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The best restaurant on Lake Garda, hikes with incredible mountain views and impressive monuments

Riva del garda mountains

Riva Del Garda is located in the North of Lake Garda and is surrounded by mountains making the landscape vastly different from other towns around the lake such as Bardolino and Sirmione. Being in the North the temperature does drop and can be windy meaning it is a popular wind surfing and water sports destination. Riva is also only 2 hours from the Dolomites mountain range if you run out of hikes and activities on the lake.

Here are the best things to see and do in Riva Del Garda:

Villa Canale

Villa Canale is a medieval town located a 25 minute drive from the centre of Riva. Explore the winding cobbled streets, hidden cafes and beautiful floral displays and feel as though you've stepped into a fairytale. A must is to take the short 0.1km walk to the stunning Lake Tenno which offers clear, blue waters, numerous photo opportunities and the chance of walking around the lake which will take 1 hour or go for a dunk.

Santa Barbara Walk

You can enjoy a steep but rewarding hike from Riva Del Garda to reach the church of Santa Barbara. Start from the centre of Riva and follow path 404 with signs for “Passeggiata al Bastione,” “Chiesa Santa Barbara” and “Capanna Santa Barbara.” You will shortly reach some cobblestones and you can continue your ascent all the way until you reach the Bastione. Take a breather here and explore the Bastione before continuing to climb to reach first the Santa Barbara hut and around 10 minutes later, the Santa Barbara church. Stop here and absorb the incredible views of Lake Garda below before following the same path down into Riva. The hike will take approximately 2 hours without viewing and photo time.

View from Church of Santa Barbara

View points

The best view points in Riva Del Garda are Torre Apponale, Bastione and Mount Brione. Torre Apponale stands proud in the centre of Riva Del Garda and you can reach the top for 2 euros per person.

Instead of climbing to the Bastione, you can take the panoramic glass elevator for 5 euros per person for beautiful views over the town below and lake Garda. Tip: visit at sunset and head to the Bastione Lounge & Restaurant for an aperitif.

The Monte Brione hike starts from Riva and if you have a car you can park at Viale Roverto. Walk past the paper mill and onto Via Filanda then you will start your ascent. The path is marked and will take around 2 hours to complete.

View of Torre Apponale Riva

Ponale road

Hike to old Ponale road to reach another stunning Italian lake, Lake Ledro. The road was originally built in the 19th century and since 2004 has been closed to vehicles and now solely for cyclists and hikers. The hike begins in Riva along the lake front passing the old hydropower station. You will cross the Gardesana road and follow the D01 signpost towards Ledro. Follow the picturesque trail and continue onto the hiking trail when the road splits in two. Cross a bridge and climb the steps up to the forest road. Continue into the Valle di Ledro passing the village Biacesa and Pre di Ledro. Head towards Molino di Ledro before finally reaching Lake Ledro

Parco Grotta Cascate Varone

This waterfall park is a 5 minute drive from the centre of Riva and a 35 minute walk. The park is 7 euros per person to enter. The tour centres around the Varone waterfall which dates back to 1874. The tour includes the lower cave, upper cave and botanical gardens. Be mesmerised by the caves, bridges, waterfalls and colours and this is a great day out for all ages

Rocca di Riva

Rocca di Riva is the ancient castle which sits in the centre of Riva Del Garda. The castle dates back to 1124 but has been significantly transformed and refurbished over the years. The Rocca has corner towers, stone and mortar walls and a small bridge over the canal. A beautiful and must-see attraction in Riva.

Rocca del Riva


Leon D'Oro

This restaurant is the oldest in Riva and founded in 1922. The restaurant has been owned by the Salvaneschi family since 1938. It a large restaurant with outdoor and indoor seating but manages to keep that family, homemade, comfortable feeling. The restaurant prides itself on using local and in season produce (such as truffles which we were encouraged to try during our visit in September), an extensive and vast wine taste including the best of the wines from the Veneto region and beyond and all homemade pasta apart from spaghetti

My husband and I visited this restaurant two nights in a row as the food was of such high quality which is unheard of during our travels. We enjoyed a platter of scallops and mussels, truffle pasta and risotto and a white chocolate mousse dessert served as well as a dessert wine and homemade biscuits. We also shared a delicious bottle of Valpolicella Ripasso

I cannot recommend this restaurant highly enough and it is a must during your visit to Riva Del Garda

Villino Beach

Voted number one on TripAdvisor this restaurant serves traditional Italian food and is famous for seafood. Enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner here with views over Lake Garda.


A delicious aperitif and lunch location with a cured meat and cheese counter and specialising in paninis and sandwiches. The produce is of high quality and a perfect stop where you can pick the beer of the day

Aperol spritz, beer and nibbles


Cristallos is located on the lake front and boasts a huge menu of Spritz and Hugos. If you haven't heard of an Hugo it is a cocktail made from elderflower liqueur, prosecco, soda water, lime slices and fresh mint but Cristallos add in other fruit syrups and flavours to make this drink even more delicious. Not only this, it is the place to be for every gelato flavour you could wish for at a very reasonable price

Agritur Calvola

This restaurant is located on the way from Riva to Lake Tenno and it is a farm that produces wines, sausages, jam and cultivates land products. Enjoy all of the farm grown produce in this restaurant.


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