August, 11 2017 ( Updated August, 11 2017)
Lake Garda has countless tiny villages placed beautifully along its banks which leave no doubt why several poets, musicians and artists have been falling in love with its charm for centuries now. Besides the main towns of Desenzano, Sirmione and Riva, Lake Garda offers many small, but delightful towns, which can be discovered in less than a day. If you have a few days to spare during your trip to this enchanting lake make sure to plan some daytrips to the following towns that preserve the history and culture surrounding the lake:
Torri del Benaco
The small town of Torri del Benaco is a picturesque destination
known for its lovely harbour and colourful fishing boats. Rich in art, culture
and traditions, this historic town will take you on a trip to the medieval ages
through its architecture. When in Torri del Benaco it’s definitely worth
visiting the "Palazzo del Consiglio della Gardesana" which was built
in the 14th century and is now a romantic hotel. Enjoy the serenity and admire
the lovely art work and baroque style of "Santi Pietro e Paolo", a
church built in the 18th century.
If you happen to be in town on a Monday, make sure to visit the weekly market in the morning, where you can find typical Italian produce, adorable clothing and original olivewood items. Continue your journey through Torri del Benaco with a walk around “Limonaia”, a lemon garden with a history that goes back to 1760. Most points of interest can be found in and around the harbour, so make sure to spend the evening walking along the romantic lakeside promenade to admire the sunset. Grab a light snack or enjoy your dinner at one of the restaurants lined up along the promenade.
Another town that is worth exploring is Salò which is known for having the longest lakeside promenade on Lake Garda. Treat yourself and have a cup of your favourite coffee while enjoying the mild climate and the absolute beauty of the lake. Walk along the promenade to catch picturesque views of the lake and continue your way to Piazza Dal Vittoria, which is the most beautiful piazza in Salò. For more cultural activities during your daytrip to Salò, visit one of the popular churches on Lake Garda, the “Santa Maria Annunziata”. If you want some variety from the cultural program, we recommend a shopping trip through Salò, which is a major shopping hub selling clothes and accessories at reasonable prices.
Nago-Torbole is especially known amongst sailors and windsurfers
because of its steady winds and beautiful harbour. There is no way around
Nago-Torbole if you love water sports and mountain biking.
Nago is known for its rich Mediterranean flora which can be observed wandering around the beautiful park surrounding the city museum, which is famous for its olive and lemon trees. The houses by the harbour are beautiful historic buildings from the 15th century and contribute to the unique charm of this small town. Make sure to put Casa Beust on your to-do list when you’re planning a daytrip to Nago-Torbole. Here you can travel back in time and see where artists used to meet after the Second World War.
Bardolino is a must do for all wine lovers as its vineyards and red wines are famous around the world. Bardolino hosts a wine festival every year called “Festa dell’Uva e del Vino” which this year is celebrated from the 28th of September until the 2nd of October 2017. There are several other events happening in Bardolino which attract tourists from across the world. If you are planning a trip to this lively town, try to match your dates with one of the festivals. The most popular festivals amongst them are the “Carnival of Bacchus and Ariadne", the “Garda Festival” and the “Aperitif Under the Stars” held during the first days of August.
The town of Malcesine with its picturesque cobbled streets and beautiful castle situated between the lake and the mountains has inspired writers and artists for years.
It’s the perfect summer destination for everyone who wants to relax while enjoying a cone of delicious gelato by the lake shore, but doesn’t want to miss out on exciting adventures.
The cable car that connects the town to Monte Baldo is a must do for all visitors. The ride itself provides stunning views, but they are nothing compared to the panoramic views you will get at the top of the mountain. Once you’ve reached the summit there are different walking paths you can choose from. Go for a leisurely walk along one of the short paths and stop at the different stations to relax and enjoy the view, or choose an active, more challenging walk. If you simply want to relax, sit down at the bar or restaurant of the cable car station and enjoy the sun. If you’re more of an adrenaline junky seeking adventures, Monte Baldo is the perfect location for you to go mountain biking or paragliding.
The Castello Scaligero, once used for military purposes, is now a popular wedding venue and tourist hotspot. It is famous for its beautiful castle and panoramic views from the Rivellino platform, which some say, you’ll never forget. Another cultural attraction in Malcesine you should visit is the Palazzo dei Capitani, which was built in the 15th century and was used as the headquarters of the Venetian rulers of the area. Soak in the history of this place or take a quiet moment for yourself in the beautiful garden of the Palazzo.
Overall, Lake Garda holds numerous opportunities for day trips and excursions to some beautiful towns that are worth discovering. So, if you have a few days to spare in your itinerary, we highly recommend you visit some of these towns to capture the true essence of the lake.