The most popular visitor attractions, places to see & things to do in & near Garda Italy.
Garda is a fantastic ‘all rounder’ resort with things to see and do - come rain or shine - whether you prefer action-packed adventure, historical attractions, natural wonders or Italian holiday laziness. For active holidays, it has some great terrain for excursions on foot or bike as well as tonnes to do on the water from mini cruises to banana boat rides. History buffs can enjoy attractions including the beautiful Villa Albertini and prehistoric rock carvings.
The Cà degli Ulivi golf course is nearby if you fancy a round or two and the town centre has a great range of shops and a weekly market. For leisurely days by the lake, Garda has a long promenade punctuated with restaurants, cafes and gelaterias as well as some lovely beach areas for swimming and sunbathing. Neighbouring towns Bardolino and Torri are well worth a visit and boat trips to the western shore are also available.
Garda Walking & Hiking: You’ll find a great variety of terrain from mountain steeps to gentle footpaths, making this a brilliant place to stay whether you prefer adventurous hikes or more leisurely walks. Hikers should try the Monte Lenzino circuit which goes up the mountain through Albisano or take the steep rocky paths up Rocca del Garda. The footpath to San Vigilio is a popular walk offering an amazing view over the lake and you can also walk south along the promenade to Bardolino. Guided walks are available with some holidays if you want to experience the area in the company of an expert.
Garda Cycling & Mountain Biking: There’s something for every kind of bike experience here including lakeside paths, rolling hills, woodlands and serious steeps. Take the promenade down to Bardolino and Lazise, cycle the hills between Costermano and Albarè or explore olive and cypress groves. There’s a scenic lakeside cycle route to Punta San Vigilio or for more of a challenge, climb up the Rocca di Garda - the view from here is amazing. Serious mountain bikers should head up the lake to Monte Baldo (you can take your bike up the cable car in Malcesine to preserve some energy) for some terrific free-ride, cross country and downhill terrain.
Garda Water sports & Lake Activities: Cavalla and Parco Baia delle Sirene are two fantastic beach areas if you fancy some swimming in the lake (book a holiday in July, August or September for the warmest water). For something at a faster pace, you’ll find a range of water activities on offer at Serenella’s Waterski centre including waterskiing, parasailing and banana boat rides. One of the best ways to experience Garda is by boat; there are various tours and trips available or you can head down the shore to Punta Cornicello and hire a boat for your own adventure on the water.
The Mermaid’s bay park in San Vigilio is a private shingle beach with lovely clear water. Great for family days by the lake, the park organises daily children’s activities and has play areas, table tennis tables and a picnic area.
The strinking Villa Degli Albertini dates back to the 16th century and can be found on the road to San Vigilio overlooking Garda’s port. The castle-like building is surrounded by a stunning garden and park, with the hills stretching behind it.
A good example of Venetian Gothic architecture, the Palace of Captains can be found near the lakeside overlooking the old harbour. The building dates back to the 14th century and is known for housing the Captain of the Lake.
Steeped in history and legend, the Rocca which rises above the southern edge of Garda was home to a fortress that dates back to the 15th century. While the fortress is long gone, you’ll still find a spectacular panoramic view over the lake.
Evidence of deeply rooted history can be seen on carvings etched into over 200 rocks in the area. These date back to the Bronze Age and Iron Age and feature engravings of people, animals, tools, weapons, and boats.
The weekly markets are a real Lake Garda tradition and Garda has one every Friday where you’ll find local produce, clothes, souvenirs and much more.
Gardacqua is excellent for both rainy days and hot weather. It has indoor attractions including a children’s pool, waterslide and wellness facilities as well as open air attractions for sunny weather including a pool, park, sun-loungers and open-air bistro.