Riva at the very top of lake garda is one of the most picturesque towns i've ever seen. Steep mountains cascade in to the lake from all sides creating a really breathtaking scene.
Lots of package holidays go to Lake Garda but if at all possible I try to book independently. TUI have always been a disappointment!
We flew to Verona and rented a car a few times (and went with TUI once!).
Accommodation options are really varied around lake garda from holiday camps with bungalows and mobile homes to 5 star luxury resorts. We have tried them all.
I have an absolute favourite for families which is Hotel du Lac et du Parc in Riva. Beautiful grounds with multiple pools, excellent kids club, playgrounds, direct lake access without crossing any roads. Hotel rooms in Italy are always on the smaller side (compared to Spain, France, Ireland).
Riva itself is a lovely town with lots of restaurants, ice cream cafe's, shops, a port, a kids train and there are busses that will take you all around the lake (roads are extremely busy in summer). There are facilities and playgrounds as well as off road bike paths.
Swimming in the lake isn't for everyone so make sure you get a hotel with a nice heated pool for the kids. Weather can get very hot in this region during peak season or clouds can roll in and take a long time to shift because of the mountains so a nice heated outdoor pool fits all scenarios.
The above are a sample of pools from Du lac et Du Park and hotel Luise
If you have any allergies to consider food wise, Italy is one of the poorest in terms of standards around allergy control. Hotel Luise is lovely but food allergies were an issue with their catering. Du lac et du parc have better controls. If you don't have allergies to contend with, the food was delicious in Hotel Luise.
Whatever age your kids are a trip to Gardaland is well worth it. They have a peppa pig world there now which my two loved. Funny how they can queue for so long without complaining when it's for something they want to do! Any of the tourist offices around the lake can book you in to a trip to gardaland and a bus will take you directly to and from the park. It's a long day, especially in the heat. Make sure to bring their togs as the water area is really fun.
There are loads of areas in Garda Land for all ages. Some serious rollercoasters for adults too :) Ask for a parent pass to save you queuing up twice.
Below are a few images from the grounds of Du Lac et Du Parc. For info on accommodation options around the lake just send me a message.