Day Trips in Italy Hiking in Italy Trentino

8 Lakes in Trentino, Italy You Have to See for Yourself (With Map and Practical Tips)

8 Lakes in Trentino, Italy You Have to See for Yourself - rossiwrites.com
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Visiting the lakes in Trentino is a great way to spend a short relaxing holiday or a longer vacation in the North of Italy.

Trentino is a Northern Italian province that has been generously gifted by nature in many different ways.

From tall mountains to deep valleys, here you are never short of a beautiful view to enjoy or a hiking destination to explore. The thing that makes Trentino, Italy truly unique though is that there are almost 300 lakes here!

From tiny specks of blue water to large expansive water mirrors, from lakes that have harboured pre-historic civilisations to lakes that are perfect for windsurfing and sailing, you will find the full breadth and range of lakes in Trentino to really make your holiday one of a kind. 

Lake Ledro with the recreated prehistoric stilt house - Trentino, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Having so many lakes in such close proximity, you can easily visit several of them within a short amount of time. This way you can enjoy varied natural settings and unique local sights without wasting time on actually getting there. 

In addition, many of the lakes in Trentino, Italy are also near local towns and cities of interest. Lake Levico, for example, is right next to the beautiful town of Levico Terme which is famous for its spa procedures and Christmas markets.

This way, you don’t necessarily have to rely on a car to explore Trentino’s lakes. The public transport network is well-developed here and it offers easy local journeys by bus and train. 

Riva del Garda, Italy - rossiwrites.com

I loved exploring both Trentino and its lakes during my six years of living in Italy. Often we would head to a lake there for a few days or even for a day trip.

Trentino’s lakes offered us a beautiful disconnect from daily life, an opportunity to be close to nature, and in summer – a refreshing swim.

Beach huts lined along the beaches of Lake Lavarone - Trentino, Italy - rossiwrites.com

So, in this blog post today, I want to share with you eight of the lakes in Trentino that I loved spending time at.

As a whole, the Province of Trentino has 297 lakes! Obviously, one can spend a lifetime visiting them all and then writing a book or ten. To keep it simple and manageable though and to provide you with useful travel information, here I have selected eight of all of the Trentino’s lakes.

I picked them based on their beauty, ease of access for families, interesting sights in close proximity, and travel possibilities from important nearby towns and cities.

I hope that you will find this blog post useful and informative! Now, let’s start! 

 

 

8 Lakes in Trentino, Italy You Have to See for Yourself (With Map and Practical Tips)

 

 

1. + 2. Lake Caldonazzo & Lake Levico, Trentino

A view of Lake Caldonazzo with lifebuoys and a boardwalk - Trentino, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Lake Caldonazzo and Lake Levico are right next to each other. This is great as it means that you can see them both in one day or, even better, over a long weekend. 

Lake Caldonazzo is Trentino’s largest lake and Lake Levico looks like a Norwegian fjord. With clear waters that reflect the lush forests and hills around them, the two lakes are a must-see in this corner of Italy. Especially if you love spa procedures for which the adjacent town of Levico Terme is renowned thanks to its four mineral water springs.

Both lakes offer many opportunities for camping, hiking, water sports, and beach time. Lake Caldonazzo is especially great for swimming as it’s one of the warmest lakes in Europe. On average, its water reaches temperatures of 20 to 24 degrees Celsius from May to September.

Lake Levico, on the other hand, can be circumnavigated easily on foot in about two hours or so. A circular path runs along the lake offering shade on a hot day and an opportunity to easily exercise surrounded by nature during the cold months. 

I loved the time we spent camping at Lake Caldonazzo and exploring the area around it. There were so many sights and things to do that we could both relax and find exciting experiences to do as and when we pleased. 

On the plane journey back to England after our time in Italy had come to an end, we glimpsed Lake Caldonazzo and Lake Levico for one last time. So, I am forever emotionally attached to this beautiful corner of Trentino.

Nearest towns and cities:

The spa town of Levico Terme is on the shores of Lake Levico. Lake Caldonazzo is just around the corner from it. Around Lake Caldonazzo, you can also visit the towns of Caldonazzo, Calceranica and Pergine. The town of Borgo Valsugana is down the road from both lakes.

Most importantly, the provincial capital of Trento – of the 16th-century Council of Trent fame – is only about 45 mins by train from Levico Terme.

You can reach Levico Terme easily by train from several other large towns and cities nearby. For example, Rovereto – an important city in Trentino, Italy is on average an hour and 10 mins away. Bassano del Grappa – a beautiful city in the neighbouring Italian region of the Veneto – is about an hour and 15 mins away. And the train journey to Verona lasts, on average, two hours (with changes).  

