While the summer crowds and the families flock to Italy’s famous Lake Garda, those looking for a more tranquil lakeside holiday should head north to the stunning mountains of the Vigolana range and the beautiful Lake Levico.
With its dramatic mountain scenery and steep banks, many locals describe Levico as a ‘fresh-water fjord’, and it does indeed have some of the majesty and appeal of the Norwegian shoreline. But what makes this area so special is the combination of its warm climate and peaceful environment.
Set on the shores of the lake is Levico Terme, a nineteenth-century spa town which has offered therapeutic aquatic treatments to those coming to experience the unique thermal waters for more than 150 years.
Things to Do in the Region
Whether you come to Levico to relax in one of its therapeutic spas or to explore the beautiful Trentino countryside, a holiday here will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, body and soul.
Days on the Lake
In the warmth of the summer sunshine there’s nowhere more inviting than the cool, crystal waters of the lake, glistening in the sunlight. There are a variety of tranquil, relaxing ways to enjoy the lake, from taking a dip at one of the two swimming beaches along its shores to hiring a rowing boat and exploring the coastline under your own steam.
Thankfully no motor boats are allowed on the lake so, once you’re away from the swimmers and sunbathers, you can relax on the tranquil waters, surrounded by dense alpine forest, seemingly with the entire region to yourself.
Those who enjoy fishing should bring their equipment along, or hire some at the local specialist shops, as there is no nicer way to spend the day than fishing off the side of a boat or from a quiet spot on the shore. Local fish include trout, char, tench and perch.
Insider tip: To fish here you will need a ‘Fishing Guest Permission’ but these can be easily obtained from the Associazioni Pescatori Dilettanti or any authorised shops, hotels or campsites.
Taking the Waters
Levico Terme is famous for its geologically unique waters. Rich in minerals including sulphate, iron, copper and zinc, as well as low levels of arsenic (just enough to be considered therapeutic, not enough to cause harm), the waters have continued to lure visitors here since the nineteenth-century. Today there are a good number of spas in the area which will offer therapeutic aquatic treatments.
One of my favourites is the Spa of Levico, a bright, modern spa complex close to the Old Town, which offers a range of thermal treatments including 63 individual mud baths and seven hydro-massage cabins. Anyone with breathing or sinus issues will love the ‘Inhalation Treatment Department’ which offers a range of clearing therapies including micronised nasal douches, sonic aerosol and nasal irrigations.
Those with more specific physical ailments may benefit from the specialist physiotherapy, kinesitherapy and physical rehabilitation treatments offered here.
Exploring the Area
Don’t let the mountainous landscape put you off – there are plenty of gentle hikes around the lake which allow you to drink in the stunning scenery without having to strap on climbing equipment!
In the area surrounding the spa town you can combine gentle hikes around the lake with exploration of some of the area’s beautiful, historic buildings.
- Walk from the spa to the church of San Biagio for a stunning view of the lake followed by a tour around the fascinating sixteenth-century church. It was formally a place of worship dating back as far as 300AD, when it was a place of worship for a local hermit.
- The hike from Salus Gardens to Selva’s Castle gives great views over the town of Selva before taking you to the ruins of the town’s former castle.
- If you prefer a gentle lakeside stroll, try the ‘Fisherman’s Road’ alongside the northern shore.
How to Get to Levico
The closest airports to Levico are the Venice Marco Polo, with its range of international airlines, and Venice Treviso, which is mainly served by budget and charter flights. The easiest and most comfortable way to get from either of the Venice airports is by private airport transfer. Book online with Shuttle Direct before you leave home and a local, English-speaking driver will be at the airport to greet you when you land and drive you on to your accommodation.
Where to Stay:
Hotel Scaranò – This comfortable hillside hotel offers lovely views of the Valsugana Valley from its poolside terrace and the cosy restaurant is a great place to try some of the local Italian cuisine, as well as local meats grilled outside on the hotel barbecue. The Hotel Scaranò also offers free WiFi throughout the property.
Bellavista Relax Hotel – Enjoy a bit of Italian turn-of-the-century lakeside elegance at the Bellavista Relax Hotel. Just ten minutes’ walk from the beach, the hotel offers a beautiful garden, sun terrace and pool as well as an onsite restaurant and spa, featuring a hot tub, fitness centre, treatment rooms and sauna.
Hotel Lucia – Set in the heart of Levico Terme, just ten minutes’ walk from the beach, the three-star Hotel Lucia offers great accommodation close to the town’s spas and beaches. Bicycles are available for use free of charge for hotel guests and, for rainy days, there is a games room with a table tennis table.
About Shuttle Direct:
Travel to your holiday accommodation in style by booking a private car transfer with Shuttle Direct to pick you up from the airport. The leading provider of private, group and shared shuttle transfers in Europe and North Africa, Shuttle Direct is the most convenient way to get to your destination. Book using the simple online ordering process before you set off and a personal driver will be waiting to meet you in the arrivals lounge of the airport when you land, ready to drive you on to wherever you want to go.