Driving to Lake Garda. From just up the road.

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  • Driving to Lake Garda. From just up the road.
  • I post this message from the toilet block (wi-fi hotspot) of my campsite in Dimaro, Val di Sole. I’m here with the girlfriend to spectate at the world cup and this time tomorrow we’ll be packing up to drive south.

    I know there’s a lot of Lake Garda knowledge on here so I’m after some advice as I don’t want to miss anything. I’m really struggling to use google maps and this is the first time I’ve managed to load up STW.

    Our requirements are;

    Scenery. Should I head for Riva del Garda at the northern tip of the lake (just over an hour away) and cruise around the lake on the SS249?

    My girlfriend really wants some trail riding on a horse or a quad bike. She’s not fussy, but both would be nice.

    I would like at least one day of good uplifting to make use of the DH bike I have in the van.

    We’d like somewhere that we can do day trips to Venice and Verona, preferably without driving.

    I’d personally like to just park up in a campsite somewhere and not drive anywhere for a week. So a spot with nice walking or cycling routes would be nice.

    Now we’re off to watch Gwinny take everyone back to school on the DH track. I’ll check back later but the wi-fi is shocking. Thanks!


    Riva and Torbole at the top. You can get a cable car up from Malcensine just down the east side.


    Verona is a day trip out from Tarbole, most of your boxes will be ticked if you went there 🙂


    “Cruise around the lake” doesn’t really happen. The lake shore road is very busy, it takes ages to get anywhere, and it’s certainly not a relaxing cruise. Head for Riva or Torbole and stay there – that’s where you want to be for the riding anyway. It’s difficult to avoid the scenery, but if you want to make sure, take the cable car from Malcesine on a clear day – you can take your bike on certain trips 😉

    Premier Icon BigJohn

    The Italians have a reputation for driving fast. My experience of 2 weeks based in Malcesine is that reputation is false. Their national pastime seems to be “buggering about and getting in the bleeding way”. If you want people to think you’re a genuine Italian, then you must stop your car in the middle of a busy junction, get out, shake everybody’s hand, stroll to the caff for an espresso then saunter back and drive off slowly.

    It takes about an hour to get from the bottom to top of the lake in summer..

    Just googled Torbole and think we’ll head there tomorrow afternoon so thanks for the tip. Hopefully there’ll be a bike shop to drop into and get some route tips. Not looking for the ride of my life but I’ve got a new DH bike that I’m dying to get some time on.

    I had my first experience of Italian driving on Tuesday night after a 12 hour drive down from Amsterdam. It was plain sailing all the way but the last bit between the motorway and Dimaro was traumatic! Lots of people hanging off my back bumper in pitch darkness on roads that resembled a scalextric track. It was horrible.


    There are a couple of uplifts running from Tarbole, most of the bike shops will put GPX files on a sat nav for you as well. Watch the prices though, they mainly cater for affluent Germans


    have a look at the lake and then head up towards Bozen/Meran and the take the valley towards Reschenpass…. then you are in Vinschgau. i need not say more really…

    but i will…..

    Vinschgau is much better than the Lake. the riding is much better and more varied. your missus can ride a horse there, too…

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