What else to see nearby:

There are so many things to do around Lake Caldonazzo and Lake Levico that I have a special blog post listing them in detail. Please, click on this link to have a look. From medieval castles to mountain peaks, from Blue Flag beaches to pedalos, from exciting sights to unmissable museums, the area of Lake Caldonazzo and Lake Levico offers a long list of things to do for nature lovers, spa enthusiasts, and history buffs. 

Click here for more information:

 

 

3. Lake Garda, Trentino

View of Garda Trentino with the town of Torbole on the lakefront - Lake Garda, Trentino, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake. Luckily, a portion of its shores falls within Trentino’s confines. It seems to be the portion with the most stunning natural features and best conditions for surfing and sailing. Here you will also find multilayered history that offers archaeological excavations, vestiges of the Republic of Venice, and Austrian influences among many other things.

Come to the Trentino’s corner of Lake Garda to spend time in the lakefront towns with pastel houses, grassy beaches, and cafes selling Austrian pastries. At Christmas, here you will discover some of the best Christmas markets in the North of Italy. In summer, you have hundreds of opportunities for hiking, biking, windsurfing, and boating.

Add to the mix the great local museums and the many medieval castles. Then couple it with the easy access to the Northern Italian regions of Veneto and Lombardy with everything they have to offer, too. It’s not surprising then that Trentino’s Lake Garda is a great place to have any possible variation of the perfect Italian experience.

Nearest towns and cities: With a number of gorgeous towns here, you will be spoilt for choice. Lakefront Riva del Garda and Torbole offer many historic sights, cultural events, and opportunities for beach time and water sports. Head to nearby Arco for a medieval castle with stunning views and a refined atmosphere that is a vestige from the Habsburg Empire which used to rule these lands. 

Trento and Rovereto – Trentino’s main cities – are, respectively, around 50 and 35 minutes away by car with regularly running buses connecting them to Torbole and Riva del Garda. Another cute town in Trentino to explore nearby is called Ala. It’s famous for its palaces which in summer host a Baroque festival and in winter are a stage for a town-wide Christmas market.

A number of beautiful towns on the Veneto and Lombardy shores of Lake Garda are very easily accessible, too either by car, ferry or local bus. Consider visiting Malcesine, Torri del Benaco, Garda Town, and Punta di San Vigilio on the eastern shore and Limone sul Garda, Gargnano, and Toscolano-Maderno on the western shore of Italy’s largest lake. Or drive straight down from Riva del Garda to Verona. Depending on traffic, it will take you between just over an hour to an hour 45 mins.

What else to see nearby:

You will be spoilt for choice if you decide to spend a day, a weekend or a week on the Trentino shores of Lake Garda. There is so much to see and do there that I have organised the information in separate blog posts. 

Please, click here to see the most beautiful towns to visit around Lake Garda. Click here for the best things to do there if you are travelling as a family.

As an added plus, the Trentino portion of Lake Garda is only 15 to 25 minutes away from two more lakes on this list – respectively Lake Tenno and Lake Ledro. This opens even more opportunities for day trips and fun times.

Click here for more information:

 

 

4. Lake Ledro, Trentino

View of the pristine blue waters of Lake Ledro - Trentino, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Lake Ledro is another gorgeous lake in Trentino, Italy.

With its crystal clear waters and ancient connection to human history, it’s a must-see place, especially if you like peace and quiet, fishing, gorgeous nature, and archaeological excavations. It was here that in 1929, the remains of many prehistoric stilt houses were discovered.

Nowadays, there is a small but very well curated on-site museum. It tells the story of the people who used to call Lake Ledro home several millennia ago. A number of stilt houses have been reconstructed, too to give visitors a good idea of what life was like there at the start of human civilisation.

For me, Lake Ledro is like plucked straight out of a fairytale. Just sitting on the shores and watching the fish dart in the clear water felt very relaxing and soul-healing.

If you love to take photos, you will want to spend hours simply photographing the lake, its limpid waters, and the mountains that surround it. It’s all so beautiful and peaceful, it’s only too natural to want to have a picture of it to take home and look at it every now and then when life really gets a bit on top of you.

I spent a lovely day at Lake Ledro hiking, visiting the museum, and having a great pizza at a lakefront restaurant. Simple things that made me very happy!

Nearest towns and cities:

There are no large towns and cities on the shores of Lake Ledro. Just a few hamlets, some villages, and a few hotels and chalets. It’s a pristine place that only got its first road in the middle of the 19th century.

You can easily travel there by car from Riva del Garda, Torbole, and Arco – three of the Trentino towns on and near Lake Garda. It takes anything from about 20 to 35 mins by car to get there. Public buses connect the lake to these three towns with the shortest journey time being from Riva del Garda. 

Rovereto and Trento are between 45 mins and 1 h 15 mins away on average depending on the day and the traffic. 

