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Riva del Garda is located on the northern shores of Lake Garda, about 70m above sea level. The town covers an area of 42 km2 and is home to around 17,000 people. The first settlements date back to Roman times. Riva together with the neighbouring community of Arco has a resident population of more than 30,000.
The average yearly high temperature is about 18°C, the average yearly low temperature is 8.3°C and the yearly precipitation is 867 mm. Riva sees the most rain in October with 93mm, while January is the driest month with 47mm. July is the hottest month, January the coldest.
Along Lake Garda’s northern, eastern, southern and also western shores are many small beaches to take a dip in the lake. Riva del Garda has three beaches: “Spiaggia degli Ulivi” is the closest to the town centre, “Spiaggia Sabbioni” and “Spiaggia dei Pini” are a little further away.
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy, covering 370 km²; it is 52 km long and has a maximum depth of 346 m. High season is in July and August with lake temperatures as high as 20°C.
Do not miss the12-century Rocca Castle, home to the Museo Civicio which exhibits archaeological and early collections, the beautiful churches or the “Bastione” of Riva del Garda towering 200m above the town.
Lake Garda is famous for its winds. They are intense and constant - in good weather they blow from the north and in the afternoon from the south. These various types of wind result from the mountain landscape and the differing water temperatures on the lake’s surface.
Ora and Vento are the best known winds of the region. Ora is a south wind generated by warm air rising in the north. Ora is the wind of the afternoon and subsides until sunset. The best places for this time of the day are Campione, Malcesine and Torbole.
Vento (Pelér) is a good-weather wind, blowing from June to September. It starts after midnight, continues blowing until noon and generates an amazing force. Vento is responsible for big waves which are strongest south of Torri del Benaco and Toscolano Maderno.
First of all: Rain in the mountain landscape of the north does not necessarily mean rain on the south shores of Lake Garda – due to its flat topography the sun may be shining there. It is always worth having a look at the weather forecast and then make a trip to Lazise, Bardolino or Sirmione.
In case the region around Lake Garda is rainy or cloudy, there are many cultural highlights to be visited: Scaliger Castle in Malcesine at a hill on the lakeshore, the Paper Museum in Toscolano Maderno or the Mart Museum for modern and contemporary art in Rovereto. The latter is a must for every fan of architecture and, depending on the individual location, a 1/2 hour to 1.5-hour drive from the lake.
Discover the wine region of Lake Garda at the Wine Museum in Bardolino, home of one of Northern Italy’s famed wines. A guided tour takes you to the Barrique-Cellar and closes with wine tasting in the Vinoteca. The region is also famous for its olive tree orchards, which can be best experienced by visiting oil mills in the south.
The historic City of Verona is only an hour away and is a dream for culture connoisseurs. Climbing enthusiasts will definitely enjoy the indoor climbing wall “King Rock”, covering 2,000 m².
A few more tips: shopping at the Outlet Malls of Affi (15 mins from Bardolino), Gardaland Amusement Park in Peschiera del Garda, André Heller’s Botanical Garden in Gardone Riviera, the thermal spa “Terme di Sirmione” in Sirmione.
The region of Lake Garda is quite rightly called the centre of mountain biking. Many very challenging tours (hardly any easy ones and therefore asking for a high level of fitness) take you through the breathtaking scenery of Lake Garda. Here are a few of the many mountain biking routes:
- Passo Tremalzo: from Riva to Tremalzo Street via Lake Ledro. Very challenging.
- Dosso dei Roveri: from Torbole up to Monte Altissimo, down to Navene following narrow serpentines. Moderate/Intermediate.
- Monte Velo: from Riva or Torbole to Arco, then to St. Barbara with view to the northern shores of Lake Garda. Moderate.
- Panorama tour Garda-Malcesine: 200m above the lakeshore, this 30km trail takes you to Garda via many villages, back with the ship. Easy and very lovely tour.
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