We stayed at The Olive House with another family for a week in July and knew it was going be perfect as soon as we arrived. We flew into Milan Bergamo and it was an easy drive of an hour or so.
The house is spacious and well equipped, with comfortable beds, lots of bathrooms and easily accommodated both families with children. The two main bedrooms are particularly large with views across to Lake Garda at the front and the garden and mountains to the back.
However, we spent most of our time in the glorious garden, which is very private, with beautifully maintained lawns filled with olive trees and delightful planting. There is a large and well equipped pool house, with a full kitchen, shower room and WC, dining area and seating area, leading out to a patio with an outdoor seating area and the pool. There is also another separate BBQ area. The children were very content just swimming and playing in the garden all day, but we get out and about locally.
Gaino is very small, but has a shop which sells essentials and fresh bread and croissants just a short walk from the house. We also had an excellent meal at the restaurant next to the playing fields, which is also just a short walk away. Toscalano Maderno is a few minutes drive and has a much wider selection of shops and restaurants.
There are lots of good walks from the house and you can walk/scramble to the top of both mountains you can see from the garden if you are feeling energetic! Another highlight for my children was the early morning fishing expedition, where they caught their first trout in the local river and brought them home for a BBQ lunch!
Sarah is a great host and has extensive knowledge of the area. I would definitely recommend staying at The Olive House as a perfect base from which to explore the Lake Garda area.
The pool house was a great hit - kitchen, dining area, wet room - fantastic for keeping an eye on the children whilst they played in the pool or in the large garden. The main house had everything we needed - from fully equipped kitchen to plenty of beds/ bathrooms / towels and bedding. The two master bedrooms on the top floor were fantastic - each with its own ensuite and wonderful views to wake up to.
Climbing to the top of the local mountains is recommended and can be done in a morning (following a very early start!) and the reward is stunning 360 degree views. Swimming in the lake is also a must - clear refreshing water and a different perspective on the area.
The ice-cream parlours must also be visited (the Nutella flavour was a firm favourite) and there are some great places to eat including a small restaurant in Gaino which does not look much from the outside but provides delicious food.
There are plenty of things to do even if the weather clouds over and trips to Tignale and Salo are definitely worth doing - or there is Venice or Florence a bit further away.
We had a wonderful time here and would definitely recommend it - though would also recommend hiring a small car as the roads are very narrow.
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Everything about Las Olivas and its location are absolutely superb.
The house combines cozy comfort (very homely) with high spec luxury (fab bedrooms, really well equipped kitchens - absolutely everything you need) with a pool and pool-house set in a beautiful large well kept garden.
Just 10 minutes drive from Lake Garda, the village (Gaino) is located high above Toscalano Maderno (local town). The house has spectacular picture postcard views across olive groves down to the lake.
Really, there's not much reason to move far from the house - Gaino has a small bakery, cafe and good quality restaurant (don’t be put off by the drab exterior, the food’s excellent) but Toscalano Maderno benefits from good supermarkets, cafes, restaurants, ice-cream parlours and has its own beach.
All of this is within easy reach of Verona, Milan and Venice which make for great day trips if you want a break. The small towns around the lake are also worth visiting. Salo and Gargnano are very close and there are bathing beaches all over the place. You must swim in the lake - it’s very clean and wonderfully refreshing.
Sarah was an excellent host, welcoming us and explaining where to find everything nearby. And she was always on hand when we had questions.
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