What else to see nearby:

Lake Ledro is near Lake Tenno and Lake Garda – both of which are on this list with lakes in Trentino. In addition, you can easily travel from Lake Ledro to Lake Idro which is in the neighbouring Italian region of Lombardy.

Click here for more information:

 

 

5. Lake Tenno, Trentino

A view of lake Tenno surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks - Trentino, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Lake Tenno is a turquoise water mirror surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks. It is only about 15 minutes away from the northern tip of Lake Garda and yet it’s in a world of its own.

In summer, people flock to its shores tempted by its beaches and crystal clear waters. In winter, they come here for the solitude and the soul-nourishing views. A circular hike around this almost circular lake is good to do in any season and it takes about an hour to complete.

To reach the lake, you need to leave your car at the large parking lot around the on-site hotel and restaurant. Then, stone steps take you down to the water edge and the path that circumnavigates the lake.

If you are spending time at the nearby Lake Garda which is Italy’s largest lake, it may seem counterintuitive to leave all that it has to offer to drive up to Lake Tenno. Don’t miss a chance to see this small turquoise lake for yourself though. In winter, it’s very fairytale-like and in summer, the colour of its waters makes you feel like you are somewhere exotic and tropical.

I loved spending time on the shores of Lake Tenno during our time in Italy. The small island at one end of the lake adds to its mystery. Just sitting on a stone on the shore while the transparent water laps near your feet is enough to make you feel very lucky and very content no matter what may otherwise be going on in your life. 

Nearest towns and cities:

There are no towns or villages on the shores of Lake Tenno. Although close to the road and with a large hotel with a restaurant and a parking lot nearby, the lake feels very secluded and peaceful.

The towns of Riva del Garda, Torbole, and Arco are about 15 to 40 mins away respectively depending on the traffic and the day. Rovereto and the provincial capital Trento are about 45 mins to 1 h 10 mins away by car.

On the way to Lake Tenno, you will drive through a handful of small villages. As the road goes up through the mountains, you will enjoy some truly stunning views of Lake Garda and the mountain peaks. All in all, Lake Tenno is a great destination for an hour or a whole day. 

What else to see nearby:

One of the best things about Lake Tenno is that very close to it stands one of the most beautiful villages in Italy – the medieval Canale’ di Tenno. To reach it, you can either hike for half an hour from the lake or leave your car at the car park on Via delle Ville and walk for ten minutes from there. 

With its tall stone houses and artisan workshops, Canale’ di Tenno is absolutely beautiful. This is where many artists and craftsmen from all over Italy and the world take residences and many creative events take place all throughout the year.

Another beautiful medieval village you can easily visit from Lake Tenno is called Rango. It also has old stone houses and very atmospheric streets. Try to combine Canale’ di Tenno with Rango for a full experience.

Near Lake Tenno, you can also visit the archaeological site on Mount San Martino. This is where archaeologists have discovered a place of worship dating back to the 3rd century BC, a Roman sanctuary from the 1st century BC and a village from the 8th century AD. The views from up there are breathtaking.

Another must-see sight near Lake Tenno is the Varrone Falls. This is a great big gushing waterfall in a cave. Nature took 20,000 years to shape this stunning place, so take your time to see it all and feel the power of the water tumbling down the gorge. Varone Falls is very close to Riva del Garda, too.

Click here for more information:

 

 

6. + 7. Lakes of Colbricon, Trentino

The mountain of Cima di Colbricon with the Lakes Colbricon - Paneveggio - The Violins' Forest - Dolomites, Trentino, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Colbricon is the name of two small lakes surrounded by mountain peaks in the heart of the Paneveggio-Pale di San Martino Nature Park in Trentino, Italy.

Paneveggio is a large forest in Italy’s Dolomites where red spruce trees grow so perfect that, legend has it, Stradivari himself would use them to make his worldwide famous violins. Hence, Paneveggio is known as the Violins’ Forest. Pale di San Martino is the largest mountain group in the Dolomites and it presides over the Violins’ Forest.

The nature park of Paneveggio-Pale di San Martino is one of Italy’s first nature parks. In 2009 it also became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Lakes of Colbricon are one of the must-see gems in the nature park. You can only reach them on foot. The most popular hike to the lakes starts from Agritur Malga Rolle – an alpine dairy with a great restaurant. Walking to the lakes is very pleasant and it takes you through lush forests. With an elevation of 120 m, the hike is easy enough for families with small kids and anyone who loves moving and nature.

What I found of great interest is that the Lakes of Colbricon have been attracting people for over 12,000 years.  Every summer, ancient Paleolithic and then Mesolithic tribes would trek up from the nearby plains and then live on the shores of the lakes while spending their days hunting and preserving the food.

