We are back from Eurocamp Bella Italia on Lake Garda in Peschiera del Garda, Italy and what a beautiful part of the world it is. It’s the perfect place for families with young kids to those travelling even without kids. It took camping to a whole new experience for us.
So what did we think of our very first Eurocamp experience?
CHECK-IN AND CHECK-OUT EXPERIENCE
Upon check-in, our first thoughts were, “this is a busy place.” Provided it was half term and we were prepared for a busy time, we did wait almost two hours just two check-in with Bella Italia and then be told we need to go find Eurocamp reception and check-in with them for our accommodation keys. Eurocamp reception was smooth and easy to sort our keys, where we needed to go, and our linens. However, we did feel Bella Italia didn’t have enough staff to cope with so many families at once. We noticed this was the case anytime we needed help with something during the week we stayed.
Check out my tips for your first hotel stay with young children for more family holiday tips
Check-out was the same it took over an hour just to sort out as the line was so long with everyone leaving the same time. We had to check out at 10am but didn’t leave until 5 pm for our flight back home, they had a luggage room we checked our luggage into for the day so we didn’t have to carry them. You can still use all facilities on the site after check out so we still enjoyed a full day of swimming at the pool and used the shower and bathroom facilities for the tent campers before we left.
If you plan on getting to camp or leaving for the airport during peak visit times like half term, please give yourself plenty of time and be prepared to wait.
We stayed in a 3 bed Avant with decking and air conditioning accommodation which was perfect for the five of us. The kids loved their bunk beds and Baby Owie and I shared the smaller room, while politely giving Granny the larger room and bed.
It was fully equipped with baby crib, baby bath, changing mat, and a whole welcome box of goodies. It really had all we needed to make it our home away from home. Please note you do have to book linens, towels, and anything you want in your accommodation 7 days prior to arrival.
Check out how to maintain sleep schedule when traveling with kids to keep things running smoothly
We had a large deck that we ate most of our meals on and sat out at night chatting and socializing. Sadly ours wasn’t in the sun at all during the day so we couldn’t dry out anything or use the lounge chairs that were there but the neighbors looked like they had a great time sun bathing on theirs. So depends on which one you get.
Each accommodation has it’s own bbq area outside. We enjoyed cooking up some burgers and steaks and using this more than the kitchen when the weather permitted.
I couldn’t fault the facilities at the camp for families. If you wanted to camp in a tent they have amazing shower, bathroom, wash areas that were really nice too. You have the options from a tent, to camper, to static home to bungalows at this site.
You are given an easy to read map to navigate the site as it’s huge. It’s right on Lake Garda so you have the views of the water from the restaurant and ice cream shops. They have no noise policy between 1-3pm and after 11pm-7am so it helps reduce disruptions from neighbors as you are closely packed in.
Each accommodation is allowed one car. We used the local bus or a taxi to get around and mostly stayed on site so didn’t need this for our stay.
We couldn’t fault Eurocamp services whenever we had a problem they were quick to fix it. Our bbq was broken and we lost power one morning but they came to fix it within minutes of reporting fault.
If you find you need any help or any information the Eurocamp reception is always open and they are super friendly too. If they didn’t have the answers they were quick to find someone that could further assist us.
Because this Eurocamp is on Bella Italia Camping grounds with other camping companies, you had to do a lot of booking and sorting out through the main reception with Bella Italia. Even though it was busy and always a line to wait they were great at helping book days out, transportations, holding your luggage at check out if you had a late flight out, and more.
We were happy to find that we could have friends visit us for the day that were also in Italy at the same time. They were allowed to use any of the campsite facilities. You get one hour free and then you pay a few euros if you want to stay for the day. Visitors must leave by 8pm each night.
EUROCAMP KID’S ACTIVITIES
There was so much for the kids to do. I was impressed that we tried something different each day and the kids were never bored.
