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Peschiera del Garda: Attractions and best Lake Garda excursions

  • Travel tips
Check the best tours and excursions to Lake Garda and in the surroundings Check the best tours and excursions to Lake Garda and in the surroundings from 26€ CHOOSE YOUR EXPERIENCE

A picturesque town on the banks of the river Mincio, Peschiera del Garda is the ideal place where to stay for a wonderful holiday on Lake Garda. Add to your things to-do list walks among castles and fortresses and boat trips surrounded by stunning landscapes. Not to mention adrenaline-pumping adventures in Gardaland, sunsets of rare beauty and day trips to nearby Verona, Venice and Milan.

Italy mon amour: Discovering Lake Garda

Lake Garda is one of the main tourist destinations in Italy and attracts millions of visitors every year.

Its picture-postcard villages are posted to Instagram by travelers from all over the world who often choose to stay in Peschiera to visit Lake Garda, attracted not only by the charming old town but also by its ideal geographical location that allows to easily organize a "dynamic" holiday. Peschiera del Garda is a perfect family holiday destination: Gardaland is just a stone's throw away so it is easy to organize day trips to the park. For those who travel with a dog, the dog friendly beaches by the lake are a godsend!

  • The town is located in a strategic point for both a visit to the charming villages overlooking Lake Garda (Sirmione, Desenzano, Malcesine, Bardolino) and day-trips in the most famous tourist destinations in Northern Italy. You can easily travel to Peschiera by bus or train, as the train station is just a-few-minutes walk from the centre.

The historic attractions, boat trips and relaxing walks on the shores of the lake are just some of the things to do and see in Peschiera del Garda. Ready for a wonderful holiday on the most beautiful lake in Italy? Here are some tips to live a dream experience.

What to see in Peschiera del Garda: Walking tour of the historical centre

Peschiera del Garda is famous for its historic pentagonal city wall which makes it a real fortress town.

The fact that it is also a popular place where to stay for a short break and soon after visit other beautiful Italian tourist destinations such as Gardaland, Sirmione and characteristic nearby villages makes it perhaps a little less attractive to the eyes of some travellers who prefer quiet places. You certainly won't spend the whole holiday in Peschiera. You should plan at least half a day to visit its historic centre and then go on to enjoy other charming attractions.

The Fortress, the museums and the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Frassino

The historic centre of Peschiera del Garda is enclosed within the city wall and is connected to the new part of the city by a fascinating pedestrian bridge. Porta Verona and Porta Brescia are the two wonderful entrances that lead you in the heart of the historic area, a true ancient military complex whose tourist atmosphere is given by shops, restaurants, museums and small taverns.

In 2017 the Fortress of Peschiera del Garda was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Peschiera del Garda bridgeSightseeing the part of the city within the walls is just like going back to school and study history. In the list of things to do, include a stop at the Roman town of Arilica - an archaeological site with ancient Roman excavations. The Museo della Palazzina storica (literally Museum of the Historical Building) is also well worth a visit since it displays original documents from the First World War. To learn more about the local culture, book a tour at the former Military Prison or go to the Fishing Museum, where you will find collections of fishing boats, engines and tools used by locals.

The best belvedere of Peschiera del Garda from which to enjoy the beauty of the old town? I would say the Ponte dei Voltoni, with the Bastione San Marco and its brick arches dating back to the 16th century.

Outside the walls there are a couple of other points of interest that you can visit for free: the Forte Ardietti, an ancient two-storey stronghold with cannons and weapons from the Great War. Another must-see is the pilgrimage destination of the Shrine of Our Lady of Ash, a place of worship linked to a apparition in 1510 that still attracts thousands of pilgrims every year.

What to do in Peschiera del Garda: Adrenaline in Gardaland and walks along the lake

The beauty of Peschiera del Garda? Just a stone's throw away there is everything that a traveller could wish.

