A Travel Price Comparison for Italy Cefalu vs. Lake Garda for Families, Couples, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Cefalu or Lake Garda?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Cefalu and Lake Garda. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Cefalu

Cefalu is a coastal, historic, and touristy fishing village. It offers plenty of small town charm along with sights and activities, too. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Visitors also love the beaches, hiking, and food.

Lake Garda

Lake Garda is a playful, fun, and energetic lake. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the food, beaches, and hiking.

Cefalu and Lake Garda: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for nightlife
  • Less family-friendly
  • Less popular with backpackers
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Cefalu or Lake Garda?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Lake Garda than Cefalu, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Lake Garda is better known for its museums, nightlife, hiking, and shopping, while Cefalu is more popular for its resorts, historical sights, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Cefalu is well known for its beautiful blue waters, relaxing atmosphere, and great local food. Lake Garda is well known for its beautiful setting, charming towns, and fun amusement parks. Also, Lake Garda is famous for Sirmione.

How is Cefalu different from Lake Garda?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Lake Garda and Cefalu. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Cefalu or Lake Garda?

Cefalu
Lake Garda

Lake Garda is a good destination for its museums and history. However, Cefalu is lacking in good options for its museums and landmarks.

Lake Garda offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. While most people come for the natural beauty, there are also great castles that you can explore. Castello Scaligeri, Grotte di Catullo, and Castello Scaligero.

Cefalu offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. Most visitors spend their time on the beach or getting lost in the town's charm, but if you're looking for specific sights and museums you can check out the Cathedral, Museo Mandralisca, or Tempio di Diana.


Is the Food Better in Cefalu or Lake Garda? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Cefalu
Lake Garda

Foodies will find both Cefalu and Lake Garda both to be superb destinations.

Cefalu has a huge number of terrific restaurants. Despite being a popular tourist hot spot, there are still charming restaurants around town that serve up local dishes made with local ingredients. Many seaside restaurants have a charming atmosphere and a unique Sicilian flare.

Dining out in Lake Garda is an experience not to be missed. You'll find many great local restaurants in the area. Most make use of local ingredients such as olive oil, lemons, wine, and fish. Pasta and risotto are both popular throughout the area as well.

Is Cefalu or Lake Garda Better for Nightlife?

Cefalu
Lake Garda

Lake Garda is a very popular place for nightlife and partying. However, Cefalu is lacking in good options for its evening party scene.

Lake Garda has a large number of nightlife venues. You'll find clubs and bars in various towns that make for a great nightlife scene. You'll even find beach parties and fireworks shows during the most popular times of the year.

Cefalu is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. The town is small and mellow without a huge party scene. There are some beach resorts with bars and clubs attached where you can enjoy a drink by the water.

Is Cefalu or Lake Garda Better for Resorts?

Cefalu
Lake Garda

Cefalu is an excellent place to visit for its luxury resorts. However, Lake Garda is not a resort destination.

Cefalu is known as a popular and fun resort destination. There's a wide range of resorts to choose from including Club Med and even a nature hotel.

Lake Garda is not a resort destination.


Is Cefalu or Lake Garda Better for Beaches?

Cefalu
Lake Garda

Cefalu and Lake Garda both offer superb beaches.

Many people visit Cefalu for it's beautiful beaches. The town has nice beaches with good swimming and kayaking opportunities. Some of the beaches can get quite crowded but the water is blue and the views are nice. Some of the best beaches near town include Cefalu Beach, Kalura Beach, and Lido Angeli Del Mare.

Lake Garda is considered a top beach destination. Despite there being no ocean, there are many great swimming beaches in the area. Many have sand and great places to relax. There's also plenty of watersports to choose from.

Is Cefalu or Lake Garda Better for its Old Town?

Cefalu
Lake Garda

Cefalu is an excellent place to visit for its old town. However, Lake Garda does not have a historic old town.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Cefalu. The town is charming and small, making it a nice place to explore.

Lake Garda does not have a historic old town.

Is Cefalu or Lake Garda Better for Hiking?

Cefalu
Lake Garda

Lake Garda is a very popular place for its hiking trails. Also, Cefalu is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its hiking experiences.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Lake Garda. There are many great walking and hiking trails in the area that take you through the natural beauty, connect the charming towns, and offer spectacular viewpoints.