They absolutely loved the bouncy castle park. Where there were about seven different bouncy castles and arts and crafts tables and a play house to get creative in. However these are not free, you have to pay 4 EUROS per child but you can come out and go back in as many times as you want while it’s open. Opening hours are from 5:30pm-10:30 as it’s too hot midday for this. So you can play, go eat dinner and come back and play some more just be sure to get a stamp on your hand to re-enter.
We found an obstacle course for kids too. They had many obstacles to climb and challenges to do. For 5 years and up it’s the perfect energy release. Again it doesn’t open until 5:30pm and you pay 4 EUROS per child to get in.
You can rent bikes, and scooters. My kids got scooters on the last day as they legs from all the walking were getting tired. They had a blast scooting up and down the road we stayed on and to the pool and markets. We did find it hard to get bikes for us all as a family of five there wasn’t any left by the time we went to rent them. So do make sure to book these as soon as possible especially if you need a trolley or baby seat bike as we tried twice and they didn’t have any available. I wish we had rented the scooters the entire week to be honest. This is something I should have looked more into as the site is that big, it helps with little legs going to dinner and shopping for food if they have wheels.
Kids’ clubs were available. We didn’t try these out as we have a child with severe nut allergies and had an episode upon arrival so I didn’t want to risk it. But we watched the kids in the play area and stage area they looked like they had a blast and did fun things with them.
Playground for the kids was on sand and lots of climbing frames and slides and swings to entertain them. It was all covered in the shade so a perfect spot for little ones to stay out of the hot sun and play. Or to cool off if you been in the sun all day.
Why not rent pedalos for the Lake. My son had a great time jumping off his pedalo into the Lake and being out on the water. If I hadn’t had the baby with me I would have really loved to do it too. Lake Garda’s green water is just stunning.
Water cars for a few euros you could get to drive around water bumper cars. My two loved this and didn’t want to go home.
EUROCAMP SWIMMING POOLS
There were four main swimming pools for us plus baby pool, and also one pool for the hotel guests as there is a Bella Italia hotel on site with a restaurant and there was one separate pool for the apartments but we were told you had full access to all pools. The four main pools included one large pool with three slides at the top of the swimming area, one smaller pool with water park in the middle, one adult only pool, and a larger pool with another water park in the middle and two large slides in this pool too. The kiddy pool is shallow for little ones. All pools are in one large area so you can sit around and walk to them all. For example, the adult pool is next to the kiddy pool next to one of the bigger pools with slides so you aren’t in different areas.
The pool facilities were fab. They had a few mini cafe style huts to buy drinks and food at while you were there. They had a stage for the kids club and entertainment.
Try some swimming lessons with Puddle Ducks to give you confidence when the kids are in the pool
They had places to part your bike or scooters too if you wanted to ride to the pool as I mentioned the campsite is huge.
The only thing we were disappointed at was there wasn’t enough lounge chairs by this I mean there was lounge chairs every inch of all five pools but it was that busy every day we got there we didn’t get one. We were only about 45 mins after the pool opened and they were gone so one morning we even saw people lining up before the pool opened all the way down the street to secure a lounge chair. We were told they don’t allow you to place towels and come back but everyone single lounge chair all week was taken by a towel and most had no one for an hour or so on them and no personal belongings. There were a few arguments between other families trying to remove towels where no one showed up until later. Lifeguards should be doing this to ensure there isn’t fights between families. So unfortunately we sat on the concrete at the edge of the pool each day we swam.
We warned the water is arctic cold too if the weather has been bad. When we arrived we had five days of pouring down rain and freezing cold temperatures which is normally unheard of so the water was undeniably freezing. But when we got a hot day it was refreshing to cool off. The kids didn’t last more than an hour though without blue lips while we stayed but if your lucky enough to get the weather I bet the water is so inviting. I know the whole week after us was over 80 degrees everyday.
TRANSPORTATION FOR LAKE GARDA
Getting around the campsite you can rent bikes and scooters. There is a Bella Italia train that runs from the market and main restaurant by the lake to Peschiera the nearby town. You can ride this for a few euros each. It doesn’t run on a Monday until after 5:30 pm or during siesta times. But it’s a quick 10 minutes train ride to Peschiera.
