A brand new way to explore Italy’s largest lake is coming soon: a 140km-long trail that circles beautiful Lake Garda in the north of the country is opening for cyclists.

The project, called Garda by Bike, has been in the works for the last two years and is expected to open by 2021. It’s constructed from both existing cycling tracks and newly built paths that will take you from Lombardy through Trento and the Veneto and back. The project is bound to be a success amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in Europe, allowing travelers to spend more time outdoors and socially distanced. Garda by bike will also link up to the continent-spanning European cycle routes Eurovelo Route 7 and Eurovelo Route 8.

Although the full route is a long distance, the bike path is suitable for families: it’s wide and doesn’t include any steep climbs. The loop can be tackled with any type of bike, as the path is made from wood planks. A particularly picturesque section, which is already open, runs 2km from Capo Reamol on the lake’s western shore and hugs a rugged section of cliffs above the water.

500px Photo ID: 108257241 - Lake Garda, Town of Torbole (Trentino, Italy) at early morning
Lake Garda in Italy © Marco S / 500px

Garda by Bike isn’t the only exciting outdoor project that Italy has in store. In June, the country announced a new hiking trail called Sentiero dei Parchi that will connect all 25 of its national parks. The trail will incorporate sections of the existing 7000km-long Sentiero Italia, which already passes through 18 of the 25 national parks.

The Minister for the Environment described that project as an important sign of "how much we value our immense natural heritage and its valorisation when it comes to sustainable tourism, especially in this post-COVID moment when we all feel the need to be outside a bit more."

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