Family-friendly Lake Garda is fringed with lovely historic resorts, jaw-dropping mountain scenery, the best theme parks in Italy and countless exciting and adventurous activities - from archery to paragliding - on the water, on land and in the mountains. If you've got kids with lots of energy, we think Lake Garda is the perfect destination for a family getaway with Jet2holidays. Here's why.
1. It's a short hop from beautiful Verona
Verona - with its historic bell towers, lovely piazzas and magnificent Roman Arena - is one of Italy's most popular cities, and the gateway to Lake Garda. It's worth spending some time exploring this lovely little city – imaginative kids will have loads of fun running through the hallways beneath the Arena pretending to be gladiators and teenagers with a romantic streak can stand on Juliet's balcony.
2. It's the place for water sports
Lake Garda is known as the sportiest of the Italian Lakes. Consistent and reliable winds make it possible to sail and windsurf. Whether you love to swim, or want to try something more challenging - kitesurfing, windsurfing, paddleboarding, canoeing or sailing, Riva at the north of the lake is the place to go. Windsurfing centres along the lakeshore cater for adults and school-age children upwards.
3. It's the place for extreme sports too
Lake Garda is surrounded by mountains and a network of waymarked trails and paths. If a morning of water sports hasn't dented your kids' energy levels, you can head up into the hills on foot, mountain bike or even horse. More adventurous families can go rock-climbing or canyoning – following a fast-flowing river by swimming, sliding or abseiling down the rapids, scrambling over wet rocks and leaping off waterfalls.
Swap the thrills of water sports for the exhilaration of huge rollercoasters and log flumes at Gardaland, Italy's premier theme park near the pretty town of Peschiera. There are enough scary rides: 'Oblivion', Raptor', 'Shaman' and 'Space Vertigo' to satisfy the most hardcore adrenalin addicts, while keeping pre-schoolers on the ground happy with twirling teacups and paddling pools. Gardaland's Sea Life Aquarium gets you up close to rays, eels, jellyfish and the intriguing guitar shark. Just up the road are two parks in one – Hollywood-themed rides at CanevaWorld and water slide paradise Caneva the Aquapark. The Medieval Times dinner show, where everyone eats with their hands, includes a jousting tournament.
5. There's plenty to do for even the littlest family members
If your children are too little for big theme parks, Lake Garda offers lots to tire them out. Fascinating and vast, Parco Giardino Sigurta is a beautiful, relaxing formal garden with a maze, deer park and water garden. Lush lawns are perfect for little feet and you can catch the miniature train or hire bikes and golf carts to ride round the park. Parco Natura Viva Garda is a delightful drive-through safari park with animals ranging from woolly European bison to tiny bats, (model) dinosaurs and a playground. And if your toddlers are happy simply paddling, Garda is a peaceful fishing village with lovely Cavalla Beach, clear water and a lively Friday market.
6. You can push the boat out
There are all kinds of opportunities to splash about on the water at Lake Garda. Relaxed families can book a sunset cruise or guided boat tour, but if you're more adventurous, you can rent a boat - a pedalo, canoe, kayak to a full-blown motor boat to get yourselves around the lake.
7. There's loads of history to explore
Bring history lessons vividly to life for your kids with some visits to Lake Garda's historic towns. In Sirmione, you'll find the remains of a Roman villa alongside 13th century moated Scaligeri Castle, lovely old frescoed churches and natural thermal spas that originally attracted the Romans. There's another Roman villa with wonderful mosaics at Desenzano. And look out for the lemon houses along the lakeshore – medieval greenhouses built to protect Lake Garda's special lemon trees from harsh winters.
8. Everyone will love the food (it's Italy, after all)
After an action-packed day, outdoor activities or sightseeing, a big bowl of pasta or an authentic pizza hit the spot every time, for even the fussiest kids. Lake Garda specialities include 'spiedo'- skewered mixed meats, potato and sage slow roasted on a revolving spit, and freshwater fish, including eel and trout. Adults and older teens must sample the local limoncello, made with those famous sharp Lake Garda lemons.
Fly to Verona airport and experience Lake Garda with Jet2holidays. With great flight times, free child places a choice of amazing 3-5* hotels now's the time to visit this wonderful part of Italy. Jet2holidays to Lake Garda start at just £629 per person.
Jet2holidays are offering £400 off per family of four. Fly to Verona from three UK airports, Edinburgh, East Midlands and Leeds Bradford. You can book your holiday with just a £60 deposit (and zero credit card fees) with 22kg of luggage included in the price too. ATOL and ABTA protected.