Having been to Lake Garda many times I thought doing a post on the nearest airport for Lake Garda might be useful for all those looking to explore this beautiful region in Italy. Sandwiched between Trento-Alto Adige, Veneto and Lombardy, Lake Garda has a fascinating history in its links to countless battles and ties with Roman Empire, the ancient republic of Venice to Austrian rule.
You can see all these ties in the remnants of the buildings dotted around the beautiful towns on Lake Garda. From Desenzano to Sirmione and from Riva del Garda to Limone, Salo, Malcesine, Gardone Riviera and Gargnano and more. Withe many beautiful beaches in Lake Garda too.
How You Get To Lake Garda
If you are planning a trip to Italy‘s largest lake, there are many ways to get to Lake Garda because there are many beautiful towns to visit on the lake. Even if you are planning to visit all the towns on the lake, you will still need to start from somewhere! So, if you have read my posts on the towns to visit in Lake Garda then I am going to assume you at least have a starting point.
Without a doubt, you will need at least a train and a taxi to arrive at your desired destination when going to Lake Garda. I have already covered how to get from Verona to Lake Garda on the blog. Which town you choose will determine which airport you use to get to Lake Garda or which one of the airports below is the nearest airport for Lake Garda, particularly the town you are heading to.
Depending on the flight availability you may find that you have to use an airport even further away just to get to Lake Garda depending on say, how urgent your trip is. For example, when my husband hand an a skiing accident earlier in the year while skiing in Trento, I couldn’t find any flights near the northern part of Lake Garda so I ended up having to use Verona airport and then renting a car to drive 3 hours to Trento to pick him up. A long way! I needed to have the car because I also need to run around hospitals there but if your trip is one way you can opt to use a bus transfer from Verona to Lake Garda.
The Nearest Airports For Lake Garda
Below are the many airports near Lake Garda. Some airports are closer than others but if you use the fast Trenitalia trains which I highly recommend you book in advance as they do sell out(Yes learned the hard way on this but thankfully we left with plenty of time to get to the airport). For all other transportation options for buses and ferries around the lake, you can use Omio which is really great with showing all the transportation options for any destination with times, transport options and costs too, for buses, flights and trains.
Valerio Catullo Airport(Verona Airport)
This is I think the closes airport to Lake Garda. Well, most of the Lake Garda towns in the southern part of the lake anyway. If you are going to Gardone Riviera, Salo, San Felice, Valtenesi del Garda, Desenzano del Garda, Sirmione, Peschiera del Garda, Lazise, Bardolino and Garda, Verona is the closest airport and you can take the fast trains and be in one of those towns within 2 hours or less for the ones closer.
The distance between Verona Airport and Desenzano del Garda is only 36km and under 50 minutes by car. Lazise to Verona is about 23km and only 25 minutes drive, while Gardone on the other side of the lake is about 59km and about an hour and 20 minutes drive. You can easily rent a car from Verona Airport or take a transfer. Dont bother getting a taxi as most will charge a hefty amount, that’s if they even agree to take you.
Verona airport is best for Lake Garda towns in the southern part of the lake as well as those in the Eastern side all the way to to the North East of the lake.
Brescia Montichiari Airport
Brescia airport is another airport that is good for Southern lake towns as well as those in the west side of the lake. So towns like Garganano, Tremosine, Limone sul Garda and Rive del Garda. For example Brescia airport to Gardone Rivera the distance is 35km and only takes about 40 minutes drive in good traffic.
Say if you were looking to get to Limone, the nearest airport to Limone Lake Garda is Brescia as well but is twice the distance at 65km and about 1 hour 15 minutes drive. You can also get to Limone sul Garda via Verona but the journey may just be a little bit longer by train but if you are driving, not significantly so as its only 1 hour 24 minutes via the A22 on the eastern side of the lake. If you are intending on driving be sure you have euro coins as there are tolls along the way.
