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Photo: Trentino Sviluppo SpA - Michele Dalla Palma
Photo: Trentino Sviluppo SpA - Michele Dalla Palma
Admire the majestic panoramas of Garda lying 2,000 m below the trail
Stay at mountain huts in truly spectacular locations
Hike through several climatic zones with uniquely diverse flora
Recharge your energy after the hike at the sunny beaches of Riva del Garda
Garda 2000 is an exciting itinerary winding through the mountain ranges of North Garda. This hike will satisfy your inner awestruck traveler as you admire the magnificent panoramas of the Alps and Lake Garda opening up from exposed ridges skirting the shores of the lake. Breathtaking sunsets and hospitable mountain huts enhance the perfect ambiance.
This trip begins on highland Alpine meadows of the Monte Bondone group from where we will trek along the ridge of Monte Baldo at 2,000 m above Garda. Monte Baldo is a unique mountain range famous for its unusually diverse flora featuring all plant species occurring in the Mediterranean, plain, and Alpine belts of Italy. From the highlands we descend into the warm climate of Lake Garda and take a ferry to the opposite side to continue hiking on steep slopes rising from the western shore. Our trip ends in the shorefront town of Riva del Garda – a charming summer resort with sunny beaches and ancient narrow streets.
This itinerary is of a moderate difficulty: while prior mountain hiking experience is not required, a good physical shape is a must. You will be accompanied by a local English-speaking mountain guide. Private bus service is provided for two legs of the itinerary, so we can keep up with the hiking schedule and take some load off our legs. We overnight at mountain huts with service and we stay at hotels in Limone and Riva del Garda.
Day 1: Monte Bondone
You arrive in a tiny village of Viote and check in at a mountain inn perched on the western slope of Monte Bondone at an elevation of 1,540 m. Time permitting, you can choose to visit the Viote Alpine Botanical Garden – one of the first highland botanical gardens in the Alps. After dinner, meadows above the inn offer the best vantage point for admiring the picture–perfect sunset over the Brenta Dolomites range standing opposite to Monte Bondone.
Day 2: Monte Bondone
Ascent 1350 m. Descent 900 m. Distance 16 km. Walking time 8 hours.
In the morning, we take an hour and a half to reach the ridge connecting the Monte Bondone group with mountain ranges fanning out from the northern tip of Lake Garda. The ascent to the ridge and the footpath that runs along it is arguably one of the most beautiful stretches of the entire itinerary. As we make our ascent, the panorama of the Brenta Dolomites range opens up slowly in a stunning display of grandeur a short distance away. A little south of the Brenta Dolomites we see the grand glaciers of the Adamello group. Once we get to the ridge, we head south to Garda. Our path frequently alternates between slopes, trailing down only to go back up at the next turn. Brief ascents alternate with short descents. These are some of the least–traveled locales where we will be seeing almost no other fellow hikers for the duration of our trek along the ridge. Today's trek will culminate in the ascent to Monte Stivo. After scaling the last slope, we find ourselves on the mountain top to be unexpectedly treated to a spectacular sight of Lake Garda lying some 2,000 meters below and stretching for a mind–boggling 55 kilometers to the south. The impression it creates is indescribable, so we conclude our narrative at this high point. Our hut is located a short way down from the mountain top, where we are headed for some rest and dinner to be followed by a spectacular sunset above Lake Garda.
Day 3: Monte Altissimo
Ascent 1020 m. Descent 960 m. Distance 13 km. Walking time 6 hours.
Today you might want to sacrifice some sleep and get out of bed long before breakfast for a 10-minute trek from the hut to the summit. Why so? To see the magnificent and unforgettable sunrise over Lake Garda, of course! From the mountain top we can see the faraway sun-kissed Adamello glaciers turn red, the peaks of the Brenta Dolomites light up in the sun, and Lake Garda as it awakens, with its blue depth contrasting with the golden peaks of the ridges on the opposite shore. After breakfast, we leave Monte Stivo by descending an exposed sun-drenched slope facing the lake. A private bus awaits us in a village at the foot of the mountain to take us to the Brentonico plateau. Next on our itinerary are green meadows on slopes of the Monte Altissimo group, a traditional Alpine lunch at a local farm, followed by an ascent to a new peak offering breathtaking views of Lake Garda that never fail to impress. Today's trek is an easy one, so we can afford the luxury of taking our time. Our hut is yet again near a mountain top offering a 360-degree panoramic view, so expect another picture-perfect sunset over Garda.