Cefalu is a good destination for hiking. There are a few walking trails outside of town but the most popular is hiking to the top of La Rocca. It's at least an hours walk to the top but from there you can enjoy one of the best views of the harbor.


Is the Shopping Better in Cefalu or Lake Garda?

Cefalu
Lake Garda

Lake Garda is a good destination for its shopping opportunities. However, Cefalu is lacking in good options for its shopping areas.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Lake Garda. Many villages around the lake are great for shopping. You'll find clothing stores, jewelry shops, and souvenir vendors with something for everyone.

Cefalu has some good spots for those that want to go shopping. It's a small, touristy town, so shopping isn't the main attraction. There are some interesting shops that are fun to pop into though.

Is Cefalu or Lake Garda Better for Families?

Cefalu
Lake Garda

Lake Garda is a world-class destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Cefalu is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Lake Garda is very family-friendly. The nearby amusement parks, including Gardaland, make this a popular destination for families. The area also has many places to swim, trails to explore, and castles to experience. Kids and adults alike will love this amazing kid-friendly area.

You'll find plenty of kid-friendly things to do in Cefalu. Kids will enjoy beach time or wandering down the promenade, Lungomare. You can swim or simply relax by the water. Another fun activity is to climb the nearby mountain of La Rocca. The kids might even spot a local animal.

Is Cefalu or Lake Garda Better for Couples?

Cefalu
Lake Garda

Cefalu is terrific for its romantic activities. Also, Lake Garda is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for couples.

Cefalu makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. It's natural beauty and Italian atmosphere make this a perfect couples destination. There are water activities for the adventurous as well as beautiful beaches and great restaurants.

Couples visit Lake Garda frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. You'll find a lot of families in the area because of the amusement parks, but that doesn't mean that this isn't a romantic and beautiful spot for couples. There are many charming towns to explore and scenic viewpoints to check out. There are also excellent romantic restaurants that you should try.


Is Cefalu or Lake Garda Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Cefalu
Lake Garda

Lake Garda is a good destination for backpackers and budget travelers. However, Cefalu is lacking in good options for backpackers.

Plenty of backpackers visit Lake Garda. There are a few good hostels around the lake that are affordable and fun. The area also see enough backpackers to keep the atmosphere fun and social.

Cefalu is a challenging destination for budget travelers and backpackers due to the higher prices. There's not a big backpacker vibe to the town, and you won't find tons of hostels, but there are affordable places that budget travelers can stay.

Is Cefalu or Lake Garda Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Cefalu
Lake Garda

Lake Garda is a very popular place for times when you don't have a car. However, Cefalu is lacking in good options for its public transit.

The public transit in Lake Garda can get you around easily. There are ferries, buses, and trains in the area.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Cefalu. Public transit is limited but taxis are a good alternative for getting out of town and into the surrounding areas.

Is Cefalu or Lake Garda a more walkable city?

Cefalu
Lake Garda

Cefalu and Lake Garda are superb when it comes to walkability.

Cefalu is a very walkable fishing village. The town is small enough to explore on foot.

Lake Garda is a very walkable destination. There are walking trails that connect the villages around the lake and this how many people choose to get around.


For even more information, also check out Is Cefalu Worth Visiting? and Is Lake Garda Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Lake Garda or Cefalu?

How long in Cefalu or Lake Garda?

It's fun to spend time in either Cefalu or Lake Garda. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Lake Garda due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Cefalu, and 2-4 days is enough time in Lake Garda.

Families should spend more time in Lake Garda than Cefalu. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Lake Garda, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Cefalu than Lake Garda. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Cefalu that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Lake Garda than Cefalu if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Lake Garda.


  • How many days in Cefalu or Lake Garda? Ideal Length of Stay
    Cefalu 1-3 
    Lake Garda 2-4

One day in Cefalu or Lake Garda?

Cefalu might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Cefalu, one day is sufficent for most.

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Lake Garda. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Cefalu or Lake Garda?

Even though Cefalu is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this fishing village.

Lake Garda is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Cefalu or Lake Garda?

Cefalu, a popular fishing village, is full of activities for travelers. Visiting the old town is also a must. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Lake Garda. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A week in Cefalu or Lake Garda?

Cefalu is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the fun destination of Lake Garda. This lake offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Adventure Tours to Italy, The Best Sightseeing Tours in Italy, The Best Vineyard & Wine Tours in Italy, and The Best Food and Culinary Tours in Italy.


