What is one of the best feeling ever? Well, just imagine discovering that there is still something that unexpectedly breaks a smile on your face… Whenever it happens, take notes. That will be your safe haven, especially in the worst times. Haven’t you found it yet? Nevermind, you may choose among the 10 best things to do in and around Lake Garda.
Whether with your group of friends or alone, whether you are a sport enthusiast or a 100% nature lover. There is always a way to have fun!
10 Best Things to do on Lake Garda:
- Vespa Tour around Lake Garda
- Going on a Dragon Boat
- Trip with the Ferryboat
- Wine Tastings
- Spending the day in Gardaland Park
- Cycling around Lake Garda
- Boarding a Cable Car or a Chairlift
- Hiking on the Busatte Tempesta Path
- Promenading in Bardolino
- Reaching the top of Rocca di Garda and Rocca di Manerba
Surroundings: 10 Best Things to do near Lake Garda
- Visiting Madonna della Corona Sanctuary
- Discovering the Collina di Lorenzo
- Dropping in the Hyperspace in Verona
- Getting lost in an Escape Room
- Trekking on the Tibetan Bridge
- Swinging at Parco Cascate Molina
- Challenging your friend at South Garda Karting
- Exploring Parco Giardino Sigurtà
- Climbing at the Jungle Adventure Park
- Hiking around the Monte Baldo
1. Vespa Tour around Lake Garda
If anybody asks me one of the best memories of this summer, I will totally say the Vespa Tour around Lake Garda… In only 540 minutes! We are talking about a 159 km perimeter, for this reason it is clearly impossible to stop in all of the places to visit on Lake Garda. Therefore, it’s best to make a list of the villages you really want to see!
One of the best companies is Motoragazzi. They do not only have the newest vespa models, they have more offices around lake Garda and are very known to give good advices on the territory. Once you have found the perfect size helmet, you are ready to fly. West or East side? It is always a dilemma to choose where to start. Personally, I went for the second option, visiting Malcesine at first. Then, after Riva del Garda, I have stopped in Limone to enjoy the fresh water of the Northern part of the lake.
Anyway, the best thing about driving a vespa is that it fits everywhere, even when the parking area is full! Whenever you see a great spot, you have only to stop a few seconds to take a beautiful picture.
Another advice: if you follow the street named “Strada della Forra”, you can also reach the Montecastello Sanctuary. It is one of the least famous places of Lake Garda, but one of the most fascinating as well. By the way, if you have an entire day to spend, you already know what to do.
2. Going on a Dragon Boat
Are you planning to visit Lake Garda with more than four friends? Then, you could try a very unique experience. Have you ever heard about the Dragon Boat? The Dragon Boat is recognized as an official sport, nowadays. However, we as Italians have just discovered it at the end of the last century. It is about paddling together a typical boat with the shape of a brave dragon… Just keep following the rhythm of the tambourine to enjoy a laid-back ride!
Even if it is a discipline, I remind you of not taking it too seriously. I mean, not at the beginning, when you must learn the instructions given by the captain. He will direct the boat with an enormous oar, three meters long. Thereafter, when you find your balance, just let it go to have some fun! In case you are already wondering where to book it, I suggest you the Remiera School in Peschiera del Garda, located along Mincio River. On reservation, it is also possible to organise an evening tour, during high season.
3. Trip with the Ferryboat
How to visit the biggest lake of Italy? With the typical ferryboat, of course. Basically, it works like a normal bus. For me, the ferryboat is the perfect option to enjoy sunny days on Lake Garda.
There is always the one that has to plan the entire trip for the whole group, and I guess it is you (you are not alone) …! However, it is great to be the mastermind: each detail is important for the entire schedule, so you can relax during your staying. Anyway, it is easy. You have just to know that the ferryboats travel from North to South and vice versa.
Once you figure out how does it works, choose the places you want to visit on the Lake Garda and pack your bags. Click here to find the times and explanation.
