Relaxed Touring with a Local

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Lake Garda Trek 'n' Tour: Tour Itinerary

Day One

We pick you up this morning from your Verona hotel in our minibus and head toward the Valpolicella region north-west of Verona, famous for wine making since Roman times. A leisurely walk through the vineyards and forested hillsides includes a light lunch at San Giorgio Ingannapoltron, famous for its 8th century Romanesque church. Our next stop is at a typical family-run “Cantina” for a wine tasting. Here you will learn about the techniques used to make the local wines, and taste some of the varieties produced. A short scenic drive brings us to our hotel in lakeside Malcesine, your home for the next seven nights. Dinner is included tonight in a local restaurant with lovely lake views.

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Time: 2-3hrs
Distance: 7km                  
Height Difference: 150/400m

Day Two & Day Three

Today we take the Monte Baldo cable car which takes us up to 1750m.a.s.l, where we begin our Monte Baldo “Cime" walk.  This spectacular walk traverses the major peaks of Monte Baldo, the highest point being 2218m at Valdritta. This walk includes some rocky and exposed sections where we can often see chamois perched on the mountain ledges. We stay overnight in a typical mountain refuge at 2140m, where you will get to taste traditional mountain food with our included dinner. The next day we continue to Rifugio Fiori del Baldo, where we begin our descent through alpine pastures to Prada Alta at 1000m, where we drive to our included lunch stop at San Zeno di Montagna, then back to our hotel.
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Time: 5-6hrs (day two), 3-4 (day three)

Distance: 16km
Height Difference: 1000/2218m

Day Four

We travel to the western side of the lake today. The "gallerias" carved through the cliffs, and the winding roads perched high above the lake that we take are all part of Mussolini's road building legacy. We drive inland through the Tremosine area and have lunch in a local restaurant set in spectacular scenery. We then continue south until we reach Gardone and "Il Vittoriale degli Italiani". This fascinating complex showcases the life, times and possessions of one of Italy's most fascinating and complex men. Gabriele D'Annunzio was a poet, aviator, lover, writer, politician, freedom fighter and self-promoter. A vehicle ferry will take us back across the lake to Torri del Benaco where we have dinner before returning to our hotel.
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Day Five

Today, we experience the Brenzone way of life; starting from Assenza we make our way along ancient mule tracks through several of the hillside villages. Houses are literally stacked on top of each other, with narrow pebble stone pathways and terraced olive groves scattered amongst them. Our morning coffee stop is at Castello, followed by a steep climb to St Antonio di Pontare, with its chapel dedicated to St Anthony the Abbot. This will be our lunch stop. A short but steep descent takes us to the fascinating medieval village of Campo, then a more gentle path takes us down through Fasor and Biaza to Casteletto on the waters edge. We continue along the "lungolago" to Porto for a rewarding cold beer at a local bar before being driven back to the hotel. Tonight is at your leisure.

(B,L)

Time: 41/2-5hrs actual walking      
Distance:                                
Height Difference: 65/430m 

Day Six

We travel along the Riviera of Olives, as the eastern side of the lake is known, and then turn inland to Brentino. Here we start the walk "Sentiero della speranza” (trail of hope), up to Madonna della Corona. This religious pilgrimage site clings precariously to a vertical mountainside over 750m above the valley floor. Fact and fiction are intermingled in the legend of the "Pieta" which is venerated here. Our lunch stop afterwards is very authentic and rustic; a traditional "baita" where they make their own cheeses and salami - "zero food miles" at its best! Back to the hotel by mid afternoon giving you free time to explore Malcesine.
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Time: 2½ hrs
Distance: 2.5km               
Ascent/Descent: 187/864m

Day Seven

Up to Bezzeca today, where we commence another spectacular walk, this time on the western side of the lake. The walk will begin with a  visit to the WW1 trenches, and the place where Garibaldi made his famous quote "I obey" from the 3rd war of Italian independence. A very scenic walk alongside Lago di Ledro, with a detour through the "artistic" village of Mezzolago, takes us to our lunch stop at Molina di Ledro, famous for its bronze age "Palafitte". The afternoon is spent walking down the Ponale valley, until we reach the cliffs high above Lake Garda. The walk down to Riva, using the old pioneer road built in the 1800's gives us stunning views over the lake and to the north. We finish our walk with some free time in Riva before returning to our hotel. Tonight is your chance to "glam up" as we will go somewhere special for our farewell dinner.
(B,D)
Time:   5-51/2hrs                   

Distance:  18km                              

Height Difference:   65/590m  

Day Eight

Today we go to the southern end of Lake Garda and take our time exploring Sirmione, a very beautiful peninsula extending into the lake. Its main attraction is the famous Grotte di Catullo, the excavated remains of an enormous 1C BC Roman villa. Afterwards you have time to wander the narrow streets of this quaint spa town and have lunch at one of the many cafes. We then return to Verona dropping you at your preferred destination, leaving you with some great memories of one of the most beautiful areas of Italy.

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