The GardaConcierge guide which ends the sports holidays series for Lake Garda is dedicated to mountain sports. This section provides information on canyoning, climbing, trekking and Nordic Walking, as well as paragliding and mountain biking.
A mountain bike tour worthy of its name requires more than a bicyle with patterned tyres, springs, shock absorbers and bicycle frames made from steel, carbonium or titan…that is to say, exciting routes and breathtaking roads! On Lake Garda, these are everywhere – the surrounding hills meet the needs of every mountain biker with their many paths, mule tracks, steep descents and challenging climbs. The routes in Trentino differ in length and level of difficulty – some lead to the Sarca valley in the North, other routes to the Varone waterfall, to the Monte Baldo and to the Valle dei Laghi. From the eastern shore of Lake Garda, a myriad of ways lead up to the slopes of Monte Baldo, down through the broadleaf and pine forests, and along the vineyards and olive groves back to the lakeshore. Various tours take visitors to the olive riviera, from towns such as Garda and Torri on Lake Garda back to the hinterland of Albisano and Crero, to name just a few. Along the western shore, asphalt roads and gravel paths take cyclists from Desenzano to the Lombard hinterland and through the hills of the Valtenesi region to the towns of Padenghe, Moniga and Manerba in the North, among others. The area on the northwestern shore of Lake Garda is equally impressive with its routes that cover more challenging heights in the area of Tremosine and Campione. Lake Garda is rightly considered one of the best places for mountain biking due to the variety of its landscape and mountain bike routes in terms of length and level of difficulty.
Lake Garda also offers a variety of routes and paths for those who prefer a good pair of hiking boots to a bicycle! Trekking is a very popular sport in the area, suited to experienced hikers looking for an adventure, but also to families who would like to spend a day outdoors or simply take a stroll. The tourist offices on Lake Garda offer information and maps for any route. There, visitors will receive information on the duration, length and level of difficulty of each route. Here is a list of the numerous routes on the northern shore of Lake Garda, i.e. in the Trentino region: a trip to the giant’s kettles called “Marmitte dei Giganti”, old rock formations above the town of Nago, the tour to Lake Tenno, the walk to the town of Arco, the Ponale road with its unique charm and the route leading to Monte Stivo – there is something for everyone! The east of Lake Garda offers a similar range of tours and comprises of various paths along the slopes of Monte Baldo, among these such as the path from Malcesine to the summit of Monte Baldo. Further south, trails lead from the towns of Brenzone and Torri to the surrounding hills, which offer a unique view. Last, the routes in Lombardy leading from Gargnano to the hermitage of San Valentino are worth mentioning: the “Sentiero delle Traccce” path in Tremosine’s forest, the routes leading from Limone to the “Baita Bonaventura Segala” alpine hut, and from Campione to Pieve di Tremosine. The trekking activities on Lake Garda comprise tours for everyone, both enthusiasts and experts, as well as a colourful landscape of unparalleled beauty.
Nordic Walking is a form of walking which involves arm movement through the use of ski-sticklike walking poles. The use of the upper body, i.e. the pectoral, back and arm muscles, makes one produce more energy and provides a more fulfilling sports experience. This sport can only be practiced on routes with an inclination of up to 8 per cent – not only do the walking sticks function as a support, but they also give momentum to the walking movement. Even if, as said before, unpaved roads with or without a slight incline are the best ground for Nordic Walking, the sport can also be practiced on asphalt roads, after covering the tip of the pole with a rubber pad. The Lake Garda area of Malcesine and Brenzone, where the first Nordic Walking park in the area has been created, is the ideal setting for walks. In this park, four circular routes in different colours, a total of 20 km, cover the various districts of Brenzone. The unspoilt paths wind through the landscape, leading to sights of historical and cultural interest. On the other shore of Lake Garda, in Tremosine’s Parco Alto Garda Bresciano, an association offers the so-called “cult walking” tours, that are guided Nordic Walking tours which include information on the area’s culture, history and landscape.
Climbing on Lake Garda comprises more than fixed rope routes, paths, cliffs, boulder rocks and rock walls for free climbing, namely a unique landscape with breathtaking views. Climbing is a challenge, as climbers have to push themselves to overcome gravity – making it a unique experience, especially here! Arco in the Trentino region houses the “Rock Master Climbing Stadium” that yearly hosts the international sport climbing competition of the same name. The surrounding landscape is even more exciting than the climbing walls: the “Muro dell’Asino” rock faces, those of Monte Baone and San Martino Policromuro are located in Arco. Torbole houses the “Spiaggia delle Lucertole” and the “Corno di Bò” climbing areas. The rock paths in Marciagia in Veneto are also famous. They can be subdivided in six sections, each with an illustrious name: “Ziricchitaglia”, “Graspia”, “Negus”, “Aerofagia”, “Cavallino Rosso” and “Per Laura”. New fans of this sport easily find safe climbing routes. The alpine schools in the area offer courses and safe exursions, during which participants do not take an unnecessary risk.
Canyoning is a sport that permits one to access otherwise inaccessible routes. Without the help of a kayak or rubber dinghy, canyonists hike down long, more or less narrow canyons, from which torrents or currents flow. It is exciting to let onself fall through the natural paths carved in the rocks, and the area surrounding Lake Garda is the ideal setting for this. Unlike other sports, such as climbing, canyoning is a team rather than an extreme sport. The area’s waterfalls, garbs and natural slides carved into the rock are accessible to both experienced athletes and children. These excursions are always organised by the association of mountain guides that guarantee the participants’ safety and provide the necessary equipment (diving suit, helmet and climbing harnesses).
You can fly above Lake Garda with ease because the mountains in the back – Monte Baldo, Belpo and Pizzocolo – allow you to do so and there are paragliding schools everywhere in the area. Paragliding means taking a free flight in a relatively light and basic equipment for an air sport. The wing, which paragliders prefer to refer to as “paraglider”, is made from fabric and attached through lines to the harness, into which the pilot is buckled. Pilots use their hands and feet to steer the machine via the brakes and the speed bar, respectively. Some of the paragliding clubs in the area offer tandem flights for people to try out and some in combination with other excursions or sports such as free and sport climbing on fixed rope routes. Paragliding schools can be found in the entire Lake Garda area, from Arco, Malcesine and Bardolino to the Veronese hinterland in Caprino, as well as on the western shore of the lake in Gardone Riviera, Toscolano Maderno and Tremosine. Starting points are located at the summit but not necessarily at a high altitude (from Monte Baldo’s 1800 metres to Monte Pizzocolo’s 1300 metres and Prada’s 1000 metres). The 20 to 50-minute flight is a unique experience with a truly exclusive view of Lake Garda.