Europa Holidays

North Lake Garda - towns and transport

Europa Holidays - Family holidays and watersports holidays and activity holidays on magical Lake Garda, Italy sailing slideshow RYA recognised sailing centres

Lake Garda - better than the Mediterranean?

Lake Garda is a fresh water lake 50km long and 30km wide at its south end. Malcesine is a largely unspoilt town with many tourist attractions and Lake Garda is a clean, safe, fresh water paradise for all activity sports and relaxing holidays. The lake (it feels like a sea on the windiest of days) is 5km wide at our sailing centre with many protected bays and places to explore.

North Lake Garda is actually the designation for the top 12km which are in the province of Trentino while we are just 2km south of that line in the province of Veneto.

A small tourist bus runs every hour on a loop from a few km. south of Malcesine, past our sailing centre and Navene and then returns along a similar route. Local buses connect Riva, Nago, Torbole with Roveretto and Trento to the North east and Garda, Peschiera and Verona to the South.

The lake is cris-crossed by ferrries and day trip boats and by motor boats for hire by groups and parties.

The main road is called the via Gardesana and runs along the shore around the whole lake although to the north the road is often in protected tunnels or 'gallerie'. The traffic can be very slow in summer, particularly if driving south to the town of Garda.


Malcesine - a town with everything from casltes to ice-cream
Riva Del Garda - chic with nice shops, 5km from Torbole
Riva del Garda
Torbole - just 10km north of our sailing centre

Getting around the lake by car

The Via Gardesana runs along the east side of the lake from around Garda up to Torbole and Riva. The western road runs through tunnels past Limone and Sirmione down to Brescia but is quite slow to drive. It is the only way to Campione and to Tremosine on top of the mountains. The beautiful Val di Ledro above Riva is reached by following signs out of Riva.

Public and local busses

The blue public transport bus runs along the via Gardesana, starting at Riva and going to either Verona or Peschiera. Check carefully on the timetables as the two destinations are 50km apart.

The local Tourist Bus (run by Ugolini) runs a loop from Malcesine going south to Cassone and then returning through Malcesine to take the Via Vecchia Navene, past the Alla Rama hotel and Speck Stube restaurant before rejoining the Via Gardesana at Campagnola, just before our sailing centre. After our centre the bus goes North to the Hotel Eden before returning to Malcesine for its next circuit (passing us again, going South).


There are many ferries, the larger two are the car ferry to Limone and 'Battello' which runs from Malcesine to Limone, then Riva, then Torbole and back along the route to Malcesine. Great for a day out, for a gentle shopping trip or for returning from Torbole with a bike (rather than cycling on the main road)


Quite rare and expensive. Avoid being trapped by windsurfing across the lake to Limone and then having to take a taxi the 50km round the lake to return to Navene.

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