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Walking and Hiking In Lake Garda

What to see……

The contrasting landscape between North to South and East to West of Lake Garda, the diversity of terrain and scenery, and the amazing views, make walking and hiking in Lake Garda a ‘must do’ for anyone who is serious about the activity. There are walks and hikes for all levels, from a casual stroll at the waters edge to climbing the highest peak of Mount Baldo at 2220m.

Whether you want to experience fascinating nature, stunning views, sleepy villages, historic buildings or a mixture of all of these, you can be sure to find a walk that will match your mood and ability.

Snow capped mountains during the winter, a myriad of colours as spring flowers bloom and trees blossom, the summer in all its glory, the richness of the autumn as the hills and mountains are lit up with red, orange and yellow, every season has so much to offer.

The Parco Alto Garda Bresciano covers mountain area to the North West of the lake and includes the municipalities of  Salò, Gardone Riviera, Gargnano, Limone sul Garda, Magasa, Tignale, Toscolano Maderno, Tremosine, Valvestino. It offers and endless opportunity for walking and hiking in Lake Garda with spectacular nature with stunning views.

To the north-east of the lake the landscape is dominated by the imposing Monte Baldo. Its ridge spans the two provinces of Trentino and Veneto and is accessible by cable car. The views from the top are awesome and for those considering a walking or hiking holiday in Lake Garda you might want to include a trip up Monte Baldo in you itinery.

The Morenic hills dominate the land to the south of the lake where vinyards and olive groves fill the gently sloping land. The walking may be slightly easier but it is by no means less spectacular as the picturesque country side provides and endless array of beautiful and historical landscapes

When to go….

I’m lucky I get to walk here all year round and experience the seasons as they merge into each other. Spring and/or the autumn. April, May, June, September and October are still warm enough to enjoy the other aspects of a holiday in Lake Garda, but not so hot to stop you experiencing some of the truly fantastic routes. In the spring you will get to see the thousands of pretty flowers that line the sentieri(routes) and also you have a better chance of clearer views of the lake, which in the mid summer become fewer as the haze builds above the lake. When the autumn arrives and the leaves change colour it truly is an awesome sight to behold. Also at this time of year you can collect chestnuts and, if you know what you are looking for, mushrooms.

If you are a serious walker/hiker then walking and hiking in Lake Garda is a holiday you should consider. If you have a casual interest and are already considering a holiday in Lake Garda, then pack your walking boots or shoes.

Where to walk, maps, guides and links

The walks in the map above are some of the walks that I have personally done. I’ve done many more but just not had time to write about them. Anyway there are some companies that provide some excellent information in various forms so I’ve saved you having to search. .Click on the icons in the map to get details of our routes

West Coast of Lake Garda and Parco Alto Garda Bresciano

There are hundreds of map books and guidebooks in the shops and hotels in the towns around the lake,  my favourites is produced by Sirio Blue Vision and shows many routes on the west coast that include Monte Pizzocolo and Cima Comer. It can be purchased at Hotel Colomber which is located in St Michele, a small village in the hills above Gardone. There are many beautiful walks of varying difficulty that you can commence directly from Hotel Colomber and return in time to eat lunch or dinner in their fantastic restaurant.

Sirio Blue Vision also produce online interactive maps for many areas of Italy, here you can access the interactive maps for Lake Garda. The maps are easy to follow, they are actually aerial maps with very few words that show accurately all the sentieri. There is one that covers the Bay of Salo and the hills and mountains behind Gargnano, another covers Limone, Tremosine and Tignale. Once out walking you will find the numbered routes are very well marked and very easy to follow, some of which take you up into the Parco Alto Garda Bresciano.

Lake Garda North

The terrain in the Trentino region to the north of the lake is excellent for walking and hiking. To the west there is the alps and the east leads into the Dolomites. There is the famous Ponale Trail and also walks that will take you in through medieval villages such as Borgo di Canale from where you can walk to Lago di Tenno. You can download details of many walks on the Garda Trentino website.

I’ll be sure to let you know when I find more useful websites, also keep checking back to this page and the blog which I will update with any of my walks.

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  1. Andy June 1, 2014 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    My son and I are looking for a two-day hike with two overnights. We were hoping for the Dolomites with stays in Refugi, but apparently they are not open that early (June 11-13), and too far (we are starting from Bologna and will go to Venice after the hike). Are there similar hikes around Lake Garda with Rifugi-style accomodations? And where would you recommend hiking with few tourists, more countryside?

