When one child wants to climb a mountain and the other wants to swim in the sea yet hubbie wants to relax and I want to see something beautiful, you know that your holiday plans are going to be tricky at best! This is what happened a few years ago and I decided to use the magic of the internet to organise an awesome road trip.

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Malcesine

I knew that we could stop off with some friends near Lake Geneva and that we wanted to drive so I could look towards Italy as this is probably the furthest we could travel in 2/3 weeks. I came across a town called Malcesine on Lake Garda and bingo! It was at the foot of a mountain called Mount Baldo (tick child one!)

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View of Malcesine from the cable car

Malcesine is a town in the North East shore of Lake Garda, Italy at the foot of Mount Baldo. It is a stunningly beautiful place with cobbled streets and Scaliger castle to explore. Imagine narrow cobbled streets with little shops and houses with orange tiled roofs clinging to the lake shore in the shadow of a mountain. That’s Malcesine!

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Hotel Castello private lake beach

I found a perfect looking hotel called Hotel Castello which was small and right on the shore (ok so it’s not the sea but tick for child two!) so I booked it for a week. This gave us a few days to get there and then a further week to make the round trip through Bavaria and France to home. This is a lovely family run hotel with amazing service and in my opinion, good value for money. We booked 2 rooms with breakfast included.

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View of Lake Garda from our bedroom

The weather was varied during our week but we don’t mind that. It was typical mountain weather with a storm one day and 30 degree heat the next. The children loved swimming and snorkelling in the Lake although they said it became deep very quickly and so was very dark in places. I liked lying on a lounger with a good book!

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Ten paces to the water’s edge!
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Snorkelling in Lake Garda
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Swimming in the Lake during a storm!

The town itself is great for exploring and we ate out at different places most evenings although the hotel also served delicious food. There were some good shops selling vintage items, clothes and local produce such as Olive oil, Limoncello and huge fruit and vegetables.

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Exploring the cobbled streets
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One of the shops in Malcesine

There is a castle to explore and the views from the castle were glorious. Then there is Mount Baldo itself. This was a great day out after lounging at the hotel. My advice though is to go early during the summer months, as the queues for the cable car are awful after about 10am.

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View over Lake Garda from Mount Baldo
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Spectacular views over the Dolomites

The views at the top were worth the effort. There are a few places to eat and drink here so we grabbed a beer in the sunshine. In the Winter you can ski so if you visit at another time, you will definately need a coat. There are many treks from the top; a walkers paradise!

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On another day we hired a speedboat for a spin around the Lake. This was the teens choice and quite an expensive one! This gave us better views of the castle and also allowed us to see a little of the coast. Lake Garda is huge so we also took a day trip to Limone on the other side of the lake. To be honest, we didn’t enjoy Limone as it was full to the brim of tourists and a battle to find anywhere to eat so Malcesine was perfect for us.

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Enjoying the speedboat

Malcesine. A pretty little town on Lake Garda. What is there not to love!

Our next Awesome Adventure was in Bavaria……

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