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Lake Garda



European biking Mecca


1. Info

Lake Garda (Lago di Garda) is very popular area for mountain biking. It is the European center for MTB. Garda is interesting also for other outdoor sports (e.g. windsurfing, climbing). In the north of the lake, where the wind is the strongest, there are more than 13 windsurfing centers! 


Garda is situated north of Verona. The lake itself is quite long - 50 km and 18 km wide, whereas in the north only 5 km. It is only 65 m above sea level and surrounded by over 2000 m peaks! So, there is quite a height difference. The northern part of the lake is especially interesting, since rock walls literally vanish in the deeps of the lake. It is far to the sea, but the climate is typical Mediterranean, since there is only flat terrain separating the lake from the sea. But up in the mountains, there is severe mountain climate. So, you have to take this into account, when planning your trips.


The terrain is quite alpine for a bike, with steep ascents and demanding descents. Unfortunately, there are too many ascents on asphalt. There are quite a few book guides for MTB available. The most popular and probably the best is Moser guide in two parts. Bike season officially starts for the first May holidays, when a traditional Garda Bike Festival is organized. It is the biggest of its kind in Europe. Otherwise you can bike all year long, only snow limits the altitude that you can get to in winter.


In any case, Garda is worth a visit. There are not many places, where you can see so many mountain bikers in one place. Bikers are everywhere, and not just people with bikes. These are real mountain bikers with capable and usually expensive bikes. There are also a lot of bike stores with reasonable prices. So, something to lift up your biking spirit. The atmosphere is genuine MTB. But if you are a windsurfer or a climber, you could say the same thing. 


Garda is also a very crowded and popularized place, which can be bothering. Since there are some big cities very close (Muenchen, Verona, etc.), weekends can be really crowded, especially in summer. On general, you should avoid visiting Garda in August, when Italians have their vacation. At that time, camping grounds are full as well, especially those near the lake.





All pictures are from climbing Monte Altissimo


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18. junij 2004 

Copyright Marjan Tkavc