Pier is the most famous spot of Garda lake, and, probably, it deserves its fame for breathtaking natural evironment, optimal logistics, and, obviously, for wind conditions in the water,
Windsurfing, spot review: Pier, Riva del Garda
(Podcast available, for Supporters users, in the central part of the article)
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. Some friends told us that you can also park on the hotel building at most northern side. In short, cars are parked anywhere in this large niche in the rock overlooking the lake, within which all the spaces have been intensively, but neatly exploited. 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. We tried the spot off-season (march-april-may), and the conditions were very relaxing. In the summer, the spot becomes really overcrowded, expecially in june, as there are several foreign tourists/windsurfers on holiday at the hotel. 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. It may occur that the entire fleet of dozens of boats will sail towards you. They will not give you any right to pass, and that, besides disturbing the wind, will make the water plane very messy. You just have to lay the sail in the water, under such circumstances, and wait for the passage of at least the bulk of the fleet, which unfortunately, then, will re-pass from the Pier, to the new round of boa.
To access from the parking area to the lake, there is a spiral staircase in the middle of the parking (it is quite large, but be careful not to damage the equipment), which leads to a corridor that passes under the road. It's highly recommended to use it to avoid dangerous crossings. The lakeside area shows all the qualities of Garda Lake, when it comes to windsurfing, as the spots are designed to efficiently meet all the main requirements of the surfers, and let them feel good. The logistics, in fact, is almost perfect.
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