Look at a map of Lake Garda, and you’ll see a delicate peninsula unfurling from the southern shore. This is Sirmione – one of the most striking towns in the Italian Lakes. It packs a lot into that thread of land, too. Scaligero Castle is the photogenic crown, but there are also medieval lanes, a beach, Roman ruins, olive groves, thermal spas and a glut of gelaterie to explore – and all on traffic-free streets. Beyond the historic centre, you can continue with lakeside strolls along the promenade or board one of the many ferries that hop between the glimmering towns on Lake Garda’s shore.
Scaligero Castle: immerse yourself in history
Sirmione is framed by jewel-green water and spectacular views on three sides. A moat marks the entrance to the pedestrian-friendly historic centre at the end of the peninsula. Cross it to Scaligero Castle, which was designed to be an all-seeing defensive outpost for the Della Scala family, who ruled the Verona region in the 13th and 14th centuries. Climb all the way up to the balustrade and tower for a bird’s eye view of the terracotta-tiled, green-shuttered streets below. From here, you can also admire the brooding mountains on the more northerly shores of Lake Garda.
Walking away from the crowds
Most people visiting Sirmione are day-trippers who mill around the castle and harbour before going on their way. But by staying for a walking holiday in Sirmione, you’ll have the time to explore the whole 3km-long peninsula (and its famous gelato shops) at leisure. One of the best walks is over-looked by many visitors. Simply continue beyond the castle to the Roman ruins of Grotte di Catullo at the far end of the peninsula. Jamaica Beach sits below, accessed via a path through silvery olive groves.
From Roman spa town to luxury lake-view spas
The spa-loving Romans were the first people recorded to enjoy the waters of Sirmione. These days, weary wanderers can still soothe their legs with a soak in one of thermal baths. Sulphuric, iodine-rich water heats the lake-view pools of stylish spas to a balmy 36°C. For more in the way of relaxation, finish the day with dinner by the lake. For all it attracts day-trippers by the hundreds, Sirmione is a relaxed spot for a drink by the water on a lazy evening after the crowds depart.
Take to Lake Garda
Sailing boats glide across the lake, while canoes and paddle boards are available for hire if you prefer paddle power. Ferries and boat tours are a relaxed option for exploring the rest of Lake Garda. They make a beeline for Bardolino (home of the famous red wine), Garda (for Venetian architecture and prom walks), and Riva del Garda and Limone (pretty gateways to mountainous footpaths). You can even get to Verona in less than an hour by bus.
Why book a summer holiday in Sirmione with Inghams?
At Inghams, we do walking holidays differently. With no fixed itinerary, you have more time in your destination and the freedom to walk as much or as little as you like, discovering some of the Sirmione's best walking routes and activities at your own pace.
With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to the Sirmione include flights, transfers, and accommodation, so you can relax and leave the small details to us. Our experts can help you choose the best holiday for you, and our team in resort can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.