Rock Climbing Italy

Arco sits in northern Italy in the Sarca valley just beside Lake Garda. As you approach the town and wind down the mountain you can see why it’s a popular rock climbing destination. The town is surrounded by limestone cliffs!


As you can imagine, these cliffs create phenomenal views and the views get more breathtaking when you get out of your car and onto a climb.  I am not exaggerating when I say there are thousands of limestone climbs, many with easy access, to whet every climbers appetite whether you are travling with children or without.

The view of Lake Garda and the windsurfers from a climb
Looking the other way from the same climb
Our set up. The climbing areas we visited were really nice for laying out the baby tent.
An abandoned home we saw from one of the climbing approaches
Some of the cliffs surrounding the lake
A friendly visitor

We visited Arco in July the weather was clear and beautiful but the summer heat and thick humidity made the climbing a bit challenging. Humid heat is not my favorite choice from the weather buffet so I spent most of the trip feeling extra sticky. A bonus of the heat is that Sage hung out in her diaper the whole time. We barely ever put her in clothing.

Making the trip even more fun was the choice to stay in a hotel with no air-conditioning. And because the window was open all night, we had (I had) some issues with the mosquitoes. By some stroke of luck Sage has Peter’s natural mosquito repellant and never got bit. Besides these two mild annoyances, the town and climbing were superb.

I included this funny video some climbers made of the town. I found it on vimeo and while it’s long, I decided to include it anyway because they are a cool enough family to take a rock climbing vacation with their kids.

The town is situated very close to Lake Garda which provides additional activities like boating, windsurfing, and swimming. It’s also a very bikeable town…which we loved. Sage took her first ride down to the lake in the Ergo with some bikes we borrowed from our hotel.

IMG_8212 IMG_8211

Right up the mountain and highway 421 is Lago di Tenno which provided a nice escape from the heat and a crystal blue swimming opportunity. There were many road cyclists traveling up and down the twisty-curvey mountain to and from the lake. Very impressive cycling for sure!

There were tons of fish in the shallow water. Sage enjoyed looking at them.

IMG_8156 IMG_8151

There is a great walk up to the local castle and some hikes up the limestone cliffs that provide wonderful views on the town and lake.

views of the vineyards from our walk
view of Arco and Lake Garda from our hike
Sage meeting a chicken on our walk up to the castle


The town was very family friendly, easy to get around and the food is Italian awesome (of course). If you are lucky enough to have the flexibility,  I would suggest visiting in the fall or spring as the summer crowds and heat have died down or are yet to start.

One thought on “Rock Climbing Italy

Leave a Reply