Explore the coast, enter the castle: Standup paddling Garda Lake in Italy

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Welcome to Northern Italy!  Nestled between the provinces of Brescia and Verona, Garda Lake is a spectacular weekend journey for standup paddle travelers.  This beautiful body of water is the largest lake in all of Italy.

Anastasia Pavolva SUP Garda Lake Italy
Garda Lake is a classic standup paddle adventure for all levels of paddlers. The northern waters of the Lake allows one to experience the dramatic coastline up close in an intimate way.  Photo by: Svetlana Khalyavina @khalyavina_s

Garda Lake, Italy:  a place to explore, relax and dream

Garda Lake is a standup paddler’s dream.  Within its 158 KM perimeter, Garda embraces a bevy of small islands and five larger ones for coastal exploration. On the main island of Isola del Garda, is where – in 1220 – St. Francis of Assisi founded a monastery.  On that site now sits a gorgeous a Venetian Gothic-Style building built in the 1900’s.  The northern part of Garda Lake is narrow and surrounded by dramatic mountains tumbling down to crystalline waters where sup adventures await.

Anastasia Pavolva SUP Garda Lake Italy
Paddle past great monuments of European history along Garda Lake’s northern coast. Photo by: Svetlana Khalyavina @khalyavina_s

 

Garda’s coastline:  from Verona to Milan & beyond

The ancient fortified town of Sirmione, located on the south end of the lake is one particularly popular destination. Sirmione is home to the Virgilio & Catullo Spa Complexes, as well as numerous restaurants, bars, hotels, fashion stores and an outdoor market.

Anastasia Pavlova Sup Sirmione Italy castle wall
Sirmione, Italy on Lake Garda’s southern end offers historic sights and modern pleasures for a paddlers delight.

Take a tour on Italy’s largest lake in the northern province

Standup Journal’s contributor Anastasia Pavlova offers standup paddle tours on Italy’s greatest lake. 

Here’s her review:

My favorite spot is on the northern part of Garda Lake in Italy where paddlers can take their boards and cruise along the coastline of towns Torbole sul Garda and Riva del Garda.  It is glorious to paddle around the small castle in Riva and then head to the waterfall in the grotto on the west side of the lake.

Anastasia Pavlova Sup Garda Lake Italy
Discovering waterfalls and exploring the coast are all a part of standup paddling Garda Lake

Garda Lake’s northern coast is a wonderful and gorgeous place indeed.  When you go so close to these huge rocks (which are actually the Italian Alps), you feel how small you are.  It is such an energetic place. Then, half an hour later of paddling, you will see the mysterious abandoned hotel, Hitchcock style and a deep grotto on the right.

Anastasia Pavolva SUP Garda Lake Italy
It’s not ALL about the paddling 😉 Relax and enjoy the journey along Garda’s scenic coast.

A 4-hour paddle into the magic of Italy

There is a cold waterfall which tumbles down from the mountains. It’s a great adventurous trip and takes around four hours of relaxed paddling to complete.  Of course, that includes stops for swimming and exploring this iconic coastline!

Come join me for a fantastic adventure!  There are many, many places to explore together.

By, Anastasia Pavolava
Instagram:  @nastia_pavlovaaa

About the author

Evelyn O'Doherty is a standup paddle racer, surfer and yoga teacher from the East End of Long Island in New York. Her passion for watersports drew her to leave a teaching career to pursue her athletic endeavors as a sup instructor, racing coach, sup racer, and now, as online editor for Standup Journal. Evelyn lives in East Hampton NY in the Springs area where she has daily access to the water to train and teach. When the swell is working, you can find her in Montauk rattling around in her Ford Ranger surfboards hanging out the back headed for points East.

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