Enjoy sports on northern Italy’s lakes suspended between air, water and earth

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Lake Garda, Lake Maggiore and Lake Como offer countless opportunities for sportsmen and women to stay in shape surrounded by breathtaking scenery

Lake Garda, Lake Maggiore and Lake Como, perfect for those searching for relaxation, contact with nature and enchanting landscapes are, however, also ideal locations for those seeking more than just a contemplative or relaxing holiday.

Those who want to get some exercise will also find lots of opportunities to practise sports, while remaining in contact with some of the elements of nature that abound here: water, air and earth.

We at Navigazione Laghi, who experience the lake from aboard our boats, watch every day the spectacle of you enthusiasts flying through the skies, darting across the water and climbing rock faces.

That is why we are able to recommend the sports to be practised on our lakes in every season of the year.

Adrenaline just over the water’s surface: the most popular water sports on the three great lakes

Your intense workout on the great lakes can only start with the first and most important natural element: water.

Whether you decide to tackle it from above, on the surface or in its depths, lake water is a fantastic gym for practising from the most tranquil to the most adrenalin-charged sports. And, for those unfamiliar with the disciplines in question, there are schools and clubs along the shores of the three lakes which, in addition to renting all the necessary equipment, also offer practical lessons with qualified instructors.

Diving and snorkelling

The waters of the three lakes are deep, warm and clear enough for scuba diving enthusiasts and professionals to discover their underwater treasures.

We recommend:

  • Lake Garda: at Torre del Benaco, which can also be reached by one of our ferries, don’t miss the underwater nativity scene!
  • Lake Maggiore: in Cannobio, a regular stop for our boats, at San Bartolomeo locality, a well-equipped diving centre is available for use.
  • Lake Como: Moregallo has a real underwater playground. Amongst the boat wreckage and objects placed there intentionally, you will find a writing desk with nothing less than a PC and telephone, vehicles, electrical appliances and even Snow White and the seven dwarfs.

Arms, wind and motors

Midway between water and air, you will find a wide variety of sports to choose from. In these situations, the adrenaline kicks in as the wind picks up, the arms pull or push or a motor is floored: stand-up paddling (SUP), surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, wakeboarding, parasailing and water-skiing are routine activities in the windiest areas of the three lakes.

We recommend:

  • Lake Garda: in Riva del Garda you will find large water access points and delightful winds, also perfect for beginners. Arriving by ferry is spectacular in and of itself!
  • Lake Maggiore: on the beach at Pino Tronzano in Maccagno, there is no shortage of wind from morning until early afternoon. Our ferries also go here!
  • Lake Como: The upper lake area is ideal for “windy” sports. The favourite destinations for surfers? The Lidos of Gera Lario, Sorico, Domaso and Colico. These latter can also be reached by ferry!

A unique and spectacular outlook: the thrill of air sports

Now break away from the surface of the water and take flight definitively, aided by means that allow you to glide through the blue sky surrounded by marvellous landscapes.


A simple harness fastened to a parachute allows you to be gently rocked by the wind, surrounded by breathtaking 360° panoramas. The presence of a harness and the absence of optical references with the ground eliminate the feeling of dizziness you might expect.

Beautiful summer landscape with motor-powered paraplane flying in the sky

Hang gliding

Adrenaline in free flight, for a means that is flown by shifting the pilot’s weight alone. Specially designed tubes, cables, sailcloth and bolts form a highly reliable structure that allows a comfortable position sheltered from the cold to be maintained for the duration of the flight.

Ultralight aircraft

An ultralight is a real aircraft, so equip yourself with a helmet, sit in a two-seater and be accompanied by a qualified instructor. At this point, you need only enjoy the flight and the panorama.

We recommend:

  • Lake Garda: from Monte Baldo you can fly down all the way to Malcesine. A feast for the eyes that continues when you embark here on one of our departing ferries.
  • Lake Maggiore: take off from Monte Nudo and land at Laveno. And the ferry is there waiting for you at the dock!
  • Lake Como: Monte Berlinghera is the ideal launching pad for a flight to Gera Lario.

