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Top 10 things to see & do in Lake Garda

4 min read

Top 10 things to see & do in Lake Garda

The most family-friendly of Italy’s great lakes, Lake Garda is brimming with attractions and activities in the North of Italy.

With an inviting temperate climate all year round, you’ll actually find lemon trees and olive groves growing this far north. With the plains of Lombardy to the west, the alpine mountains of Trentino Alto-Adige to the north, and the rolling Veneto hills to the east, Lake Garda has something for everyone. From fortified castles and Roman dig sites to sandy beaches and pretty parks, it’s best you take your time and enjoy everything here.

Image of Gardaland theme park in Italy 

1. Thrills in theme parks

Find a haven of fun on the south banks of Lake Garda, home to many theme and water parks. The largest is Gardaland, which features rides and rollercoasters, a Sea Life Aquarium, and LEGOLAND® Water Park. Italy’s number one amusement resort, Gardaland promises a fun filled day out for all the family.

Image of a beach in Torbole for watersports 

2. Wild watersports

Allow the alpine winds to fly you over the water! The north bank of Lake Garda is ideal for sailing and windsurfing for beginners and pros alike, particularly at Torbole Beach in Riva del Garda. For a more sedate activity, crisscross the lake with the many hop-on, hop-off boat tours as you feel the wind in your hair and take in the views.

Image of cable car ride from Malcesine in Italy 

3. Ride the slopes of Mount Baldo

Take the cable car ride from Malcesine, which climbs 1,500 metres. Once you’re at the top, venture along the mountain’s many walking trails for a fantastic, birds-eye view of the lake! Be stunned by the natural beauty of this area, it really is breathtaking.

Image of pretty and chic Roman spa town Sirmione, Itlay 

4. Spa time in Sirmione

Dip into luxury in the thermal waters of the pretty and chic Roman spa town, Sirmione for a day of pure relaxation, perhaps topped off with a long al fresco lunch. Sit back, relax and enjoy being pampered. One thing’s for sure, you’ll leave feeling completely refreshed and rejuvenated.

Image of  the ruins of a Roman villa Grotte di Catullo, Italy 

5. Roman ruins in Sirmione

Unearth the ruins of a Roman villa, Grotte di Catullo, built in the 1st century B.C. No one knows for sure what its purpose was, but the theories floating around this archaeological site and museum are fun to learn about! Take a step back in time and relive a moment in history at the Roman ruins.

Image of olive cultivation showing how olive oil is made in Bardolino in Italy 

6. Wine and olive oil in Bardolino

Visit the Museo dell'Olio d'Oliva, where you can discover the history of olive cultivation, and watch how olive oil is made in Bardolino. Or go on a tasting tour of the local wineries and pop into the wine museum. Why not time your trip to coincide with one of the two annual wine festivals held here?

Image of Castello Scaligero in Sirmione in Italy 

7. Medieval moments

Explore the still inhabited medieval villages, some of which can only be reached by foot. Head to Castello Scaligero in Sirmione, a distinctly Disney-esque 13th century fortress with its moat and drawbridge! Alternatively, head to Scaliger Castle in Malcesine, which houses prehistoric rock engravings and a natural history museum.

Image of rock in Arco in Italy suitable for rock climbing 

8. Rock climbing in Arco

Climb to new heights at one of the many rock-climbing routes found around Arco. You can even climb at the renowned Rockmaster stadium, which often hosts the rock-climbing world championships! Once you’ve built up a thirst, reveal brewery secrets on a guided tour of Birra Artigianale Impavida, an American-inspired craft brewery.

Image of cycling route along the lakeside of Lake Garda in Italy 

9. Cycling for champions

Get in gear with the Garda by Bike, a cycling route destined to span 86 miles along the lakeside. Not for the faint-hearted, at times you and your bike are suspended on steel-strutted wooden paths 50 metres above the lake, but the views sure are worth it!

Image of botanical gardens at Gardone Riviera 

10. A world of botanical beauties

Amble around the historical gardens of stately mansions that are open to the public on the west bank. Gardone Riviera is a great starting point, with the magnificent tropical foliage found at Giardino Botanico Fondazione André Heller. Wander around, taking in the colours and the scents, a real sensory experience.

Discover the real Italy with Citalia     

Ready to explore the best of Lake Garda? Citalia are the UK’s leading Italy specialist with over 90 years' experience in tailoring holidays to Italy. Experts are on hand every step of the way to ensure you make memories to last a lifetime. It’s never too late to start planning your Italian escape!     

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