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10 not-to-be-missed itineraries around Lake Garda

Temperate climate, Mediterranean vegetation, rocky walls and high alpine peaks side by side – Lake Garda is what makes this incredible landscape possible. The surroundings of Lake Garda offer plenty of options for hiking and trekking lovers, from multi-day excursions to long and short walks.

If you are reading this article, more than likely you’ll be looking for interesting itineraries for trekking around Lake Garda – well, you are really spoiled for choice! There are short walks in the middle of nature, steep paths climbing to high altitudes, relaxing panoramic walks… so many options!

At the centre of everything there’s always Lake Garda, who will keep you company during your walk or show up unexpectedly, once you reach a summit or scenic spot. Let’s have a look together at the 10 not-to-be-missed itineraries around Lake Garda in Trentino!

10 walking and trekking itineraries around Lake Garda

1. Ponale Path
Here is the first walk on this list – the Ponale path, connecting Lake Garda and the nearby Ledro Valley. The route follows a nineteenth-century road carved out of the rock, winding uphill for almost 10 kilometres, with a total altitude difference of about 600 meters. This is a highly scenic route, and a great ‘classic’ option for hikers who visit the Garda Trentino area. The path ends near the village of Pregasina, halfway from stunning Lake Ledro, famous for its prehistoric stilt houses.

2. Punta Larici
From the top of Punta Larici, you can enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Lake Garda. To get there, take the SAT 422 path from Pregasina. The mountain path is classified EE, meaning it’s for expert hikers, especially in the final part. Since it is quite exposed, it is good to be familiar with heights – part of the path runs along a ridge, winding along trenches dating back to the Great War. For the return journey, take SAT 422B path, which crosses a forest, for a total distance of approximately 10 kilometres.

3. Altissimo di Nago
During the summer weekends, the steep, green meadows of the Altissimo di Nago, with its wonderful view of the lake, are popular with hikers, who are always amazed by the panorama. There are several itineraries to reach the top of Altissimo – one of the most popular is the one from Tratto Spino through Bocca Navene, with a total length of 7 kilometres and descending 700 meters, along hiking trails.

4. Mount Stivo
Mount Stivo never disappoints. It is possible to reach its peak from Sant’Antonio, near the Santa Barbara Pass, or from Malga Campo di Drena. In any case, the path would be about 8-9 kilometres in total, ending on the mountaintop, overlooking the Riva del Garda and its lake, with a truly spectacular view. You’ll be able to see the Brenta Dolomites, the Tre Cime del Bondone, the Lagorai chain and much more.

5. Busatte-Tempesta
Don’t be afraid – despite its name, there is nothing scary about this trail! It is a nature path starting from Tempesta, on the via Gardesana, and ending at the Busatte park in Torbole. Much shorter than the routes seen so far, it stretches over 4 kilometers, with 300 meters altitude difference covered on comfortable and extremely panoramic stairways. The maximum altitude is 272 meters above sea level, making the path passable without problems all year round.

6. Santa Barbara Church
Built at the same time as the hydroelectric power station of Riva del Garda, the small church of Santa Barbara overlooks the city and the lake. You can get there on a loop-shaped path, starting and finishing in Riva del Garda. The path is just over 3 kilometres long, with about 500 meters altitude difference, and possible stops at the Bastione and the Capanna di Santa Barbara during the ascent.

7. Pernici Mountain Hut and Cima Parì
This is a panoramic crossing of the Val di Ledro Prealps. The itinerary starts from Malga Trat and, along a hiking trail, travels through the Bocca di Saval, and then, walking along a ridge, reaches Cima Parì, from where you can admire both Lake Ledro and Lake Garda. On the way back, you can change your itinerary, and take advantage of a refreshing break at the Nino Pernici mountain hut.

8. San Pietro Mountain Hut from Tenno
This trail leads you to a true balcony overlooking Lake Garda, a few steps from Lake Tenno. This short itinerary starts right on the shore of Lake Tenno – after about 400 meters altitude difference, following the indications for Canale-Calvola, you will arrive at Rifugio San Pietro, where you can take advantage of a wonderful view, and enjoy the the best dishes from Trentino.

9. Porto-Pieve Path in Tremosine
Choose this trail along natural stairways and old mule tracks for postcard-perfect (or Insta-perfect?) views over Lake Garda. The Porto-Pieve path connects the village of Pieve to Tremosine – going this direction, you’ll descend first, then climb on the way back. It is a walk of intermediate difficulty, with 350 meters altitude difference and duration of about 3 hours return.

10. The forts of Mount Brione
Let’s close this overview of trekking around Lake Garda with a 6 kilometre, 300-metre altitude difference walk, connecting the forts of Monte Brione, the unique hill that rises between Riva and Torbole. The fortification line of Alto Garda passed through Brione – today, you can visit Bellavista, San Nicolò, Batteria di Mezzo, Tagliata del Ponale forts, and more!

You just have to lace your hiking boots and start walking, to discover that Lake Garda is always more beautiful, switchback after switchback!

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