Where to Go on Lake Garda

One of the best things to do in Lake Garda is to go on a boat ride. This can be done by taking a ferry, which connects the towns that dot the lake or by hiring a private boat for an hour or so. Visitors can stroll around pretty historic centres, relax on the beaches or hike to structures of natural and historical interest. Stunning views are everywhere! Malcesine Malcesine is an ideal base for exploring northern Italy’s stunning Lake Garda. In summer you can sunbathe on the local beaches and in winter take a cable car to the top of Monte Baldo for commanding views over the lake. The old town of Malcesine is a delight to wander, with medieval lanes winding up the hillside, pretty squares and cafes. You can spend an hour or so strolling through the streets, sampling the ice cream and browsing for souvenirs to take home. A day trip from here to Limone, Riva del Garda or other northern lake resorts is easy with ferries departing the main lakeshore jetty. Check the Navigazione Lago di Garda website for schedules (look under orari / extraurbani). Alternatively, you can also catch bus services to other lakeside towns and cities. Malcesine is served by buses 62 and 64. These run from Peschiera del Garda and Verona Porta Nuova Station (look under orari / extraurbani). You can also use the train, but trains are less frequent in winter. Riva del Garda Riva del Garda is a great base for hiking and sailing on Lake Garda, thanks to its proximity to the northern Peler and southern Ora winds. The town also offers plenty of cafes and restaurants along the waterfront, aimed at both locals and tourists. Take a walk to nearby Crero to see millennia-old petroglyphs chiselled on the slicken sides of rocks smoothed by glaciers. Or visit the Grotta Tanela, a cave tucked into the rock face. It’s best accessed via the trail at nearby Crero, which also serves as the starting point for the hike to Lake Garda’s Tibetan Bridge. A short trip away is the Varone Waterfall, tucked into a canyon inside a cave. There are two viewpoints – downstream and upstream – from which to admire this pretty waterfall. Also, not far from Riva is Spiaggia di Navene, a pebbly beach that’s one of my favourites around the lake (though it’s not the highest-ranked in my book). It has a small olive grove right next to it, plus a playground for kids and a handful of swim rafts for the adventurous. Sirmione Sirmione is one of the most popular and fascinating corners of Lake Garda. A small cypress-lined peninsula, it juts into the southern base of the lake – or lower Garda – before narrowing into the elongated northern part. A medieval castle, a stunning beach, renowned trattorias, and centuries-old churches are among its top attractions. But the standout is Villa Pioppi, a hotel that feels like it belongs to Italian Royalty and has hosted everyone from Winston Churchill to Prince Charles. As you enter the town via a bridge over a moat, you’re immediately greeted by the turreted walls of Scaligero Castle. This is one of the most incredible castles in Italy because it doesn’t have a normal castle moat – it uses Lake Garda itself as its defense! From here, explore the narrow streets and alleyways of this charming town and admire honey-hued buildings that are draped with purple bougainvillea. Also don’t miss the Rocca di Garda, a flat-top hill that stands sentinel over Garda Town and provides impressive panoramic views. Isola San Biagio The town’s historic centre seems plucked from an Italian movie with its narrow streets flanked by tall houses and a handkickerchief-sized piazza. Here you’ll be able to enjoy the sun with a cone of gelato in your hand and take in all the beauty that surrounds you. The best thing to do in Salo is to get a boat out on Lake Garda and visit the islands that sit just off the coast. San Biagio, also known as the Island of the Rabbits is accessible when water levels drop as it’s home to cypress trees and rocky white beaches. Alternatively, you can explore the other towns on the lake with a ferry pass which allows you to crisscross the lake from one town to another. This is ideal for longer breaks so you can experience a wider range of activities and sights. wohin am gardasee

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