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7 towns on Lake Garda not to miss

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If Lake Garda is one of the most enchanting places in Italy, it is not just thanks to the spectacular views of the mountains towering over the water. In addition to its natural wonders, the shores of the lake also offer charming historic towns with lovely little ports and medieval alleys. The beautiful towns on Lake Garda make this place an ideal destination for anyone seeking relaxation, culture, and outdoor walks. If you are planning a vacation on Lake Garda, here are the 7 towns you absolutely cannot miss.  

1) Peschiera del Garda

Peschiera del Garda If you have children, you will be happy to know that Peschiera del Garda is suitable for the whole family, thanks to its proximity to many amusement parks. It is one of the most charming towns on the southern shore of the lake: surrounded by the imposing Venetian walls, which are part of the UNESCO heritage, it enchants both adults and children with its canals, ancient fortifications, and lively historic center, where every corner tells a story. Here, you can visit the Rocca, admire its bastions, and walk through the impressive Porta Brescia. Peschiera del Garda is also an excellent starting point for exploring the nearby Parco del Mincio, a protected natural area ideal for hiking or cycling along the river. Alternatively, you can spend a day at the wonderful Parco Sigurtà, a garden that boasts a kilometer-long avenue lined with roses.  

2) Bardolino

Bardolino Let's stay on the southeast shore to visit Bardolino. This town is especially renowned for its namesake rosé wine and its picturesque little port. In addition to participating in a tasting at one of the many local wineries, in Bardolino you can wander through the historic center, walk along the "Rivalunga," or rent a paddle boat or a boat to enjoy the tranquil waters of the lake. Are you looking for a romantic spot? In the nearby town of Garda, a few kilometers north of Bardolino, there is a place just for you: we are talking about Punta San Vigilio, a place immersed in the calm of the lake with an ancient little church and a charming small port. Not far from here is the Baia delle Sirene, where you will find a small beach surrounded by olive trees. Finally, don't miss the chance to visit the Olive Oil Museum to discover the production process of the local extra virgin olive oil: here you will find unique tools, such as levers and water-driven mills.  

3) Lazise

Lazise Between Peschiera and Bardolino lies Lazise, one of the best-preserved medieval towns on Lake Garda. Its ancient walls, towers, and small port still tell the stories of the fishermen who lived in this town centuries ago. To fully experience the atmosphere of Lazise, stroll through its streets and stop for a coffee in the main square. Here you will find one of the city's symbols, the ancient Dogana Veneta, built to promote trade between Lombardy and the Republic of Venice. Lazise also enjoys a privileged location due to its proximity to the Garda amusement parks: Gardaland, Movieland Park, Caneva Aquapark, and Parco Natura Viva are all just a few kilometers away from the town.  

4) Sirmione

Sirmione Here’s another gem: Sirmione, the "pearl of Lake Garda," famous for its thermal waters and the Scaligero Castle that dominates the lake. Walking through its cobbled streets is like taking a plunge into history: you can get lost in the narrow alleys, discover the hidden rooms of the castle, and visit the dock where the fleet's ships once moored. Finally, in addition to relaxing in the healing waters of the Sirmione Thermal Baths, don't forget to take a walk along the tip of the peninsula, where the ancient Roman villa known as the "Grotte di Catullo" stands. What’s the most charming way to reach Sirmione? By the public ferry that departs from Peschiera Del Garda and skirts the town.  

5) Malcesine

Malcesine One of the most characteristic towns on Lake Garda is Malcesine, famous for its historic center and as the starting point of the cable car that goes up Monte Baldo. With the lift, you can reach 1780 meters at Tratto Spino, where you can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of the entire lake. The symbol of the town is the fortification perched on the promontory: often listed among the most beautiful and best-preserved castles in Italy, the Scaligero Castle of Malcesine is also described and appreciated by Goethe in his work "Italian Journey." The imposing fortress is open to visitors: from its towers, you can enjoy a breathtaking view and look out over a balcony overlooking the lake. Malcesine is also a paradise for water sports enthusiasts: if you are passionate about sailing or windsurfing, you will find excellent facilities to rent equipment and perfect conditions for riding the waves.  

6) Limone

Limone Limone sul Garda is a jewel nestled in the northwestern part of the lake. Thanks to the unique climate of this area, you can encounter exotic plants and the typical local lemons, which can be enjoyed in various forms, from ice cream to aperitifs. Its narrow and winding streets and pastel-colored houses create an enchanting atmosphere. What will leave a lasting impression, however, are the lemon groves: real masonry greenhouses where citrus fruits were once cultivated.  

7) Riva del Garda

Riva del Garda Let's conclude our list with a town that needs no introduction: Riva del Garda, a paradise for hiking, mountain biking, windsurfing, and sailing enthusiasts. But this town is not just about outdoor sports: its center is rich in history, culture, and architectural beauty. An example? The Rocca of Riva del Garda, a medieval fortress on an artificial island that now houses the MAG Museo Alto Garda. If you're seeking a breathtaking view, don't miss the mighty Bastione of Riva, a circular tower made of white limestone blocks from which you can enjoy the full splendor of North Lake Garda. It is accessible via the fascinating panoramic elevator, a fully glass cabin that ascends from the center of Riva del Garda. Despite being on the opposite shore, Riva del Garda is reachable by boat from Peschiera del Garda.   These 7 towns on Lake Garda represent just a taste of the beauty and variety that this lake has to offer. Each locality has its own unique charm and offers different experiences and atmospheres, making every visit an unforgettable adventure. Whether you're a lover of relaxation, a history enthusiast, or an outdoor adventurer, Lake Garda will surely have a town that will make your trip special.