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What is a via ferrata?

Definition and equipment

A via ferrata is a mountain path equipped with wire ropes and steel ladders that allows adventurers to safely climb steep or less steep rock faces. Via ferrata climbers use special equipment such as a climbing harness and helmet to move along the secured route and master the challenge of the vertical.

Registration for tours

You can register directly with us for some of these tours.

Via ferrata on Lake Garda - Rio Sallagoni gorge. The picture shows the ascent in the valley of the via Ferrata

Via ferrata – a paradise for climbing enthusiasts

Today we take you on a journey to some of the most beautiful via ferratas on Lake Garda. Lago di Garda is a paradise for outdoor and climbing enthusiasts of all experience levels. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced via ferrata climber, we have routes to suit every taste.

The best time for via ferratas

The best time for this adventure is from spring to fall. Don’t forget to find out about the weather conditions beforehand and check your equipment carefully. In summer it can be extremely hot on some routes. We recommend starting early in the morning and taking plenty of drinks with you.

Via ferratas on Lake Garda – Important safety information

Please note: The via ferratas on Lake Garda are suitable for all levels of difficulty and offer the opportunity to experience the beauty of the region from a new perspective. Suitable equipment is required for the via ferrata. This includes a via ferrata set (with helmet), suitable footwear and gloves if necessary. You should also take enough drinks with you. In the colder seasons you should wear appropriate clothing (jacket, possibly rainwear).

Before the tour, you should familiarize yourself with the local safety regulations and, if necessary, be accompanied by an experienced mountain guide.

The most beautiful via ferratas on Lake Garda – our recommendations

Via ferratas for beginners and families

Sentiero Colodri: This easy via ferrata is ideal for children (recommended from the age of 6) and beginners. The route starts in Arco and runs along Monte Colodri. With just four easy climbing passages, it is the perfect introduction to the world of via ferrata.

Sentiero degli Scaloni and Percorso delle Cavre: A great family via ferrata, although it is not a classic via ferrata, this secured route above Dro offers a unique experience. Helmet and climbing equipment are compulsory. (Recommended for ages 6 and up).

Sentiero Campione: The “Campione” via ferrata is a via ferrata that is particularly suitable for beginners and children. A minimum age of 8 years is recommended. It offers an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of via ferrata. The trail begins in Campione and leads through the rock face to the summit cross. Although the path is quite steep, it always offers spectacular views of Campione sul Garda. This “sentiero attrezzato”, or “secured path”, can easily be walked on with normal sneakers, but a head for heights is an important prerequisite.

Climbing route on the Gardasse - ascent to Colodir. You can see several people walking along a rope safety line.

For the adventurous and experienced

Rio Sallagoni: The Rio Sallagoni gorge presents itself in an enchanting, romantic ambience, which is emphasized by impressive lighting effects. The via ferrata itself is not particularly long, but offers an intense experience as it is steep and directly embedded in the gorge wall.

Most of the route consists of a beautiful hike to Drena Castle, which leads through an enchanting, wildly overgrown gorge. This path also takes you to a suspension bridge that requires a little courage. Overall, this route offers a welcome change from the usual via ferrata experience. A minimum age of 8 years and a minimum height of 140 cm are recommended.

Cascata via ferrata: The via ferrata runs steeply and exposed along the waterfall and reaches considerable heights. To ensure safety, the waterfall wall is equipped with numerous stirrups and steps carved into the rock to avoid unexpected difficulties. Despite these precautions, the Ferrata should not be underestimated. In the upper section, climbers even have to cross the waterfall twice over spectacular rope bridges.

The tour ends at a large boulder from which you exit the via ferrata steeply. This route is a really attractive addition to the climbing options around Lake Garda. The starting point for this short but worthwhile via ferrata is the idyllic village of Ballino on the pass of the same name. The access path leads through lush meadows and beech forests to the start of the via ferrata at the foot of the Rio Ruzza waterfall. Minimum age: 10 years.

Via ferrata on Lake Garda - ascent to Rio Sallagoni. You can see a rock face with rope protection

Monte Albano: As one of the most famous via ferratas in Europe, Monte Albano offers fascinating views down to Mori and impressive airy passages. Thanks to the installation of iron bars, even the most difficult passages are now easily accessible, making the via ferrata accessible to a wider public. Despite the renovation work, which has slightly changed its character, Monte Albano remains a classic via ferrata and an absolute must for every ambitious via ferrata enthusiast.