4. Wine Tastings
One of the 10 best things to do on Lake Garda is surely to enjoy a wine tasting.
I think you may already know that we are talking about the famous Lugana Region. Maybe, what you don’t is that Chiaretto is a D.O.C. wine too: a delicate and flourish rosè… Tasting it is daydreaming, especially if with someone who loves you. There are many wineries in the area, most of them in the Southern part. You could plan a guided tour at le Morette or decide to visit MASI Tenuta Canova. Masi is a very well-known winery for organizing lots of unique events throughout the year!
However, are you interested in trying something different? Then, you may choose the Ricchi winery. They are always serving new and original experiences, such as a picnic with wine tasting, surrounded by a wonderful countryside. If you are lucky enough to come around Lake Garda during autumn season, there is a chance for you to do a grape harvesting! Any requirements needed? Just a few things: some comfortable boots and no fear of soiling. I am sure you will totally feel the joy of little things.
5. Spending the day in Gardaland Park
One of the places to visit on Lake Garda you might have already heard about is the Gardaland Park.
If you still don’t believe in dreams coming true, visiting Gardaland will change your mind. A place where having fun is the easiest thing. Once you get inside the Big Tree of Prezzemolo, you will discover a brand-new world. I suggest you starting right there your day.
Don’t worry if you are scared of rollercoasters. It is not the single reason why Gardaland is one of the 10 best things to do on Lake Garda… There is quite more! For example, you could attend amazing shows at the Gardaland Theatre, the adventurous Jumanji and the 4D cinema.
One of my favourites is Colorado Boat. You are going to sit inside a tree trunk… Hoping you will not get wet. During summer days, Jungle Rapids and Escape from Atlantide are the best ideas. Nevertheless, winter is also a magical season for coming here. The park becomes an enchanting winter wonderland to enjoy some Christmas vibes. Before you go, remember to buy a little souvenir. It is often said that it is never too late for bringing up our inner child, don’t you agree?
6. Cycling around Lake Garda
Do you want to know absolutely everything about the cycle paths of the places to visit on Lake Garda? Then, I suggest you reading the related article.
I am going to do a small recap about them, focusing on the most original ones. If you are not made for arranged tours, you have to pick this as one of the 10 best things to do on Lake Garda.
- Firstly, there is the “Ciclovia del Mincio” between Peschiera del Garda and Mantova. A 44 km road, passing through Valeggio and Borghetto sul Mincio. They have been awarded by the Italian Touring Club and recognized as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
- I guess you may have already heard about the “Ciclopedonale Sospesa” in Limone. Even if we are talking about of only 4 km, this is one of the most suggestive ones. Riding windward on the Lake Garda is a rare and unique experience.
- Moving further up north there is another cyclepath known mostly by the local people, called “Sentiero del Ponale”. However, you must have a mountain bike or an e-bike, because of the height differences of the itinerary. Starting from the centre of Riva del Garda, you will reach the gorgeous Ledro Valley.
7. Boarding a Cable Car or a Chairlift
Nowhere to go but up! Just like in the song of Mary Poppins. And we suggest go up Monte Baldo too, one of my favorite places on lake Garda!
Not far away from the historical centre there is the main station. In just 15 minutes you will arrive at the final stop, where it seems to be landed in paradise on earth. What’s better than some hiking with friends in a sunny day? Mountains are always full of surprises, thanks to the hidden paths and a glorious vegetation. Even if there is a refuge located there, I give you a tip: why not taking a packed lunch to enjoy it lying on an endless green land? You just need to remember a towel sheet…Then, enjoy the landscape.
On the contrary, if you prefer a chairlift, you have to drive until San Zeno di Montagna at first. Secondly, in Prada, you can catch the new chairlift to Costabella, at 1850 mt altitude. At this point, once you arrive, you may could be a little hungry. That’s why the chalet Fiori del Baldo is located right a few minutes away… If you have never tried the delicious Gnocchi alle Ortiche, this is the perfect time to give it a chance.
