A Travel Price Comparison for Italy Varenna vs. Lake Garda for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Varenna 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 Varenna 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.

Where Should I go: Varenna or Lake Garda?

Varenna

A golden light cascades from the heavens, bathing the misty blue mountains in a honey haze. The shivering waters of Lake Como blend the gentle blues and yellows of the sky to a tea rose pink that sits under white sailboats. A quaint village hustled around lush gardens, Varenna, Italy is an attractive fishing village that dates back to the eleventh century. Founded in 769 AD by fisherman, the town was originally destroyed in 1126 AD by the rival town Como, only to be restored refugees from the Isola Comacina whose town was also destroyed. Located on the eastern shore of the lake in the province of Lecco, Varenna is filled with a romantic air from its old Italian fisherman houses to the picturesque lanes. Unlike the towns of Bellagio or Milan, Varenna holds a particular authenticity to Italian culture without the burdens of tourist-ridden streets and hotel-packed areas. As Lake Como works as the main attraction of Varenna, the village provides its visitors with a wide array of entertainment on its pebbly beaches. Besides this, Varenna is also known for its exquisite gardens of two villas, Villa Monastero and Villa Cipressi. Besides this, Varenna also has museums just waiting to be explored. Take a tranquil retreat to Varenna!

Lake Garda

As a gentle Mediterranean wind touches your skin, the aromatic fragrances of olive and lemon trees fill the air. Surrounded by lush gardens and Italian architecture in its ancient tans and beiges, you look to the horizon and find a paradise before your eyes: a shimmering lake, misty mountaintops, and a clear blue sky. Lake Garda is a popular holiday destination for locals of the Lombardy region and tourists alike. It has been shown that about 7% of Italy's tourists head straight for these gleaming blue shores. The largest lake in Italy, Lake Garda is located about halfway in between Brescia and Verona and between Venezia and Milano. Because it is surrounded by several different districts - Lombardy, Trentino, Alto, and the Veneto - Lake Garda is a culmination of culture that attracts cosmopolitan crowds. The lake is an ancient natural treasure Italy holds dear, with documents referring to Lake Garda dating as far back as the eighteenth century. The name "Garda" comes from the Germanic word "warda," which means "place of guard." Whether you are staying at one of the many luxurious resorts in Riva del Garda or are simply getting a pedicure in spa town Sirmione, Lake Garda continues to preserve its elegance and sophistication throughout the years.

Which city is cheaper, Lake Garda or Varenna?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Varenna is €131, while the average daily cost in Lake Garda is €133. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Varenna and Lake Garda in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Varenna 69
    Lake Garda 67
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Varenna 138
    Lake Garda 134
Compare Hotels in Varenna and Lake Garda

Looking for a hotel in Varenna 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 Varenna


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: Varenna Hotel Prices and Lake Garda Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Varenna 27
    Lake Garda 53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Varenna

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

  • Varenna/Bellano/Lierna to/from Milan Malpensa Apt (private transfer): $243

Is it cheaper to fly into Varenna or Lake Garda?

Prices for flights to both Lake Garda and Varenna 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
    Varenna 42
    Lake Garda 33

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Varenna

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

  • Lunch or dinner and cooking demo at a local home in Varenna: $106
  • Small-group Street food tour in Varenna: $111
  • Small Group Market tour and Cooking class in Varenna: $162
  • Private Pizza & Tiramisu Class at a Cesarina's home with tasting in Varenna: $180
  • Private cooking class at a local's home with lunch or dinner in Varenna: $180
  • Cruise and Dinner on Lake Como from Varenna: $184
  • Market Tour and Home Cooking Class with Meal: $214

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:

  • Lake Garda Private Home Cooking Class: $164
  • Lake Garda Market Tour and Home Cooking Class: $214

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Varenna 27
    Lake Garda 24

Tours and Activities in Varenna

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

  • E-Bike Experience on Lake Como East Bank: $138
  • From Milan: Semi-Private Lake Como Day Trip with Cruise: $271
  • HIKING TOUR: VARENNA, Castle of VEZIO Villa MONASTERO, FIUMELATTE: $74
  • LA DOLCE VITA - BELLAGIO: Cruise & Lunch + Villa Melzi: $243
  • LA DOLCE VITA - BELLAGIO: Cruise & Lunch + Villa Melzi (Guided Tour): $330
  • Romantic Tour: $322
  • Small Group Market tour and Dining Experience at a Cesarina's home in Varenna: $136
  • Dining Experience at a Local's Home: $96
  • Villa Balbianello and Flavors of Lake Como Walking and Boating Full-Day Tour: $325