    Thank you!


    Your response:

    Hi Andy,

    The Tremosine region is very good as is the Parco Alto Garda, they are on the north west shore of the lake.

    I will email a couple of contacts I have to find out when the rifugi open, but most of them just say mid June so maybe you area week too early.

    This walk on my website is a fantastic walk with a rifiugio, but again it just states mid June as the opening time.

    You can also try contacting these two websites

  2. […] Walks […]

  3. Lilian Barnes February 6, 2017 at 11:56 am - Reply

    We are having our holiday in lake Garda in early July and can not decide where to stay. We are in our late 60s but have walked most of our married life . We are looking for walk of about 8 miles with a bit of challenge with nice views of course. We stayed at Garda a long time ago so could you please reccomend at destination suitable.

    • admin February 7, 2017 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      Hi Lillian, I would recommend Gardone Riviera or Salò. In Gardone there are many walking trails that take you from near the lake, up the hillside to Gardone Sopra. From there if you are feeling really energetic there are many routes that take you up into the mountains.

      Salò also has routes that take you up to these hills and mountains. For a less demanding walk you can the walk along the promenade that takes you all the way around the bay from the historic center, to the beach and on to Portese.

      Click on the icons on the map on this page and follow the links for some of the walks above Salò and Gardone.

      I hope this helps.
      Have a great holiday

      • Cam June 19, 2017 at 9:01 pm - Reply

        Hi there,

        We are in Lake Garda now on the South West shoreline at Camping Fornella. We would like to do a 2-3 day walk staying along the way in huts or paid accom. We are reasonably fit and experienced walkers. Any recommendations? Much appreciated in advance.

        • admin June 19, 2017 at 11:27 pm - Reply

          Hi Cam, you could probably walk straight from your campsite heading north around the Golfo di Salo following the lungolago. From Salo head up to San Michele using one of the routes from Renzano or there is another route at the far end of Salo, picking up routte 17 at Via S.Bartolomeo. This will take you up into the same hills and to San Michele. From San Michele you could head up to rifugio Pirlo Giorgio allo Spino. I’m not sure if you can sleep there bur I’m sure that if you follow the link it will tell you or you’ll be able to find somewhere. I know there is a hut at the top of Pizzocolo. all the routes up there are very well marked out and you don’t need to follow my exact routes. I love walking in those mountains but unfortunately I don’t know much about where to sleep so you will have to do a bit more research. You can see all the routes on this interactive map of walks above Salo, Gardone, Toscolano Maderno and Gargnano. You could also contact a specialist company like 360gardalife. Hope this helps. Roy

  4. Susan April 20, 2017 at 10:22 am - Reply

    We would like to walk for a couple of hours near Bardolino.

    I have heard there are good paths in the hills with Great Lake views.

    Please can you help with a suggestion? (I am flexible on area)

    • admin April 20, 2017 at 10:13 pm - Reply

      Hi Susan,

      My knowledge of that side of the lake isn’t quite there yet, but I do know that you should take a walk up Rocca Vecchia. You will find info in the tourist office, or you could email them in advance. The 6-7km walk will give you some amazing views of the lake, you could go up from Bardolino and down to Garda. You could then walk back lakeside along the promenade, around another 2-3km. Hope this helps. Roy

      • Darryl Hinksman July 26, 2017 at 2:55 pm - Reply

        Hi Roy – Ive just read your answer to Susan’s note which is really useful. We are staying in Bardolino in a few weeks time with our children who are 13 and 10 – we are all experienced walkers and happy to walk 10-15 kms no problem.In addition to the walk you mention up Rocca Vecchia; is there anything else you can recommend – even if we have to get taxi/bus to and from a different starting point?

        • admin August 9, 2017 at 5:59 pm - Reply

          Hi Darryl, sorry for the late response….internet problems 🙁
          If I’m not too late perhaps you could combine a hike with a trip on the cable car up to Monte Baldo at Malcesine. You could hike up and get the cable car back down, or the other way round. Or there is one stop so you could go part the way up and hike. There are also many routes once you are up the top, the views are amazing and if you’re lucky you can watch the hang gliders take off. You can get a bus to Malcesine from Bardolino and back. Hope this helps. Roy

  5. Susan April 22, 2017 at 6:19 am - Reply

    Thank you very much for your suggestion. We will take your advice.


