In a wonderful medieval town steeped in history, the “Pearl of Garda” so praised by Catullus, lies Aquaria, the Thermal SPA of Terme di Sirmione. An oasis of wellness immersed in a large park, a place to enjoy moments of intense pleasure all year round, during the day or in the evening, alternating the sensorial experiences of the thermal water, the steam and the heat, the pampering of personalized treatments. Amidst the thermal water and the breathtaking views of Lake Garda that suffuse Aquaria with the enchantment of the sunset, our guests find beauty, equilibrium and harmony.
A boat trip to the Isola del Garda island will leave you with a magical feeling, like visiting a distant world that no longer exists. It is a small, rocky island, accessible only by small boat and with opening hours agreed by the family of nobles who still live there. The park has lush greenery: an Italian garden, an English garden and is partly deliberately wild. In the heart of the island there is a majestic Venetian Gothic style villa. As we sail on the lake, you can admire the sumptuous villa that has elements reminiscent of the Doge’s Palace in Venice, and the great park, rich in so many plant species that it resembles an impressive botanical garden. For safety reasons, all tours are only conducted in favorable weather conditions. The route may change depending on the weather.
The Monte Pizzoccolo stands north of Toscolano Maderno on the Brescia side of Lake Garda. It is part of the Parco Alto Garda Bresciano. The climb via the south-east ridge, which offers very modest climbing difficulties, so that it can be performed without a rope if you have enough experience, offers a very fun climb on rocks of gorgeous limestone, and amazing views on the Lake Garda and the surrounding hills during the whole climb. The views from the top is wonderful too, in all directions.
Borghetto sul Mincio is one of the “most beautiful villages in Italy” (Borghi più Belli d’Italia). And it is one of those places that seem unreal. Like a fairy tale. A few houses, only 160 residents. You arrive here crossing the Visconteo bridge and you discover a tiny village basically lying on the Mincio river ,a perfect place for a romantic getaway and for taking pictures of an Italy that is already gone in many other places: Stone houses, some ancient watermills, the view of on the melancholic ruins of the medieval bridge and the Castle appearing among the trees on the hill.
The area is a “park” for its wooden area with large trees, and is also a “garden” for its spaces adorned with flower beds, bushes and ornamental plants. This ecological oasis, located at the foot of the morainal hills, is considered one of the world's five most extraordinary gardens, with over thirty thousand plants sculpted by nature and by the skilled hands of man.
The castle is believed to have been built in 568 ad. A maze of narrow, winding streets leads down to the water’s edge. The focal point of Malcesine is the pretty port. Behind the town is Monte Baldo, which is the highest mountain in the Lake Garda area.
Located in a bay between Punta Belvedere and Punta Portese, on the west shore of Lake Garda, Manerba del Garda is set in the heart of the Valtenesi, a green area between Salò and Padenghe, very famous for its wine production. The few rests of the Fortress of Manerba, one of the most important medieval fortresses of the whole Lake Garda territory, destroyed by the Venetians in 1575, rise on a high stony block. From here, you can enjoy a breath-taking view on the lake, on the surrounding hills, on the Monte Baldo until your gaze reaches Torbole - Nago. Worth a visit are the Archaeological Museum and the churches rich with frescos, which witness the antique religions and cultural traditions passed in this area along the centuries. One of the favorite destinations is the idyllic Island of San Biagio, also known as the Island of the Rabbits. The natural park under the "Rocca", which hosts more than 400 types of plants, is of impressive beauty too.
The Ponale Trail is the best known and most popular in Garda Trentino: easy but at the same time spectacular as its winds sheer above the lake, a classic trek you can't afford to miss. The line of the Old Ponale Road stands out against the mountainside and is clearly visible from the beaches in Riva and Torbole. The Ponale trail is an icon of Garda Trentino, much loved by visitors and locals alike who never tire of the spectacular views it offers at every bend. The Ponale Road is famous not only for the unequaled panorama of the lake but also for the military installations you can see along the trail. When you come to the second and third tunnels you can see remains of the Tagliata del Ponale, imposing fortifications built by the Austro-Hungarians from 1860 onwards which consist of tunnels excavated into the rock and trenches which stretch from lake level to the outposts overlooking the current trail. Today the Tagliata complex is normally closed to the public for reasons of safety.
