fbpx

Walking

To the Sanctuary of Montecastello at Lake Garda: easy scenic hike

Loop trail on Monte Cas in Tignale with views overlooking Lake Garda

gior
Text

Giorgia Consolini

Trekking, bike and ski touring
Angela Trawoeger
Photo

Angela Trawoeger

Creator, photographer and content manager

This route is suitable even for the less trained, combining a visit to the famous sanctuary of Montecastello di Tignale and incredible views of Lake Garda. Even those of us who are used to its views were enchanted and amazed by the magnificent panorama from Monte Cas over the entire lake, from Torbole to Sirmione, and of Monte Baldo. 

You complete the tour in less than two hours: the loop is about 4 km long and includes 230 m of elevation gain. Take the time to take photos and enjoy the peaceful view; it is worth it.

Punto panoramico sul Monte Cas

Map and GPS Track

Details

  • Technical characteristics

    • Starting point
      Tignale
    • Endpoint
      Tignale
    • Route
      Tignale, Sanctuary of Montecastello, Monte Cas, Tignale
    • Starting height
      577 m
    • Highest point
      765 m
    • Altitude – ascent/descent
      236m/236m
    • Distance
      3,6 km
    • Duration
      2 Hrs
  • Difficulty

  • Scenic appeal

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

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

    • All year over
      without snow

Partner

Hotel Villa Edera Malcesine 360gardalife en
Mmove 360gardalife 2022
Xtreme bike malcesine 360gardalife

Points of interest

Sanctuary Madonna di Montecastello

The Sanctuary of the Madonna di Montecastello is the main monument in Tignale and stands on a limestone rock outcrop overlooking the lake at 691 masl (2267 ft). Built on the ruins of an ancient temple in the Middle Ages, legend has it that the first small church was built after a luminous apparition ended a battle between the Trentino and Brescia people in the 1200s. It is, in fact, also called Madonna della Stella Sanctuary. For this reason, its interior is decorated with a beautiful starry sky. It contains various frescoes and the largest ex-voto in Europe, dated 1600, depicting the capture of the bandit Zanzanù. The fresco behind the high altar, depicting Jesus crowning his Mother, is from the 1300s of the Giotto school. 

On the Tignale website, you will find the opening hours of the Sanctuary.

Santuario Montecastello
Santuario Montecastello interno
Vista sul Baldo dal Santuario

Description

From the parking lot on SP38, walk along the side of the road for about 5 minutes until you come to a row of larch trees on the right that forms the edge of the trail, which proceeds gently uphill. The bottom is grassy and not very distinguishable from the surrounding meadow; there were no signs with directions when we passed. If you come to a picnic table, you have just passed the fork in the road; backtrack a few steps. 

Continue following the easy path through the woods until you cross the driveway leading to the shrine. You will find some beautifully frescoed capitals of the Stations of the Cross. Continue on the footpath alongside the concrete roadway until you pass the entrance portal and arrive at the clearing in front of the Sanctuary. For lovers of giant benches, there is one with a view of the Lower Garda in the small garden on the right before reaching the sacred building.

Visit the Sanctuary and look for the most characteristic views toward the lake and Mount Baldo from its right flank.

When you have finished your visit, go back outside and keep to the right at the esplanade, following the signs for Trail 266 to Mount Cas and the cross. You will find several signs illustrating the features of the artillery emplacements installed during World War I at Mount Cas to defend the Italian front that you will encounter along the way.

Go past the House of Spirituality and continue on a slightly uphill cemented road and then on a beautiful path through the woods, which offers a pine scent and glimpses of the lake and the Sanctuary. The ascent is about 100 m in elevation gain from the Sanctuary, and for about 20 minutes, you leave the main trail to take a small path on the left that goes into the woods, unmarked.

Monte Cas, croce

You arrive at the cross and a truly incredible panoramic balcony at 779 m above sea level. The full view of the lake and Mount Baldo fills the eyes and the heart. The emotion left by this wonder of Mother Nature is powerful. Lose yourself gazing at the plateau of Tignale and Tremosine with its sheer cliffs above the lake, the endless shades of blue-blue and green water, the lake that looks like a fjord to the north and a wide basin to the south, Mount Baldo with its ridges, the coastal villages that invite you to recognize them one by one.

Vista panoramica verso nord dal Monte Cas
Vista panoramica verso sud dal Monte Cas

Then keep left, skirting the parapet to proceed with the descent into the woods. At the fork, keep left (do not follow signs to Campione) and continue downhill on a nice dirt path until you rejoin the footpath at SP38, which you follow to return to the car.

Variant

To get to the shrine, you can go up Via Don Domenico Triboldi, the driveway with some Stations of the Cross.

Our tips

  • The trail is neither challenging nor lengthy, but it is still a mountain trail with some exposed sections. Make sure you have appropriate footwear and clothing.
  • Bring water and snacks; there are no water fountains along the trail.

The winter hike

The hike is also feasible in winter, but the Sanctuary is closed.

Rest stops

Near the shrine, you will find a cafe.

Partner

Xtreme bike malcesine 360gardalife
Hotel Ideal malcesine 360gardalife
Hotel Capri 360gardalife en 1

How to reach the starting point of the route

By car

Tignale can be reached from the state road SS45bis Gardesana Occidentale by turning onto SP38. Parking is on Via Leonardo da Vinci, past cypress trees, and a holy shrine.

Public transportation

The Gargnano-Tignale line runs buses on weekdays only; get off at the Tignale Santuario stop.

Similar route

From 360 Magazine