There is a lake in Italy with crystal clear water, palm trees on the water's edge, and snowy peaks. The world-famous Lake Garda offers a breathtaking view that is almost unique in the whole world. Due to its Mediterranean and alpine vibe, it uniquely combines active and passive relaxation.

You can take part in the cultural events of the small Italian cities that surround the lake. And if you prefer to relax in nature, the area is full of hiking, biking, surfing, and boating experiences. Thanks to the vineyards, olive groves and the associated pleasant mountain air, the trip will remain an eternal memory.


Cities of Lake Garda Known for Attractions and things to do
Sirmione Peninsula on the lake Scaligero Fortress, Grotte di Catullo ruins
Peschiera del Garda Waterpark hub Gardaland Amusement Park, Caneva Aquapark, Moviland Studios, swimming
Lazise Vibrant, colorful buildings Spiagga D'Oro beach
Bardolino Wine region with festivals Santurio Madonna della Corona,
Malcesine Venetian style medieval city Monte Baldo, Scaligero Castle, Palazzo dei Capitani
Torbole Surfing and boating centre Sarca river, swimming
Riva del Garda Capital of the lake, hiking hub Clock Tower, Bastione fortress, waterfalls
Limone Lemon-flavoured local specialities Romantic streets
Salo Longest coastal promenade Swimming

Northern Italy is a trendy destination, as it can be reached from many European countries on the highway (Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, France, Germany, etc.).

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Map - Where is Lake Garda?

The lake is located in the north of Italy. The unique feature of the lake is that it belongs to three provinces. Residents of the Veneto, Lombardy and Trentino counties can enjoy the picturesque lake's features. You will find the vast Italian lake almost halfway between Venice and Milan. The closest major city is Verona.

  • Distance from Verona: 30 mins / 40 km
  • Distance from Milan: 2 hours / 140 km
  • Distance from Bolzano: 2 hours / 150 km
  • Distance from Venice: 3 hours / 240 km
  • Distance from Rome: 6.5 hours / 560 km
Lake Garda map - Venice distance
The lake is south of the Alps, so its climate and vegetation are Mediterranean and alpine.


You can stay anywhere around the lake. The prices are roughly the same, but if you book well in advance, you can save even 10 - 20% on the prices.

How many days should you go?

If you have the opportunity, you can go around the lake and visit most of the sights in a 4-day trip. If you have a week, then in the remaining three days you can have a well-deserved rest and spend more time at the beach or the surrounding mountains! We can assure you there will be no shortage of experiences and sights!

Do you like lakes? Read more: Lakes in Italy 

Lake Garda Itinerary

We tried to fill this itinerary with different types of attractions. Do you prefer sightseeing in medical towns or surfing and swimming in a buzzing city? Or would you climb Monte Baldo or take an easy hike to some local waterfalls? You will find everything you dreamed of, from winetasting to amusement parks.

In this itinerary, we start the journey at the southern tip of the lake, then go to the eastern direction and travel around from this direction.

Lake Garda Itinerary - roundtrip around the lake. The net driving duration is only 5-6 hours. The distances between the cities and attractions are insignificant.
Itinerary Cities, things to do
Day 1 Sirmione, Peschiera del Garda
Day 2 Lazise, Bardolino
Day 3 Malcesine, Monte Baldo
Day 4 Torbole, Riva del Garda
Extra day Limone and Saló

Attractions and cities

There are two nature parks nearby, which are not included in our post. One is the Regionale della Lessinia on the east, the other is Parco dell'Alto Garda Bresciano on the west. If you prefer nature, you might want to extend your time and discover them.


To the south, Sirmione, a small medieval town, is one of the most popular resorts in the area, as the city is located on a peninsula. It is worth taking a few hour's walk through the narrow, crowded streets of the city centre and visiting the Scaligero Fortress (a beautifully preserved medieval castle). After the castle, you can walk a few minutes to the excavated remains of an old Roman villa, the ruins of the Grotte di Catullo. Making the day even more exciting, you can use a small train between the two stations.