One of the best panoramic spots among all the places to visit on Lake Garda is in the Northern side, by the way. Keep reading!
8. Hiking on the Busatte Tempesta Path
Great things take time… And effort, as well. That is why the Busatte Tempesta Path is not easy to find, neither to reach. However, once you are there, it will totally worth it. If you decide to leave from Busatte as I recommend, you can park your car at the Busatte Restaurant. It is located up on the hill of Torbole, a small, nice town on Lake Garda. Following the trail markings, you will leave the Adventure Park on the behind.
Before getting started, there is a rocky ledge where it seems many visitors had fun into stacking little stones one on another. It’s like leaving your sign, you know. Then, t he path begins.Personally, I am not aware about the highest point, but I can tell you the best! It is a long staircase, attached to the mountain by only one side. On the other one, there is nothing but air. From here, you can spot the entire Northern part of the lake… What a view.
After about 1 hour and a half, there is a crossroads. You can choose to come back or keep going on reaching Tempesta. Then, from Tempesta. It is usually leaving a bus to Torbole.
9. Walking along the Lazise-Bardolino-Garda
In my personal opinion, one of the most enchanting Lake Garda promenade is between Lazise, Bardolino and Garda. A lovely walk with a romantic view, enriched by beautiful flowers, especially in Bardolino
Obviously, the perfect moment to enjoy it is spring season, because flowers’ colours are at their best. On April and May, precisely, tulips will be the absolutely protagonists. Between the flowerbeds, enormous plain stones invite you to have a sit while taking some moment for relaxing.
However, I usually prefer to lay down tasting fiercely a chocolate ice cream. Furthermore, Bardolino is also famous for two attractions: the lake fountain waving on the water and a huge ferris wheel. Last one is a perfect place to take some pictures, especially during the sunset.
10. Reaching the top of Rocca di Garda and Rocca di Manerba
If you love walking outdoors, one of the 10 best things to do on Lake Garda is reaching the top of these two climbing spots. Let’ start with the east one, Rocca di Garda.
In Garda, there is not a road which does not take there. You can start from the historical centre, to enjoy the entire path, or park your car at Eremo di San Giorgio, in Bardolino. It’s a little church surrounded by the woods. While you are hiking you could spot a few deep caves. It goes without saying that is better not going inside… Anyway, I cannot provide for the curious ones not to get lost in translation.
However, the less you stop, the fastest you will be in reaching the top. Best period to come here? I may say on summer and autumn, with a sunny day. It’s easier to find a clear sky during these seasons. Most of all, the colours are just something else.
Let’s move to Rocca di Manerba instead. With the car, you are able to park at only 20 minutes by walk from the highest point. Anyway, by foot, you can begin from Pisenze Beach. The climb is hard, but once you got the top, you will immediately forget about that. Below the huge crucifix, there is a beautiful Natural Reserve totally worth walking.
10 Best Things to do on Lake Garda: Surroundings
1. Visiting Madonna della Corona Sanctuary
If you have never heard about that, there is a chance that you may have seen some pictures of it in your Instagram. The sanctuary called “Santuario Madonna della Corona” is unique. It is literally hanged to the mountain in an unbelievable way. For that, you have to reach it by foot by going down many, many steps… This sanctuary is as impressive as fascinating. Here it is asked not to talk loudly: it’s a spiritual place.
By the way, it is only in the silence that you can feel the nature’s sounds. There is a main reason why the church is located far away from the rest of the world: it is a real treasure. We must respect it only as guests. If you would like to visit the church for a mass, check the website to discover when they are taking place. Well, there is a secret I didn’t tell you before… There is always a shuttle bus, if you are too tired for coming back.
2. Discovering the “Collina di Lorenzo”
When I was a child, I used to love Peter Pan so much that I was always reading it while waiting for my little brother… In my dreams, him and I were flying to Neverland, where we could have been free, never worrying about growing up.