Venice airport even though might look like its too far, Venice trains are on the same route as the Verona route so you wouldn’t have to change trains. Doing Lake Garda to Venice by train and vice versa is fairly easy. The train you would get from Verona may be coming from Venice anyway. So if you find good flights landing in Venice and looking to travel to Lake Garda, definitely book those flights as the journey is not complicated at all.
I have done this route a few times and its not that costly either. The fast tickets would be the equivalent of £50 if not less. Trains from Venice pass through many of the towns on the southern part of the town. So if you are visiting Lake Garda I find that starting your exploring from the south makes sense as it reduces complications with arrivals to Lake Garda and then you can then branch of and explore other parts of the lake staying in hotels across the lake.
When its time to head back you can either leave extra early or move to the closes towns in the southern part of the lake the day before your departure to make your way to the airport. Lake Garda to Venice distance is 183km to say, Gardon and say 160km from Venice to Sirmione so you are looking at just shy of 2 hours worth of driving so the train is easier. Especially if new to the region.
Bergamo is another airport that may offer convenience to get to Lake Garda but is at least 117km to say Limone sul Garda and even further away to say Malcesine with a 2 hour drive at 140km. If you are travelling to stay in Salo, Sirmione, Desenzano Peschiera all those towns are about 1 hour 15 minutes drive or about 90km in distance.
Milan Malpensa Airport
I have also travelled from Verona to Milan Airport having been to Lake Garda. This was really because I need to be in London and we couldnt get flights leaving from Verona at a time we wanted. So bear this in mind, also when we got to Verona train station the tickets for the Trenitalia fast service has sold out so we had to settle for a slower train that was stopping at regional stations too.
This train took 3 hours when we could have taken a fast one at about 51 minutes of travel time to Milan and then changing for the Malpensa Airport. So if traveling to Milan to Lake Garda towns like Desenazno, you can get fast trains that take about 51 minutes for the fastest or the drive which is about 1 hour 48 minutes if you want drive the 162km. Also fact in the change of trains from Malpensa to Milan or the trains heading to Lake Garda.
Depending on whether you are coming for skiing in Italy I have also recently found out that some package skiing holidays also charter their own planes and use the small airport in north of the lake at G. Caproni Airport for those to looking to get to Trentino, unless you are on those package deals, you will have to us the above airports to get to Lake Garda.
Another option for the nearest airport for Lake Garda is Balzano Airport, though this is mainly for the northern lake towns like Riva del Garda, Torbole, Limone sul Garda. There are no train from the airport to the towns so you have to book coach transfer like Flixbus which you can book in advance via Omio. The journey is only 1 hour 20 minutes and costs only £5!! Bargain! This is the easiest option especially if coming to this side of the lake for the skiing season.
How To Get To Lake Garda From London
For those travelling from London and want to know how to get to Lake Garda from London, I would stay the easiest journey so far has been via Verona and Venice Airports. Milan airport requires a change at Milan’s main train station and if you are new in Italy can be a little overwhelming. I would highly recommend traveling via Verona Airport.
There plenty of taxis outside the airport taking you to the station for the trains to Lake Garda, the ticket office at Verona Station all speak English mostly and are helpful but it helps to learn some Italian greetings. As I said above, Venice is on the same train route as Verona so that also makes for an easy journey into Sirmione, Desenzano and many of the towns on the southern part of the lake. If all else fails leave a comment below with questions and I will be glad to help, otherwise use Omio to check journey times and ticket prices for trains, ferries and flights.
So, what is the nearest airport to Lake Garda? That all depends on which town on Lake Garda you are heading to. Hopefully, I have helped to answer that question for you as well as provide a means to demystify the journey to get around the laker. If you have questions, leave them in the comments below.
- How To Get From Venice From Verona
- Getting To Cinque Terre From Milan
- Lake Garda Travel Guide
- Budget Hotels In Lake Garda That Won’t Break The Bank
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