If you want to cool off, Jamaica Beach, on the top of the island, is an excellent place. The rocky and pebble beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the lake. Also worth mentioning is Laguna Beach in the eastern part of the city. Several restaurants, cafeterias, playgrounds, grassy areas and sports facilities exist. And if you want high-quality relaxation, the Aquaria Thermal Spa is waiting for you with plenty of thermal baths, whirlpools, pools and saunas.

Attractions of Sirmione Prices Summer opening hours
Scaligero Frotress 4-6 euros Mon-Sat 8:30 - 19:30, Sunday 8:30 - 13:30
Train 1-2 euros -
Jamaica és Laguna beaches Free 0-24
Lake Garda attractions - City of Sirmione

#2 Peschiera del Garda

After Sirmione, we were heading east. The next stop is Peschiera del Garda, which is 20 minutes away. It is worth visiting the city fortress and drinking coffee on the small islands at the mouth of the Mincio River. From here, you can admire the medieval buildings reflected in the lake.

Gardaland Amusement Park, Italy's big adventure and amusement park, is located approximately 10 minutes drive from the city. There are seven exciting roller coasters in the park and a vast aquarium. The whole family can enjoy themselves in the park, as there are interesting and exciting games for all ages.  

It is only possible to visit the park at a pre-selected time with a ticket purchased online. And if that wasn't enough, you can splash from a height of 40 meters in the lesser-known Caneva Aquapark or watch movie scenes and stuntmen in live action in the Movieland Studios.

Peschiera del Garda attractions Prices Summer opening hours
Gardaland 35-30 euros Every day, 10:00 - 18:00
Caneva aquapark 30-22 euros Every day, 10:00 - 19:00
Movieland 28-22 euros Every day, 10:00 - 19:00
  • Movieland's address: Via Fossalta, 58, 37017 Lazise VR, Italy
  • Address of Caneva Aquapark: Via Fossalta, 58, 37017 Fossalta VR, Italy
Peschiera del Garda


Driving along the lake's eastern shore, it is also worth stopping in the town of Lazise. The medieval city wall has been preserved, so the centre can only be accessed through the three gates. The colourful and cosy buildings of the port can be found in the southern part of the city. The city of Lazise is a genuinely vibrant Mediterranean gem where life is always bubbling.

One of the most beautiful beaches in the area is located at the Spiagga D'Oro Campsite. On the sandy beach, uniquely shaped trees provide helpful shade. The atmosphere reminiscent of the beach promises absolute relaxation for families and couples.

Lazise, ​​Lake Garda


Driving further from Lazise, ​​the next small town worth stopping at is Bardolino. Unlike other crowded small towns, the small fisherman's village is quiet and peaceful. The area is known for its excellent vineyards and red wine. Bardolino and Lazise are only 15 minutes away (by car).

  • Bardolino Wine Festival: The most famous wine festival in the area, the Bardolino Wine Festival, is held every autumn. In 2019, the celebration occurred between October 3-7, and last year between October 1-5.
  • Santurio Madonna della Corona: You can find another wonder within a short distance from the towns of Lazise and Bardolino. The St. Madonna church built into the rock face is only 30 minutes from the two settlements. The Santurio Madonna della Corona has graced the side of the mountain since 1625. The church also has a website to find out about the current opening hours online. Address: Vicolo Santuario, 1, 37020 Ferrara di Monte Baldo VR, Italy. Distance from the city of Lazise: 30 minutes / 27 km.
Lake Garda - Church of Madonna della Corona


About an hour from Lazise is the town of Malcesine, which has also preserved many buildings from the Middle Ages. The city belonged to Venetian rule for a while, so you can find something reminiscent of Venice on almost every corner. On the shore of the lake, you will find the Scaligero Castle, built in the 13th century, and the Palazzo dei Capitani is a few minutes walk away. In addition, from Malcesine, you can reach the 2,218-meter-high peak of Monte Baldo.

