Crossing a Tibetan bridge is, without a doubt, a high-adrenaline adventure.
Doubly so when the views around you are of Italy’s largest lake – the stunning Lago di Garda.
With its blue expanse framed by lush slopes that are dotted with olive groves and vineyards, Lake Garda has a lot of charming corners to discover for yourself. From pretty lakeside towns to great panoramic views, from small pebbly beaches to authentic celebrations and events, the list of picture-perfect things to see and do around Italy’s largest lake is rich with unmissable experiences.
One of them is walking across Lake Garda’s Tibetan bridge.
What it feels like?!
Your heart beats wild and your palms get sweaty. You hold onto the metal railings for dear life and then make slow steps forward trying not to think about the abyss right below your feet.
You lift your eyes to take in the stunning views around you and when you reach the other side you feel elated by the daring adventure and willing to do it all over again.
So, if you are looking for a new adventure on the shores of Italy’s largest lake, look no further. Lake Garda’s Tibetan bridge hangs over a deep canyon and you can reach it via a short hike through olive groves and lush forests.
This blog post has extensive details to help you do the hike and cross the Tibetan bridge. Lots of photos are provided, too to give you a good visual idea of what to expect.
Now, let’s start!
Lake Garda’s Tibetan Bridge – A High-Adrenaline Hiking Experience in the Veneto, Italy
What Is Lake Garda’s Tibetan Bridge?
Lake Garda’s Tibetan bridge is a bridge suspended above the steep canyon of Val Valzana which cuts through the western slopes of Mount Baldo above Italy’s largest lake – Lago di Garda.
The bridge is 34,70 m long, it hangs over an abyss that is 42 m deep, and the sag in the middle of the bridge is of 1,44 m. It opens lovely views over Lake Garda on one side and Val Valzana’s canyon on the other.
The Tibetan bridge was erected in 2019 making it a recent addition to the long list of things to do and see around Lake Garda.
Where Is Lake Garda’s Tibetan Bridge?
Lake Garda’s Tibetan bridge is in the vicinity of Crero and Pai – two small hillside villages that are about half-way between the lakeshore towns of Torri del Benaco and Castelletto.
There is no tarmacked road leading all the way to the Tibetan bridge. To reach it, people usually drive to either Crero or Pai and then hike through the olive groves and forest from there. Others park at the town of San Zeno di Montagna which is further away and do a longer circular hike through the hills and views of Lake Garda.
How to Do the Hike to Lake Garda’s Tibetan Bridge?
There are two main starting points for the hike to Lake Garda’s Tibetan bridge – the village of Crero and the village of Pai.
For us, it was most straightforward to drive to the village of Crero. You will find it less than 10 mins away from the lakeshore town of Torri del Benaco. You just need to put Crero in Google Maps and the app will take you there via a panoramic road that starts off the main road that connects the lakeshore towns.
Crero huddles in the lush slopes above Lake Garda and enjoys stunning lake views. There are two car parks right on the edge of the village. Once you have parked, you need to follow the road into Crero on foot.
You will pass by a few stone houses and a trattoria with a panoramic terrace. Right after the trattoria, you will see signs pointing you in the direction of several local hikes.
Follow the sign to the village’s Church of San Siro – a small but very pretty church surrounded by olive trees and offering yet more beautiful lake views.
Behind the church, you will see a fork with the upper path leading to San Zeno di Montagna and the lower path to the Tibetan bridge and Pai. There are signs and it is perfectly clear which is which, so don’t worry about orienting yourself.
Plus, at the start of the path to the Tibetan bridge, there is also a stone water fountain which is very picturesque.
From here, the path runs wide, smooth, and flat.
It’s all like an Italian dream with stone drywall and olive groves on your right-hand side and tall cypress trees and views of the lake on the left-hand side.
Just as you start to think that the hike is going to be easy-peasy, the path starts to descend and soon you reach another fork. Again, there are clear signs pointing you in the right direction to the Tibetan bridge and the village of Pai.
Please, ignore the sign that says ‘Pai – Punta Piaghen’ as it leads to a place called Piaghen in the vicinity of the village of Pai. For the Tibetan bridge and the actual village of Pai, please, always follow the sign that says ‘PONTE TIBETANO Pai’.
The hike continues on a dirt path through more olive groves and past a small shack with a tiny pond next to it.
Soon, the path becomes rocky and it dips down. Here you need to mind your step at all times, as the rocks tend to slip and slide beneath your shoes.
Finally, the path will take you up the slope covered with bushes and the rather uncomfortable to walk on white sharp stones. To make it easier for hikers, steps have been shaped in the stones with the help of wooden stakes.
Voila! You have arrived. The Tibetan bridge is right in front of you in all its glory.