Day 4: Monte Baldo Traverse
Ascent 1110 m. Descent 1020 m. Distance 15 km. Walking time 8 hours.
The day of our Monte Baldo trek is the most challenging of our entire trip. The trail runs over the cusp of the ridge and the slope under it. Ascents to peaks alternate with descents into mountain saddles many times during the course of the day. The eastern slope is steeper with whimsically shaped weathered rocks. Kilometer-long streaks of rock debris run down the slopes facing the lake. The trail is well-trodden in the north and south, while the central part of Monte Baldo is less traveled and therefore more difficult to navigate. Along the entire length of today's itinerary, we will admire multiple vistas of Lake Garda and nearby mountain ranges. We will be sure to scale the Valdritta Peak – the highest point on the Monte Baldo ridge, which offers a 360-degree panorama of all mountains surrounding Lake Garda.
Day 5: Descent to Lake Garda
Ascent 100 m. Descent 950 m. Distance 11 km. Walking time 4 hours.
Ahead of us is a descent to Lake Garda over southern slopes of Monte Baldo. Today we leave Monte Baldo – a unique mountain group famous for its unusually diverse flora. Virtually all plant species occurring in the Mediterranean, plain, and Alpine belts of Italy grow on the slopes of Monte Baldo. We descend to about 1,200 m above the level of Lake Garda where a private bus awaits to take us to one of the shorefront towns on Garda. After a dip in the water and some rest, we board a ferry and head for the town of Limone on the opposite shore. The ferry ride lasts for an hour and a half. From the ferry we can see the entire Monte Baldo group – all peaks and saddles that we covered on our route the day before. We stay for the night in Limone in the comfort of a hotel and a charming ambiance of an ancient resort town.
Day 6: Western Shore of Garda
Ascent 1150 m. Descent 1150 m. Distance 15 km. Walking time 7 hours.
On the last day of the trip, we hike from Limone to Riva del Garda. The western shore of Garda is very steep in this area, so it's an uphill hike from the get go. We get going a bit earlier than usual to avoid going uphill in scorching heat. But we do not need to hurry because today's trek is of moderate intensity. We reach the mountain pass by lunchtime, making a rest stop along the way to take photos on the top of a sheer cliff jutting out above the lake. After crossing the mountain pass, we make a gradual descent in the direction of Riva, first traversing the plateau under the western ridge. The last leg of our itinerary runs along the old Ponale road cut into steep mountains towering above the lake. In the dim and distant past it was used by horse-drawn carts and even the first motor vehicles. Today it is the best panoramic footpath in Garda. Our hike ends in Riva where we overnight in a hotel.
Day 7: Riva del Garda
On our five-day hike we followed one of the most contrasting itineraries of the Alps. It brought us from the Alpine highlands into the warm Mediterranean climate of Garda. If you aren't in a hurry to get to the airport, you can spend today relaxing on the beaches Riva del Garda or simply take a stroll through this ancient town. Riva has a rich history that lives on in the Roman digs, a 12th century keep, and narrow streets dating from the times of the Venetian Republic.
This is a private tour on the dates of your choice.
The prices are per person and include the VAT tax.
Validity of prices: Summer 2019.
The indicated tour duration includes the days of arrival and departure. Accommodation on the day of arrival and night before departure is included in the price.
Guided tour: minimum 4 participants.
The itinerary starts in Viote – a locality nearby Trento. Verona is the closest airport: it will take you 3 hours to arrive in Viote by train and bus from the Verona airport.
Going back to Verona airport from Riva del Garda takes between 2:30 and 3 hours.
