Lake Garda beaches are a great destination on a hot day in Italy.
There are dozens of them lining up the shores of Italy’s largest lake.
From sandy and pebbly to grassy and rocky, Lake Garda beaches offer many opportunities for a fabulous beach day that can be as active or as relaxing as you want it.
You can stretch on your sun lounger and take in the gorgeous views of the blue lake waters surrounded by rugged peaks. You can set up a nice picnic in the shadow of centuries-old olive groves. You can sun yourself next to the ruins of an Ancient Roman villa. And, right when the heat is starting to get to you, you can go for a nice and refreshing swim to a floating platform that has been anchored a short distance away in the water.
With so many beach destinations around Lake Garda, it may be difficult to decide where to head to first. Especially, if this is your first visit to Italy’s largest lake or if you are only going to spend a short amount of time on its shores.
So, to make it easy for you, in this blog post I want to introduce you to three unmissable Lake Garda beaches. I loved every second that I spent at them this summer and I’d like to point you to them in case you are looking for a new beach destination in this corner of Italy.
Mind you, there really are many dozens of beaches along Lake Garda’s shores. Some of them are attached to hotels and camping sites. Others are open to everyone to use, often completely free of charge. A few of the Lake Garda beaches are famous all over the world. For example, Giamaica Beach in the town of Sirmione which is stunning with the flat white stones that you step on in the lake shallows.
In principle, to have a great beach day, you don’t necessarily have to go to one of the three unmissable Lake Garda beaches covered in this blog post. If you like exploring, by all means, go for a drive around the lake to discover a little pearl of a local beach that serves your needs just right.
Still, my three unmissable Lake Garda beaches below are a great starting point. Especially, if this is your first visit to Lake Garda. All three of them have gorgeous surroundings, are within an easy reach from a nice lakeside town, and have easy parking right next to them.
So, they are a great point of departure and then you can expand your Lake Garda beach explorations from there.
To make it even easier for you, have a look at this blog post! It covers 16 first-hand tried and tested top tips about Lake Garda beaches. From where to park to what’s the water temperature like, from what to bring for a great beach day out to the many activities you can tuck in at and around a Lake Garda beach, everything is covered.
Clicking on this link and reading the information will help you have the best beach experience at Italy’s Lake Garda.
Now, towel and beach shoes at the ready, let me introduce you to my
3 Unmissable Lake Garda Beaches to Sun Yourself On This Summer in Italy
Castelletto sul Garda (also known as Castelletto di Brenzone) is a tiny beautiful town on the northeastern shores of Lake Garda. With its colourful buildings and old port, it is a delight to spend time in.
In addition, Castelletto sul Garda is on a long line of beaches that run all the way up to the historic town of Malcesine. You can go for a very pleasant walk following the pedestrian and biking path that connects the beaches. It’s a lovely experience! Willow trees have been planted at regular intervals, little bridges connect the beach areas, and gorgeous small towns follow one another like pearls on a priceless necklace.
The beaches are covered with pebbles and contoured with large boulders. So, make sure that you wear beach shoes if you are here to spend time topping your tan and swimming.
There are several parking lots in and up the road from Castelletto sul Garda. Plus, in the town itself, there are many restaurants, cafes, and bars that serve great food. Live music is on every summer weekend.
It’s quite the perfect place, really, both for its beach life and after-beach entertainment. There are so many options! Rent a boat or a yacht for a few hours to experience the beauty of Lake Garda from the water. Visit the small local museums and medieval churches to learn about life through the centuries here. Go for a jog or a bike ride along the endless promenade that spans the beaches. Plan a hike in the verdant hills that serve as a lush backdrop to Castelleto sul Garda. Or drive up to Malcesine to see its medieval castle and steep cobbled streets. On the way there, don’t forget to stop at Cassone to see Italy’s’ shortest river, too.
Castelleto sul Garda and its beach (or shall I say, beaches, seeing how easy it is to visit several Lake Garda beaches starting from here) have been my favourite destination this summer. It’s an enchanted place that will allow you to relax straight into the authentic Italian beach life.
Where exactly it is: Click on this link to see Castelletto sul Garda Beach on Google Maps.
Navene is a tiny town on the northeastern shores of Lake Garda. Sandwiched between the splendid historic town of Malcesine and the lively colourful town of Torbole, Navene is a blimp on the GPS as you travel in search of the best sights to visit around Italy’s Lake Garda.
Yet, if a great lake beach is all that you are after, make sure that you come to Navene this summer pronto.
Curved around a small bay, the pebbly beach of Navene has it all. Picnic tables in the shade of an olive grove, a small playground to keep the kids happy, a floating platform to challenge you to swim across to it, a pair of resident swans and a gaggle of ducks, large fish that you can see swimming in the water, plus a couple of benches on the beach to comfortably sit and admire the gorgeous views.