You can cross the bridge and then cross it back and return the same way to Crero and your car. Alternatively, you can cross the bridge and continue to the village of Pai and then retrace your steps from there.
According to the signs along the way, the hike from Crero’s Church of San Siro to Pai should take 40 mins in total.
Alternatively, you can do the hike to Lake Garda’s Tibetan bridge starting from Pai and walking first to the bridge and then uphill to the village of Crero.
What Do You Need to Do the Hike to Lake Garda’s Tibetan Bridge?
Hiking shoes with a good grip are a must! You will be walking on both gravel and uneven stones with many sharp edges. You need to be able to control each step, to avoid slips, and to keep your feet straight and safe.
I saw several people doing the hike in trainers and sports shoes. However, I also saw a lady who fell and twisted her ankle on the rocky part of the path and her family had to carry her back to their car. While this may be an isolated incident, it was a good lesson that shoes with a good grip are important even on short hikes.
Comfortable clothes will make your hiking experience so much more enjoyable and safe.
In addition, bring water and, if you want, some light snacks or a packed lunch, as halfway across the hike there is a small area with tables and benches surrounded by an olive grove.
On a sunny day, suncream is advised, especially at the start of the hike where the sun shines directly onto the path and then on the Tibetan bridge itself which is open to the elements. A bug repellent may come in handy, too.
For tips on how to prepare for a hike in Italy, please, read this interview with an expert hiker.
Who is the Hike to Lake Garda’s Tibetan Bridge Suitable for?
In principle, the hike to Lake Garda’s Tibetan bridge is suitable for hikers of all abilities. The path starts wide and flat, making it a real pleasure to follow it through olive groves and next to tall cypress trees while on your left-hand side the blue expanse of Italy’s largest lake can be glimpsed through branches and leaves in all its glory.
Just as you have settled into the thought of what a wonderful and easy hike this is going to be, the path starts going up and down through the forest making you work harder and watch your step on the steeper inclines.
The path’s surface changes, too. First, it’s all nice and gravelly, making your walk an easy feat. Then it becomes a dirt path to finally get completely covered with sharp white stones that require extra attention at each step as they easily slip and slide underneath your feet.
Lake Garda’s Tibetan bridge and the hiking paths that lead to it from the villages of Crero and Pai are very popular. While not overrun with people and for most of the time offering complete peace and quiet, usually, you will never be too far away from other people on the path and on or near the bridge.
You will be surrounded by nature at all times yet, it feels close to civilisation, too.
When Is the Best Time to Do the Hike to Lake Garda’s Tibetan Bridge?
On a clear day! This way you will enjoy the best lake views and will be able to see in minute detail Lake Garda’s shore and the mountains across the water. In spring and summer, the lush vegetation may obstruct the view a bit but will provide much-needed shade on hot days.
Avoid doing the hike on days with reduced visibility and/or bad weather. A portion of the hike is on a dirt path which is then followed by a path covered with loose stones. The track curves first down and then up again. Having a steady footing at all times is paramount. Wet conditions will not help in that regard.
What Are Some Precautions to Have in Mind When Crossing Lake Garda’s Tibetan Bridge?
A large informational board positioned right by Lake Garda’s Tibetan bridge shows the safety rules to abide by when walking across it. It’s important to keep these rules in mind at all times for an enjoyable and safe experience.
You can click on the photo above and then zoom in order to be able to read the rules.
To the rules provided above, I would like to add something about taking photos when on the bridge.
I didn’t take any photos during my crossing of the bridge although the views on both sides are stunning. You have the lake on one side and what looks like a huge crack in the rocks on the other.
Still, my priority at the time was to hold onto the railings with one hand and to hold with my other hand onto my child who was walking in front of me. I also didn’t want to crowd the bridge and make the people waiting on both sides to cross having to hang there to accommodate me.
I know that it is very tempting to stop in the middle of the bridge and start snapping photos but, please, don’t do it.
When we were there, there was a family of four who was desperate to take as many photos as possible. So, the father positioned himself with the two small children on the bridge while the mother took many photos. Several people had to wait for them to finish in order to be able to go across. The path right after and before the bridge is rather narrow and steep. It’s secured with fences but you wouldn’t want to slip there or be stuck there for too long waiting for someone to finish their photography.
I took my photos with a telescopic lens as further away from the bridge’s start and end as safely possible. Some creative cropping afterward helped make the photos seem more immediate.
So, yes, please, be considerate for your own and others’ safety!
My Personal Experience Hiking to Lake Garda’s Tibetan Bridge
I had a great experience hiking to Lake Garda’s Tibetan bridge.
It was a lovely sunny day, the views were gorgeous, and the thrill of walking on the bridge made my heart truly race.