  6. Brian May 2, 2017 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    My wife and I are visiting may 28-30th. We would like a challenging hike with the highest/best view of the lake and towns for picture purposes. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



  7. Dawn May 29, 2017 at 1:15 am - Reply

    Very interesting site! I would love a recommendation for a short 2-3 hour hike somewhere near either Gargnano (where we are staying), or any of these areas we plan to visit Limone, Riva del Garda, Malcesine (not sure we can fit much more in).

    I am considering Ponale Trail – any other ideas?

    We are 6 adults in our early sixties, and our hiking level probably averages in the moderate level (maybe “easy” by Italy standards!).

    Thank you!

    • admin May 29, 2017 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      Hi Dawn,

      The only walks in this area that I have completed myself are Cima Comer and Campione to Monte Castello.I do wonder whether they might be slightly on the hard side of moderate, but you could just walk up to the hermitage on the Cima Comer walk. I haven’t done the Ponale trail yet but hope to on one of my future visits.

  8. Larry byrne June 11, 2017 at 10:26 am - Reply

    Hi want to hike all the way around it is it possible is it wayward marked how long would it take is there a name to this hike as I can’t find much information on it want to stay in refuges if possible cheers Larry from Ireland

    • admin June 12, 2017 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      Hi Larry, what a great idea…..but remember the coastline is just short of 100 miles around, so walking around it up in the hills will be much further. Of course it would be possible, anything is, but I’m pretty sure there isn’t a specific sign posted route around. i’m afraid you will need to do some research. There are refuges in the mountains around the north of the lake but not down close to the lake. you could contact a specialist company such as 360gardalife who may be able to help you with a route. Hope this helps. Roy

  9. Peter Wheatley June 17, 2017 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    Hiya my wife and I are staying in Malcesine 25/6 to 1/7 2017 looking for some nice walking locally both seasoned walkers but don’t mind anything, is there any guided walks in the area.

  10. Lucie June 26, 2017 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    Hi, Id like to get some tips for hiking trails. We are a group of four young people, age around 25. We are not looking for ferrta. We would like some ideas for trips approximately 6-7 hours and around 20 km. We want to see views over the lake, mountain panoramas and some natural interests. We have an accommodation in Riva del Garda but we can drive ourselves to some starting points within 30 min.

    • admin June 26, 2017 at 11:07 pm - Reply

      Hi Lucie,
      I think maybe you should take a walk up Monte Baldo, or you could take the cable car and walk around on the top. I’ve not done much up there myself as the times I’ve been there has been too much snow, but the routes are very well marked out.

      Other walks within a 30min drive include Cima Comer and Campione to Monte Castello. Thses particular walks probably won’t take 6-7 hours but as you go up you can find detours on the very well marked out networks of walking routes.
      A walk up Pizzocolo will fulfill all of your criteria but it is probably an hours drive from Riva.

      I hope this helps

  11. Jane Holmes August 12, 2017 at 8:42 am - Reply

    Hi Roy we have booked flights to Verona at the end of September and are thinking of staying in Riva nth west coast. We are planning to walk approx 15 miles a day. Would you recommend this area ir could you recommend any other? We dont mind a mixture of hills and flat.Thank you

    • admin August 20, 2017 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      Hi Jane, wherever you stay around the lake you will find fantastic walks. I haven’t walked from Riva personally but have had great feedback. Read the comments above for more info also this article about Riva del Garda.

  12. Mhairi Miller August 17, 2017 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    I am part of a group of secondary students who are planning our gold duke of Edinburgh expedition around Lake Garda. Our expedition has to last 4 days and we camp along the way. Would there be any routes you would recommend lasting this duration? and what areas would you recommend?

