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Long distance hiking trail recommended route Stage 3

GardaTrek - Top Loop 3: a long descent to the River Sarca

Long distance hiking trail · Garda Trentino
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  • Hiking on  Monte Biaina (with lake Garda in the background)
    / Hiking on Monte Biaina (with lake Garda in the background)
    Photo: G.P. Calzà, Garda Trentino
  • / View on lake Garda and Garda Trentino from the top of Monte Biaina
    Photo: G.P. Calzà, Garda Trentino
  • / San Giovanni al Monte
    Photo: Archivio Garda Trentino, Garda Trentino
  • / View on Lake Garda from the trail
    Photo: Archivio Garda Trentino, Garda Trentino
  • / The "roman bridge" in Ceniga
    Photo: Archivio Garda Trentino - Foto Promovideo, Garda Trentino
m 1500 1000 500 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km MONTE CALINO "SAN PIETRO" Ristoro San Giovanni
From San Pietro hut (1000 m above sea level) to the valley bottom again. Another stage characterized by a great variety of lanscapes as you descend to the Sarca river shores. 
Distance 20 km
7:43 h
1,471 m
2,322 m
1,339 m
100 m

After climbing Monte Biaina, between Valle Lomasona  Valle del Sarca, this trail takes us back down to the valley again, a gradual descent to the River Sarca at the picturesque Roman bridge of Ceniga.

This is a moderately difficult hike and gives you a chance to catch your breath and enjoy the landscape of Garda Trentino after the first 2 more challenging stages. While you walk in the wood you can clearly see the landscape around you change as you proceed: leaving firs and beech trees, you will meet olive trees and orchards as you approach the end of the stage. 

The only uphill stretch of this stage will take you to the top of Monte Biaina, with its peak cross: a great lookout point above northern lake Garda. The trail then leads to San Giovanni al Monte: this is where the people of Arco traditionally had their mountain cottages among the woods and meadows. 

Author’s recommendation

Anybody who is looking for somewhere to stop off and enjoy some local Trentino specialities is advised to take at break at  Malga San Giovanni.

Profile picture of Valentina Bellotti
Valentina Bellotti
Update: June 24, 2020
Highest point
1,339 m
Lowest point
100 m
Best time of year

Rest Stop

Ristoro San Giovanni

Safety information

This trek presents no particular technical difficulties and requires you to be reasonably fit. Make sure to have footwear and clothing suited to mid-mountain terrain. Recommended from April to mid-October.

The information on this chart is subject to inevitable variations, so this means that none of the indications are absolute. It is not entirely possible to avoid giving inexact or imprecise information, given how quickly environmental and weather conditions can change. For this reason we decline any responsibility for changes which the user may encounter. In any case,  the hiker is advised to check the conditions of the places, environment and weather before setting out.

Tips and hints

  • For accommodation in Ceniga and surroundings take a look at the website
  • If you would like to finish the trek before you get to Ceniga: from the cross Croce di Bondiga turn onto SAT 409. After a descent through the woods, the trail comes out on a forestry road which leads to a paved road: follow this until you come to the town of Varignano. Here there is a bus stop served by the urban transport of the Basso Sarca or lower Sarca Valley which will take you back to Riva del Garda (Bus timetable information on:
  •  For more information on routes and hike services: guides, shops and hiking friendly accommodation:  APT Garda Trentino, Tel. +39 0464 554444


Mountain hut San Pietro - Monte Calino (966 m)
45.932795, 10.838251
45°55'58.1"N 10°50'17.7"E
32T 642511 5088223



Turn-by-turn directions

From the hut Rifugio San Pietro follow signposts for SAT 401. Head uphill towards Monte Calino and keep on the SAT trail which leads you down to Treni where you walk along a stretch of dirt track as far as the cross of Bondiga; keep going as far as the crossroads and the signpost for SAT 409. Head uphill as far as Bocca di Tovo where you follow SAT 407 for a short stretch, then turn onto SAT 407B. You reach the top of Monte Biaina then head down again until you come back to trail number 407. Head downhill on 407 until you get to Prai da Gom and the hamlet of San Giovanni al Monte. Now follow SAT 408 downhill with stretches of trail alternating with road until you come out above the village of Padaro where you follow the SAT trail which leads to Salt della Cavra. Continue on down keeping to the left on a dirt track until you come to Fontane di Laghel where you take the trail SAT 431 to the Roman bridge of Ceniga and the village shortly after.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

No public transport available for this stage. 

Getting there

Getting to the mountain hut Rifugio San Pietro:

  • from Ville del Monte 556 metres a.s.l. (hamlet of Sant'Antonio) on trail 406 which passes through Canale 598 m, Case Bastiani 854 m and leads to the mountain hut – 1h 30
  • from Gavazzo Nuova 201 m, on the trail Sentiero di Gola (trail 401) passing through Tenno 427 m - 2h 15
  • from Malga Lomasona pasture 536 m (road from Dasindo) on trail 410 to Sella del Calino 966 m and themountain hut – 2h

Getting to northern lake Garda / Garda Trentino:


No parking possibility for this stage


45.932795, 10.838251
45°55'58.1"N 10°50'17.7"E
32T 642511 5088223
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

  • Garda Trentino TREKKING Map – On sale in information offices in Riva del Garda, Arco and Torbole and online

Book recommendations for this region:

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Recommended maps for this region:

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The trek proposed here does not have bolted routes or via ferratas, and so there is no need for helmets, harness or rope. However, considering how physically demanding the route is, the length of the stages and the presence of some exposed stretches, this type of trek is only recommended for people who are very fit, who have a good sense of direction and who are used to hiking in a mountain environment.  
GardaTrek requires you to have standard hiking equipment for alpine terrain and we suggest you also bring a wind and waterproof jacket and fleece in case of bad weather, a torch, a change of underwear, sunglasses and sunscreen, a water canteen and snacks.

Basic Equipment for Long-Distance Hikes

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Kit para bolhas
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID

Camping Equipment

  • Tent (3- or 4-season)
  • Stove (including fuel and utensils)
  • Sleeping mat. Sleeping bag with suitable temperature rating.
  • Food
  • Toiletries and medication
  • Toilet paper

Things to Bring if Staying in a Mountain Hut

  • Toiletries and medication
  • Quick-drying towel  
  • Ear plugs
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Sleepwear
  • Alpine club membership card if applicable / ID
  • Coronavirus mask and hand sanitizer
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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loc. Marcarie

20 km
7:43 h
1,471 m
2,322 m
Highest point
1,339 m
Lowest point
100 m
Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Summit route


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