14 Fun Things to do in Peschiera del Garda

Are you planning to visit Lake Garda anytime soon? If so, make sure you read this guide to things to do in Peschiera del Garda, one of the prettiest towns overlooking the lake!

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The Italian Lakes are on the wishlist of many wannabe Italy visitors. Whether you’re planning to head to Lake Como and Bellagio, tour offbeat Lake Iseo, or genteel Lake Maggiore, the Lakes are worth visiting year-round, offering different experiences throughout the year. 

If you had to choose only one lake to visit, I would opt for Lake Garda. As Italy’s largest lake, it stretches for about 100 km from top to bottom, encompassing very different landscapes – from the mountains in the north near Riva del Garda, where the Alps meet the Mediterranean climate, to the wine-growing hills in the south near Peschiera del Garda. 

Peschiera del Garda and the other towns in the southern part of the lake also have the advantage of being connected to the Milan-Venice railway, making it easy to access both cities. For this reason, Peschiera (as it’s commonly known) has become very popular in summer, thanks to a combination of easy access, plenty of accommodation options available, and a variety of things to see and do. 

After having visited Peschiera del Garda several times throughout the year, from wintry outings to ride along the Mincio cycleway to lots of summer visits to the theme parks, we’ve put together this guide to the best things to do in Peschiera del Garda. Check it out!

Peschiera del Garda – Practical Info

Where is Peschiera del Garda?

Peschiera del Garda is located on the southern shore of Lake Garda, right at the border between the Lombardy and Veneto regions.

It’s pretty much halfway between Milan and Venice, being located 135 km from the former and 140 from the latter, and only 30 km from Verona, making it a great base to explore this part of Italy.

Is Peschiera del Garda Worth Visiting?

Absolutely yes! Well, the lake is the biggest drawcard, with opportunities to go swimming, walking or cycling along the lake, but there’s also lots more to see – a UNESCO-listed fortress, a charming historic centre, and lots of easy day trip opportunities.

Best Time to Visit Peschiera del Garda

Well, when to visit Peschiera del Garda depends on what you’re planning to do. If you’d like to spend time by the lake, going swimming, and lying on the beaches, summer is definitely the best time – but be prepared for crowds, from as early as June.

Peschiera is a popular destination for German tourists especially, who tend to take their holidays in June/July, so August (prime holiday time elsewhere in Italy) tends to be less busy. September and October are also great months to visit, as are April/May. 

It’s also possible (and very nice!) to visit Peschiera del Garda in winter. On a sunny day, it’s lovely to walk or cycle around the lake, and being the off-season, accommodation is always much cheaper. Around Christmas time, Peschiera and other towns around Lake Garda host Christmas Markets, among the nicest in Italy.  

peschiera del garda canale
Sunset on the lake in Peschiera del Garda

Getting to Peschiera del Garda from Venice

Peschiera is well located both on the Milan-Venice railway and on the A4, the motorway crossing northern Italy from east to west. 

It takes about an hour and a half to drive from Venice to Peschiera or vice versa, and about the same time by train if you opt for a high-speed train. Regional trains take longer and may require a connection in Verona.

If you’re planning to travel from Venice to Peschiera del Garda by train in summer, we highly recommend booking tickets for high-speed trains in advance, as they do sell out and regional trains cannot be booked, and are always packed.

Getting to Peschiera del Garda from Milan

You can also easily get to Peschiera from Milan, driving along the A4 or by train. Travel times are roughly the same as from Venice – about 1 hour and a half by car, 1 hor 20 by high-speed train and 2 hours by regional train. 

Getting Around Peschiera del Garda

One of the best reasons to visit Peschiera is that you don’t actually need a car to get around. The historic centre is walkable, there’s a good network of cycle paths to get to nearby villages, as well as frequent buses and trains to get further away. 

We recommend leaving your car at home, especially if you’re heading to Peschiera del Garda in the peak season. If you have no other option, make sure your chosen accommodation includes parking, as free parking is very hard to find. 

Free Things to do in Peschiera del Garda

1) Admire the Fortress

The UNESCO-listed fortress of Peschiera del Garda surrounds the old town entirely, and though it was a fortification already before Roman times, it was heavily fortified between the 16th and the 18th centuries by the Republic of Venice.

Surrounded by waterways and canals, you can only enter the gates by crossing cobblestoned bridges. The main gates to enter are either the pedestrian gate of Porta Brescia, or the crossing of a bridge for vehicles through Porta Verona.

Connecting the Feltrin and Tognon bastions, you can walk an old patrolling passageway to take in the views of the fortress from above. You can also take a boat tour around the fortress to admire it from another perspective.

peschiera del garda fortress
Cycling through the Fortress in Peschiera del Garda

2) Wander Around the Historic Center

Go for a stroll through the historic center where narrow streets and ramparts take you to cheerful squares. There are plenty of restaurants and cafés where you can stop for a bite or a drink while watching life go by. Besides, you get a view of all the colorful, historical buildings, and bridges.

