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Long distance hiking trail recommended route Stage 7

GardaTrek - Top Loop 7: Back to the water

Long distance hiking trail · Garda Trentino · Open
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  • View from Monte Altissimo
    View from Monte Altissimo
    Photo: Archivio Garda Trentino (ph. Watchsome), Garda Trentino

A breathtaking finale for the Top Loop of GardaTrek: take the cable car down to Monte Baldo and return by ferry to get back to where you started from. 

Distance 7.6 km
2:50 h
345 m
655 m
2,051 m
1,421 m

End a day of hiking with a descent on a spectacular rotating cable car and head back to where you started from on the water, maybe on one of the historic boats which have been ferrying passengers about the lake since the turn of the 20th century. Finish the final stage of GardaTrek in style!

From the hut Damiano Chiesa a quite simple hike, almost entirely with lake view, leads to the cable car station. 
Along thi stretch you can easily spot some chamois jumping on the steep rock walls or on the pastures. 

Make sure to calculate the timing right so that you get to Malcesine in time to make the ferry boat to  Riva del Garda. Otherwise you can take one of the many buses which pass during the day (timetables here - line Riva - Malcesine - Garda).  Remember that, especially at weekends during the summertime, there can be large crowds waiting to take the cable car from Monte Baldo down to Malcesine so you may have to wait your turn.

Author’s recommendation

Before getting on board the ferry, take your time and visit Malcesine, one of the most charming village on lake Garda. 

Profile picture of Staff Outdoor Garda Trentino VB
Staff Outdoor Garda Trentino VB 
Update: April 05, 2023
Highest point
2,051 m
Lowest point
1,421 m
Best time of year

Track types

Dirt road 30.89%Path 54.62%Road 14.48%
Dirt road
2.3 km
4.2 km
1.1 km
Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Malcesine Monte Baldo

Safety information

Caution! The stretch of SAT 651 along the ridge coming down towards Bocca Navene is extremely exposed if the weather turns bad. In this case you are advised to take the dirt road down to Rifugio Graziani and head towards Bocca Navene from there. 


Safety Tips

  1. Choose itineraries that suit your physical and technical abilities. Collect information about the area you are visiting and the trail’s conditions and get a detailed trekking map.
  2. Wear clothes and take equipment that suit the difficulty and length of your tour. Keep emergency gear in your rucksack, including first aid supplies.
  3. Do not go walking alone in the mountains. In any case, tell someone where you are going and report back on returning.
  4. Look at the weather forecast before setting off and always keep an eye on the weather.
  5. In case of doubt, go back. It is better to give up than risk bad weather or face difficulties beyond your strength, ability and equipment.
  6. Do not leave marked paths and do not take shortcuts.
  7. All described walks are in a natural environment and therefore their use is at your own risk.

This information is subject to inevitable variations, so none of these indications are absolute. It is not entirely possible to avoid giving inexact or imprecise information, given how quickly environmental and weather conditions can change. For this reason, we decline any responsibility for changes which the user may encounter. In any case, it is advisable to check environment and weather conditions before setting out.

Tips and hints

For more information on routes, services (guides, mountain huts, shops etc.) and hiking friendly accommodation: Garda Trentino - +39 0464 554444



Mountain hut Damiano Chiesa - Monte Altissimo (2,051 m)
45.810504, 10.890675
45°48'37.8"N 10°53'26.4"E
32T 646897 5074731


Riva del Garda

Turn-by-turn directions

Turn right when you come out of the mountain hut and head down the dirt track. When you come to the first bend at the end of the straight stretch turn right onto SAT 651. The trail leads across meadows with many glimpses of the lake, then you enter a wood and come onto a paved road. Before long you come to the mountain hut Rifugio Bocca Navene. Continue on down the paved road following signposting for SAT 651. Leave the road and head along a dirt track, first uphill then along the flat until you come to the terminus of the cable car. You can find the timetable and fares for the Malcesine – Monte Baldo cable car on the website where you can also buy tickets. It is only a few minutes on foot from the cable car station at the bottom to the centre of Malcesine and public transport.

Public transport


Timetables and prices for the cable car from Monte Baldo to Malcesine are available on the website

You can then return from Malcesine to Riva del Garda by ferry or by bus:

  • by lake on the public ferry service. Times and fares can be found here.
  • by bus from Malcesine station. Times and fares can be found here.

By road

Find out how to reach Garda Trentino.



No parking slots available at the hut Damiano Chiesa: you can get there only on foot. You can park in front of Rifugio Graziani. 


45.810504, 10.890675
45°48'37.8"N 10°53'26.4"E
32T 646897 5074731
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Author’s map recommendations

Garda Trentino TREKKING Map – Available in the info points of Garda Trentino (Riva del Garda, Arco, Torbole sul Garda, Ledro, Comano Terme)


You need to wear the right clothing and take the proper gear when you go hiking in the mountains. Even on relatively short easy outings make sure to take all you need so you don't run into trouble if things take an unexpected turn, for example a storm blows up or you have a sudden drop in energy levels.

What should you take when you go on a hike?

Your rucksack (for a day trip a 25/30L capacity should do) should contain:

  • water canteen (1L)
  • snacks (e.g. mixed dried fruit or chocolate)
  • First aid kit
  • windproof jacket
  • fleece
  • change of t-shirt and socks (in a plastic bag)
  • make sure to wear or at least bring a pair of long trousers
  • hat
  • sun screen
  • sunglasses
  • gloves
  • whistle to attract attention in an emergency


Make sure you're wearing the right footwear for the trail and season. The going can get rough and rocky underfoot and a pair of hiking boots will protect you from sprains. When wet, a grassy slope, rocky slab or steep trail can be dangerous unless you are wearing the proper footwear.

And finally... don't forget to bring your camera! You'll need it to capture the stunning views you come across all over Garda Trentino. And if you like, you can share your memories with us at #GardaTrentino.

Emergency telephone number 112.

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Photos from others

7.6 km
2:50 h
345 m
655 m
Highest point
2,051 m
Lowest point
1,421 m
Public-transport-friendly Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Flora Cableway ascent/descent

Weather at the route's trailhead


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  • 2 Waypoints
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