Hands, feet and... walking: in contact with nature through land sports

Literally, get your feet back on the ground and finish your workout in the lake area with activities that don’t require water and wind. So forget about sails, parachutes, boards and whatnot and simply give your legs and arms a workout.


Lakes are a veritable paradise for trekkers: the three lakes of the north are very similar in this perspective, with countless routes at varying levels of difficulty, enchanting landscapes, vineyards and farmhouses all around, and lush greenery ready to welcome serial “walkers”.

We recommend:

  • Lake Garda: the suspension footbridge in Torri del Benaco is also an itinerary suitable for children.
  • Lake Maggiore: follow the “Balcone sul Lago” (Balcony on the Lake) trail of the Mottarone mountain down to Baveno, in time to board a boat and admire the Mottarone from the water.
  • Lake Como: from Abbadia Lariana to Piantedo, the Sentiero del Viandante (Wayfarer’s Trail) follows along “that branch of the Lake of Como…


Rock climbers all over the world: this is the lake for you! Which lake? Whether Como, Garda or Maggiore, you’ll be spoilt for choice because there is no shortage of natural rocky cliffs, via ferratas and outdoor gyms equipped for sports climbing where world-famous mountaineers train.

We recommend:

  • Lake Garda: the Serenella cliff at Riva del Garda is ideal for Deep-Water Soloing, rock climbing without a rope on the sheer rock faces overhanging the lake Aboard the boats that depart precisely from Riva del Garda, you may see enthusiasts clinging to the rock.
  • Lake Maggiore: rocks, dry stone walls, bridge piles and sheer cliffs overlooking the lake. “Il Cinzanino” climbing wall in Maccagno is definitely worth a try. Get off the ferry and start climbing!
  • Lake Como: the Menaggio rocky cliff is ideal for beginners who want to learn to climb. And, when you have finished, you can relax on board a ferry with a breathtaking view.

To each lake its own sport: three gems for true enthusiasts

So far, we have mentioned sports that can be practised indifferently on the three lakes, but Garda, Lario and Maggiore also offer specific, distinctive activities that may be of interest to enthusiasts.

Lake Como: the tradition of rowing

Rowing on Lake Como (Lario) has historically made an important contribution to the discipline, being the birthplace of world champions who trained on its waters. However, amateurs may rent canoes at the many rowing clubs dotting the shores.

We recommend:

The kayak trip from Colonno to Isola Comacina, the only island on Lake Como, is an experience you simply cannot miss. Paddling around the small island takes about half an hour but the scenery is enchanting.

Lake Garda: a fisherman’s paradise

Trout, whitefish, lake sardines, bleak, eels, tench, chub, perch… The wide variety of fish found in Lake Garda’s waters is one of the reasons why amateur, sport and professional fishing are widespread and practised here all year round.

We recommend:

The Brescian shore offers several places that are ideal for fishing: Desenzano del Garda, Salò, Gardone di Riviera and Limone sul Garda. Reaching them by ferry is as easy and relaxing as a fishing session.

Lake Maggiore: like hawks swooping down with the ZipLine

The ZipLine is located in the lush green Valle Intrasca: securely fastened to a suspended steel cable, you travel in a straight line almost 2 km in free flight at 120 km/h through the void of the valley. Take a deep breath and, like hawks swooping down, keep your eyes wide open, because the spectacular view of the lake from up there is priceless.

With Navigazione Laghi, the transport is guaranteed

Now that the overview is complete, you need only choose the water, air and land sports that suit you best and plan your “workout itinerary” between Lake Garda, Lake Maggiore and Lake Como.

Once you are on the lake of your choice, you needn’t worry about transport, because between boats and ferries, we at Navigazione Laghi will accompany you far and wide to the best areas to practise them.

To discover all the routes available on the three lakes, visit the website and book your trip on the water.

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