Lake Garda is a wonderful destination for wine and food lovers. The region offers a wide range of authentic Lake Garda tours, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and picturesque villages that are deeply rooted in food and wine traditions. If you’re planning a weekend or an out-of-town trip from Verona, these are the top 3 destinations to visit at Lake Garda.
Custoza and the moraine hills
To the southeast of Lake Garda lies the area of Custoza, an area devoted to viticulture since ancient times and recognized for the quality of the fresh Custoza DOC. The landscape is characterized by rolling morainic hills that wind between Custoza and Peschiera, vineyards, olive trees, and centuries-old cypresses. You can explore the picturesque villages of Borghetto, and Valeggio sul Mincio. Let’s dive into these two hamlets:
Borghetto, in the Mincio River Valley
Borghetto is a small medieval village located in the Mincio River valley. The village is famous for its water mills, which are still in operation, and its ancient bridge over the Mincio River.
Valeggio sul Mincio, and the famous love knots (tortellini)
Valeggio sul Mincio is a picturesque village located on the banks of the Mincio River. The village is famous for its ancient castle, the Scaligeri Castle, and its local delicacies, such as tortellini di Valeggio known as “love knots” (ring-shaped pasta) and risotto with perch fillets. You can also visit the Sigurtà Garden Park, a botanical park that covers an area of 60 hectares and offers a wide range of plants and flowers.
Bardolino, at the foot of Mount Baldo
The production area of Bardolino wine is the eastern coast of Lake Garda, and it offers an enchanting hilly landscape, with glimpses of Lake Garda from above. The area is dotted with small villages and has the imposing presence of Mount Baldo in the background. You can taste the fresh and light Bardolino DOC wine, which is perfect for pairing with local fish dishes.
Mount Baldo, the haven of adventure sports (after a food&wine bellyful)
Baldo has been known as the “Botanical Garden of Europe” since the 1500s, making it an excellent destination for long walks in the nature. It’s a popular spot for sports enthusiasts, with activities, such as mountain biking and horseback riding, as well as for paragliding and hang gliding enthusiasts who launch from the highest peaks. If you prefer not to exert yourself, you can take comfort in reaching the summit of Baldo via the Malcesine-Monte Baldo cable car, featuring rotating cabins that offer a 360-degree view of Lake Garda and the surrounding landscape.
Lugana between Lombardy and Veneto
The Lugana DOC extends from the southern coast of Lake Garda to the moraine hills, straddling Lombardy and Veneto, between the provinces of Verona and Brescia. The area is characterized by gentle reliefs formed during the glaciations, with the constant accumulation of debris by the immense glacier that covered the valley that later became Lake Garda. The peculiarity of the soil and the ideal climate give Lugana a distinctive aroma and flavor. It is the clayey fields rich in mineral salts, the mild temperatures without too much temperature variation between day and night, and the breezes coming from Lake Garda that characterize and influence the production of such a beloved and consumed wine. You can taste here Lugana DOC, a dry and crisp white wine that pairs perfectly with fish dishes and light appetizers.
Sirmione, a stroll through the maze of alleys
The historical village of Sirmione is a highly appreciated destination on Lake Garda. Thanks to its charming landscapes and picturesque architecture, Sirmione has earned the title of “Pearl of Lake Garda”. It is an essential stop if you are visiting some Lugana winery: from food and wine to sports enthusiasts to those who love to wander around the narrow streets of this historical village!
Lake Garda is not only a natural gem but also a food and wine lover’s paradise. With its stunning landscapes and charming villages, visitors can indulge in the region’s culinary delights while exploring its rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re planning a quick weekend getaway or a longer trip, be sure to include these top 3 destinations on your Lake Garda tours for an unforgettable experience.