Lake Garda – Torbole

Torbole - Photo © Alan Davis Photo www.alandavisphoto.net
Torbole – Photo © Alan Davis Photo www.alandavisphoto.net

Connected to the northernmost point of Lake Garda stands the small town of Torbole, a simple and traditional community of fishermen until the birth of tourism.

Discovered with marvel by the first trans-Alp travelers and passionately described by great authors such as Goethe, today Torbole is distinguished from the other towns along Lake Garda by its winds, which attract lovers of windsurfing and by its mountaintops, with a running panorama and call to many sports enthusiasts, lovers of mountain-biking above all.

We find traces of the fishermen’s way of life that have always livened up the town of Torbole in the works of Goethe and other great writers and painters that were able to appreciate the charm of Lake Garda.

The small town of Torbole became famous in the 1980s for the three winds that constantly blow on the beaches and test the most courageous surfers: the “Ora”, the “Vent” and the “Peler”. For some years, however, Torbole has become the perfect place for mountain bikers to put themselves to the test on difficult ascents and breathtaking descents from about 2000 meters on Mount Baldo all the way down to Lake Garda at 67 meters.

Torbole’s location is perfect for excursions, both in the direction of the lake and towards the mountains to the north, and, because of its close proximity to major points of interest, it has attracted quite a lot of attention. The bike paths from Torbole which connect to neighboring towns are constantly growing, merging hundreds of kilometers in bike paths, making the central location of our town especially advantageous.

Those who visit this area, after visiting the small centers of Torbole, Nago, and the coast of the Lake, cannot miss a visit to the “Marmitte dei Giganti”, spectacular cavities carved into the rock by melting glaciers; the same ones that formed Lake Garda. From here, you can follow the Roman road of Santa Lucia to the nearby Ulivi Park, Goethe’s Olive Grove, the remnants of Penede Castle (destroyed by the French troops of Vendome in 1703), and the church of Sant’Andrea in Torbole.

Even those in shape will feel challenged by the path that connects the Busatte recreation park with the nearby town of Tempesta. This area is known to have cold winds that are refreshingly cool in the summer.

Garda Lake from Monte Baldo Photo © albireo2006
Garda Lake from Monte Baldo Photo © albireo2006

The path that brings you from Torbole to the peak of Mount Baldo has been known as “Hortus Italiae” since the 1500s, characterized by its unique botanical species and large floral variety.

The best view of the city is at the “Belvedere” and from the view point near the “Marmitte dei Giganti” where, on clear days, you can see the entire lake as far as Manerba.

Travelers continue to be amazed by the unique mountain range of Lake Garda, set between the Alps and Po Valley, and can admire it from the most impressive mountains of Alps, including Mount Baldo, as well as from the ferries/boats that plough through the surrounding waters.

The north end of Garda, known as “Altogarda” or “Gardatrentino”, is unique from the south end because of its contrasting backdrop of mountains and the lake, its great varied landscape, and because of the perfect merging of the Mediterranean and the Alpine setting, both naturalistically and culturally. In this area you will find the most beautiful beaches in all of Lake Garda which, instead of sand, are filled with pebbles that won’t burn your feet or leave your clothes dirty.

Altogarda is the most northern area in all of Europe where plants such as olives and lemons grow naturally, located near beautiful black mountain fir and pine trees.

One of the tours we would suggest for the region of Torbole is to take a ferry to Malcesine and Limone. It’s a great excuse to tour the lake and it provides good occasion to visit the typical weekly markets in town.

Torbole - Photo © foilr
Torbole – Photo © foilr

In the center of Riva del Garda, it is interesting to visit the Apponale tower and fortress, or take a walk to the little church of Santa Barbara (1 hour and 20 minute walk) that hangs over the gulf of Riva and Torbole.

Other beautiful outings include the new path that connects the Busatte park to “Torbole a Tempesta“, the stroll around Lake Tenno with a visit to the medieval town of Canale, going by car or mountain bike to the small and midsize lakes that surround the area of Altogarda such as Lake Ledro and those of the valley of lakes, like Lake Cavedine, the enchanting lakes of Toblino and Santa Massenza, Bagatol known for its fishing and Lake Lagolo.

Don’t forget to visit the waterfalls of Varone and Gorg d’Abiss, or the beautiful Tremosine gorge.

How could one forget that Altogarda, up until last century, represented the border between Italy and Austria? In memory of this, beyond the small signalman’s house and the winter residences of the Austrian Emperor in Arco, we find the impressive Austrian-Hungarian forts, trenches, and bunkers from the first World War, strenuously fought on our mountains. Not all the forts are open to visitors but those especially keen on them will surely remain speechless admiring the breathtaking paths of the old military communication trenches and intense panoramas from the shooting points on the peaks.

While during the summer, the mild climate and splendor of nature create the perfect background for tourist activities, during the winter the area takes on a whole new charm. The snow-capped peaks of the mountains invite afternoon excursions with snow shoes while the lowest point of the mountain is well-suited for trekking, Nordic walking and climbing, especially on weekends. Without having to go too far, you can also visit the ski resorts of Mount Baldo. During the holiday season, like in the rest of Trentino, you can find the Christmas Markets.

Where to stay in Torbole

There are quality hotels, apartments, B&Bs and condo hotels available, check them out and make a reservation here.