In this article I will tell you about all the cycle paths on Lake Garda. There are plenty of them, for every level of training and every taste, you will be spoiled for choice.
You might find out that cycling in the open air is not so bad: the landscapes, the ground that flows under your feet, the breeze on your face… If you do not want to give up the beauty of the lake but you are not very trained, you could consider renting an e-bike. Bike rentals are very popular, you just have to find the nearest one!
So, which cycle lane to choose? It depends!
If you just want to enjoy a quiet afternoon you can try the Mincio bike path or those riding along the lake, which are flatter. To increase a bit the difficulty, you can explore the morainic hills to the south or going into the Trentino valleys to the north. You can also visit the villages of the lake or reach the four major cities that are located in the area: Verona, Mantua, Brescia and Trento.
This article is for those who want to discover many beautiful places to visit on Lake Garda by moving around by bike. Read on and find the route that suits you best!
- 2. The veronese lakefront: Peschiera – Lazise – Garda
- 3. The Islands: Promontorio di San Fermo – Manerba
- 1. The skybridge: Limone
- 2.From Lake to Lake: Gargnano – Lago di Valvestino
- 3. The Ponale pathway: Riva del Garda – Lago di Ledro
- 4.The Val d’Adige: Riva del Garda – Rovereto – Trento
Cycle paths on Lake Garda: THE LOWER LAKE
Before we talk about the most difficult routes, I will give you advice on the routes accessible to everyone, both inexperienced one or children. The lower lake is full of cycle paths that you can discover. I will try to give you an overview of at least the main routes.
1.The Mincio cycle path: Peschiera – Borghetto – Mantova
The first bike path on Lake Garda I want to talk about is located between Peschiera and Mantua. It is one of the most beautiful one because it runs through the protected area of the Mincio Park. It is very easy and recommended for families with children, surrounded by greenery and nature. It is 43,5 kilometers long in total, but no one forces you to do it all!
A curiosity: the Mincio cycle path is part of EuroVelo 7, which is also called Ciclovia del Sole. It is a famous cycling itinerary, which crosses the entire Europe from North Cape to Sicily.
The first point of interest is Monzambano, about 10 km away from Peschiera. Here you will find the medieval castle, full of charm and in my opinion very underestimated. It is one of the most preserved castles in Mantuan style and it looks like the perfect set for a movie. You will probably pass there, so I suggest you stop by and visit it.
Are you curious to find out other places to visit near Lake Garda that you can reach with this route? Read more and discover the most famous.
A little further on you will find Borghetto, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. It is 15 kilometers from Peschiera and you can reach it in less than one hour. Here you can visit the city and the Parco Giardino Sigurtà, declared to be the second most beautiful park in Europe. There is also the possibility to access it by bike, so do not worry about leaving it outside.
To get to Mantua you have to continue for another 22 km. In the middle of the Pianura Padana the difference in altitude will be practically absent but is very vast in terms of kilometers. If you have a chance to get there, the sight will pay for the effort. The city is in fact a UNESCO World Heritage for its artistic treasures, and the best Italian city for quality of the environment according to the Legambiente report of 2017. After a busy day, you can also enjoy a fabulous sunset over one of the three Mantuan lakes.
Some practical information
Reaching the bike path from Peschiera is very easy: just exit Porta Brescia and cross the bridge. Here you will already find signs indicating the cycle path. Keeping the center behind you turn left; you will immediately see a path through the trees that runs along the river.
It remains on the right side of the river until the Salionze dam, just before Monzambano. Here you will have to cross the water of the river and continue on the other side to Valeggio, where you can visit Borghetto and eventually continue to Mantua.
The bike path is mostly on asphalt, so very easy to walk. There is only a small stretch of row road and almost no difference in level, so do not worry about the difficulty. Remember that when you are tired you can rest in the nature!
For the return, you have several options. If you decide to continue to Mantua and do not want to do the same route on the way back, you can take the train to reach Peschiera in less than two hours. A nice alternative could be to stop in Borghetto and continue for a round tour, passing by Castelnuovo (see route 2) or by Castellaro Lagusello (see route 3)
1A. Round tour: Borghetto sul Mincio – Castelnuovo – Peschiera
Have you arrived in Borghetto and you want to go back to Peschiera, but, even if beautiful, you get bored doing the same route twice?
