Difficulty: All levels depending on the wind direction and strength
The Northern Garda Lake is a world wide famous windsurf and sailing spot. And it deserves this fame, because of the intensity and frequency of very good windy days, but also for the superbe landscape, you can enjoy both while surfing in the water, and while relaxing on the ground.
The spot works mainly with a thermal wind, the so called “Ora”, which blows from the South, and from March to October, and from 12-13 o’clock up to late afternoon, during sunny days.
Infact, it rises beacuse of the pressure difference between air on the lake (colder and havier) and the air above the mountains and valleys at the North of the lake (warmer and lighter). So the cold air moves towards North to take place of warm air, which rises high in the sky.
In good days, the “Ora” can reach about 20 knots, with a pretty good chop of one meter. If you have low pressure, or too much cloudy skies above mountains, the “Ora” doesn’t blow, because air, there, doesn’t become enough warm.
The Garda classic – a relatively big beach that’s best in a southerly, or sometimes westerly. There’s a big hire centre and the best rentals are SHAKA surf shop and Pier, there are also campsites right at the spot, but loads of swimmers too. In the evening, the party mile is centred around the little harbour.
A special mention goes to the Pier:
Pier is the most famous location of Garda lake, and, probably, it deserves its fame for breathtaking natural evironment, optimal logistics, and, obviously, for wind conditions in the water,
The spot is located at Surf Hotel Pier. You get there driving through Gardesana occidentale national road (S.S. 45). The spot just after Limone del Garda, coming from the South, some kms before reaching Riva del Garda town (see map below for exact location).
Coming from the South, the hotel parking lot in which to leave the car, is on the left side. In front of the hotel there are about a dozen parking places. Other parking places are located in the garage under the main building of the hotel. Many other parking places are located around. Consider that in the summer time, there are also the hotel customers, which are mainly surfers. Off season (until the opening of the hotel for the season, which, this year, will take place in late April) access to the car park is free during the week, while you will pay 12 euro on weekends. In summer time, you always pay, and the amount increases to around 22 euro, including 7 euro to spend at the bar/restaurant overlooking the lake. The spot off-season (March-April-May), and the conditions were very relaxing. In the summer, the spot becomes really overcrowded, especially in June. The situation then gets better in August and September. It should also be noted that in June and July, national and international sailing boats regattas often take place. Boats often come to the Pier, to exploit the best wind conditions. They will not give you any right to pass, and that, besides disturbing the wind, will make the water plane very messy.
To check the wind forecast for the next days click here.