Lake Garda was everything we wanted to be, is there anything more soothing for the body and soul than big blue sky and summer vibes highlighted by the glow of natures sounds and smells?
After days spent high up in Dolomite’s, it was great to leave all the hiking gear behind and slip into a pair of shorts, summer sandals and rejuvenate after time in the mountains.
Food was one of the reasons we couldn’t wait to arrive in town. It wasn’t easy to find vegetable-based dishes up north, so we were delighted to fill ourselves up with pasta, olives and loads of fresh vegetables.
On our way to the mighty Dolomites, we drove along the South coast and going back to Bergamo – along with the east shore, with short stops at largest villages and towns. As much as we wanted to see Sirmione on our way to the airport, traffic and time were against our plan, leaving us with an excellent reason to come back one day.
We left Santa Cristina early that morning and two hours later reached the first village that’s situated at 67m above sea-level called Torbole. It is the very same place where Goethe, a writer from Germany, was based briefly along with his travels around Italy.
What is so unique about Malcesine and Lake Garda
The moment we left little village and started driving south to Malcesine, we remained in disbelief at how beautiful scenery was, and it was easy to see why Lake Garda attracts thousands of visitors every year.
Its undeniable charm is a combination of numerous factors including the climate, food and incredible sights. You’ll find lemon trees, ruins of a Roman villa, lively little towns, olive groves, castles, and even sandy beaches.
If you plan on visiting Italy this year, make sure you put Lake Garda and Malcesine on your radar. Also, be prepared for the splendours of surrounding mountains you cannot but admire, incredible sunsets that look more like paintings and for the calmness of the lake early in the morning, both reassuring and insanely beautiful.
Also, keep an eye open for one of the most exciting outdoor activities coming soon to Lake Garda. If you love the outdoors and relish the challenge, then this one is for you! A new bike path, 140 kilometres in length, is set to be completed in 2021 and will accommodate all levels of cycling enthusiasts.
Thrilling attractions you have to experience in Malcesine
Out of all the little towns along Lake Garda coast we choose to stay in Malcesine whose symbol is an ancient castle. Situated on the eastern shore of Italy’s largest lake, Malcesine is a small town with a picturesque harbour. Little port in Malcesine is full of restaurants and little cafes offering a wide range of local cuisine.
When it comes to exciting attractions in Malcesine, there is something to suit all tastes, either you want to unwind on the lake shores, be pampered or wanna enjoy an active holiday.
Natural beaches along the lake are mostly pebble, but it’s also possible to find soft golden sand ones. Apart from walking, cycling, and paragliding, you can do water sports like diving, kite surfing, sailing, and SUP.
#1. Visit Castello Scaligero
The Castello Scaligero, a 13th-century castle, is towns main attraction. It is open to visitors and hosts a museum of Natural History of Mount Baldo and Lake Garda, and you can even book it as your wedding venue.
Castle is a place from a fairytale, after watching a beautiful sunrise and foggy mountains behind the castle, we walked around the paved trail, listened to singing birds and smelled blooming flowers.
Castle Opening times: from 11th March 2018 to 3rd November 2018: every day from 09:30 to 10:30
Entrance fee: adults EUR 6, kids EUR 3, students EUR 5
#2. Go to the top of Monte Baldo
The Garda Mountains surround lake Gardens with the highest one standing tall at 2,254 meters.
While going in and out of town, we kept a very close eye on Monte Baldo. Because it was covered continuously in large clouds that would prevent us from enjoying panoramic views, we took a boat trip to Limone instead.
If the weather is beautiful and the sky is clear on your visit, make sure you go to the very top. Malcesine cable car is undoubtedly unique: on the upper section, the cabin slowly revolves to provide a 360-degree view.
Once at the top, you’ll find numerous hiking trails with panoramic views over the Lake Garda.
For timetables, stations and more useful information visit the Monte Baldo website.
#3. Take a boat trip to Limone
The whole Limone area was once renowned for growing lemons and other citrus fruits; if you walk around the town you’ll see shops selling lemonade, soap and even sweets; all with citrus flavours.
The ferry crossing from Malcesine to Limone takes just under an hour. Moreover, once off the boat and back on the hard ground, we joined other holidaymakers walking up and down little streets filled with restaurants and shops. Limone is a colourful and very charming town, ideal for a day trip.
How to get to Malcesine
We travelled from Ireland to Bergamo Airport, rented a car and drove to The Dolomites along Lake Gardas west side and on our way back stopped at Malcesine.
Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake, situated in the northern part of the country. Most favourable airports to reach Malcesine are Brescia Airport and Verona Villafranca Airport. There used to be a nonstop coach service from Verona to Malcesine. Instead, you have to take a bus to Garda town than the second bus to Malcesine.
You can also travel to Peschiera del Garda railway station by train and then use the bus to reach Malcesine.
Where to stay in Malcesine
Our cosy B&B was within walking distance of all the major attractions, so we were more than happy to surrender to the blissful beauty of the lake and explore the area on foot.
There are many hotels and apartments with beautiful lake views you can rent depending on your needs. If you wish to stay in the old part, know that Malcesine’s historic centre is made up of old buildings and narrow lanes and it can be hectic during the peak season with people wining and dining, which only adds to the noise.
Hotels outside of the historic centre are quieter and spacious but could be a long walk from all the restaurants, shops and ferries.
Before you confirm your booking, double check the exact location and read guests comments.
» Be a mindful traveller
Travelling is so much fun and it has also enlightened us to the importance of protecting our environment and not leaving a trail of plastic behind.
We believe that one person can make a huge difference and that we should all try to produce less waste, conserve water and electricity, buy local goods, dress appropriately, protect wildlife and always give back to local communities.
Be a mindful traveller, set a good example and try to incorporate as much as you can even if it isn’t your country. On the road or at home, keep The Planet clean by picking up plastic bottles and other rubbish you spot along your travels.
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Now, over to you!
Have you been to Lake Garda? Let us know in the comments below!
Let us know if you are plotting a visit to Malcesine and have travel related questions!