Plus, right after Crero’s trattoria there is a small piece of land that overlooks Lake Garda and on which a local sculptor has placed his creations which I found wonderfully whimsical.
There were several really picturesque spots along the hike, where we loved to stop, look around, admire the views, take photos, and just spend a minute or two being still in time and nature. This felt really relaxing.
In addition, we spotted a couple of horses peacefully grazing among the olive trees.
One thing that caught my eye during the hike was the tiny pond by the shack in the forest. It was half dried up, very marshy, and we could see lots of bees and other insects buzzing on the plants that were growing through its stagnant waters.
Apparently, the western slopes of Monte Baldo – a mountain range that borders Lake Garda – generally lack surface water. However, there are some small basins dotted around them with shallow standing waters. These small basins could be either natural or artificial. They were used in the past to water animals or to provide water for the irrigation of small plots of arable land and gardens.
The thing I really didn’t enjoy during this hike was the rocky portion of the path. The jagged irregular stones felt treacherous with every step and I almost lost my balance at one point. More experienced hikers were flying past me with self-assured steps. I trundled slowly ahead keeping my mind on the prize – the stunning lake views and walking on Lake Garda’s Tibetan bridge.
Another thing that worked against us that day was that the trattoria with the panoramic terrace in Crero was completely booked for lunch. We saw the handwritten menu by its door and it looked really mouthwatering. Hopefully, we will have another chance to give it a try!
On the wall of the small Church of San Siro, I saw a memorial plaque dedicated to a lady who had loved those lands. It was a heartwarming dedication to a life lived with an appreciation of beauty and a reminder of how lovely it is to feel a deep connection to a place.
Our visit to Crero and the short hike to the Tibetan bridge were accomplished in less than two hours. It was time well-spent in the bosom of nature. We loved the beautiful views and felt happy to be there at that very moment in time.
What Else to Do in the Vicinity of Lake Garda’s Tibetan Bridge?
Hiking to Lake Garda’s Tibetan bridge and having a look around the village of Crero is a great way to spend an hour or two on a nice sunny morning or a good-weather afternoon. Add to this timeframe another hour or so if you want to spend some moments on the hilltop simply admiring the stunning lake views or having lunch at the local trattoria.
Yet, there are many more wonderful and exciting things to do and sights to see in the immediate vicinity of Crero on Lake Garda. Pick one or more suggestions from the shortlist below for an action-packed day of getting to know up close and personal the beauty of this corner of Italy.
Please, note that all travel times are approximate, by car, and start from the village of Crero.
Torri del Benaco – under 10 mins away. A picturesque lakeshore town with a pretty harbour and a ferry link to the western side of Lake Garda. Don’t miss the medieval castle which houses a small museum and has a unique citrus garden at its back.
Punta San Vigilio – under 15 mins away. One of the most romantic spots on the shores of Lake Garda. This is a long cypress-lined strip of land that separates the southern part of the lake from its central narrower part.
Garda Town – under 20 mins away. Go for a nice walk through Garda Town’s lovely historic centre. Don’t miss the Palazzo dei Capitani in the Venetian Gothic style, the Museum of the Territory of Garda, and the whimsical Villa Albertini.
Bardolino – under 25 mins away. Famous for its wine, Bardolino is a town with a rich history, cute historic centre, several churches dating back to the 11th-12th centuries, and 12th-century defensive walls. You can, actually, walk all the way from Bardolino to Garda Town and back by following the long lakeside promenade allowing you to enjoy even more stunning views of Lake Garda while keeping fit.
Other Towns on the Shores of Lake Garda – Crero is within a very easy reach by car and/or by ferry from a number of cute and picturesque lakeside towns. Some of them are: Malcesine, Nago- Torbole, Riva del Garda, Lasize, Peschiera del Garda, Sirmione, and Desenzano del Garda. To read more about them and find out what to see and do in each one of them, please, read this blog post: Best 12 Towns to Visit Around Lago di Garda – Italy’s Largest Lake.
Hike to Campo di Brenzone – under 20 mins away. Campo di Brenzone is a 1,000 years old medieval village in the lush hills above Lake Garda. To reach it, you need to park your car in Marniga – a small lakeside community – and then you need to hike following centuries-old mule tracks weaving through olive groves. For full information on how to do this hike, please, read this blog post: Campo di Brenzone – A Great Day Trip to a Medieval Village in the Hills Above Lake Garda, Italy
Hike to Rocca di Garda – under 25 mins. Rocca di Garda is a flat-top steep hill overlooking two of Lake Garda’s prettiest towns – Bardolino and Garda Town. Hiking to its summit gives you a chance to enjoy the best panoramic views of Italy’s largest lake. For full information on how to do this hike, please, read this blog post: Rocca di Garda – Hiking to the Best Panoramic Spot of Lake Garda, Italy
Amusement and Aventure Parks – between 25 and 45 mins away. Several of Italy’s largest and most popular amusement and adventure parks are right next to Lake Garda. Have a look at their official websites for further details: Gardaland, Gardaland Sea Life Aquarium, Canevaworld, Busatte Adventure, and Jungle Adventure Park.
