Lake Garda Road Trip

The largest Italian lake (Lago Di Garda) it’s a good 2 to 3 day drive from the UK. We decided to avoid the French tolls and take the alternative route through Belgium, Germany, Austria before finally landing at the most northerly lake town of Riva del Garda. 

Deciding to take the above route to Riva del Garda to avoid the french tolls was a great decision. There wasn’t much difference in the time it would take and the distance but we knew we’d save money not having to pay the French tolls. We broke the journey up into 2 overnight stays, one in Saarbrüken and another in Füssen.

Road Trip Details:

  • Day 1 – Leicester to Saarbrücken via Dover-Dunkirk – 10 hours
  • Day 2 – Saarbrücken to Füssen – 5 hours
  • Day 3 – Füssen to Riva del Garda – 4-5 hours

We didn’t expect to enjoy driving through Germany, we looked at this stretch (being the longest) as a necessary part of the journey before we got to the more well known Alps and Italian area. However, we were very pleasantly surprised by Germany and we will definitely be visiting that area again in the coming years.

Saarbrücken is a town positioned right on the main route through to Austria so it’s an ideal stop-off. Sadly there aren’t really any good hotels here so we settled with an airbnb. The town really is just a stop off point and nothing to write home about, however if you have the freedom of a camper van then we’d recommended looking at local overnight spots within this area as its a well positioned first night stop. Then its a 5 hour drive to the next overnight stop, Füssen.

We can’t recommend enough the town of Füssen in Bavaria, Germany just 1 km from the Austrian border. It’s most famous for its close proximity to the Neuschwanstein Castle which did not disappoint. A 19th-century Romanesque Revival Palace which inspired Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. If you are visiting this area allow for at least a generous overnight, or even two night stay here. There is so much to see from the castle to exploring the town and enjoying the walks on offer this is a fab place to explore. 

From here it’s the final stretch of driving (4-5 hours) into the Austrian alps through to Italy. If you have the time then we’d recommend taking your time through this section and making the most of the mountains. Even plan in some overnight stays… it is some of the most stunning driving scenery you could wish to see.

And finally, you will arrive at Riva del Garda, a town on the Northern shores of Lake Garda. We loved every second of our time in this town and exploring the surrounding areas. We stayed at a lovely campsite around a 30 minutes walk along the lake from the main town centre. The campsite was both camping and motor home friendly. It has excellent facilities and amazing views of the mountains. 

TIPS: This is an amazing road trip – one that you could easily spend a week on. 

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