Tours and Activities in Lake Garda

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

  • From Tignale: Drena Canyoning Tour for Beginners: $75
  • From Verona: Sirmione and Lake Garda Small Group Tour: $85
  • Full-Day Lake Garda Tour: Bus & Public Boat with Guide: $68
  • 1-Day Private Hiking Experience: $147
  • Dining Experience at a Local's Home: $96
  • Family Friendly Canyoning Tour: $62
  • Sirmione: Walking and Speedboat Tour: $147

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Varenna 18
    Lake Garda 15

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:

  • Half-Day Wine Tasting Tour in Valpolicella from Lake Garda: $112
  • Lugana Wine Tour With Private Panoramic Boat on Lake Garda: $675


When comparing the travel costs between Varenna and Lake Garda, we can see that Lake Garda is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.


When is the best time to visit Varenna 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 Varenna or Lake Garda in the Summer?

Both Lake Garda and Varenna are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities.

Varenna is around the same temperature as Lake Garda in the summer. The temperature in Varenna is usually 23°C (73°F) in July, and Lake Garda stays around 24°C (75°F).

It's quite sunny in Lake Garda. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Varenna. Varenna usually receives less sunshine than Lake Garda during summer. Varenna gets 250 hours of sunny skies, while Lake Garda receives 286 hours of full sun in the summer.

It's quite rainy in Varenna. In July, Varenna usually receives more rain than Lake Garda. Varenna gets 133 mm (5.2 in) of rain, while Lake Garda receives 62 mm (2.4 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Varenna 23°C (73°F) 
    Lake Garda 24°C (75°F)

Should I visit Varenna or Lake Garda in the Autumn?

Both Lake Garda and Varenna during the autumn are popular places to visit.

In the autumn, Varenna is around the same temperature as Lake Garda. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Varenna in October are around 15°C (58°F), and Lake Garda is about 14°C (57°F).

In the autumn, Varenna often gets more sunshine than Lake Garda. Varenna gets 152 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lake Garda receives 137 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Varenna. Varenna usually gets more rain in October than Lake Garda. Varenna gets 140 mm (5.5 in) of rain, while Lake Garda receives 82 mm (3.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Varenna 15°C (58°F) 
    Lake Garda 14°C (57°F)

Should I visit Varenna or Lake Garda in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Varenna and Lake Garda.

Lake Garda can be very cold during winter. Varenna can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Varenna is generally much warmer than Lake Garda. Temperatures in Varenna average around 5°C (41°F), and Lake Garda stays around 2°C (36°F).

Varenna usually receives more sunshine than Lake Garda during winter. Varenna gets 119 hours of sunny skies, while Lake Garda receives 98 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Varenna usually receives more rain than Lake Garda. Varenna gets 76 mm (3 in) of rain, while Lake Garda receives 55 mm (2.1 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Varenna 5°C (41°F) 
    Lake Garda 2°C (36°F)

Should I visit Varenna or Lake Garda in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Varenna as well as Lake Garda.

Varenna is around the same temperature as Lake Garda in the spring. The temperature in Varenna is usually 13°C (55°F) in April, and Lake Garda stays around 13°C (55°F).

In the spring, Varenna often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Lake Garda. Varenna gets 176 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Lake Garda receives 169 hours of full sun.

Varenna receives a lot of rain in the spring. Varenna usually gets more rain in April than Lake Garda. Varenna gets 152 mm (6 in) of rain, while Lake Garda receives 69 mm (2.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Varenna 13°C (55°F) 
    Lake Garda 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Lake Garda and Varenna

Varenna Lake Garda
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 5°C (41°F) 76 mm (3 in) 2°C (36°F) 55 mm (2.1 in)
Feb 6°C (44°F) 71 mm (2.8 in) 5°C (40°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Mar 10°C (49°F) 106 mm (4.2 in) 9°C (47°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Apr 13°C (55°F) 152 mm (6 in) 13°C (55°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
May 17°C (62°F) 194 mm (7.6 in) 17°C (63°F) 85 mm (3.3 in)
Jun 20°C (69°F) 171 mm (6.7 in) 21°C (70°F) 86 mm (3.4 in)
Jul 23°C (73°F) 133 mm (5.2 in) 24°C (75°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Aug 22°C (72°F) 166 mm (6.5 in) 23°C (73°F) 88 mm (3.4 in)
Sep 19°C (67°F) 153 mm (6 in) 19°C (67°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Oct 15°C (58°F) 140 mm (5.5 in) 14°C (57°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Nov 9°C (49°F) 120 mm (4.7 in) 8°C (46°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Dec 6°C (42°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 3°C (37°F) 51 mm (2 in)


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Varenna vs. Lake Garda Travel Comparison

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