One of the most famous natural spots in northern Italy is Lake Garda, the biggest lake in the country. Even though it’s a very touristic place, known for the scenic lakeside promenade and the endless traffic, the area offers some incredible hikes and trails, most of them with wonderful views of the water.
Historically, the mountains around the lake have been used to grow lemon and olive trees, thanks to the mild weather. The first “limonaia” (orangery) was created in the XIII century by Franciscan friars who then proceeded to spread them all over the left shore of the lake.
Today there are many paths that let visitors walk through the old ruins, usually after walking a mule track. During the summer, the trees offer a nice shadow that allows you to enjoy the hike even in the hottest months of the year.
Not only, but there are also many hikes that start off from the towns above the lake, and usually have a little church or cross at the end of them, with an area where hikers can stop and relax, as well as eat on picnic tables.
Lake Garda offers a variety of paths suited for all kinds of hikers, and even the easiest come with amazing views. This is why you’ll find a lot of photographers stop on the way standing on one of the many ledges taking a picture. If you are a photographer yourself, you don’t wanna miss the opportunity of taking a shot at the peaks on the opposite side of the bird’s-eye view of the lakeside towns.
Bikers can also enjoy the lake, thanks to the availability of many bike paths around and even on the lake. The so-called ciclopista del Garda (more information here) is an ambitious project still in progress that aims to build a path projecting on the lake. There are also more traditional trails, some of them accessible to the whole family, that can make a pleasant weekend activity from spring to fall.
Don’t forget that the lake is reachable by train from Milan, Brescia, and Verona, and there are also many buses connecting the different towns and villages around it. If you are spending some time in northern Italy, I recommend trying to make time on your trip to Lake Garda, not only because of its inherent beauty but also because of its well-connection and accessibility to travellers, even if you don’t have a car.
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