Trekking Lago di Garda

Lake Garda trekking

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Garda trails: our top 10

The Lake Garda area is the ideal place to spend a wonderful day out and enjoy spectacular scenic routes. Lush Mediterranean vegetation, fascinating historical and cultural attractions, the breathtaking view of the lake… all the necessary ingredients for a perfect outdoor excursion.

Let yourself be guided through this list of the 10 best trails on Lake Garda:

1. Ponale Path

This is the most famous and suggestive route in the entire northern area of Lake Garda. The Ponale is an old road built in the mid-19th century, which was completely redesigned in 2004 to be reserved for pedestrians and cyclists only.

The path starts in Riva del Garda and ends in the Ledro Valley, although the route we recommend here goes as far as the village of Pregasina, lasting three to four hours round trip (10 kilometres). The Ponale panoramic path is set on the rocky slope of Mount Rocchetta, which falls sheer to the lake, sometimes even digging small tunnels: the atmosphere is incredibly evocative and every bend offers glimpses worthy of the best postcards.

sentieri sul garda
sentieri sul garda

2. The Forts of Monte Brione

This trekking itinerary is dedicated to history and culture: starting from Porto San Nicolò, near Riva del Garda, you will pass through old Austro-Hungarian forts built at the time of the First World War for strategic purposes. Following the famous Sentiero della Pace (Peace Path), you will ascend through nature to the summit of Monte Brione, which separates Riva del Garda from Torbole. There are four forts you will encounter: Forte San Nicolò, Forte Garda, the Batteria di Mezzo and Forte Sant’Alessandro; you may even be lucky enough to visit the inside of these fascinating structures that have remained as they were in the past.
For the duration of the excursion, majestic views of Lake Garda and its surroundings will open up before your eyes.

3. Busatte – Tempesta Trail

The Busatte – Tempesta trail is a well-known and wonderful panoramic trail in the municipality of Nago Torbole. Contrary to what the name might suggest, it is not at all demanding and can be walked even by the youngest walkers without any problems. It starts at the Busatte Park and continues following the signs: the entire route constantly overlooks the beautiful Lake Garda, as if it were a long panoramic terrace. The special feature of Busatte-Tempesta is the three flights of metal stairs (about 400 steps in all) set into the rocky slope, which will allow you to take wonderful photos of the immense panorama.

Between outward and return journeys, the trail measures 8 kilometres and can be walked in about three hours.

lago di garda sentieri
lago di garda sentieri

4. Mount Altissimo in Nago

The trek to the summit of the majestic Mount Altissimo is about 8.5 kilometres long, round trip, and takes about four hours in total. You will first have to go to Prati di Nago, and then start climbing following the Sentiero della Pace (Peace Trail), venturing past delightful alpine pastures and the remains of Austrian trenches and tunnels from the First World War. Situated within the Monte Baldo Natural Park, the trail will constantly give you wonderful views, until you reach the top from which there is a boundless panorama of Lake Garda and the Adige Valley.

This is a trek of medium difficulty, which may be a little difficult for the less well-trained.

5. Tibetan bridge in Torri del Benaco

We now move to the Verona side of Lake Garda, to Torri del Benaco. Opened in 2019, this Tibetan bridge is 34 metres long and is suspended at a height of 45 metres above a valley full of wild vegetation. There are several paths leading to the bridge: the nearest villages are Crero or Pai di Sopra, from which it can be easily reached in about twenty minutes; if, on the other hand, you prefer a longer and more challenging route, we recommend opting for a ring-route that passes through Pai di Sopra, San Zeno di Montagna, Crero and the Tibetan bridge, before finally returning to the starting point (duration 3-4 hours).

Needless to add that from the Tibetan bridge and along the route there are wonderful views of Lake Garda and its surroundings.

camminate lago di garda
camminate lago di garda

6. Nordic Walking in Brenzone sul Garda

The Nordic Walking Park was opened in 2015 and consists of four different routes in the fascinating area of Brenzone sul Garda, for a total of 20 kilometres between lake and mountain. For the uninitiated, Nordic walking is a more demanding type of walking, which also involves the upper limbs through poles used in a similar way to poles in cross-country skiing. The trails wind through the many small hamlets of Brenzone, from Assenza in the north to Castelletto in the south.

In summer, the Brenzone pro loco organises a two-hour Nordic walking outing every Sunday, together with expert instructors, in order to promote this healthy and fun practice in the area.

7. Rocca di Garda

This walk is simple and suitable for the whole family, even the youngest. The route starts at the church of San Bernardo, in Garda, and then continues along the signs to the Rocca. You will then find yourself walking in the middle of a lush forest, among small steps and beaten earth paths: in about an hour and a half you will reach the viewpoint on the top of the Rocca, a wide meadow from which there is a breathtaking view of Lake Garda.

Before returning to Garda, it is recommended to also reach the interesting Hermitage of San Giorgio located nearby.

lago di garda trekking
lago di garda trekking

8. Rocca di Manerba

The Rocca di Manerba is one of the most famous and fascinating attractions on the Brescia side of Lake Garda, and there are several paths to reach it, more or less demanding. The one we recommend here is the most classic, a ring-route lasting about two and a half hours, which may be slightly challenging for the untrained. It starts from the hamlet of Montinelle and then heads into a wonderful nature reserve: among other things, you will pass the beautiful little church of San Giorgio and the Punta Sasso viewpoint. Once at the Rocca, in addition to the view of the lake, you can admire the remains of the medieval castle and a large metal cross linked to a local legend.

On the way back to Montinelle, we recommend you stop and visit the fascinating Museo Civico Archeologico della Valtenesi (Valtenesi Archaeological Museum), very close to the Rocca.

escursioni sul lago di garda
escursioni sul lago di garda

9. Tour of the three Salò sanctuaries

This wonderful trekking route in the area of the renowned Salò is of medium/easy difficulty and takes a total of about four hours. The itinerary begins in the hamlet of Rezzano, and then proceeds following the signs for the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Rio: here you will also find a small, picturesque waterfall surrounded by greenery. You will then reach the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Buon Consiglio and then the Sanctuary of San Bartolomeo, via a panoramic path through nature and woods. Before descending to Rezzano to conclude the tour, we recommend a short diversions of a quarter of an hour in the direction of Croce di Salò, from where there is a breathtaking view of Lake Garda, with the Gulf of Salò and the islands of San Biagio and Garda.

10. Cima Comer and Hermitage of San Valentino

We conclude our list with this panoramic hike, which is located in the municipality of Gargnano, on the Brescia shore, is of medium/high difficulty and lasts approximately five hours. The circular route begins in the hamlet of Sasso, from where you will then proceed to the Hermitage of San Valentino, a charming little church set directly into the rocky slope. You will then continue to climb up to Cima Comer and its bird observatory, from where you can enjoy a crazy view of the entire Lake Garda.

percorsi lago di garda
photo: stefanopoma.it

So get your rucksack and hiking boots ready and venture out on one of these amazing trails through the greenery to enjoy stunning views of Lake Garda!

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