Make sure you visit the Palazzo del Comando in Piazzaforte, also known as the Historic Building. Inside, you find the First World War Museum and a selection of contemporary and classical art exhibitions. The building itself dates back to the mid-19th century and is recognized by its iron-wrought balconies and details on the walls. Furthermore, the renovated Porta Verona Artillery Barracks are worth visiting.

3) Or Stroll Down the Lakeside Promenade

Go for a relaxing lakeside promenade, at Lungolago Mazzini. You can basically walk straight from the historic center. Lined with ancient pine trees, the promenade takes you along the glittering lakeside.

It is a fantastic way to recharge batteries, take a step back from long days of sightseeing, and enjoy nature. It is especially beautiful at sunset when the pink and orange colors reflect in the water.

peschiera del garda wall
The walls of Peschiera del Garda

Peschiera del Garda Hidden Gems

4) Visit Santuario della Madonna del Frassino

Visiting Santuario della Madonna del Frassino is another of the top things to do in Peschiera del Garda. The sanctuary dates back to the early 1500s and is situated in a picturesque setting at the end of a cypress-lined alley.

The Renaissance structure holds a statue of the saint Madonna del Frassino which is said to have saved the life of a poor farmer who was bitten by a venomous snake. After asking the saint for help, the statue appeared above an ash tree, bathing in light. Now, the statue, which is 14 cm high, is found in the Chapel of Madonna del Frassino. Inside, the 18th-century organ and the imposing frescoes covering the chapels are particularly noteworthy.

5) See Canale di Mezzo & Ponte dei Voltoni

Ponte dei Voltoni is the most iconic bridge in Peschiera del Garda, with its 5 arches crossing the Canale di Mezzo. It was built in 1556 to connect the two islands that the historic town is set upon.

By the bridge, you find the remains of a stationary fishing station, known as Pescarezzo, which is said to have been in use back to the Roman era. Now, it has been turned into a little museum to preserve the remains and provide visitors with information about the town’s fishing history. The best way to see the bridge is to go on a boat tour of the canal.

peschiera del garda ponte voltoni
Ponte dei Voltoni in Peschiera del Garda

6) Relax on Lake Beaches

Located on the lakefront, it is no surprise that Peschiera del Garda is home to a number of pristine beaches, including Italy’s first dog-friendly beach, Braccobaldo Beach. Not only can you rent a sunbed and shade for yourself, but even your furry friend will get the luxury of its own sun lounger.

But even if you do not travel with your dog, this is a wonderful beach to lounge for the day. Thrilling water activities like windsurfing, water skiing, and sailing are available, so even the restless will have a memorable day. The beach offers free parking and there are toilets and showers available.

Other lovely lake beaches situated right on the Peschiera del Garda promenade are Spiaggia dei Pioppi and Spiaggia dei Cappuccini, both offering the option of renting a sunbed and longer for the day or just lying down on your towel wherever you find space. Just remember that these beaches are pebbles, sand is very hard to come by on Lake Garda beaches. 

7) Peschiera-Mantova Mincio Cycleway

From the banks of Lake Garda to Mantua, the Mincio Cycleway spans a picturesque 40-kilometer of unspoiled beauty, with the gleaming emerald-turquoise waters of the Mincio river and undulating morainic hills as a stunning backdrop. In my opinion, it’s definitely one of the best things to do in Peschiera del Garda, especially in winter when it’s a true hidden gem!

The journey commences just below the fortified walls of Peschiera del Garda and traces the Mincio’s meandering path, passing through tranquil villages, reed-fringed marshlands, and Borghetto sul Mincio, a medieval village nestled along the riverbank. The trail remains level, well-marked, and predominantly paved, making it an ideal choice for those embarking on their first full-day cycling adventure.

The itinerary ends in Mantua, which is also fun to visit by bike. Spend a few hours visiting Palazzo Ducale with its Mantegna masterpieces and scenic Palazzo Te, before heading back to Peschiera by train or… by bike again!

If you’re not feeling up to cycling the entire way by yourself, you can join a Lake Garda to Borghetto bike tour, including bike rental!

mincio cycleway
Views along the Mincio Cycleway

Peschiera del Garda Theme Parks

8) Gardaland

Gardaland is one of Europe’s best amusement parks and the biggest one in Italy, so there is no surprise, going there is one of the best things to do in Peschiera del Garda. Only a few kilometers from town, it offers an array of fun rides and activities for all ages.

One of the newest attractions is the Jumanji World simulating scenes from the movie Jumanji and the exhilarating labyrinth putting you to the test. The youngest will have a blast at Peppa Pig Land where they can walk amidst a Peppa Pig world and take different children’s rides.

Other fun rides are Blue Tornado, a rollercoaster where you’re not sitting down, but ‘hanging’ from the rails, and Space Vertigo, where you plunge into the void from a tower. There are also less adrenaline-rushing attractions, like Colorado Boat, where you sail down a lazy river on log boats. 