Sanctuary of Santa Corona – under 45 mins away. An important Christian sanctuary the main church of which is half-hewn in the rocky face of a steep cliff. For full information on how to visit this memorable place, please, read this blog post: Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona – Visiting Italy’s Church Suspended Between Heaven and Earth
Verona – under 1 h away. The city of Romeo and Juliet, Verona is a great place to explore while in the Northern Italian region of the Veneto. For full information about all the unmissable things to tick off here in a day, please, read this blog post: 20 Best Things to Do and See in Verona, Italy in One Day – The Ultimate Itinerary with Photos and Tips
Parco delle Cascate and Molina – about 1 h away. A beautiful nature park nestled between three lush valleys. It is surrounded by dramatic peaks and it is famous for its 18 waterfalls. Next door to the park, is the medieval village of Molina with its centuries-old water mills. For full information on how to visit this stunning place and the adjacent village, please, read this blog post: Parco delle Cascate and Molina – A Great Day Out in the Province of Verona
Lake Garda’s Tibetan bridge is a metal bridge suspended over the deep canyon of Val Valzana in the steep slopes overlooking Italy’s largest lake.
The bridge can be reached by following a hiking path from two nearby small villages – Crero and Pai. Crossing it feels like a great adventure to have in this beautiful corner of Italy.
The above blog post gives you extensive details about Lake Garda’s Tibetan bridge and how to hike to it. Many photos are provided, too in order to give you a good visual idea of the hike and the bridge.
I hope that the information provided will galvanise you to experience hiking to and walking across Lake Garda’s Tibetan bridge for yourself!
More Helpful Links for Nature Walks, Fabulous Hikes and Unforgettable Day Trips in Italy
- 30 Days of Adventures in the Veneto, Italy – #30daysofadventures
- Top 15 Places to Visit in the Veneto, Italy – The Ultimate Guide
- Hiking in Italy – Practical Tips from an Experienced Hiker
- Best 12 Towns to Visit around Lago di Garda – Italy’s Largest Lake
- Lake Garda with Kids or The Best 11 Things to Do at Lake Garda for Families
- 20 Best Things to Do and See in Verona, Italy in One Day – The Ultimate Itinerary with Photos and Tips
- 20 Family-Friendly Walks and Hikes Up to an Hour and a Half from Vicenza, Italy – First Part
- 20 Family-Friendly Walks and Hikes Up to an Hour and a Half from Vicenza – Second Part
- Rocca di Garda – Hiking to the Best Panoramic Spot of Lake Garda, Italy
- Campo di Brenzone – A Great Day Trip to a Medieval Village in the Hills Above Lake Garda, Italy
- Parco delle Cascate and Molina – A Great Day Out in the Province of Verona
- Sanctuary of Madonna della Corona – Visiting Italy’s Church Suspended Between Heaven and Earth
- Walking the Path of the Big Trees – An Easy Hike in the Little Dolomites in Northern Italy
- Dante’s Hill in the Veneto: An Easy Hike in the Steps of Italy’s Greatest Poet
- Six Hidden Corners Around Vicenza, Italy to Quickly Get in Touch with Nature When You Need It
- Grotte del Caglieron – Caves, Waterfalls, and Cheese – A Great Day Trip in the Veneto, Northern Italy
- Hiking in the Dolomites: Grotta Azzurra di Mel – A Beautiful Hike in the Veneto, Northern Italy
- 8 Most Beautiful Villages to Visit in the Veneto, Italy
- Paneveggio – Exploring the Violins’ Forest in the Dolomites, Italy
- Trentino, Italy – Castles, Hikes, and Alpacas – The Perfect 4-Day Itinerary (With or Without Kids)
- Lake Caldonazzo, Italy – 10 Things to Do Around Trentino’s Largest Lake
- Day Trips from Verona – 16 Destinations in Italy to Fall in Love with (With Travel Times and Train Tips)
- Day Trips from Padua, Italy – Over 25 Unmissable Destinations in the Veneto, Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna
- Day Trips from Vicenza, Italy – Over 90 of the Best Destinations
- 11 of the Best Day Trips from Venice (With Lots of Photos, Travel Times and Italy Train Tips)
- Solo Travel – 43 No-Nonsense Safety Tips for Peace of Mind When You Travel Alone
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