The lakes and the surrounding area are truly special. After spending there a great weekend a couple of years ago, I recommend wholeheartedly this place in Trentino, Italy!

Nearest towns and cities:

The Lakes of Colbricon are in the midst of nature, so the nearest towns and cities are a drive away. The drive itself is spectacular though as you get to enjoy the majestic views of the Dolomites.

The renowned ski resort San Martino di Castrozza is about 20 mins away by car from Agritur Malga Rolle. There is also a bus serving the line. Make sure that you check its timetable as it may change depending on the day and the season. Primiero – another local town – is about 35 mins away.

The provincial capital Trento is about 1 h 45 mins away by car. 

What else to see nearby:

Hiking in summer and skiing in winter are two options for you to enjoy in the area around the Lakes of Colbricon. Add to this the delicious local food served in the restaurants of the many dairy farms nearby.

In addition, the three visitor centres of the Nature Park of Paneveggio-Pale di San Martino organise many events all throughout the year and can give you detailed information about many things to do in the area. Next to the Terra Foresta Visitor Centre, for example, you can see the deer enclosure of the program which over the last few decades has worked to reintroduce these beautiful animals to the forest of Paneveggio.

I have written a detailed blog post about the many things – from hiking to food – that can be enjoyed there. Please, click here or on the link below to read it.

In addition, you can spend a bit of time exploring the beautiful villages around the town of Primiero. Mezzano, for example, is particularly famous for its woodpiles that have been turned into works of art.

Click here for more information:

 

 

8. Lake Lavarone, Trentino

View of Lake Lavarone with a hotel and sandy beach in the distance - Trentino, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Lake Lavarone is gorgeous and it knows it! It has beautiful beaches, manicured surroundings, and waters that are so clear that the sky uses them as a mirror.

Lake Lavarone has been attracting holiday-makers for centuries. One of the most famous visitors here was the Father of Psychoanalysis – Siegmund Freud. At the start of the 20th century, he would spend long holidays there working on his theories. In fact, in 1906 when Freud analysed for the first time a work of art using his new psychoanalytical technique, he did it during his summer holidays at Lake Lavarone.

The lake is small and you can easily walk around it all in less than an hour. The path follows the outline of the lake closely and goes half-way through a lovely forest and half-way by the lake beaches and cafes.

The atmosphere is so lovely and relaxed with people swimming, paddling pedaloes, and sunning themselves. With the big yellow hotel on top of the tiny hill above the lake, my first impression was that it looked like the perfect setting for a remake of Dirty Dancing with Austrian and Italian influences if one is ever made.

Lake Lavarone is only 17 m deep but it’s one of the most ancient lakes in Trentino, Italy. Apparently, on the lake floor there lie the remains of a fossilised forest!

Nearest towns and cities:

Lake Lavarone is perfectly located within an easy distance from many important towns and cities of the Province of Trentino and the region of the Veneto. As such, it is only 20 mins away by car from Folgaria – a famous ski resort in Trentino. The provincial capital Trento is less than an hour away. The same applies to Rovereto – one of the largest cities in Trentino.

Vicenza and Bassano del Grappa in the Veneto are about an hour and 15 mins away from Lake Lavarone. To reach the lake from Padua or Verona, it will take you between an hour and 30 mins and two hours by car.

What else to see nearby:

If you have an interest in history, don’t miss Fort Belvedere from the First World War. It is about 15 mins away by car from Lake Lavarone and in summer there usually is an electric train connecting the lake to the fort.

Another great place in the area is the forest art exhibition Il Respiro degli Alberi. It’s basically an easy nature hike through a beautiful forest which is dotted with wonderful large-scale art installations by contemporary artists. I loved it!

 

 

Map of the 8 Lakes in Trentino, Italy You Need to See for Yourself

 


 

 

In Conclusion

View of the Lakes Colbricon - Dolomites, Trentino, Italy - rossiwrites.com

Trentino is a province in the North of Italy famous for its stunning natural setting. The local lakes are among the riches of Trentino’s nature. Almost 300 in number, they offer beautiful views, countless opportunities for water sports and hiking, as well as the ability to explore in-depth historical events and local customs.

Some of Trentino’s lakes are close to the province’s main cities and medieval villages whilst others are in the bosom of nature and can only be reached by hiking through lush forests.

In the above blog post, I share with you information about visiting and exploring eight of the most beautiful and interesting lakes in Trentino. From Trentino’s largest lake – Caldonazzo – to small specks of water with ancient origins like Lake Lavarone and the Lakes of Colbricon – I have covered several types of lakes to appeal to different interests.

I hope that the information provided above is of interest to you and that it will help you plan a great holiday or some exciting day trips in Trentino, Italy.

Enjoy the lakes of Trentino!

 

 

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