Lake Garda Itinerary: How to Spend 1,2,3 Days in Lake Garda

Lake Garda is one of the best places to visit in Northern Italy to enjoy nature, discover some history, and have a well-spent vacation. If you need ideas on how you can spend 1, 2, or 3 days in Lake Garda, you are at the right place.

In this blog post, the first thing that we’ll do is figure out how many days you should spend in Lake Garda. Then, we’ll tackle how you can spend time in Lake Garda using the itineraries I prepared.

The list of activities in Lake Garda in my itineraries is available in the last part of this article. I included their brief introduction and some practical information to help you have a perfect trip to Lake Garda. Alright, let’s go!

Affiliate Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a tiny commission at no additional cost to you. They will help me maintain this blog and create posts to fulfill the mission of this blog.

Before we get to the main topic, let me quickly introduce Lake Garda, its location, and the mode of transportation within and around the lake. These shall help you in preparing for your trip to Lake Garda. 

You can use the table of contents above to jump into the main contents if you have researched some basic info about Lake Garda. Let’s begin with, what exactly is Lake Garda? 

Introduction to Lake Garda

Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake and a popular tourist destination in the northern part of the country. Situated at the foot of the Dolomites and in proximity to major Italian cities in Lombardy & Veneto, Lake Garda is one of the places quickest to visit to see breathtaking scenery in Italy.

Lake Garda Itinerary: Limone

It should not take you more than 2 hours to travel to Lake Garda from BolognaVenice, or Milan using public transportation or a private car. The closest Lake Garda towns to these cities are Desenzano del Garda and Peschiera del Garda

Verona is the closest city with an airport to Lake Garda. The travel distance between Verona Airport and Lake Garda is approximately 30 minutes using public transportation. Only flights from Europe and nearby areas arrive at Verona Airport.

For me, Verona and Lake Garda are the perfect places to kick off your trip to the Dolomites. From here, you’re just 2 hours away from Trento and Bolzano, the gateway to the Dolomites.

After a day trip or a 2 to 3-day stay in Lake Garda, you can quickly go further and deeper into the Dolomites (Cortina d’Ampezzo) for more spectacular views.

Learn more about the places mentioned here:

  1. Venice: 10 Most Beautiful Buildings in Venice + Google Maps Location
  2. Milan: 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Milan
  3. Verona: 12 Good Reasons Why Verona Is Worth a Visit
  4. Trento: 15 Things To Do In Trento Italy
  5. Bolzano: 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Bolzano
  6. Cortina d’Ampezzo: 10 Beautiful Places Around Cortina d’Ampezzo Italy

Know that 25 towns and villages surround Lake Garda, but only 5 are mainly included in the itineraries and in the discussion on this post. Though most of them are quaint and picturesque, they generally look the same. 

The 5 towns and villages are Sirmione, Malcesine, Riva, Arco, and Limone sul Garda.

You can read my article, 10 Reasons to Visit Lake Garda, to learn why they’re the villages I included in my itinerary. But basically, they are the most charming and have the best landmarks and tourist attractions in Lake Garda.

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Transportation in Lake Garda for 1,2,3-Day Trip

Lake Garda is vast. Hiking from one town to another is not practical, particularly if you have limited time. This is why you should now be acquainted with the means of transportation for your 1, 2, or 3-day Lake Garda trip.

Lake Garda Itinerary boat

There are three ways you can get around Lake Garda. It’s either by bus, boat or by driving your private car. You can only use trains in arriving/departing from Lake Garda to/from its 2 train stations in Desenzano del Garda and Peschiera del Garda. 

Traveling around Lake Garda is pretty easy, even without a private car. Bus routes cover the east and west coasts of Lake Garda. There are ferry rides linking several towns across the lake too! You can also hire motorboats, though they can only operate in the southern part of the lake. 

Most of the time, you can rely on online navigation apps such as Google Maps or Rome2Rio for instructions on moving there from here on your actual trip to Lake Garda.

However, they can get tricky sometimes. So, you should have these links below ready if you need to verify if the transport schedules from these platforms are updated or synced up.

