Lake Garda (Lago di Garda) is the largest lake in Italy and also one of the most important tourist areas of the country. Every year millions of foreign and Italian tourists visit the many picturesque places that can be found around Lake Garda. The nice thing about Lake Garda is that it has something to offer for almost all types of tourists. For example, on the one hand you will find small-scale authentic accommodations where you have the feeling that you are in the middle of Italian life and you can stay, especially in the southern regions of Lake Garda, on sometimes very large campsites that are completely focused on mass tourism.
Sports enthusiasts can also indulge themselves on Lake Garda. Downhill from Monte Baldo, mountain climbing, kite surfing, paragliding, cycling… it is all perfectly possible on Lake Garda. There is plenty of windsurfing on the northern part of Lake Garda. The wind conditions there are often excellent for practicing this popular sport.
Top 10 sights of Lake Garda
#1. Lake Garda
According to 3rjewelry, the main attraction of this region is, of course, Lake Garda itself. A beautiful tight lake with many (pebble) beaches, picturesque villages and especially in the northern part mountains that suddenly seem to rise and together provide a beautiful picture. In the summer months, Lake Garda is also a great place for swimming. Fishing enthusiasts can go fishing on and along Lake Garda all year round. Lake Garda has a number of advantages over, for example, coastal areas by the sea. For example, the lake has no tides and is filled with fresh water. Furthermore, the chance of big waves is small. That makes it a bit more pleasant to go on the lake with a rental boat.
#2. Funivia Malcesine Monte Baldo
The Monte Baldo mountain peaks offer fantastic views. They are also very popular among hikers, mountain bikers and paragliders. The most beautiful way to bridge the difference in height is with the cable car, which climbs in two stages to an altitude of just under seventeen hundred meters. The closed cabins of the cable car offer unbeatable views over Lake Garda, especially the second leg where the cabins rotate 360 degrees on their axis. You board in Malcesine, where you have to take into account long queues, especially in high season when the weather is nice.
It is recommended to bring or put on some warmer clothes when you go up. The temperature there can be a few degrees lower than in Malcesine itself. Wind can further lower the perceived temperature.
On the southern shore of Lake Garda is a peninsula on which the beautiful town of Sirmione is located. Many consider Sirmione to be the prettiest village along Lake Garda. In addition to the atmospheric streets of the historic city center, Sirmione offers a number of sights that make the town so attractive. The Castello Rocco Scaligera is the face of Sirmione, the tower of the castle offers a beautiful view over the city. Le Grotte di Catullo (Catallus Caves) are the remains of a Roman villa, built in the first century AD. Impressive are the long arcades with beautiful arches.
On the western shore is the enchantingly beautiful town of Salo. If you ask us Salo might be more beautiful than Sirmione. This is mainly because Salo is not overrun with tourists, which makes this picturesque town seem more authentic in terms of atmosphere. In Salo you can stroll along the long car-free boulevard, shop in the pleasant shopping streets and enjoy delicious Italian ice cream on a terrace by the water. The ancient town hall (Palazzo del Podestà) is beautiful.
#5. Riva del Garda
Riva del Garda is located in the north of Lake Garda. This is the second largest town on Lake Garda. If you stay in the southern part of Lake Garda, the drive there is already worth it, with the route along the western shore being the most beautiful. In Riva del Garda you have a very long beach, a beautiful historic center and a number of buildings that are worth seeing, such as the Chiesa Dell’Inviolata and the characteristic Torre Apponale. Riva del Garda is located in the province of Trentino and therefore seems to have more influences from the time when this area belonged to the Austrian Empire. You can clearly see Austrian influences in the menus.
#6. boat trip
The best way to discover Lake Garda is through a boat trip. Lake Garda looks very different when you look at it from the water. Those who do not want to sail themselves can opt for a canal cruise or a crossing with the ferry. What is even more fun, however, is to rent a boat yourself and discover the lake that way. A boat license is generally not required for the small boats. The number of providers of rental boats is large, but in high season it is advisable to book in time.
#7. Milan, Verona and Venice
By car or train you can visit the nearby cities of Verona (often counted as part of the Lake Garda region), Milan and Venice. Anyone going to Verona should of course take a look at the Verona Arena. If you see a chance to visit an opera here, you absolutely must do it. It will leave an impression that you will never forget. Fashion capital Milan needs little introduction. Here you will find all the major fashion brands represented in the golden quadrangle. The Duomo of Milan is also very beautiful. A little further away, but certainly still easy to travel, is the romantic (and expensive) city on the water: Venice. Set aside at least a day to visit this special city. Keep in mind that it can be very busy in Venice, especially in the summer season.
HANDY: Book your train tickets in advance
The train is the most convenient way to travel to Verona, Milan or Venice. This mainly prevents parking stress and high parking costs. In addition, the train is ideal for relaxing and fast travel to these cities. From both Desenzano del Garda and Peschiera del Garda you have excellent train connections with Verona, Milan and Venice.
Nowadays you can also book this kind of domestic train rides in Italy via the international site of our own NS. Enter Desenzano del Garda or Peschiera del Garda as the departure station. As your destination, choose Milano Centrale, Verona Puerto Nuova or Venice S Lucia. In the case of Venice, don’t choose Venice Mestre. You will then end up in the suburb of Mestre.
#8. Vittoriale degli Italiani
At the time we visited the Vittoriale degli Italiani ourselves, we had no idea how to describe this place. It is a park with a beautiful Italian villa that today serves as a museum, an amphitheatre, a mausoleum and a cabinet of curiosities. That’s the best way to describe this national monument that was originally the last home of the architect Gabriele d’Annunzio.
#9. Cascata del Varone
The Cascata del Varone is a popular attraction on Lake Garda. You can view the Varone Waterfall from two different observation points. The two places accessible via tunnels are at different heights: the Lower Cave is located at the last part of the hundred-meter high waterfall and the Upper Cave is forty meters higher. For a fee you can visit the waterfall daily from March to October, in winter only on Sundays and public holidays.
It’s not everyone’s thing, but there are several amusement parks around Lake Garda. These are, for example, Canevaworld, Park Jungle Adventure and the Parco Natura Viva. Gardaland, located near Lazise, is the largest amusement park in all of Italy. In Gardaland you can visit more than fifty attractions. For lovers of sharks and the underwater world, Gardaland offers the Sealife Aquarium.