What to do with children on Lake Garda?

Riva del Garda and its surroundings are a perfect place for a family holiday. It is very green and it has beautiful mountains which are ideal for hiking. It is worth taking a walk along the lakeshore, enjoying the cool breeze descending from the mountains and admiring the landscape. For those who want to relax, there are beaches along Lake Garda that are no less enviable everywhere in the summer than those of the sea.

The opportunity to be outdoors, to practice sports and nature with all its beauties are elements that will attract even the youngest. It is rare to meet a child who does not like playing outside or riding a bicycle. For these reasons, the north of Lake Garda is also an ideal destination for family holidays. Not to forget that the mountain air is good for everyone but for all children.

The activities that can be done together and the places to visit are numerous, so it is useful to organize the trip by theme, to not miss any opportunity.

Riva del Garda

This town on the shores of the lake is a true jewel, not for nothing it is called the pearl of Garda Trentino; So take some time to explore it. No worries when traveling with children, the old town is a pedestrian precinct so children can move around freely and enjoy ice cream or pizza in one of the many lakeside restaurants. In addition, the city is equipped with several very well-maintained playgrounds.

Amusement parks and attractions

If you stay in the city, you can visit “Reptilandia”, a very special museum: a gallery of natural sciences and a herpetological center, snake kingdom, spiders, scorpions and insects.

In addition to the beauty offered by the nature of the Trentino-Alto Adige territory, children can let off steam in the adventure park Busatte Adventure between Torbole and Nago, not far from Riva del Garda. A nice and really well-equipped place: There are fifty air passages of different heights (from two to fifteen meters), a new national-race-approved BMX track, MTB technical tracks, bike trial tracks, a basketball and volleyball court, and a big one green lawn from which the Busatte Tempesta route begins. For refreshment, the restaurant with bar is perfect. The Busatte Adventure Park is an ideal place to have fun with the family in the cool of the hillsides of Monte Bald.

Always in the city center, directly on the lake shore, there is a spectacular hydroelectric power station. Open to visitors and undoubtedly an experience not to be missed, to find out how such an important element as water, gains useful energy for everyday life. This mechanism and the imposing structures of the power plant will attract the children’s attention. Just think that the plant is part of a complex system that brings water from the Adamello peaks to Lake Garda through a network of tunnels, forced pipelines and aqueducts.

As Riva del Garda and its surroundings are a mountain area, there are many farms where you can ride horses, observe the animals up close and taste the products of the farmers. From the north coast of Lake Garda, it is enough to go to the nearby towns of Arco and Tenno to find some educational farms.

“Country” outdoor activities

Walks, hiking and climbing. It is really spoiled for choice for those who want to play sports with their family in their free time or spend an alternative holiday.

Below we offer a complete overview of all possibilities.

Bike and MTB

First, the bike paths around the lake should be mentioned: such as the Mori-Riva del Garda, the cycle path Garda-Sarche, which goes from Torbole through the Sarca Valley, the bicycle-pedestrian path through the Valley of the Lakes all the way to Trento, also called Torbole-Trento. The first runs for 18.2 kilometers and ends at the Varone Falls. It is comfortable and well connected, like the Garda-Sarche. The Torbole-Trento spans 32.9 kilometers and passes an area devoted to the production of holy wine, which could benefit both mother and father.

From May this year you can take a ride over the lake. The brand new bike path that connects Riva del Garda with Limone sul Garda now allows all the curious to make a pieco of road that was previously impossible by bike. Floating high above and with breathtaking views, you can follow some sections of the lake that previously could only be admired by the water.

As for the mountain bike, there are many ways to use it; There is even a naturalistic area devoted exclusively to this sport, the Garda Trentino Bike Park. Because of its non-linear terrain, it is advisable to find the suitable routes for children so that you can have fun in peace.

Trekking and climbing

Around the Lake Garda there are climbing rocks on which you can climb on a family scale. It seems strange, but the new Doss Pelà in Drena and the new area of he Massi delle Traole in Nago, have been specially designed for adults and children. Of course, there are other cliffs that offer real climbing opportunities for experts.

As far as trekking is concerned, the choice is huge and there are numerous hiking trails for families. You absolutely can not miss to cross beautiful landscapes along the Ponale road. Another unmissable route is the one that combines the Marmitte dei Giganti, a spectacular geological phenomenon, with the Castagneto of Nago, where the trees are carefully looked after by the inhabitants. It is a unique itinerary: it starts in Torbole, goes along the glacial springs and then climbs up to Castagneto, from where you have a magnificent view of Torbole and the lake below.

Another easy and fascinating walk is the one that develops along Lake Tenno to the medieval village of Canale, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy (Borghi più Belli d’Italia).

“Water” outdoor activities

Thanks to its size and the fact that it is constantly kissed by the north and south winds, Lake Garda is much appreciated by water sports enthusiasts such as sailors, windsurfers, kitesurfers or canoeists.

The winds of Lake Garda

Pelèr (wind or wind from the north)

The king of the winds, as well as the good weather wind. The peculiarity of the Pelèr is the formation of small waves, which are much larger and more vertical than the normal movement of the lake, which also determine the name of the lake as they “peel” the lake (pelare). It is a continuous and regular wind in the summer months. It blows between midnight and three in the morning, first in the north and in the middle of the lake and then with the rising sun over the whole surface.

Ora (wind from the south)

The most famous and appreciated by surfers and sailors from all over the world. It is made up of many small winds that run between Gargnano and Brenzone in the southern part of the lake in the so-called Ora, and then blow to the north. He is very regular and strong. Normally, the Ora begins after the end of Pelèr, around noon and lasts until sunset. Its strength is very different depending on the areas: Brenzone 1/2 bft, Sample 3/4 bft, Malcesine 2/3 bft, Navene 3/4 bft, Torbole 4/5 bft. The more you go north, the more the Ora rises due to the Venturi effect caused by the aggravation of the two mountain ranges flanking the lake.

Sailing, Windsurfing and Stand Up Paddle (SUP)

When children approach these sports in and around Riva del Garda, they will find experts and well-equipped schools. The SUP could be a very fun alternative as it is enough to gently move the surfboard. It will be a new and different way to admire the landscape.


Not only the seabed, but also the lake can be explored, especially to see the differences to the first ones. There is no shortage of diving schools in the area that you have to rely on to immerse yourself in the waters of the lake.


You can also practice this sport, there is a dedicated sports club in the nearby town of Arco. Together with the instructors, as well as experienced guides, mum, dad and kids can dive into the water, explore canyons and tackle waterfalls.