Enjoy the thrill of the roller coaster at Gardaland

20 minutes by bus from the centre of Peschiera there is Gardaland, one of the best theme parks in Europe.

GardalandA rush of adrenaline, you can go there even if you don't travel with children as the park hosts rides and attractions for all ages: take a ride on the frightening roller coaster Blue Tornado, go close to 100 km/h on Oblivion-The Black Hole and try the most famous water-coaster in Gardaland, Fuga da Atlantide.

If you're going to Gardaland in high season - especially in July/August, school holidays - we suggest you to arrive early to avoid long queues. Even better to buy a priority entrance ticket before you go to the park. A less crowded alternative to Gardaland is the Movieland Park, a theme park dedicated fans of the big screen with live remakes of famous films and live shows by actors and stuntmen.

Take the dog to the beach at Bracco Baldo Bau Beach

A day at the lake with your four-legged friend: why not?

Dog friendly beach Peschiera del Garda Among the most famous places in Peschiera del Garda there is the famous Bracco Baldo Bau Beach, a bathing establishment on Lake Garda equipped to accommodate also pets. You will have fun spending the day on this pebble beach with umbrella, sunbeds and a staff ready to satisfy every request for your furry friend.

  • If you feel like going for a walk, there are several paths to do including a lakeside walk, starting from the beach.

Lakeshore walks or bike tours in Lake Garda

Peschiera del Garda is the right place if you love long panoramic walks or a bike tour in the green.

Lazise passeggio Lago di GardaThe whole area is full of cycling and pedestrian paths to enjoy a walk along the lake shore. Among the most popular itineraries there is the lakeside path that takes you from Peschiera to Garda passing through Lazise and Bardolino. A nice alternative is the track along the river Mincio that starts from Peschiera and arrives in Mantua through characteristic villages and flower parks.

The route along the Mincio is an amazing experience to do by bike. The route is flat, so even the less experienced can enjoy it. It passes through nature reserves and some pretty and romantic villages such as Monzambano, Valeggio sul Mincio and Borghetto.

Bardolino wine tasting and the local food delicacies

Walking through the centre of Peschiera del Garda will entice you to sit at a table with checked tablecloths and centrepiece candles.

Bardolino Lake GardaThe typical product of the area is the Bardolino DOC wine, that you can enjoy in typical Italian taverns or can purchase inside a traditional basket in a souvenir shop. Order a plate of tortellini di Valeggio sul Mincio, generally served in broth, a risotto with "trinca" (sirloin), Tremosine soft cheese and bittersweet sardines accompanied by raisins and pine nuts.

For those with a sweet tooth, a slice of sbrisolona cake and spelt biscuits, perhaps to be softened with a dash of Barricaded Grappa.


Lake Garda boat tours: Sirmione, Desenzano and other wonders

The countries bordering Lake Garda are all beautiful - both Veronese and Brescian shores - boat trips are the most characteristic way to visit them.

  • From the port of Peschiera ferries and boats leave to Lake Garda sightseeing tour and discover fascinating villages and towns such as SalòSirmione, Desenzano, Malcesine or the small and romantic village of Lazise.

What to see in Sirmione: From the Scaliger Castle to the Caves of Catullus

The quote of Catullus, who called it "the pearl of the islands and peninsulas", perfectly gives an idea of the scenic views of Sirmione.

Sirmione Lago di Garda CastelloThe Grotte di Catullo (Caves of Catullus) and the imposing Castello Scaligero (Scaliger Castle) surrounded by water are the "must see" (if you have time visit also the collection of the Romanesque remains in the museum of the Castle). Also take an alternative swim on the Beach of Jamaica Beach, famous for being rich in stone slabs. Then visit the small Church of Saint Anne, a small chapel with wonderful stained glass windows and works of art. It is situated a few steps from the Castle.

If you love good wine I suggest you visit the Vigneto Ca dei Frati, which organizes guided tours to the cellars with wine tastings of fine local and not local wines. You can also buy wine at the end of the visit.

