You can’t say you’ve really experienced Lake Garda if you don’t try at least one of the water sports you can do here! Whether you like windsurfing, diving or sailing, be sure you’ll find something to suit you.
Here is our guide to the best water sports on Lake Garda: it is divided in Upper Lake Garda and Lower Lake Garda, because – due to the climate and water conditions – they offer different water sports.
If you are on holiday on Lake Garda, don’t miss this opportunity to keep fit while having fun!
Upper Lake Garda
Upper Lake Garda, which includes part of the province of Brescia, part of the province of Verona and the area of the province of Trento, is characterized by a constant wind, and for this reason is particularly suitable for all wind sports.
Sailing and Surfing
Two different winds constantly blow over this area of the lake: Peler (that blows from the north in the morning) and Ora (that blows from the south in the afternoon).
In addition, in Garda Trentino is forbidden to sail to motor boats, so it is the ideal area if you want to practice sailing, surfing, kitesurfing or windsurfing on Lake Garda.
There are many centers where you can rent equipment and also take lessons: for example, there are a lot of sailing clubs, such as Fraglia Vela Riva (a sailing club in Riva del Garda) or Europa Surf and Sail in Malcesine.
This area is also very famous for the historic regatta called “Centomiglia”: it is a free competition, which usually takes place at the beginning of September.
The race starts in Bogliaco, a small hamlet of Gargnano (on the western shore of Lake Garda), goes up towards Torbole (at the extreme north of the lake), descends towards Desenzano (to the south-west) and finally returns to Bogliaco.
Northern Lake Garda is also very rich in attractions for those who love diving. Here are the main points of interest:
- In the waters off Malcesine (on the eastern shore) there is the wreck of a boat (sunk in 1986) at a depth of about 35 meters, and a small cave called “Island of Olive Trees” at a depth of about 13 meters.
- In Riva del Garda (to the north) there’s the Christ of Riva, a statue placed about 15 meters deep.
- In the waters off Torri del Benaco (also on the eastern shore) there is a submerged presepio (a nativity scene), about 24 meters deep.
- In the waters off Gargnano (on the western side) there’s a wreck of a boat called “Relitto della Draga”, about 40 meters deep.
- In the waters of Torbole (to the north) it is possible to make different paths, and see a statue of the Madonna at a depth of 12 meters and an incredible crack in the seabed at 43 meters.
- Brenzone, near Malcesine, is very rich in points of interest: there is a diving platform, a statue called “the Madonna of the Underwater” (about 18 meters deep) and the area of “Secca di Trimelone”, where you can dive in 3 different paths (“Canyon”, “Jump” and “Parete”).
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Lower Lake Garda
Lower Lake Garda is well known by sailors and has many points of interest for diving; also, being a little less windy than Upper Lake Garda and relying on calmer waters, is perfect for kayaking, canoeing and water skiing!
Since these sports are very popular and have been practiced on the lake for a long time, you will find many clubs, rentals and instructors who will provide you with the equipment you need.
As we said, sailing is one of the most popular sports on whole Lake Garda, so you won’t have a hard time finding a sailing club near you. Here are a few tips:
- “Lega Navale Italiana” in Garda
- “Centro Nautico” in Bardolino
- “Fraglia Vela” in Peschiera del Garda
- “Fraglia Vela” in Desenzano
- “Società Canottieri Garda” in Salò
Canoeing, Kayaking and Water Skiing
These sports are becoming more and more popular, because they are an excellent opportunity to have fun, do physical activity and enjoy spectacular landscapes on the quiet waters of this part of the Lake.
You will easily find clubs and rentals at your service, and they are often the same sailing clubs we talked about previously.
But in addition to the “classic” versions, new ways of practicing them are also spreading. Have you ever tried Stand Up Paddling? You practice standing on a surfboard and paddling, and it is a sport that has become very popular in the last 15 years.
If you are looking for something more adventurous, you can try wakeboarding: this is also a recent sport, born in the US in the 90s, and consists of a fusion of water skiing and snowboarding.
Also in this area there are many interesting dive sites. Here are our favorites:
- Off Lazise is a galley that sank 500 years ago. Be careful, however: it is only suitable for very experienced divers.
- In the waters of Desenzano there’s the wreck of a sailing boat called “Relitto del Tritone”, at a depth of ca. 40 meters.
- Off San Felice del Benaco, near the Island of Garda, there is the rock face called Scoglio dell’Altare, a very beautiful dive from a naturalistic point of view that reaches a maximum depth of 100 meters.
There are plenty of options to practice sports also outside the water. If you happen to be on Lower Lake Garda, don’t miss the opportunity to take a bike ride through the beautiful hills and vineyards that surrounds this part of the lake. It could be the right time to taste a good wine typical of Lake Garda!