Below is the summary of the public transportation routes from the links given above based on the details I found last time I checked:

  • Bus Line 199: Verona Airport to Verona 
  • East Coast Bus Lines 162 and 163: Verona-Bussolengo-Lazise-Bardolino-Garda
  • East Coast Bus Line 164: Verona-Peschiera-Lazise-Bardolino-Garda
  • East Coast Bus Line 165: Verona-Bussolengo-Garda
  • East Coast Bus Line 484: Garda-Torri Del Benaco-Brenzone Sul Garda-Malcesine-Torbole Porto-Riva del Garda
  • South Coast Bus Line LN026: Brescia-Desenzano-Sirmione-Peschiera-Verona
  • West Coast Bus Line LN027: Desenzano-Manerba-Salo-Limone-Riva del Garda

Note that I only included the most visited towns in Lake Garda in the description for each bus line above. Like, LN027, it services more than 20 bus stops and places but not all mentioned above. Kindly check the links I provided for complete (or updated) information.

There are three main lines in which ferries are operating in Lake Garda. Here’s the summary:

  • Desenzano – Peschiera – Riva
    • Regular tickets: 5-hour trip (end to end)
    • Fast tickets: 2.5-hour trip (end to end)
  • Maderno – Torri: 25 minutes
  • Limone (Traghetto) – Malcesine (Centrale + Traghetto): 20 minutes

Because there’s public transportation linking all towns in Lake Garda, you may want to consider staying in a single accommodation for your entire vacation. Booking a hotel in Verona is a good option if you’re just visiting Lake Garda for a day.

How about a 2 or 3-day trip to Lake Garda. Which is the best town in Lake Garda to stay in?

Location-wise, it would be best to stay in Garda (town) as it’s in the middle of Lake Garda’s best places to visit (Sirmione, Malcesine, Riva, and Limone). Garda is roughly an hour away from Sirmione and Riva and 45 minutes from Malcesine, connected with a 20-minute boat ride to Limone.

See the best accommodation offers in Lake Garda here.

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Is Lake Garda Worth Visiting?

Before we discuss how many days are enough in lake Garda, let’s first try to get an overall idea of what visiting lake Garda is worth. Knowing what experiences await you in Lake Garda will significantly help you determine how many days you need to spend on the lake.

I recommend that you read quickly or scan my article 10 Reasons to Visit Lake Garda before moving to the next part of our discussion. Alright! Let’s go!

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How Many Days To Spend in Lake Garda

There are many ways you can spend your day in Lake Garda. It can last shorter or longer. The number of days of your stay depends on how many tourist attractions and towns you want to see.

Lake Garda Itinerary town

In my perception of Lake Garda, there are four things that your journey to the lake would revolve around: towns, landmarks, culture, and nature. But, most of the time, you will be just exploring beautiful Lake Garda’s towns and getting lost in their charming medieval flair.

Seeing new landmarks and learning new cultures should come as you tour Lake Garda’s towns. Castles, archaeological sites, and museums are often found within these towns.

Though you can already see stunning nature from the charming towns in Lake Garda, an authentic nature experience often requires another whole day to do.

The activities range from simple hiking to watersports, Via Ferrata, paragliding, etc.

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Is 1 Day in Lake Garda Enough?

One day is not enough to see all the best attractions and sights in Lake Garda. However, a day trip to lake Garda, particularly to Sirmione or Malcesine, is very doable, and you can already get so much value from it.

You can check Malcesine and Sirmione and their tourist attractions from the best things to do in Lake Garda below.

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Are 2 Days in Lake Garda Enough?

Two days are enough if you want to see 2 types of attractions in Lake Garda. Remember, lake Garda is massive in size. Because of that, it offers two slightly different pictures: the scenic mountainous north and the charming historical south. It would be best to spend one day in Sirmione and another in Riva/Arco/Limone/Malcesine.

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Are 3 Days in Lake Garda Enough?

Three days is the perfect length of visit to lake Garda. Within 3 days, you can already visit lake Garda’s unique and picturesque landmarks, explore preserved medieval towns, and have a day with nature. This length of stay in lake Garda should allow you to explore more and relax.

