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Riva del Garda: what to do and see, where to eat and sleep. Our local tips!

If you are about to spend your holiday in Riva del Garda, do not miss all our local tips on what to do, see, where to eat and sleep.

There are many ways to explore a place – you can do so as a tourist, limiting yourself to the surface of things; or you can do it as a real ‘local’, and get deep into the spirit of a place. 

In this article, we’d like to share some tips on how to discover the true spirit of Garda Trentino. To do this, we first of all thought about what we love about this area. We believe that the result would be a true ‘local’ guide, perfect for those who are not just after the usual holiday, and want something more from a trip.

The Centre of Riva del Garda

For a complete tour of the city, we recommend checking out our dedicated post “5 things to do in Riva del Garda”, including an itinerary through the streets of the centre, up to the Apponale Tower and the Bastion.

The Best Beaches

The closest beaches to the Centro Vela Residence are Purfina and Sabbioni, both very popular with locals. The first is a mix of gravel and grass, just a few hundred meters from here. You’ll find everything you need, including bars, showers, deckchairs and sun lounger rental, a playground and a floating platform with an indoor swimming pool, and even an area dedicated to those who love surfing. Less than a kilometer away, you will find the Spiaggia dei Sabbioni, one of the largest in Garda Trentino, with many services and plenty of space for your day by the lake, especially if you have children. 

If you are looking for something more secluded, we recommend that you explore the west coast of the lake, up to Malcesine – you’ll find Baitoni beach, connected by underpass to a restaurant-pizzeria, or the beaches of Navene and Campagnola, sunny even during the evening.

The Best Walks

The most popular excursions for those who live in Riva del Garda, done time and time again over the years, are three – Monte Brione, Ponale and the Varone Waterfalls. If you have stayed with us, you’ll know Brione well, because it is the mountain that rises just behind the Residence Centro Vela. We have already talked about it here. We just want to remind you that it is the ideal destination for a short excursion, with incredible flora, many traces of recent history, and an enviable view of the whole of Upper Garda. The Ponale is the path that climbs from Riva del Garda towards Pregasina. It is a historic road, once the main connection on the western shore of the lake. Nowadays, it is a pedestrian and cycle path, traveled every year by thousands of trekking enthusiasts. The inhabitants of Riva del Garda also love the Varone Waterfalls, in the Parco Grotta of the same name. Dug over the millennia by the Magnone stream, they are the ideal place to admire the power and beauty of nature.

Where to Eat

Holidays are always an opportunity to discover local cuisine and travel through taste. The cuisine of Garda Trentino is unique in Italy, because it blends Alpine tradition with the flavors of the Mediterranean. If you want to eat something traditional in Riva del Garda, we recommend going to Osteriva, in the historic center of the city. Here, you will find dishes like polenta and goulash, canederli and bigoli with sardines, all recipes from Trentino cuisine. Outside the center of Riva, near the Residence, is Trattoria Sant’Alessandro, the right place for a gastronomic journey into the cuisine of all of Italy. For an aperitif, however, locals enjoy going to the simple yet modern Sailing Bar, overlooking Porto San Nicolò right in front of us. From there, L’Ora Restaurant is just steps away, the best place to eat pizza, pasta or fish dishes overlooking the lake.

Where to Sleep

Riva del Garda, and the whole of Garda Trentino, offer many different solutions for those who want to spend their holidays here. There are hotels, for those who want to be looked after while on holiday, as well as residences, perfect if you don’t want to give up flexibility and independence. 

Residence Centro Vela, with its incredible location a stone’s throw from the lake and close to all amenities, is ideal for a holiday dedicated to sport or relaxation. All our apartments come with a terrace, so you can enjoy the benefits of the lake even when you are in your room.

Our tour ends here… if you need any other local tips, feel free to get in touch!


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