Lake Garda is the largest of the Italian Lakes and set in the foothills of the Italian Alps.
Well, if you like loose firetracks and lots of germans - this is the place for you! Unfortunately if you like all day singletrack, local flavour, technical whoops etc etc best go somewhere else!
Now I might be painting a negative picture, and I am no expert (I was only here for about 10 days, and I didn't ride every day) but I can honestly say that I only did one or two hours of riding that were really enjoyable. The rest was OK, but it didn't give me that buzz that you would get from riding in the French Alps say.
One thing that is good is the views - absolutely amazing! Also, if you're a windsurfer this is the place - at the lake the wind blows constantly (go a couple of miles inland though and it's really still).
Torbole seems to be the place to hang out for bikers, its right next to Riva and has a much better feel to it - it's smaller and has plenty of bike shops, campsites resturants, etc.
They have a big MTB festival here every year too.
Madonna di Campiglio
I have to mention Madonna as it's quite close and would appear to be a good place to head for for some extreme vert if you're in the area. It's billed as the Chamonix of Italy, centre for alpinism set on the edge of the Dolomites and Alps. Well, don't want to be neg, but I thought this was crap too! Sorry Italy but you've a long way to go to get even close to France in terms of MTB friendly places to ride.
Italian bike shops have to be seen to be believed! I've never seen so many in one place, nor so much good quality clothing, not so much of a bike shop as a bike boutique!!! Having said that I never bought anything!
There are loads of campsites etc but as Lake Garda is a major tourist area finding places on the lake can be difficult in the height of summer as we found out. We elected to stay in Arco, 5 miles north of Riva del Garda (right at the northern tip of the lake).
Looking towards Lake Garda from Arco
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