Immerse yourself in the hinterland and vineyards and enjoy the view of the Veronese plain to the horizon.
From Valeggio take Viale Papa Giovanni XXVIII, north of the city, and continue along Via Santa Lucia. This is not a dedicated bike path, but the road is small and very quiet.
After 4 km from the start, you will reach Mount Mamaor, a low mountain that you will see on the right. At the junction of Santa Lucia turn left and reach the intersection between Via Castelnuovo and Casa Busetta, this section has a bit of curves and minor intersections, try to keep the route and do not get lost!
At this point, you will be only 5 kilometers away from Castelnuovo, and other 10 to reach Peschiera. Cross the center of Castelnuovo and get to via Oregolo, then continue eastwards and finally reach the lake. From here on it is all downhill… not literally, but you can certainly enjoy the last little stretch with a magnificent view of the lake.
1B. Round Tour: Borghetto sul Mincio – Volta Mantovana – Castellaro Lagusello – Peschiera
From Borghetto keep the south along the Mincio for 7.5 km. Then get away from the river to reach Volta Mantovana and go up through Castellaro Lagusello. Like the previous route, it is not specific for bicycles, but you can easily avoid the state roads by taking advantage of the many quieter secondary roads.
Both villages are beautiful and very characteristic. In Volta Mantovana you can visit the hanging gardens of Palazzo Gonzaga-Guerrieri, designed by one of the most powerful families in Italy. In Castellaro-Lagusello you will admire the characteristic heart-shaped lake, clearly visible from the raised castle. At this point, you can reach Monzambano and then take the Mincio cycle path.
Do you want to discover other places to visit on Lake Garda? By bike you can get to many. I’m going to tell you about one of the lake’s most popular cycling routes, so be prepared to take notes.
The veronese lakefront: Peschiera – Lazise – Garda
For a walk suitable for everyone there is the lakefront, the beautiful cycling path that goes from Peschiera to Garda. Totally flat and with a breathtaking view, it allows a total relaxation. The water of the lake breaks against the shore producing the most beautiful sound in the world, and the trees next door create a picturesque landscape.
For this bike path on Lake Garda there is practically no need for directions. If you start from the center of Peschiera you just have to go through Porta Verona, cross the two canals and immediately turn left. From here, you can start enjoying the calm and the absence of cars. Continue along the lakeside for about 7 km, to the hamlet of Fossalta. At this point, the beaches begin, so you will have to say goodbye to the water for a while and move on the Gardesana Road until you reach Lazise.
Let yourself be conquered by the beauty of Lazise, with the old port and the moored boats that seem to have come out of a painting. Walking through the center you can also see the walls and watchtowers that protected the city years ago, full of charm and still majestic.
Continuing you will find other places to visit on Lake Garda that you cannot miss. If you haven’t done so yet, take a pen and mark them all!
Another 5 km north and you will reach Bardolino. From the two tongues of earth that extend towards the lake, you can enjoy a dreamy sunset: the mirror of water will reflect the sky, and you will find yourself immersed in its colors.
If this is not enough and you want to enjoy a view from above, you can make a tour to the Hermitage of San Giorgio, reachable by making a difference of about 200 m. The road to get there is unpaved, so consider that it will be slightly more tiring. If you have a mountain bike, you can also go exploring the surrounding trails, and maybe get to the Rocca di Garda for a fantastic panoramic view.
After 20 km from the start (or 27 if you made the tour to the fortress) you will finally arrive to Garda. Definitely one of the places that you cannot miss in your visit of Lake Garda, a beautiful village with a quaint marina. I recommend going to the panoramic gazebo and then take a break in one of the many lakeside bars, to fully appreciate the atmosphere of the place.
The islands: Promontorio di San Fermo – Manerba
After having talked about the Veronese shore, I will show you some of the cycle paths on Lake Garda that you can take from the Brescian side.
