Those who want a cooler place to stay in Lake Garda’s hottest month should consider the resorts at the northern end of the lake. At the northernmost point, you’ll find cosmopolitan Riva, a bustling Italian town that’s sheltered by the stunning Monte Rochetta cliffs. Riva’s position on the north of the lake welcomes a lovely breeze in the summer months which is just the ticket if you’re planning an active Lake Garda holiday in July. While most of the resorts around the lake are excellent for walking and cycling, some (particularly those towards the south) can get quite hot during the summer months. Thanks to its cooling winds, you can explore Riva’s various bike and walking trails in July without feeling the full heat of the sun – and Riva has some truly excellent trails to explore.
A popular attraction here, especially in the hottest summer months is to visit the cascata del varone, Riva’s spectacular waterfall. It’s a mere 3km away from the centre of Riva and can be experienced from two viewpoints. The Parco Grotta Cascata Varone also has a large picnic area, restaurant and beautiful botanical gardens to enjoy while you’re there. As well as making Riva perfect for holidays in July, the wind makes it one of the best destinations for windsurfing in Europe. It’s a fantastic place to windsurf, kitesurf and sail whether you have been doing it for years or are trying it for the first time (there are some great schools in the area). For a lazy day around the town, Riva has lovely waterfront gardens and a large clean pebble beach where you can swim in the lake. The shopping here is extensive and Riva has a variety of restaurants, cafes and gelaterias. If you can’t have a summer holiday without a round of golf, the Parallelo golf club is located above Riva and has some of the most amazing views in the golfing world.
There’s something going on in Riva throughout the summer months and July is one of the best times to be here. The Optimist world championship is the main regatta of the year and other water sports events include the Melges week and the regatta premondiale. Riva can be the perfect sporty resort for the active but it’s also great for music lovers in July. The Garda Jazz festival runs into early July and Riva’s most important musical event on the calendar, the Musica Riva Festival also takes place at this time of year. With past line-ups including Gloria Gaynor and Paul Simon, this isn’t something to miss, if you’re staying in Riva at the time.
Riva is one of our favourite places to stay in July – its warm, breezy weather, events and cosmopolitan atmosphere make this proper Italian town a great holiday destination. If you prefer a smaller, quieter town with a focus on history and culture, try Maderno, Salo or Torri or for a resort that feels the full July sunshine, stay in Peschiera or Sirmione in the far south of the lake.