[Photo: Lake Toblino.]
There are almost 300 lakes in the region of Trentino, from big ones like Lake Garda, Lake Caldonazzo or Lake Molveno, to small alpine lakes nestled in the mountains. There are lakes ideal for water sports, others to admire while cycling along their bike paths. There are lakes where you can bathe, others where it’s enough to simply contemplate while sitting on their shores. Here are six of our favorite lakes in Trentino.
In the heart of the Valle dei Laghi (Lakes Valley), 15 minutes by car from the regional capital of Trento, Lake Toblino is an ideal romantic destination, featuring a 16th-century castle, believed to be the home of fairies. In the past, Castel Toblino was owned by the vassals of the Prince Bishop of Trento, and it’s said to have been the setting of the sinful love relationship between the prince bishop of Trento Carlo Emanuele Madruzzo and Claudia Particella. Today it’s privately owned and houses a restaurant.Take a romantic walk among the scent of lemons, rosemary and olives, while admiring the surrounding mountains and Mediterranean vegetation.
A highlight of the Adamello Brenta Natural Park, home to brown bears and the Brenta Dolomites, Lake Molveno is perhaps the most ‘touristy’ of the lakes described here, but at the same time, it’s a good example of sustainable land management, which earned it the designation of Italy’s most beautiful and cleanest lake in 2019. A “precious pearl in the most precious treasure chest,” as the poet Antonio Fogazzaro described it, Lake Molveno is an alpine lake formed about 4,000 years ago as a consequence of a landslide. At Lake Molveno, you’ll find 12 hectares of beach, English-style gardens, play areas, a water park for children, an Olympic swimming pool, boats and canoes to rent.
In Valsugana, about 25 kilometers from Trento, Levico Lake is ideal for those looking for peace and relaxation. In summer, you can enjoy a number of different activities, such as swimming, sailing, windsurfing, stand-up paddle and kayak, or rent electric boats at the Hotel Du Lac. You can fish, or walk on the numerous trails by the shores of the lake. The Strada dei Pescatori is an easy walk that goes around the lake (8.5 km) on a nature trail. Those who love cycling can take the Valsugana cycling path. The nearby town of Levico Terme is famous for its spring water sources and thermal waters.
Perhaps not as well known as other lakes in Trentino, Lake Ledro is one of the most beautiful and cleanest in the region, located 15 kilometers from Riva del Garda on Lake Garda. In 1929, a large area of stilt houses from the Bronze Age was discovered here; the reconstruction of the site can be seen at the Palafitte di Ledro Museum. Lago di Ledro is an ideal destination for those who like diving, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, fishing and walking or cycling along its beautiful shores. During the summer, its waters reach a pleasant temperature of 24°C (75°F), attracting tourists to its four beaches.
14 kilometers from Riva del Garda, the turquoise Lake Tenno is picture-perfect, with its pastel colors, surrounded by green woods and pastures. In the southern portion of the lake there is a small island. The level of the lake varies over the years depending on the flow rate of the tributaries. In the years when the level is low this island becomes a kind of promontory. A second island also appears sometimes when the water level is particularly low, it’s called Isola dell'86, because it was sighted for the first time in 1986. Nearby is the medieval village of Canale, classified as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
The picturesque Lago di Tovel is Trentino’s largest natural lake, famous for its green/blue, clear waters that reflect the peaks of the northern ridge of the Brenta Dolomites.
Up until the 1960s, Tovel Lake was famous throughout Italy and Europe because, every summer, its waters turned red. This was due to the Tovellia sanguinea seaweed, which emerged to the surface with the warmer weather. The algae is only present in very scarce quantities today, which is the reason why the lake no longer turns red.
When you visit Lake Tovel, make sure you walk the easy loop following the perimeter of the lake for wonderful views. The path is flat and takes about an hour to complete.