    Thanks Mhairi

    • admin August 20, 2017 at 1:49 pm - Reply

      Hi Mhairi, I think you have chosen a fantastic location for your Gold Duke of Edingburgh award, you will love it. I can’t really advise on routes as the only routes I know personally are the ones on this page, which could be included but won’t be enough for you. With a little research I’m sure you will find routes, check out walking routes on Parco Alto Garda Bresciano and Monte Baldo. Check the maps here and here. Please feel free to contact me if you have more questions,

  13. Pam September 27, 2017 at 11:13 am - Reply

    Hi Roy,
    We’re planning on visiting Lake Garda (possibly Riva del Garda) in late October for 2 nights only. Do you have any suggestions for a city that is easy to get in and out of by public transport with a decent day trail for some average hikers.
    Thanks in advance,

    • admin October 8, 2017 at 3:36 pm - Reply

      Hi Pam, I would always suggest Salo…..it is the town that made me fall in love with the region. There is a good bus link to Desenzano where the train station is, it’s also just an hour from Verona or Bergamo airports. You can walk straight out of the town up into the hills of San Bartolomeo, walk to the far end of town (near the Hotel Laurin)and look for the marker 17 on the wall of a narrow road. Salo also boasts the longest lungolago and there is a very pleasant walk around the bay. Visit this page for more walks near to Salo.

  14. Margaret February 12, 2018 at 9:18 am - Reply

    Good Morning,

    I would like to know if there is a nice walking way from Gardone Riviera to Toskolano Maderno.
    Last year we stayed at Toskolano Maderno and we enjoyed promenade there but this sommer we booked the hotel in Gardone Riviera. As we are really good “walkers”;) we would like to go to Toskolano Maderno every day , but I’m not sure if there is a walking passage between those two cities. I see only street on the map.

    • admin February 12, 2018 at 11:30 pm - Reply

      Hi Margaret,

      I’m almost certain that your can walk from Gardone all the way around to Toscolano on the pedestrian walkway that follows the road. There are also routes up into the hills from Gardone to Toscolano.
      Hope this helps.

      PS. Please try at least one day to go to Salo’….it is also beautiful

  15. Julia July 22, 2018 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    We are having our holiday in Lake Garda in early September and can not decide where to stay! We want to have a nice mix of challenging beautiful hiking days and a total relaxation/swimming/eating days…We were considering northern and western shore, but struggling to make a choice (everything looks too good).
    Ideally we’d stay in 2 different towns (not more, to avoid check-in/check-out hassle). Also, we are not driving, so the only option is public transport. And we will be coming from Verona. Which towns could be a good hiking base, but still with nice beaches? Also, we would fancy a day trip to Dolomites..is it worth it?

    • admin August 7, 2018 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      Hi Julia, sorry for the late reply, I’ve had a problem with my laptop. Di you get the answers you are looking for. I am biased as my home is in the hills above Salò so I would always recommend it. You can walk straight out of the town up into the mountains and as far as you want. You can get an idea by clicking on the icons on the page. Maybe you could then move up to Limone with Tremosine above or Malcesine with Monte Baldo above. You should follow the link to check out your Lake Garda transport options. Follow this link for a day trip to the Dolomites. I hope this helps. Roy

  16. Catherine April 17, 2019 at 1:35 am - Reply

    Hi! We are a couple pretty fit coming to lake Garda in late May with our 9 month old baby. We are staying in Gardone Riviera for 5 days. There is a lot to do in the area it seems, but we would love to do 1 or 2 nice hikes. They cannot be too long because of the baby, also I would love a lake view.
    I tried clicking on a few of your links but cannot seem to find clearly what hike we could do (and where). Could you kindly provide us with some itinerary suggestions? Thanks so much !

    • admin April 18, 2019 at 7:49 pm - Reply

      Hi Catherine, I see that there’s a problem with my maps, it must have happened during a site update. I will fix the problem then reply back in the next day or so. Thanks for highlighting the problem. Roy

  17. Júlia July 15, 2019 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    Hello, I’m Júlia and we are a group of 9 frinds that will stay in Lago di Garda for 5 days. We would like to do some excursions but we won’t be able to have a car. Is there any excursions we could do around Desenzano del Garda that it’s easy arriving with bus? Or around Manerba del Garda.

    We would be very pleased if you could help us!

    Thank you so much.

    • admin July 18, 2019 at 12:39 pm - Reply

      Ciao Julia, you can search through the Holli-dayticket website who are specialists in Lake Garda excursions.
      You could also try Isango who also offer some excursions and day trips.
      A day trip to Venice would also be a great idea if you are based in Desenzano.

  18. Marissa February 8, 2020 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    Hi there,
    I’m planning a trip to Lake Garda in mid April. Could you recommend some hiking trails that would be open at this time? I’m not sure how much snow to expect/ what elevations are possible to access.



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