Out of season, Lake Garda is perhaps even more enjoyable and pleasant than in summer, due to the mild climate it offers, and above all because there are no crowds of tourists, typical of the high season. Saturday 15/01/2022, taking advantage of these circumstances, we reached Limone del Garda, and we made the excursion that leads to Punta Larici, one of the most extraordinary panoramic points of the whole lake.
Trekking: from Limone del Garda to Punta Larici (Lombardy-Trentino)
Punta Larici is a truly remarkable panoramic balcony over Lake Garda, reachable from several starting points. The simplest and least tiring itineraries start from Pregasina, a hamlet of Riva del Garda, in Trentino (to which the memory of one of our other pleasant mountain bike trips is linked - read article).
On this occasion, however, we climbed following the itinerary that climbs from Limone del Garda, along the Sentiero del Sole (Sun path), and then by the trail marked by number 122. The 122 is a spectacular path, but good for "goats", because it has an accentuated slope throughout its route, which, only in the first part, and in some intermediate sections, is reduced also thanks to a series of hairpin bends, and passages between gorges and ridges, intelligently designed. I don't say this to discourage you, but so that you are aware of what awaits you. And also bear in mind that we went up in January in shorts and a T-shirt with the sleeves rolled up. In January.... We advise against taking the path during the hottest hours of the day between May and September, or, if necessary, shelter well from the sun, and to bring an adequate supply of water. Also consider that the difference in altitude is about 1100 meters. Therefore, the hike requires a fair amount of fitness.
However, following the route is simple and error-free (see our map in the article).
We parked the car in Limone del Garda, in one of the paid covered public car parks, near the tourist information office. In winter, parking is free. Then, after wandering around the center of the town for a while, we took Via Nova, and then Via Reamol ("Path of the sun", n. 135). We followed the latter to its end, at a small parking lot, along the Gardesana Occidentale state road (Via IV Novembre). At this point, we crossed the Gardesana, and took the beginning of path 122 (see our track below, and our slidegallery). And here, if you are too dressed, you should lighten up.....
The first part of the path is wide and, as mentioned, climbs with a marked but not extreme slope. Above you, the cliffs and rocky bastions already loom, below Punta Larici. It is better not to look up, but to look ahead, along the path, and take it one step at a time. If anything, as you go up, you begin to look at the lake, and the village of Limone del Garda, further down, with ever wider scenarios, which, in addition to enchanting you, comfort you mentally, as they allow you to see how quickly you are gaining altitude.
You then arrive at a crossroads (panoramic bench), where the path that comes from Capo Reamol also arrives. Obviously, you must continue along the track that goes up (trail sign 122). From here on, the path becomes increasingly narrow, and the steepest sections begin, some of which (not many) will involve "climbing" on some rocks along the track (nothing difficult).
Clearly, you will have understood that the itinerary that climbs from Limone to Punta Larici is not suitable for families with children, also because some stretches are slightly exposed.
The path gradually becomes more fascinating: it goes up to overcome rocky crests, and then descends briefly, entering gorges and highly incised watersheds. You begin to be surrounded by a few spires, sometimes reachable by a detour, for a super panoramic photo (pay attention to the exposure).
The vegetation continues to be affected by the mitigating effect of the lake (and also of the South exposure) and is dominated by evergreen plants, some attributable to the Mediterranean maquis.
As you climb, the final destination becomes more and more hidden, above your head. Climb blindly, without seeing the ultimate goal, until you start to perceive some signs of change. At about 850 meters above sea level, after almost 4.5 km of walking, the slope decreases slightly, and you enter a wood of shrubs. Shortly after, at an altitude of 920 meters (see our track), you arrive at the border of a fenced pasture, which is bypassed to the south-west by the path. When you reach a crossroads, in the vicinity, follow the signs for Bocca Larici and Punta Larici.
By now, it's almost done. A few steps and you are in Bocca Larici (about 960 meters above sea level), where one of the two paths that comes from Pregasina also arrives. This pass is also the border between Lombardy and Trentino. To get to Punta, you have to go around the private property of the fenced pasture and the related pasture. You enter the wood again, and with a short further stretch of path, you reach the 988 meters of altitude of the summit (approximately 1 hour and 40/50 minutes from Limone).
The view undoubtedly pays off.
Below you, towards the south, the first elongated and then wider shape of the lake extends, and, on the best days, you can see as far as the peninsula of Sirmione. In front of you, the reliefs of Monte Baldo. Far below lies Limone.
If you turn north, you have the upper Garda, and the final part of the Sarca valley, with Torbole and Riva del Garda, separated by Monte Brione.
At this altitude, you can have some slight fresh breeze. And in fact, I covered myself up a bit.
After a well-deserved sandwich, contemplating the panorama, we started thinking about the descent. You can get off at Pregasina, and then take the bus to return to Limone. Or, you can return to Limone, with wider routes (and with track longer than the ascent described here): or the one that passes from Cima Mughera, and then falls towards Limone, with some aided sections; or the one that passes through Baita Segala, less technical, but long.
To go down, we redid the ascent path, for reasons of time. We did, however, take it calmly, above all so as not to put our knees to hard test, given the steepness of the path.
However, in less than 1 hour and a half, we returned to Limone, enjoying the last soft lights of the winter sunset. Lake Garda once again gave us a beautiful day.
Have a nice walk. Fabio Muriano