ALTO GARDA

A Dolomite tailspin, extending from the city of Trento and heading south towards Lake Garda.

Alto Garda is a small piece of land that follows the course of the Sarca river and flows into Italy’s largest lake. We will also tell you about the mountain of the Trentino, Monte Bondone, together with lakes, ponds, expanses of vineyards, spectacular landscapes, and walls to climb!

But not only that, but we also have suggestions for your palate. But don’t thank us: it’s our job, our passion.

 

TOP 5 

  • Visit Riva del Garda
  • Exploring the caves of the Varone waterfalls
  • Falling in love with Arco and climbing
  • Tasting Alto Garda wine, oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Discovering the lakes in this area

MAIN LOCATIONS

RIVA DEL GARDA

Riva del Garda is located on the northern shore of Lake Garda and offers numerous activities and magical places to visit. A tour of the center is a must, and we recommend the Rocca di Riva, a defensive fortress dating back to 1124. Now home to the MAG, Museo dell’Alto Garda, you can’t miss the view from the top of the building.

In the old town center, you can climb the 34-meter-high Apponale Tower, located on Piazza 3 Novembre, the heart of the village. At the top of the tower, you will see the symbol of Riva, the Anzolim, a bronze angel.

Don’t miss a stroll along the lakeside promenade, with its suggestive views and corners for children. While you’re enjoying an aperitif, you can watch the many sporting activities that take place on the lake: kitesurfing and sailing above all. Riva is considered an open-air gym, thanks to the many sporting activities that its territory offers: in addition to those already mentioned, paragliding, walking, mountain biking, climbing, vie ferrate, and canyoning.

If you love to be fascinated by the power of nature, we recommend you reach the Varone waterfalls, a 100-meter drop of the Magnone stream from the waters of Lake Tenno.

DRENA

Here we are in the tiny village of Drena, bordering Dro to the south, which boasts a medieval castle that is well worth a visit. The view from the rocky spur is magnificent!

For adventure enthusiasts, we recommend the Rio Sallagoni via ferrata, a route suitable for all types of training that will give you unforgettable views of the canyon.

DRO

The municipality of Dro is located halfway between Trento and Alto Garda. Famous for its plum cultivation, it lies in the shadow of Monte Brento, whose summit is called Becco dell’Aquila (Eagle’s Beak) and is a favorite destination for base jumpers (athletes who jump with wingsuits) who find in this valley the ideal mix of winds for their extreme experiments. 

At Dro and in the area you can also discover the winemaking tradition in the numerous wine cellars.

 

Don’t miss a visit to the Marocche Park: the largest expanse of exposed rock in Europe, where you can try your hand at being an archaeologist and look for dinosaur fossil footprints.

ARCO

The symbol of Arco is the beautiful spur on which its castle stands, truly something poetic! Arriving from Trento, the view (and the heart!) opens up and the road descends while your eyes can already make out Lake Garda.

Arco is the most densely populated town in the Alto Garda area and has many corners to discover. Religious architecture is dotted around this town and historical buildings alternate with modern ones, making Arco a town rich in history, but also contemporary. In addition to the Castle, we recommend that you do not miss the Arco Arboretum, a park with numerous species of plants and flowers, some of which are rare. The Hermitage of San Paolo, also worth a visit, is a sacred building dating back to 1186, which contains magnificent frescoes of the Last Supper. Because of its exceptional treasure, this church can only be visited with a guide.

Last but not least, Arco is one of the most important destinations for those who love rock climbing: the limestone attracts many lovers of this sport and in autumn it is not uncommon to see numerous climbers hanging on the wall!

If you’ve never tried it and would like to, the advice is to contact the local tourist board and have the mountain guides follow you: once you’ve tried it, you won’t be able to do without it!

In case of bad weather, you can always try the indoor gym.

TENNO

The enchanting medieval village of Tenno is an alternative destination for lake lovers looking for a quiet location. Surrounded by mountains, Tenno enjoys the mild climate of Lake Garda.

Tenno Castle (12th century) dominates the village, made up of stone houses and narrow medieval streets, with a spectacular panoramic view of Lake Garda.

Don’t miss the nearby Lake Tenno, unique for its blue-green color and clear waters. A long flight of steps leads up to the grassy shores of the lake, ideal for a dip in nature or to photograph the rich palette of colors of the lake and the forest.

The village of Canale, between the village of Tenno and the lake, is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy: in summer Rustico Medioevo is held here, with games and street performances to relive the medieval atmosphere of the village.

If you come here, be sure to try the Carne Salada, a real delicacy, perhaps accompanied by a drizzle of Garda extra virgin olive oil. Here there is an excellent restaurant that produces oil and balsamic vinegar from the Alto Garda region: a real delicacy that we recommend as a gift for yourself or anyone else!

CURIOSITY

 

Every year Arco hosts the Arcobonsai, a convention dedicated to bonsai, together with the Arcofiori event, a market-exhibition of nursery gardening and local products. Thanks to Arcobonsai, Arco has become a reference point throughout Europe for bonsai culture and cultivation.

WINTER ACTIVITIES

Even in winter, Alto Garda is an endless surprise of activities to do all outdoors (or almost). Alpine skiing on nearby Mount Bondone or Mount Baldocross-country skiingwinter trekking, Nordic walking, and snowshoeing. Are you ready to be fascinated by this corner of Trentino?

