There are parts of Lake Garda which have preserved their very own secret life, stretches of countryside and villages which seem untouched by the frenetic pace of modern life. Here the bicycle is the best way to discover nature. The route is charming with pleasant stops in the little squares of Desenzano and the beautiful setting of Sirmione. There are places where the silence can almost be heard, where rocks overhang the water and the discreet presence of man is perceived by rolling vineyards, isolated bell-towers and colourful harbours.
How to get there
The A4 Verona-Brescia autostrada is very near – about 1 km (1/2 mile) – to the most important centres of the southern part of Lake Garda: Peschiera, Sirmione, Desenzano and from there to Salò. Coming from the north the approach is by the 'Gardesane' main roads: the Gardesana Occidentale, punctuated by galleried tunnels, but only 40 km (25 miles) from Riva-Salò; or the Gardesana Orientale, longer but open and with the possibility of stopping on one of the little beaches. Brescia is about 30 km (19 miles) from Salò, and Verona about 40 km (25 miles) from Desenzano del Garda.
Statistics about Lake Garda
Area: 370 sq km (230 sq miles)
Maximum depth: 364 m (1,194 ft)
Altitude: the shores of Lake Garda are 65 m(213 ft) above sea level
Thermal baths and hotels in Sirmione, www.termedisirmione.com
Associazione Comuni Valtenesi, San Felice del Benaco, tel. 0365 62 541
Parco Alto Garda bresciano (headquarters in Gargnano), tel. 0365 71 449
Cicli Apollonio (bicycles – repairs only), Salò, tel. 0365 520 696
Advice for the cycling tourist
Length of the itinerary: 2 hr without stopping for little-trained cyclists
Advice: In summer: it can get very hot, so spring and autumn are the best seasons for outings. There are often sudden, violent thunderstorms over Lake Garda. Always fill your water-bottle before starting. Bring a sun hat for protect from the sun and a windcheater against the rain. The circuit is close to villages, towns and hamlets so help would normally be available if necessary.