However, you know, reality is completely different… So, I grew up, realizing that it was just a fairy tale. I convinced myself not to believe those things anymore, when suddenly, something happened. I was just walking around the countryside of Castiglione delle Stiviere, on the Morainic Hills, when I saw it. Then, I have started to believe in dreams again!
That’s why I chose to include the Collina di Lorenzo among the 10 best things to do on Lake Garda and its surroundings.
You will be right on the top of a hill, when you will spot the “Collina di Lorenzo”. At first, you will reach a small Indian Village with colourful flags, tents and wooden sculptures of animals. Secondly, in the surroundings, you will also find an ancient vessel and hidden burrows. The alpinist Fausto De Stefani is the one who set up the entire work of art. A huge open-air didactic workshop for children, which is inspired by his recent trip to Nepal. Around the corner, there is also a little farm… That’s why this is the perfect place for animal lovers.
A sweet donkey, some sheep and a dwarf’s lake are only a few pieces of this incredible framework. On the other side of the woods, it is located an original amphitheatre where the chairs are tree trunks! If you are with your dog, there is no problem, just keep it on leash.
If you want to discover more about this magical site, check the related article about the hidden places to visit on Lake Garda.
3. Dropping in the Hyperspace in Verona
Hyperspace’s slogan is: “A gym as you dreamed of it” and I believe there is nothing truer. It is a great alternative instead of running or training, plus, it’s way more fun. In a few words, it is a trampoline park. You can practice acrobatic sport, but in an untraditional way. If it is the first time for you, you don’t have to be afraid. The Hyperspace team will lead you until you will learn pretty much everything. Do you want to know the best part of it? The Jump Arena!
If you are not an expert and you don’t have to improve your technical skills, I suggest you the freestyle. By the way, there are many other trainings, such as the cardio jumping workout. However, jumping is always the best physical activity for both body and heart. Time is over, so…No excuses.
4. Getting lost in an Escape Room in Affi
Tired of real world? If you need something out of the ordinary, you could try to get out of an escape room. Have you and your friends ever asked yourselves how close you guys are? For real? Then, I say it is the moment to find it out. In this game, mental connection is the secret. If you are capable to use that in the right way, you will survive.
There are three different experiences: The Investigate, the Isla Nublar and the Nautilius submarine as a prison. This is not only one of the 10 best and unusual things to do on Lake Garda, but also a way to strengthen your friendship. No one can do it alone, especially in an escape room. Finding the way out it is possible only if you work together. What happens if you do not manage to solve the enigma in only 60 minutes? Nothing bad, obviously. By the way, you will receive a discount to give it a second try.
5. Trekking on the Tibetan Bridge
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought many people to discover hidden places they thought that could never exist.. During this period I discovered the Tibetan Bridge, located on the mountains behind Torri del Benaco. One of the places to visit on Lake Garda.
Firstly, I suggest you wearing trekking shoes. In fact, at the beginning, the path is all downhill. The natural waterfalls are the sign that, in a few minutes, you will have to be brave. The first time I was almost crossing it, a kid began to run so fast right on the bridge! Obviously, I got scared a lot and I learned this is one of the worst things you could do, up there.
If you are bold enough to not let the fear wins, it will take you only a few seconds. Just breathe in and out, feeling the nature. It will be magical. However, a bad thing about this marvelous place is the return, I guess. It will take some time coming back, but you don’t have to be impatient. If are not focusing on it, it will not be arduous.
6. Swinging at Parco Cascate Molina
When I was a child, I was used to love July’s Tuesdays. On Monday evening, I had been writing “Tomorrow I’m going to see waterfalls!!” before falling asleep, dreaming about them. In fact, during the summer camp, every Tuesday was a special day. Precisely, they were used to take us to the mountains. By the way, at least one time, the destination was the natural park of Molina Waterfalls. It is not far away from the lake, you take only 45 minutes by car or by bus to reach it.
If only I had to do this list about the 10 best things to do on Lake Garda when I was 10 years old! This experience would have totally won the pole position. I still go there sometimes, when I have a free day. Besides the hiking paths inside the woods, the sound of water falling down is always relaxing me so much.
So, you can easily reach it from the places to visit on Lake Garda. As it was, my favourite part was the swing near the waterfall. In the past, I was too small to reach it… But now, swinging, I have fun into trying to touch the waterfall, my forever dream.
7. Challenging your friend at South Garda Karting
Are you looking for anything that could leave you breathless? In Lonato del Garda, in case you didn’t know, there is one of the most important go kart circuits on an international level! It is 1.200 metres long, 50 metres large, the perfect way to challenge your friends.
The South Garda Karting was built in 1988. It hosts local and national races, but it is also open to everyone who wants to try driving a real kart. If you have never experienced something like that, the South Garda Karting team will ensure you will be enjoying a great race.
One thing is for sure: South Garda Karting is for adrenaline lovers. If you are one of them, give it a chance… It is an unforgettable experience, and it is only possible in this place to visit on Lake Garda.
The circuit is completely safe, whether you are alone or with someone else. Furthermore, you don’t need to book it in advance. Then, to restore yourself, you can stop inside the bar restaurant located inside.
8. Visiting Parco Giardino Sigurtà
Among the 10 best things to do on Lake Garda I have to include Parco Giardino Sigurtà. If it sounds familiar it is because we have just talked about that at the beginning. If you can’t handle yourself with colours and flowers as me, I’m sure Parco Sigurtà will be your happy place.
Many visitors choose to come here during spring season. Did you know that it has been recognized as one of the most beautiful Europe Gardens? Especially on April and May, when the tulips blow! Looking at them, it seems to be staring at a rainbow… Nevertheless, I am a romantic one. I won’t be hiding from telling you that I love autumn season, when leaves seem falling down just like pieces into place. During the year, many events take place here, such as Cosplays and Halloween parties.
In case you’re wondering how big it is…This place to visit on Lake Garda is 60 hectares huge!
You will walk on soft lawns, searching for fairy tale spots, until you will find yourself in the street of roses, “Viale delle Rose”. In front of you, the Castle of Valeggio sul Mincio. People like Napoleon III and Joseph I of Austria have crossed these lands… Now, it’s your turn.
9. Climbing at the Jungle Adventure Park
Have you ever heard about the Jungle Adventure Park? It is the first national park where you can do some parkour into the nature. The original idea was born in France, where it was built an “active park” … However, what does it mean?
An active park is made of many attractions where you have to strive a little to have some fun. It requires a focus on what are you doing, because each path has its complications. By the way, once your experience is over, you will be asking yourself when the next time comes!
The Jungle Adventure Park has five different itineraries. The easiest ones are the Violet, the Green and the Blue, while the Black and the Red ones are the most difficult. If you need an adrenaline rush, choose the last ones. Anyway, before getting started the staff team will explain you how it works, to enhance your safety. You will face Tibetan bridges, endless zip-lines… And be ready to jump from tree by tree. Just for the day, you will live as Tarzan does!
10. Hiking around the Monte Baldo
Monte Baldo is also known as the “Garden of Europe”: it’s a mountain located near to lot of places to visit on Lake Garda. Let’s discover why.
If you are interested in hiking paths, you will learn the best ones in the last section. Now, I would like you to imagine forests and woodlands, snow covered peaks and a light blue sky. It’s right here, in this breath-taking place, that animals are free of living their best life. That’s why I couldn’t miss this as one of the 10 best things to do on Lake Garda. Raptors and birds, stags, groundhogs and tiny squirrels.
It has happened me just one time to lose myself in the middle of grazing cows. That was strange although it didn’t sound scary at all, at least until I saw some bulls, too! I was petrified, but I remembered what my aunt was always saying to me. Do not be afraid or they will feel that, just keep going on as slow as you can. It’s a luck to see these impressive animals a little bit closer. Especially in the area of Novezza, you could also spot ermines, brown eagles and foxes. A classic scenario of Monte Baldo is usually made of grazing sheeps and breeding horses.