You can also walk to Peschiera via the Lake walkway. There is a sidewalk around most of the Lake that you can walk or ride bikes on towards Sirmione and Peschiera. It only took us 25 minutes walking along the water to Peschiera. It’s worth a visit. What a lovely little town with shops and fun things to do and see.
You also can take the local bus that’s right outside to any surrounding areas for a few euros if you don’t fancy pay big taxi prices.
You have the ferry that goes to almost every major city/town on Lake Garda from Peschiera. So if you fancy sightseeing other places and taking a boat out on the lake this is only a few euros and you can go to places like Sirmione, or even further north to Garda or Limione or Salo all are supposed to be amazing. If you don’t fancy renting your own boat for the day, this is much cheaper option.
IDEAS FOR DAYS OUT ON LAKE GARDA
With the camp being right on the lake it was so easy to pack a picnic and go sit on the beach (pebbled beach) on the Lake. What a gorgeous view the camp has of the Lake too. We fed the ducks and swans which were more friendly than the UK swans we feed here. We sat on our blanket and had a lake picnic and the kids swam in the lake too. You can rent Pedalos which my eldest did with his friend and his friend’s dad. They had one with a slide and had the best time out on the water. Highly recommend that too.
We took the train from the market to Peschiera, hopped on the ferry to Sirmione for the day, hopped on the local bus from Sirmione back to Bella Italia camp as it is one stop before Peschiera on the return. The kids loved all the various transportations.
Another day we took a taxi to Verona. While it was a bit spendy compared to the bus, our local bus to Verona was full so it refused us at the bus stop after waiting an hour. We didn’t want to miss the opportunity to get there. It was worth it. We did the Romeo and Juliet tour, writing on the wall, the arena, and ate the most gorgeous meal at Mama Mia! restaurant on Piazza Bra.
We also did Gardaland one day as it was rainy and we couldn’t really swim as it was too cold. Gardaland is definitely recommended. My kids had a blast with friends visiting Italy too. They have many rides for smaller children and bigger ones for the older ones. They even have a Peppa Pig land too.
Eurocamp Restaurants, Shops, Market, Ice Cream and more…
There was three restaurants, two takeaway restaurants, one big food shop, one market for fresh fruit and veg and a few convenient items, one ice cream parlor, and one shop for towels, floaties, toys, swimwear.
The takeaway cafes are open until 11pm so that helped us with our late arrival. And was great for a few drinks with friends when they came to visit too.
There is a cafe style restaurant right on the water that has the most gorgeous breakfast and coffee. They do serve dinner food too but we never had a chance to try it. We ate breakfast here the first morning. It was called La Dolce Vita.
The main big restaurant on the water, we ate two lunches and one dinner there and every time it was delicious. They catered for my son’s severe allergies.
There is a restaurant on the very end of the camp site called Corte Riga. However we didn’t know they used peanut oil which is my son’s allergy and only after asking a few staff and being not comfortable with the answers asking one of the chefs, did we determine this and my son couldn’t eat there and we were limited on what we could eat too. But I had the salmon there and it was delicious. We just couldn’t eat any of the fries. If you have food allergies I would definitely check ahead of time as not many speak good enough english in the restaurants to make sure it’s safe.
Overall would we book Eurocamp Bella Italia again?
Despite the horrific, unforeseen weather we had the first five days, we still made the most of our trip there. If we had been more prepared with warmer clothes it wouldn’t have been as bad. The accommodations had great heating for us. With all the kids’ activities available we had plenty to do when we couldn’t swim and sun bathe.
Check out my tips to make travelling with kids smooth and relaxing when you go to Eurocamp Bella Italia
I think we would love to go back and try a bungalow next time. They were so beautiful and had their own front gardens and lounge chairs. However our accommodation was big enough for the five of us. We didn’t feel cramped at all and had a huge deck to eat and play on.
The kids had a great time. Italy is beautiful. I love how everything is right there when you need it.
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*Collaboration with Eurocamp but flights and days out were paid for ourselves and this is our own experience and opinions.