Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Lake Garda, where we unveil the top 10 things to do in this stunning destination. Situated in northern Italy, Lake Garda offers a breathtaking backdrop of natural beauty, cultural treasures, and thrilling adventures. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply looking to relax amidst picturesque landscapes, Lake Garda offers many activities and experiences that will leave you in awe. From exploring charming lakeside towns to embarking on thrilling outdoor adventures, this guide will serve as your ultimate resource to unlock a spectacular journey and create unforgettable memories. So, let’s dive right in and discover the hidden gems and must-visit attractions that Lake Garda has in store for you.
Table of Contents
Lake Garda things to do
What are the best things to do at Lake Garda? What are the top 10 attractions, things to do, or towns? What are things to do for families? When it rains? And in winter? Let’s see together!
TOP 10 Things to do in Lake Garda
Discover the top 10 wonders of the stunning Lake Garda, Italy! Explore Lake Garda’s history, landmarks, and attractions. From breathtaking views of the Dolomites to ancient Roman ruins!
By continuing to read this post, you’ll gain an insider insight into this beautiful part of the world. We provide an in-depth overview of the most iconic sights, making planning your dream vacation easier.
Now is your chance to learn all you need to know about Lake Garda’s 10 most incredible attractions.
- Sirmione: castle + Baths of Catullus
- Malcesine: historic center + castle and beach + cable car
- Bardolino: beautiful walk along the lakefront
- Salò: elegant lakeside promenade + historic center full of shops + Big bench
- Desenzano del Garda: beautiful beach + ancient marina and castle with a visit to Lake Garda
- Lazise: Marina + sunsets seen from the lakefront + historic center (Lazise is the first municipality in Italy)
- Peschiera del Garda: fortifications and long beaches
- Toscolano Maderno
- Limone and cycle path on the lake
- Riva del Garda nestled in the mountains
Sirmione is a charming city located on the shores of Lake Garda in northern Italy. Among the main attractions to visit, the Scaligero Castle stands out, an imposing medieval fortress with a breathtaking panoramic view. Another unmissable stop is the Grotte di Catullo, an ancient Roman archaeological complex that offers an immersion in history. Finally, a pleasant walk along the Sirmione peninsula with its charming alleys and beautiful historic center is an experience not to be missed.
In Malcesine, there are several places to visit. One of the main points of interest is the Scaligero Castle, which offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Lake Garda. Furthermore, the Monte Baldo cable car is an unmissable experience to admire the surrounding landscapes. Finally, the historic center of Malcesine with its picturesque streets and characteristic shops is ideal for a pleasant walk.
In Bardolino there are several attractions to visit. One of the main ones is the Church of San Severo, an impressive Romanesque church with frescoes and a panoramic view of the city. Furthermore, the Olive Oil Museum offers an interesting journey to discover the olive oil tradition. Finally, you cannot miss a walk along the lakeside, where you can find shops, restaurants and a splendid view of Lake Garda.
In Salò, a city located on the shores of Lake Garda, there are several attractions to visit. Among these, the Palazzo della Magnifica Patria stands out, a historic building that houses the city museum, and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Annunziata, with its imposing façade and richly decorated interiors. Furthermore, I recommend taking a walk along the lakefront, admiring the view and enjoying the unique atmosphere of Salò.
Desenzano del Garda
Desenzano del Garda is a town on the shores of Lake Garda, full of attractions to visit. Starting from its fascinating historic centre, with its picturesque streets and squares, you can also admire the majestic Rocca di Desenzano and the suggestive Torre San Martino. Furthermore, you cannot miss the magnificent lakeside walk and the visit to the Desenzano Castle, which offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding area.
Lazise is a splendid town on Lake Garda that offers many attractions to visit. Among the main things to see in Lazise are the historic center from which you can glimpse the Scaligero Castle and the Porto Vecchio, a picturesque marina with restaurants and shops. Furthermore, we recommend exploring the historic center with its charming streets and squares.
Peschiera del Garda
Peschiera del Garda offers several attractions to visit. Among these, you can admire the majestic Venetian walls surrounding the city’s historic center and the suggestive tourist port. Furthermore, we recommend exploring the Sigurtà Garden Park, a wonderful botanical garden that offers breathtaking views of Lake Garda. Finally, you cannot miss a visit to the Museum of Fishing and Lake Traditions, where you can discover interesting archaeological finds and learn about the area’s history.
Toscolano Maderno offers a wide range of attractions to visit. Among these, the Church of San Pietro e Paolo stands out, with its period frescoes, and the Roman Villa, an archaeological site of great historical importance. Furthermore, the lakefront offers breathtaking views and the opportunity to relax in the shade of the trees.
Limone sul Garda offers a wide range of tourist attractions. Among the main attractions to visit are the lemon groves: real open-air museums. A walk along the lakeside is a pleasant way to admire the place’s natural beauty. Finally, the magnificent cycle path on the lake is one of the most beautiful things to see and ride in Limone sul Garda.