Other possible airports include Bologna, Innsbruck, Venice, Munich and Milan. Bolzano accepts private flights only.
We can help you to plan the route from the airport and provide you with train and bus schedules: please contact us before you buy plane tickets.
Alternatively, we can organize a private transfer from any airport of the region.
Proper hiking boots are a must in the mountains. We recommend high boots because they support the ankle better than any low boots and provide better stability on a rocky terrain. You must bring some warm clothes with you: waterproof and windproof jacket, fleece jacket, long trekking pants and a cap. A raincoat, poncho or other type of rainwear is necessary. Other necessary items are the toiletries, light clean footwear to use in the huts, sunglasses and water bottles or bladders for a total capacity of 3 liters. It is important to have a sufficient capacity for water with you as it gets very hot in the Garda area especially on the lower trails. You'll receive a detailed packing list specifically for your trip at the booking. We ask all the participants to read it carefully and be well prepared for the hiking trip.
For detailed information on the gear and clothing please read Hiking gear.
You will stay overnight in mountain huts. You can count on the following services Mountain huts around Garda: a bed in a shared room, shower with hot water, toilets, meals, and a possibility to buy take away water and snacks such as sandwiches and chocolate. Shared rooms are equipped with bunk beds with mattresses, pillows and blankets. Bed linen is not provided in the Garda huts: you must have a sleeping bag liner with you. Typically, it is a light cotton bag. Warm sleeping bag is unnecessary, since there are blankets in the bedrooms. Private rooms are available in some huts. Most huts have a heating system, but it is normally not required in the summer months. You will need clean footwear for the huts: light slides are an ideal solution. For detailed information on the huts please read Mountain Huts in the Alps.
In hut-to-hut hiking tours you are served a breakfast and a dinner in the huts and mountain hotels on the route.
Normally, the breakfast is served from 7am to 9am. It usually includes an unlimited quantity of coffee and tea, bread, butter, jam, honey and chocolate spread. In addition, some huts offer ham, cheese and muesli for breakfast. After breakfast we recommend filling your thermos with hot water or tea: ask the staff, and it will be for free in most huts.
The dinner time in the mountain huts is 7pm or 7:30pm for all guests. A typical dinner in a hut is very rich and includes a starter, the first course (such as pasta, risotto, dumplings), the second course (meat with a side dish) and a dessert. Any drinks at dinner (water, wine, beer, tea, coffee) are not free and should be ordered and paid separately.
We will have a possibility to stop for lunch in the mountain huts or farms in all the days of the trip except one. This day we recommend to take a light snack (sandwiches, yoghurt, chocolate, water) from the hut where we have stopped for the overnight.
Our guided hiking tours are led by professional guides, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience and with passion for mountains. They permanently work in the region of the exact hiking tour, have professional licenses, are experts in emergency situations, regularly upgrade their qualifications and work in accordance with national regulations.
Mountains are a natural environment with a high level of risk, so we insistently ask all participants to read the safety rules and emergency procedures: Safety considerations. If you have questions about the safety rules, please contact us +39 0463 63 60 80.
Insurance. It is important to have an appropriate insurance that covers the hiking activity. You don't need to include the climbing activity in your insurance, unless you are planning to climb during the hike.
Visa. We will provide you with a booking confirmation for all days of your trip. If you need the Italian visa, you can enclose this document with your visa application.
The weather conditions in the lake Garda region are very contrasting: day temperature on the lake and in the mountains can vary by more than 20° C (68° F). On the northern coast of Garda, below the elevation of 500 m (1,640 ft), the microclimate is mild Mediterranean. From June to September the day temperature varies between 26° and 32° C (79-89° F), and at night it drops to 18-20° C (64-68° F). At an elevation of 2,000 m (6,560 ft) on the mountain ridges where our multiday routes pass, the temperature can reach 18-22° C (64-71° F). On the sunny side of the ridges, the temperature is several degrees higher than on the shady side, and this creates conditions for a moderate wind. In a hot summer day, a strong south wind appears above the lake, while light clouds form above the summits and ridges.
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