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Lake Garda Itinerary for 1, 2, 3 Days

To further help you decide how long you should stay in Lake Garda and help you plan your visit to lake Garda, I’m giving you my suggested Lake Garda itinerary below.

I made the itineraries for each day interchangeable to fit your preferences. You can swap “day 1” of the itinerary with “day 2” or “day 3,” etc., depending on what order you like or on the bookings available.

The itineraries below are for three different day trips to Lake Garda, which you can combine to form 2 or 3 days of a visit. However, you are not limited to these itineraries, and there are different ways to spend days in Lake Garda.

I suggest that you stay in the town of Garda (one bus ride away from Verona) as it’s in the middle of the places listed on the itinerary. That is, of course, if you plan to stay longer than one day.

If you need a place to stay in Lake Garda, you can find the best hotel deals in Lake Garda here. It is a hotel finder with a map feature to help you quickly find the hotels at the most accessible/convenient location.

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Day 1 in Lake Garda – Sirmione

For this itinerary, we focus on Sirmione, which is the best day trip if you’re from one of the cities south of Lake Garda. Here’s how you can spend your day in Sirmione:

Hour Destination
8:00 am Arrive at Sirmione
8:30 am Castello di Sirmione
10:00 am Sirmione Boat Tour
11:00 am Lunch
1:00 pm Sirmione Town Tour
2:30 pm Grotte di Catullo
5:00 pm Jamaica Beach
Lake Garda Itinerary: Sirmione (Day 1)

You can find Sirmione boat tour tickets here and other things to do in Lake Garda.

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Day 2 in Lake Garda – Malcesine

For this day, you visit the towns and attractions in the midsection of Lake Garda, but the primary goal is to see Malcesine.

As you can see, most of Malcesine can be visited in half a day, you have the options to move to the next destination in the afternoon. You can go up to Monte Baldo or take the boat tour to Limone.

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Option 1: Malcesine and Limone

Hour Destination
7:00 am Arrive and explore Malcesine
9:30 am Malcesine Castle
11:30 am Lunch
1:00 pm Boat ride to Limone
2:00 pm Limonaia del Castèl
3:00 pm Limone Town Tour
Lake Garda Itinerary: Malcesine and Limone (Day 2)

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Option 2: Malcesine and Monte Baldo

Hour Destination
7:00 am Arrive and explore Malcesine
9:30 am Malcesine Castle
11:30 am Lunch
1:00 pm Cable car to Monte Baldo
1:30 pm Spend the whole afternoon in Monte Baldo
Lake Garda Itinerary: Malcesine and Monte Baldo (Day 2)

Discover more alternatives to the activities indicated above from this list of things to do in Lake Garda.

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Day 3 in Lake Garda – Riva

On this day, we aim to explore the northern part of Lake Garda and enjoy nature.

First, we go on a nature trip around Riva del Garda. Then go back to the town to see its landmarks and beautiful beaches to watch the sunset. I suggest three activities before seeing the historic town: Hike Monte Brione, hike the Ponale trail, or visit Arco Castle.

I suggest that you go on a hike in the morning as often the temperature is still relatively cool compared to the afternoon.

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Option 1: Riva and Monte Brione

Hour Destination
7:00 am Arrival at Riva del Garda
7:30 am Start hiking Monte Brione
10:00 am Back to Riva, explore the town, buy little souvenirs
11:00 am Lunch
1:00 pm Torre Apponale
2:00 pm Museo Alta Garda
4:00 pm Snacks and meals
5:30 pm Wait for sunset on the beach
Lake Garda Itinerary: Riva and Monte Brione (Day 3)

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Option 2: Riva and Ponale Trail

Hour Destination
7:00 am Arrival at Riva del Garda
7:30 am Start hiking Ponale Trail
12:00 pm Back to Riva, Lunch
2:00 pm Explore Riva, buy souvenirs
3:00 pm Torre Apponale
4:00 pm Museo Alta Garda
5:30 pm Wait for sunset on the beach
Lake Garda Itinerary: Riva and Ponale Trail (Day 3)

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Option 3: Riva and Arco Castle

Hour Destination
9:00 am Arrival at Arco, explore the town
10:00 am Arco Castle
12:00 pm Lunch
2:00 pm Arrival at Riva, explore the town
3:00 pm Torre Apponale
4:00 pm Museo Alta Garda
5:30 pm Wait for sunset on the beach
Lake Garda Itinerary: Riva and Arco Castle (Day 3)

You can replace some of the items above from the list of activities in Lake Garda (click the link to see).