What to see in Desenzano del Garda: Cathedral and Civic Archaeological Museum

Notwithstanding Desenzano is one of the largest cities on the shores of Lake Garda, the points of interest are  close to each other so you will experience a pleasant and comfortable tour.

Desenzano del GardaThe area around the harbour is perfect for a relaxing stroll, especially the side bordered with Venetian style houses with characteristic cafes and restaurants. The Cathedral of Saint Mary Magdalene, the Castle and the Civic Archeological Museum are the must-see attractions of Desenzano. Walk along the d'Oro Beach and Rivoltella beach for a view of the sunset on the lake.

Desenzano can be easily reached by public transport thanks to its proximity to the A4 motorway and is therefore one of the traditional destinations for day trips from Verona and Milan.

Other beautiful villages near Lake Garda

In your weekend at Lake Garda you will be fascinated by the myriad of charming villages to wander around among cobbled streets, historic buildings and super romantic views.

  • Malcesine - Probably one of the most fascinating places on Lake Garda, it is worth a visit for a simple reason: taking the cable car to the top of Monte Baldo where you can go hiking, stop for lunch or simply enjoy the breathtaking views.
  • Riva del Garda - Situated on the northern shores of the lake, it is the perfect starting point for excursions and trekking, mountain bike tours and diving. Walking around the historical centre you can visit the MAG (Alto Garda Museum), the bell tower Torre Apponale and the baroque Church of Saint Virgin Mary (Santa Maria Inviolata).
  • Bardolino - You are in the city of the famous local wine; spend an afternoon treating yourself with a wine tasting tour of good Bardolino or Chiaretto in one of the many wineries in the town. Here everything is dedicated to wine: bike tours, walking and tastings tours and even the Museum set up inside the Cantina Zeni.
  • Lazise - Perfect destination to have shopping in the afternoon. Here you can also take a tour of the colourful weekly market and stroll through the shop windows displaying local food and fine leather goods. Attractions not to be missed? The Scaliger Castle and the Old Customs House.
  • Limone sul Garda - Its beauty lies in its name: the terrace lemon groves to be observed as you ride along the new panoramic bicycle path are the undisputed characteristic of this village. Also take a ride in the picturesque old town which is home to cafes, restaurants and colourful shops.


Hotel in Peschiera del Garda: The best period for a weekend at the Lake

Like all major tourist resorts, also Peschiera del Garda is super chaotic in high season. In summer the roads are often congested, also due to the presence of Gardaland and other parks in the immediate vicinity.

  • Because of the traffic especially on weekends, in the summer months it is preferable to move by motorbike, by bike or by boat trips on the lake.

If you can, I suggest you to travel in spring, before the holiday crowds move to the city; this period is the best time to enjoy Peschiera del Garda with moments of absolute peace in extraordinary lakeside hotels where the sleep is lulled by the sound of the waves of the lake.

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Peschiera del Garda and surroundings: Between Verona, Venice and Milan

If you stay a week in Peschiera you can alternate excursions to Lake Garda and out of town trips to nearby Verona, Venice, Brescia or Mantua.

canali venezia vivicityYou can plan a day trip to Verona from Peschiera: consider that the distance of just 31 km, so you can go to the town of Romeo and Juliet and come back in one day. The same goes for Mantua - the town of Gonzaga and of the Ducal Palace is only 40 minutes by car - or for Venice: in a hour-and-a-half journey by train you are at the Santa Lucia station, ready to wander through gondolas and calli of the Serenissima.

If you want to live a day in comfort and zero stress, you can book a guided tour with transport included in one of the best destinations in Northern Italy.

Another suggestion for a day trip from Peschiera del Garda. Milano-Peschiera del Garda by train takes just a bit more than an hour, not bad for a short visit of the spires of the Cathedral (the famous Duomo di Milano). Here are some tips with the best things to see in the city of the Madonnina.

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