Garda Trek - LowLoop 2: from Arco to Riva del Garda
Garda Trentino Verified partner Explorers Choice
Starting the route, along river SarcaPhoto: Archivio Garda Trentino, Garda Trentino
The second stage of the Low Loop takes you back to Riva del Garda, touching on Nago and Torbole, then following the lake shore to the point you started from, exploring the eastern shore of Garda Trentino.
The second stage also winds its way along what today are secondary roads but were once the main communication routes in Garda Trentino. Crossing terraced farmland, you touch on key locations in local history while the final stage takes you along the shore where the main focus is Lake Garda itself.
Shortly before you reach Nago, the trail passes the Belvedere: take a few minutes to stop and admire the view over the entire northern end of Lake Garda.
The Low Loop intersects with some of the itineraries in the “Hidden Treasures” series, recommended for anyone interested in the history, literary connections and art of Garda Trentino. You can, for example, follow in the footsteps of Goethe, who wrote about his stay in Torbole in his Travels in Italy. Or you can walk along a stretch of the “Blue Line”, the last line of defence built at the foot of the Italian Alps by the German armed forces in 1944-45. Info about the different routes and free gps-tracks are available on our website.
- Choose itineraries that suit your physical and technical abilities. Collect information about the area you are visiting and the trail’s conditions and get a detailed trekking map.
- Wear clothes and take equipment that suit the difficulty and length of your tour. Keep emergency gear in your rucksack, including first aid supplies.
- Do not go walking alone in the mountains. In any case, tell someone where you are going and report back on returning.
- Look at the weather forecast before setting off and always keep an eye on the weather.
- In case of doubt, go back. It is better to give up than risk bad weather or face difficulties beyond your strength, ability and equipment.
- Do not leave marked paths and do not take shortcuts.
- All described walks are in a natural environment and therefore their use is at your own risk.
This information is subject to inevitable variations, so none of these 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, it is advisable to check environment and weather conditions before setting out.
Tips and hints
For more information on routes, services (guides, mountain huts, shops etc.) and hiking friendly accommodation: Garda Trentino - +39 0464 554444
From the bridge over the River Sarca follow the cycle path along the river northwards until you come to Moletta and a bike-grill. Leave the cycle path and turn right into a built-up area until you come to the main road. Cross the road and take the trail SAT 667 "Sentiero della Maestra" which zig zags up around the promontory of Vastrè as far as Case Caproni. At the top of the outcrop, a short detour to the right takes you to the recently uncovered trenches from World War I. From Case Caproni the trail heads into the Oolite Quarries. Now you head downhill in a southerly direction through the deep cavities left by the quarry. Along the sheer cliffs you will see climbers on some of the most difficult routes in the world. The path ends at a stream at the base of one of the most famous climbing crags in Garda Trentino, Policromuro di Massone. Now head down a lane through the olive groves, pass a turn-off on your right and head straight on until you come to a lane going uphill to your left which goes through an olive grove until it comes to Massone from the East. Now take a narrow road on your left with stone walls on either side and almost immediately leave it for a dirt track on the left. Initially you will find you are crossing the slopes of the ridge which comes down from Monte Stivo, then you cross the alluvial fan now planted with vineyards and olive groves. When you return to the road at the Capitello delle Quattro Facce or four-faced pillar, head downhill towards Bolognano, keeping to the right and passing by the cemetery and church of San Floriano. When you get to the village, cross it heading south until you come to Vignole where you cross the main road at the hotel Albergo Everest. Immediately afterwards, at the little cemetery, turn right onto the road and cross the plain of Pratosaiano with its orchards. Keep going along the main road to the south (towards Lake Garda). Go through the crossroads and after 300 metres turn onto a dirt track on the left and, after a little bridge, take a parallel road which soon becomes a dirt track, cutting across the hillside above the final stretch of the River Sarca up to Nago. The dirt track comes out in the car park near the glacial potholes known as the Marmitte dei Giganti. On the other side beside the little kiosk bar, a dirt road leads to the roundabout at the start of the town of Nago. Follow a short flight of steps up to the right, and then continue on to the right to the ruins of Castel Penede. From here, return towards the town centre, going down the other side from the one you came up by, and keep to the right until you come to a junction. Turn right onto the old Santa Lucia Road which leads to Torbole, Here you can follow the cycle path back to Riva del Garda.
The trail is well-marked with “GardaTrek Low Loop” signposts.
The main towns in Garda Trentino - Riva del Garda, Arco, Torbole sul Garda, Nago – are connected by several urban and intercity bus lines which will take you to the starting point of tours or in the immediate surroundings.
You can also get to Riva del Garda and Torbole sul Garda by the public ferry service.
Up-to-date information on timetables and routes.
Find out how to reach Garda Trentino.
Parking in Caneve (5 minutes walk to the town centre).
Paid parking: Foro Boario, near the bridge (Via Caproni Maini) or the post office (Via Monache).
Author’s map recommendations
Garda Trentino TREKKING Map – Available in the info points of Garda Trentino (Riva del Garda, Arco, Torbole sul Garda, Ledro, Comano Terme)
Book recommendations for this region:
Recommended maps for this region:
You need to wear the right clothing and take the proper gear when you go hiking in the mountains. Even on relatively short easy outings make sure to take all you need so you don't run into trouble if things take an unexpected turn, for example a storm blows up or you have a sudden drop in energy levels.
What should you take when you go on a hike?
Your rucksack (for a day trip a 25/30L capacity should do) should contain:
- water canteen (1L)
- snacks (e.g. mixed dried fruit or chocolate)
- First aid kit
- windproof jacket
- change of t-shirt and socks (in a plastic bag)
- make sure to wear or at least bring a pair of long trousers
- sun screen
- whistle to attract attention in an emergency
Make sure you're wearing the right footwear for the trail and season. The going can get rough and rocky underfoot and a pair of hiking boots will protect you from sprains. When wet, a grassy slope, rocky slab or steep trail can be dangerous unless you are wearing the proper footwear.
And finally... don't forget to bring your camera! You'll need it to capture the stunning views you come across all over Garda Trentino. And if you like, you can share your memories with us at #GardaTrentino.
Emergency telephone number 112.
Questions and answers
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