Gargnano on Lake Garda among elegant buildings, small ports and unspoiled nature.

What to do and what to see in Gargnano on Lake Garda.

Gargnano is a municipality located on the western coast of Lake Garda dominated by Monte Denervo (1495 m). It is divided between the capital, gathered around the marina, overlooked by elegant buildings, among which the municipal seat stands out with its facade facing the lake where the cannonballs that an Austrian ship fired towards the town in 1866 are walled up. during the third War of Independence; and twelve small hamlets, some on the lake (Villa and Bogliaco), others along gentle slopes (Villavetro, Fornico, Zuino, Navazzo, Musaga, Muslone), others in the hinterland (Sasso, Liano, Formaga, Costa), all connected by easy and panoramic roads that run through olive trees, meadows and woods. A peculiarity of the municipality of Gargnano is the fraction of Costa which is 18 km away from the capital which, together with a few others, is the most distant Italian fraction from the municipal seat.

Is Gargnano worth a visit?

In this article we tell you why Gargnano is worth visiting during your vacation on Lake Garda

Territory and nature.

A vast area located in the heart of the Gardesana Occidentale nature reserve and part of the Alto Garda Bresciano regional park, between the shores of Lake Garda and Lake Val Vestino.

Val Vestino lake.

The lake of Val Vestino is an artificial basin included in the municipality of Gargnano nestled between the mountains of Val Vestino which offers visitors a wonderful panorama with pleasant contrasts between the lake, the plain, the hills and the mountains. In addition, the lake is located within the Wilderness Area, isolated and wild, a suggestive fjord with forest and pre-alpine formations, which can be reached on foot or by canoe.

When the pumping of the water of the Ponte Cola Dam is almost absent, it is possible to witness a surprising spectacle: from the lake emerge the ruins of the Lignago Customs House, which once separated the Austrian Empire from Italy.

Things to do and what to see in a day trip in Gargnano.

Bogliaco, seat of the Vela Gargnano club, hosts numerous international sailing events, first of all the Centomiglia. The vast and picturesque hinterland is suitable for countless excursions on foot, on horseback, by mountain bike and by car.

The lemon houses.

According to tradition, the introduction of the lemon tree on Lake Garda dates back to the 13th century by the Franciscan friars. This cultivation at almost 46° latitude was possible thanks to the mild lake climate and the invention of special greenhouses: the lemon houses.

The structure of the lemon house included three walls (up to 10 meters high) and a side open to the sun, facing East South-East; here high stone columns supported movable panels (windows and wooden roofs) which closed the greenhouse in the cold season.

The lemon groves occupied the west shore of the lake between Limone and Maderno. In 1879 there were 30.000, of which 21.000 in Gargnano and its surroundings with the most ancient and numerous tradition. In fact, for centuries Gargnano has linked its economy and its face to their presence.

The oldest is the La Malora lemon house which today produces liqueurs, exquisite jams and mustards. It is possible to visit it with a guided tour. The other lemon houses that can be visited are the Limonaia Trevisani and Gandossi.

Trekking excursions in Gargnano.

A stay in Gargnano means not only sun and beach, but also a completely different side: the opportunity to immerse yourself in the still intact nature of the Alto Garda Bresciano regional park.

From Gargnano to Gaino:
Crossing small villages, old farmhouses and rolling hills always with great views over Lake Garda and with the surrounding mountains. Ascent height difference: 210 m.

In the footsteps of D.H. Lawrence:
Famous English writer who was a guest of Gargnano, through the ancient connecting roads between the villages and the lemon groves that surround it. Ascent height difference: 350 m.

Among olive trees and lemon groves:
Excursion through olive trees, lemon groves, churches and incredible views walking along ancient streets rich in history between Gargnano and the characteristic villages of Muslone and Piovere di Tignale.

Towards the Hermitage of S. Valentino:
From Gargnano magnificent excursion to the characteristic hermitage of S. Valentino, perched among the rocky walls overlooking the lake, crossing woods and enjoying thrilling views of Lake Garda. Ascent height difference: 850 m.

Villa Bettoni.

A monumental and scenographic Italian garden that embraces a villa considered the most beautiful architectural complex on Lake Garda. The villa with large stairways is surmounted by a balustrade adorned with stone statues with a mythological subject; it has works of art of great value: paintings by Palma il Vecchio, Canaletto, Paolo Veronese, Andrea Celesti, Pitocchetto, antique furniture, rare books, stuccos and decorations. Villa Bettoni is the historic home of the Bettoni counts, in Bogliaco, where the descendants of the family still reside.

Villa Bettoni-Gargnano. ©️lakegardaphoto
Villa Bettoni. ©️lakegardaphoto

Hotels, Restaurants and Experiences in Gargnano.

As for the whole of Lake Garda, in Gargnano there are also many structures in which to stay, from small and well-kept B&Bs to resorts with wellness centers and beauty services, in the section dedicated to hotels in Gargnano you will find all the information to find accommodation in you more congenial.

We can do the same for restaurants, at this link you will find our selection of restaurants in Gargnano. Remembering that in this area there are several starred restaurants and the quality of the culinary offer is very high.

There are many activities and experiences you can do in Garganano and on Lake Garda, so we recommend that you visit the section dedicated to experiences in our magazine, click here.

How to get to Gargnano.

By car:

Before showing you how to reach Gargnano, a small premise is a must, in summer the western Garda area in the stretch from Salò to Gargnano is very busy so plan your travel times well.

Autostrada del Brennero: exit at Rovereto – follow the directions for Riva del Garda and then for Brescia / Salò. Travel time from the motorway exit: approximately 70 minutes.
A4 motorway (Milan – Venice) from Milan: exit at Brescia est – follow in the direction of Salò and continue for about 50 minutes.
A4 motorway (Venice – Milan) from Venice: exit at Desenzano del Garda – follow towards Salò continuing for about 1 hour.

Train information:
By bus from the following train stations:

From Desenzano del Garda station (travel time about 1 hour).
Desenzano – Gargnano connections

From Brescia station (travel time approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes).
connections Brescia – Gargnano

From Rovereto station (travel time about 2 hours with change in Riva del Garda).
Rovereto – Riva del Garda connections
connections Riva del Garda – Gargnano

For any questions about Gargnano or about your holiday on Lake Garda, do not hesitate to contact us by commenting on this article or writing on our social channels (InstagramFacebookTwitterTikTok), we are always available to answer your doubts and requests.

See you next time dear Outdoors!

Walter Sestili

Destination Marketing manager since 1998, in love with Lake Garda and its opportunities. For these reasons Garda Outdoors was born, a meeting place where the passion for this territory meets the tourist's curiosity to visit and discover the beauties of the most beautiful and largest of the Italian lakes.