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Best Things To Do in Lake Garda in 1, 2, or 3 Days

Lake Garda has several towns and is surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery; it seems there are endless activities to do for 1, 2, or 3 days of a visit. Tourist attractions in lake Garda range from museums to archeological sites, serene beaches to spectacular mountains, and picturesque towns to time transporting castles.

This section should explain further the itineraries I gave you previously. On each item listed below, you will find tips and practical information to help you spend your 1, 2, or 3 days in Lake Garda in the utmost great experience.

No more talking, and let’s kick off the list with the most visited castle on the entire lake, Castello di Sirmione!

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1. Castello di Sirmione

Sirmione Castle - Lake Garda Itinerary

Have you ever seen a castle with a fortified harbor? Well, Lake Garda has one, called Castello di Sirmione. It is one of the most picturesque places in Lake Garda.

So, what exactly is it? Castello di Sirmione is a lakeside fortification that stands at the entrance of the medieval village. This small yet impressive fortification has a long history dating to the 14th century.

Castello di Sirmione has 13 parts. It has a keep, bailey, barrack, tower, 3 ravelins, 2 wards, a fortified corridor, draw bridge, bridge ramp, dock, and dock ward. Wandering around would make you feel like being transported hundreds of years in the past!

Among the 13 parts of Castello di Sirmione, it’s the dock ward and the tower, which you should not miss visiting. It’s where you can view the lake and the beautiful mountains far away. 

You can climb the tower for a more elevated vantage point of the lake and the medieval village. However, getting a boat tour around Sirmione will let you admire the castle from a better beautiful perspective on the lake.

Practical information for Castello di Sirmione:

  • Google Maps Location: Castello Scaligero di Sirmione
  • Length of Visit: 1 to 2 hours
  • Entrance Fee: 6 EUR
  • Opening Hours: See table below (come 30 minutes before closing time).
Day Opening Hour Closing Hour
Tuesday to Saturday 8:30 am 7:30 pm
Sunday 9:15 am 5:45 pm
Castello di Sirmione Opening Hours during SUMMER – April to September
Day Opening Hour Closing Hour
Tuesday to Saturday 8:30 am 7:30 pm
Sunday 9:15 am 1:30 pm
Castello di Sirmione Opening Hours during WINTER – October to March

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2. The Archaeological Site of Grotte di Catullo

Lake Garda Itinerary Grotte di Catullo

Aside from the castle, another tourist attraction that you must see in Sirmione is the Archaeological Site of Grotte di Catullo. This archaeological site is located on the northernmost tip of the Sirmione peninsula.

Today you may just see walls, arches, and olive trees in the Archaeological Site of Grotte di Catullo, but believe it or not, it was once a Roman villa where early Romans had luxurious pampering. With the architecture of the ruins and view of the surrounding, you can just imagine how paradisaic the place was.

Whether you are a fan of ancient architecture or just exploring, you will surely be captivated by this archeological site.

Marveling at the crumbling yet grandiose arcades and walls of a Roman Villa that are matched with the refreshing olive trees and lovely views of Lake Garda is a unique experience you must have! 

You can find signage and descriptions to give you insight into the roman villa’s history. The site also has an indoor museum containing artifacts from the region. 

Practical information for the Archaeological Site of Grotte di Catullo:

Day Opening Hour Closing Hour
Weekdays 8:30 am 7:30 pm
Holidays 9:30 am 6:30 pm
Grotte di Catullo Opening Hours during SUMMER – April to September
Day Opening Hour Closing Hour
Weekdays 8:30 am (Archaeological Area & Museum) 5:00 pm (Archaeological Area)
7:30 pm (Museum)
Holidays 8:30 am 2:00 pm
Grotte di Catullo Opening Hours during WINTER – October to March

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3. Jamaica Beach and Sirmione Town Tour

Lake Garda Itinerary Sirmione

The time-transporting experience in Sirsiome does not end at its castle and at its archaeological site. Sirmione has a preserved medieval village that completes the wanderlust-satisfying package this town offers. 

You can quickly see all corners and parts of the medieval village in an hour. However, I’m sure you will be stunned and slowed down by the stone houses covered with flowering vinespastel-colored buildings, and the cobblestone streets you’ll see at every turn of the way.

Both your eyes and tummy will be satisfied by Sirmione’s lakeside restaurants and cozy cafes. Some of them overlook Jamaica Beach, which turns so Instagrammable during sunset. 

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4. Sirmione Boat Tour

A visit to Sirmione is not complete without the boat tour that sails around the peninsula where the medieval village is. It’s your opportunity to see the Sirmione Castle and the Grotte di Catullo Archaeological site from a lake perspective!

That’s not all! Within the 25-minute boat tour around Sirmione, you’ll also see and know more about Maria Callas Villa, the Aquaria beauty center, and Sirmione’s sulfur spring. You’ll get the opportunity to cruise through and under the castle’s bridge.   

The boat ride shall be educational as well. The boat’s friendly captain shall share some history about the Sirmione and its landmarks as you marvel at Lake Garda.

You can find boat tours in Sirmione and Lake Garda here.

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5. Malcesine Town Tour

Lake Garda Itinerary Malcesine

Lake Garda has several charming, shutter-presser towns that can quickly fill any visitor’s camera’s digital storage. Aside from Sirmione, one that you should see is Malcesine. It’s the most picturesque town on Lake Garda’s east coast.

Nestled between the slopes of Mount Baldo and Lake GardaMalcesine is a scenic town you can’t afford to miss. Malcesine’s geographical location, with its preserved medieval village and hilltop castle, should make you say that this town has the most magical scenery in Lake Garda.

You can start exploring Malcesine from the historic town center. Wander along the cobbled streets, passing by vine-covered houses, charming shops, and lovely restaurants.

If you ask me, which has better lakefront views, Sirmione or Malcesine? I’ll go all for Malcesine. You should see the lakefront Garden of the Palazzo dei Capitani or Posterna beach, or Piana Beach. The glittering lake and the towering mountains beyond look sensational.

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6. Castle of Malcesine

Lake Garda Itinerary Malcesone Castle

Sure, lakefront promenades and beaches have captivating views. But wait until you get to the top of the 31-meter high tower of Malcesine’s castle on a hilltop, which overlooks both the medieval village and Lake Garda. Hold your jaw because it will surely drop!

Yes, Malcesine’s castle is another place you should not miss when visiting Malcesine! Know that this fortress dates back to the first millennium B.C. and offers not only views. But also discoveries about history and nature that involve Lake Garda.

Aside from the crenellations and the merlons that help visitors imagine life in the lake during the middle ages, Malcesine castle also got frescoes and Austrian gunpowder magazines awaiting you to discover. 

Malcesine castle houses an interactive natural history museum, as well. Guests can watch, touch, smell, and listens to exhibits that focus on local wildlife, local history, and fishing. 

Practical information for the Castello Scaligero di Malcesine

  • Google Maps Location: Castello Scaligero di Malcesine
  • Length of Visit: 2 to 3 hours
  • Entrance Fee: 6 EUR
  • Opening hours: every day (March 11 to November 3) from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm.

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7. Monte Baldo

Lake Garda Itinerary Monte Baldo Cable Car

If you’re coming from Verona, Venice, Milan, or somewhere south, Malcesine is one of the most beautiful and closest places to go if you want to do outdoor sports. All the fun starts near Malcesine’s preserved village, at the cable car station to Monte Baldo.

The cable car from Malcesine to Monte Baldo is the start of the fun because it will be incredibly fascinating to ride in it. Not only do the views are stunning, but the cable car slowly rotates by itself, letting you see epic 360-degree Italian Alps scenery even if you’re just there sitting still.

Monte Baldo – Malcesine cable car ride lasts for 20 minutes and has two steps. From Malcesine, you’ll first arrive at San Michele Cableway Station at 580 masl. From San Michele station, ride another cable car to Monte Baldo near Passo Tratto Spino, the last station at 1780 masl.

More impressive views shall welcome you as you reach Monte Baldo. On a sunny day, you can clearly see how the land rises from flat central-northern Italy from the south to the spectacular snowy peaks of the Italian Alps to the north. Unique views of Lake Garda await you there, as well. 

In Monte Baldo, you can do nordic walking, trekking, and mountain cycling. But, what’s really compelling, especially for adrenaline junkies, is paragliding down to Lake Garda from Monte Baldo. The adrenaline rush while paragliding feels ecstatic!

Have you not tried paragliding? Worry not because you can hire an experienced pilot who can be your tandem in complete safe paragliding.

Malcesine – Monte Baldo Cable Car Schedule

During my research, I found out that the cable car had changed schedules and timetables several times. We must look directly on Malcesine – Monte Baldo’s Cable Car website for current announcements and ascend and descend schedule.

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8. Limone Town Tour

Lake Garda Itinerary Limone

Across Lake Garda to the west of Malcesine lies another picturesque town called Limone Sul Garda. It should only take 20 to 30 minutes on a boat tour to travel from one to another.

Like Sirmione and Malcesine, you can expect Limone to be charming and idyllic. It also has pretty houses grown with flowering vines, promenade lakefronts, and scenic beaches to fill your cameras with Instagram-post-worthy pictures.

Limone Sul Garda is perched between a towering limestone mountain and lake Garda. Because of that, from some angle, you’ll think that Limone is much more beautiful than Sirmione and Malcesine. 

It’s… just… Limone doesn’t have a castle or a unique landmark to compete with Malcesine or Sirmione. Though it’s true, Limone has more natural features, which are undoubtedly the village’s tourism advantage and why you should consider visiting Limone.

Don’t forget to drop by San Giovanni stream or Sopino Waterfall for a tranquil hike when you visit Limone. But, between the two, it’s the San Giovanni stream I would recommend more.

There is a path beside the San Giovanni stream, and if you walk downhill, you get a view of the lake and the snowy mountains at the eastern bank of Lake Garda. It’s an easy hike, and rushing water beside you shall be “so” soothing to hear.

If you’re really into walking or cycling, you can try the cycle path along Limone’s shoreline of Lake Garda. It stretches for 2 kilometers or so. The view on the cycling path is scenic; you’ll never regret visiting!

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9. Limonaia del Castèl

Lake Garda Itinerary Lemon Castle

Previously, I mentioned that there is no castle in Limone Sul Garda. But – Limonaia del Castel? Well, it’s true. There’s no castle in Limone. Limonaia del Castèl is only a museum with a “castle” on its name.

As Lake Garda is known for its citrus fruits, there should be a place around the lake where they are sophisticatedly cultivated. One of those places is Limonaia del Castèl – here in Limone. This is why Limone is named Limone, “Lemons.”

Apparently, in the museum, you will learn about lemons, their history, and how the locals produce them. Outside, there is this part where they literally cultivate lemons, which at the same time offers beautiful overlooking views of the town.

Practical information for Limonaia del Castèl

  • Google Maps Location: Limonaia del Castèl
  • Length of visit: 1 to 2 hours
  • Entrance fee: 2 EUR
  • Opening hours: Limonaia del Castèl is open every day. However, opening hours differ per season. The last time I checked Limonaia del Castel website, the museum’s opening hours :
    • January 4 to May 22 – 10:00 am until 6:00 pm.
    • August 23 to September 18 – 10:00 am until 10:00 pm.
    • September 19 to October 31 – 10:00 am until 6:00 pm.

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10. Town Tour Riva del Garda and Hiking (optional)

Lake Garda Itinerary Riva Del Garda

To the north of Lake Garda lies Riva del Garda, an elegant town below the “wedge” shaped Monte Brione. Like other towns and villages in Lake Garda, Riva has a historic center, picturesque and well inviting for a lovely stroll.