The first route connects the two promontories and the two most beautiful islands of the lake. The first is Isola del Garda, which is located in front of the promontory of San Fermo, is your starting point. The second is the Island of Rabbits (or Island of San Biagio), visible from Punta Belvedere. If you have the opportunity to leave your bike in a safe place, I recommend you visiting both.
Starting from the promontory of San Fermo (which would need a separate article for its beauty) you can proceed inland and then south. Take Via San Fermo to the intersection with Via Umberto Zerneri: at this point turn left and follow the road until the second roundabout.
You will find on your right the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Carmine, where you can stop to admire the beautiful decorations inside.
The beauty of these places to visit on Lake Garda will make you forget the fatigue of the climb. Do not stop, let’s discover more!
Return to the main road and take the SP39, southbound. After less than 3 km you will have to turn left again to go along Via degli Alpini, which will take you behind the fortress.
This route is very short (about 13-14 km round trip) and has only a small difference in altitude. Arriving in Manerba, for a more challenging route you can decide to continue to the parking and if you want, you can reach the Rocca. Once arrived there, the view is undoubtedly worth the effort and you will admire the entire lake and take beautiful panoramic pictures.
On the way back instead, you can take a secondary road that goes to the lake, for a stop at the beach and a guaranteed relaxation. Punta Belvedere also offers a view worthy of its name, so do not forget to go there!
Cycle paths on Lake Garda: THE UPPER LAKE
The upper part of the lake is extremely characteristic and even here, there are cycling routes and beautiful routes to do.
In fact, this is the area of the Prealps, which embrace the lake from both sides.
On the Brescian side, the sheer mountains barely leave space for the road, offering a wonderful view of the waters below. On the Veronese side, Monte Baldo dominates all the villages below, creating a very special image when it is snowy.
1.The skybridge: Limone
Perhaps the most famous cycle track on Lake Garda is the one built in Limone in 2018. It is a 2.5 km walkway suspended on the lake, which can be covered by bike or on foot.
The emotions offered by the bike are certainly unique. By bike, you will have the impression of flying over the lake and your gaze will run free admiring the water below you and the other side of the lake in the distance.
Keep reading for the complete guide of the places to visit on Lake Garda by bike! But first, let’s see how to achieve this path.
How to reach it
This cycle path on Lake Garda is easily accessible. If you arrive by car you can stop in Limone, where there is a large car park about 3 km from the track. Alternatively, there is the possibility of arriving from the opposite shore by ferry, which departs from Malcesine and allows the transport of bicycles. In summer there is one every hour.
Small note: I warn you not to go there during the high season, because visitors can crowd it due to the large turnout.
From lake to lake: Gargnano – Lago di Valvestino
To do this cycle path you have to be trained, especially for the first section. You will have to go up from Via Angelo Feltrinelli, which is behind Gargnano. In this short but intense climb, there are 7 km of difference in altitude, so it is quite challenging. You will be immersed in the Parco dell’Alto Garda Bresciano, which offers breathtaking views.
Once at the top you will find a T-junction, turn left and take Provincial Road 9. From here on you can rest, because the road is flatter. After 6 km you will reach the lake of Valvestino, which extends for a further 5 km. It is an artificial lake, created after the construction of the dam in 1962. Its intense blue waters wind in the valley that gives the lake a very special shape. The return will be much easier: the entire climb will be a beautiful descent. Just be careful not to overheat the brakes! Apart from that, enjoy the path and views of the lake visible among the trees.
Another place to visit on Lake Garda not to be missed is definitely Gargnano. Here are some pointers.
In Gargnano, I suggest you take an hour or two to visit the city. I advise you go to the lakeside of Via Zanardelli to admire the opposite shore and Monte Baldo. For a refreshing bath after the effort, you can also reach the small beach of Castello or the public beach just further north.