Which place is cheaper, Lake Garda or Cefalu?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Cefalu is €119, while the average daily cost in Lake Garda is €166. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Cefalu and Lake Garda in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cefalu 87
    Lake Garda 84
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cefalu 174
    Lake Garda 168
Compare Hotels in Cefalu and Lake Garda

Looking for a hotel in Cefalu or Lake Garda? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Cefalu


Hotels in Lake Garda


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Cefalu Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cefalu 4.29
    Lake Garda 66

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cefalu

Also for Cefalu, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfer Palermo Airport - Cefalù and vice versa: $177
  • Private transfer from Palermo airport to Cefalù or vice versa: $110
  • Le Calette, Cefalù to Palermo airport or vice versa, Private Transfer: $110
  • Hotel Kalura, Cefalù for Palermo airport or vice versa, Private Transfer: $110
  • Departure Private Transfer Cefalù to Palermo Airport PMO by Business Car or Van: $159
  • Costa Verde HOTEL Cefalù, for Palermo airport, Private Transfer: $88
  • Club Med Cefalù to Palermo airport or vice versa, Private Transfer: $110
  • Alberi del Paradiso, Cefalù for APT Palermo or vice versa, Private Transfer: $99

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lake Garda

Also for Lake Garda, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Verona Opera Arena: Transfer from Lake Garda & Opera Ticket: $131

Is it cheaper to fly into Cefalu or Lake Garda?

Prices for flights to both Lake Garda and Cefalu change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Cefalu 28
    Lake Garda 42

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cefalu

For Cefalu, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Cooking Class in a Sicilian countryhouse: $254

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lake Garda

For Lake Garda, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • 3 Hour Fresh Pasta and Tiramisù Private Cooking Class with Meal : $72
  • Valpolicella Wine and Food Tour: $76
  • Cusina - Cooking Class: Fresh Pasta with wine tasting: $87
  • Dining Experience at a local's Home in Cecina with Show Cooking: $94

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cefalu 5.71
    Lake Garda 30

Tours and Activities in Cefalu

For Cefalu, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Nebrodi and Halaesa valley jeep tours: $127
  • Etna tour from Cefalù: $63
  • High Madonie wild jeep adventure: $193

Tours and Activities in Lake Garda

For Lake Garda, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Beekeeping Farm Tour and Tasting Experience in Lazise: $43
  • 2 Hour Gin and Waves Tour on Lake Garda: $66
  • 2 Hours Walking and Boat Tour in Sirmione Highlights: $54
  • A single ticket for the three museums - duration 30 days: $14
  • Bardolino: Vineyard Tour with Wine, Olive Oil & Food Tasting: $38
  • Beekeeping Farm Family experience Lake Garda, the world of bees: $49
  • Best of Sirmione with Boat Tour and Grotte di Catullo : $98
  • Boat Tour of the Islands of Lake Garda with Aperitif: $77
  • Custoza: Picoverde Water Park Skip-the-Line Ticket: $11
  • Dolomites Full-Day Tour from Lake Garda: $76
  • Dolomites Full-day Tour from Lake Garda: $78
  • From Garda/Bardolino: 4-hour Guided Boat Cruise to Sirmione: $50

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cefalu 11
    Lake Garda 19

Sample the Local Flavors in Cefalu

Also in Cefalu, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Castelbuono Tour and Wine Tasting in a Medieval Abbey: $50

Sample the Local Flavors in Lake Garda

Also in Lake Garda, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Bardolino: Wine tasting at Cantina Valetti: $26
  • Wine Tasting with Local Food in Lazise Countryside: $32
  • Wine Tasting and Tour of Lugana Wines in Sirmione: $32
  • Lazise: Biodynamic Farm Tour and Natural Wine Tasting: $43
  • Garda Hills Wine Tour and Tasting: $43
  • Vineyards Tour and Wine Tasting: $43
  • Wine Tasting in Historical Center of Lazise: $44
  • Art Experience with Food and Wine Tasting in Lazise: $55
  • E-Bike Tour and Wine Tasting in Lazise: $88
  • Lazise: Bike Tour and Wine Tasting: $92
  • E-Bike Tour and wine tasting in Lazise Countryside: $93
  • Castles boat tour with Bardolino wine tasting and nibbles: $99


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cefalu and Lake Garda, we can see that Lake Garda is more expensive. And not only is Cefalu much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cefalu would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cefalu and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Lake Garda would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Lake Garda than you might in Cefalu.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Cefalu Expensive? and Is Lake Garda Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Cefalu or Lake Garda?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Cefalu or Lake Garda in the Summer?

