and splashing about. In July and August temperatures range around and above 30°C, which is perfect for a holiday lounging about in the sun. The water temperature of over 20 degrees Celsius is a welcomed refreshment on hot summer days. The rainy days are between 5 to 10 per month but the high number of hours of sunshine balances the rainy days.
The months of July and August are in the middle of summer holiday season and thus during school holidays of many European countries as well as Ireland.. Due to the good accessibility form many European regions, it is very crowded in the popular resorts such as Limone, Sirimione or Riva del Garda. Those of you who prefer to avoid mass tourism during peak season should consider to travel off season. The weather is still great and offers a special atmosphere at Lake Garda. Off season, which is in May, June and September, are also considered to be the best time to visit Lake Garda too. These months have pleasantly warm temperatures and are still ideal for soaking up a bit of sunshine!
The best time to visit Lake Garda:
- May: 25°C, 9hrs of sunshine, 16°C water temperature, 8 rainy days
- June: 28°C, 10hrs of sunshine, 20°C water temperature., 9 rainy days
- July: 31°C, 11hrs of sunshine, 25°C water temperature, 4 rainy days
- August: 31°C, 11hrs of sunshine, 26°C water temperature, 5 rainy days
- September: 28°C, 8hrs of sunshine, 26°C water temperature, 5 rainy days
The best time for activity holidays at Lake Garda
You can just tell by the pictures that Lake Garda is perfect for an active holiday. The Alpine foothills and mountains are bursting with fantastic hikes and cycling routes, while the waters of Lake Garda are fantastic for water sports. Sailing, diving, swimming – there’s loads of opportunities open to you. The lake is also very popular amongst wind and kite surfers because of the Ora and Peler winds. They provide the ideal surfing conditions, especially towards the northern end of the lake.
In general, the weather is ideal for activity holidays throughout the year. If you want those perfect temperatures for those hiking and biking tours, then consider visiting Lake Garde in the autumn. The temperatures are mild and there are fewer thunderstorms than in summer which leads to less rain. Look forward to constant weather conditions and less changeable weather on your sporting activities. There’s another reason that speaks for autumn as the best time to visit Lake Garda for activity holidays: the air at higher altitudes is cool and clear at the same time. You can enjoy stunning views of Lake Garda from the surrounding mountains without worrying too much about haze.
The best time for activity holidays: Spring and Autumn
- October: 21°C, 5hrs of sunshine, 13°C water temperature, 3 rainy days
- November: 15°C, 4hrs of sunshine, 11°C water temperature, 5 rainy days
- March: 16°C, 6hrs of sunshine, 10°C water temperature, 5 rainy days
- April: 20°C, 7hrs of sunshine, 13°C water temperature, 6 rainy days
Spring is also ideal for activity holidays in Lake Garda. There are similar weather conditions as in fall, which are perfect for hiking and biking tours as well as for other sporty activities. The mass tourism hasn’t started yet and the prices for hotels and accommodations are much lower than in peak season.
Climate and Weather in Lake Garda
The location of Lake Garda has a great impact on its climate. Italy’s largest lake is sandwiched between the Alps in the north and the Po Valley in the south. Although Lake Garda is referred to as a mountain lake, its climate is sub-Mediterranean. It brings warm summers and mild winters with low chances of rain. The winters are not as cold as in Ireland and the summer ensures lovely sunshine. The Alps in the north protect the lake from cold winds. The south is influenced by the nearby Mediterranean sea and its warmer air.
The sub-Mediterranean climate at Lake Garda offers fantastic weather throughout the year. Summer is the most popular season of the year at Lake Garda and the high temperatures of July and August really do draw the crowds. You can experience the summer at Lake Garda in the months May, June and September as well. The air and water are a little colder during these months but this shouldn’t influence your summer holidays. All of these months have around 8 up to 11 hours of sunshine per day. But you also have to expect 4 to 10 rainy days per month.
Autumn starts in October. The temperatures decrease to 15 up to 21 degrees Celsius and there are fewer hours of sunshine. The water temperature of the Lake Garda in autumn is around 19 degrees. During the night, the temperatures drop to under 10 degrees. But usually, there won’t be any minus degrees in winter at Lake Garda. In rare cases, temperatures can rise up to 15 degrees Celsius in winter. The Lake Garda in winter is not suitable anymore for swimming with temperatures around 8 degrees Celsius. But as soon as it’s spring, so from March onwards, temperatures rise again. You can expect temperatures around 15 degrees Celsius. The hours of sunshine increase and there will be the first holidaymakers to enjoy the lovely weather conditions in spring.
Climate table – Sirmione (southern Lake Garda)
|Max. temperature in °C||8||10||16||20||25||28||31||31||28||21||15||9|
|Min. temperature in °C||2||3||6||10||15||18||21||21||17||11||8||4|
|Sunshine hours per day||4||5||6||7||9||10||11||11||8||5||4||4|
|Water temperature in °C||8||8||10||13||16||20||25||26||26||19||13||11|
|Rainy days per month||3||4||5||6||8||9||4||5||5||3||5||3|
The best time to visit Lake Garda – my verdict
The sub-Mediterranean climate and the lovely weather year-round explain why Lake Garda is such a popular choice! If you love the sun, then the summer season will be your best time to visit Lake Garda. But even in May and September you’ll enjoy fantastic temperatures as well. The only downside is that you’ll have to put up with the most tourists. If you’re looking for a more active holiday with less crowds, then I recommend autumn as well as spring. March, April, October and November feature mild temperatures that are perfect for hikes and cycling tours. You’ve also got the added advantage of cheaper hotels and flights as well. But even during the winter there’s nothing stopping you from travelling to Lake Garda. Just take a look and see which hotels are open, and you can enjoy a lovely little getaway enjoying the mild weather.