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Punta San Vigilio am Gardasee, Bild: Stefano Termanini / shutterstock

Excursion destinations on Lake Garda

Lake Garda attracts not only with great water, wonderful accommodations and all kinds of possibilities on the lake itself, but also with its perfect starting point for exploration tours. Geographically almost perfectly located, some of the most interesting destinations of northern Italy can be reached in a very short time. This is one reason why so many families, but also couples and singles, decide to spend the most beautiful weeks of the year at the lake. But what are the most interesting excursion destinations and sights that you should have experienced and seen during your stay before heading back home?

The sights in the immediate vicinity of the lake

There is a lot to see – no wonder, Lake Garda is huge and on its various shores some of its own villages and towns have developed. One of the absolute classics, however, is without question the Castello Scaligero in Sirmione. The small town of Sirmiona has existed for centuries and the magnificent castle ruins still speak of this time from the Middle Ages. The relatively well-preserved ruin can be visited and takes visitors for a moment back to times when tourists were still a rarity at the lake. Here you can also visit the thermal springs, which have been promising relaxation since Roman times.

Riva del Garda, Lake Garda
Lake Garda near Riva del Garda, Image: pointbreak / shutterstock

One of the most beautiful places in the immediate vicinity of the lake – and perfect for a trip – is Riva del Garda. The old city has a long history and especially the tower in the center of the city, which rises 35 meters into the air, is a popular destination for tourists. Once at the top, you not only have a great view over the lake, but also of the old town and the historic harbor, which is a last trace of how important the lake has always been for the people in the region.

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If you are interested in the sights in the immediate vicinity of Lake Garda, you will eventually come across the Scaliger Castle in Malcesine. One of the oldest castles in Europe, which was probably built in ancient times and is closely linked to the history of the lake. Here you get a real insight into the historical development. The guided tours combine excitement and education for children as well as adults.

Enjoy the nature around Lake Garda with different activities

Of course, there are not only historical buildings and villages to discover. Lake Garda attracts above all with its diverse nature, the nearby Alps and the many opportunities for sporting activities. It is a paradise for hikers, who can explore the different landscapes around the lake as well as the nearby mountains. A variety of guided tours are offered in groups – but of course you can also go on an exploration tour through the area on your own and discover the beauties of nature here without strangers.

The many bicycle routes around the lake are particularly popular with holidaymakers. In most of the holiday resorts you can relax and rent bicycles or you can bring your own bikes and set off on the track. In addition to the destinations already mentioned, a trip to the hinterland is of course also recommended, where various smaller lakes and tributaries can be discovered. One or the other rustic tavern with northern Italian cuisine is also waiting to be visited.

Start city trips from the comfort of Lake Garda

The Grand Canal with the baroque church of Santa Maria della Salute, Image: Phant / shutterstock

From Lake Garda, you can visit some of the most beautiful cities in northern Italy in no time. Venice , for example, is only about 150 kilometers away and with a bus trip you can be in the city in less than three hours. Of course, there is little to say about the city itself – Venice is world-famous and the city of canals is always worth a visit, especially in the early months of summer and autumn. Strolling through the streets and maybe taking a ride in the canals can be a real highlight for your holiday in Italy .

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Not only Venice is worth a visit, but also the city of Verona can be reached quickly from Lake Garda. It is a lesser-known destination and yet knows how to score with its very own charm. The historic buildings and the narrow streets are perfect for looking for small shops and great restaurants where you can eat authentically. In combination with a visit to Mantua, which is also in the immediate vicinity, you also have interesting destinations for city trips outside the metropolis of Venice if you are drawn back to the city from the countryside of Lake Garda.