With its over 51 kilometers (32 miles) of length, the Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy, as well as the most visited. Located between Venice and Milan, this lake is considered an authentic natural treasure, thanks to the variety of landscapes: from the beaches with crystal clear water (along the southern shores) to rocky cliffs (above the northern shoreline).
Its shoreline is dotted with picturesque villages, medieval castles and lakeside promenades that create a unique magical atmosphere. But what are the most beautiful destinations?
Here is a list, brought you by ItalyXP, of the top 5 (+1) villages on Lake Garda not to be missed!
The lovely Sirmione is certainly one of the most representative destinations around Lake Garda. Surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and embellished by architectural treasures, this town attracts many tourists for its thermal waters, through which it is possible to enjoy moments of unforgettable relax.
From the cultural point of view, the most important monuments are the prestigious churches of St. Anne, St. Mary of the Snows, St. Peter in Mavino and the Oratory of Saints Vito and Modesto. Worth visiting is also the Medieval Castle, a fortress guarding the only access point to the southern city center, built during the 13th and 14th century, and the "Grotte di Catullo", a Roman house built between the end of the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD, on the tip of the Sirmione peninsula.
This and much more can be discovered with a day trip from Verona to Sirmione, an amazing experience to enrich your hilday!
Due to its cultural heritage and its magical atmosphere, Riva del Garda is considered one the most beautiful destinations on Lake Garda. If you're looking for a day trip between natural landscapes and ancient traditions, this town is the ideal destination for you.
In its historic center, worth visiting is the Baroque church of the Inviolata, designed by a Portuguese architect according to the tradition; Piazza Tre November with the imposing Tower Apponale; Piazza San Rocco, and much more.
The main historical monuments are the Praetorian Palace, which houses under its loggia several Roman and medieval tombstones; the Fortress, which houses the Museo Alto Garda as well as several cultural activities, particularly; the doors of the medieval walls and the Bastion - Venetian Fortress built on the slopes of Mount Rocchetta at a height of about 160 meters. In the past, Riva del Garda has hosted illustrious personalities such as Nietzsche and Kafka.
The small town of Peschiera del Garda, a few kilometers from the city of Verona, is probably one of the most beautiful destinations among the villages that surround the Lake Garda.
Its historic center is bordered by ancient walls: the first settlements date back to the Bronze Age. In Roman times, the town became an important cultural center, with the creation of the so-called Gallic Way, in orderto improve connections to the city. In the Middle Ages, the fortification of the center of Peschiera began. Today we can still admire the Fortress, the Porta Brescia and Porta Verona: ancient military buildings with defensive purpose.
With its great historic heritage and peaceful atmosphere Peschiera del Garda makes an excellent destination for a day trip. Don't miss it!
The village of Torbole stands on a calcareous hill at the base of Mount Baldo, at the north eastern shore of Lake Garda, with the houses laid out as in an amphitheatre along the contour of the bay.
Given its position and the prohibition of motorboats use, Torbole has become an internationally-renown destinations for lovers of water-sports. Its picturesque historic center has preserved its original appearance, typical of a fishing village: the small port with the characteristic 15th-century buildings and narrow streets, where you can breathe a magical atmosphere from the past.
The village of Torbole was preferred by many illustrious artists, such as the writer Goethe, who defined Torbole as "a marvel of nature, an enchanting place".
Not far from Verona, the splendid area of Lake Garda hides several picturesque villages worth visiting: one of those is Desenzano del Garda, the ideal destination for a day trip from Verona or from Milan.
This small town has lots of attractions from the cultural point of view: the 16th-century Piazza Malvezzi, which often hosts live music, but also the Castle, the Cathedral and the Archaeological Museum, with the mosaics and the ruins of the Roman Villa. Its picturesque landscape, overlooking the Sirmione Peninsula and Mount Baldo, offers to the visitors amazing picture opportunities, but there are also panoramic roads for bike or motorcycle lovers.
Furthermore, the wide beaches with characteristic kiosks, will make even more magical and enjoyable a visit, with narrow streets full of boutiques and stalls from local products.
The island of Garda, also known as the "Borghese Island", is the largest island on Lake Garda. It has been inhabited since Roman times, and was long a refuge for pirates, who assaulted the boats that plied the routes of Lake Garda.
In 879, the island was donated to the monks of San Zeno in Verona, and it became home to famous personalities, from St. Francis of Assisi to Dante Alighieri
Dominated by the presence of a magnificent 20th Century neo-Gothic Venetian villa, its historic center is full of interesting architectonic wonders. With its immaculately landscapes and historic heritage, the island of Garda makes for an enjoyable day excursion!