Lake Garda, Lombardy & Veneto, Italy

Lake Locations:

Italy - Lombardy - Veneto -

Also known as:  Garda Lake, Lago di Garda

Lake Garda, or Lago di Garda in Italian, is the largest lake in Italy, sprawling over 90,000 acres with beautiful vistas. To the north, the lake is graced by the mystical Dolomites, whose awkward and angular rock formations, towering at heights close to 10,000 feet, and soul-inspiring beauty earned them the UNESCO Natural Heritage label in 2009. To the south of the lake, the rather low and gentle rolling hills are accentuated by vibrant and colorful Italian architecture. Along the coasts of the long and narrow water body, in the many towns and villages, are hundreds of historical sites and places for nature, adventure, entertainment and rejuvenation.

Lake Garda is conveniently located less than 20 miles from Verona (think Romeo and Juliet), 60 miles east of Milan, and 80 miles west of Venice. Choose your activity level in this vibrant part of Italy. For cyclists, Largo di Garda is a biker’s paradise with biking trails and pathways suitable for beginners as well as tough climbs and terrains for more advanced cyclists. Regardless of skill level, biking in, up and around the natural landscapes surrounding the lake is a thrilling experience.

Nordic walking and hiking are popular activities. Many walking routes explore the various historical and scenic sights around Lake Garda, and hiking up the mountains proves itself an adventurous and challenging activity. The breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and altering shorelines will be rewarding. Trekking and horseback riding is another way to appreciate the scenery. There are also many opportunities for rock and cliff climbers, paragliders and skiers! Visitors can also ride a cable car to the top of Mount Baldo for panoramic lake views. Cable car tours originate from the town of Malcesine on the lake’s eastern shore.

During a visit to Lake Garda, one must save time to take advantage of its proximity to Italy’s incredible art, culture and history. There are many sites of historical import to explore and appreciate. Begin with the ruins and remains belonging to the early Romans and first settlers to the Lake Garda area. Next, learn how Napolean left his mark on this Italian countryside, how the Red Cross formed as a result of lakeside battle, and why Lake Garda was so important to Mussolini.

The warm, summery Mediterranean climate is a fertile atmosphere for Italy’s grape vineyards, famous olives, and lemons. From Lake Garda, you will have access to some of the finest products.

After you have finished exploring the region, it’s time to explore Lake Garda’s 90,000 acres of water. Sailing and windsurfing are extremely popular — watch the colorful sails glide gracefully over the water. Rent a motorboat, paddleboat or kayak for a cruise on the lake. There are over 30 species of fish in Lake Garda; the most common are trout, chub, carp, salmon, whitefish, pike, perch, bleak, tench, and eel. Swimmers enjoy plenty of choice areas in the lake: Though the southern end tends to be warmer and shallower nearer the shore, Lake Garda is deep with an average depth 346 feet and a maximum depth of over 1000 feet! Take extra care when swimming and keep in mind that you won’t have to venture too far from the shore before the bottom drops out from beneath your feet.

Boat tours are available to the largest island in the lake, Isola del Garda, to view its ornate Venetian villa and magnificent gardens. The island’s long history dates back to the Roman Empire. Saint Francis of Assisi founded a monastery on the island around 1220. Today, the island is owned by the Cavazza family who opened the island to public tours in 2002. Boat tours are available from several locations on the southern and western shores of the lake.

Vacation rentals and real estate are so abundant around Lake Garda that you will have no excuse not to spend a whole summer enjoying one of Italy’s most dynamic destinations.

Things to do at Lake Garda ITA

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Kayaking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Ruins

Fish species found at Lake Garda ITA

  • Carp
  • Eel
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Salmon
  • Tench
  • Trout
  • Whitefish

Lake Garda ITA Photo Gallery

Lake Garda ITA Statistics & Helpful Links

divider

Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 91,520 acres

Shoreline Length: 90 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 213 feet

Average Depth: 446 feet

Maximum Depth: 1,135 feet

Water Volume: 39,749,268 acre-feet

Water Residence Time: 26.8

Drainage Area: 873 sq. miles

Spread the word! Share our Lake Garda ITA article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.