Thrilling attractions you have to experience in Malcesine, Lake Garda

Is there anything more soothing for the body and soul than the 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 went back to Bergamo – along with the east shore, with short stops at the 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 a great 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.

Lake Garda is a  beautiful destination to visit.

What is so unique about Malcesine and Lake Garda

The moment we left the little village and started driving south to Malcesine, we remained in disbelief at how beautiful the 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 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.

A picture-perfect Malcesine Castle as seen from the boat ride to Limone.

Thrilling attractions you have to experience in Malcesine

Out of all the little towns along the 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. The small 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, whether 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 the 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.

The Castello Castle is a place from a fairy-tale, after watching the beautiful sunrise and misty mountains behind it, 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

Did you know that Lake Garda is the birthplace of the violin?

#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 Lake Garda.

For timetables, stations and more useful information visit the Monte Baldo website.

Incredibly scenic Lake Garda views

#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.

Colourful and relaxing, Limone is sitting pretty at the bottom of a rocky cliff face.

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.  The 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 then 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.

Lovely Malcesine town.

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 the guests comments.

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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!

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Our Crossings follows the daily adventures of Latvian expats living in Sligo as they surf and explore the world

24 thoughts on “Thrilling attractions you have to experience in Malcesine, Lake Garda

  1. Great post. Am not familiar with this place.
    P.S. if you have travel questions for Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary (which of course we know Banff National Park, Lake Louise, Maligne Lake well. Banff is only 110 km. northwest of Calgary), just email me via contact form. I’ve lived/worked for a long time in all these cities.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your lovely offer, I’ve been obssest with Canada’s West coast ever since our trip back in 2012 and have been dreaming about going back to Vancouver. Maligne Lake and Icefields Parkway is also high on my list! You are so fortunate to have lived in world’s most livable city, have a good day and thanks again 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely place! I’ve visited some of the Italian lakes, but Lake Garda is still on my bucket list. Malcesine looks wonderful. Beautiful photography and lots of good information and advice. I’ll look forward to visiting. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for visiting Our Crossings, Italy is an amazing country to explore and even after 6 separate trips it feels like we haven’t seen much of it, you could easily spend weeks getting lost in beautiful villages 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Becky and thanks so much for stopping by. Lake Garda was an amazing place to explore and photograph. Not to mention all the pasta dishes we had a chance to try and incredibly beautiful scenery. Safe travels 😀


    1. Lake Garda was a sunny and beautiful place to explore for a couple of days. It had everything you would need for a perfect gateway – there’s mountains, boat rides, pretty villages, heaps of tasty foods and you are just a short ride away from Italy’s biggest cities! Well worth a visit. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, guys! I though about doing some reading on Italy and find your wonderful posts. I spent some days this past summer in Brescia and then a couple of months on Lake Garda where I chose Salo as my base. Haven’t made it to Malcesine, but hopefully I will in the future. Lovely photos and write up.

    Btw, Leighton says hello.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Leighton and thanks for stopping by, I am delighted to discover yet another amazing blogger! I hope you had a great time exploring Lake Grada and staying in Salo. We stopped there on our way to the Dolomites to fuel up and were in awe of its beauty particularly Monte San Bartolomeo which dominates the area. It was actually quite challenging to choose one place as a base for exploring the lake as they all were quite fascinating, but we settled with Malcesine due to those incredible mountain views! Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day. I look forward to following your adventures! Aiva 🙂


  4. I had almost forgotten how beautiful that coastline is. I can remember being gobsmacked gazing out of the window of the coach, and the top of Monte Baldo will always be a favourite memory. Our youngster was totally focused on the icecream in the café. 🙂 🙂

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    1. I was in awe of Lake Garde and surrounding mountain views, Jo. And was delighted to discover that there are many places to visit nearby and also things to do with a rich variety of sights and activities including boat trips which are a little expensive but ideal for escaping the horrendous traffic jams that can block the busy lakeside roads. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day. I hope all is well 🙂 Aiva xx


  5. This place looks awesome Aiva. We often hear our Irish relatives talking about going here or to Como. Now we can see the beauty. Hope we can get here one day. Hope your weeks is going well and is not to rainy. We have our first big snow here on Tuesday, so all is dressed in winter white right now. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly, Allan 🙂 Malcesine is a beautiful town on the shores of Italy’s largest lake – Lago di Garda, and I am so glad we made an effort to explore its narrow, cobbled, and curved streets. It is a great place to visit for its stunning views, deep layers of history, many opportunities for hiking and watersports, as well as for its authentic atmosphere that makes you feel like you’ve been transported into a classic Italian film. Thanks for reading and have a nice day 🙂 P.S I hope you had a lovely Birthday celebration my fellow Scorpio 🙂 Aiva

      Liked by 1 person

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