Walking

Excursion to Mount Brione on Lake Garda

Easy ring route along the Path of Peace to visit the forts of the Great War

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Giorgia Consolini

Trekking, bike and ski touring
Angela Trawoeger
Photo

Angela Trawoeger

Creator, photographer and content manager

Looking at Upper Garda from any vantage point, you will undoubtedly have noticed Mount Brione, a rocky half-moon that seems to emerge from the lake and separates the two towns of Riva del Garda and Torbole. 

An easy ring route awaits you on Monte Brione, which offers a ‘strategic’ view of the lake and the “Busa” from 350 meters. The ‘Busa’ (the hole) in the local dialect is the flat area north of Lake Garda that looks just like a basin next to the lake.

This is the ideal walk if you have a passion for history, botany, and photography or if you need to stretch your legs or exercise by running uphill on the steps.

Map and GPS Track

Details

  • Technical characteristics

    • Starting point
      Porto S.Nicolò – Riva del Garda
    • Endpoint
      Porto S.Nicolò – Riva del Garda
    • Route
      Porto S.Nicolò, Monte Brione, S.Alessandro, Porto S.Nicolò
    • Starting height
      67m
    • Highest point
      165m
    • Altitude – ascent/descent
      330m/327m
    • Distance
      6,3 km
    • Duration
      3 hrs
  • Difficulty

  • Scenic appeal

    • Experience (1 to 5)
      5
    • Landscape (1 to 5)
      4
  • Type of route

    • Round tour
    • Panoramic route
    • Suitable for families and children
    • Insider tip
  • Best time of year

    • All year over

Partner

Hotel Dolomiti 360gardalife en
Arco mountain guide 360gardalife 3
Hotel Villa Edera Malcesine 360gardalife en

Points of interest along the route

In addition to offering beautiful views, Monte Brione is home to some of the fortifications that were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s border defense line. 

In order along the route: Fort S. Nicolò towards the lake, Fort Garda along the ascent, Fort Batteria di Mezzo at the top of Monte Brione, and Fort S. Alessandro along the descent. The remains of walkways, observatories, trenches, and military roads are still visible.

The interior of Fort Garda can be visited free of charge every day in summer and at weekends in spring and autumn. The Alto Garda Museum in Riva del Garda organizes openings, guided tours, and initiatives.

Due to the presence of more than 500 tree species typical of the mountain and Mediterranean areas, Monte Brione is also a protected site of the European Natura 2000 network. 

Many of these varieties are threatened or rare and grow exclusively on the shores of Lake Garda. In particular, more than 20 species of orchids are cited.

Route description

From the car park in Via Brione, cross the Gardesana road towards the harbor and Forte San Nicolò. Leaving the port on the right and watching out for bicycles, turn back onto the cycle path until you find the first concrete steps. 

Take a breath, and the climb begins, mainly up steps through the bushes. A few viewpoints are an excuse to rest one’s legs, enjoy the scenery, visit Forte Garda and read the notice boards explaining the biotope and history of Monte Brione.

Now the forest opens up, and we find ourselves on a ridge path, well protected by wire netting. 

Continuing on a stretch through olive groves, we arrive at the Batteria di Mezzo fort at the top of Monte Brione at an altitude of 350 meters. Climbing to the left, you will find yourself on a balcony with a beautiful panoramic view.

Vista sul Garda da Monte Brione

We skirt the fort, descend the steps, take the fork to the right into the woods on the bend, follow the cemented road for a few meters, and at the next fork, we keep to the right towards Forte Sant’Alessandro. 

The descent begins along an easy path through the woods past the fort, which accompanies us to the asphalt road. We continue straight ahead, immediately turning right to take via Sant Alessandro and then via Brione to arrive at the car park.

Variant

It is possible to shorten the route by taking the asphalt road downhill after the Batteria di Mezzo fort.

The excursion in the winter

All year round

Refreshment points along the route

At Porto San Nicolò.
None along the route.

Our tips

  • Fill your water bottle at the fountain at Forte San Nicolò; there are no other fountains or refreshment points along the route.
  • Avoid the hottest hours during the summer! Apart from a few sections in the forest, the trail is exposed to the sun. Don’t forget your hat!
  • Even if the tour is leisurely and you may be leaving from the beach after a relaxing afternoon, remember that you are walking on a mountain path. Wear appropriate footwear, especially if you follow the entire loop that descends into the forest.
  • Some of the steps are pretty high, and the path is also suitable for children but could be tiring.

Partner

Hotel Dolomiti 360gardalife en
Garda Sport Shuttle
Hotel Maximilian 360gardalife

How to get to the starting point of the route

By car

From Torbole, turn right into Via Brione immediately after the tunnel and right again to reach the car park.

By public transport

Get off at the Porto San Nicolò bus stop; several buses stop at the Porto:

  • Urban line no. 3 
  • Riva del Garda – Rovereto – Trento suburban line 
  • ATV line Riva del Garda – Malcesine – Verona

By bike or on foot

Following the cycle path that connects Torbole and Riva, you pass the car tunnel that separates Torbole from Riva del Garda. At Forte San Nicolò, after the bend, you will find the first concrete steps.

This route passes by Torbole sul Garda e Nago

Before or after the route, during an excursion or on holiday, stop to visit the small villages of Lake Garda

Similar route

From 360 Magazine