Currently under construction (official opening on May 10th 2018) is arguably the world's most scenic bike path, that will be suspended over the shores of Lake Garda, Italy. The project will distance a staggering 87 miles in total, stretching around the entire lake, with the path almost dropping to water level at points, making it feel as if you will be riding on water. When complete, Garda By Bike will wrap 87 miles around Lake Garda, allowing riders to “fly” above the water’s surface. The 140-km path will jut out of the cliffside and “float” above the water. According to the Garda Post, the massive bikeway will cost more than $122 million to complete. When finished, it will connect three Italian provinces: Trentino in the north, Verona in the southeast, and Brescia in the southwest. The 3-mile section to open for public use this year stretches from Brescia’s Limone sul Garda to the southern border of Trentino.
The Sanctuary of Montecastello is located just below the peak of Monte Castello, on a spur of rock sheer above the lake, with magnificent panoramic views. With its wonderful air of spirituality and peace, its history, artistic & architectural beauty, and marvelous location, it is one of the most famous and well-loved sacred places of Lake Garda. For centuries it has been a place of pilgrimage and devotion, particularly to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is portrayed in an antique and miraculous fresco behind the main altar.
Within 10,000 square meters there are botanical species from all over the world, from the Alps to Himalaya, from Mato Grosso to New Zeland, from Japan to Australia, from Canada to Africa. Lake Garda with its typical Mediterranean greenery, the brilliance and the magnificent peacock-blue of its waters is numbered along the most beautiful landscapes of mittel europe. The Garden city of Gardone Riviera owes its fame mostly to the terrace gardens built at the beginning of the 20th century, during its apex as a touristic location, to these belongs the Garden of the doctor-dentist A. Hruska, which was built between 1912 and 1914, and was predecessor to the Botanical Garden of Andre Heller Foundation, opened in 1989, currently hosting over 3000 different species of plants.
In Sirmione, very closed to the Archeological Area of the “Catullo Caves”, there is Jamaica Beach, one of the most known beaches of the famous and fascinating village; a paradise corner, a dream place with pure water. To get this place it is necessary to go through the historical center of Sirmione and from here it is possible to choose between two ways, one more arduous and the other easier. The first one was, till some time ago, the only one available and, after the historical center, go on to Punta Staffalo paying attention because, depending on the highness of the lake, there is the risk to walk directly in the water high up to knees. Today instead it is easier to get there: once reached the center it is enough to walk up to the Catullo Caves where, passing through the gateway near the bar and the ticket office, it is possible to walk the trail down to the beach. Coming from this side there is a bar at the end of the trail where it is possible to taste an aperitif or eat something while looking at the panorama or enjoying the sun. Just a few steps and the beach is there.
The Varone Waterfall Tour provides two different observation points and two different settings to admire the spectacular watercourse. The first observation point is the Lower Cave where you can see the last phase of the waterfall. The second observation point, the Upper Cave, is 40 metres further up and from there you can see the full force of the waterfall. The cave and the waterfall are surrounded by a private natural park, a small nature reserve which has been protected thanks to the work of those people who have managed the Varone waterfall over the years, starting from the moment the first infrastructures were built (1874). Before that, in fact, it was virtually impossible to get close to the waterfall, as the paths enabling visitors to climb up the mountain today had not been laid out yet; there were only steep cliffs and the waterfall was only accessible if you climbed up the waterfall itself or if you were prepared to dangle at the end of a rope - something only experienced mountaineers felt confident enough to do, of course.
A lake that seems to come straight out of a painter’s palette, lake Tenno was created a thousand years ago by a landslide that fell from Monte Misone: a curiously violent origin for a place that is now the picture of tranquillity and enchantment. But the pastel coloured lake, surrounded by grassland and forests, hides a few secrets: in addition to a small island hosting a special biotope, for short periods of time, when the water level is lower, a second island emerges, called “the isle of the ‘86”, from the date of its first sighting. A trip to the lake gives the opportunity to dive into its waters and enjoy a deep contact with nature.
