48 hours admin March 7, 2024

48 hours in Garda! Follow your pace and our advice and you will experience the best of the small jewel of the Riviera degli Ulivi (the “Riviera of Olives”). Whether on foot or by bicycle, on your own or with an expert, certified guide, a weekend is enough to fall in love with a varied and fascinating area, amidst stimuli, suggestions, panoramas, cultural stops and culinary digressions. There is plenty to see and do in Garda, and it’s all within easy reach!

DAY 1

SWEET MORNING AND A WALK THROUGH THE HISTORIC CENTRE

Start with sweetness, take time for a breakfast of local sweets and pastries. In one of the pastry shops in the centre or sitting at a table overlooking the lake, accompany your coffee with sweet fogassa or San Vigilini, Winston Churchill’s favourite shortcrust pastry and sultana biscuits.
Stroll through the narrow streets and alleyways of the historic centre, among the hidden and most picturesque views, following the traces of the past, among the noble palaces and historic shops. The style of the architecture is reminiscent of Venice, but Garda retains the atmosphere of the old fishing village.
On the western gate of San Giovanni stands Palazzo Fregoso (Fregoso Palace): it is said that the Renaissance poet Bandello wrote a novella about Romeo and Juliet here, inspiring Shakespeare’s masterpiece. Another example of 16th-century architecture is the elegant Palazzo Carlotti (Carlotti Palace), which, with the Clock Tower, is the most striking entrance to the historic heart of Garda. The palace stretches to the lakefront and ends at what was once the town’s dock, the Losa.

THE ATTRACTION OF WATER, A BREAK ON THE BEACH OR A 0-KM LUNCH

It’s time to take a break in the sun, enjoying the colours and scents of the Garda lakefront. From the shade of the Losa arcade, you stroll down to the harbour, where small fishing boats lazily float alongside pleasure craft and elegant sailboats.
Prefer a walk between water and olive trees? You can follow the lakeside promenade in the direction of Punta San Vigilio.
Lunchtime is approaching. For a snack, throwing a towel on the beach at Al Corno is an excellent idea. For a more leisurely indulgence in local flavours, the advice is to head back towards Piazza Catullo and sit down at a table in one of the many lake-view restaurants where you can enjoy a Garda menu of local fish, dressed with olive oil from the Riviera degli Ulivi (the “Riviera of Olives”) and accompanied by a sparkling Garda DOC wine.

FISHING STORIES, VIEWS FROM THE LAKE AND AN APERITIF AT PUNTA SAN VIGILIO

In the early afternoon, discover the delightful Territorial Museum of Lake Garda. Get closer to the memory and roots of the area among nets and hulls of the past, black and white photographs, archaeological finds and a faithful reconstruction of the Pal del Vò, the natural boundary between the waters of Garda and Sirmione and symbol of Garda fishing.
It’s time to experience the lake. To see the bay from a different perspective, board one of the fishermen’s boats that offer guided tours with all the comforts on board. Enjoy the breeze, the scents of the water, the views of the coastline, the views of the noble villas and their gardens at the water’s edge, listening to the stories and secrets of the lake from the voice of those who were born there and sail it every day. If you wish, you can go as far as the Pal del Vo’, then approach the beautiful Punta San Vigilio, and disembark at the Locanda San Vigilio, an ideal place for a sunset aperitif, the kind that has enchanted kings and emperors, artists and writers, poets and actors from all over the world.

DINNER WITH GREAT CHEFS AND A SAIL UNDER THE STARS

The experiences of the day can be found at the table, in the flavours of Garda recipes, the authentic ones from traditional taverns and inns and those interpreted by the great chefs of historic and Michelin-starred restaurants.
For a memorable dining experience, rely on the cuisine of Giancarlo Perbellini, a Michelin star for years, at his Locanda ai Beati. Or the never banal interpretations of Andrea Costantini, the soul of the Regio Patio kitchen mentioned in the Michelin Guide.
The evening has just begun. The thermal breeze blows over the bay. It is time for a night sailing with a skipper from the Lega Navale Italiana of Garda. Just make a reservation to enjoy a night offshore. Ten knots of wind cool the air, fill the sails and push you over the water. Evening lights on the shore, stars twinkling in the sky.

DAY 2

THE NATURE OF GARDA, ON FOOT OR BY BICYCLE

If you felt regenerated on day one, today we’re off to discover the nature surrounding Garda. Follow your own pace, on foot or by bike, as this land of gentle features and intense colours will welcome you. As you leave the lake behind you, the landscape becomes green, the hills are lined by vineyards and shaded by olive trees, and by following paths and byroads with little traffic you will reach vantage points from which to enjoy the most beautiful views of the Gulf of Garda.
Dedicate the morning to an outing in nature. If you want to get around on foot, choose the path between Val Longa and Le Colle, a walk through the vineyards, or take the Pignoi-Beati loop. With a slightly greater climb, from the Valle degli Ulivi (Valley of the Olive Trees), one passes through the village of Canevini to reach the Rocca Vecchia (Old Peak), attaining one of the most impressive viewpoints of the lower lake and discovering the origins of ancient Warda, which gave its name to the ancient Benacus.
If your passion is cycling, there are many alternatives to satisfy it, whether on beaten tracks or even more challenging dirt roads. If you prefer a route that is also suitable for families, you can easily cycle on the cycle path along the old railway line, which connects Garda to Bardolino and continues to Lazise. If, on the other hand, you are looking for dirt roads, you can choose gravel routes that embrace the Gulf of Garda by climbing the Fortress to the south and Mount Luppia to the north.
Don’t have your own bicycle? No problem.  In Garda, you can easily rent a traditional bike or e-bike and have a tailor-made tour organised with one of Garda’s experienced cycling guides. With nature, gourmet stops and postcard views, fun is guaranteed.

WELLNESS AT GARDACQUA OR THE THRILLS OF SUP AND GOLF?

After a light lunch overlooking the lake, the afternoon is perfect for an after exertion relaxation, dedicating yourself to wellness and body care or perhaps trying something completely new. If your mantra is “rest”, let yourself be welcomed into the regenerating environment of the Gardacqua Spa, with saunas, pools and customised treatments.
Want to experiment? Then choose your element first. If you prefer water, the advice is to try an SUP session at Al Corno beach, where you can set off on a free excursion or rely on a school that will give you the right advice on how to take off on a Stand Up Paddle.
If you shun the blue, two golf courses await you. The well-kept green of the Cà degli Ulivi Golf Club, amidst olive groves and small ponds, offers 18 holes plus 9 holes that dominate the Gulf of Garda from above. Alternatively, the Poiano Golf Resort with its brand new two holes and driving range is the ideal place to take your first lesson with a Golf Academy instructor.

A SUNSET AT SAN VIGILIO, UNFORGETTABLE

The sunset in Garda paints the evening sky, and to enjoy it till the end the perfect place is Punta San Vigilio. From the beaches overlooking the Baia delle Sirene (Bay of Sirens), lying under a cabana is the most holiday-like way to sip an aperitif. The alternative, in cocktail dress, is the small harbour of San Vigilio, sitting at a table on the pier of the Locanda San Vigilio, the most romantic spot on the entire lake.

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