Top things to do on Lake Garda!

September, 19 2019 ( Updated August, 20 2021)

Food & Restaurants
Fun for kids

A year-round holiday destination...

The year-round holiday destination of Lake Garda

Framed by the Dolomites, with crystal clear waters lapping its shoreline, the spectacular Lake Garda has long been known for its beauty, as well as for being the most family-friendly and water-based of holiday destinations on the Italian Lakes. Discover our top things to see and do whilst you’re there:

Go sightseeing

For culture and literary fans, the house-museum and gardens of Vittoriale degli Italiani in Gardona Riviera is a must! The iconic home of Italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio packs a punch when it comes to the beautiful, the poignant and the unusual. With a surreal landscape covering everything from an outdoor theatre and dreamy gardens with streams to striking military relics such as the Puglia wartime vessel and the meticulously-curated Priory (the main abode and inner sanctum of the poet’s life), visitors will enjoy soaking up the very essence of this iconic poet-soldier.

A view from Vittoriale degli Italiani

In the fashionable southern beach resort of Sirmione, two top-rated sites on Lake Garda await your discovery. The lake fortress of Scaligero castle is situated in the Scaliger neighbourhood and forms the iconic entrance into the old town. Dating back to the mid-13th century and one of the most complete, well-conserved castles in Italy, it is well worth visiting. Just a 16-minute walk north of the castle, the ancient archaeological site of Grotte di Catullo can be found. Dating back to the end of the 1st century BC – the beginning of the 1st century AD, the ruins of this ancient Roman villa provide a timeless labyrinth for history fans to delve into. Set in amongst tranquil, panoramic lake view surroundings, its strategic position on the northernmost tip of the Sirmione peninsular offers a truly evocative sightseeing moment.

The Scaligero castle in Sirmione


For those looking for all-weather fun, the vibrant northern lake resort town of Riva del Garda offers every opportunity for sightseeing and exploring, whatever the weather!


Energise your stay


The main Lake Garda forms a popular destination for cyclists, walkers, golfers and water sport enthusiasts, whilst to the northern resort town of Riva del Garda, windsurfing, kite surfing and sailing take centre stage.


Beautiful lake views from one of Lake Garda's footpaths

Two of the most popular lakeside paths for walking and cycling on Lake Garda can be found between Bardolino and Peschiera del Garda (14km) and from Torri del Benaco northwards, just past Malcesine (please note some small sections of this route are along the road).

Hikers will revel in the breath-taking scenery that Lake Garda offers. For those seeking some action up in the mountains, the lake boasts some spectacular hiking routes to suit beginners, intermediates and the most advanced of climbers. Born explorers will also enjoy the prospect of a canyoning adventure in Torbole, just north of Riva del Garda.

Golfing fans will find Lake Garda the perfect golfing holiday destination, with no less than four 27-hole courses, six 18-hole courses and one 9-hole course to tee-off at. Many boast beautiful lake views too! The most popular Lake Garda golf clubs include Golf Club Il Colombaro (Saló), the Golf club Paradiso del Garda (Castelnuovo del Garda), the Arzaga Golf club (Calvagese della Riviera) and the Gardagolf Country club (Soiano del Lago).

A golfer tees-off on a golf course

Soak up the lake beaches & lidos

From the exclusive surroundings of Mirabello Lido Beach (Bardolino) and Lido Palace (Riva del Garda) to laid-back days at the lake swimming and sunbathing spots of Sabbioni Beach (Riva del Garda), Jamaica Beach (Sirmione) and the dog-friendly Bracco Baldo Beach (Peschiera del Garda), there’s a lido and lake beach on Lake Garda to tempt every holidaymaker!

With Watersport centres and equipment hire, power boat and SUP rentals and a host of annual competitions and sailing regattas, Lake Garda promises a wealth of water-based adventure.

A laid-back lake beach on Lake Garda


Take time out for family (and big kid) fun


Lake Garda is the ideal hotspot for some action-packed holiday amusement. To the south-western lake region, families and big kids alike will enjoy some truly remarkable theme parks. From the largest theme park in Italy, the family-friendly Gardaland (home to a treasure trove of rides, a SEA LIFE aquarium and soon-to-open Legoland water park) to the Canevaworld resort which is home to the fabulous Caneva Aquapark and immersive Movieland Studios, there is something for everyone!

A girl sits in a rollercoaster seat

Families and visitors of all ages will enjoy a trip to the lake’s best safari park Parco Natura Viva and also the tree climbing adventure centres of Rimbalzello Adventure Park and Jungle Adventure Park.

Try the regional food & wine!


The Brescia region is rich in culinary dishes and tantalizing wines. Nowhere can these tastes be savoured more so than against the romantic lake backdrop of Lake Garda.

A bunch of Bardolino grapes


From the Bardolino and Valpolicella wines to the ‘la dolce’ Panna cotta and sun-drenched lemons, this Italian Lake invites visitors to enjoy a special culinary journey. With a host of weekly food markets on Lake Garda to visit (a real must if you are self-catering!) and opportunities to visit famous wineries, vineyards and try local produce with a food and wine tasting tour, Lake Garda serves up plenty of opportunities for visitors to enjoy the flavours and grapes of this fertile region. The best restaurants on Lake Garda showcase regional produce and wines with real finesse. Authentic trattorias also serve home-cooked cuisine to write home about. What with good food and wine at the very heart of the Brescia people’s way of life, there truly is something to delight all taste buds and budgets on beautiful Lake Garda.


The sun sets on Lake Garda


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