Being a town in Trentino, Riva is slightly different from other towns in Lake Garda, all because of the influence of Austrian culture. You can see it in the architecture of some buildings, but more importantly, in the dishes that are served in the restaurants. 

Because of the Italian-Austrian culture mix in Riva, your visit to this town shall be your unique experience in your trip to Italy IF you have no plans of visiting the rest of South Tyrol. Anyhow, for a day of visit to Riva, there are three things which I think best to do.

Of course, the first one is obviously to explore the historic center full of cute shops, cozy cafes, and charming, pastel-colored houses. Never miss a selfie on Torre Apponale, a 13th-century clock tower that dominates Riva’s skyline. It’s a 34-meter tower you can climb on to see the idyllic surroundings.

The second thing you can do is see the Museo Alto Garda, a museum inside the Rocca di Riva (Castle fortification of the town). We’ll discuss more of this later.

The last is to enjoy the nature around Riva. Although the beaches in Riva can be so breathtaking already, there’s more you can go from Riva where more stunning scenery awaits you. You can try hiking on Monte Brione or on Ponale Trail, which is just on the outskirts of Riva.

I described Ponale Trail and Monte Brione further in my other article (10 Reasons To Visit Lake Garda).

Practical information for Torre Apponale

  • Google Maps Location: Torre Apponale
  • Length of visit: 1 hour
  • Entrance fee: 2 EUR
  • Opening hours: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Tuesday to Sunday

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11. Museo Alto Garda (MAG)

Lake Garda Itinerary MAG

One of the best museums in Lake Garda lies in Riva del Garda, called MAG or Museo Alto Garda. Though there’s nothing much special about its exhibits, MAG is perhaps the best place you can learn so much about Upper Garda’s history and culture

MAG contains three floors of paintings, artworks, and items depicting the history of Upper Garda. Believe it or not, this relatively small museum exhibit artifacts dating back to prehistory up until recent history during world war II.

Perhaps what makes MAG unique is the structure where the exhibits are located. MAG is inside a 12th-century fortress, Rocca di Riva, standing on an artificial island near the coast and Riva del Garda’s historic center. 

If you just emerged out of the narrow streets of Riva del Garda’s historic center in Piazza Cesare Battisti, Rocca di Riva would appear like it’s not built on an island. You’ll just be surprised when you get closer and see that there are boats beside it, and it’s only linked to the town by a small bridge.

Practical information for Museo Alto Garda

  • Google Maps Location: MAG Museo Alto Garda
  • Length of visit: 1 hour to 1.5 hours
  • Entrance fee: 5 EUR
  • Opening hours: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Tuesday to Sunday

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12. Arco Castle

Lake Garda Itinerary Castle

If you thought that Malcesine castle or Sirmione castle is the most breathtaking castle in Lake Garda, you got to think twice because Lake Garda has the 11th-century Arco Castle. 

Arco Castle has partly fallen in disrepair, and only a ruined tower and half-intact walls remain. You can still see some frescoes in them, however. But, you know, where it was built is extraordinary – it’s just the main deal!

Perched on a prominent spur that has views of the towns of Arco, Riva, and Lake Garda to the south and the Dolomites to the north, Arco Castle is absolutely breathtaking. Getting to the top requires a little effort (a 20-minute hike) but rest assured, the scenery you’ll see is undoubtedly unparalleled.

In some seasons, you should also find a view of the vast vineyard plantation from Arco Castle. They look spectacular, like giant carpets of different shades of green. 

Arco Castle has two parts, the historic area, and the garden. There is also a boardwalk made of tempered glass you can visit to see more exciting views of the towns below. 

Practical Information for Arco Castle:

  • Google Maps Location: Castello di Arco
  • Length of Visit: 1.5 to 2 hours
  • Entrance Fee: 3.5 EUR
  • Opening Hours: The opening hour varies per season, but they should be accessible all week. Come 1 hour before closing time. It is open from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm or 7:00 pm, depending on the season. See the exact details here.

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Lake Garda Itinerary: How to Spend 1,2,3 Days in Lake Garda
Lake Garda Itinerary: How to Spend 1,2,3 Days in Lake Garda

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