The Lonato medieval castle "La Rocca" rises on a hill which dominates the southern part of Lake Garda and is one of the most impressive castles in all of Lombardy. Set inland, overlooking the ancient town of Lonato, the Rocca is an imposing structure nearly 180 feet long and 45 meters wide, complete with drawbridge! Throughout the years and centuries, Lonato del Garda was ruled by various peoples and families who fought each other over the fortified town which had a strategically important defense tower. The fortress belonged to the counts of Montichiari, the Scaliger family, and in 1376 it was the Visconti who expanded the fortified walls to protect the entire town. Today, the medieval Rocca of Lonato houses the town’s ornithology museum, “Gustavo Carlotto”.
This road burrows its way through the mountain in the ravine formed by the river Brasa. The drive is known by motorcyclists from all over Europe, as it is impressive and not exactly without danger in a few narrow and steep spots. It links Tremosine with the districts of Pieve and Vesio. It’s a real gem, nestled in the depths of the mountain, along with the rift carved by the river Brasa. Landslides can occur anytime and can sometimes block some sections of the road. The road, officially known as SP38 was inaugurated in 1913. Winston Churchill defined it as the eighth wonder of the world. The road still remains an adrenaline-pumping journey and is definitely not for the faint of lungs, heart, or legs. A quick glance at the map, at its sheer drops and serpentine twists and turns, confirms that this is no hype. For the skilled drivers only. Quite challenging but definitely worth it.
Set on hillocks of panoramic beauty towering over the entire Lake Garda. Tremosine is situated in the heart of the “Parco Alto Garda Bresciano” (Brescian Upper Garda Park) and it embodies its very essence, while bringing together all the natural and environmental qualities which are characteristic of an area of protected nature.
The village, entrenched on a mountain slope halfway Lake Garda and the Alps, has recently been included in the list of the most beautiful villages in Italy and this is not surprising: narrow paved alleys, arcades, small internal squares, houses set one against the other like in the ancient villages of the 13 century. The village was abandoned after the war, but in the sixties, it came back alive thanks to lively artistic and cultural activities. The Casa Degli Artisti (Home of the Artists), dedicated to the artist Giacomo Vittone, has its seat here and is a residence and meeting place for artists from whole Europe. Another Canale’s trump card is the beauty of its surrounding landscape: from its 428 meters you can admire the splendid Lake Garda, and behind it the imposing mountains, or you can reach Lake Tenno, one of the most cleanest stretches of water in Trentino, characterized by its intense turquoise color and small islet.
The Vittoriale degli Italiani is a hillside estate in the town of Gardone Riviera overlooking the Garda lake in the province of Brescia, Lombardy. It is where the Italian writer Gabriele D'Annunzio lived after his defenestration in 1922 until his death in 1938. The estate consists of the residence of d'Annunzio called the Prioria (priory), an amphitheater, the protected cruiser Puglia set into a hillside, a boathouse containing the MAS vessel used by D'Annunzio in 1918 and a circular mausoleum. Its grounds are now part of the Grandi Giardini Italiani. References to the Vittoriale range from a “monumental citadel” to a “fascist luna park”, the site inevitably inheriting the controversy surrounding its creator.
Admire the blue shades of both lake and sky melting into an amazing landscape offering a view in all its variety: From snow-covered Alpine peaks to the rough profile of the closer mountains and the soft scenery of the lowlands. Here the cable car “flies” up to 1,800 meters altitude within only a few minutes. The rotating cabins, unique in the world, let you experience new emotions every time you go.
Peschiera del Garda is a picturesque town situated on the South of Lake Garda at the mouth of the River Mincio. It is very small and surrounded by enormous fortress walls dating from the 16th century. They were built by The Scalgieri's of Verona with additional structures added by Venetians, Austrians and Italians over many years, including the architect Sanmicheli. The fortress at Peschiera played a prominent part in most of the military campaigns conducted in northern Italy, especially in the Napoleonic wars. During the First Italian War of Independence in the 1840s it was finally taken by the Piedmontese from the Austrian occupiers.
The famous castle of Sirmione, which dates back to the Scaliger Lords of Verona, and its small port (still perfectly preserved) are an uncommon example of a fortress used as a port. The dungeon tower was erected in the thirteenth century by Mastino I Della Scala. The massive fortress is surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvelous view of the harbor that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defense and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the sixteenth century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda. Venice included Sirmione in its Republic in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbor.