Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake and a popular travel destination. The Lago di Garda, as it is called in Italian, is located in northern Italy. It lies between the Alps and the Po plain to the south. The north shore of the lake is framed by the Lake Garda mountains. These include two thousand meter peaks such as Monte Baldo.
There are 5 islands in the lake, the largest of which is Isola del Garda. Another popular destination is the island of San Biagio. The places in the vicinity of Lake Garda such as the mountain village of Bagolino or the city of Verona contribute to a varied holiday with their sights.
In the following we present the most exciting tours, the most beautiful attractions and the best sights on Lake Garda.
1. Villa Borghese (Isola del Garda)
The villa, built in the Venetian style, is located on the Isola del Garda. It is surrounded by lush, colorful gardens, which earned the island the nickname “Mainau am Gardasee”. The villa is one of the most beautiful sights on Lake Garda and one of the most visited places.
In addition to exotic plants such as palm trees, magnolias, orange and lemon trees, some of the splendid rooms of the villa can also be viewed during a tour. The crossing by boat, which is offered by various places on Lake Garda, is part of the island tour. A tour takes about 2 hours.
2. Stroll through the old town in Sirmione
The old town of Sirmione is characterized by narrow streets and quiet squares. Cafes, restaurants as well as antique shops and boutiques attract numerous visitors. One of the sights is the Rocca Scaligero from the 13th century. The castle is located on the shores of Lake Garda.
With its curtain walls, it shields the city from the mainland. Visitors can only reach the interior of the fortress over the moat via the drawbridge. The towers of the castle complex not only offer a view of the town’s harbor. Lake Garda can also be overlooked from here.
3. Gardaland amusement park
The Gardaland amusement park was opened in 1975 in the Lake Garda municipality of Castelnuovo del Garda. Since then it has been one of the most popular sights on Lake Garda and is visited by up to 3 million visitors every year. The park is divided into different themed areas and offers numerous rides.
These include roller coasters, freefall towers as well as whitewater and ghost rides. But there are also carousels for toddlers. In addition, various shows are offered several times a day. Circus performances with acrobatics can be experienced as well as musical shows with dancers and singers. Light and laser shows and weekly fireworks complete the park’s attractions.
4. Gardaland Sea Life Aquarium
The Sea Life Aquarium has also been located in Caselnuovo del Garda since 2008. In 40 themed water basins, the natural habitats of marine life from the fresh and salt water zones were modeled. The aquarium is home to around 100 different species. In addition to sea lions, they also include clown fish and starfish.
Visitors can go on a special kind of dive in a transparent tunnel. Imposing rays and colorful tropical fish swim right past you. Feeding the sharks is a special highlight. An interactive pool and documentary films complete the offer of the aquarium.
5. Bagolino mountain village
The Italian municipality of Bagolino is located about 60 kilometers northwest of Lake Garda. It lies at an altitude of about 780 meters. The townscape is characterized by farms and houses that support each other. Architectural elements such as arcades, terraces, underpasses, balconies and wrought iron grids complete the structural ensemble. Wall frescoes with mostly religious motifs and sacred buildings are among the sights of Bagolino.
The parish church of San Giorgio can be seen from afar. The cathedral in the mountains, as it is also called, sits enthroned on a hill above the upper part of the village. The church dates from 1636. The mountain village is also known for its carnival season, which is celebrated with multi-day parades and folk dances.
6. Gardone Botanical Garden
The Gardone Botanical Garden is open to the public from March to October. It is located in the municipality of Gardone Riviera and has a size of about 1.5 hectares. Its beginnings go back to the years between 1910 and 1914. During this time, its founder created the core of the garden from a vineyard and an olive grove.
In the course of time many more exotic plants were added and made the place an important sight on Lake Garda. The garden is now home to more than 2,000 species of plants. In addition, small streams were created. From them a real network of lakes and ponds emerged.
7. Excursion to Monte Baldo
The ridge of Monte Baldo is part of the Lake Garda mountains. It has a height of more than 2,200 meters. The “Funivia Malcesine – Monte Baldo” cable car leads from Malcesine to the mountain station. The journey takes about 8 minutes. Downhill riders and paragliders prefer to start their tours from here.
But hikers and visitors who just want to enjoy the wonderful panoramic view over Lake Garda will also get their money’s worth. Both at the middle station (1,187 meters altitude) and at the mountain station (1,760 meters altitude) of the cable car there are restaurants that invite you to linger.
8. Cascate del Varone (waterfall)
The Varone waterfall is located in the town of Tenno. It is about 100 meters high and has its source in the Magnone River. This is fed by Lake Tenno and flows below the Ravizze Valley to Lake Garda. The waterfall was opened to the public in 1874.
Since then it has been a must for most tourists and one of the natural attractions in the Lake Garda region. Well-known visitors such as Emperor Franz Joseph I, Thomas Mann or Franz Kafka have already attended this natural spectacle. The water level is most impressive, especially in early summer.
9. Sightseeing and shopping in Verona
The historic city on the Adige awaits with numerous sights. The old town of Verona has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Verona is world famous as the setting for the Shakespeare tragedy “Romeo and Juliet”. The Casa di Giulietta with its balcony is a popular photo object. There are also several churches, the Castelveccio castle and a Roman amphitheater.
The famous opera festival takes place in this arena in the summer months. But a visit to Verona is also suitable for a varied shopping tour. In addition to elegant luxury shops, there are modern shopping malls, antique shops and lively street markets.
10. Riovalli water park
The Parco Acquatico Riovalli is located in the southeast of Lake Garda, in the locality of Cavaion Veronese. The main attractions of this outdoor pool include several breathtaking water slides. In addition to a large swimming pool, there is also an extensive non-swimmer area.
In the Laguna Bimbi the little ones can let off steam in the cool water. A children’s playground and a large lawn for sunbathing complete the offer of the swimming pool. A pizzeria and a snack bar take care of the physical well-being of the guests.