Anyone who visits Lake Garda, whether they know it or not, will experience the majestic Monte Baldo. It’s ridge runs along the north east shore spanning the Trento and Veneto regions. The 40km ridge which peaks at 7, 277ft ridge providing a monumental backdrop that can be seen from most parts of the lake. It becomes even more dramatic when capped with a luminous blanket of snow during the winter and the spring . On some days this incandescent strip of white seems suspended in air between the heavens and the lake creating a truly awesome sight to behold. Monte Baldo
The geology of Monte Baldo’s in it’s location between the lake and the River Adige, can be change from deep soil to rocky meadow in a just a few meters and the influences of Mediterranean climate of the lake on the alpine peaks create a unique environment which permits a diverse abundance of animal and plant life.
Monte Baldo ‘The Garden Of Europe’
Monte Baldo’s importance as ‘The Garden of Europe’ was know as early as the 16th century when botanist Francesco Calzolari recorded hundreds of species and their precise locations in his book “Viaggio di Mont Baldo”. More recently study carried out by the City Museum of Rovereto recorded 1952 plant species. This is equal to 43% of the entire Alps flora which covers an area more than 500 times larger.
The awesome geology and nature makes Monte Baldo a logical place to visit for anyone with an interest in the great outdoors and is a great destination for a number of outdoor sports.
Walking and Hiking On Monte Baldo
Monte Baldo is a popular destination for walkers and hikers and has a number of routes varying in difficulty. There are trails to suit all levels of experience, from the casual stroller to the serious hiker. There are many options for walking on Monte Baldo which include walking up the mountain and taking the cable car down and vice versa, or taking the cable car up to the first station at San Michele and then walking up to the top or vice versa. There are plenty of routes that take you around the top the mountain, the most famous route being the “Sentiero del Ventrar”, which is judged by hikers and botanists to be one of the most beautiful routes in Europe. It is however recommended that only experienced hikers attempt “Sentiero del Ventrar” due to some exposed spots with dizzying drops down hundreds of meters to the Valle de L’Acqua. The best month to walk the “Sentiero del Ventrar” is June as this is when the rich flora is at it’s most glorious. Click here to find out more about walking on Monte Baldo.
Mountain Biking on Monte Baldo
Monte Baldo is also very popular with mountain bikers of all levels from serious cyclists who want a demanding challenging experience, to mums and dads who want their kids to experience mountain biking can buy a one way ticket up on the cable car and experience memorable downhill run, or for those that want a more testing experience there routes such as the 85km Punta Veleno- Monte-Baldo course found on the Garda MTB website. Check here for more information and routes.
Paragliding off Monte Baldo
Monte Baldo is a hive of activity all year round and another sport in the spring and summer is parascending. The spectacular views and the 1700m vertical drop make Monte Baldo a popular destination for the those people that find fun in jumping off of mountains, for those that don’t it is still a wonderful experience watching the parachutists take off and float down into the abyss. Click here for a list of Paragliding schools and clubs which can provide you with more information.
Ski and Snowboard on Monte Baldo
In the winter months Monte Baldo becomes exclusive to skiers and snow boarders. There are runs for all levels of ability, the most difficult being the Pra Alpesina which is internationally approved race run. There is also a ski school with instructors on hand for children and adults to learn the sport in a spectacular environment.
Monte Baldo for Everyone
The jaw dropping views make Monte Baldo a special location for anyone that is involved in any of the activities mentioned above, but it is a destination that anyone visiting Lake Garda should experience. From sightseers with their phone cameras to fanatical photographers, the photo opportunities are endless. Of course it is best to visit on one of those crystal clear Lake Garda days, when it feels like you can reach out and touch the top of Monte Baldo whilst sipping an aperitivo in Toscolano. But even on days that aren’t so clear, as long as the ridge isn’t engulfed in clouds you will have an amazing experience.
I visited Malcesine in May and decided to take a ride up to Monte Baldo on the cable car. There wasn’t a queue for the cable car so the longest I had to wait was 10 minutes. You need to be aware that during the most popular months the wait can be as long as 1.5 hrs. Don’t let this put you off, but just be prepared that you may have to wait. It may help to get there early in the morning, the first car during the summer is at 8.00am.
My visit involved taking photos of the spectacular views, taking photos of wildlife (animals and plants), taking photos of the parachutists running off of the mountain and I also managed a 4km walk. It is worth noting that when the top is still covered in snow the walking is limited, of course if you are an experienced hiker then there are more opportunities.
I have been visiting Lake Garda since 1998 and have grown to love the region so much that when I come here it is like coming home. Needless to say I am very familiar with the region and I would like to share what I know with you. As you may from my pages my particular passions are the local food and wine.
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