Limone sul Garda is a small and delightful town overlooking the Lombard shore of Lake Garda. It sits on the border between the Lombardy Region and Trentino Alto Adige Region and one of the better known towns on northern part of the lake. Walking around the town you will hear quite a bit of German since the bulk of tourist seem to be Austrian and German. So as you plan your adventure consider the vacation times of the northern countries so that you can avoide the crowds.
In fact, if in the low season the population of Limone is only 1200 inhabitants, in the high season this figure increases considerably: the towns main center can be overcrowded and takes on another aspect for those looking for off the beaten path. But luckily there is the lake, which always instills peace and tranquility and therefore mitigates the stress created by too many crowds. But in beautiful places it always works like this… we can't expect to have them all to ourselves.
And Limone, in terms of beauty, has a lot to offer. To begin with, its position is what you think of when invisioning an Italian lake town overlooking the lake and with photogenic mountains behind it. You also the very pretty center made up of steep cobbled streets that descend towards the marina, filled with the fragrant of the florial on the boncanies. There are plenty of short walks and hikes in the mountains above to enjoy and then relax in the square with a pastry and cafe, some lemoncello or a glass of vino.
BY BUS: Limone sul Garda is in the Lombardy region so for public bus it is best from Bresica or along the lake at Desenzano del Garda.
BY TRAIN: No Trains run to Limone sul Garda so, Desenzano is a main stop by all trains, this is the most direct place, plus the ferry port here has the most direct route if you wish to go by boat or you can get a bus.
BY CAR: Either exit at the Desenzano del Garda exit and drive up the western side of the lake.
TRAVEL TIP: There is a car ferry that between Malcesine and Limone sul Garda that runs hourly from April to Oct. This is a great option to avoid the tunnels and depressing section between Limone and Riva del Garda.
HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD I PLAN FOR: If you are an active traveler and just walking, one day is enough time for Limone sul Garda and many times I have guests who do a half in Limone as they transfer over to Riva del Garda. However, if you are a hiker staying over night is not a bad option due to a very nice hike above the town that is about a 6 hour loop (more below) and then an relaxing evening in the town and a early morning move to your next location of either Malcesine or Riva del Garda. For a cyclist it is only worth passing through or as a stop over for heading to a new location.
FOR THE SLOW TRAVELER 3 DAYS WOULD BE MAX.
Day 1: Limone in one day - center, lemon houses, museums, walk along the cycle path.
Day 2: trekking up the mountains behind Limone.
Day 3: surroundings of Limone - Tremosine and the Strada della Forra.
The center of Limone is a small tangle of cobbled streets, often sloping and very well maintained, which flow into the lake. It is sloping, so you go down and up. Wandering around observing the details hidden in the facades of the houses, enjoy the florial and taking photos is already a relaxing activity. Plenty of shops, small cafe's, and places to eat.
Limonaia del Castel - this area of Limone once represented the northern most point in Italy where citrus fruits are grown, introduced here at the end of the 13th century, by the friars of the Convent of San Francesco di Gargnano. Allow around thirty minutes for a visit to the lemon house. In high season it is open every day from 10 to 18 and the entrance ticket costs € 2.
Tourism Museum - created to document the change that has affected the town, both from a social and economic point of view, after the opening of the Gardesana (the state road that runs along the western shore of Lake Garda).
Fishermen's Museum - a small and interesting museum that tells of the fate of fishing, after the construction of the Gardesana: a crucial activity for the economy of the town that has gradually been abandoned. It is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm (in summer until 10 pm) and admission is free.
Comboni Missionary Center - Limone was the birthplace of Daniel Comboni, the pioneer of missionaries.
Oil Exhibition - Thanks to its mild climate the growth of olive trees whose fruits are used to produce an excellent oil. It is an activity that in the past was one of the most prosperous in the local economy. During high season (from 10 to 12 and from 16 to 18) you can visit the Agricultural Cooperative Possidenti Oliveti to find out more about the oil production in these parts and, of course, to buy extra virgin olive oil " Garda Bresciano PDO ". Admission is free.
A lot of further information about these museums and the Limonaia del Castel can be found in the brochure dedicated to the museums, available at the tourist office and also at the accommodation facilities.
BIKE TOURING - As mentioned above Limone is a nice stop over by not a great cycle destination. One is due to the heavy traffic on the lake, especially on the weekends, and two the stretch of road between Limone and Riva is a series of tunnels with poor light and quite hazardous. Over the past 20 years I have ridden the Lake Loop 4 times, about 5 years apart to see if the road conditions have changed. Sadly they have not and unless it is off season, you feel very comfortable on the bike in traffic, and you are a strong headlight I do not suggest. And alternate is to stop at Limone and take the Ferry to Riva del Garda and continue from there. I have ridden a few times and each occasion I had said it would be my last. There are a few alternatives so if you wish more information on cycling options contact us.
There are however some interesting mountain bike routes in the hills but most are for experienced riders.
The Bicycle Path in Limone is also a bit of a disappoint for a cyclist. It is only 2 km long and even though it is suspended above the lake it is usually overcrowded with walks and tourist strolling to take pictures. Only early in the morning before the town wakes is it free of obstructions.
TREKKING - Behind Limone there are mountains that even exceed 1600 meters above sea level. The trails are numerous and almost all well marking with plenty of information available at tourist office or sign boards in the port area.
THE BEST ROUTE FOR EXPIENCED HIKES IS THE SENTIERO ATTREZZATO DELL CRESTE DELLA MUGHERA - the route constantly offers fascinating panoramic views of the lake and Limone. From Limone sul Garda you ascend the entire ridge of the Mughera ridge. The route has a few safety cables if you need or if the weather changes on you during the trek. At Cima di Mughera (1161) continue to the Prati di Guil (1240) then descend passing through Passo Rocchetta (1159) and the Creste di Reamol, thus arriving at Bocca Larici (880), one of the iconic paraomic spots on the lake. Then continue the descent on path 122, very demanding, and finally following the road side path back to Limone, you do not have to walk through the tunnels.
To choose the most suitable trekking for you, once in the village, get the free Trekking Limone sul Garda brochure that you can find in the hotels and in the small information center, where some excursions of different levels of difficulty are suggested.
Italy is one of the most diverse places in the world to visit but there is more to the country then Venice, Florence, Roma, Cinque Terre and a couple of other top attractions. If you plan you days well and understand how to move around within the country you can a great cost effective vacation full of activity, history, culture, and great food and wine. Contact us to get the insights to travel in Italy. We offer: