Eleonara Farina, Mirco Montagni and Marco Giacomello biking at Lake Garda, Italy on June 15, 2018.
© Lukas Pilz
MTB

Want year-round mountain biking? Then head to Italy's Lake Garda

Explore the amazing riding potential of the northern areas of Italy's Lake Garda in our latest destination guide.
By Lukas Pilz
5 min readPublished on
The north of Italy's Lake Garda is a magnificent area for mountain biking. Nestled beneath the towering mountains of the Trentino province, think epic views of Dolomite giants and glorious descents towards the edge of the glimmering water. It offers a unique lake and mountain experience. Where else can you enjoy amazing, technical MTB trails and finish up with a gelato on the shores of Italy's largest lake?
Eleonara Farina, Mirco Montagni and Marco Giacomello enjoy the view at Lake Garda, Italy on June 15, 2018.

Lake Garda's Punta Larici is the perfect stop for riders to enjoy the view

© Lukas Pilz

Popular with windsurfers and sailors alike, thanks to the winds that sweep in off Italy's northern plains, Lake Garda enjoys a Mediterranean climate, complete with lemon, olive and palm trees – not what you'd expect in the foothills of the Alps.
In this guide, European downhill champion Eleonora Farina, Mirco Montagni and local mountain bike guide Marco Giacomello tackle the trails around the northern shores of Lake Garda to give you a feeling for this awesome riding destination.

The riding

With its warm climate, the Lake Garda area has a long history of mountain biking and hosts one of the oldest bike festivals in Europe, the FSA BIKE Festival Garda Trentino in Riva del Garda.
Eleonara Farina, Mirco Montagni and Marco Giacomello biking at Lake Garda, Italy on June 15, 2018.

Who's for a gelato? The picturesque Riva del Garda

© Lukas Pilz

At this year's 25th anniversary event there were around 45,000 visitors, 300 brands, 150 exhibitors and around 2,500 participants in the Rocky Mountain BIKE Marathon race. The festival always takes place at the beginning of May, and for many European riders it's the traditional start of the season. There are a lot of trails to choose from.

All-mountain, enduro and XC

There are 44 official mountain bike trails, offering a total of 1,730km of riding. These are shared with hikers and are well sign-posted. The 773 trail, in the Tenno area on Monte Calino, shown in the video below, is one of them. It's a flowy and rocky natural singletrack through the forest.

2 min

POV: Lake Garda 773 Trail

POV video of Eleonara Farina, Mirco Montagni and Marco Giacomello biking the 773 trail at Lake Garda, Italy on June 15, 2018.

Another is the 760 trail on Monte Creino. The open grass summit offers stunning views of the lake below, and the trail starts a bit below the top and winds through the forest to Naranch. It's a wide, playful natural trail that's great for beginners, as you can see from the POV video below.

4 min

POV: North Lake Garda 760 trail

Mirco Montagni and Marco Giacomello biking on the 760 trail at Lake Garda, Italy on June 15, 2018.

Bike Park Garda Trentino

Description Mirco Montagni performing at Lake Garda Bike Park, Italy on June 15, 2018.

Val del Diaol downhill track features some proper jumps

© Lukas Pilz

This bike park offers gravity trails on breathtakingly panoramic tracks, namely the legendary Val del Diaol (the Skull) and the Ex-Seicentouno. It's the most popular area for experienced gravity and enduro riders in the Lake Garda area.
Val del Diaol is a fast 4.5km downhill course that drops 700m over some seriously steep terrain. It's rocky, rough and has some big jumps and berms. The trails are accessed via a shuttle service rather than lifts and were developed several years ago by some local downhill legends. The trail's name, The Skull, doesn't come from its danger, rather it's named after a cow's skull found in the middle of the trail during its construction. Thanks to the volunteers of AGBA (Alto Garda Bike Area) it's always well maintained.
Take a ride down Val del Diaol in the video below:

9 min

POV: North Lake Garda's Valle del Dialo trail

Mirco Montagni biking the Valle del Dialo trail at Lake Garda, Italy on June 15, 2018.

Where to stay

A list of suitable apartments for mountain bikers can be found here. They're bike friendly, providing essential amenities like secure bike storage, laundry areas, maintenance and repair services, and bike washes.
Eleonara Farina, Mirco Montagni and Marco Giacomello enjoy the view at Lake Garda, Italy on June 15, 2018.

Beats your regular bike cafe. Lunch at the San Pietro mountain restaurant

© Lukas Pilz

Riding the shuttles

Some of the area's bike shuttles operate year-round, meaning the season never ends. They'll take you and your bike to the most impressive trails, and then back to where you’re staying, with a single trip costing around €15, while a full day package of unlimited shuttles is €50 (with a minimum of five riders).
Eleonara Farina, Mirco Montagni and Marco Giacomello seen at Lake Garda, Italy on June 15, 2018.

Expect well marked trails at Lake Garda’s bikepark

© Lukas Pilz

Getting there

Map of the Northern Lake Garda region, Italy.

Map of the Lake Garda region

© Lukas Pilz

Lake Garda is situated in northern Italy and has good transport connections by road, rail and air. It's around 200km from Milan, 210km from Bologna, 200km from Venice and 220km from Innsbruck over the border in Austria.
By car: From Bologna-Verona, the Brennero and Bergamo-Brescia. Take the A22 Brennero motorway and the 'Rovereto- Sud – Lago di Garda nord' exit if you're coming from the south. Then follow the directions towards Lake Garda on the SS240 (national road).
By plane: The closest airports are Verona (85km), Bergamo Orio al Serio (130km), Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa (210km), Venice (210km) and Bologna (210km).
By train: For those travelling by train, the nearest railway station is Rovereto (on the Brennero line), which is 20 kms from Riva del Garda. A Trentino Trasporti bus service connects Rovereto to Torbole, Riva and Arco.
Arriving from Milan or Venice, it's possible to get off at Desenzano, Peschiera or Verona. From these towns you may take the A.P.T.V. (Azienda Provinciale Transport Verona) bus service to Riva del Garda.
Deutsche Bahn and Austrian Railways (OBB) also has five daily connections to Rovereto station from Innsbruck.
By bus: To reach Garda Trentino bus there are direct connections from Trento and Rovereto (Trentino Trasporti) from Verona, Desenzano and Peschiera (A.P.T.V. bus service) and during the summer (mid-June to the end of September) from Venice (A.P.T.V. bus service).
When to go
The shuttles operate all year round so it's theoretically possible to ride in winter, although not in the high mountains, which receive high snowfall. It can also be very cold. The best time to visit is from the end of April through until October. You can expect temperatures reaching up to 30ºC in mid-summer, but like any mountain area, be prepared for rapid changes in the weather and sudden thunderstorms.
Mirco Montagni and Marco Giacomello relaxing at Lake Garda, Italy on June 15, 2018.

Where better to end up than by the lake?

© Lukas Pilz

Thanks to our partners at Garda Trentino and Trentino Marketing.
Fancy seeing more of our destination guides from locations around Europe? Go to our MTB Destination Guides page.