Both Lake Garda and Cefalu are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Cefalu this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Lake Garda for the beaches, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences.

Cefalu is around the same temperature as Lake Garda in the summer. The daily temperature in Cefalu averages around 26°C (79°F) in July, and Lake Garda fluctuates around 24°C (75°F).

It's quite sunny in Lake Garda. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Cefalu. Cefalu usually receives more sunshine than Lake Garda during summer. Cefalu gets 325 hours of sunny skies, while Lake Garda receives 286 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Cefalu usually receives less rain than Lake Garda. Cefalu gets 2 mm (0.1 in) of rain, while Lake Garda receives 62 mm (2.4 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Cefalu 26°C (79°F) 
    Lake Garda 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Cefalu or Lake Garda in the Autumn?

Both Lake Garda and Cefalu during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Cefalu for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, many visitors come to Lake Garda in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Cefalu is a little warmer than Lake Garda. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Cefalu in October average around 19°C (67°F), and Lake Garda averages at about 14°C (57°F).

In the autumn, Cefalu often gets more sunshine than Lake Garda. Cefalu gets 189 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lake Garda receives 137 hours of full sun.

Cefalu usually gets less rain in October than Lake Garda. Cefalu gets 75 mm (2.9 in) of rain, while Lake Garda receives 82 mm (3.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Cefalu 19°C (67°F) 
    Lake Garda 14°C (57°F)

Should I visit Cefalu or Lake Garda in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Cefalu and Lake Garda. Many visitors come to Cefalu in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to Lake Garda for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Lake Garda can be very cold during winter. In January, Cefalu is generally much warmer than Lake Garda. Daily temperatures in Cefalu average around 10°C (51°F), and Lake Garda fluctuates around 2°C (36°F).

Cefalu usually receives more sunshine than Lake Garda during winter. Cefalu gets 153 hours of sunny skies, while Lake Garda receives 98 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Cefalu usually receives around the same amount of rain as Lake Garda. Cefalu gets 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain, while Lake Garda receives 55 mm (2.1 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Cefalu 10°C (51°F) 
    Lake Garda 2°C (36°F)

Should I visit Cefalu or Lake Garda in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Cefalu as well as Lake Garda. Most visitors come to Cefalu for the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty during these months. Additionally, the spring months attract visitors to Lake Garda because of the beaches and the natural beauty.

Cefalu is a little warmer than Lake Garda in the spring. The daily temperature in Cefalu averages around 15°C (58°F) in April, and Lake Garda fluctuates around 13°C (55°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Cefalu this time of the year. In the spring, Cefalu often gets more sunshine than Lake Garda. Cefalu gets 204 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lake Garda receives 169 hours of full sun.

Cefalu usually gets less rain in April than Lake Garda. Cefalu gets 36 mm (1.4 in) of rain, while Lake Garda receives 69 mm (2.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Cefalu 15°C (58°F) 
    Lake Garda 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Lake Garda and Cefalu

Cefalu Lake Garda
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 10°C (51°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 2°C (36°F) 55 mm (2.1 in)
Feb 11°C (52°F) 47 mm (1.9 in) 5°C (40°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Mar 12°C (54°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 9°C (47°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Apr 15°C (58°F) 36 mm (1.4 in) 13°C (55°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
May 19°C (65°F) 23 mm (0.9 in) 17°C (63°F) 85 mm (3.3 in)
Jun 23°C (73°F) 6 mm (0.2 in) 21°C (70°F) 86 mm (3.4 in)
Jul 26°C (79°F) 2 mm (0.1 in) 24°C (75°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Aug 26°C (79°F) 14 mm (0.5 in) 23°C (73°F) 88 mm (3.4 in)
Sep 24°C (74°F) 37 mm (1.5 in) 19°C (67°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Oct 19°C (67°F) 75 mm (2.9 in) 14°C (57°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Nov 15°C (59°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 8°C (46°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Dec 12°C (53°F) 68 mm (2.7 in) 3°C (37°F) 51 mm (2 in)


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