Maybe you have already visited Italy. You might see Rome, Venice, you might enjoy the beautiful beaches at the seaside. You have probably heard of Lake Garda but never actually planned a trip there. Or maybe you did, and you fell madly in love with this place. Because that is what happens. Lake Garda is one of the most charming places in northern Italy and if you are looking for a sign why to book your vacation there, this is it.
Garda feels like the sea in a way. The lake is so big that you would confuse it very easily. It lies in between high mountains and is surrounded by picturesque villages. Wherever you look, you will be impressed by the stunning views. Let’s see some inspiration on what to do and see during your stay. There are a couple of things you certainly shouldn’t miss!
Day 1: Limone sul Garda – town with a smell of citrus
Limone is one of the cutest little towns you can find on the shores of Lake Garda. It is truly magical. Yes, the name has something to do with lemon. When you go through the tiny historical streets, you will be surrounded by local shops with all kinds of lemon-flavoured and designed products. Whether you want to buy lemon soap, aroma oil, ice cream or a cute hand-made plate with lemons painted on it, you will find it. The smell of citrus is all around. And why is that? Even though Limone was originally a fishing village, its biggest success was the local production of lemons and lemons are the core of the town’s spirit.
Enjoy the peaceful vibe and treat yourself with some amazing local dishes. Italian cuisine is one of the most popular in the world and all the famous meals such as pizza, lasagne or pasta taste the best in the country of their origin. You can’t go wrong here. Italians are big food lovers. Adjust to their vibe and enjoy the typical sweet breakfast and late-night dinners with a glass of wine in the hand.
Day 2: Monte Baldo hike
Monte Baldo is the highest peak in the area. It is also a very popular trip for many tourists visiting the lake. The stunning views are accessible to anyone as there is a cable car leading from Malcesine to the top. As we said – it is very popular so especially if you are coming during the summer season, be ready for a long line and waiting.
However, if you are in good shape, there is an alternative for you. Of course, you can hike all the way on foot. It is not exactly a beginner hike, you have to overcome 1815 of positive height difference and something around 11 kilometres to get from Malcesine to the top of the mountain. But it is definitely worth it. The path is very diverse and with amazing views – super exciting for any hiking lover.
At the top, there will be a restaurant waiting for you as well as herds of sheep and even alpacas. If the weather is nice and the humidity in the air isn’t too high, you will be able to see almost the whole lake underneath you and even the peaks of Dolomites on the horizon. Truly unforgettable.
Day 3: Malcesine – castle and promenade
Once you recover from your hiking adventure, it’s time to explore your base camp as well. Malcesine is an amazing town with a castle – a clear dominant of the place. You can go inside the walls and climb to the tower which offers a stunning view at the lake.
After that you can continue your walk along the coast. There is a beautiful promenade right next to the beach. The clear water invites you to go for a refreshing swim in the waves. And then… maybe you should end your day in one of the cute cafés. If you haven’t tried tiramisu – the popular Italian dessert made from coffee and mascarpone cheese – it’s the best time!
Day 4: Via ferrata
The mountains around the lake offer endless possibilities for climbing and also amazing via ferrata routes of all levels. If you aren’t afraid of heights, it is definitely something you should try.
Whether you are an advanced climber or a complete beginner, you will certainly choose from the wide range of options. Check some of the best via ferrata routes and choose the one which suits your level. Or dedicate this day to climbing with a company of a professional guide who will make sure your experience is safe. They will give you tips on how to improve your climbing style a little more so that you get better and braver on the rocks!
Day 5: Riva del Garda – recharge
It is always good to take a rest day after a busy and physically demanding programme. We are sure your muscles are a little sore after the day full of climbing and your mind is still processing the views you have right underneath you!
A perfect way to spend this chill day would be in Riva del Garda. That is another of the magical towns. Riva lies at the northern shore of the lake, has an amazing beach and even better restaurants. Some of the finest ice creams are to be found in local cafés. Doesn’t that sound just great?
Day 6: Master the waves
Okay, it looks like one thing is still missing to make this a perfect active summer holiday: water sports! It would be a pity not to try it because Lake Garda offers just the perfect conditions for activities like windsurfing, kitesurfing or SUP. The waves are just as big as you need them to be to have fun and the wind is strong usually enough to carry you. Book a day course or – if you have some more time to spend here – even a multiple day option. That will allow you to develop the skills you need to handle the board and you will quickly become the master of the waves.The courses are led by certified instructors who will teach you all the tricks and keep eyes on you during your attempts. Windsurfing in Malcesine is our favourite!
Day 7: Endless fun in Gardaland
At the end of the week, you might be in a mood for some fun relaxation. Gardalandlies at the south of the Lake so you will have to drive for around 1 or one and half hours from the towns in the north to get there. But it is very worth it if you are a fan of crazy attractions, intense roller coasters, water parks or if you would like to see a big sea life aquarium. All of that is to be found in Gardaland. It is a perfect tip for families with children but also for adrenaline lovers of all ages. Your head will go around after some of the rides!
Sounds pretty cool, right? Don’t hesitate anymore. Lake Garda is waiting for you to show you its endless beauty and opportunities for outdoor sports and relaxation.