In addition, Navene is across the water from the charming town of Limone sul Garda. So, as you sun yourself on Navene Beach you can see Limone surrounded by its famous citrus fruit groves. The area is also famous as a watersports paradise and in the distance, you can see sailing yachts, windsurfers, and kiteboarders having the time of their lives.
To make it even more picturesque, there is a large marina right at the back of Navene beach and the tall masts of dozens of yachts provide the simply stunning backdrop to any beach selfies you may feel obliged to take of yourself living it up on Lake Garda.
Paid parking spaces are available just a few hundred metres away from the beach. During the high season, make sure that you arrive early as parking is quickly claimed by windsurfers and camper van aficionados. Alternatively, come here in the late afternoon/early evening and take advantage of the then almost empty beach. You can then either have a picnic dinner under the olive trees or sample the cuisine of one of the nearby restaurants.
Navene Beach is my most favourite beach on the shores of Lake Garda. Full disclosure though. On our very first visit to it in May this year, we spotted a water snake there. It was minding its own business and there was no-one else at the beach but us at the time so it may have felt safe to come out for a nice swim or something. Since then, I have been back to this beach several times, both when it was full of beachgoers and completely empty and we never saw a snake there again. I just wanted to mention it though as giving the full picture is important to me.
Where exactly it is: Click on this link to see Navene Beach on Google Maps.
Toscolano is a small town on the western shores of Lake Garda. It’s famous for the ruins of a Roman villa that have been uncovered here and also for the local paper manufacture. Paper-making mills have existed here since the 14th century and by the 15th century, they were in their dozens and were supplying paper to the then-largest publishing houses.
Still, this is a blog post about unmissable Lake Garda beaches, so let me focus back on the topic. Here in Toscolano, you will find a small but pretty beach that is open for both humans and their dogs. Called Bau Beach, it’s right next to Toscolano’s ruined Roman villa so you and your pet (if you are lucky enough to have a dog) can sun yourselves and paddle in style where the Ancient Romans have once swum themselves.
There is a large paid car park right next to Toscolano’s paper-making factory (you see now the need for the historic note above). Just make sure that you don’t park in a spot reserved for the local residents. There are signs explaining the different types of spots, so look out for them. From there, you need to walk across a tiny olive grove that grows right next to the Roman villa (which is open for visits every weekend). At the end of the grove, there is a small steep staircase that takes you down to Bau Beach Toscolano.
There is a bar-cum-restaurant at one end of the beach in case you haven’t brought drinks and snacks with you. The beach is predominantly pebbly, although there is a small grass area right next to the ruins of the Roman villa.
You are welcome to sun yourself here even if you don’t have a dog. In fact, unfortunately, we don’t have a dog and we came across Bau Beach Toscolano by pure chance. We were returning from Riva del Garda and got caught in the Sunday traffic. After spending an hour slowly, slowly crawling down the road, we stopped at Toscolano and spent a couple of hours at its Bau Beach waiting for the traffic jam to ease while swimming in the lake waters.
We got to pet several dogs and it was such a friendly, relaxed beach with such gorgeous views that we have made return trips to Bau Beach Toscolano since.
Where exactly it is: Click on this link to see Bau Beach Toscolano on Google Maps.
Lake Garda is Italy’s largest lake and a great destination to head to in summer if you love to go to the beach.
Dozens of beaches line up the shores of Lake Garda. In the above blog post, I recommend three of them to head to if you want to experience the best that this large lake has to offer in terms of beach life.
Each of the above beaches is right by a small lakeside town so it’s easy to get to by car and there are parking facilities nearby, too. If you are using public transport, then there are buses and ferries that can easily take you up and down and across the lake.
All of the three recommended beaches are also free to access and have at least one bar/restaurant nearby for drinks and snacks if you don’t bring provisions from home.
While there are other much more famous Lake Garda beaches, my three unmissable beaches above are great in their own right. Standing slightly off the beaten track, they also give you a chance for a more authentic Italian experience.
More Helpful Links for Things to Do around Lake Garda, Italy
- Lake Garda Beaches – 16 Top Tips for a Great Day at the Beach at Italy’s Largest Lake
- 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
- Lake Garda’s Tibetan Bridge – A High-Adrenaline Hiking Experience in the Veneto, Italy
- 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
- 30 Days of Adventures in the Veneto, Italy – #30daysofadventures
- Top 15 Places to Visit in the Veneto, Italy – The Ultimate Guide
- 20 Best Things to Do and See in Verona, Italy in One Day – The Ultimate Itinerary with Photos and Tips
- Trentino, Italy – Castles, Hikes, and Alpacas – The Perfect 4-Day Itinerary (With or Without Kids)
- Day Trips from Verona – 16 Destinations in Italy to Fall in Love with (With Travel Times and Train Tips)
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