Make sure you book your tickets in advance – get a one-day open skip-the-line ticket or a two-day ticket here!

9) Caneva Aquapark

Caneva Aquapark is a fun waterpark near Peschiera with water rides, wave pools, and other exciting activities. While this is a fantastic park for the entire family, you will be pleased that there are a few rides, especially for adults. So you will come home just as happy and exhausted as the little ones. Sliding at high speeds down to glittering pools, 35 meters of free fall, and an exhilarating rollercoaster are just some of the activities you can expect.

But there is also a relaxing area where you can work on your tan and charge some energy for other rides. If you are there with your family, it can be a good meeting point.

The waterpark includes an aquarium where you can encounter different species like sea lions. But you can also experience a medieval tournament over a meal or enjoy Hollywood-inspired attractions.

Day Trips from Peschiera Del Garda

10) Sirmione

Only a 20-minute drive from Peschiera del Garda you find the charming little town of Sirmione, centered around a fairytale castle. Sirmione has been inhabited since the bronze age and has been an important fortified settlement since Roman times until the fall of the Republic of Venice in the late 18th century.

Going for a walk through the cobbled streets, enjoying the lakeside, and not to mention, soaking in the centuries-old hot springs at Terme di Sirmione will make for a memorable day trip. In Sirmione you’ll also find Punta Grò and La Jamaica, two of the most beautiful sandy beaches on Lake Garda.

11) Sigurtà Park

Walk through one of the most beautiful parks of Lake Garda, Sigurtà Park. Located 8 kilometers outside Peschiera del Garda, it is a great day excursion. Between colorful flowerbeds, lush green spaces, and an idyllic pond, follow the sweet scent of roses to the one-kilometer-long Avenue of Roses.

There are approximately 30,000 roses lining this alley which makes it among the most spectacular rose gardens in Italy. Bring your own picnic lunch and find a nice spot in the shade.

borghetto sul mincio peschiera del garda
Cycling from Peschiera to Borghetto is super easy!

12) Borghetto sul Mincio

Borghetto sul Mincio is probably the easiest day trip from Peschiera sul Garda. This charming historic village is located along the Mincio cycleway to Mantua, about 15 km from Peschiera. You can get there by bike in about an hour, or 20 minutes by car. Borghetto is very small, so you can easily combine a visit to the village with Sigurtà Park, a short distance away.

A fun thing to do in Borghetto sul Mincio is strolling along its quaint cobblestone streets. The village is known for its picturesque medieval architecture, complete with charming stone houses, arched bridges, and watermills. The village’s unique setting along the Mincio River adds to its allure, creating a scenic backdrop for leisurely walks and photo opportunities.

A must-visit spot in Borghetto is the Borghetto Bridge, an ancient stone bridge that spans the river and connects the two sides of the village. This picturesque bridge is not only an architectural gem but also offers breathtaking views of the river and the surrounding landscape.

Food lovers will be happy to try Borghetto’s delicious ‘love knot’ tortellini, a type of stuffed pasta, slightly different from tortellini from Emilia-Romagna. You can savour these traditional dishes in local trattorias. Nearby you’ll also find Visconti Castle, a well-preserved medieval fortress, with panoramic views from its towers.

13) Verona

Verona is only 30 minutes away, making it a good destination for a day trip from Peschiera del Garda, and a good thing to do on a cloudy or rainy day. 

A day trip is enough to check out the main sights in Verona – head to the historic centre, about 15 minutes walk from the station, and visit Torre dei Lamberti, San Zeno Cathedral, the Scaliger tombs, and naturally the Arena. Feel free to skip Juliet’s house, the city’s main tourist trap since there’s no evidence Juliet actually lived there. 

Grab some lunch or an aperitivo in Piazza delle Erbe, and if you want to want to go on a short hike to enjoy Verona from above, head to Castel San Pietro. Or just book a guided Verona day trip to make things easy!

If you’re a theatre lover, you might want to check the summer schedule of the Arena. Buses back to Peschiera are organized at the end of performances at the Arena to allow visitors to attend – book your bus transfer and opera ticket here!

14) Venice

Venice is also not too far away (about 1 hour 30), so it can be a good day trip from Peschiera del Garda. We recommend not visiting in the height of summer, as the city is simply too busy – shoulder season is ok, but avoid weekends and public holidays.

We recommend spending your day wandering around Venice, relishing its enchanting maze-like streets and captivating canals. Take the time to soak in the ambiance and culture of this unique city. If you’re set on visiting sights like Doge’s Palace or the Basilica of San Marco, book tickets in advance to minimize waiting in line.

During your day in Venice, make sure you try some cicchetti, delectable Venetian small dishes, and have a spritz (or perhaps a few) at places like All’Arco or Cantina Do Mori, or other charming bacari scattered throughout the city by the lagoon. It’s a delightful way to savour the local flavors and experience the essence of Venice at your own pace.