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Enjoy Olympic sports at Lake Garda - Veneto

With the Olympic Games just weeks away, there’s sure to be a surge in popularity for many of the sports featured – and in the glorious setting of Italy’s Lake Garda-Veneto, it’s possible to enjoy more than 10 of them.
And, in September, when the children have returned to school, it’s possible to enjoy a three-night, bed-and-breakfast break in Malcesine from just £46.53 per person, per night.
The charming and scenic Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and is a popular destination for watersports of all kinds.

The regular winds that blow on the lake make it perfect for sailing, windsurfing and kite surfing. The Pelér wind blows north to south, from the early hours of the morning until around midday, while the Ora wind blows south to north, from late morning until the end of the afternoon, providing excellent regatta conditions.

Sailing clubs are present in plenty of the towns and villages dotted along the shoreline, with many offering an officially accredited sailing school where beginners can try their hand.

There’s arguably no better way to see the beauty of the lake and its surrounding landscapes than from the water, but an Olympic sport which offers the opportunity to discover Lake Garda from a different prospective is canoeing.

Paddling on the calm waters of the lake in search of inlets, beaches and rocky coves which abound on the lake, won’t be tiring but exhilarating. And, for the more adventurous and more experienced canoeist or kayaker, the livelier waters or torrents that run along the mountain slopes provide something a little extra. Again, there are a number of venues where one can learn to canoe or kayak, or, if feeling confident already, hire one.

The area surrounding the lake is ideal for cycling, whether the standard is purely leisurely, or, for the more energetic, mountain biking or BMXing. Not surprisingly, cyclists have many routes from which to choose, ranging from the gentle hills or the lake edge, to several more testing climbs.

The southern hills of Lake Garda offer interesting trials for mountain bikers, including one of the most popular cycle paths, which runs from Peschiera to Mantova, passing through Valeggio and Borghetto.

For tennis lovers, there are numerous courts available – either at the myriad hotels around the lake or at independent tennis centres and complexes. And, for lovers of a sport returning to the Games this year, the region also offers some of best-equipped and stylishly pleasing golf clubs in northern Italy, with nine in the Veneto region, including the highly-rated Gardagolf Country Club.

One of the most popular Olympic events for television viewers is swimming, and there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the lake’s pure and clear water, with the mild climate keeping it warm enough to swim in from about May through to September or even, in some places, October.

And, with the many promenades ideal for running, combined with swimming and cycling, one can even train here for a triathlon … unless of course you’d simply prefer to relax and enjoy the myriad other attractions of Lake Garda-Veneto.

A three-night bed-and-breakfast break, in early September, at the three-star Hotel Dolomiti – ideally located in the historic centre of Malcesine, close to the castle and cable car – in a double room, costs from just £46.53 per person, per night, based on two sharing.

An estimated 2.5m UK visitors travel annually to Italy – the world’s fifth most-visited nation – with around 14 per cent of them visiting the Veneto region. Lake Garda, or Benaco, is the largest lake in Italy, a little more than 51km in length and covering almost 370km2. It is shared by three provinces: the eastern shore, from Malcésine to Peschiera, comes under the province of Verona, part of Véneto.

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