It is important to emphasize that a good physical condition is still a basic requirement for this steep, rocky and challenging via ferrata. After its reopening in 2014, the via ferrata is considered one of the safest via ferratas in Europe. Monte Albano is accessible from the age of 14 and remains an unforgettable experience for all via ferrata fans.

Rino Pisetta: The Rino Pisetta via ferrata in the heart of the Sarca Valley leads to Monte Piccolo Dain. It is one of the most challenging via ferratas in the Alps, as it leads steeply over limestone cliffs and is only sparsely equipped with fixed aids. Like many via ferratas, the Pisetta also offers breathtaking panoramic views. Although it is treacherous and challenging in places, it is appreciated by climbers who have a high level of climbing skill, strong arms and a good level of fitness.

Cima Capi: This scenically impressive via ferrata above Lake Garda to the summit of Cima Capi is not particularly technically demanding, but its exposed location and spectacular views of Lake Garda are captivating. On your way, you will follow some historical front paths and pass remnants from the First World War.

If you like, you can explore the long tunnels and galleries from this period on the way back – don’t forget your headlamp. Suitable for children aged 10 and over who enjoy running. You can find out more about this unique route in our experience report.

Via ferratas on Lake Garda – classics and must-dos

Via Amicizia: The “Via Amicizia” on Lake Garda is considered THE classic via ferrata in the region and offers one of the best views. The famous ladders above the rooftops of Riva are known to fascinate almost every via ferrata climber. Although the route is not particularly technically demanding, a certain amount of arm strength is required for the ladder sections.

The “Path of Friendship” has achieved cult status thanks to its presence in numerous television programs and is therefore an absolute must for every enthusiastic via ferrata fan. In the hot summer months of July and August, you should avoid the tour or set off very early to avoid the heat!

Special experiences

Via Bandito: The “Smuggler’s Trail” or “Via Bandito” is characterized by the fact that it is not a typical via ferrata, but rather a path carved into the rock. Instead of a continuous steel cable, the path is only secured with a rope railing. Another special feature is that the path does not climb steeply, but is carved almost horizontally and very narrowly into the rock, with impressive deep views.

This trail is our most pristine and remote tour, a real highlight off the beaten track. A head for heights and surefootedness are essential. For via ferrata climbers with previous experience.

Che Guevara: The Che Guevara via ferrata is one of the longest and most impressive via ferratas in Trentino. This endurance route with many iron steps leads to Monte Casale (Dain Alto 1632m). It requires excellent fitness rather than special via ferrata techniques. A large part of the route is not climbed, but run.

But what this route lacks in climbing challenges, it more than makes up for with its impressive scenery. Dizzying views into the depths and an extraordinary distant view are the reward for your efforts. This via ferrata is ideal for experienced via ferrata climbers in good physical condition.

Ready for the adventure?

You can book guided tours directly with us and save 5%. The tours are organized by our partner Skyclimber.

FAQ via ferrata on Lake Garda

What equipment is required?

All you need to bring is your own rucksack filled with drinks – this is especially important during the hot summer months! You might also want to pack something to eat! Sturdy sports shoes or hiking boots with a good sole are sufficient. Don’t forget to pack your camera…

Are the via ferratas on Lake Garda possible in all weathers?

In principle, via ferratas can be tackled in almost all weather conditions as long as it is not raining or thundering. The right clothing and suitable shoes are crucial. In the event of thunderstorms with lightning and thunder, it may be necessary to reschedule the tour. If the weather prevents the tour from taking place, you will of course be informed in good time and have the option of postponing the excursion to another date or canceling it completely at no additional cost.

How big are the groups?

Depending on the tour per guide, the maximum number of participants is limited to 10. This guarantees personal and individual support. For guests with severe fears or participants with disabilities, we simply ask you to let us know in advance so that we can choose a suitable tour.

What requirements do you have to meet to take part in the via ferrata tours?

We have various via ferratas on offer, so there is something suitable for everyone. Nevertheless, the via ferrata tours take you high up. A good physical and mental condition is therefore essential. You should also have a head for heights and be sure-footed.

How safe are the via ferrata tours on Lake Garda?

The via ferratas on Lake Garda are regularly maintained and checked for safety. Before the tour, you will receive instructions on how to secure yourself on the via ferrata. If you follow these rules, nothing stands in the way of a safe experience.

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