Malcesine attractions Prices Summer opening hours
Cablecar 22-10 euro Every day, 8:00 - 18:30
Scaligero 6-3 euros Every day, 9:00 - 19:00
Palazzo dei Capitani Free Every day, 7:30 - 20:00
  • Address of the Scaligero Castle: Via Castello, 37018 Malcesine VR, Italy
  • Address of Palazzo dei Capitani: Via Capitanato, 4, 37018 Malcesine VR, Italy
Malcesine, Lake Garda

Monte Baldo (2218 m)

One of the most popular attractions of the lake, the Monte Baldo cable car, starts from the town of Malcesine and takes you to a height of 1,750 meters. You will have a fantastic view from the small glass cabinets rotating around their axis. The ascent takes about 20 minutes. After the cable car, you can reach the top on foot with a short hike. After getting to the summit, you can refresh yourself in cafes and restaurants on the top.

  • You can easily find MTB tours, where a local tour guide will help you find your way around. Several companies also offer electric bicycles for rent. From easy to difficult, you will discover MTB trails at all levels.
  • Are you trying out a more daring program? Look at the great blue water from a bird's eye view. During the approximately 20-minute flight, you will land with a paraglider from the top of the mountain to the shore of the lake - of course, all with a local, professional guide.
Monte Baldo mountain
Monte Baldo is not only a perfect hiking spot but also an ideal terrain for bike tours and paragliding.


Going north on the eastern side of the lake, leaving the Riserva Naturale Integrale Gardesana Orientale National Park, you can reach the next stop, Torbole, in 40 minutes. Located at the northeastern tip of the lake, Torbole is internationally renowned as an excellent surfing centre.

Thanks to the Sarca River and the wind blowing down the side of Monte Bondone, the water near the town has excellent waves. Even if you are not a fan of surfing, you should visit the shore of the lake and the beaches. The sandy shore of Torbole offers one of the most beautiful views of the lake.

If you want something more comfortable than surfing but more exciting than sunbathing, we recommend motor boating and sailing.

Riva del Garda

Leaving the fantastic shores of Torbole, the next stop is Riva del Garda, considered the capital of the lake. The city is in a beautiful natural setting, as the Monte Brione mountain range extends almost to the lake. The area has incredible hiking trails, and you also have the opportunity to climb mountains. And as a water sports lover, the possibilities are almost endless!

Find several viewpoints in and around the city. Examples include the Torre Apponale, a 34-meter-high 13th-century Clock Tower, or the Bastione fortress, located half an hour's walk from the city.

On Ponale Road, you can reach the Panola waterfall in 2 hours. The Varone waterfall is a little further from the city, approximately 3 km away. The hiking route is well signposted, and you will enjoy a fantastic view during the walk, as the region has a unique climate due to the waterfalls. While admiring the flora, you won't notice the 115 steps leading to the waterfall's last cave.

  • You must buy an entrance ticket for the waterfall, which costs 5 euros.
  • Riva del Garda is less than 10 minutes by car from Torbole.
Riva del Garda
Capitol of Lake Garda - Riva del Garda


Driving along the lake's western shore, it is worth stopping first in Limone sul Garda, which you can reach through numerous tunnels and steep rock walls. From Limone, you can even sail to the other side, but if you only want to stop for a few hours, you might prefer exploring the small streets around the port. In the city with a romantic atmosphere, you can taste authentic lemon-flavoured local specialities. Buying souvenirs for the family will not be a problem here.

Limone, Lake Garda
The city of Limone


If you continue south after the short walk, you will arrive in Saló - a little more than 1 hour by car. It is the last stop on our trip around the lake. The city is notable for having the longest coastal promenade among the towns belonging to the lake.


If it turns out that you would like to try diving or scuba diving, you can do all this in the lake as well. You can find a guide in Italian here and in English here.

Getting there by plane

The lake is 130 km from Milan - where you can find the closest airport. Some arrive in Venice, spend a few days there, and then head to the lake. Whichever you choose, the easiest way to get around the lake is by renting a car. It's good to know that there is public transport between the cities of the lake. You can use the local bus network around Lake Garda.

The area is full of excursions, hiking and leisure activities. Lake Garda turns into a beach paradise in the summer, but it's also a fantastic sight in the winter when you can even go skiing. We hope you found the summary helpful. If so, share it with your friends. Have a nice trip! Trekhunt team ❤️