SUMMER ACTIVITIES

In this unique environment, set between the lake and the mountains, the Alto Garda area offers numerous activities for outdoor enthusiasts: sailing, windsurfing, trekking, vie ferrate, climbing, mountain biking, and canyoning.

 

Now we have a question for you: is that enough?

SKIING AND EXCURSION AREAS

ALTO GARDA

There are plenty of activities for all seasons in the Alto Garda region and we would like to try to fit everything into this article, but we realize it is a bit difficult.

Let’s take it slow!

For rock-climbing enthusiasts, this area is a real temple of climbing: there are 17 crags with countless routes of all difficulties and magnificent views. The Belvedere crag in Nago, for example, is a popular destination: from its 54 routes, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Sarca river flowing into Lake Garda.

This is also a paradise for vie ferrate: no less than 10 routes of medium and high difficulty that you absolutely must try! At Sarche, one of the most challenging ferratas in Italy is the Rino Pisetta ferrata. Also not to be missed is the Friendship Via Ferrata above Riva del Garda. The view will fill your heart, guaranteed!

But if you are looking for a fascinating route and if you are strong of heart, we recommend the “Lady of the Waters” via ferrata: climbing up the path of a waterfall and passing over it using suspended steel ropes is an emotion that will stay with you forever!

As far as trekking is concerned, the routes are endless. There is a great variety and more or less demanding altitudes: from Monte Altissimo to nearby Monte Bondone there are trails that will help you take your mind off things and enjoy your holiday.

Doable in a day, the trekking routes that the Alto Garda offers are all worth an experience.

We would like to point out the caves of the Varone waterfalls, a true geological rarity that will allow you to live a unique experience: more than 20,000 years of erosion by water that falls in a sensational jump for about 100 meters! From Riva follow the road to Tenno and you will see the signs. You can visit the lower cave, which is already very impressive with its path on steel walkways that will take you to the heart of the waterfall. We encourage you to continue by climbing the 115 steps that will take you through a botanical garden to the upper cave. This excursion is suitable for everyone, especially children, who will be able to see a truly unique spectacle of nature and learn about the variety of plants in the Botanical Garden.

MONTE BALDO

The slopes on Monte Baldo are among the most suggestive: skiing with a view of the lake is truly priceless! Among the slopes, the most challenging and famous is the “Prà Alpesina“, approved for national and international ski competitions, with its numerous connecting variations, on which you can enjoy spectacular sunsets over the lake.

Fans of evolutions have at their disposal the Baldo Snowpark, equipped with a soft fall mattress, which offers fun in complete safety.

For lovers of nature and walking, the Malcesine Monte Baldo cable car offers the possibility to fully enjoy the Monte Baldo landscape even during the winter season, with numerous paths for the more experienced but also for those who want to try snowshoeing for the first time.

During the summer season, there are many activities to do on Monte Baldo, including an interesting horse riding excursion along with the Ippostrada del Baldo. But there’s more: trekking and Nordic walkingmountain bike trails and it won’t be difficult to see someone launching themselves on a paraglider, for an evocative flight between mountains and lake.

VALLE DEI LAGHI

To the north of the Alto Garda area lies the suggestive Valle dei Laghi (Valley of the Lakes): a dozen or so enchanting little Alpine lakes surrounded by expanses of vineyards offering unique aromas and flavors, characteristic villages, and medieval castles. A truly suggestive corner, between alpine landscapes and lake views, an ideal destination for families looking for a holiday in nature and for sports lovers: we suggest you rent a bicycle and set out to discover these small water reservoirs and stop on the banks of the one that strikes you most for a picnic.

Water dominates the landscape, as is easy to see, with the basins of TerlagoSanta MassenzaToblinoCavedine, and other smaller ones. In this area, which also touches the small villages of Vezzano, Lasino, Calavino and Padergnone, one encounters a particular landscape, where the Mediterranean and Alpine vegetation mix, and olive, beech, holm oak, and conifers, as well as laurel and moss, coexist. The valley is overlooked by the western slopes of Bondone, dense with woods, among which we find Lagolo Lake at an altitude of almost a thousand meters.

There is a very important winery in the area: a pit-stop is a must to taste the products that this land offers.

MONTE BONDONE

We would like to point out Monte Bondone, a few kilometers from the city of Trento and part of the Garden Pre-Alps, an important ski area that can be easily reached by public transport and ski bus. Monte Bondone is over 2000 meters high and is a natural terrace with a 360° panorama of the entire Trentino region, from the Brenta Dolomites to Adamello. For Alpine skiers, there is a carousel of 21 pistes with a total length of 20 kilometers on a skiable area of 70 hectares, 100% equipped with artificial snow, able to satisfy skiers of all levels. Don’t miss the Gran Pista, almost 4 km and more than 800 m of altitude difference for strong emotions through meadows, conifers, and birches.

In summer, Monte Bondone is an ideal destination for families. In addition to the numerous trekking routes, the Viote Botanical Garden means there is no danger of getting bored! This garden is a riot of plants of all kinds that we are willing to bet will not leave your pups indifferent!

Next door is the Terrace of the Stars, where you can quickly take on the role of an astronomer and observe the stars and planets through powerful telescopes.

TIPS

Planning a holiday in this area is always a great idea! Our advice, however, is to do so in autumn, when the palette of this season paints the landscape in wonderful colors! The heat is never unbearable and if you love outdoor activities, you’ll enjoy them in autumn!