3. The Ponale pathway: Riva del Garda – Lago di Ledro
The path of the Ponale follows an old road now unused and dedicated entirely to bikes and pedestrians. It is a rock-cut path on the mountains and offers spectacular views of the northern lake. This makes it one of the most beautiful cycling routes on Lake Garda. This route is a bit more demanding than the previous ones: it is about 9.5 km long and has a difference in altitude of 665 meters. So, I only recommend it if you’re a little more trained. Alternatively, you can take an electric bike (you could also rent it), which will allow you to get to your destination without too much difficulty. For the return instead, you can opt for the bus, which will bring you and your bike to the departure quicker.
If you decide to reach this area, Riva del Garda is definitely one of the places to visit on Lake Garda. Find out why!
The town of Riva del Garda belongs to the Trentino part of the lake. It is located in a large plateau surrounded by mountains, an important element of this region. It is a perfect middle ground between the cities of the North and the towns on the lake: the small streets of the old town are all to explore, and the paths to its sides offer some of the best panoramic views.
To start the cycle path, from Riva you reach the western Gardesana. You will find the beginning of the path between the port and the hydroelectric power plant. The first section is the most spectacular, because you will find yourself on the vertical wall of the mountain. You will also pass right over the Ponale waterfall, which then plunges into the lake.
Once at the top, the route will continue to climb but it will become quieter. Continuing along the narrow valley surrounded by greenery, you will soon find yourself facing the Lake Ledro, which you can coast on the south side.
This route has no particular points of cultural interest, but its scenic beauty is unmatched. For this reason, it is ideal for a day of immersion in nature.
4. The Val d’Adige: Riva del Garda – Rovereto – Trento
The cycle paths on the Lake Garda around the Trentino area do not end here. I am about to tell you another one not to miss!
The route I am going to talk about also starts from Riva del Garda, but unlike the previous one it goes north-east. From the lake you can easily reach the beautiful Adige cycling path, which runs along the river from Trento to Verona through the entire valley.
First head towards Torbole, coasting the lake and passing south of Monte Brione. The lakefront that connects Riva to Torbole is simply spectacular: the walkway dedicated to cyclists and pedestrians is practically on the water, under a majestic and imposing vertical rock wall.
Once arrived at the port of Torbole, you should deviate northwards taking Via Pontalti and Via Europa. You will arrive at the Fort of Nago, where you will just turn around to have a beautiful view of the lake. Continue along the Mori-Torbole cycle path, which is located south of the State Road 240. You will pass through the nature reserve of Lake Loppio, a drained water catchment area, but rich in vegetation. Reach the historic center of Mori and pass to the right of the velodrome, taking Via San Biagio. You will arrive right on the Adige cycle path, which extends on both sides of the river. At this point you will be officially in Vallagarina, the southern part of the Val d’Adige. This area is characterized by vineyards, which extend at the foot of the mountains and create a beautiful landscape
Cycling a bit longer you will reach Rovereto, one of the places not to be missed in your visit by bike on Lake Garda.
If you need to go back to Riva you can stop here or reach Rovereto continuing for another 6 km, for a total of about 23. I recommend you visit the Castle, an example of late medieval alpine fortification and now home to the War Museum. Another museum not to be missed is definitely the Mart, one of the most famous modern and contemporary art museums in Europe. Keep talking about museums, for those who prefer science, in Trento there is the Muse which is located in the residential district of Le Albere. Inside a particular building built by the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano.
Behind Rovereto there is the Hermitage of San Colombano, a little unknown place. It is a monastery built on the rock wall, reachable by 102 steps. If you can, leave your bike and walk to get to it, it is definitely worth it. Or sign it up for your next visit!
From Rovereto you can take the Adige cycle path to Trento, 25 km further north. This option is ideal if you plan to stay there for the night and maybe take some time to visit the city.
It can also be a beautiful stretch to be included in a multi-day route, with arrival in Bolzano or Merano.
It is a path entirely in the valley, so the difference in height is minimal. Do not be frightened by the distance, take your time and you will reach everything!
We are at the end of our Lake tour.
From South to North, we talked about the most beautiful cycle paths of Lake Garda, which are numerous and can satisfy every need.
I am sure that by reading this article, you have found the one suitable for you or you have been struck by some places to visit on the lake.
You just have to prepare your bike and organize a nice day by the shores of our beautiful Lake Garda. We are waiting for you!