The bicycle contributes to a unique experience of travelling. As Didier Tronchet writes well in Petit Traité de vélosophie. Il mondo visto dal saddle, “the bicycle is an extension of the body and soul, which makes one active in the pleasure of discovering places that from the window of a car or train would speed away without revealing themselves in their entirety.”
Lake Garda, a scenic combination of water, plains, and relief, acquires a whole other flavor when explored by bike.
Riding along the cycle paths that skirt its shores or reaching the roads that wind their way up its hills allows a more engaging knowledge of the landscape and contributes to well-being: we breathe better, we move, we do not pollute.
There is a wide choice of flat and uphill itineraries, with beautiful routes from every cardinal point. Those who do not have their own bike can rent one suitable for their level of fitness and can also count on the experience of a guide who accompanies and explains the route throughout the ride. For the organization, there is Dolomite Mountains, a DMC specializing in active expeditions in the Dolomites, Sardinia, and Lake Garda (https://www.dolomitemountains.com/en/browse-experiences/lake-garda/lake-garda-multisport-adventure): they will help with personalized itineraries including the best hotels and restaurants.
Around Lake Garda by Bike
Starting from the southern part of Lake Garda, there is the Mincio cycle path, a 43-km ring-route, all asphalted and with a modest difference in altitude, with a travel time of about 4 hours, which starts from Borghetto sul Mincio and reaches Peschiera del Garda, passing through Volta Mantovana and Castellaro Lagusello to finally reach Mantua. Due to its conformation, it is suitable for people of all ages and families.
Dashing Through the Lake Beaches
South-east of Lake Garda is the Peschiera-Lazise-Bardolino-Garda cycle path. The route is 18 kilometers (11 miles) in total, completely flat and suitable for almost everyone. You ride along Peschiera del Garda admiring the walls of the UNESCO heritage city. You then pedal between asphalt and dirt stretches to Lazise and then along the lake to Bardolino. From Bardolino to Garda it is completely paved and runs along the lakefront among small beaches, olive groves, and bar kiosks.
Cycling Between Romantic Panoramas & Elegant Villages
Southwest of Lake Garda is the Peschiera-Sirmione-Desenzano cycle path: very easy, 36 kilometers (22 miles) long in all, with no difference in altitude, it runs partly along the shores of Lake Garda, passing by the beautiful Sirmione. A route of extraordinary beauty with views over the lake and passages through elegant and refined villages.
The Dream Cycle Path, the Most Scenic in the World
On Lake Garda there is also the spectacular suspended cycle path of Limone, the maxi track called Garda by Bike, also called the cycle path of dreams: a 140-kilometer (86-mile) circumnavigation of Lake Garda, embracing the shores of Trentino, Lombardy, and Veneto. This is a complete loop linking the various towns and villages around the lake on a unique breathtaking panorama, with different gradients that follow the natural terrain. The track starts in Limone, the most spectacular point, pedaling on a steel footbridge that runs along the lake for two and a half kilometers (~1 mile), and directly overlooks the water at a height of 50 meters (164′), between sheer cliffs. Definitely one of the most scenic cycle paths in the world. Unparalleled views and the sensation of pedaling almost flush with the water.
The Must-Do of Lake Garda
The lakeside cycle path between Brenzone and Malcesine, 40 kilometers (24 miles) round trip, crosses no less than ten villages, all in the Veneto part of Lake Garda: Castelletto di Brenzone, Marniga, Magugnano, Porto di Brenzone, Assenza di Brenzone, Cassone, Val di Sogno, Malcesine, Campagnola, and Navene. All asphalted and completely flat (in Malcesine you can even take the Monte Baldo cable car to the summit and descend by mountain bike along the dedicated trails if you choose), it is considered an absolute must.
In the Saddle on Trentino Garda
Another very scenic track is the one from Torbole to Sarche, one of the most popular routes in Garda Trentino. Surrounded by greenery, it follows the course of the Sarca River, connecting the shores of the lake. Almost 25 kilometers (15 miles) of the route, with 200 meters (656′) of maximum altitude difference in an enchanting landscape. Along the route, with short detours, you can reach various attractions, points of interest, producers, and restaurateurs in the Upper Garda area.
Written by Germana Cabrelle, freelance journalist.
Photo Marcello Alongi-Courtesy Comune di Garda
About the Author- Germana Cabrelle: professional journalist and passionate about photography and bicycle touring, she narrates itineraries and destinations with a curious eye, interior architecture, lifestyle, food & beverage, and luxury hospitality. In love with Venice and the Veneto region, she writes books, one of which is dedicated to design jewelry, published by the Italian Encyclopedia Institute Treccani.