A nature holiday offers a break from everyday life and the daily grind. This is why the staff of GardaConcierge has picked great locations among the most important natural sites on Lake Garda for you to go and see. Our route starts with the green wonders on Lake Garda Trentino.
Arco’s Nursery Garden
At the end of the 19th century, the Austro-Hungarian Empire extended far beyond today’s borders, with the empery comprising the area of today’s Trentino and parts of the Veneto. After the victorious battle of Custoza (1866), the Archduke Albrecht and Duke of Teschen, a Habsburg, commissioned Arco’s nursery garden, to be built in the then winter residence of the imperial court. Since its creation, the former ducal park has housed various evergreen plants, some of which normally grow in places closer to the equator. Among Arco’s tree population are various North-American coniferous woods, for example the Lawson cypress and the sequoia, as well as plant species from South East Asia and the typical Mediterranean vegetation. There are about 200 plants in the park, in an area of nearly one hectare. Activities in the former ducal park focus on environmental education, weather monitoring and the observation of the influence of weather on plants, as well as garden maintenance. Arco’s nursery garden is open year-round for visitors. Admission is possible for free at the following times: from April to September from 8 am to 7 pm and from October to March from 9 am to 4 pm. The park is located in Arco, close by the road that leads to the locality of Laghel.
Monte Brione Biotope – Riva del Garda
Monte Brione is situated halfway between the towns of Arco and Riva del Garda, in the flood plain of the Sarca river. The hill consists of chalk and marlstone. It has a distinct form and is located 376 metres above sea level. The Monte Brione biotope, which is run by the province of Trento, sits atop the hill. The almost 65 hectare ecosystem houses an impressive number of plant species, such as the holm oak, broom, laurel and dittany, that profit from the climate of the northern end of Lake Garda . Rare plants in the local flora deserve a special mention: they include some rare irises, a great number of wild orchids and the butcher’s broom. A part of the slopes of Monte Brione is terraced and renders possible the cultivation of olives and growth of various herbs. As far as the fauna is concerned, there are animals from the Mediterranean area which are unique in Trentino. The Monte Brione biotope is accessible via public paths and ways.
Grotto Park of the Varone Waterfall – Tenno
Since its opening in 1874, the Grotto Park of the Varone Waterfall has enjoyed great popularity with visitors. The water flows from the Lago di Tenno into the Magnone torrent, which then transitions into the Varone waterfall. The torrent is called Varone from the point it flows into the grotto. From here it flows through the locality of the same name and then into Lake Garda. The waterfall is one of the green wonders in Trentino for both environmental and geological aspects. The waterfall, plunging from a spectacular height of 98 metres to the ground, has worn away and moulded the cliff and marked the gorge in a fascinating way. Over the years, numerous famous politicians, writers and artists succumbed to the magic of the Varone waterfall. Whoever has had the chance to visit the northern end of Lake Garda and specifically Riva del Garda, has made a visit to the grotto. And it is still worth a visit today! A park tour comprises both a stop at the lower grotto and a visit to the botanical garden at the path leading to the upper grotto. The Grotto Park of the Varone waterfall boasts a picnic area with tables and benches for up to 150 visitors. In addition to the public area there are also bars and a souvenir shop. The park is open all year: from March to October, the park opens at 9 am and closes from March to August at 7 pm, from April to September at 6 pm and in March and October at 5 pm. From November to February, the park is open only on Sundays and public holidays and during the Christmas season from 10 am to 5 pm. The Grotto Park of the Varone Waterfall is located 3 km above Riva del Garda. For further information on excursions and admission prices, we recommend you visit the park website*.
“Marmitte dei Giganti” Giant Kettles – Nago Torbole
What are the “Marmitte dei Giganti” or Giant Kettles? They answer the question about how giants once quenched their thirst. Legend has it that these karst erosions served as wells for the giants. The erosions formed during the Ice Age: The falling glacier water created these enormous “wells” or “kettles”. People seem to have lived in this area since ancient times. Discoveries of weapon fragments, among them spearheads, and of other tools testify to the settlement between the 4th and 3rd century B.C. The giant kettles can be visited from Torbole’s lakeside and the centre of Nago that is located a bit higher and further in the hinterland. The place is open to the public and can be visited autonomously. Visitors receive further information on excursions and paths at the tourist office in Torbole.
* website in Italian