Riva del Garda
Riva del Garda is a splendid town located on the shores of Lake Garda, full of attractions to visit. Among the main things to see, the majestic Riva Castle, which offers a breathtaking panoramic view, and the Alto Garda Museum, where it is possible to discover the history and culture of the area. Furthermore, the suggestive beaches along the lake and sporting activities, such as sailing and climbing, make Riva del Garda an ideal destination for lovers of nature and outdoor sports.
Lake Garda things to do families
Lake Garda offers a plethora of activities that cater to families. From exploring picturesque towns such as Sirmione and Limone sul Garda to enjoying water sports like sailing and windsurfing, there is something for everyone. Families can also visit theme parks like Gardaland and Caneva World, or venture into nature by hiking in the surrounding mountains. With its stunning scenery and diverse range of family-friendly attractions, Lake Garda is an ideal destination for an enjoyable and memorable vacation.
Lake Garda things to do when it rains
When it rains at Lake Garda, there are still plenty of enjoyable activities to partake in. Visitors can explore the charming towns along the lakeside, such as Sirmione or Malcesine, and immerse themselves in the local history and culture by visiting museums or historic landmarks. Additionally, indulging in the region’s renowned culinary scene is a delightful option, with numerous restaurants and cafes offering delicious meals and local specialties. Lastly, seeking shelter in the numerous boutique shops or engaging in wine-tasting experiences can provide a pleasant indoor respite from the rain.
Lake Garda fun things to do
Lake Garda offers a plethora of enjoyable activities for visitors to indulge in. From the more classic activities, such as exploring charming lakeside towns like Sirmione and Malcesine, to engaging in thrilling water sports like windsurfing and sailing, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Additionally, the lake is surrounded by picturesque landscapes and vineyards, providing ample opportunities for hiking, biking, and wine tasting.
In the area, many different theme parks such as Gardaland (rollercoaster and other attractions), Movieland (rollercoaster and other attractions), Canenva (water park), and Sigurtà (beautiful garden park) can give a different look to your holiday if you’re looking for fun.
Lake Garda in winter
Visiting Lake Garda is a good idea also in winter but we want to know something more about Lake Garda in winter such as what to do and where to stay.
Where is it best to stay in winter on Lake Garda?
Since during autumn and winter, the sun rises in the South-East and sets in the South-West, it is better to stay on the North-East coast of Lake Garda. In fact, the locations on the South-West coast are reached by shade earlier in the afternoon than those on the South-East coast.
Let’s take November 18th, 2023, as an example. In Desenzano del Garda at 3 pm on November 18th, much of the lakefront is in the shade. For this reason, we have decided to move to another location such as Sirmione or Lazise. Sirmione is a strip of land that enters the lake and is, therefore, more exposed to the sun, and Lazise remains further away and, therefore, more exposed to the sun.
Then, the lakeside of Desenzano remains lower than the rest of the city. In fact, to get to the lakefront, you must take a downhill road. When the sun begins to set behind Desenzano, the lakeside area is the first part to be covered by shadow and where the sun’s rays can no longer reach.
Furthermore, it is better to stay on the east coast of Lake Garda in winter because on the west coast, the sun sets earlier, partly also due to the mountains which at a certain time of day do not allow the day’s rays to warm the places on the west coast. In Salò, in fact, the sun sets much earlier than in Lazise.
Returning to our example of November 18, 2023 we can say that in Lazise and at 4 in the afternoon the lakefront is still fully illuminated by the sun. At the same time, Desenzano and Salò are in the shade and therefore the perceived cold is greater. Also on November 18, 2023 in Lazise the sun set at 4.45 pm and until 4.35 pm the sun still illuminated the lakefront.
Lake Garda things to do in winter
Lake Garda offers a myriad of captivating activities to indulge in during the winter months. Visitors can embrace the enchanting beauty of the lake and its surroundings by exploring the charming lakeside villages or embarking on invigorating hikes through the scenic hillsides. Additionally, winter sports enthusiasts can partake in thrilling skiing and snowboarding adventures on the nearby slopes. Whether it’s savoring the local cuisine, visiting historic landmarks, or simply relishing the tranquil ambiance, Lake Garda provides an unforgettable winter experience for all.
Boat on Lake Garda in winter
In winter, the scheduled boat service on Lake Garda is suspended. Normally, only the Torri-Maderno and return ferry service is active.
What to pack for Lake Garda in winter?
Here are some essential things to pack for your travel to Lake Garda in winter:
- A least one sweater
- Heavy jacket
- Long trousers
Here are some additional contents that may interest you related to the topic “Lake Garda things to do”
- Things to do in Sirmione Italy Lake Garda: 1 Amazing Town!
- Things to do in Desenzano del Garda Lake Garda Italy
Pinterest board: “Lake Garda Italy things to do”